The Lab

The Lab is a nonprofit experimental art and performance space located in the Mission District of San Francisco.

False Starts: Mark Wallace, Lindsey Boldt and Rodney Koeneke

7-9pm, readings start promptly at 7:30pm
Reserve Seats Here

Mark Wallace

From The End of America, Book 11

In California property values, “location location
location” also means “air quality” 
and “skin color.” Can words be
the solution to the problem of words? 
To be at home and not have
to notice? A row of houses above
the ocean with no one living in them. 
Garbage truck, moving van, SUV. 

Metal spikes will puncture car tires
that drive in this restaurant parking lot exit. 
I don’t want to debate the difference between
a person and a corporation. This new computer application
will make it possible to remain unknown. 
Maybe a better managed apocalypse
won’t help. Housing investment opportunities
are plentiful for those who pay cash. 

My body fidgets, tells me it wants
to rearrange the world. The efficiency function
decides which people are necessary. Blimps: 
advertisements floating above the Pacific. 
Sometimes I believe the things I say, 
at others it’s fun to try saying them. 
I totter through the chain store plaza
thinking of giant prehistoric birds.


Lindsey Boldt

From A Great Whine

I understood that at best, my poetry hoped to document the lived
experience of a specific time and place, within a specific bracket of
privilege, inside of an empire whose makeup I did not fully understand.
It said, “YES, I KNEW EVERYTHING WAS FUCKED.
I LIVED INSIDE THAT EMPIRE AND BENEFITTED
FROM ITS EXCESSES, BUT I DIDN’T LIKE IT.” I understood
that my poems were written in hopes of getting a pass from
the future.

“LOOK, I TRIED. I THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT THE
RIGHT THING MIGHT LOOK AND FEEL LIKE TO
DO, AND SOMETIMES I DID IT AND SOMETIMES I
DIDN’T.”

 

Rodney Koeneke

san francisco

I laid down my love
but rue my first choice—
topiary edges, brittle colors
swept in brilliant piles.

I laid down in the praise
and the commentary on the praise
absorbed the season’s somnolence
careless of its dense ceramic glaze.

Telephone wires cross dumbly
into bowers the incidental bird
accepts completely, a hedonist
forgetful of position in the troop.

Wise as it is to sit at dusk
and slowly process alcohol
worn trees pulse
and thrill to the tendril

At wind I, too, once walked in,
and walked it to completion—
the marriage of damage and uplift
chorus of scrape and release.

 

Mark Wallace is the author and editor of more than fifteen books and chapbooks of poetry, fiction, and essays. Most recently he has published a book-length prose poem, Notes from the Center on Public Policy. His novelCrab is forthcoming in 2017. He lives in San Diego and teaches at California State University, San Marcos. 

Lindsey Boldt is the author of Overboard (Publication Studio) and the chapbooks, Titties for Lindsey (OMG), Overboard: Rampage (Berkeley Neo Baroque), Oh My, Hell Yes (Summer BF Press) and a forthcoming chapbook from Couch Press with an unpronounceable title (sorry, not sorry). She lives in Oakland, CA.

Rodney Koeneke’s most recent book of poems is Etruria (Wave Books, 2014). Earlier collections include Rouge State and Musee Mechanique. A new chapbook, Seven for Boetticher and Other Poems, was published last year by Oakland’s Hooke Press. He lives in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches history at Portland State.

False starts is curated by Steven Seidenberg (falsestartsreadingseries@gmail.com)