The Lab

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

False Starts: Kathleen Fraser and Steve Dickison

7-9pm, readings start promptly at 7:30pm
$8 entry (no one turned away for lack of funds) / Free for members

Reserve seats: member login or guest registration


Kathleen Fraser
Preliminary words

from, In Commemoration of the Visit of Foreign Commercial Representatives to Japan, 1947

In language, you once hovered.
Now you are the hunched body
holding the blue oar, so use-
less in waves. Before I knew your
plan, I had already purchased
the picture book I called “mine,”
with its memoir of brown sand
extending so casually its territo-
ries.



Steve Dickison
from Liberation Music Orchestra

“They delivered all the wind right here.” There ain’t no redlight burning,
greenlight keep being handfed directly to the violators. Liberation music
revisions scenes inside the act inside the playhouse burning down.
The teahouse / the waterhouse / the firehouse, that’s the waterhouse re-
spelled for the spelling-challenged. Grandmother’s house the slice-
of-piehouse. This unnamed young woman in voice-of-the-voice-where-
she-sanghouse / Does nobody know her name / nobody raised her name.



Kathleen Fraser's books of poetry include What I Want (1974), Magritte Series (1977), New Shoes (1978), Each Nextnarratives (1980), Something (even human voices) in the foreground, a lake (1984), Notes Preceding Trust (1987), When New Time Folds Up (1993), WING (1995), il cuore : the heart - New & Selected Poems (1970-1995) (1997), Discreet Categories Forced Into Coupling (2004), and Movable Tyype (2011).

Fraser is the founder of the American Poetry Archives, created while she was directing the Poetry Center and teaching at San Francisco State University from 1972 to 1992. From 1983 to 1991 she published and edited the journal HOW(ever), which focused on innovative writing by contemporary women.


Steve Dickison recently guest-edited, with David Meltzer, the “Shuffle Boil Special Issue” of Amerarcana; “For Mnemosyne” appeared at SFMOMA’s Open Space: The View from Here, Issue 4; [ 2nd floor projects ] published Sound Studio 3 (Liner Notes) for the exhibition “time silence and the sky: Norma Cole, Léonie Guyer, Wayne Smith”; a portion of “Liberation Music Orchestra” was in BAX 2015: Best American Experimental Poetry (Wesleyan, 2016); and four poems from “Wear You to the Ball” received the 2014 BOMB Poetry Prize. He directs The Poetry Center at San Francisco State University, teaches at that school and at California College of the Arts, and lives in San Francisco.


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