Monday, May 7, 2012

Portland Poet Zachary Schomburg Steams Up The Crux

Posted By on Mon, May 7, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Portland, Ore. poet Zachary Schomburg reads from his latest work, Fjords, Vol. 1.
  • Portland, Ore., poet Zachary Schomburg reads from his latest work, Fjords, Vol. 1, at The Crux Sunday, May 6.

The Crux seemed like the perfect venue for an evening of poetry and film. But with the stage area located at the front of the shop, and the only suitable wall for pointing a projector at the back, the awkward transition of turning around between acts on May 6 proved challenging for the audience.

Local filmmaker and Boise State undergrad John Shinn provided video vignettes featuring local poet Matt Truslow as the principal actor. The poems of Ashley Gould were recorded as accompaniment, but the projector's small speakers proved too quiet for the audience to hear.

So instead, Gould read the text of her poems from her iPhone's screen while the film flashed on the wall below a Budweiser sign. Though the technical difficulties were distracting, both portions were compelling, even if sometimes out of sync.

"Tell me about the destruction of your father," Gould read in a poem dedicated to Portland, Ore., poet Zachary Schomburg, who took the stage next.

After the audience turned around to face the stage, Schomburg opened with a different set of poems than at his Saturday, May 5, reading, which was also at The Crux.

"We might cover much of the book, so you won't need to buy it," he joked. "You'll know all these poems."

At this reading, the author of The Man Suit, Scary, No Scary and Fjords, Vol. 1, stuck mostly to sex poems. Some of them were steamy, like a narrative about making love in a movie theater ticket booth, while others were tastefully bizarre. It was a topic for which the audience of 50 showed some interest.

"If there's no babies here, these are some sex poems," Schomburg said. "You guys like sex poems? Good, I was hoping that would get a positive response."

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