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Brick Street South Poetry Series: Sue Swartz

June 15, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm


Brick Street South Poetry Series features a poet and an open mic the third Thursday of every month.  June’s featured poet is Sue Swartz.

Swartz is community organizer by training, born and bred in New York, and now lives happily in Bloomington, Indiana.

“Words. I’ve got a million of them. Some have been published by Ben Yehuda Press in We Who DesireThe poems in this volume use the text of the Torah (aka the 5 Books of Moses) as a starting point to explore themes of belief, covenant, liberation, choice, and yes — desire.

If you want a taste of what I have to say… here tis (below). I’m available for readings as well as teaching both adults & kids about the process of midrash/commentary-making.”


Aaron’s sons Nadav & Avihu offered before God strange fire

that had not been commanded—

On the eighth day, Alessandro Volta

put metal coins on his tongue

and prophesied sulfurous electricity.

On the eighth day, Leucippus

considered the true nature of the void,

Teller the true capacity of the sun.

Curie was entranced by radium,

and Maxwell by luminous radiations.

On the eighth day, there were isotopes,

cloud chambers, alpha rays.

Life was vaporized in a simple test

of hydrogen. On that day outside

planned creation, God peered

into the universe and was afraid for us—

Noisy children snapping berries

off a poisonous bush, racing

down the street with pointy twigs—

Didn’t I tell you to knock that off?

And burned to the nub two sons of priestly

inheritance. Before the whole assembly

were they offered up, a soothing savor.

Object lesson: this may you burn

in your copper pan, of this sinew and thigh

may you eat. But this intoxicating notion,

this 4-legged swarming-thing—

It is polluted meat. Strange fire.

Your blowtorch future.

–Sue Swartz

Free admission and parking. Beer and wine for purchase.


June 15, 2017
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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Tube Factory artspace
1125 Cruft St.
Indianapolis, IN 46203 United States
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