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First Fridays

First Fridays presents Anthony Sutton

Friday June 2, 2023 8:00 pm


Inprint House
1520 W Main St
Houston, TX 77006 United States
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Free and open to the public

Inprint is proud to serve as the host for the First Fridays Reading Series. The First Fridays Reading Series is the oldest poetry series in Houston and was organized by Robert Clark from 1975-2019. Today, First Fridays are curated and hosted by local community members.

Readings are held on the first Friday of each month. The program will include a featured reader, followed by an open mic.

For more information about the First Fridays Reading Series, click here. To join the First Fridays Facebook group, click here.

ANTHONY SUTTON resides on former Akokiksas, Atakapa, Karankawa, and Sana land (currently named Houston, Texas), as an Inprint C. Glenn Cambor fellow at the University of Houston’s Creative Writing and Literature PhD program and teaches in the community for Grackle and Grackle. Anthony’s 2023 book of poetry, PARTICLES OF A STRANGER LIGHT, published by Veliz Books, employs a wide array of approaches and forms to obsessively dissect issues of memory, identity, culture, and history.  A recipient of a United States of Writing grant from Poets and Writers, Anthony’s poetry and criticism has appeared in guesthouseGulf CoastGristThe JournalPrairie SchoonerPuerto del SolOversoundQuarter After EightSouthern Indiana ReviewZone 3, and elsewhere.

“A Small God Carrying Endless Light”
by Anthony Sutton

Even after dedicating my life
against prayer, never having
written the word prayer, getting

self-conscious upon hearing
mention of prayer, I know
if I had a god to pray to

it would be the light fixture
in the jail cell I spent most
of a day in. It sat behind

textured glass, imitating sunlight.
At 2 am I thought it resembled
daybreak. By 2 pm, my cellmate

believed he was watching an overcast
morning. Now, I bow to it,
to study its changes in color

to understand the changes
in myself. I should consider
its correlatives with Dante.

What of the other sky behind it?
Is the universe organized
by relative distance from the light?

Then, I would abandon Dante.
Then, I would study the god
for itself. Is its light cast

from a lantern or from the god’s
mind? When I learn
the answer I will abandon

the material world and enter
a field on the other side
of the glass, one implied by the light

(where true believers go). I’m sure,
at some point today, someone sang
God Bless America. I want

to ask them if they really believe
that a nation’s legitimacy
depends on its being

the expression of a god. If
my god’s light is unending
because the god is fed

by corporations and taxpayers.
Many of whom live nowhere
near this jail, but

many have driven by.