Now that the institutional bigotry of “don’t ask, don’t tell” is finally a historical footnote—¡Viva Obama!—it’s time to pull the phrase apart and see what’s left. As part of Hugo House’s literary series, four artists—local fount of poetic wonder Heather McHugh, celebrated young Portland novelist Lidia Yuknavitch, performance artist Chad Goller-Sojourner, and literary-minded violist Alex Guy—will each perform new pieces launching off those four not-so-innocent words. Expect brilliance (from McHugh) and gut-punching emotion (from Yuknavitch) and spectral beauty (from Guy), along with a few surprises (Goller-Sojourner, among others). (Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, 322-7030, 7:30 pm, $25)

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