Friday, May 26, 2017

5/29/2017 Poetry Express "Challenge"

5/29/2017  Challenge: -- use the following opening line: "It’s Very Strange…." bring your completion of this into a poem. hosted by J. D. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

5/22/2017 Jeremy Cantor Features


5/22/2017 Jeremy Cantor    hosted by J. D. 
(Need a prompt? Read Jeremy's poem below and riff on it..)




Jeremy Cantor began writing shortly before retiring from a career in laboratory chemistry.  He has made and tested engine oil additives, detergents and pharmaceuticals, driven a forklift, worked in a full-body acid-proof hazmat suit, tried to keep his fingers working in a walk-in freezer at -40°F and worked behind radiation shielding. He prefers writing.

His debut collection, Wisteria From Seed, with a foreword by former Boston Globe Arts/Classical Music correspondent Michael Manning, was published in 2015 by Kelsey Books.  He is currently working on his second volume of poetry.

Jeremy's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in ISLE (Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment, published in conjunction with Oxford University Press), The Naugatuck River Review, Glassworks, The Bicycle Review, Pirene's Fountain, Poetalk, and other journals. His poem "The Nietzsche Contrapositive," was awarded first prize in the Grey Sparrow Journal's 2014 Poetry and Flash Competition and appeared in Grey Sparrow's annual, Snow Jewel.   He was a semi-finalist in the competition for the 2016 Dartmouth Poet in Residence at The Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire.

​Wisteria from Seed

"Almost no one grows wisteria from seed,"
I told my sons.
"This one has a healthy set of leaves
so it ought to flower
in about ten years."

I'm sixty now.

A botany professor showed our class
a bamboo plant.  He said,
"This flowers every forty years.
I won't be here to finish the experiments
I might start now.
If any of you are planning graduate studies,
please see me after class.
I've got some ideas I'd like to try."

I never thought myself a man of faith
yet I grow wisteria from seed
while others study bamboo,
plant vineyards,
grow olives,
raise children.

© 2013 by Jeremy Cantor

All rights reserved

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Joyce E. Young features 5/15/2017

5/15/2017 Joyce E. Young hosted by Jim
(Need a prompt? Convey a meaning without saying it; use imagry instead -- you don't have to use those words.)


Joyce E. Young currently lives and writes in Berkeley, California. She has read at venues as diverse as The M.H. de Young Museum, Intersection for the Arts, La Peña Cultural Center, Art & Soul Oakland, and Smith College, just to name a few. She has taught with California Poets in the Schools, The Museum of Children’s Art, The Oakland Museum of California, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Youth Speaks. She was also an English teacher for the Mills College Upward Bound Program for 3 years. She is the founder and facilitator of Write in Peace. She has received grants from the California Arts Council and the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation. She was awarded a Writers on Site residency through Poets & Writers, Inc. and has also been awarded writing residencies at Hedgebrook, Soapstone and Vermont Studio Center. Her work has most recently appeared in riverbabble, New Voices of the American West, and Temba Tupu! (Walking Naked): The Africana Woman’s Self-Portrait. She works privately as a writing consultant and with student writers at John F. Kennedy University. She is currently writing Parallel Journey, a novel, essays and poetry with her muse, President Cindy.

President Cindy’s Counter-offer 2017 (Excerpt)

Why worry my spleen, my mad?
I deserve a better gig
than holding these cinders

Fire has a purpose, but
not one I am always
able to understand.

I love to hold a torch,
which is not the same
as carrying a torch.

My mind swirls orange, red,
yellow, flame-like.
30 mph winds sweep through.

Fire’s wake requires tearing down
or rebuilding. Your choice.
I’ll wait; hold a cup of water.

Drink it slowly as you consider
my offer. Your hair is gray,
You don’t have much time.

Let me help you.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Juan Sequeira & Son Juan Carlos Sequeira feature 5/8/17



5/8/2017 Juan Sequeira & Son Juan Carlos Sequeira hosted by Jim

(Need a prompt? "Over Troubled Waters" -- you don't have to use those words.)






Juan R. Sequeira M.D. was born in Nicaragua. He was raised in the Mission District of San Francisco. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of San Francisco and obtained a Medical degree from the University of California at San Francisco. He is a practicing Physician. He has a lifelong interest in poetry. His work  appeared in Alive, Black Bear Review, Blue Unicorn,

California Poets, Carquinez Poetry, Mobius, Poet Talk, San Fernando Poetry, ZYZZYVA among others. Two collections, Marimba Dreams 1999, and Jaguar Footsteps 2006. 2017 1st place BAPC contest 2nd place Poets Dinner.


A Memory

My mother worked
behind a splintered counter
under the volcano breath
of the gold brushed sun

her thorn pierced hands
poured water into glasses
shaved melting ice blocks
served tropic fruit drinks
to sweat painted shoppers

lullaby nights by candlelight
raised me from crib playground
to the spring nest of her arms
kissed the leaves of my feet and

rocked me to the rosebud of sleep
  Juan Carlos Sequeira is a 13 year old boy who has been writing poetry for 3 years. He is a resident of Pleasant Hill and attends Christ the King Catholic School where he currently stands as a 7th grade student. He has been influenced to write poetry by his father and has been taught by him ever since he heard his first poem. He says he goes outside, inhales, and feels the breeze enter and escape his lungs. After that, he sits down, and looks around for a few minutes to absorb and observe the world’s beauty. Then will he be able to write poetry to express the world and his great love for it. Poetry has always seemed simple for him, as long as he is exposed to the great outdoors, in the presence of God’s creation.  


My Night Light


Your light dances around my shelter room

my heart feels protected under your cotton shade

happiness fills me as I look up

to glistening mirrors shining on my star

your metallic structured light

spilling on my barrier windows

I look to see the moon past my shudders 



and I realize it is safe to close my eyes 

5/8/2017 Juan Sequeira & Son Juan Carlos Sequeira feature


5/8/2017 Juan Sequeira & Son Juan Carlos Sequeira hosted by Jim

(Need a prompt? "Over Troubled Waters" -- you don't have to use those words.)






Juan R. Sequeira M.D. was born in Nicaragua. He was raised in the Mission District of San Francisco. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of San Francisco and obtained a Medical degree from the University of California at San Francisco. He is a practicing Physician. He has a lifelong interest in poetry. His work  appeared in Alive, Black Bear Review, Blue Unicorn,

California Poets, Carquinez Poetry, Mobius, Poet Talk, San Fernando Poetry, ZYZZYVA among others. Two collections, Marimba Dreams 1999, and Jaguar Footsteps 2006. 2017 1st place BAPC contest 2nd place Poets Dinner.


A Memory


My mother worked

behind a splintered counter

under the volcano breath
of the gold brushed sun
her thorn pierced hands
poured water into glasses
shaved melting ice blocks
served tropic fruit drinks
to sweat painted shoppers
lullaby nights by candlelight
raised me from crib playground
to the spring nest of her arms
kissed the leaves of my feet and 


rocked me to the rosebud of sleep 




  Juan Carlos Sequeira is a 13 year old boy who has been writing poetry for 3 years. He is a resident of Pleasant Hill and attends Christ the King Catholic School where he currently stands as a 7th grade student. He has been influenced to write poetry by his father and has been taught by him ever since he heard his first poem. He says he goes outside, inhales, and feels the breeze enter and escape his lungs. After that, he sits down, and looks around for a few minutes to absorb and observe the world’s beauty. Then will he be able to write poetry to express the world and his great love for it. Poetry has always seemed simple for him, as long as he is exposed to the great outdoors, in the presence of God’s creation.  


My Night Light


Your light dances around my shelter room

my heart feels protected under your cotton shade

happiness fills me as I look up

to glistening mirrors shining on my star

your metallic structured light
spilling on my barrier windows
I look to see the moon past my shudders 


and I realize it is safe to close my eyes 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Selene Steese features 5/1/2017

5/1/2017 Selene Steese hosted by Jan
(Need a prompt? "My Last Ten Passwords" -- you don't have to use those words.)




Selene Steese started writing poetry from the moment she learned to write. The first piece she penned was a short poem containing the line "Sorry sir, sorry sir." To this day she listens for the music of alliteration and onomatopoeia whenever she embarks on a journey across a blank page. She invites you to listen for the music in the words.

Selene Steese features 5/1/17



5/1/2017 Selene Steese hosted by Jan
(Need a prompt? "My Last Ten Passwords" -- you don't have to use those words.)




Selene Steese started writing poetry from the moment she learned to write. The first piece she penned was a short poem containing the line "Sorry sir, sorry sir." To this day she listens for the music of alliteration and onomatopoeia whenever she embarks on a journey across a blank page. She invites you to listen for the music in the words.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Remembering LARRY CHRISPYN 4/24/17

4/24/2017 REMEMBERING LARRY CHRISPYN hosted by J. D. 

Larry Chrispyn passed away Feb 19, 2017 We will salute the Poet and honor his memory with readings from his works.  Dedicate a poem, share a memory, tell a Larry story, say farewell.... Remember Larry Chrispyn.


I started writing poetry in graduate school, the same hour that I started Zen meditation. I am fanatic about fitness and have been exercising daily for over 31 years. I have studied the healing uses of herbs for 43 years and taught private classes in Maui and San Diego.
Two of my poems were translated into Ukrainian and twice into Russian. This is not a big deal as it might sound. 

I taught Humanistic and Existential Psychology at a university in New Jersey for two years. I am very happy to have taken early retirement from the  US Post Service where I worked with computers and as a General Expediter.  Now I am a full time poet.
My themes include: humor, animals, my dad, growing up in Indiana, nature, runners, infatuations and lost love. 
I have traveled:  four continents, 31 countries, 49 states and crossed the USA 61 times.  


Christina Hutchins is my mentor and she has influenced my poetry more than any poet, living or dead.

This poem was translated into Ukrainian, and into Russian twice.  The first translation was part of a University project in Ukraine.

 Your  Mona  Lisa  Smile 

I have seen the Mona Lisa hanging in the Louvre
I have viewed the Sistine chapel and El Prado too
and I know for certain 
no work of art compares
to the work   of art    of  God
to the loveliness       of  you


Larry  A  Chrispyn


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tom Odegard features 4/17/2017

4/17 Tom Odegard hosted by Jan
(Need a prompt? "On an Island"  -- you don't have to use those words.) 

Tom Odegard (aka Tom/Ms.G) arrived in the Bay Area from Portland when he was eight, in 1948.  When he was 12 he set about writing a science book but soon discovered that he only knew enough to write the introduction at

which point he switched to poetry.  Since then he’s lived in many places in multiple states of mind, and written too many pages of words some of which he’s read at venues around the Bay or put into chapbooks.  He’s published two books: Friends Well Met – a collection of poems - and Past Lives Led – a poetic memoir both from Beatitude Press in Berkeley. He shuttles back and forth between Friday Harbor Washington and Oakland spending four months in California where he reads and writes and polishes his nest eggs. His poems have been published in a number of collections including, Spasso’s, Sacred Grounds, and Living in the Land of the Dead a production of Faithful Fools. In 2005 he discovered he was intersex and came out as a “Two Spirit”, Tom/Ms.G. He takes great delight in sharing his double gendered points of view with anyone who’ll listen.  Mark States favorably compared his poetry to e.e. cummings, to which accolade he remarked, “Yikes!”


“nothing but a deck of cards, you’re”

We were just 21 in a casino in Tahoe
knew everything and nothing as one does.
Long, long time later, truncated journals
would abbreviate echoes of the known world
city strife, foreign interventions, fanatic idealism
boiled down to twitter feed and sound bites;
but right there, at the black jack table,
in 1961 a drunk playing keno taught us how
to play if not win at black jack. He said,
“you gotta be drunk enough not to care”
at which point he won another keno jackpot
and opined, “See what I mean?”

Indigenous

We were all indigenous in Africa way back when
and the next chapter took us on long walk abouts
as drought set in

and we spread out and spread out and the meats
were sweet like lamb and we filled up the land
with bones we wouldn’t see again.

We were few on the ground,  particular as well,
claimed some territory ours, and sent visitors to hell,
cause now we were indigenous.

The land was ours; we spread out, we spread out,
ran buffalo over cliffs, counted coup on walk abouts,
bones to the brim, yes,yes, bones to the rim…

The land was ours ‘til strangers came on horseback
the Aryan horde, the Spaniard horde, on horseback
on sailing ships, again, again, again and again…

for land, slaves, treasure, and proof of might, proof of right
a place to waste, a place to destroy, keeping inflation down,
turning the middle into the poor while the wealth rode up.

Now the winds increase, oceans rise, tornados blast,
earth quakes,  bones pile up, the hunting is done
the fish are gone… ‘cause now we are indigenous
everywhere indigenous...

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Victor James Smith Features 4/10/2017

4/10/2017 Victor James Smith hosted by Jim



Victor Smith is [a poet and artist] newly transplanted to Oakland. [He] spent the past several years living amid sagebrush and dust devils. [His] work [is seeming] to reproduce that elemental sparseness and turbulence. [He] invites [you] to see what [you] think.

POEM (No title, call it AN INTERIOR DESERT if you want to)
An interior desert, a desert inside, the land, the border, an alien, a wind blowing in dust storm, blowing in cold, absent, no, presence of mind, mind on fire, no, mind empty blowing in dust storm, absorbent sieve adsorbent sorbet a mouthful of sand coarse grit grief anger in dessert. A huge sky cerebral, an open land trying to understand dormant cactus waking into bloom a wind overturning your soft shape inspiring travel setting down to take new root to grow anew to seed again to birth to decay to become elemental maybe rock maybe air space maybe me or you or the space between.hosted by Jim
(Need a prompt? "Fallow Amusements" -- you don't have to use those words.)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

4/3/2017 MARK STATES RETURNS + CHRIS CHANDLER 7pm at the Monkey House, Berkeley


4/3/2017 Founders Night – Mark States returns to feature!  Chris ChandlerCo-features!  Please contribute to his airfare with a donation during any of our sessions.  This session will be held at Monkey House so as to accommodate more people1638 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94703


This venue is NOT a food establishment. Please dine before or after.  You may bring beverages.     Due to allowing time for the celebration, no open mic this night.



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Poetry Expressed Magazine Poets feature 3/27/2017

3/27/2017  All Poets published in January 2017 PoetryExpressed.com  Magazine are invited to read as co-features. hosted by J.D.
(Need a prompt? "There May Not Be Time" -- you don't have to use those words.)


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Leila Rae features 3/20/2017


3/20/17 Leila Rae  hosted by Bruce
(Need a prompt? "Hot Water"  -- you don't have to use those words.)


Leila Rae is the editor/publisher at Pandemonium Press, located in Berkeley, CA. She edits and publishes three (3) online journals: riverbabble, Doorknobs & BodyPaint , and Day w/o Art . She also publish poetry small editions of monographs, chapbooks, and anthologies.  Forthcoming this summer Lulu & Ramón, her latest poetry collection.  Leila received her MA in English and Creative Writing from CSUEB. She has lived in Berkeley, CA since 1956.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

3/13/2017 G. Macias Gusman Reads

3/13/2017 G. Macias Gusman hosted by Jim
(Need a prompt?"Spandex"  -- you don't have to use that exact word.)




G. Macias Gusman is a factory dog, a backhoe for the sun, a champion for splinters and blisters looking for homes on working hands: A Poet growing organically. G. Macias belongs to Davenport Iowa but as given his soul over to Oakland Ca. G Macias Gusman has been a feature reader at Bay Area Generations, Get Lit, Passages on the Lake, Saturday Night Special an east bay open mic, Write from the Gut, and read in the first leg of 2016 Beast Crawl Lit Festival (let’s be truthful if there’s an open mic you’ll find G. Macias) and has been publish in The Borfski Press Magazine, Red Fez, BayAreaGenerations. 

Cost of living 
The last thing I got me was an Aqualung before I quit my day job. 
It only cost 23 hours under the sun at a landscapers pay rate. The 
screen that’s holding in my atmosphere last 3 days before a red 
dwarf star tittering on super nova implodes in my right writing 
hand, burning bigger holes completely through it. I use a left palm 
readers’ influence every other odd day turning into S, but like a 
leap year birthday I rarely break even. Reminiscent of a hole in the 
heart, screens don't burn evenly; they will smolder away entirely; 
eventually. A brass screen is a necessary obsidian evil like sea 
green cash and, existing ain’t cheap when you’re not cheapening 
your existence. I wish things we needed came for free but the stuff 
that's free, costs a great living; still, I sold my soul to the words on 
credit. You see I like being broke but unbroken, untethered and 
free to roam around like a good life recorder should; record-play                           
are we rolling?                                                                                                
Life yielded a pink slip, hand-job, a little bit of dough, and told me 
good luck out there. We parted ways on friendly terms. We’re both 
wild cards unable to work together. Sometimes though I hate to 
admit, I miss that 12.50 an hour my bad back and simple sweat 
brought in when “A Living” sends the red wolf to the black door 
and I don’t have that umber rake or tuscan sun shovel to save me 
no more as I try to write these poems to the cost of life.