Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Rose Black features 3/6/17



3/6/2017  Rose Black    hosted by Jan
(Need a prompt? "Drink Coupon"  -- you don't have to use those words.)

Rose Black lives and works by the railroad tracks in East Oakland. With their mountain dogs, 
Basho and Dante, she and her husband operate Renaissance Stone, a studio and supply source 
for stone sculptors. Rose's poetry has been widely published, and she is the author of three books,
Clearing, Winter Light, and Green Field. Her first two books, Clearing and Winter 
Light, are included in Yale's Beinecke Library for the Yale Collection of American Literature.

Rose currently teaches poetry at Salinas Valley State Prison. Her extensive article about the poetry
workshop there, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, is featured in Red Wheelbarrow, 2015, literary

magazine.




Silver Spring             

When the rains come in early spring, water seeps up through the basement floor, murky and foul. It creeps into corners, flows under the washing machine, under the old gas stove, across the mud sill into the plant room, and under the crooked door that leads outside.

The old woman hobbles down to the basement with a long-handled mop. She mops the floor, wrings the water into buckets, then pours it all down the cast iron sink.

She cannot keep up. Soon the water is to her ankles. Outside,  the water swells into little rivers. At its lowest point, the yard itself begins to fill, and a pond appears, then slowly spreads across the grass.

Underneath it all, the silver spring, for which her neighborhood is named, will continue to wind its way under everyone's floors and basements, rising and falling like the breath of the earth and its oceans.

Her neighbors try to divert the unwanted water this way and that, away from themselves. The old woman rests her mop against the wall, opens her arms, says, Come. 
                                                                                 Rose Black 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Camille Miller features 2/27/17


2/27/17  Camille Miller   hosted by J.D.
(Need a prompt? Look at Camille's poem and riff off it)


Camille Miller is a poet who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been active in the open mic scene for three years.  Her favorite poets are Maya Angelo and Langston Hughes. She enjoys entertaining a crowd with lyrical and thought provoking verse .  She is an active part of the Valona Poetry community in Crockett.
                                                                          I lost my toenail
                                                                        Running a marathon

But it was worth it

'Cause it will grow back

But I lost my youth

Worrying about the future

And that is part of my life

I'll never see again

(Except in my memories)

So attack each day 

With a sense of passion

'Cause age will come

And it will crash in

So keep on living

Until you die

And try

Not to lose a toenail.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Hollie Hardy Features Feb. 20th


2/20/2017 Hollie Hardy hosted by Bruce
(Need a prompt? Look at Hollie's poem and riff off it)


Hollie Hardy is the author of How to Take a Bullet, And Other Survival Poems (Punk Hostage Press, 2014), winner of the 2016 Annual Poetry Center Book Award. She teaches writing classes at the SF Creative Writing Institute, SFSU, and Berkeley City College. She hosts Saturday Night Special, An East Bay Open Mic, curates Litquake’s Flight of Poets, and is a founder and core producer of Oakland’s Beast Crawl Literary Festival. Her website is www.holliehardy.com

HOW TO FEND OFF A SHARK

Wet fists in your eyes. The thump of undrumming
A figure in your peripheral vision

Here is the rind of night. Facing off on a rock of ice
Nightgown whipping, ragged around your thighs

Because silence is an expression of fear
Unwave that flag, unsmoke that cigarette
Unfuck that friend
These desperate little fistfuls of defiance

This jazz song does not belong to you
Warm, the sensation of sleep. Threadbare
The quality of wishing

Because police are at the door again
This wrecking ball in your bedroom
This fresh fountain of silver in your hair

Blue, the function of smoke. Rumpled
The flavor of resistance

There are things that vanish unexpectedly
The stone talisman you carried for luck
Photographs burned in a fire
Bewildered, the pillow of regret

Because our experiences overlap. Bodies at rest
Hoarding dreams like stolen rainwater

HOW TO SURVIVE IF YOU ARE BURIED ALIVE

Sit down by the window’s heartbeat

to listen for rain

fingertips brush the body as Braille

seeking cracks in the fa├žade

or an egress

from this book of wind

breath recurs often

brazen as the north star

a test of endurance

through layers of weather

how many stones are required

to collapse a lung


or a desire

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Richard Loranger features Feb 13th 2017

2/13/2017   Richard Loranger  hosted by Jim
(Need a prompt? Try "Fresh Out Of Luck"  -- you don't have to use those words.) 



Richard Loranger is a writer, performer, visual artist, and all around squeaky wheel, currently residing in Oakland, CA. His recent book of flash prose, Sudden Windows (Zeitgeist Press, 2016), has been warmly received. He is also the author of the Poems for TeethThe Orange Book, and nine chapbooks. Other recent work can be found in Oakland Review #2, Overthrowing Capitalism vol. 2 (Revolutionary Poets Brigade), and the new anthology The Careless Embrace of the Boneshaker (great weather for MEDIA). You can find more about his work and scandals at www.richardloranger.com.



Excerpts from Sudden Windows


And clouds roll in and I am glad, for autumn rain smells like the start of everything. And darksome days are time for all the dust to settle, sweet sweet the air and safe to open chest to amity. When trees drink clouds and dry ground soaks and we can sense effulgence down the road, how can we not enjoy the dropping of all things and the sleek sweep of pungent breeze? I’d like to lie down in the street and shine.


*          *          *


Early plum is bitter, early rose is tart, April light roves from sharp to glow as the month matures. Fleeting rain pelts the windows, then lifts infused with jasmine and fresh grass. Bougainvillea stuns. Clouds break, and the softest breeze strokes the arms and face. All the air sublime. Sometimes we need profundity, and sometimes just a lavender day.


*          *          *


I take myself to task, and find a tisane in the tin shack mine. The method to divine adumbra of the swale’s lost path is simply one of sniffing rasped grass. We are never truly lost until we find ourselves bereft of cause – no green, under air, dry as dirty docks. And even then the thirst might eek us out, the rancid grain slake need for friction so the loose shoot may flail. May tendril on. We soar on tin lid sleds and take the dawn. And in the meantime, watching from our table the adept bright rain, we take to task, wrap hands around sweet steam.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Deborah Lee Fruchey Features at Poetry Express Monday 2/6/17

2/6/2017 Deborah Lee Fruchey  hosted by Jan
(Need a prompt? Look at Deborah's bio and riff off it)
PHOTO BY RONNA LEON

Deborah Fruchey was born. It wasn't her idea. After that she spent too much time in churches, mental hospitals, and 12 Step Groups, in that order. Finally she graduated to poetry readings, where she lurks to this day. She also writes books once in a while, and one of them even won an award, but let's not mention that. Deborah is hiding out in suburbia, but she only hangs out with writers and musicians, so any hopes of reform are obviously misguided. She studies Shamanism, and daydreams of a cult following and a flat stomach, but is considered unarmed and mostly harmless.