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.)