Calendar of Coming Features


6/26/2017 Johanna Ely hosted by  hosted by J. D. 
(Need a prompt? "The Lower" -- you don't have to use those words.)



Johanna Ely is a retired teacher who has been published in several anthologies and online journals including, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Poetry Breakfast, California Quarterly, and most recently, The Poeming Pigeon. In 2015, Johanna published a small collection of her poetry titled Transformation. Johanna is the host of a monthly poetry series in Benicia at Rosanna’s European Delights, and also facilitates the First Tuesday Poetry Group at the Benicia Public Library. She is honored to be the current Poet Laureate of Benicia, California.



After the Storm

Sunlight,
wind,
children’s voices
in the alley.
Everything outside is
sharp and clear again,
a new lens with which to
look through and view
the silent green mountain
as close as my hand.
All the swollen grey clouds
blown off the surface of sky,
the wind’s breath really
a giant sigh of relief
to see blue again,
the promise that nothing
lasts forever-
not the rain,
not sorrow.

Johanna Ely



7/3/2017 Connie Post  hosted by Jan
(Need a prompt? "Cold Mountain" -- you don't have to use those words.)



Connie Post served as Poet Laureate of Livermore, California  (2005 to 2009). Her work has appeared dozens of journals, including  Calyx, Comstock Review,Cold Mountain Review  Slipstream,Spillway Spoon River Poetry Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review and Verse Daily. She has written seven books of poetry.   Her first full length Book “Floodwater” (Glass Lyre Press 2014) won the Lyrebird Award.  Her other awards include the Caesura Award and the 2016 Crab Creek Review Poetry Award.



7/10/2017  Nadine Lockhart   hosted by Jim




Nadine Lockhart received her MA and MFA from Arizona State University. She is currently working toward her PhD; for which she received the Lattie and Elva Coor Fellowship for Building Communities toward her research on the ability of poetry to transform into continued relevancy through hybridity and cultural relativism. This is serious stuff. Lockhart is an editorial assistant for Poetry Flash, a Berkeley-based literary review and calendar.


Self-Portrait with Shakespeare

 When you come for me I’m at the bottom
of a steep drive that I will climb each day
for the next year. And I’m mouthing your name
because I can’t hold it. You don’t want me
to hold it, don’t know it’s somewhere inside
like a pattern, a template from which you
rise—your voice, you love to hear how your sound
cuts across the air, pushes all other
conversation from the room, bench-presses
my world, throws it over the balcony
where I stand in heels tossing rotten food
onto treetops while reciting Shakespeare’s
better lines, “He who steals my purse, steals trash.”


                                                --Nadine Lockhart


7/17/2017 Rose Mark hosted by Bruce 
(Need a prompt? Explore how the sunset farts -- you don't have to use those words.)

Rose Mark’s curiosity has led her into many worlds.  Food, travel, behavioral shaping, interior design and erotica are just some of topics she has explored in her writing. In her book “Tasting Life”, published by Redhead Press, readers can enter into her love life with food through stories, poems and recipes. Her poems have been included in “Oakland Neighborhoods” and “Dirty Old Women”. Her latest book, “Interior Design for Small Dwellings” published by Routledge is slated to be on the shelf in 2018.  


7/24/2017  Elaine Brown    hosted by J.D
(Need a prompt? "Key" -- you don't have to use that word.)




Elaine Brown – “E Spoken”

I have been writing ever since my Mother and siblings taught me how to hold a pen. I grew up listening to the stories my Grandmother and Mother would tell me about my family and their struggles wondering how I could change things. So, history and writing became my passion. I have been writing Free Style Poetry for almost 30 years combining past and present issues that affect our daily lives; motivating people to change their mindsets.

GOING FISHING

I feel like it’s Easter Sunday
The way we have gathered here today
So Please  allow me to take you to Church
I mean I do believe that one day
Black lives will matter
But the fact of the matter
When the word Nigger
Has more status then God
Then we need to do more than just march
Concerned with all the negative
Allowing media to raise our kids
And hate has become the foundation of our lives
The truth is the farthest thing from our minds
We’re so quick to defend the lies
And our future is hooked on these lines
That we have cast out!
So I’m Going Fishing!


7/31/2017 Maverick Night  hosted by Jan, subject TBA


8/7/2017 David Alpaugh hosted by Jan

(Need a prompt? "Spiral or Gyre " -- you don't have to use those words.)



8/14/2017 Avotcja hosted by Jim

8/21/2017 Cassandra Dallett hosted by Bruce


(Need a prompt? "Skin" -- you don't have to use that word.)



Cassandra Dallett lives in Oakland, CA. Cassandra is a two-time Pushcart nominee and Literary Death Match winner. She has been published online and in many print magazines, such as Slip Stream, Sparkle and Blink, Chiron Review, Stone Boat Review, and Great Weather For Media and reads often around the San Francisco Bay Area. A full-length book of poetry Wet Reckless was released on Manic D Press May 2014. In 2015 she authored Bad Sandy (Lucky Bastard Press), Pearl Tongue (Be About It Press), The Water Wars (Pedestrian Poets Series), On Sunday, A Finch (Nomadic Press) which was nominated for a California Book Award, and most recently Armadillo Heart (Paper Press) with MK Chavez.


8/28/2017 Georgette Howington  hosted by J.D.



Georgette Howington is a closet poet and short story writer who came out three years ago.  Her poems are published in Iodine, Sleet and Poeming Pigeons, among others.  Several poems won Honorable Mentions at the North American Women’s Music Festival and Ina Coolbrith Poetry Contest in 2016.  As a naturalist and horticulturist, her niche is Backyard Habitat and secondary-cavity nesters.  She is a County Coordinator and Assistant State Program Director for the California Bluebird Recovery Program and an activist in the conservation community in the SF Bay Area for over 30 years.  Georgette is also a published garden and environmental writer.  

If a Homing Pigeon Were My Lover

Fluffed and preened on the shelf
I could not help but notice
your bobbing head and piercing eyes
twisting and turning to see if I was
looking at you the way you looked at
me in that wanting way as if my
human form was a pigeon too.
How unlike me it would be to take
off into the sky, fly across the expanse
in circles feeling the wind, gliding on
our wings, not arguing about who did
not fold the laundry, or if I am too tired
to have sex tonight or being pressed
to spend time with family I don’t like
and living from moment to moment
dining on seed offerings from the keeper
moving aside to let him do all the
cleaning and arranging of our coop
while all you and I do is fly, eat, and
think about making baby pigeons…

**** Published in Poeming Pigeons, “Poems about Birds”, 2015



9/4/2017 hosted by Jan

9/11/2017 hosted by Jim

9/18/2017 Lenore Weiss  hosted by Bruce
(Need a prompt? Use some English words that are not common anymore, examples "jargogles," "apricity, "monsterful," or look up some of your own -- you don't have to use those words.)





Lenore Weiss is enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts Program at San Francisco State University. Her poetry has been published in many journals including WovenTales, Midwood Press, Maple Leaf Review, Kindred, San Francisco Peace and Hope, Cactus Heart, Ghost Town, Poetica, Carbon Culture, BlinkInk, The Portland Review, La Más Tequila Review, Digital Americana, The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Nimrod International Journal, Copper Nickel, The Reform Jewish Quarterly, Feminist Studies in Religion, and Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal. Her books include Cutting Down the Last Tree on Easter Island (West End Press, 2012) and Two Places (Kelsay Books, 2014).  Her blog resides at www.lenoreweiss.com.

9/25/2017 Dave Holt hosted by J.D




Dave Holt, relocated to the Bay Area from Toronto, Canada, his place of birth, to follow his dream of becoming a successful songwriter. He is English/Irish and Anishinaabe/Ojibwe (Chippewa) Indian from his mother’s side and he volunteered to serve the American Indian community in California for several years. Dave graduated from S.F. State University’s Creative Writing program (M.A., 1995). He is a winner of several poetry prizes including the Thomas Merton Foundation’s Poetry of the Sacred prize and a Literary/Cultural Arts award for his book Voyages to Ancestral Islands. In 2016, he was published in Red Indian Road West, an anthology of Native American Poetry from California.



Straddling the High Beams of Anderson Bridge


Looking into the moral chasm I escaped,
drugs, drinking, and nights of cruelty,
staring down into murky water,
run, River, run past the damage done,

with you, Rob, my too easy-going friend,
eaten alive by the emptiness.
Someone had to cut your wasted body down,
devoured by the void while I escaped.

Got away by following my angels,
just as I’d done since childhood,
out of the trash-filled alleyways,
where one forgotten flower bloomed.

Partnering with someone, Rob,
loving, being loved, that’s what saved me
from the end of the rope.

I walked through this abyss with you, remember?
You dared me to cross over the unfinished bridge
across Oakville’s river, to walk the concrete beams
and steel bars, looking down between our feet
from that height to fast water below,
nothing between us and the moving current
but our nerve and our quick-beating hearts.

I’d be afraid to do it now.
Back then we were practicing courage.
I used it to break away from there,
but you, who dared me traverse
the half-completed span,
you didn’t make the crossing.



10/2/2017 hosted by Jan

10/09/2017 hosted by Jim

10/16/2017 Alan Harris hosted by Bruce




Alan Harris has been an actor and a stand-up comedian, which might explain why his "poetry" sounds like it does.  He has lived in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and would someday like to live in Cranky Corner, Louisiana.


COSMIC ORPHAN

I dreamed that I stood naked before Fred and Ethel Mertz
Who told me to stop watching so much TV
And listen more to the noise of the holiday methadone-addled poor
And see if I can catch a glimpse of a glimmer of a glint of a shard of a fragment of a sliver of
       hope
 Amidst the jostling for position of Jesus wannabes dipping their fingers in bowls of digital holy 
       water
While their collective flickering morality intermittently illuminates the compulsive saluting of
       Napoleonic beat cops who are just doing the job they were hired to do
Which apparently includes hassling the ever-multiplying numbers of cosmic orphans
Who can only stare blankly at the overrated reality of mega-mall fascism and masturbatory
       politeness
 Their ears ringing with the hipster lingo of the day-glo soccer mom
And the demands of infants to be taken off speakerphone
Their to-do lists awash in reminders to update their self-destruction
Before returning to their refrigerated apartments
Where Fred and Ethel Mertz await
Somewhere in the world

Every second of the day


10/23/2017 Melinda Clemmons hosted by J.D




Melinda Clemmons lives in Oakland. Her stories and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Cimarron Review, Kindred, Daphne Magazine, West Trestle Review, Eclipse, 300 Days of SunCavalier, and The Monthly.  She worked for over twenty years in programs serving children and youth in foster care, and is now a freelance writer and editor in the child welfare field. She is a frequent contributor to the online child welfare and juvenile justice news site, The Chronicle of Social Change


               

Walking Out
This is how you greet a field of corn: quietly,
tilting your head to listen before stepping in between the rows,
lightly brushing against the silks as you pass.
You’ll want to head toward the center
where the corn grows tall and strong,
much taller than you, crazily taller than it looks from the road.
Even if it’s your first time standing in a cornfield,
you’ll feel at home.  Beneath you, soil; above you, sky.
Perhaps you’ve brought a grocery sack your grandfather
(back at the car, having a smoke) handed you at the edge of the field.
Twist off however much you came for, plus a few extras.
Maybe someone’s got a pot of water set to boil back at home,
a pinch of sugar, a dish of butter beginning to melt.
Take what you need. Remember to breathe deeply
because this is the best air there is. 
You can learn a lot from a field of corn so take your time.
Here’s something: the stalks in the center are the ones that thrive,
fed by pollen drifting from those around them.  Those on the edges
don’t amount to much.
Besides each other, all corn stalks need is: sun, soil, water, and time.
Now turn around carefully and walk out the way you came in,
being sure to listen as you go because they say you can hear corn grow,
and it’s true.

First published in the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of Kindred from Anchor & Plume Press


10/30/2017  Maverick Night hosted by Bruce, subject TBA
11/6/2017 Charlie McCauley hosted by Jan
11/13/2017 hosted by Jim
11/20/2017 hosted by Bruce
11/27/2017  Elizabeth Alford  hosted by J. D.
12/4/2017 hosted by Jan 12/11/2017
12/11/2017 hosted by Jim
12/18/2017 hosed by Bruce
12/25/2017 NO PE H A P P Y    H O L I D A Y S !
01/01/2018  NO PE -- H A P P Y    H O L I D A Y S !
01/8/18
01/15/18 Fred Dodsworth hosted by Bruce 



04/16/18 Michael Hoerman hosted by Bruce 

Born and raised in the Ozarks and now residing in Fayetteville, Michael's award-winning poetry embodies the bone-deep passion he feels for our rural culture and his reverence for the power of imagination. Michael is listed in A Readers' Map of Arkansas for his groundbreaking cultivation of Fayetteville's literary landscape. In 1995 he co-founded Arkansas's first National Poetry Slam team. In 1997 he edited a Frank Stanford feature entitled "Death in the Cool Evening" that brought renewed critical attention to the legendary poet.

Michael is touring to share a selection of earlier and never-heard-before poems in his new chapbook, Disoriented Fascination, featuring three poems nominated and now under consideration for Pushcart Prizes.
A poet active since 1985, Michael's publication history and critical recognitions include a Massachusetts Artists Fellowship in the category of Poetry, Bad Rotten, his debut chapbook published by Pudding House Publications, inclusion in Lavender Ink's 2012 anthology entitled Fuck Poems and four other anthologies, journals including Arkansas Literary Forum and Eureka Literary Magazine, and residencies at Spiva Center for the Arts and Sedona Summer Colony among many others.


Born into rural poverty in the Ozarks, Michael is a survivor. Though living in poverty, disabled by PTSD, a formerly incarcerated person, with only a GED, Michael's poetry has broken through barriers that have too long kept the poor, the disabled, the uncredentialed and the formerly incarcerated out in the cold. His story will empower others like him, and challenge those who would keep them down and out in the communities where they are integral.




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