Calendar of Coming Features



9/25/2017 Dave Holt hosted by J.D
(Need a prompt? "Outer limits" -- you don't have to use those words.)




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 Larry Ruth hosted by Jan
(Need a prompt? Think about the worst thing that didn't happen to you-- you don't have to use those words.)





Larry Ruth was born in Berkeley. In the third grade, in celebration of a certain winter holiday, he wrote a play about elves on strike, which was performed by his class.
He later earned several degrees at the University of California, Berkeley, taught environmental policy, and worked on campus for many years. Publications include articles on federal wildland fire policy, ecosystem sustainability, forest policy in the Sierra Nevada, and adaptive management. Research and professional interests include ecologically sensitive approaches to resource management, climate change adaptation, fire policy, and regulatory effectiveness.

Larry is a consultant in environmental and natural resources policy, and enjoys the remnants of the wild. He lives in Berkeley.

10/09/2017 Britt Peter hosted by Jim
(Need a prompt? What do you pretend not to know?-- you don't have to use those words.)



     Britt Peter lives in Richmond, Ca. He has been around artists, musicians, painters and political activists most of his adult life and continues to take delight in poetry, movies, nonviolent resistance, good food and impromptu community. He and his son have put fifty poems of his on You Tube (under the handle: Britt Peter, poet). He has published in The Intransient Voice, Poetalk, Jerry Jazz Musician, The Richmond Anthology, and the Blue Collar Review.  

A Visit
Li Bai rushes to meet me
1300 years
A toppling through
Various dimensions
Entrance stage right
To greet the rising moon
Still luminous
Over the eastern hills
Published in Poetalk (2016—Summer 2017)


10/16/2017 Alan Harris hosted by Bruce
(Need a prompt? "Man handle " -- you don't have to use those words.)




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
(Need a prompt? "fish cry" -- you don't have to use those words. Comes from Thoreau -- "Who hears the fishes when they cry")




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  Epiphany, Destruction & recreation 
-- Poets bring poems. 
They are drawn out of a hat by other poets.

 As quickly as possible the receiving poet writes an alternate conclusion/epiphany within the format of the poem; endings can be one or more lines.  

The person who altered the poem then reads the poem with either the original ending or the altered ending, and then reads the other ending. 

The audience, excluding the original poet, guesses which ending was the original ending and which was the altered ending. 

Objective -- try to fool us! Is your revision accepted as the original?  hosted by Bruce

11/6/2017 Charlie McCauley hosted by Jan
(Need a prompt? "Heavy upon" -- as in any use or thought of it -- you don't have to use those words.)


11/13/2017 Yuyutsu Sharma hosted by Jim
(Need a prompt? How do you explain your position on the planet? -- you don't have to use those words.)





Yuyutsu R D Sharma has  published nine poetry collections including, A Blizzard in my Bones: New York Poems (Nirala, 2016).  He has translated Irish poet Cathal O’ Searcaigh and Hebrew poet Ronny Someck into Nepali.  Eternal SnowA Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Twenty-Five Poetic Intersections with Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma is his most recent publication.  Yuyutsu’s work has been translated into German, French, Italian, Slovenian, Hebrew, Spanish and Dutch.  Yuyutsu is the Visiting Poet at Columbia University, New York and has just returned from China where he had gone to read at Beijing International Book Fair.

Mules                           by Yuyutsu Sharma

On the great Tibetan
salt route they meet me again

old forsaken friends ...

On their faces
fatigue of a drunken sleep

their lives worn out,
their legs twisted, shaking

from carrying
illustrious flags of bleeding ascents.

Age long bells clinging
to them like festering wounds

beating notes
of a slavery modernism brings:

cartons of Iceberg, mineral water bottles,
solar heaters, Chinese tiles, tin cans, carom boards

sacks of rice
and iodized salt from the plains of Nepal Terai.

Butterflies of 
the terraced fields know their names.

Singing brooks tempests
of their breathless climbs.

Traffic alert
and time-tested, they climb

carrying
dreams of posh peacocks

pamphlets
of a secret religious war

filth
of an ecologist's sterile semen

entire kitchen
for a cocktail party at the base camp

defunct development
agenda of guilty donors

the West's weird visions
lusting for an instant purge.

Stone steps
of the mountains embossed

on their drugged brains,
like lines of aborted love

scratched
on the historic rocks of waterspouts.

Starry skies
of the dozing valleys know

the ache
of their secret sweat.

Sunny days
along the crystal rivers

taste
of their bleeding eyes.

Greatest fiction
of the struggling lives lost,

like real mules
clattering their hooves on the flagstones,

in circling
the cruel grandeur

of blood thirsty
mule paths around the glaciers of Annapurnas.

11/20/2017 Phyllis Meshulam,  hosted by Bruce
(Need a prompt? "Capture" -- as in any use or thought of it -- you don't have to use those words.)




Phyllis Meshulam first went to Italy, where her father had been stationed during World War II, at not quite five. Threads of those journeys are woven into her newly-released book of poems, Land of My Father’s War, from Cherry Grove Collections. Joy Harjo, winner of the 2017 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, said of Meshulam’s book, an “urgency of spirit has emerged eloquently here in these poems of perception and even prophecy….” Meshulam is also the author of Doll, Moon (Finishing Line Press), Doors (War and Peace Press) and Valley of Moon (d-Press). She is a veteran teacher for California Poets in the Schools and coordinator for Poetry Out Loud, and has been a presenter at the nation-wide writing conferences, AWP and Split this Rock Her work has appeared in magazines from Earth’s Daughters and Phoebe to Teachers & Writers and Tikkun.  Meshulam has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. For CPitS’s 50th anniversary, she edited, Poetry Crossing, which Poetry Flash called “a truly joyful collection of lessons, inspirations, and children's poems.”

Southeast Asian Rain
The breathing space within the gallery
is sliced by fifty-eight thousand fine strands,
(not the usual chains). Each current
makes pendant metal tags glint,

ringing each other like a wind harp,
or sun-scattered rain on the roof
of a Quonset hut. What’s
in a dog tag? Name, blood type. A small mirror.

Each is labeled. B positive,
or be excluded or dead. O for negative,
or zero. O for other. Each belief

system reduced to one of a few
graced faiths. P for protestor. C,
 for catharsis. J for jungle. An identity –
forgotten tiger, lamb, or forest fire.



11/27/2017  Elizabeth Alford  hosted by J. D.
(Need a prompt? "The light in the basement" -- as in any use or thought of it -- you don't have to use those words.)

12/4/2017 Clark Kent hosted by Jan 12/11/2017
(Need a prompt?Is Superman a Golem? A golem is an animated anthropomorphic being that is magically created entirely from inanimate matter (specifically clay or mud). -- you don't have to use those words.)




Clark Kent claims to have been forever maligned by the myth of Superman when in fact he has just been another bat in the belfry of life, seeking justice and peace in this troubled world. The comics who rule have long gotten Clark wrong, presuming Kryptonite to be his Achilles heel when in fact that radiant mineral is found within every person he meets.  That singular force travels the short divide from them to him, dispelling the dark forces of narcissism, rendering Clark human, vulnerable, and capable of poetic expression.

Longing For Kryptonite

Zarathustra hides in a polar ice castle,
flies to the moon, leers at women with his X-ray eyes.
He is stuck in a rut waiting for earthquakes, sinking ships,
meteors on course to destroy the woman he avoids.
Each wood-pulped, flattened day he is summoned,
pulls phone booths out of thin air,
strips to pectoral splendor.
His speedo modestly bulges
as he rescues Lois Lane yet again,
again, again, again.
Old pages yellow and crack
until he longs to be a real Clark Kent,
Kryptonated, unbound,
a nakedly human man.




12/11/2017 Mary Mackey hosted by Jim
(Need a prompt? "Fame" or for that matter, "defame"-- as in any use or thought of it -- you don't have to use those words.)





Mary Mackey is a bestselling author who has written fourteen novels some of which have appeared on the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller Lists. She is also the author of seven volumes of poetry including Sugar Zone winner of the 2012 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence. Mackey’s novels have been translated into twelve languages including Japanese, Russian, Hebrew, Greek, and Finnish. Her poems have been praised by Wendell Berry, Jane Hirshfield, Marge Piercy, and Dennis Nurkse for their beauty, precision, originality, and extraordinary range. Garrison Keillor has featured her poetry four times on The Writer’s Almanac. Also a screenwriter, she has sold feature-length scripts to Warner Brothers as well as to independent film companies. Mackey sometimes writes comedy under her pen name “Kate Clemens.” She has a B.A. from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from The University of Michigan and is related through her father’s family to Mark Twain. At present, she lives in northern California with her husband Angus Wright. ” Lowenstein Associates recently published her novel The Village of Bones, a prequel to her bestselling Earthsong Series.



Kin

We were related to everybody in Crittenden County
literally everybody
judges and lawyers and county clerks
and barbers and druggists and soda jerks
and moonshiners and farmers and ferry boat captains
and the rich people in the big white houses
and the poor people down by the slough

Total strangers would come up
as soon as they saw you on the street
throw their arms around you and say
my great grandma is buried next to your great grandma
or I'm your cousin 17 times removed on your third uncle’s side

or
my   my   my   you look just like your daddy
has he ever got out of prison?


                  Mary Mackey

                  from The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams (coming in 2018 from Marsh Hawk Press)

12/18/2017 Michael Caylo-Baradi​ hosted by Bruce

(Need a prompt? "Outer" -- as in any use or thought of it -- you don't have to use those words.)




Michael Caylo-Baradi's work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Galway Review, Blue Fifth ReviewBlue Print ReviewThe Common (online)Eclecticaelimae, Eunoia ReviewFORTHGalatea ResurrectsInk Sweat & TearsLocal NomadMiPOesiasOtolithsOur Own VoicepoeticdiversityPhilippines Free PressPoetry PacificPrick of the Spindle, and elsewhere.  An alumnus of The Writers’ Institute at The Graduate Center (CUNY), he has also written reviews and essays for New Pages, PopMatters, and The Latin American Review of Books. 


http://mcaylo.blogspot.com/p/poetry.html



How to purify the air

Re-align the universe in the direction of your gaze. This is
breathing unhinged from dysfunction, clawed with need,
panting for Narcissus.

A bedroom is an occlusion that sharpens visions drooling for its
prey crucified in surrender. The howling beyond the yard
intensifies the season,

feasting on rituals that clarifies the philosophy of fangs. Wings
fluttering by the window are prayers, searching for
maps away from the city,

now submerged in bodies of lights illuminating an aftermath,
of hands intertwined, gasping for morsels of God,
to resuscitate the air.


Poem URL at OTOLITHS 43: 

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 
(Need a prompt? "The name I don't call myself" -- as in any use or thought of it -- you don't have to use those words.)
01/22/2018 hosted by
01/29/2018
02/05/2018
02/15/2018
02/19/2018

02/26/2018

03/05/2018

03/12/2018


3/19/18 Naomi Quinonez hosted by Bruce

(Need a prompt? "If I were frozen" -- as in any use or thought of it -- you don't have to use those words.)


03/26/2018

04/02/2018
04/09/2018


04/16/18 Michael Hoerman hosted by Bruce 
(Need a prompt? "Not of my class" -- as in any use or thought of it -- you don't have to use those words.)

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.


04/23/2018
04/30/2018 Maverick Night subject TBA

05/07/2018
05/14/2018
05/21/2018
05/21/18 MAYBE sUSAN KELLY-DEWITT hosted by Bruce 
(Need a prompt? "Fence?" -- you don't have to use those words.)
05/28/2018 Memorial Day

06/04/2018
06/11/2018
06/18/2018
06/25/2018

07/02/2018
07/9/2018
07/16/2018
07/23/2018
07/30/2018 Maverick Night subject TBA

08/06/2018
08/13/2018
08/20/2018
08/27/2018

09/03/2018 Labor Day, NO PE, BAPC Picnic instead
09/10/2018
09/17/2018
09/24/2018

10/01/2018
10/8/2018
10/15/2018
10/22/2018
10/29/2018 Maverick Night subject TBA

11/05/2018
11/12/2018
11/19/2018
11/26/2018

12/03/2018
12/10/2018
12/17/2018
12/24/2018 NO PE H A P P Y    H O L I D A Y S hosted by Upta Yu

12/31/2018 NO PE H A P P Y    H O L I D A Y S hosted by Upta Yu



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