Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Paul Drabkin featured 12/1

12/1/14 Paul Drabkin hosted by Jan

He was born in New York City to Yiddish-speaking immigrant parents who came to the U.S. more than 100 years ago from different parts of the old Russian empire. He has lived in the Bay Area for over 50 years, Paul was a ³red diaper² baby of the Stalinist variety, which, oddly blended with a kind of Victorian puritanism, proved to be a major toxin poisoning his childhood, and which took several decades to partially overcome. This largely accounts for his present discomfort with lefter-than-thou Berkeley politics and with ideology in general. Despite his two History degrees and three California teaching credentials, and varied teaching experience, Paul¹s longest gig was his over twenty years as a self-employed furniture refinisher. (Among other abortive careers, for several years he had worked as a taxi driver on the graveyard shift in Hollywood, and later in the East Bay.)  He presently supplements his meager retirement income teaching English to adult immigrants in West Contra Costa County. Paul wrote his first poem in 1967, while coming down from an acid high. (Fortunately it has been lost to posterity.)  He wrote little more until 2007, when he entered a local slam contest, winning fourth place with a decidedly  un-slammy poem. Since then he has been serious about writing, although much of his output has been frivolous in the extreme. For months Paul shared his gifts with an alter-ego, Nikos Rhapsodòs, born of a rather labored series of puns on his last name. Nikos, like Paul, has the chutzpah to identify with Odysseus, and is perhaps even more enamored of the mystery and beauty of human language. Paul¹s favorite muse is the goddess Sarasvati, who used to be a river.

One Cool Dude, or Burnt Out on Intensive Caring

These spectacles are not for me;
my peers are grownups who refuse
to see the world in shades of rose
or other less auspicious hues:
we do not drown ourselves in blues!
Long years have passed since you might hear
me rooting for this team or that
or exercised by coups d¹état
while frantic news of global heat
now leaves me cool as Arctic frost.
I choose to waste my energies
on stuff that bores most people stiff:
such vast reserves of obscure verse,
such speculations on the sighs
of God, are quite enough for me.

--Paul Drabkin    March  2013

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mystery is our Theme for 11/24/14

11/24/14 Theme Night, topic MYSTERY hosted by Nance

Bring your Mysterious poems loosely based on the theme.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sharon Elliot featured at Poetry Express 11/17

11/17/14 Sharon Elliot hosted by Odilia

Sharon Elliott was born and raised in Seattle and lives in Oakland. Four years in 
the Peace Corps in Nicaragua and Ecuador laid the foundation for her activism 
in multicultural women’s issues. Her book, Jaguar Unfinished was published in 
2012. She was an awardee of the Best Poem of 2012, The Day of Little Comfort, 
by La Bloga On-Line Floricanto; and has been featured in poetry readings in 
the Bay Area. She is an initiated Lukumi priest of Scot/Sámi/African Carribbean 
ancestry; ally to people of color and to the earth.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

11/10/14 Roy Mash featured

Roy Mash is a long time board member of Marin Poetry Center in San Rafael. In a previous life he collected degrees in English, Philosophy, and Computer Science, but currently doodles his brief time away staring out of café windows, dabbing up the seeds that have fallen from an everything bagel, and mentally thumbing over his poems that have appeared widely in journals such as Agni, Atlanta Review, Barrow Street, The Evansville Review, Nimrod, Passages North, Poetry East, Rhino, and River Styx. Roy’s new book,  , Buyer's Remorse, is now available at Barnes & Nobile, Amazon, or for direct purchase from the author at www.roymash.com, or atRebound Bookstore, 1611 4th St, San Rafael, CA. (415) 482-0550 
All author proceeds will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.

From Cherry Grove Collections 
Roy Mash writes a deliciously engaging and clever sort of object poem....It would not be surprising if memorable gems like “Love of Slapstick,” “The Untouchables,” and “Buyer’s Remorse” eventually find their way into contemporary anthologies and become part of our poetic canon.   
— Steve Kowit
Roy Mash’s insightful, touching, and wholly delightful Buyer’s Remorse is a celebration of the non-epic and unheroic, the bad decision, the finish out-of-the-money ... the inglorious lives we seem to have wound up with by mistake—not at all what we’d have chosen, but ... all in all, pretty damned fine.  
— Charles Harper Webb
In Buyer’s Remorse, Roy Mash shows us a poet who has perfect pitch—never a wrong note or missed step. The poems, full of wry humor and tongue-in-cheek self-deprecating commentary, force us to look at ourselves with the poet’s jaundiced and almost forgiving eye. This is a book not to be missed.  
— Maria Mazziotti Gillan
Buyer's Remorse is a celebration of the small, the overlooked, the underrated. Doggedly anti-lofty, reveling in the This-Worldly, the poems caper around the themes of the body, of mathematics and rationality, adolescence and middle-age, love and fear and death. The tone ranges from the irreverent to the wistful – the spritz of seltzer in the face of the Creature from the Black Lagoon to the lover standing in one sock. Drawing on sources from The Three Stooges to Archimedes, Lavoisier to Tweety Bird, Mash is a latter day Anti-Oracle, a nail in the tire of post-modernity, an incorrigible wag who’s smuggled his pea shooter into the Church of Poetry. 
Be ready to duck.