Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Joyce Young features 11/19/2018

11/19/2018 Joyce Young  hosted by bruce

Joyce E. Young currently lives and writes in Berkeley, California. She has read and performed at venues as diverse as The M.H. de Young Museum, Intersection for the Arts, La Peña Cultural Center, Art & Soul Oakland, Mills College, and Smith College, and elsewhere. She has taught with California Poets in the Schools, The Museum of Children’s Art, The Oakland Museum of California, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Youth Speaks. She was an English teacher for Mills College Upward Bound for 3 years. She is founder and facilitator of Write in Peace. She has received a California Arts Council Artist in Communities grant. She was awarded aWriters on Site residency through Poets & Writers, Inc. and has also been awarded writing residencies at Hedgebrook, Soapstone and the Vermont Studio Center. Her work has most recently appeared in riverbabble, The New Voices of the American West, Temba Tupu! (Walking Naked): The Africana Woman’s Self-Portrait, The Berkeley Daily Planet, Paint Dreams on Wallsvoicesinwartime.org and Her Mark Gallery Datebook. She currently serves as a writing consultant at John F. Kennedy University, teaches privately and is at work onParallel Journey, a novel.




 Her poetry chapbook, How it Happens is forthcoming from Nomadic Press in September 2018.


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Sophia Moore features 11/12/2018

11/12/2018 Sophia Moore  hosted by Jim



Sophia Moore is 20 years old and attends UC Berkeley for English and Gender and Women's Studies. In high school, she sat on the Alameda Island Poets Board and served as the Poet Laureate at her school, Alameda Community Learning Center. Additionally, she interned at the Dancing Poetry Festival and performed in a number of the dances at Palace of the Legion of Honor. 
The Possibilities of Half a Tank of Gas and Two Healing Hearts

There might be beauty in the way she cries,
In the way blood leaks between ribs from her breaking heart.
There might be beauty in the security of a setting sun.
One golden horizon intertwines at the top of their fishbowl
With the deep blue of another skyline,
But when she looks up, she only sees his eyes.
Oncoming armies melt away into the fickle clouds.
There might be beauty in the way the dawn lifts the twilit dew into a burning night.
The ghost of an undetermined future sits in the driver’s seat of a motionless car.
The passenger closes her eyes, bathing in each pulse of electricity,
Clinging as if the beat of her heart relies on every shock.
A fog climbs down the mountain in waterfall determination,
While calloused memories slip down the rocky slope in a bubble of giggles.
There might be beauty in the silence of their conversation.
Every spoken phrase already known between them:
“Hide your eyes so they don’t know this is private property.”
There might be beauty in the way she wishes on shooting stars,
There might be beauty in the way she falls deeper into her own heart with each breath,
There might be--
There might be--
There might be beauty in the way she cries,
But it might be the glimpse of a dream-- intangible as the burning sky.
There is beauty in the way she falls asleep alone, asking still for tomorrow’s blessing.
Next time these piggybacking fictions hop from one island of light to another,
I promise not to leave the stitching between their hearts so unfinished.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

11/5/2018 Elana Levy Features

11/05/2018  Elana Levy   hosted by Jan


elana levy Nov 5,2018


11/05/2018  elana levy   hosted by Jan



elana levy is a recent transplant to the land of her daughter, of avocados and redwoods from the northeast, of snow lakes and green. Legacies and Heresies with blessings is her latest collection. She has also translated from the German the much heralded 20th century Jewish poet Rose Asländer. Elana taught math a community college for two decades. She was firs photographed by the FBI in 1959. Student and teacher of Jewish meditation and Kabbala; factory worker, social justice activist, radio producer, video director; embraces silence one month yearly. Still studying hard, knowing there are no easy answers. She doesn’t Capitalize her name.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

10/29/2018 is Guess Who?


10/29/2018 Other People's Poems  Guess who wrote it? hosted by 
Bring 2 poems printed out with out your name on them. We will put in a bag or box or hat and other people will draw out, read. Then we will attempt to identify the poet who wrote the poem.  We have been doing this once a year for years and it is great fun.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Andrew J. Thomas Features 10/22/18



10/22/2018 Andrew J. Thomas  hosted by Gary 




Andrew J. Thomas was born and raised by a couple of hippies in a small Alabama town. And if that wasn't confusing enough, he joined the Navy and traveled all over Europe before relocating to Oakland, California. Married too young, he soon became a dad, got divorced and found a "real" job. Eventually he remarried and settled down in the Bay Area brackish waters known as Vacaville. These days, he is a sad man full of sad words that he sometimes shares in order to make you sad.

When he's not enjoying your tears, he's busy parenting two young adults, or professionally bullshitting for a living. He's the webmaster for various poets and small presses and a founding member of The Beast Crawl Literary Festival. His book, Strangeland, was the inaugural publication from Naked Bulb Press, even though he is generally unpublished due to laziness and fear. Unable to completely abandon his Southern roots, he still enjoys politeness, fried food, and whiskey.



The Myth We Lent to GodTo Hart Crane

In pieces now, slowly dissected, a little less there each time
I drive across the bay from east to west.
At night, a silhouette of what once was, the shadow of a beast, 

that grey metal testament of man’s faith in man,
stretching from crane to crane.

The replacement, a white lighted beacon of hope 
suspended on the precipice of disillusion;
Rust already eating away at the unseen foundational cracks, 
as man is no longer capable of such impossible feats.

And yet we witness the reversal of construction,
a more intentional disassembly than Loma Prieta.
There is a metaphor here about the limitations of belief, 
another about impermanence.
The myth is being forgotten.

We are owed an explanation that will never come, 
because man, like God, won’t make good on his promises.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Garrett Murphy features Oct 15th

Garrett Murphy is known throughout the greater Bay Area as (the "King of Political Satire," (much to his utter surprise)
sharing tongue-in-cheek observations about political and other forms of human nature.  
He is the author of the poetry anthologies "Noe Showing" and "What We Claim...What We Are," the prose
collection "The Ugly Salon," and the novel "Yang But Yin: The Legend of Miss Dragonheel," in addition to
appearing in various other anthologies.


NOT GEORGE CARLIN’S SEVEN DIRTY WORDS

Fetus.
Entitlement.
Diversity.
Transgender
Vulnerable.
Evidence-based.
Science-based.

What?
No buzz?

Where’s the beeper?
The shock?

Anything?

Was there not supposed to be some sort of catastrophe?
Some earth-shattering cataclysm?

But all that can be heard
is some faint,
feeble-minded inept hissyfit
from a most miniscule gallery
which one would not dare offend peanuts
by naming it in their honor.

Perhaps if they had chosen
a few slurs instead…

© 2018 Garrett Murphy

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Saswati Das features Oct 8, 2018


10/8/2018  Saswati Das hosted by Jim

Saswati Das, an engineer by profession and a poet by heart, lives in Milpitas, California, and writes poems and fiction in both English and Hindi. She publishes her poetry in local magazines and anthologies. She has recited her verses in cultural and poetry events such as Lit Crawl, 100k poets for change and Oakland Poetry Slam. She has published a poetry book in English captioned “Fragrant Flute of Fire” which is available in Amazon. She maintains a blog at www.kalpanain.blogspot.com.

Struggle for Liberty


Oh listen, listen to the voice,
For there the cuckoo cry-
We'll have to sail through the ocean of blood-
For the deep blue sky.

Here's misery and whips of tyranny,
Pains, pathos outcry-
There the bird of liberty and freedom
Throughout the day fly.

Exploit us they, our feet chained
But amidst darkness, the candle flames-
Every drop of blood that runs through the veins
Sings, Sings and says again-
Thousands of blazes is the demand of the day
Fight we must, die we may.

History of Justice always summons
Sweat, tears and martyrdom
Let’s measure the nights of mourn and sacrifice,
The brilliant sun there arise-
To heel our hearts and charm souls with gaiety
By the songs of love and liberty.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

10/01/2018 Marvin R. Hiemstra features



10/01/2018  Marvin R. Hiemstra hosted by Jan


Marvin R. Hiemstra appeared a valiant Leo in the Year of the Rabbit and was instructed by a tiny prairie grass frog on his wrist at age three.  Honors Graduate from Iowa Writers Workshop and founding Editor-in-Chief of the Bay Area Poets Seasonal Review with work in Caveat LectorAmsterdam QuarterlyThe SatiristNorth American Review, and elsewhere Marvin publishes and performs around the world. Dana Gioia called the DVD French Kiss Destiny, “superb work.” Shawn Pittard, The Great American Pinup, said, “What I hold closest to my heart is Marvin’s reminder of the importance of human affection in this totally terrifying 21st Century.”  Library Journal reported, “Whimsical poet/humorist Hiemstra shares his thoughts and observations on society: a very agreeable addition to contemporary American literature.”



AUTUMN DAZZLE

The last bowl of red cherries
for this year means autumn.
Oops!  One clever cherry escaped
the bowl.  Everyone laughs.

I am carefully arranging wildflowers
in a boat-shaped basket.
Wind hits verandah, twists
arrangement.  It looks better.

Pure wind from the North
transforms a quiet hill of flame
maple brocade into a shimmering
spirit forest, all ablaze.

It’s time to put fresh white paper
on all the shoji.  No more
patches!  Oldest tree in the garden
wears brilliant persimmons.

“Pearls!” shouted Yogi when snow fell
through a ruined thatch roof.
Pearls tumble through our sun yellow
wisteria leaves.  It makes me blue.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Missy Church features 9/24/2018


09/24/2018   Missy Church  hosted by Gary 




Missy Church runs Naked Bulb open-mic, now on it’s seventh year in Fruitvale. She founded Naked Bulb Press and helped to bring the first lit crawl to Oakland. Missy has appeared in numerous readings in the Bay Area over the last ten years and her first full length book, CHURCH, by Paper Press can be found on her mom’s book shelf or at paperpress.org

Looking Back and Thinking, What Was I So Worried About

To be bare and so far apart
our bodies, a panic attack
magnets propped up
in just the right way
skin on skin
reject
attract

I whisper, I love you
with the night ears
of cotton swabs
bee’s wax and
the intermittent breath
from my muscle memory
to yours

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

9/17/2018 Clyde Always features

09/17/2018 Clyde Always hosted by bruce


Clyde Always (the Bard of the Lower Haight), being the All-American tall-talesman and dime-a-rhyme vaudevillian that he is, has successfully provided audiences, both at home and abroad, with the refreshing splash of laughter and the snug comfort of joy; to inspire creativity is his primary objective here on planet Earth.  You can catch his act any Friday evening at Cafe International where he serves the community fostering new talents as host and ringleader of the weekly open-mic showcase. His writings and artwork have recently been accepted to exclusive publications: Poetalk, The Broke Bohemian, 17 Very Funny Very Short Stories and others.  Melanie Bell and the Story Salon, the bard’s debut novel, published by Rational Malarkey Inc, placed as a semifinalist in the Faulkner Society’s William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition in 2017.  He lives in San Francisco with his wife Haylee the Ukulele.

Bloodbath!


What ruthless warrior am I,
to cause this crimson flood?
Remorseful now, I stand and cry
above a sea of blood.
Oh, slaughterhouses everywhere
will crumble down in shame;
and Tarantino’s kiddie fare
seems infantile—tame.
The Chupacabra’s drank a sip
compared to all this swill.
Count Dracula would curl his lip
and call it ‘overkill.’
Was Gettysburg a lousy joke?
Were Spartans rarely rough?
Felt Caesar but a measly poke?
Was Patton just a puff?
Attila’s savagery’s now moot,
that tender, gentle Hun…
and Genghis Kahn would lick my boot
to see such horrors done!
            Perhaps a tiny trickle fell
            from Christ upon the cross,
            but none have raise such gruesome Hell
            as I, who’s tried to floss.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Truly Edison features 9/10/2018


9/10/2018 Truly Edison hosted by Jim





Truly Edison is a senior at Alameda Community Learning Center, and the current poet laureate of her school. She lives in Alameda with her parents, her three siblings, and her pet dog. She has been writing poetry since middle school, and is very active within her school's poetry club. She describes her writing as a form of dreaming while awake; a method of processing outside images and sensation through words.


"BODYWORDZ"

My heart is no organ of fire
Because I'm much too shy
It's more of a deer at the side of the highway
Wandering the dying grass with headlight eyes

It lives only at dusk and dawn
Creeping into the light when all others lay still 
Decaying in the shallow end of sleep

In my mind I conjured up a collage of you
Eyes and ears and tongues disconnected 
Out of context
But what finally did it was
A single strand of my hair on your bathroom counter
And the fraud of intimacy
It so coyly implied

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Clive Matson Features at Poetry Express 8/27/2018 7pm



Clive Matson hung with the Beats in New York City in the early 1960s and he reconnected when he performed “Hello, Paradise. Paradise, Good-bye” at the European Beat Studies Network in 2017 in Paris. The passionate intensity that runs through us all emerged on a backpacking trip in the southern Sierra when he saw trees and mountains and smoke from a wild fire – and began that poem. He won the 2003 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles National Literary Award and the City of Berkeley Lifetime Achievement award in poetry for 2012. Visit him at matsonpoet.com or wikipedia.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Judy Bebelaar 8/20/18 Reads from Her Book About the Children of Jonestown. hosted by bruce


08/20/2018  Judy Bebelaar Reads from Her Book About the Children of Jonestown.
hosted by bruce


Of the 918 Americans who died in the shocking murder-suicides of November 18, 1978 in Jonestown and Georgetown, Guyana, one-third were under eighteen; more than half in their twenties or younger. And Then They Were Gone: Teenagers of Peoples Temple from High School to Jonestown begins in San Francisco, at the small school where Reverend Jim Jones enrolled the teens of his Peoples Temple church in 1976. Within nine months, most had been sent—many disappearing over that summer —to what Jones described as a jungle paradise.


A Bay Area Writing Project Teacher Consultant, Judy Bebelaar’s poetry has been published widely in magazines and in three anthologies. Walking Across the Pacific, a chapbookwas published in 2014 by Finishing Line Press. She and Ron Cabral are co-authors of And Then They Were Gone: Teenagers of Peoples Temple from High School to Jonestown.
Ron Cabral, a teacher and administrator in the San Francisco Unified School District for 35 years, served in the Reserve programs of the Navy and Coast Guard. He contributed writing and photography to the Coast Guard magazine and is the author of Country Joe and Me, about his friendship with Joe.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

08/13/2018 Avotcja

08/13/2018 Avotcja hosted by Jim

Poet/Playwright/Multi-Percussionist/Photographer/Teacher  



Avotcja has been published in English & Spanish in the USA, Mexico & Europe, and in more Anthologies than she remembers. She is an award winning Poet & multi-instrumentalist who has opened for Betty Carter in New York City, Peru's Susana Bacaat San Francisco’s Encuentro Popular & Cuba’s Gema y Pável, played with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Bobi & Luis Cespedes, John Handy, Sonido Afro Latina, Dimensions Dance Theater, Black Poets With Attitudes, Bombarengue, Nikki Giovanni, Los Angeles' Build An Ark, Dwight Trible, Diamano Coura West African Dance Co., Terry Garthwaite, Big Black, The Bay Area Blues Society & Caribeana Etc. Shared stages with Sonia Sanchez, Piri Thomas, Janice Mirikitani, Diane DiPrima, Michael Franti, Jayne Cortez, & with Jose Montoya's Royal Chicano Air Force & is a Bay Area icon with her group Avotcja & Modúpue.  Avotcja was the opening act for the legendary Poet Pat Parker the last three years of her life. She both composed & performed the film score for the Danish documentary MuNu. Her Poetry &/or music has been recorded by Piri Thomas, Famoudou Don Moyé (of The Art Ensemble Of Chicago), Bobby Matos Latin Jazz Ensemble, & performed by The Purple Moon Dance Project, and was the 1st Poetry performed by New York's Dance Mobile. She's appeared at The Lorraine Hansberry Theater in S. F., The Asian-American Jazz Festival in Chicago, as well as The Asian-American Jazz Festival in San Francisco.  She's been featured 5 times at Afro-Solo, twice at San Francisco's Carnival, The Scottish Rite Temple & Yoshi's in Oakland & San Francisco, Jose Castellar's play "Man From San Juan", Club Le Monmartre in Copenhagen Denmark, Stanford University, at San Francisco’s Brava Theater For The Arts with Cine Acción, New York's Henry Street Settlement Theater and The Women On The Way Festival in San Francisco. Avotcja a is popular Bay Area DeeJay & Radio Personality, and the founder/Director of "The Clean Scene Theater Project (AKA) Proyecto Teatral De La Escena Sobria". She continues to teach Creative Writing, Storytelling & Drama in Public Schools & thanks to the California Arts Council she was also an Artist in Residence at the Milestones Project & San Francisco Penal System. Avotcja is a proud member of DAMO (Disability Advocates Of Minorities  Organization), PEN Oakland, California Poets In The Schools,  IWWG & is an  ASCAP recording artist.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Steve Arntson & Loie Johnson feature 8/6/2018

08/06/2018   Steve Arntson & Loie Johnson  hosted by Jan



Steve Arntson came to writing after musical studies at the University of Washington - he became interested in poetry as read at some of the open mics in San Francisco in the 80s and 90s while he would always love to read poetry before, it was only after hearing others share their work at places like Cafe Babar and the Old Spaghetti Factory and myriad other open mics around town that he committed to writing himself he believes in writing each day if possible and cites journaling as a way to realize that end

Lately he's enjoyed the experience of writing short stories as well and finds them fun to do after the stricter demands of imagery and metaphor

Over time he's narrowed the scope of the writing to geography, especially the Oregon coast and the open spaces of Nevada where the Burning Man Arts Festival is

He's grateful to many friends and writers who have influenced and also continues to study music

Loie Johnson is a local Bay Area poet who lives in Palo Alto.  She has been a writer and 
an artist beginning in childhood.
Loie has been published internationally, and in many Bay Area anthologies.
She was a Feature at Kepler's in Menlo Park, and did a special Poetry Feature with a
 Shinto Art Presentation at the Waverly Writers after a visit to Japan.
She has also been a Feature at other Bay Area venues.
She and Elyse Garlock, a theatrical Mime, collaborated for many years, doing performances in
 Palo Alto, and Santa Monica.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

07/23/2018 Coleen McKee


07/23/2018  Coleen McKee  hosted by Gary 



Colleen McKee is the author of five collections of memoir, poetry, and fiction. Her latest book is called The Kingdom of Roly-Polys (Pedestrian Press).http://thepedestrianpress.weebly.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html For upcoming appearances, visithttp://colleenmckee.blogspot.com/.

 GIRAFFES

When I was little, a wild hill girl
of sun-scratched prairie
and shadowy woods cool
with the breath of the river,
I would spend hours in the tall tick-filled grass
just thinking about giraffes,
the mahogany and pale gold fur,
the arch of their necks bisecting the sun,
their elegant limbs listing and loping—
I’d dream of the giants of Africa
and play with the critters of Missouri,
walking sticks looking with paranoid eyes
at the tiny brown twig of my finger,
dizzy at being lifted
a mere two inches
from the dark grass.

                                                                                                

Solace is a Small Gray Stone


Solace is a small gray stone
at rest in the palm of your hand.

It is smooth. Curl your fingers
around it, but slowly. How solid

it is. Unlike sorrow, the stone
is finite. It can be weighed.

Feel the way
it carries the sun

even in the shade
of your thumb.