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.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

07/16/2018 David Zeltzer

07/16/2018 David Zeltzer hosted by bruce



   I started writing poems in grade school and I've never stopped. My writing continued but slowed down in grad school, and during my years in Boston working on human/computer interface design.   I’ve returned to the Bay Area, writing at full speed, and reading everywhere I can.


             While I was living in Eugene, Oregon, I co-founded the editorial collective that published 10 Point 5: A Magazine of the ArtsWe published 7 issues from 1976-78, including poetry, images, and interviews with local filmmakers, dancers, Robert Bly, and the novelist Ursula Le Guin. My poems have appeared in Troubador Anthology, The Goodly Company, Mr. Cogito, Echo, 10 Point 5, Uut Poetry and Fur-lined Ghettos. You can get my digital chapbook, Realtime Babies, from iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and amazon -- you can hear me read all the poems in that volume at www.realtimebabies.net.   On May 30, 2016, I was the featured poet in the San Francisco Open Mic Poetry Podcast TV Show on youtube, in the segment hotsted by Clara Hsu.


melt the poured titanium

overgrown life has graves

growing normal pilots in paris

i can’t find trees inside us

to reach molybdenum anywhere

or salvage the ancient robot wheatfield violin dances

there’s not enough mustard gas

in the student aircraft wires

to guide us through the stalingrad meteors

i talked to her this week so please rescue us

and start over

tiny little machines listen to my favorite dying hole

the laser found my hot

stellar tape will say my name

and push the wrong button under the green bushes

i like to think i have no friend to meet

someday all my radios will sing stillness

stop the microscope satellite

under small trees

and marry the silent deathbed

gathered in dark mountain gunshots

— san jose

may 2015

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Leticia Garcia Bradford features July 9, 2018

07/9/2018 Leticia Garcia Bradford hosted by Jim



Leticia Garcia Bradford is a poet, playwright and publisher. In 2014 she founded B Street Writers Collective (BSWC), Hayward, CA- a community of writers both amateur and professional. Her poems and stories have been published in local and national journals. She edited BSWC’s anthology FLY WITH ME which she is, also, the publisher for MoonShine Star Co. BSWC’s new anthology WHAT IS LOVE debuted this spring for which she is also editor and publisher. In 2017, Leticia toured around the entire SF Bay Area with her poetry and stories at open mics and readings. Check out her blogs: MY NEW ADVENTURE, living without a place to call home at leticiagarciabradford.blogspot.com, and LETICIA’S BLOG at lgbradford.blogspot.com has her poems and other stories.


Poem for Christopher
(and Kason)

I want to be alone
Life outside heavy and hardening
Driving streets freeway and stoplights with
fears of bumper to bumper
A terrifying scream from way down deep
Easier to sit inside
Inside I have my cat, my Lazyboy
My blanket which to hide beneath
My pillow where my lover rested his head
Alone I am safe and free

Safe and free

I want to be free
Escaping a past that haunts me
Nightmares of the restraints coupling my wrists
Cutting deep chafing my unprotected skin
Painfully reminding me that the release remains
elusive at the same time comforting
Letting go of the ills of my shallow heart

Shallow heart

I want to be a heart
blood pooling coursing to and fro
Dripping via veins arteries capillaries
Threat of vulnerability bearing down
Combined with insecurity of touch
Trusting you my friend
I’ve been here before
the rhythm the pounding
bathed in warmth 
Capture a dandelion, unpredictable wish

Unpredictable wish

I want to be a dandelion
Wisps of fuzz and seeds hidden in my wallet
A part of you I don’t know why
The night my nephew had had enough of this world
I found myself walking the neighborhood
Searching for soothing moonlight

Moon  Light 

I want to be the moon
With cows and cheese
Teasing stars with
tickles and butterfly kisses
Tears sprouting laughter
The man’s luminescent teeth hearty
like a lover on the horizon

the horizon

I want to be loved
Know that I am worthy
Quirkiness and all
Companionship
Independence
Respect for the life giving muscle
Transversing between time with patience and perseverance 
To find I’m alone

Leticia Garcia Bradford
© February 2018

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

07/02/2018 Roopa Ramamoorthi



07/02/2018  Roopa Ramamoorthi hosted by Jan



 Roopa is a biotech scientist and poet who grew up in India and calls Berkeley home. She was a finalist for the National Poetry Series in 2011 and her work has appeared in the anthologies, 'She is Such a Geek', 'Dismantle' and 'Red Skirt Blue Jeans' and on Perspectives on NPR and in  India Currents, Berkeley Daily Planet, Khabar, Ursa Minor, Spectrum and other venues. 





Family Tree
By Roopa Ramamoorthi

Few weeks ago I spent two days in Mendocino 

tucked away on California’s northern coast 

Heard the waves lashing the rocks, saw a red-breasted robin 

ready to take flight, a young seal on the rocks 

sunning itself, then setting out for a swim 

When I hiked in fern canyon  

I touched the trunk 

Of one sturdy redwood tree 

Climbing the narrow trails, inhaling the misty air 

I saw nobody else out there this Tuesday 

Only those ancient pteridophytes  

Layers upon layers of green 

Beckoning and bewitching from the other side of time 



I descended back to pygmy forest 

Nature’s bonsai of acorn and cypress 

Stunted trees adapted to the saline soil 

five hundred thousand years old 

The landscape here became more stark, less serene 

I stood transported to a different tree, a different time 

A photocopy in charcoal black, empty white and shades of gray 

From five full years ago. It could have been  

a Japanese artist’s ink brush drawing  

A single tree standing on a winter’s night, severe and still 

Or a botanist’s sketch of a new species 

with nodules narrowing four branches 

But no, it was my mother’s arteries 

Captured from her angiography 

In Jaslok hospital, Mumbai 

soon after her heart attack 



I took that image—consulted cardiologists  

In Palo Alto and San Francisco 

A month later she became ashes sprinkled in the Godavari River 

Traveling to where the Arabian sea kisses the star-studded sky 

Becoming engulfed in the universe’s eternal canopy 

A black and white sketch that still breathes in a cardboard box of mine 

Along with the torn black book of her recipes and her childhood photos 

One of her sitting in her chubby frock at one 

Another of her watering young saplings 

as a girl of eleven 

One more at twenty-four 

Holding her newborn baby 

standing next to a budding jasmine tree 


This poem was published in http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2008-12-23/article/31888?headline=Family-Tree 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Sandra Anfang 6/25/2018

06/25/2018  Sandra Anfang  hosted by Jan 




Sandra Anfang is a Northern California teacher, poet, and visual artist. She is the author of four poetry collections and several chapbooks. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Poetalk, San Francisco Peace and Hope, two Healdsburg Literary Guild anthologies, Unbroken Literary Journal, Rattle, and Spillway. Her chapbook, Looking Glass Heart, was published by Finishing Line Press in early 2016. Road Worrier, her new chapbook, is due in March, 2018. She was nominated for a Best Short Fictions in 2016 and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Sandra is founder and host of the monthly poetry series, Rivertown Poets, in Petaluma, and a California Poet/Teacher in the Schools. To write, for her, is to breathe.

Board of Directors

The first one I'd appoint is Rain, for humility.
I'd taste my tears, bled from the mask
as they roll down to court heaven's effluence
watch as both commingle in a stormy sea.

Next, I'd seat the Moon, for mystery
who rules my dreams and guides my pen.
I want to climb inside her iridescent skin
to die before I parse her essence
into tiny, measurable things.

Finally, I'd invite the Sun, for kindness and for love
the warmth of his beneficence
the way he enters me, encircles grief
melts the ice-glass curtain of the heart.

These three would be
the only guests I'd need
my pantheon
my holy trinity.


Sandra Anfang --Author of Looking Glass Heart, a poetry chapbook, published by Finishing Line Press © 2016. Available at finishinglinepress.com and Amazon.com. My new chapbook, Road Worrier: Poems of the Inner and Outer Landscape, is forthcoming from the same publisher. Pre-order by January 26, 2018, at a discounted rate:  https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/road-worrier-poems-of-the-inner-and-outer-landscape-by-sandra-anfang/