Monday, September 16, 2019

Sandra Anfang Features 9/23/2019

9/23/19 Sandra Anfang  hosted by Gary

Sandra Anfang is a poet, teacher, and visual artist. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including San Francisco Peace and HopeUnbroken Literary Journal, Rattle, and Spillway. Her chapbook, Looking Glass Heart, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2016. Road Worrier: Poems of the Inner and Outer Landscape (Finishing Line Press, 2018) followed. A full-length collection, Xylem Highway, was released in March, 2019 from Main Street Rag. Sandra was nominated for a Best Short Fictions award and a Pushcart Prize. She is founder of the monthly series, Rivertown Poets, in Petaluma, California, and a California Poet/Teacher in the Schools. 


Core Samples

At the Nevada mining museum
our seven-year old has a chokehold on my arm
timid at first, his tentative eyes—
as if searching for rattlers—
sweep the iron-incensed bunker 
before they lock on the rows of core samples.
He pronounces the name
which doesn’t quite fit in his mouth
carves new grooves on his tongue.
The desiccated docent
voice bald as his quarry explains 
how cylindrical drills drone deep into stone
probe Earth's mantle
yielding smooth columns, pygmy pillars 
relics of a place where dinosaurs 
once cut their terrible teeth.
Drawn in, my child dons a scholar’s mask.
This is proof of something real
a piece of the fossil record
truer than anything I can give him
a staff to wrap his brain’s heart around
bed of rock his feet can trust 
no ephemera in this metamorphic floor.

I flash on the day I could finally read most anything 
the skeleton key of my brain cracking the code
translating the thatch of storefront signs
the irony of the missing “i” in “realty”
my hopeful eyes pleading with my mother:
can we bring some home? 
At five I knew we were already fresh out.

Sandra Anfang

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Juanita J. Martin Features 9/16/19

9/16/2019 Juanita J. Martin  hosted by Bruce

Juanita J. Martin is Fairfield’s first poet laureate, 2010-2012. She’s also a freelance writer, and
performance artist. Her poetry book, The Lighthouse Beckons, was accepted into the Solano
County Library. Martin’s next volume of poems, Quiet Intensity, is due out in 2019. She’s
published in Blue Collar Review, SoMa Literary Review, and others. Juanita is active in Ina
Coolbrith Circle, and Benicia First Tuesday Poets. Juanita was also a longtime member of
Redwood Writers from 2007-2017. Juanita is listed with Poets & Writers Directory of Poets. She has read at the Frank Bette Cultural Center for the Alameda Poets in the Annual Black History event. She often reads for the Beat Poetry Festival and 100 Thousand Poets for Change. Juanita has been a featured reader with Healdsburg Literary Guild, Petaluma Poetry Walk 2007 & 2016, as well as Berkeley Poetry Festival. She has also contributed to Sonoma Discoveries Magazine, a tourist magazine covering North & West Sonoma County, and the Coast.www.jmartinpoetwriter.com


A Bittern Wades in Lonely Water
—Juanita J. Martin


Foggy blanket hovers piney timbers
The brave who cavort with darkness
A mind judges himself along the waters’ edge
Against dilapidated death
Against the briny stench 
Of a burg


A shale-colored moon spotlights
A bittern at one end
The lonely end,
Where the wine of antipathy
Pours into a tall glass


Ripples of water are soothing 
a mind massages the longing 
finds solace there
A break in the mundane silence of living


(Third Place Ribbon-Solano County Fair 2016)

Monday, September 2, 2019

Tureeda Mikell Features 9/9/19

9/9/19  Tureeda Mikell        hosted by Jim


Tureeda Mikell, Bay Area Writing Project Teacher Consultant, Story Medicine Woman, published poet and writer, Qigong Healer, storyteller, lyricist, astrologer and performance artist, has published 72 CA Poets in the Schools student anthologies since 1989. Has performed at Lawrence Hall and Golden Gate Academy of Sciences, MoAD, Randell, Oakland, and The DeYoung Museums, and has been featured storyteller for National Association of Black Storytellers.    Her book, Synchronicity, Oracles of Story Medicine, soon to be published. 


   excerpts from
Spell’s Labyrinth

Why alter the altar?
Silence the Arc for an Ark?
Why douse sacred fire of every kind?
Who enters prize for this enterprise?

Why did the son of the sun worship with warship?
Prey on those who pray for peace,
Set sail for sale of piece,
With pair-of-dice for paradise?

Governments profit
Gamble with prophets
Covenant of light

Will joules perish in parish of jewels?
Who’s good is sacrificed for concepts of god?

By Tureeda
  

Monday, August 19, 2019

Jerry Ratch Features 8/26


8/26/19 Jerry Ratch hosted by Gary 



Jerry Ratch published 18 books of poetry, and 7 books of prose including the novel: Wild Dreams of Reality, and the Memoir: A Body Divided, the story of a one-armed boy growing up in a two-fisted world. His work can be purchased through the author’s website: www.jerryratch.com . and as kindle books on amazon.com. 

The Fly on Our Pickle



I think I know that fly
That fly followed us from our apartment
On W. 11th St
When I opened the door he flew right in
And when we left, he flew right out again

Followed us on the subway to Times Square
Took the Shuttle apparently
Followed us all the way through the tunnels
Up the escalator and into Grand Central Station

Then down to Juniors in the food court below
Where he joined us for lunch
The best Chicken Caesar Salad on the planet
So famous, even the flies know about it
We asked the waitress for an additional chair
But he took a seat on our pickle instead

“Oh, don’t worry,” we told her
“We know him. He normally lives
“Down in the Village”

The waitress eyed us suspiciously
“East Village or West?” she asked

“Come on!” we said.
“As if that really matters!”

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Laura Schulkind features Monday 8/19/19

8/19/19 Laura Schulkind hosted by Bruce



By day, Laura Schulkind is a school law attorney, privileged to represent public schools, community colleges, and creative educational institutions throughout California. And, as unlikely as it may seem, lawyers (good ones at least) are by nature frustrated poets. They believe in the power of language, and think people’s stories are worth telling. However, they are constrained to tell the stories of others; their own require another outlet. Laura finds hers in poetry.

Laura’s new collection, The Log Arc of Grief(Finishing Line Press), tells stories of grief—inspired and impelled by the loss of her parents, Herb and Rima. But just as they were her models for friendship, loyalty, and resilience, these poems move beyond her own grief to consider how we understand and support those we love in their grief, and ultimately how we all not merely carry on, but live.
Early reviews include:

Laura Schulkind's work radiates intelligence, compassion and a nuanced understanding of what it means to be a daughter, a mother and a friend. She's a fearless truth-teller, shining the light of her poetic language on details we well might have missed otherwise--the small, miraculous moments of discovery, heartbreak and redemption. Barbara Quick (Vivaldi's Virgins)

Laura Schulkind’s new book, The Long Arc of Grief addresses the sorrow of loss … But also present in these well-crafted and touching poems is great affection and devotion, and a wonderful generosity of spirit which lift the poems and the reader up.  Rafaella Del Bourgo (I Am Not Kissing You, and Inexplicable Business: Poems Domestic and Wild.)

Laura’s chapbook, Lost in Tall Grass (Finishing Line Press), was released in May 2014. Her work has also appeared, or is forth coming, in numerous journals including Caveat Lector, The Dos Passos Review, The MacGuffin, Minetta Review, Reed Magazine, and Reunion—The Dallas Review. 
Her published work, and more musings on why “lawyer/poet” is not an oxymoron can be found on her website: www.lauraschulkind.com.

Monday, August 5, 2019

8/12/19 Lori Lynne Armstrong features

8/12/19 Lori Lynne Armstrong hosted by Jim




Lori Lynne Armstrong has been a scientist, a counselor, a mental health patient, and a painkiller addict. Her poetry spans these and many other realms with a style sometimes psychological, sometimes irreverent, but always searingly authentic. Her passions include promoting creative treatment options for the mental health and substance abuse recovery communities and promoting poetry availability for all communities. Her work appears in Poetry Expressed, The Abrams Claghorn exhibit "Have You Heard Us Yet?" and her first chapbook, Queen of Cups. She writes about her life and ongoing projects at notmylastwords.com.
Woman
She is not what centuries of men expected to find, when they looked, if they looked, beyond softness, curve, survival smile
lines and planes, unrepentant, edged boundaries mark where she begins and ends. Colors of bruised plums, old blood, rich and dark
spots and patterns tell a story in a language no one but her can read— why these markings? why here? why this slanting angle, not one degree more, not one less, what does it mean, the men
wonder as they stand, lamps uplifted, and she does not speak to tell them, nothing, everything, I am not your puzzle to solve

these opaque walls will never lighten to clear quartz crystal  (never again)

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

8/5/19 LeeLee Aint Msbehavin Features

8/5/19 LeeLee Aint Msbehavin   host Elaine



If you don't know LeeLee, you should and trust you are in for a treat. Three-time National Poetry Award nominee. Published author of "Untamed Pen", as well as an erotic cd titled "Freaky Tales". She's been featured on stages across the country and her voice has been heard around the world on several online radio shows. Her writings cover a variety of topics from the brutal reality of racism, to more adult content of a sexual nature. Prepare to go on the poetic ride of your life with the talented, the tantalizing LeeLee Ain't Msbehavin'

Photographs (Of You) I chased you in my dreams… Down hollow halls with walls covered with pictures of you From my birth to your death My heart wept because you’re no longer here It’s been twelve years… Twelve long lonely years of not having you near There was movement in each photograph that I passed Snapshots from my childhood Where you stood A constant fixture In my life I wipe the tears from my eyes That blinded my view of you All I could see were those pictures on the wall… Each was a happy memory replayed as I grew up with my siblings That loving feeling I felt when you hugged me Your presence when I gave birth to my sons Your smile beamed like the sun Which always made my heart dance I glance down the hall only to see you turn the corner Further away from my grasp This was my last chance to reach out and grab your hand I know that God reserved a spot for you in the promise land But I still need you… You were the super glue that held my heart together It shattered as I watched you go upstairs to Heaven You turned facing me Embraced me and stayed just long enough to sweep up the broken pieces Mending them back whole You hugged me one last time Telling me it was time to go home You said I won’t be alone because you inserted a piece of yourself within the valves that keeps me alive Inside of those picture frames are moments that will never die So for now its goodbye Don’t cry my love Because up above Beyond those stairs Is where I need to be You said to me as you walked away As I retreat down hollow halls with walls covered with pictures of you The sun shined brighter than it ever had Was momentarily sad But then I realized that all your years on this earth You prepared to be with Jesus You didn’t leave us Because your spirit will always be with us… I still dream of you though

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

7/29/19 Avotcja Birthday Celebration !



7/29/19 Avotcja Birthday Celebration   host 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 Baca at 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.
On May 10th 2014 the 12th Annual Berkeley Poetry Festival honored AVOTCJA with its Lifetime Achievement Award for the truly valuable creative and community work that she has accomplished. 
Website: www.Avotcja.org

Email: LaVerdadMusical@yahoo.com



Monday, July 22, 2019

7/29/19 Avotcja Birthday Celebration

7/29/19 Avotcja Birthday Celebration   host 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 Baca at 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.
On May 10th 2014 the 12th Annual Berkeley Poetry Festival honored AVOTCJA with its Lifetime Achievement Award for the truly valuable creative and community work that she has accomplished. 
Website: www.Avotcja.org

Email: LaVerdadMusical@yahoo.com



Monday, July 15, 2019

John Argue Features 7/22

7/22/19 John Argue hosted by Gary


John Argue taught acting for many years, and in the ‘80s started doing drama therapy with children and with hospitalized adults. He shifted over completely to working with Parkinson’s people in 1985 and continued for 32 years. He retired two years ago and returned to his first love, poetry.

Foregiveness is not
some words you say
to the one who wronged you
Forgiveness is
giving up
your revenge.

Monday, July 8, 2019

7/15/19 Robert Coats features

7/15/19 Robert Coats  hosted by Bruce




Robert Coats has been writing poetry for 40 years.  His work as an environmental scientist takes him outdoors and sometimes provides inspiration and material.  He is drawn to poetry rooted in the West and reflecting a strong sense of place. A native Californian by birth (his great-grandparents having come by covered wagon in 1859), he spent part of his youth in the deciduous forests of Maryland, and the mountains of northeastern Nevada. His poems have appeared in OrionWindfallCanarySong of the San Joaquin, the Pudding House anthology Fresh Water and a full-length book—The Harsh Green World—published in 2015 by Sugartown Publishing.  Awards include first and third prizes in Menlo College’s “Wallace Stevens Where Are You” contest (1998), first prize in the 1994 contest of the American Society on Aging, and first prize in Word Worth’s 2010 poetry contest.  Details of his professional work can be found at www.hydroikos.com.

WHAT TO DO ON AUGUST 26TH



Go to Rock Lake, Plumas country.
Before sunrise, stand
on the slate ledge that juts the lake.
Look to the western shore,
watch sunlight creep down
the red bank of schist.

Now turn east, look up
to the canyon rim
where Jacob’s ladders converge
at a dark hemlock
silhouetted
against the bright sky.

In the moment before
the sun crests the wall
the entire tree--bole,
branches, foliage--
will flash
into silver filigree.

Then the orb’s leading edge
will clear the jagged ridge, shooting
gold deep into liquid indigo
warming your face
flooding you
with light.