Monday, May 20, 2019

5/27/19 Zephir O'Meara features

5/27/19 Zephir O'Meara hosted by Gary



Zephir O'Meara is a bay area page poet with many children and pets in his care. His ongoing quest to disrupt and subvert bio blurbs has thus far worked for him. So he's probably gonna keep doing it. It's almost a thing at this point. 


________________


Email



I opened up this email to send you a poem

I was going to copy and paste something

short and sweet nice and neat

Something with some rhythmic grace

some outer space retro vibe

Glimpsing the infinite

but still staying intimate

Here and now you and me our eyes lock briefly

Flicker away in the breeze

We cinder

We smoke

All our lives could matter in one kind passionate word

I lay at your feet a red carpet

dyed in my blood my heart's blood my soul

my word my bond

But I didn't really know how to finish it so I never sent that email

I guess it's saved as a draft somewhere

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Carla Williams-Namboodiri Features 5/20/19

5/20/19   Carla Williams-Namboodiri hosted by Bruce
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Carla Williams-Namboodiri is a humanities teacher and former journalist. Carla's manuscript novel, South Side Blues, set in her hometown of Chicago in the 1970's,was recently named a semi-finalist in Hidden River Arts inaugural Tuscarora Award for Historical Fiction. She will be reading from new work, On Bus Line No. 6, a play in three acts, as well as poems (see below)


Tell Me Again


By Carla Williams-Namboodiri


What did you say?
Say what?
Tell me again what you mean
When you say
Make America great again


Do you mean great
Like the buffalo that roamed
the prairies of my heart
Or the once crystal clear
Great Lakes?


Or great like the voice
Of Tecumseh, who warned,
“Brothers, the white men came among us feeble, and now we have made them strong”


No, that doesn't really sound like who or what you mean


Tell me again what you mean,
When you say you want to build a wall
To keep our lives from coming in
Against the laws those great forefathers
Wrote to steal land Fair and Square


Can you explain, in polite terms,
Where and how you made
America
Was it before the Civil War or after it?
Was it when the Constitution
Settled on counting Africa’s children
As the three-fifths human
Or after blood and terror
Set us free?


Do tell, just once more,
Is your great America lily white,
With small apartheid “black spots”
Reserved for first nations,
“Hispanic-Latinos” and “inner-city blacks”


Or is it a modest version
Of a whitewashed college campus
After rolling back affirmative action
Rolling back to them good old days, ain’t it?


Down at the country club
Or was it the golf club,
With that private spa,
With the black attendant


How fun it was!
How he had to hold the towel,
while you jiggled your pecker,
And how you all called him Charlie Brown, laughing together


Though his name was Charles Brownstone,
After his father the master mason,
Like his fathers before him,
Who worked to buy freedom


Tell me once more,
What you really mean
About “Make America Great Again”
Do you mean like,
The Beach Boys
Or Chuck Berry singing,
“Rock and Roll Music,”
Crisscrossing color lines


When you say America,
It does not sound
Like me saying it


When you say
make it great
It sounds like
screams
Of nuclear bombs
On Hiroshima & Nagasaki


Nothing at all like the greatness
Promised
By the truths we hold
To be self-evident
That we are all equally
Endowed with
Certain liberties


The America of which you speak
Was discovered
By Christopher Columbus
Who got lost
Because he thought
The world was flat


Carla Williams-Namboodiri is a writer and humanities teacher working on surviving the next four years.

Monday, May 6, 2019

5/13/19 John Garry features

5/13/19 John Garry hosted by Jim



John R. Garry has made his way across 9 countries by train, plane, automobile and by foot. His poetry is informed by his travels and his work as a licensed clinical psychologist in the community, with our military and in our prison system.
His published works include: 2009’s “Regalos de la Isla: Gifts from the island”, and 2015’s “Lean In: Live from Everywhere”.
His performances are a melodic blend of emotion and deep reflection that will make you think, feel and leave you wanting more.

——

THINGS/
I literally have a jar marked golf money filled with the wishbones of rotisserie chickens going back to 2015. I carried these from apartment to apartment, across state lines. They sat in storage for 10 months while I traveled the globe. It's a jar full of unused wishes, bones for conjuring new ways to fight off patterns that are ever present.

There is a 4-by-2 bin full of poems next to my bed; a pile of notebooks that, boiled down, are just ink and papyrus, emotional hand cramp manifestos. It's a tupperware bucket of unicorn ideas, flightless thoughts tied down with time and self-deprecation.

There are #revolutionarystew mind dumps on Instagram. It's an exercise in public masturbation that we have allowed as normal – all in the internet ether, the globe's electronic closet – full of porn, socks without matches and shit that no longer fits, but isn't thrown away.

I have 82 bowties in my closet and still my wardrobe is repetitive. I have maintained my weight only so that I do not have to buy more pants. All my sweaters from high school remain with me and, like them, I too go in and out of fashion regularly.

I am a pile of skin and bones, bowties, poetry and unused wishes. I spend more time thinking about what I have yet to let go of than using what I already have, and wondering who will throw out my things when I die.
All the things.

Monday, April 29, 2019

5/6/19 Jan Dederick features

Jan came out of the poetry closet at Poetry Express just a few years ago. Well, maybe more than a few by now…Since then she has found many voices she had no idea she had. Her work varies from rant to rave, from ode to lyric, from sacred to profane, from humorous to brainiac science-headed.   
Her work is inspired by nature, both human and the rest, healing, science, the Big Questions, the usual suspects. 
She’s earned a number of prizes in local contests, but doesn’t seem too interested in ‘getting her work out there’, i.e. the publishing thing. Or maybe just not organized enough.
She has self- published 2 chapbooks,  Ear to the Rail  and  Between a Rock and a Soft Place, and a full length memoir in poetry, Hammer It Into Horseshoes.  She is incubating another book,The Anatomy Poetry Book.

Jan was for several years a co-host of Poetry Express, and is on the editorial board of Poetalk, journal of the Bay Area Poets’ Coalition.

Cinquaine series:
my breath
the in the out
I sit to notice it
cool coming in, warm going out.
changing
to sit
to watch and wait
how long will this itch last?
nothing lasts forever, nor this.
dharma.
between
the high and low
there lies the middle road
Buddha recommended this route:.
Good luck!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Other People's Poem Fun 4/29

4/29/19 Maverick Night:  host  Gary   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, April 16, 2019

Judy Wells Features 4/22/19

4/22/19 Judy Wells hosted by Gary



JUDY WELLS was born in San Francisco and raised in Martinez, California.  She received her B.A. from Stanford and her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Judy has 12 poetry books to her credit. Her latest collection, Dear Phebe: The Dickinson Sisters Go West is a memoir/novella in poetry and prose about her New England-to-California Dickinson ancestors in the 1860s. She was thrilled to have access to real letters her Dickinson ancestors sent each other.
Her eleventh poetry collection, The Glass Ship, completes her trilogy of Irish-themed works, including Everything Irish and Call Home. Other works includeLittle Lulu Talks with Vincent Van Gogh and I Dream of Circus Characters: A Berkeley Chronicle.
Judy taught creative writing, women’s poetry, composition, and literature at various Bay Area colleges, before a career as an academic counselor and faculty member at Saint Mary’s College of California, working with adults returning to school.  Now a full-time poet, she lives with her husband, avant-garde poet Dale Jensen, in Berkeley. Her website is www.judywellspoet.com.  


SUPERMARKET LOVE

Last week at Whole Foods
as I was reaching
into the refrigerated shelves
for the coldest tofu
with the most future
expiration date
a yellow gloved hand
from the other side
laid itself on mine.
I nearly jumped a mile.
"Oh sorry!" said a woman's voice
from the other side.
A man behind me laughed.

This week as I walked by
the same tofu
section
I heard a disembodied voice
from the other side say,
"I needed you,
and you have never
been there
for me once."
“Yes, I have,”
I wanted to protest.
“Last week!”

From I Dream of Circus Characters: A Berkeley Chronicle
Beatitude Press  

Monday, April 8, 2019

4/15/19 Diane L. Moomey features

4/15/19 Diane L. Moomey hosted by Bruce




Diane has lived and wandered around the US and Canada, and now dips her
gardener’s hands in California dirt. A regular reader at San Francisco Bay
Area poetry venues, Diane has published prose and poetry, most recently in
Mezzo Cammin, The Sand Hill Review, California Poetry Quarterly, Caesura
and Red Wheelbarrow, and has been nominated for a Pushcart prize. In
2016, 2017 and 2018, she won prizes and Honorable Mentions in the Sonnet
and Creative Non-Fiction categories of the Soul Making Keats Literary
Contest. Her most recent poetry book, Nothing But Itself, is available now.
To know more, please visit https://www.pw.org/content/diane_moomey
Diane is also a watercolorist and collage artist, an experience that both
seeds and is seeded by, her poetic imagery. To view her artwork, please visit

www.dianeleemoomeyart.com

Monday, April 1, 2019

4/8/19 Reginald Edmonds features

4/8/19  Reginald Edmonds hosted by Jim




Reginald Edmonds is a poet, activist, and educator based out of Richmond, CA. Reggie was a member of the 2018 Berkeley Poetry Slam team and runs both the Rich Oak Alchemy Slam and the Oakland Poetry Slam and wide open mic. In their free time, they enjoy long walks through quiet graveyards, Hennessy with limes, and listening to trap music. They have two self published chapbooks, I’m Too Black For This Shxt (2017) and Sad Boi(2018).  Their poetry is map of intersections that illustrates the complexity of the human experience. Through their work, they hope you will come to understand how much we all contribute to the degradation of humanity, as well as what we can all do to turn this back around.  
All of My Fish Die In the Middle of the Night and I Imagine Myself Alongside Them.

I awaken to twelve glimmering bodies bobbing on the surface. Their eyes 
Are just as soulless in death as they were in life, bulging 
Pupils staring into the void. A 5-year-old probably shouldn't bury 
Pets by himself but nobody really gave a shit about lasting psychological 
Harm in the early 2000’s so I had a toilet bowl funeral 
Alone. Cried over the time spent excitedly pointing at the fish tank 
Like “look at how responsible I can be mama? Don’t that make 
Me a man now?” But haven’t I always tried to flush 
 My boyhood down the drain too early. Wasn’t I, in my foolishness,
 Craving manhood with my morning cereal. The same masculinity that is suffocating
 Me today. I should have learned that all That glitters is not
 Gold… fish. sometimes, they are just pretty Things waiting for a prettier 
 Death. And what's more beautiful than a Broken dream? Than my body 
 Floating alongside twelve nuggets of gold? Mama says that ​gold look good 
 On us black folks. ​ And don’t I look good, Mama? Am I 
 Man enough for you, now? Wrapped up in so much Masculine gold 
 That nobody hears me screaming? That nobody notices me choking? Will anybody
 Even know that I’m dead until the sun rises in the morning?