Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Monday, February 17, 2020

2/24/2020 Scott Caputo

2/24/2020   Scott Caputo hosted by Gary

Originally from Salem, Oregon, Scott Caputo has had a life-long love affair with writing poetry and creating games.   His work has appeared in Red Rock Review, Ruah, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, and Saranac Review.  Blue Light Press published his second book of poems, The Bridge Under Construction, in 2019, and his first book, Holy Trinity of Chiles, in 2010.  "Memories of a Preemie" was nominated for the 2019 Pushcart Prize.  He also has five published board games, including Völuspá, based on the Nordic epic poem of the same name.  He currently resides in Newark, California, with his wife and two sons.  

Memories of a Preemie

First memories
are newborn hairs
trailing off
soft infant heads.

So I hoped for my son
who lived his first weeks
in a heated box
hooked to heart monitors
a feeding tube
threaded up his nose
down to his tiny
walnut-sized stomach
all day a slumber
under bright blue
bleaching yellow
from his fresh skin
eyes closed
to the world.

Evenings after work
I scrubbed my hands orange
before entering the NICU
a room punctuated
by heart and breath
monitors beeping
suddenly screaming
before settling again.
Nurses rowed between
shuttered pods
cheerful blankets
hiding the one inside.
I held my son to my bare chest
let him feel my body heat
before putting him back
inside his incubator
for night after night.

My wife and I
hoped his first weeks
of solitude
would barely smudge
the mirror of his mind.

But months later
well after he came home to us
well after he learned to smile
we brought him back
to be with his former
roommates and nurses
a party with balloons and cake.

I did not expect how strongly
my son would embrace
his daytime nurse.
He last saw her when he was only
a few weeks old.
He gripped her with everything
a six-month old could give.
Somewhere deep inside
he was being held again
outside his glass box
human touch
timeless and warm.

Monday, February 10, 2020

2/17/2020 Dennis J. Bernstein features

2/17/2020  Dennis J. Bernstein hosted by Bruce

Dennis J Bernstein lives in San Francisco. He is the award-winning host/producer of Flashpoints, syndicated on public and community radio stations across the United States. Bernstein is the recipient of many awards for his work, including the 2015 Pillar Award in Broadcast Journalism. In 2009, Pulse Media named him one of the “20 Top Global Media Figures.” Bernstein’s articles and essays have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, Denver Post, Philadelphia Enquirer, Newsday, The Nation, Dallas Times Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Mother Jones, Village Voice, The Progressive, Vibe Magazine, Spin Magazine, Toronto Globe, Kyoto Journal, Der Spiegel, and many more. Bernstein is the author of Henry Hyde’s Moral Universe, and the co-author of two decks of political trading cards, Friendly Dictators and The S&L Scandal Trading Cards. He founded The Muriel Rukeyser Reading Series in Park Slope Brooklyn, and broadcast it over public and community radio in New York City; the series was named after his friend and mentor, the late poet and biographer, Muriel Rukeyser. Bernstein also produced the first complete live, 35 hour broadcast of James Joyce’s Ulysses in the U.S. at New York’s Bloomsday Bookstore. He is author of the poetry collection Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom, which won the 2012 Artists Embassy International Literary Cultural Award. His poetry has appeared in The New York Quarterly, The Chimaera, Bat City Review, The Progressive, Texas Observer, ZYZZYVA, Red River Review, and numerous other journals. Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Color Purple, writes that Special Ed “is art turned to us through the eyes of love.” Carol Smaldino says in The Huffington Post that the poems remind us how “we are all connected to the sorrows as well as to the grandness of being human.” Bernstein’s earliest  poems appeared as a chapbook, Particles of Light, with woodcuts by Stan Kaplan. His artists’ books/plays French Fries and GRRRHHHH: a study of social patterns, co-authored with Warren Lehrer, are considered seminal works in the genre, and are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Georges Pompidou Centre, and other museums around the world

2/24/2020 hosted by Gary

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Lenore Weiss Features Feb 10, 7pm

Lenore's poetry collections form a trilogy about love, loss, and being mortal: Cutting Down the Last Tree on Easter Island (West End Press, 2012); Two Places (Kelsay Books, 2014), and The Golem (Hadassa Word Press, 2017). Her most recent poetry chapbook is From Malls to Museums (Ethelzine, 2020), and her  prize-winning flash fiction chapbook, Holding on to the Fringes of Love, was published by Alexandria Quarterly Press. Lenore tutors middle-school and high-school students in reading and writing and volunteers at Chapter510 in Oakland, California.

Get Your Dervish On

The call to prayer resounds five ties a day. The calligraphic signatures of ancient architects appear on ebony doors encrusted with mother-of-pearl. Turkish is related to Hungarian, the same Ugric-Altaic language stem akin to Finnish, also possibly, Korean and Japanese. Think Mongolian. According to guides, the city is built upon layers of who did not like whom. Green and blue chariot teams once faced off along political lines. Ethnic groups fill out the corners of the city. Think Kurds, Greeks, Armenians. Scratch a civilization. Find a welt. We visited a Whirling Dervish ceremony. Ten dervishes appeared in black gospel-like robes, hands tucked across chests to signify the unity of God. One leader sat on a red sheepskin and kissed each hat as dervishes bowed. Save for black robes, everything else was white. Off with the black, spin toward the white. The fundamental condition of our existence is to revolve like atoms, something I heard from a yoga teacher. White skirts billowed into human planets of love. The ceremony ended with a prayer for peace.  Fade to black.

Monday, January 27, 2020

2/3/2020 Dee Allen & Heather Scott

2/3/2020 Dee Allen & Heather Scott hosted by Elaine.

Session will start PROMPTLY AT 7PM to allow time for both features.

Dee Allen is an African-Italian performance poet based in Oakland, California. Active on the creative writing & Spoken Word tips since the early1990s. Author of 4 books [ Boneyard, Unwritten Law, Stormwater and Skeletal Black, all from POOR Press ] and 24 anthology appearances [ including Poets 11: 2014, Feather Floating On The Water, Rise, Your Golden Sun Still Shines, What Is Love, The City Is Already Speaking, The Land Lives Forever, Extreme and Civil
Liberties United, edited by Shizué Seigel ] under his figurative belt so far. Allen’s fifth book, Elohi Unitsi, will be released Earth Day 2020
from Conviction 2 Change Publishing.

Heather Scott is a teacher in Oakland and sometimes writer. She writes about love and relationships. She received her MA in Creative Writing at the University of New Hampshire. 

Monday, January 20, 2020

Dan Lineham Features 1/27/2020

1/27/2020 Dan Linehan hosted by Gary

A longtime professional writer, author, and award-winning poet, Dan Linehan often interweaves nature, current events, and far-flung lands. His poetry has been published widely in books, newspapers, and literary journals, including in The Anthology of Monterey Bay Poets. He is passionate about helping to solve environmental crises through creativity. Dan’s new multimedia serial novel The Princess of the Bottom of the World includes poetry inspired by his travels to Antarctica and Argentina. For more, visit: www.dslinehan.com

by Dan Linehan

Sandra told me about her silver ring.
Her mother had said
            silver has healing powers.
I showed her my silver earring.
I feel like a pirate now.
She has a telescope back in Chile.
This is her last cruise.
She knows magic tricks.
We watched the comet,

            sharing a pair of binoculars.

* Check out links for The Princess of the Bottom of the World:
       Get the Series
* Participant Media films a short profile of me and my work
* My work in Argentina: writing, teaching, film, and a deadly storm...
* Climate change interviews with Sylvia Earle, Bill McKibben, Al Gore, and Charles Ferguson
* For these and more, visit my website at www.dslinehan.com

Thursday, January 16, 2020

1/20/2020 Caroline Goodwin features

1/20/2020 Caroline Goodwin host Bruce

Caroline Goodwin's books are Trapline (2013), Peregrine (2015), The Paper Tree (2017) and Custody of the Eyes (2019). Her recent poem, "Snaketime III", was runner-up in The Sewanee Review 2019 poetry contest, judged by Carl Phillips. She teaches at CCA, Stanford Continuing Studies and UC Berkeley Extension (in the summer). In 1999 she moved from Sitka, Alaska to California to attend Stanford as a Wallace Stegner Fellow; from 2014-16 she served as San Mateo County's first Poet Laureate.


If you show up
today I will open
the door, put on
the kettle. Familiar

as the net-vein willow,
catkin fur
we use for
wicks. At night

I can hear
the roots
beneath the floor. Girl
who sits humming
on the back porch,

tapping her hands
into fins.
If under
the lichens the weevils
are moving,
if under my
palms the water


A faraway flapping.
A trap door,
wind. The ways
in which the river
speaks. Open it up,

you’ll see. You’ll let it in.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Paul Jolly features 1/13/20

1/13/2020Paul Jolly hosted by Jim

Paul Jolly was raised in Oakland, and, after a thirty year detour on the East Coast, returned to Berkeley in the summer of 2019.  His poems have appeared in Permafrost, the Columbia Review, and Straylight.  His first book, Why Ice Cream Trucks Play Christmas Songs, was published by Fernwood Press in December of 2018. 

Miracle drugs

Sunlight through clouds, taa-daa!  Trumpet
fanfares in the lab window, refracts
on beakers and test tubes.  Lab
drudges halt their rote to compare

charts with angels.  The apothecary
cleric’s shelf recently held a smatter
of cures: saints’ relics, holy
water, tinctures, unguent.  Now

many shelves hold baskets and baskets,
loaf baskets, fish baskets. 
High church muckety mucks
(mucks at least) preside at drug

trials.  The mucks want crutches
heaved by healed cripples, billion
dollar profits, Nobel prize, handicapped
stickers discarded from cars.  Proof

requires reams of forms.  Check
miracle type: blindness cure,
hemorrhage plug, cripples walk,
or the Lalapalooza: Lazarus alive

post-flatline.  And randomized
samples!  No chocolate sampler
was ever so random.  Did placebo
-takers get prayed at same as druggies? 

Did all the docs carry the same tracts
in their grand round lab coat
pockets?  Did prayer warriors spout
glossolalia in the same dead language?

Was there a between-shifts non sectual
moment of silence at the nurses station
in each clinic?  Identical hymns, time
-release capsules, scriptures, syringes,

Hallmark prayer cards, patches, inhalers,
beads, inhibitors, enzymes, chants,
implants?  Double-blinders want to know:
Was the philanthropist who endowed each hospital

faithish?  Does a buried urn in the arid
land of Genesis hold test results that went
wrong for pharma, papyrus
that proves placebo as helpful as drug? 

2020 Starts with a Roar: Kelliane Parker Features

1/6/2020 Kelliane Parker hosted by Elaine Brown

Kelliane Parker is a Bay Area poet and co host of My Word Open Mic. Her work has been featured  in local anthologies and she has performed around the Bay Area and. Her work gives voice to survivors of sexual abuse and other violent trauma to heal and break the cycle.

While the world sleeps
By Kelliane Parker
While the world sleeps, I negotiate and wrestle
I let go and become. The night person, sleepless.
Untamed and improper, irreverent and unmanageable,
Unpredictable and uncooperative. I unearth secrets
And deconstruct stories, stories carefully crafted and rehearsed
By the entire cast in the role of a lifetime
For a lifetime…a life sentence, really.
And I nurture and embrace The Survivor
The one who faced down monsters from untold fairy tales
Where the outside world finds most of us unworthy
Of be saved or believed. So again we save ourselves,
Unless we don’t. And then the body count is uncounted,
By the unspeakable cancer called shame.
And another is lost
And, another…is… lost
So, tell me your secrets, the ones you don’t even tell yourself
What could you lose to tell another unworthy, the familiar tale.
Only the cast member names are different, but the story is the same
So we share the secret handshake, to acknowledge our membership
Only this time, it is different, we are the majority
And the light no longer stings our eyes, or maybe it just makes us feel alive
To feel something, anything even pain is beautifully real
You, my sisters, count
I see you, I hear you
I will remember your name
And I, I believe you