Calendar of Coming Features

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:

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.

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. 

2/10/2020 Lenore Weiss hosted by Jim

Lenore  recently won first prize in the Alexandria Quarterly Press small stories series for her flash fiction chapbook, Holding on to the Fringes of Love.  Lenore has read in different cities across the country and performed on the radio. Her three poetry collections form a trilogy about being mortal: Cutting Down the Last Tree on Easter Island (West End Press, 2012); Two Places (Aldrich Press, 2014), and The Golem (Hadassa Word Press, 2017). In reviewing Two Places, Nina Serrano wrote, “Weiss’ mind travels like the speed of light from the real, to the symbolic and the surreal.” Lenore tutors middle-school students and volunteers at Oakland’s writing center, Chapter510.

Black is the Color

Black is the color of my true love's hair
and Marlon Brando's motorcycle jacket,
each tooth a silver zipper.

Black is the color of roadies
drinking beer down the street
at the Big Dipper.

Black is the color of Johnny Cash 
who kept praying for 'Nam
to be over in a flicker.

Black is the color of T-shirts
of high-tech workers
designing glass slippers.

Black is the color of a woman
stoned on a red carpet
because a veil didn't fit her.

Black is the color of people who fade
behind the sidelines of center stage.
Black is the color of our grueling age.

And sorry, I drive a Ferrari.
Bob Dylan (or insert another name)
didn't wear black to the Grammys.
He wore gold.

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   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.

3/02/2020 Ashia Ajani host Elaine

Ashia Ajani is an emerging Black storyteller hailing from Denver, CO, Queen City of the Plains. She is a graduate of Yale University. She is an Environmental Studies major with a specialization in environmental justice and food rights. Her work confronts Black environments and imaginaries, exploring the legacies of trauma and resistance in diasporic communities. She has been published in Atlas&Alice Magazine, The Journal, Pilgrimage Press, Sage Magazine, Brushfire Literature & Arts, and The Hopper Magazine, among others. She released her first chapbook, We Bleed Like Mango, in October of 2017. Follow her on Instagram: @ashiainbloom and on her website   

Photo cred for the head shot goes to Deanna Nagle ( 

3/9/2020 Laura Schulkind  hosted by Jim

Laura Schulkind, an attorney by day, is entrusted with others’ stories. Through poetry and fiction, she tells her own. She has two poetry chapbooks, both published by Finishing Line Press, The Long Arc of Grief (2019) and Lost in Tall Grass (2014). Her writing has also appeared in numerous literary journals including The Dallas Review, Caveat Lector, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Evening Street Press, The MacGuffin, and Reed Magazine.

Her published work and reviews can also be found at:, along with musings on why “lawyer-poet” isn’t an oxymoron.

(Origins, 10/2018) 

Up on the twentieth floor,
needing to stir,
to flex and stretch,
I rise and pace along the glass wall,

and see the red-tailed hawk
that has suddenly soared into view,
catching an updraft with the barest tilt of his wings,
feathers splayed and radiant.

He moves in slow circles
above the pigeons, the people,
light, shadow, light, shadow,
his tail one moment fiery red,
the next burnt umber.

To see this world as he must.
All canyons and cliffs,
earth and sky,
friend and foe,
and no confusion over which is which. 

/16/2020 Lynne Barnes host Bruce

3/23/2020 hosted by Gary

3/30/2020 Poetry Expressed Magazine Reading -- all published in our annual on-line mag, are invited to read their work from the magazine.

April is National Poetry Month

4/6/2020 host Elaine

4/13/2020 Richard Loranger hosted by Jim

Richard Loranger is a multi-genre writer, performer, musician, visual artist, and all-around squeaky wheel, currently residing in Oakland, CA. He is the founder of Poetea, a monthly literary conversation group. His publications include the books Sudden Windows, Poems for Teeth, The Orange Book, ten chapbooks, and work in over 100 magazines and journals. He curates the reading series Babar in Exile, and the queer talk and reading series #we. You can find more about his work and scandals at

The Truth

A poem doesn’t tell you how the world works.
It asks you.

4/20/2020 Tony Aldarondo host Bruce

Tony Aldarondo is a Puerto Rican writer, actor and poet. He  humbly admits to falling in love with rhymes from the moment he read Dr. Seuss in the 1970's and heard rap music for the first time in the 1980's. From that moment on...,rhymes have been a apart of his DNA. He has performed in award winning films and major theatres throughout the bay area. He has also toured two seasons with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and has taught theatre in after school programs to youth in the inner cities for over a decade. You can catch Tony Aldarondo featuring at many poetry hot spots throughout northern California. Please feel free to enjoy his work at

4/27/2020 hosted by Gary
5/4/2020 host Elaine
5/11/2020 hosted by Jim
5/18/2020 Johanna Ely  host Elaine

Johanna Ely is an award-winning poet who has been published in several journals and anthologies. Her poetry has been described as “imagery driven poetry that brings sight to the blind, delivered with an emotionally honest voice that listeners and readers will recognize as their own”. She has a book titled, Postcards from a Dream, coming out in 2020, published by Blue Light Press. She hosts a monthly poetry series in Benicia called “Poetry Inside Out”, and believes that poetry always opens a window to the heart.  Johanna was the sixth poet laureate of Benicia, California.

The Night We Saw a Meteor

It was late August,
the air warm enough
for us to sit outside,
to watch the soft darkness 
cover the trees.
Still new with each other,
we felt a silence settle between us
and were amazed 
to see a burning ball of light
streak across the sky—
a falling star gone
before the wish.
We wondered if it had crashed
in a field west of us,
or disintegrated
before touching the ground.

We shared a moment of awe
that stays with me even now.

Seven years later
we are not who we were then.
Our cells have been replaced,
and we have decayed
and regenerated many times
in our own small cosmos.
Yet, our bodies 
still shimmer with meteor dust
billions of years old—
our bones made from exploding stars.

©Johanna Ely

5/28/2020 hosted by Gary
6/1/2020 host Elaine
6/8/2020 hosted by Jim
6/15/2020 host Gary
6/22/2020 Terry Tierney hosted by Gary

The author of The Poet’s Garage, Terry Tierney hails from the Midwest, but has planted roots in the San Francisco Bay Area. After serving in the Seabees, he taught college composition and creative writing courses, and survived several Silicon Valley startups as a software engineer. Tierney’s work has appeared in over fifty publications. Lucky Ride (Unsolicited Press), an irreverent Vietnam-era road novel is set to release in 2022. His website is

 The Poet’s Garage--Summary

The Poet’s Garage explores personal relationships, the environment, and the effects of war with simple language and occasional humor. Driven by a sense of epiphany, the poems often begin with a provocative phrase or image, linking one to another until something new or unexpected arises. In “The Crossing,” for example, memories of slurping Dairy Queen in the family Chevy and watching hobos in boxcars leads to images of homelessness and the narrator’s own vulnerability. Sentient plants, spirit-infused landscapes, and omniscient birds populate the poems. As both threat and harbinger, the persistent bird in “Blue Jay” becomes an immortal vision of nature’s continuity. Similarly, water connects past and present in “Smelling the Rain,” transforming memory into a living dialogue with the poet’s younger self. Like memory, multiple readings of a poem reveal additional resonance and layered shades of perception. We might never fully comprehend an event in relation to ourselves and others, but these poems try to draw us closer.

My father dug a trench for his fear.
By the time he returned,
his blisters had healed and no Axis planes
had bombed Minnesota.
With his uncashed checks, he bought a mortgage,
a two‑story house, brick, no cellar,
an attic with no windows.

Upstairs, he built a shower
and a locker for dry goods:
beans, canned peaches, condensed milk, and flour.
A baking soda solution, bleaching solution,
and soap.

Sometimes I heard him climb
the stairs at night
to check his provisions.
Some nights he heard the sirens
and clutched my mother's arm.
Some nights he never stopped climbing,
up through the roof,
above the heavy clouds.

6/29/2020 Maverick Night, host TBA
7/6/2020 host Elaine
7/13/2020 hosted by Jim
7/20/2020 host Bruce
7/27/2020 hosted by Gary
8/3/2020 host Elaine
8/10/2020 hosted by Jim
8/17/2020 host Bruce
8/24/2020 hosted by Gary
8/31/2020 Maverick Night, host TBA
9/7/2020 host Elaine
9/14/2020 hosted by Jim
9/21/202 David Erdrich host Bruce0
9/28/2020 hosted by Gary
10/5/2020 host Elaine
10/12/2020 hosted by Jim
10/19/2020 host Bruce
10/26/2020 hosted by Gary
11/2/2020 host Elaine
11/9/2020 hosted by Jim
11/16/2020 host Bruce
11/23/2020 hosted by Gary
11/30/2020 Maverick Night, host TBA
12/7/2020 host Elaine
12/14/2020 hosted by Jim
12/21/2020 host Bruce
12/28/2020 hosted by Gary

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