Saturday, March 19, 2016

18 poets read from SGVPQ 69




CaLokie

 Charles Harmon

Dan Diamond

G. T. Foster

Gerda Govine Ituarte

Jack G. Bowman

Jackie Chou

Jan See King

John R. Townsend

Joseph Nicks

Lori Wall-Holloway

G.T. Foster and CaLokie read Luke Stilwell's poem

Mark A. Fisher

Rose Anna Hines

Russell Smith

Seven Dhar

Teresa Mei Chuc


Sunday, February 28, 2016

31 poets being published in SGVPQ 69

JACK G. BOWMAN
LYNNE BRONSTEIN
CALOKIE
DON KINGFISHER CAMPBELL
JACKIE CHOU
TERESA MEI CHUC
STEPHEN COLLEY
SEVEN DHAR
DAN DIAMOND
MARK A. FISHER
G.T. FOSTER
MARTINA ROBLES GALLEGOS
THOM GARZONE
CHARLES HARMON
LINDA MARIE HILTON
ROSE ANNA HINES
GERDA GOVINE ITUARTE
BRIONY JAMES
JEFFRY MICHAEL JENSEN
JAN KING
DEBORAH P KOLODJI
RADOMIR VOJTECH LUZA
JOSEPH NICKS
HERBERT PARKER
LING SENA
RUSSELL SMITH
LUKE STILWELL
AMBIKA TALWAR
TIM TIPTON
JOHN R. TOWNSEND
LORI WALL-HOLLOWAY

Thursday, December 17, 2015

22 poets being published in the 2016 San Gabriel Valley Poetry Calendar

MICHELLE ANGELINI
DANNY P. BARBARE
JACK G. BOWMAN
CALOKIE
DON KINGFISHER CAMPBELL
MARC CARVER
BEVERLY M. COLLINS
DAN DIAMOND
JEFFREY R. GRUBERT
CHARLES HARMON
ANITA HOLZBERG
BRIONY JAMES
JEFFRY MICHAEL JENSEN
JOAN McNERNEY
THELMA T. REYNA
LING SENA
RUSSELL SMITH
LUKE STILWELL
AMBIKA TALWAR
JOHN R. TOWNSEND
LORI WALL-HOLLOWAY
LYNN WHITE

The 2016 SGVPC is available in two sizes, digest (5 1/2 x 8 1/2), and desktop/wall (8 1/2 x 11). Either way, they're just $5 a copy. Come to the publication parties on Saturday, December 19th and 26th at 3pm inside the backroom of the Santa Catalina Branch Library on 999 E. Washington Blvd. in Pasadena to pick up yours. Can't make it to the readings? Order copies of the calendar via http://paypal.com, select Send Money to make payment ($7 each, includes $2 shipping) to kingfisher1031@charter.net.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

16 poets read from SGVPQ 68


MARIA A. ARANA
baby makes…

baby makes fake mommy kill herself
hurts so bad to see her body mangled with therocks
white hair
white heart
impure

baby makes you burn yourself
the skin scorches
and you stand there gawking at the blisters

baby looks the other way and other babies dothe same
can’t stand baby murderers
but babies kill without remorse

baby shoots daddy
baby stabs mommy
baby sleeps with teeny baby

they watch and learn
and learn to watch
mimicking society

adults should fear their blank stares
baby isn’t baby anymore

JACK G. BOWMAN
Gathering Intel

The forehead opens up to the left
a blue gloved scientist peeks inside,
he smiles as he examines the workings;
LED lights flash and microprocessors buzz quietly
and the droid for his part, waits
as if this were a usual exam

a small set of tweezers move in and out,
a tool pokes into a lateral aperture
and shifts down, then out,
the researcher sighs and after a last look
closes him back up
"all set to go, remember blend in Charlie."

they do a battery of 47 tests on the new adjustment,
elapsed time 2,000,000,000s of a second
test number 46 is a little off,
but still within normal limits
 a young observing assistant asks
"Why that Dr.?"
"Personality."

CALOKIE
Christmas of ’68 

The first time I traveled by plane was the Christmas of ’68 
when Cheryl and I took Luke, 9 months old, to visit my mother 
and stepdad, Jimmy, who he would later call Mo and Po.

Luke was born two weeks before Martin Luther King was assassinated one year from the day he spoke in opposition to the Vietnam War from the pulpit of the Riverside Church in New York City.

In June that year, just when it seemed Robert Kennedy was on 
the verge of ending the war in Vietnam after winning the California Democratic Presidential primary, he was murdered like his brother.

Thus by removing the greatest obstacle in “Lord, love me, I’m 
a liberal” Hubert Humphrey’s way, the “Masters of War”
were free to continue their carnage.

Jesus Christ, I wondered!
What kind of a world has my beautiful boy been born.
I did not feel like eating but the next day, I broke my fast 
by pigging out on peanut butter spread on crackers.

In August we watched on our black and white TV at the 1968 
Democratic Convention in Chicago, Daley’s blue bullies charge 
with clubs swinging a crowd of anti-war demonstrators shouting,
            THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING!
            THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING!
            THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING!

Of course Tricky Dick who I voted for in 1960 was elected 
that November. Mom and Jimmy probably voted for Nixon 
but this was Christmas and as the head of our family, Grandma 
would say for family gatherings, “Never argue politics or religion.”

Besides Mom caught the Hong Kong Flu from Cheryl 
who got it from Luke who unlike Mama and Mo recovered quickly.

Christmas Eve on Mom and Jim’s color TV, I watched world premiere of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” That night it snowed and I woke up to a rare white Christmas in Oklahoma.

When we returned to our Pasadena home, a month before Luke’s year old birthday, Richard Nixon was inaugurated President of the United States

DON KINGFISHER CAMPBELL
Three Layer Brownie

Via biting wind and salivic surf, he eats through, purchased from a petite waterfall-haired cheerful teenage student, a chocolate mesa, to create a crumbly cliff revealing baked layering of a heated past. The recently refrigerated Saran-wrapped surface of crusty dark brown plated mantle, held up by the deeper darker nearly black Oreonic cream-filled muddy subsoil, in turn supported by an array of larger melted chips like gigantic boulders buried in a blonde cake base, methodically vanishes. All washed down an over half-century old teaching throat in waves of bubbly cranberry red water encased in lightweight recyclable aluminum from the virtually empty great dispensing machine monolith in the busy teacher’s cafeteria rectangle.

BEVERLY M. COLLINS
Quicksand

He could make your fingertips
crave the softness of a moment,

your brown eyes blind
to heartbreak.

He laughed in the face of thunder
through a storm.

He was ruff in the right way and
smooth when it counted.

All Brilliance, quirky, serious-fun and warm.

He knew his a way around silence.
Hide secrets between raindrops,

fell through hard times and
held dreams of heaven's gate

He had a smile like a warning
that his kiss was habit-forming

He was quicksand and it was too late.

POET COOPER
Lost Tooth

in the bathroom sink—the red
bull dances, dances

one wheel up over the curb, lifted
white primer truck, with aftermarket

fenders.  The lost tooth
in the bathroom sink the red bull

dances, dances, the boy with ink hands screaming on
a street tattoos wings on the open

mouthed buildings, the lost
tooth in the bathroom sink the red

stained towel held
to her opened skull

Widow-maker draws her smiles in lap
dance-chances, romances, our names

lost in bathroom
sinks where we mirror eyed

red bull dances, dances.

SEVEN DHAR
One Morning in Mei

I wake with woodcutting on my mind
Bury my adze with delight
But morning comes too soon
And I retire to such time
When I can call out, Timber!
Warm in the morning light

Time grows thin, hatchet in hand,
I seek the woods by Jungle Thi
Where Tygress purrs and her fur aligns
Pounces the path and wood alights
Scratching post territory defines
Spray and spray such scent,
Maul the bone, lick feline accent:

"Me came many a weary way
Wandering wilderness where to allay
Gnawing of trembling tum'
My bloat the rumble of bubbling gum
Here I'll mine soft ivory, the licking kind
Its fine marrow warm pearly white
So wending through the forest maze
Until on woodcutter I set my gaze"

Soon goes before some wild cat
How my morning turns a harrowing tale
Two span between her padded track
And I'm still here the morrow to sail

Josiah Bowman reads

MARK A. FISHER
theme park

buses disgorge
their masses
to queue into
serpentine lines
of tourists seeking out
local cuisine
“double double”
they each say
to then wait
and wait
for their misnamed
fast food
e-ticket

G.T. FOSTER
The  ' Word

The word has stayi'g power
Most slurs do
Very few actually from
that regio' of West Africa
It's their call
Thi'k it empowers them
somehow to use it thus
A way to say I'm better

But it will  'ot be boxed-i'
'ow it has crossed over
Heard Mexica' boy use
i' hallway Jefferso' High
School, South Los A'geles
That's  my 'igger, he shouted!

I rose from my desk a'd walked
quickly to door a'd looked dow'
the hall to see two Latio' s arms
arou'd each the other's  'eck a'd
shoulder

Same voice blurted a'ew:
Youse my 'igger

Old black a'd hurt what's to say?
'either of the two were bor'  here

But that hateful old word was lear'ed here!

ROSE ANNA HINES
Gardener’s Burial

Earth to earth
ashes to ashes.

When I leave this garden
may my blood and bone
feed the earth.
Grow exotic fungi,
or sharp bitty watercress for crisp salads.
Or sweet drip-juice-all-over-your t-shirt apricots
or purple ruffle basil for pesto sauce and linguini.
Or peanuts for some child’s peanut-butter and jelly sandwich
or lavender for Drakkar Noir
to touch some rugged man’s face
and haunt a woman’s dreams.
Or plain grass for some cat or dog to eat.
or pansies, daffodils  and roses
to inspire a van Gogh or Okeef.
Or a pesky weed that grows
regardless of how often it is pulled
and how dry it seems to get
and doesn’t let concrete or cursing stop it.

JAN SEE KING
Ever Alive 


Jasper sun on water
       on
patience
         an
      Earth laurel
              avidly
      fragrant
              follows—
      sapphire
                eyes
        beguiling
                  depth.
                    It, cerulean,
                   renews
            morning lelahel
                          keeps
                          river
                             nuances
                               gold.

 When overcome morning
like down rolls clouds
over what it must no
longer see—fire in
California trees, rods

that bow washed fishes
slung writhing with wrath.
When power reasons that
son evermore is alive
and patient, it ) wine

from a vineyard, star
from a temple watch,
seed begun from the burnt
forest ( edges into spent
rule a seduction rivers

know—thunder over rock
lifting lambs’ wool, rolling
testimonies to the naked
edges listening.  Day and
night song in tongues—

barley burbling droplet brides
who may marry the dead
and carry them river alive.

MINA V. KIRBY
Ric’s Story

A man once stood
at the edge of the Bixby Creek Bridge
in Bug Sur
the wind blowing his hair askew
his intent to plunge
into the dark moving waters
below

He imagined that the impact
on the water’s surface
would break his neck
keeping him from experiencing the agony
of drowning
Almost immediately
his worries and pains
would float away with the stream

He stood
looked out at the cloudless blue sky
for what would be the last time
Just a small climb over the guard rail
an slight outward tip forward
he could let gravity
take care of the rest

He would have
no more financial woes
or fights with his family
no more feelings of being
not quite good enough
no more unsuccessful struggles
to succeed

But then
just for a moment
he let his mind stray
to a memory
of holding his daughter’s tiny hand
as he pointed out small creatures
in a tide pool

Unbidden
another picture appeared
of the day they went to the church picnic
of his gawky young son’s grin
and shout of joy
when they won that silly three-legged race
together

Suddenly he felt an intense longing
to enfold his wife in his arms
to feel her warm body next to his
let their tears mingle
to begin yet one more time
the work of living
together

He turned
walked away from the bridge
telling himself
that on some future dark day
he could come back again
After all
the bridge would always be there

But in that short time
standing there in the wind
something in him had changed
and he knew
as clearly as he had ever understood
anything in his life
that he never would


This is a true story. After a very successful life,
 Ric passed away peacefully many years later, at age 78.

THELMA T. REYNA
Ideology
2015

“…race is a social construct, with very little or no biological
basis. Race exists only because of racist ideologies.”
--E.E. Telles (2004). Race in Another America….

took only 2 weeks after the last rhodesian to set
demons loose: fire-stoking monsters crawling in
midnight dirt to burn what they cannot squelch

seven black churches dissolved to earth,
brick skeletons stuffed with ash and beams,
crufixes scorched like wildfire limbs, hymnals
charcoal skins curling under pews

the charleston 9, swathed in our nation’s tears,
suffused with grace, inspiring grace,
were barely in the ground

ideology is cloth bigots fold themselves into, melting
in threads, banners and bars, souls draped on rags,
brains deadened with myth and pseudo-gods to justify
how others are inferior

JOSHUA ROARK
Body Language

Not all, but some in the classroom laugh,
young fleshy noises bubbling up

around your words, cutting instructions in half.
You smile at their smiles and take your cue to shut-up.

The pencil ends wiggle in their growing grips
like the tails of so many happy little dogs.

“Let the words fall out,” you tell them. “Feel the drips
and let honesty spring from your young mind’s fog.”

Not all, but some scribble honestly on the page,
their hands dancing a quick beat of hurt and play

to create, to dig, to lift and reach and rage
toward the graphite honesty they struggle to say.

“But why’s it gotta be honest?” she asks through her gum.
You shrug.  She shrugs.  They write.  Not all, but some.

CaLokie and Marvin L. Dorsey read...

LUKE STILWELL
The Irish Version

Are you hungry?

Hey, come on.

ARE you hungry?

I’m feeling something.

I asked you a direction question soldier!

Soldier?

Sorry, channeling Sarah O’Conner in Terminator.

I think that’s Sarah Conner.

It’s the Irish version.

I don’t think there is an Irish version.

Wait a minute, are you really going to blog this? That?

What?

The above.

I can’t even remember which one of us is represents which side.

Careful meticulous writer you are. Anyway… hungry now?

A little. Maybe. I feel a twinge.

We all pray upon your twinge.

Pray harder.

LORI WALL-HOLLOWAY
Make Believe

Another generation takes
on role of Mistress Puppeteer
and brings to life a world
once alive 25 years before

She chooses small brown
plastic bears strewn over
table and sets them inside
toy schoolhouse to pretend

Little Bear, let me go
on the swing first,” calls
out a bear before another
cries from the seesaw,
“Play with me.”

Mistress Puppeteer commands
bear students to dance until -

Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle

A small bell positioned
in building’s tower
marks end of recess
and bears march inside
where lessons begin