Saturday, March 29, 2014

16 poets read from SGVPQ 61


PETROUCHKA ALEXIEVA

Me and the Rain 


The town is sleepy, the town’s quiet
Even the rain is silent,
I’m walking unshod and completely alone,
With raincoat and friendly umbrella.

I’m feeling like hummingbird feather.

I’m late at this hour. The light poles are dreamy.
They’re blinking to me from above.
“Go to sleep” they say, “We will light your way”
“I will…,” I reflect, “…but first, let me play.

Don’t you see? - The rain is my friend! ”

As a child I used to collect tiny drops
And to talk to them in my hands.
I looked at the mirror, exactly the one
That the rain created for me in the mud.

I was little and happy every time He was back.

Now, you know, I’m a busy adult...
In my fancy luxurious house
I have several mirrors inside,
With flowers and leaves very skillfully carved

Huge and heavy with a little bit dust.

I check very often my proper appeal,
My hair, my shoes, and make-up.
Every morning I look for an elegant deal.
But… there’re no drops to which I can talk.

Oh, look! The rain came back!

With my friendly umbrella and happy raincoat
I can play with my wonderful friend,
Collect tiny drops, have my soaking walk

And look at myself in His magical mirror AGAIN.

VIBIANA APARICIO-CHAMBERLIN

 Necklace of Pearls



colander
vessel with brain tissue
don’t burst


Mind, heart, be calm. Lost in mindless wondering, I try to keep my necklace of pearls from breaking. Thus scattering my ideas, my intentions to slice green onions, to crochet, to paint, to paste, to write true poems, to write dream stories, to build altars of plastic glow in the dark Virgin Marys, angels, saints, skulls, and shiny pearl buttons.


illusive moon
don’t leave me
in darkness

MARIA A. ARANA

Hidden Crush

You take my order
My body radiates
an emerald
diving into the waterfall
down a ravishing creek

You bring me water, smile
My eyelashes fan
albino peacock feathers
beating unnoticeable
into the dark woods

You forget about me
the minute the check arrives
My heart evaporates
ashes dissolved in a silhouette
of mass in the empty
parking lot 

CALOKIE

Where Blackbirds Meet

Thursdays at Santa Anita still free day for seniors
Only day I go now
Shut out since two weeks ago when I won $35 from 
$2 place bet which gave me winning day on one bet
Blackbirds no longer hang around northeast corner
of pavilion where we smoked cigars 
and you fed feathered homies corn chip bits 
after we made our bets

They don’t race on Wednesdays any more
Maybe why I haven’t seen Angel lately
Hope so
He’d be about 85 if he’s still around

I see Cigar Bob from time to time
He’s retired now
Joe just had a surgery but still in his low-eighties 
driving to Santa Anita and that Indian Casino
Talk about perseverance

David moved to Georgia with his Dixie blonde 
I hope he’s near a place
he can buy his daily pan dulce
and enjoy good tamales 
like we ate at cafe near the Mercado
You never know
the way the original people of this continent
are spreading throughout the land 
taken from their ancestors  
Last time I saw David he flew back here for 2012 Breeders cup
Guess what! I ran into Trifecta Bob
Never forget the $600 wager he won 
during David’s birthday bash at Santa Anita’s infield 

Remember Daryl Hannah—
the mermaid movie star who sat in tallest tree 
on South Central farm before pulled from it and arrested 
by those protecting and serving the 1%—
It was sick the way those Mother Earth fuckers bulldozed 
the orchards and crops of over 350 farming families,
wasn’t it?
Anyway she was also arrested in Washington D.C.
protesting the building of carbon time bomb--
the Tar Sands Keystone Pipeline

Some things don’t change, do they?
Republicans 
still against minimum wages
affordable healthcare for all and want to 
privatize social security, medicare, public education, everything 
except our privacy 
Of course, Democrats aren’t so hot on 
last two things themselves,
are they?

You know Saginaw
who we saw at all those pow wows
also acts in movies
I read about him in Native Peoples
He gave the opening prayer during last pow wow I attended 
at the state park near China town
Longest prayer I ever heard outside a Baptist church
Anyway when they invited everybody to join the round dance
I tossed to drumbeat upon sacred ground last 
of your allotted ashes one week after the first was spread
where blackbirds meet 

DON KINGFISHER CAMPBELL

Cosmic

When I look at the ceiling
I see thousands of plaster
points casting small shadows

Like the surface of the moon
observed by glancing upward
from this earthly brown sofa

When I open the front door
I gaze upon dozens of white
clouds travelling across blue sky

Like pedestrians on a sidewalk
trying to cross a wide street
whose boundaries are out of sight

When I go back inside I stare
at my hand and behold skin
and spots and lines and hairs

Like the exterior of a planet
I have known for half a century
shifting slowly again to granule

When I swing out the same portal
at night my eyes ascend once more
into a darkness without many stars

And realize the lights we've invented
pale next to the faint specks made
distant by design and simply ask why

STEPHEN COLLEY

Of Me I Sing

I sing the self pejorafied,
salute the soul self-glorified,

self-satisfied, assured, self-feted,
vain, complacent, proud, conceited,

willful, stubborn, contumacious,
unabashed, blunt, disputatious

to a fault, self-righteous, blinded,
moralistic, narrow-minded,

crass, self-centered, -seeking, -serving,
prizing pelf with greed unswerving,

craving hedonic unmeasure,
self-indulgence, sensual pleasure.

Smug, opinionated prig,
I love the life of a selfish pig!

BEVERLY M. COLLINS

Petal Gossip

Pollen-is All the rage
as buds awaken and
wings flutter.

There have been shocking
reports of a band of snails
sneaking like pirates and

unruly Dandelions screaming
that they are yellow too,
openly at the sun.

Our sources tell us;
red is the new red,
pink has paled in comparison
and some leaves have curled
green with envy.

This is Lana-Lady-Bug here
reporting live from the edge
of the flower-bed.
Stay tuned for more of
“Life Among Roses.”

EMILY FERNANDEZ

Resuscitate

Let each breath be
a mouth to mouth
with the Divine.

Take this moment:
her lips on yours,
a golden thread
pulled through your lungs.

The heels of her
hands on chest pressed
to thrust into
motion your love.

You must take it
and release it
like gossamer
floating in air.

CARL HARMON

Muddy Waters

The poets, they muddy the waters,
to make them appear deep.   -- Nietszche

Who will make these muddy waters clear?
Leave them alone and they will clean themselves.
Is this river a mile wide and an inch deep
Or an inch wide and a mile deep?

It’s so hard to tell these days--
The politicians and the journalists
Muddy the waters to make them appear deep
Even when they are all so shallow
And the pledge of transparency is a lie.

And so the mud is slung
As the bombs are falling
From either side across the river and the great divide
And the waters become muddier than ever,
Stagnant, in a corruption of decay
That can support neither life  nor love.

Everyone loses sight of where the
River begins and where it ends.
No one can see the sun and the moon
Reflected in the murky, choppy water.

Leave these waters alone and
They will exhaust themselves,
Become still, become clear,
Be renewed by the eternal, gentle rains.

Wiser ones look up
And follow the bright star
Shining in clear, unending sky. 

BRIONY JAMES

Gravesend

I blew you in a graveyard
And the earth was a damp kneeler
In a cathedral of summer night

The dead were silent
No comment on such communion
But the whisper of a summer night

I learned to tongue
Teen dreams and slivered moonlight
Burned my eyes that summer night

I learned to fly
Sailing over the front porch with your fist
On another summer night

It seems to fit
That love remembered on a grave
Damp and twitchy on a summer night

Dead love amid the dead
And jeans mud stained and wet and sore
An aching jaw on both those summer nights

OMAR MORENO

Zeus and Athena

I can only imagine Athena as a poem
one so bright and strong that she
can only be perceived as such.
The way she opened that cavern of
Zeus’ violent mind and forced
herself out into the world,
jealous as it may have been when
she appeared.  Words of a spear like
sharpness, and Zeus whose relief
was obvious at her outing.  Daughter
of his mind, nothing short of pride
seen in his eyes, and the jealousy
seen in others, aroused by her
presence, her wisdom an unlikely
gift for gods to possess.
The birth: a grand ingestion of love
from a human woman and a protective
inhaling, and finally an exertion
of such an invading inspiration, the
alchemy of a different kind of birth.
A clutching of sanity during the
push, a tranquil Zeus results as she
exits the aperture of his forehead.
A violence in the name of words, and a
sounding of peace for an end of births.

KATHERINE NORLAND

A Hint of Disapproval

She started walking quicker, but it was too difficult to swallow;
That man, what does he want?  She ran so there’s no way that he could follow.
He’s keeping up her pace, a hint of disapproval on her face.            
At least that’s what he thought the look was, until she pulled out the mace.          

She yelled, “Now step away, you wretched man; you will not mess with me!
I’m trained in Lua self-defense! You watch; I’ll drive you to your knees!”
She sprayed him in the face, did several moves and had him by throat;
She shook her head and said, “Can’t trust a man in an Armani coat?”        

Before she left she gave the swiftest kick to where the sun don’t shine;
She said, “There, that should teach you, filthy man, to stop committing crime!”
She then exhaled at ease, appeased and pleased by how she seized the sleaze;       
When he could speak, held out his hand and said, “Miss, you forgot your keys.”

TOTI O'BRIEN

Last Dinner

Wine more
than religion
taught me true
compassion
the certainty
that they all were
or would be my
brothers.

Wine was
lightness
uplifting from
daily cares
immediate
release of
all burdens
communion.

Well I didn’t
have to get
drunk or
besides myself
I only flew 
slightly
above my
usual ground.

I was fluent
in my speech
smooth in all
of my moves
I was peaceful
weak non
belligerent
and sincere.

Empathetic ‘n
ready to forget
to forgive
knowing that
nothing matters
or is really
worth pain
nothing lasts.

So I spoke of
eternity while
I though of
impermanence
I mentioned
unconditional
love I
claimed not

to belong to
this world ‘n
I didn’t truly.
While I shared
quite unselfishly
my daily loaf
‘n I stared at
my face

mirrored by
the scarlet disk
at the bottom
of my cup. It
looked murky
and far. My
face looked
like blood.

THELMA T. REYNA

It’s Midnight

and I’ve tiptoed to windows black, to gaze beyond
treetops at the milk-moon, ensconced among
fluff and shards, where we’ll all be someday: so
high, so high, so chilled, alone, almighty, small,
remembered and forgotten.

wee hours kill and soothe, detritus of the day just
dead, darkness portending what lies ahead, comfort
rationed in swaths of silence. 

wee hours tug me to this glass, to hallways
lined with faces ancient and somber in
vigil, faces lost to decades of dust, awakened
at midnight with me and the moon so high and
round and unattached.  

BRIAN THORPE

End of the Hunt

How many times did I feel it's chafe or chill? In
In how many metroploli, on how many highways, in how many dank caverns
did a gaunt and haunting nemisis appear in shadow and whisper a hollow
reminder: You are alone.

How many times was I one of Hopper's
eyeless urban "nighthawks" adrift in a stark domain,
frozen in alienation, unspeaking and unspoken to?

How often was I the face pressed against the rain-drenched bus window,
waving a final time to friends I couldn't take with me, or the tenant in the
sparsely furnished room pained by the sound of the throng below
but afraid to venture out for fear I would not belong.

How frequently in youthful, sojourns did I know the gnaw of desolation
as I sat on tavern stools imagining the juke box minstrels to be
my intimates, the indifferent bartender to be my father confessor or the pale
borealis of neon just outside to be some celestial beckoning sent just for me?

Such was alone. I fled from it frantically from one skyscrapered moonscape
to another, pursued, compelled, and hounded until at last, exhausted by flight,
I turned to confront it.........and found it had transformed.

It was no longer the visage of menace but, to my amazement, the comforting friend,
companion and mentor I welcome at last and know by the name of
solitude.

LORI WALL-HOLLOWAY

Lasting Sweetness

Purple paper with incandescent images
rustle as placed with clear adhesive
to stick to natural color 12x12 page
A faint scent of Calvin Klein men’s cologne
drifts into the imagination of the mind

White lacy border stickers
pulled off fingers decorate
sides of page and create
a frame for images
to showcase
a moment in time
that will adhere
to the memory forever