Sunday, June 12, 2011

18 poets read from SGVPQ 50

Jim Babwe


I awake to the scent
of strong coffee
which pulls me into the donut shop
next door and I know yogurt with fruit
is healthier for me
than a sugar-packed maple bar
because I know
this poem
is about death.

Sunrise jumps into the sky
casts new light upon the ocean
as I paddle into glassy surf
and before I catch a wave
I remember
this poem
is about death.

A folded pile of black tee-shirts
waits in the closet with a folded pile
of black denim jeans on a shelf
above a pile of shoes,
none of which are black
until I remember
this poem
is about death.

I remind myself
I hate poetry about poems
especially poems
that are supposed to be about death
but aren't
because the writer is lying.

His well-documented history
of introducing descriptions
of stupid things and beauty
includes abandoning these subjects
immediately before he finds a hammer
on the garage floor
next to a bloodied skull
of his most recent victim
who doesn't care
about coffee donuts sugar
sunrise the ocean surfing
black shirts black pants black shoes
or other irrelevant items
all of which are also extraneous now
but will soon become
even more redundant
as meaningless distractions
this poem
is about death.

Add this to the equation:
the man on the floor
never liked poetry
but why should you care?

You never even met the guy.

He does not know
this poem
is about death.

It's too late for him
and because you continue
to live
you enjoy the luxury of time.

In addition to being dead
the guy on the garage floor
never liked poetry.

Now I am authorized
to say the hammer
was not a murder weapon.

It's a mystery
and I can't take it anymore.

You figure it out.

In order to accomplish
that task
I will leave you with the following facts.

There is no garage.
There is no hammer.
There is no dead guy.

And no matter what you were told
this poem is not about death.

Radomir Vojtech Luza

My Covington Girl

those brown leaf eyes
burned a hole through the dusk of my soul

and it will forever be free and true and yours

i love you
i love you
i love you

the burnt geronimo of your touch
your very feel

the dark brown age spots
of your years are
reasons more for the tears
i shed in this airport of asphalt and cement

you were not conscious
tending bar that
sunday mother's day in
new orleans

dawn floating from your brows
sex your dark ruby lips
and the marrow of life
your gray storm fingers

you are gold not silver
sky not cloud
i will never forget the jukebox
the oak bar
my best friend larry's innocent face

and the god in your smile

Don Kingfisher Campbell

Just One Cell
In The Concrete Bloodstream

Drive my body
through tight tributaries

Simply to reach
your smiling organism

And to hold
together our protoplasmic entities

Maybe we will
multiply some day into three

As wind moves
every frond on the ground

There is a force unseen
but felt on skin

Transmitted inside
all the way to brain

Conscious thought concludes
comfort in company

With mutual sound
panting panting panting

Toti O’Brien

The Age of Innocence

We had just
turned fifteen
Poli and I
when we
about the supremacy
of fucking
versus drawing and
at the same

Meaning what
was the most
our favorite
pastime. We
couldn’t make
up our mind
the question
after hours…

Through our
debates. in the
while doodling
on journals
‘n swallowing
cut in halves

Fucking only
entered our
and vocabulary..
I suppose we
of listing
such deed

among the range
of our notions
(I should say
Fucking was
(so to speak)
such a virgin
Pregnant (so
to speak) with

And it was
So was
also drawing
(oh yes)
because it was

Not included
in our study
not part of
our home
But we were
rebellious at least
Poli and I
yes, we

And now
thinking back at
cozy afternoons
so many decades
ago… what’s
I lost interest
in strawberries.

Pretty soon
yes, from
wild berries
into fat bland
spongy things
not even quite
red… drawing’s

still a bliss. But
took away the
freedom… I had
to choose if
making an income
of it (with related
or an undeserved
privilege, stained
with guilt.

Fucking… is
there any magic
left about it? Was it
ever worth
dreaming, longing
debating about an
ecstasy’s prize
to be won?

Truly, I’m not sure.
I turned
sixteen quite
at the count of

Michael J. Cluff


I will rest in the internal flower
of waving spirits
spices of yore
and fogs of healing balms.

The fulcrum
is centered back on me now,
the antipodes a making of my own.

Thelma T. Reyna

Brown Arms

He doesn't know I watch, or
maybe yes, he does. He carries rocks
in arms burnt browner by the sun, in arms
sinewed and knotted by muscles stretching and
pushing against granite edges of patio
pavers he lays in puzzles beyond my ken.

Sweat veneers his back like varnish freshly
stroked. His knees straddle opened earth, leather hands cupping
moistness as he digs deeper, smoothing loam, opening the
hole, plunging fingers into dirt made soft with rain. Face lowered,
droplets of his labor anoint the bed.

He hardly rests. He sips from plastic cups I bring to
him with eyes averted from the truth. His dark fingers brush
my wrist, a moment pardoned with a flush, and he
turns to toil that defines his being. Hour after
hour, in days long with longing, his brown arms lift
and move and hold and carry and embrace.

What does he think while his muscles groan, sweat
salting his lips and nipples as it trickles to
his pants? I lean against the wall, curtain falling
closed again, my knees useless.

Sandra Irwin


Kneeling on a weathered deck,
my back to a pile of damp,
deep-scented logs,
my face lifted to skyscraping pines
flowering dogwoods
and undulating rows of spiky,
green-tipped San Bernadino mountains,
I discover I’m no longer
the person I was
down the hill:
here I am
spindly fingers
of the National Forest,
dust shimmering
on shards of sunlight
onion-like skin
in petals of pine cones,
Ave Maria hummed
among hills.

Rina Rose

give me one rationale

jacarandas don’t smile walking into the sun
I climb rocks taller than myself
air out dead leaves
bleed away windows of self-doubt
danger surrounds desert’s safety

jacarandas shed amethyst furies
my blood is scarlet with repressed reasons
don’t cry for me
mourning over a grave
the ground doesn’t hide this body

jacarandas cry violet tears
I allow one hand to touch the color-tinged drops
sensory connections of rambling infusions
allow me to be one with trees
in day’s pantomime

jacarandas hold my heart
if I ask them
we see each other through prisms of radiance
it makes no sense to reproach
what the sun and stars can’t communicate
while Orion and his dogs hunt for animals

Lalo Kikiriki

The Cecil B. DeMille Memorial Cloud Formation of September 2010

The clouds spelled out "GOD"
over Laughlin Park tonight.
I thought some preacher had hired
a sky-writing plane
for a moment,
as the slow-dissolving letters
drifted behind the observatory domes.
But no, this phenomenon
over DeMille Drive
was as natural
and unexpected
as the cloudburst that hit Eagle Rock at noon
or the famous
double rainbow yesterday –
rare enough to make the evening news
in Hollywood.
Could it be the "greater powers"
are trying to make a point?
"GOOD JOB!" or
or maybe just,
"Take your eyes off the paper
for a minute –
the sky?"

Mike “The Poet” Sonksen

Man versus Machine,
Concrete or Green?

Man versus Machine
Concrete or Green?
How do you want the world to be?
The future is here,
We can Cultivate Hope
or nourish fear..
Build or destroy,
Fire or employ..
Build a wall or a build a bridge..
Open doors or go for yours.
Options, choices, decisions,
Values, priorities..
Silence or violence?
Science or religion?
Man vs. Machine,
Concrete or green?
Evolution or Adam & Eve?
Bricks or microchips
Digital or analog..
Paper journal or web blog
I-Pods or boom boxes
Vegan or crunchy bacon,
Gandhi or Sarah Palin?
Offshore drilling
Drill baby drill,
Kill baby kill..
Oil wells, sea shells..
Man vs. machine
Concrete or green?

Electric cars or personal jets?
Luxury condos or Skid Row?
Open space or the rat race?
Sacred space or the paper chase?
Shooting guns or raising a son?
Egyptian or Pulp Fiction?
Festivals or funerals,
Federal reserve or self serve,
Man vs. machine
Concrete or green?
Vintage Antiques or DVD backseats?
Vaudeville or you tube?
Old to the new
The truth is not bluetooth,
Man vs. machine
Concrete or green?
Depends where you stepping..
Wild flowers or toxic showers,
Sustainable development or
Building for the hell of it?
Disaster capitalists or green anarchists?
Back to nature or the space station?
Questions we are facing..
Man vs. machine
Concrete or green.

Ask, believe, receive..
How do you want
the world to be?
Actions & deeds define our legacy..
Overcome Interruption & distraction
Translate pain into sensations
Remix the vibrations
Fear creates cancer,
Joy not enjoyed
Becomes depression,
Turn the cell off,
Slow down, enjoy the present,
We are it…
Action empowers
Collective unity
Build community
By communicating unity..
Be brave & believe,
Compassion & sensitivity,
We are the ones with the recipe,
Not the machine.
Clean the concrete,
Cultivate the green.
Man vs. machine
Concrete or green.

Mina V. Kirby

When She Was Very Young

A knock at my door
an attractive middle-aged woman
I helped build this house
Please may I
sleep in the woods
at the rear of your yard
for about three days?

She stayed for two years
got old food
from local markets
brought me flowers
talked of childhood in Austria
adopted a crippled cat

But soon
cigarette butts
rotting fruit
half-empty containers of food
treasures scrounged from dumpsters
filled the yard

When she finally left
she took nothing with her
not even her clothes
or bedding

I wonder what her dreams were
when she was very young
I know that she had plans for life
She once was even someone’s wife
She didn’t plan for years of strife
when she was very young

Rosalee Thompson

The Talking Orange
Koi Fish

Her pink music
is beating in quick Chinese

To say the soft words of poets
do not practice Chee-gung
during a purple thunderstorm
Be an open OH
lifting lovely l's in love
arched like a lover's back
to love the found sound ringing

To say something nice
to the moon
kiss my mouth
It is a Chinese red lantern

Karen Audioun Klingman

How Should I Feel?

they say Joyful

i'm glad
not in a Party mood

he was evil
should not have lived
never have lived
bodies become
confetti rain

he was once someone's child
innocent maybe
even slept with a nightlight on
or was a sidekick to someone else's lead
maybe he was destined for his role
or perhaps tiny moments of pain
disarmed him into battle

the Ungod is gone
Merriment takes over

crowds become Festive gangs

i sit with this question

wondering how
we got to now

when terror is a game
played with
no end

Christopher Luke Trevilla

San Cabrón del Barrio 6310

Abre los ojos!

A vision of a hobo screams down the driveway
in the midst of a pancaque fortress
concrete bunkers stacked upon another
with windows included
a place some people
for 700 dollars a month call home
while cars, cats, and conflict sounds
arise at restless night
while only drumming detectable at day

‘He went to war in his own mind’
the old folks and chismosos whisper into each other’s souls
they drink the gossip down with their café con leche
‘Here he comes again to scream at us some more’
the residents of 6310 say
while all of them go back inside
no one listens to but for a boy
a Sunday dreary morning day

On solitary white steps
cracked with time
filled with old dust and grime
serve as seating for the spectacle
this hairy, smelly, despondent, prophetic old cabron
draws near, too close
to the curiosity and wonder of a child
to the terror and wrath of a mother
before She has a chance to pounce to fetch her cub
the transient manages a smile

The boy transfixed upon his brow
so bereft of youth, vitality, and health
but overflowing with a true gozar de la vida
despite the emptied grin of missing teeth
the bumps and bruises mixed with dirt and oil on his skin
which only harsh time, cruel elements, and colder still, human apathy
do pay as wage for a life in constant want and rejection
‘Why the smile, why so happy, are you not hungry or sad?’
The youth sin miedo alguno manages to blurt out
before his mother, the eternal guardian, takes him by the neck
like a pup that strolled too far from the warmth of belly, fur, and teat
But a sudden laugh echoes into the concrete walls, into the sky
a kind of roaring thunder.
A child yet to be a man now carried off listens
for words that echo into his older years
himself now smellier, hairier, and weathered
He opens his mouth to speak:

Abre los ojos para vivir, cierralos para morir!
La risa y la lagrima la medicina, la vida el doctor!
Nadra le podra faltar a que no deja de querer y dar!
Alegre el Corazon!

Deborah P Kolodji

Concord Landscape

Guidebooks praise Thoreau, talk about Orchard House.
Ghosts of soldiers march through the forest, cross the North Bridge.
Shade wanders Sleepy Hollow, pauses at the author's ridge.

mist-shrouded pond
a group of writers,
always more writers

Lori Wall-Holloway

One Word at a Time

One word at a time scribbled on paper
helps each stolen moment I grab to start
a meager draft of something artistic
as a process begins with first empty-
ing a mind that is too full of ideas,
thoughts and endeavors to compose a verse.

One word at a time typed on a compu-
ter helps create a piece joined together
like an interlocked puzzle. I smooth rough
edges and watch my work evolve into
an image of splendor. Poetry is
now produced writing one word at a time.

Julie Larson

after three days

the bruised white


hear the world hum
of another

one hundred flowers

caffeine for bees

shrine after shrine
ten thousand eyes

thirsty for pure gold

climb every bright
ring of petals

to floral heart's
fruitful darkness

when you think
you're god enough

eat blue roses

Ben Lawless

The subsidy

Paul sits down across from me and the tower
of paper I call the last year of my life.
He’s probably 22, but looks 12,
and the cocky sonofabitch straightens his glasses,
his tie, his comfy H&R Block job.
He triple-checks his notes before saying

There’s a new stimulus package handed down from the man upstairs.
You qualify if you promise to lay down your pen
and never write another poem.
It’s quite simple actually:
we’ll deduct every poem not written,
every moonbeam undreamt,
every gull no longer sailing from the edge of the sea
to your lover’s arms…

He’s shaking now. This job is getting to him.
I’m not the first poet he’s seen today,
and he’s intoxicated from the imagination he’s helped destroy.
He’s a giant hose siphoning the gas from my car,
and he’s babbling now, his arms spread wide

but I’ve stopped listening. I’m too busy spending my money.
My new mansion, a palace built on tax evasion,
gold orthodontics, a trophy wife serving me
diet lemonade in glasses glinting sun.
We’re too rich to smile.

Finally we’re free.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

40 POETS IN SGVPQ 50!!!!!


Page - Poet - Title
1 - JIM BABWE - Tragedy
4 - JACK G BOWMAN - Caustic Fusion
5 - DEWELL H. BYRD - Destiny In The Balance
6 - DON KINGFISHER CAMPBELL - Just One Cell In The Concrete Bloodstream
7 - MICHAEL J. CLUFF - [I will rest in the internal flower]
7 - BARBARA COGSWELL - Memorial Day
8 - MARVIN LOUIS DORSEY - Linked (on the assasination of Osama Bin Laden)
9 - THOM GARZONE - Lemons
10 - RON GREGUS - Planet Zoo
11 - GARY IMPERIAL - Things I did on Armageddon
12 - SANDRA IRWIN - Elevation
12 - JEFFRY JENSEN - Fluent Without Warning
13 - LALO KIKIRIKI - The Cecil B. DeMille Memorial Cloud Formation of Sept. 2010
14 - MINA V. KIRBY - When She Was Very Young
15 - KAREN AUDIOUN KLINGMAN - How Should I Feel?
16 - DEBORAH P KOLODJI - Concord Landscape
16 - JULIE LARSON - After Three Days
17 - BEN LAWLESS - The subsidy
19 - ELLARAINE LOCKIE - Found Poem on a Bottle
20 - RADOMIR VOJTECH LUZA - My Covington Girl
21 - KATHERINE NORLAND - Heavy Load Hurts
22 - TOTI O'BRIEN - The Age of Innocence
24 - RADEK OZOG - Pit, STOP!
25 - JESSICA JOY REVELES - the Beloved
26 - THELMA T. REYNA - Brown Arms
27 - RINA ROSE - give me one rationale
28 - KATIE RYVOLT - [where do you go]
29 - MEDIHA F. SALIBA - Women’s Beer
30 - WANDA VANHOY SMITH - Fishy Freeway
31 - MIKE “THE POET” SONKSEN - Man versus Machine, Concrete or Green?
32 - ROSALEE THOMPSON - The Talking Orange Koi Fish
33 - TIM TIPTON - The Conversation
34 - CHRISTOPHER LUKE TREVILLA - San Cabrón del Barrio 6310
36 - MAJA TROCHIMCZYK - A Desert Tale
37 - JANINE TRUDELL - According to Life Laws…
38 - LORI WALL-HOLLOWAY - One Word at a Time
39 - WE - Cutting The Om-Biblical Chords