And here we plunge again into another random year, swimming in all its goodsies and its badsies. Will it smack more of a fly in muck or a wren in song? Each moment its watusi, each breath its tang. Crack in the back, whipwind spin, new coat of paint on the old wood wall and scent of rain around the corner. Around the bend. We wend and swish and wish harmony, while harmonious tickles a bit of seem and rides its own horse down the wondering spine. We ache for kine and kind, and often shape our lives astride the stream, when a quick cold plunge might delve the finning bole. Let us feel whole, and wind the brightening way. And shine a day.
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ANNOUNCE :: I haven’t mentioned Poetry Unbound here for a bit, that being the series that I’ve been co-orging with Clive Matson out Berkeley-way since June. Got a good year-starter coming up on Sunday, January 5, with fire-forged full-felt features by Julia Vinograd, César Love, and Rybree Tree. As always, a brief open mic to start. So if yer in town, come on by the Art House Gallery at 5, and have yrself an epiphanic time. We guarantee nothing less. And keep in mind that Unbound has got its very own page on the Events tab of this very site, so check back monthly for deets, and right now if you wanna read more about the feats.
ANNOUNCE :: Finally, a release party for She Is Fighting Love and Joie in Chaps, the two books that I edited last year for Zeitgeist Press, featuring poetry from the chapbooks of our dear-departed (yet ever abiding) Joie Cook. On Sunday, January 19, come on down to the Readers Bookstore and Café at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, and check out these new collections. Show starts at 2pm, and we’ll have readings of Joie’s poems by local friends and literary dignitaries, including Jack Hirschman, Q.R. Hand, Julia Vinograd, Tom Stolmar, Kathleen Wood, David Gollub, and Nicole Henares, among others. Time permitting, we’ll also have an open mic for anyone else to read some of their favorites from these new collections. I’m very proud of how they came out, and will be hosting the event to be best of my ability. So please stop by if you’re able, and if you can’t, head on over to the Zeitgeist site to score yourself a copy. These are a must-have for anyone interested in the recent SF poetry scene. Rock on, Joie!
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The frozen world is a chunk of the sky. Why we sigh is a matter of course, of the ticking grass, the spin. Stride on the continent and you will see everything; stand in yourself and tricks will dance around you. It’s fine to feel precious, terrific in fact, but precious for precious’ sake is not enough. The real trick is to kill the tricks of told, and rest runly in the absolute world, the spree. Toss the taught shards that barricade the clear, and stride into air with a true-toned heart. Only the sheer move forward with grace and love. You’re such a dove.
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REFLECT :: Once again a joyous ringing in of the year with Daryl Henline and friends at the Bridge Art Space in Richmond. Daryl has a tradition of providing many bells, most of them handmade, for folks to ring the hell outta that first day. The fest is always accompanied with a fab pot luck feast, Bridge’s pop-up espresso cart, wine and cheer, and a set of poetry, music, and proclamations in between the general sipping, gobbling, and clanging through the day. Really nice crowd this time, and though I missed the major start-of-day ringage, which included Daryl pulling the big bells 365 times accompanied by about 20 additional ringers, I did manage to catch the chill end-of-day clamor, and shot a bit of it on video for you to join in the ringing as well. So get out your bells, and hit play below. Happy Year.
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Wowdy bowdy pow and the bang hits the clingledy-clang for a whapdash saucecatch of a loony toon. Time is tented as the fling flangs fly, and why is a matter of gimme a pieca that pie. Fresh baked and rupting, the life screes manily manily moo, and the too-rung cow is never sung enuf into the mightily mightily mankey stew. Fuch a feast, and such a seethe that keeps the tock a-trockin’, and when we coo the frou-frou woo we’re only bespeeding the flocking. Only only not, for in the burbling spree we’re more than we can be, and freely fry the finely laden lilight; and if I may besay, this linely seeched array is more and less a finely loamish airnight. Spling splong and off agoon, agyn, agene, and agreen, smooching the ever smoulder in the seemhouse, and when the rind is ripe, we swype the snickerdly stars for another door to cant us in the full flung sheen.
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REVIEW :: Went to an interesting new series recently called Bay Area Generations, a monthly word-melee that alternates between East Bay and San Francisco, at a different venue each time. The idea is that readers submit to perform in pairs, each of the pair being from a different generation. Thus you end up in a room full of writers in a broad range of ages, and all kinds of people end up meeting and hearing and jazzing each other. I love this idea, because it has the potential to break down cliques and broaden circles in the word community, which is exactly what we try to do with Poetry Unbound, and it’s not as easy as it sounds. A potential down side of their process is that the pairs get to curate themselves, so the organizers, who do select the pairs to read, have a little less control over who ends up at the mic. Also I noted that a couple pairs who didn’t seem to far apart in age, which kind of defeats the intention, and is another aspect that the organizers might not know beforehand. I don’t mean to be too critical, though, because it’s a strong concept for a series and was a fab event all around. The December reading at The Terrace Room in Oakland (a classy place for a read, I gotta say) featured ten poets in five pairs, one a musical performance with two sets, before and after a break. Mostly solid work throughout, with standout readings by Cassandra Dallett, Sharon Coleman, Rosa Lane, and Alexandra Naughton. I look forward to seeing more fine reads from each of them again, and more blendings and splendings by this well-wrought series. Click on their site above to see what’ll be happening next, and where. Def recommended for a refreshing mix.
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What do we patch together? The gorgeous sun. We run unrestricted in the rain, save for barnacles and shale, bashing into wind and dark night forward. What brings us here? A door through which the gulls dive, spiraling to ribbons. We find sand in the pit, damp and illustrious, waiting for our hands. We gather for a moment, tear the sheets, fling sails. And what sings? The sun at the door, rare breeze, joyous talk in circles of chairs. Somewhere in the other room a jar clanks shut. We all pause, lips taut, and clasp hands. Then the rain again, pouring through, takes us on.