Acknowledgment: The Acentos Review

Many thanks to poetry editor Raina Leon for including poems from my 2nd manuscript in the latest issue of The Acentos Review.

The poems included are from NaPoWriMo 2009 and it felt good to pull them off the shelf, read them with fresh eyes and revise them for Acentos. The poems are definitely a departure from the work in Anywhere Avenue as they have a more darker, serious tone dealing with an imagined mythos. Now that they’re out in the world, I will be definitely including them in future readings.

 

Bob Kaufman (April 18, 1925 – January 12, 1986)

A Remembered Beat

We heard our beat faintly then,
When John Hoffman hitchhiked with enemy gods
And died in Mexicans’ land,
Choked on his dreams of blood and love,
Leaving his poems on dark other side of time,
And first slight hit of a beat.

When Parker, a poet in jazz,
Gave one hundred seventy pounds to a one-ounce needle.,
His music, his life,
Six hipsters from uptown
Called it a religious sacrifice
And wore turbans.
One poet wore lonely death,
Leaving his breath in a beat.

We remember when Max Bodenheim remembered Lorca
And challenged death nightly, with a port pint
Full of mixed-up crazy love and thirty years’ bitter
Memory in poet life,
Only to end as hero of a slaughtered poem
Written by a maniac, on a Third Avenue night of hell,
And we were there, lost in the sound of a beat.

We remember thin cafeteria Sanskrit scholars
Reading old telephone directories aloud,
Trying to find Buddha or Truth
Among columns of private detectives, private sanitariums
And committees of rehabilitation of bisexual Eskimos,
And the unlisted trace of a beat.

We remember when poets removed tangled brains
To save for a saner time,
When organization men in pink ties declared television love,
Opening the age of electrical stone
As all do-gooders shouted: Punch time clocks,
Or your neighbors, or your youngest boy,
While a warlord of young poets
Perished in Pusan’s swamp,
Drowned in a flood of matchbook covers from home.
Survivors hid themselves in the folds of a cocaine
          nighttime robe,
As pill time stretched across white powdered deserts
And roots of exotic cactus bloomed in caves of the mind,
As nirvana came dancing, prancing in time to the beat,
Leading new ways through friend-filled narcotic graveyards
To hidden Pacific, big hell, quiet peace of Big Sur
Where that proud pornographers smiles on a redwood throne
As birds pound the air with a beat.

Bob Kaufman from Solitudes Crowded with Loneliness

 

Acknowledgment: The Rumpus Poetry

“Let the wild rumpus start!”

Actually, it’s been going on for a minute at The Rumpus with some of the best writing on writing on the web and I’m honored to be down with that. I’m extra thrilled at the fact that they chose “Ode to Government Cheese” as part of their National Poetry Month Celebration. It’s one of my favorite poems because it encapsulates so much of what I want Anywhere Avenue to do, give insight and personal perspective to growing up in the Bronx on the underside of Reaganomics while maintaining integrity and, always, a sense of humor. It also allows for some interesting conversations with folks who also remember what it was like to have that ole block of cheese staring back at them on the meal plate.

Lyrics & Dirges April Poetry Reading

Lyrics & Dirges
Wednesday, April 20 · 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Pegasus Books, 2349 Shattuck Avenue, Downtown Berkeley

Pegasus Books Downtown is pleased to present Lyrics and Dirges, a reading series that happens on the Third Wednesday of every month. This series features a mix of prominent, emerging and beginning writers each month. Its aim is to highlight various forms of writing in an effort to spotlight the diverse literary community that lives in the Bay Area.

Join us for our fabulous April reading!

Barbara Jane Reyes was born in Manila, Philippines, raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the author of the poetry collection, Diwata, a 2010 finalist for California Book Award and the Northern California Independent Booksellers Award. Her two previous collections of poetry are Gravities of Center and Poeta en San Francisco, which received the 2005 James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets. She teaches at Mills College and University of San Francisco.

Indigo Moor is a poet, playwright and fiction writer. His first collection of poetry, Tap-Root, was published in 2006 as part of Main Street Rag’s Editor’s Select Poetry Series. His second poetry book, Through the Stonecutter’s Window, was a Northwestern University Press prize-winner. He work poems and prose appear in numerous journals and anthologies and he’s recently staged plays. He’s also currently working on an MFA in Stone Coast, Maine.

Oscar Bermeo was born in Ecuador and raised in the Bronx. He’s the author of the poetry chapbooks To the Break of Dawn, Anywhere Avenue, Palimpsest and Heaven Below. He lives and teaches in Oakland.

Rosa Lane is passions are two-fold: green architecture and writing. When she steals time away from her day job, she writes poetry on growing up in rural Maine and non-fiction on overall conceptual change in architecture and city planning. She’s the author of the chapbook Roots and Reckonings and her work has been published in Spectra Anthology, Passages North, Dark Horse, Shadowgraphs and Milvia Street.

Aisha Stone is an African-American writer, performance artist, and new mother. She has staged both short plays and solo performance pieces. Her current work focuses on developing material within the memoir and fantasy genres.

Refreshments and lots of cheer.