Friday, August 31, 2012

THREE WHEELS, by Kyger, MacAdams, & Opstedal

This is the commemorative chapbook that will be available at the September 8 reading in San Francisco.   An elegant little number, it contains one poem by each of the featured poets.  

Three Wheels: Joanne Kyger, Lewis MacAdams, Kevin Opstedal is published in an edition limited to 50 copies.   Stop by, listen to us read, & pick up a copy of the chapbook.   You'll dig it the most.

Details regarding the reading can be found at the SFSU Poetry Center.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Submersionary Tactics

Ankle deep but in over my head
I can recall something my father never said
& maybe my brother remembers it that way

Did you hear the glass shatter splash
& my mother ask if I was still breathing?

On the beach this morning, I won’t say where
(Rio del Mar) windchimes in the shorebreak
& on the sand a dead salmon shark
ripening in the sun

Monday, August 27, 2012

In the House of the Rising Sun

You worry about the light, she said
the darkness can take care of itself

This is the difference between a reflection
& a shadow

but the Huichol
they wear mirrors around their necks
& talk about the bird that
came from the underworld
to place a cross on the ocean

Look, these are the steps…

I kept her picture in a package of cigarettes
& there were days when I just couldn’t smoke enough

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Joanne Kyger, Lewis MacAdams, Kevin Opstedal - SF Poetry Reading, Sept. 8

The Poetry Center at San Francisco State University presents

reading their poetry
Saturday SEPT 8
7:30 pm @ Unitarian Center, 1187 Franklin, $10

Free for SFSU students and Poetry Center members
reduced low-income admission;
no one turned away for lack of funds.

Books by all three poets will be available for purchase
and there will be a special limited edition
commemorative Blue Press chapbook for sale as well.

More info available at the SFSU Poetry Center and Creative State Presents.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Just meet me half-way

Stop for a cup of coffee in Twentynine Palms
ice cold beer in Needles
we’re at the at the bottom of the sea here
where there is no ocean
landscape/seascape         it’s all in your head

            while 274 miles west
            an ill-advised leap from the pier
            because Jim Castro said I didn’t have the balls

            I had the balls all right but not the
            brains to tell him to go fuck himself
            What was it 1972?

                        way out at the far end of space & timelessness
                        like it was only yesterday, or the day before that
                        in a previous existence (one of many)

Are these the same blue eyes that learned to
read the tide that year at Playa del Rey?
Probably not         given what we is now

            Anyway it was really El Segundo
            & although the coast bends different here at S.Cruz
            the rules are the same         the curtain moves
            & a gigantic mirror of oxidized copper signals
            from threads of milk-white foam

Monday, August 20, 2012

Where’d You Get That Bruise

The Next to Last Tango
The tide shifts & the wind picks up
racing in off the waves
skipping across the beach pavement
to rattle the windows of your soul

Cement Shoes
The cat writes a message with its nose
on the window glass
a message which appears to be in Sanskrit
& since none of us here read Sanskrit
it will be forever a mystery

By the Sound
I thought it was sea-water
dripping into my ear
but it was only the ocean fog
tapping at the window

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pull-String Angel

Withering persepctive
softened by the damp stained
in meaningful parkinglots
all up and down the coast

The sea/sky line
wrapped in brown paper
& tossed into the trunk of
a late model Chevy

or Cadillac sedan
The lingering sea-mist on consignment
5:47 PM according to the way the
shadows fall across the pavement

in front of Taqueria Las Palmas
where we share maybe 30 seconds of sadness
with a casual glance of downward
I want to say disdain

or is it compassion for the dead

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hurry Up & Wait

From here the city is silvery
blue or white with
roofs walls doors
fishscale streets

The belltower of Holy Cross
dwarfed by the surrounding palm
trees descending at this angle it seems
downhill to the beach
where the wharf/pier dissolves so
easily in the late & early fog
The ocean is always beckoning
it knows more than you do
even when the waves aren’t pumping
I like the Boardwalk best on a cold
December morning the
concession stands locked up
the rollercoaster silent
& a gull lets loose with a choked cry
that falls somewhere between
hysterical laughter & sobbing grief

It’s hard to say exactly since
there’s just not that much difference
between the two

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Signs & Wonders

Just as I stepped out of the car
a great blue heron soared past low
right above me             & off
into the mist of the estuary

Geometric light but snapped from the film layer eminence
& holding
                              inside mineshafts of raw pacific steel

The spanking cold & damp
              I would fail to elucidate in 8 distinct voices
including one of stunning silence
                                          a pantomime with one-way tickets attached

The tar melts beneath the sand
& this is where your heart knocks to break

Another time I lost my sunglasses here

A neat pile of regurgitated fishbones in the center of the path
like a nest of crystals in the sun

              ¿Has encontrado lo que buscaba? the bruja asked me
No, it seems I was misinformed
                                          & the light swings round & the money’s gone

love minus zero beneath the fortune palms

& your kisses are like a glass of water at 3 in the morning

Monday, August 6, 2012

Out There

Ape in the rain at Cuernavaca
slunk low at the wheel
resurrected like a dice game
in tunnels of space, or fate
whatever you want
I’ll take a plank more seaworthy with
salt mist annointed
flapping foam & carrying a torch

The Scary Part
A persistant rail of dreams
Calle de Los NiƱos Perdidos
more than a footnote
less than bright shadows
changing compulsively
for no other reason than to steal the face
right off your head
I’ve heard that song too

Leroy Don’t Surf
The haze of another place
just as holy & forgotten
Votive roses burning in the window of
an apartment building in El Segundo
w/a tangled night sky sloping down into the
pitch & reel of the luminous ocean out there
charging restless into a seething
jungle of grass skirts

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A petition in support of UNO Press and Bill Lavender

Received this note from Skip Fox:

"As you may well have already heard the University of New Orleans Press has just recently been put on 'hiatus' and its innovative and energetic editor, Bill Lavender, fired.   The presumptive reason concerned budget constraints, but in fact the Press was cost free, and as you know it also published an international range of writers, many of them prize winners or otherwise notable.   As you are probably aware, Bill Lavender had taken a rather lifeless creature in 2007 and enlivened it with over 100 publications, a remarkable achievement."

"In support of UNO Press, Bill Lavender, fine literature and good reading, please consider signing a petition indicating your support.   The petition has many more details concerning the recent (2-3 day) history of events."

I urge you to sign the pettion, it only takes a minute & you can take a stand for Bill and UNO Press.   Thanks.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

PATIO POEMS by Edward Ainsworth

This crystalline set of lyrics is reminiscent of Coleridge’s Conversation Poems, if they were written by a lovesick De Quincey doing his best Keith Richards imititation.   The tone is often meditative, drawing on memories that fit the rhythms of the present, day to day, struggle to claim the simple complexities of the heart, and “Ain’t that just a pretty little burden”, writes Ainsworth in the lead-off poem “Acts of Love (1)”.   Bare knuckle sincerity, nimble Chaplinesque pirouettes, and sheer poetic nerve drive the measure and the emotion built into the narrative these poems create.   It is a variegated narrative thread that could unravel anyone’s chainlink kimono, maybe even yours.

Patio Poems is available right now from Blue Press.


This sequence of prose poems is a rogue’s tour of a kind of West Coast/Dude the Obscure consciousness owing nothing to William James except for the stolen title.

Joanne Kyger says,“A very succinct paragraph form for the long road back with your punk Taoism.   We’re delighted.   And also with PW’s [Philip Whalen’s] geography of Europe.”

You can get yourself a copy from Blue Press.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Korean Piping

The bare knuckles of the coast
at low tide
Bluedark descending
ghost riders in the sky
above the Cowboy Surfshop
Today is somebody’s birthday
Nobody I know
She said her name was Frankie Johnnie
I was sharing a smoke with Art Gomez
pushing into the darkness
fishtailed down dirt roads with Mexicans
and their sisters
“You a surfer hey boy?”
I was a boy then
You couldn’t break my heart
I had poisoned myself deliberately
Had visions, stood outside God’s house
in the rain
He wasn’t home
“Frankie Johnnie? What kind of name is that?”
“French” she said
I would have thought Paris,
Texas myself but then
what do I know