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Monday, August 8, 2016

J. R. Brady to appear at Aqus Cafe, Petaluma Poetry Walk, Sunday, September 18, 2016

J. R. Brady will present her poetry as part of the Petaluma Poetry Walk at the Aqus Café, Foundry Wharf, 189 H Street, Petaluma, on Sunday, September 20, 2016, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, on a program with Karen Melander-Magoon, Erica Goss, Leah Lubin and Susan Weinstein. 

J. R. Brady is an award-winning playwright and poet. Her work has been produced/published in the U.S., Britain, Scotland and France. In 2012 she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has performed at numerous venues including the 1996 Edinburgh Theatre Fringe Festival.  A collection of her work, THE SPACE BETWEEN
was published by Beatitude in 2010 and a second collection, PERSONA, by Naiad in 2014. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

By J. R. Brady

Dance, dance, dance out of time...
There are no pictures of my great-grandfather.
He feared the camera would steal his soul, except
   for the wedding tintype my great-grandmother 
   wanted so much, of them standing together against 
   a pastoral painted screen, she, almost sixteen, in 
   a borrowed white dress, he, stiffly suited, older 
   by ten years, black hair wild about his face, and 
   his eyes, the eyes that saw spirits, momentarily 
   blinded by a flash of light.
I saw it once before it was misplaced by someone, 
   long gone before me.

Dance, dance, dance out of time...
There are still fragments mentioned.
He was born mixed blood of French and Anishinnaabe
   (Chippewa is a white name, a child divided between 
   two minds. one of worlds’ measured order, the other 
   of circles, circles of the sun, circles of the moon, 
   circles of the human heart, and which was which? 
Mother? Father? 
He must have told her back in the beginning, back 
   when they still loved each other, and she did love 
   him, the way an abandoned Irish orphan, raised by 
   nuns, can love the first feel of freedom, and flesh 
   and discovery of unimagined possibility.

Dance, dance, dance out of time...
The Anishinaabe say we possess two souls, one that
   travels in shadows and dreams, and one that stays 
   deep inside the human heart, and if either is ever 
   lost, it leaves behind an emptiness, unendurable, 
   except when filled by wandering spirits who come 
   to warm themselves, then leave, without explanation, 
   and from the beginning there were spirits who came to 
   him and became him speaking an ancient language that 
   knew the cries of animals and of the earth and of 
   the wind.
And in the beginning she believed with him in 
   his voices of vanished worlds, for to her, Ireland 
   was a harsh distant word, and nuns knew nothing of 
   animals or the wind.

Dance, dance, dance out of time...
The Anishinaabe tell a story of how a coyote, once, 
   fell in love with a star...but because a star 
   can never leave the sky, the coyote had to climb to 
   the top of a mountain so they could grab hold of 
   each other and soar together high up into the 
   heavens, where forever they could dance circling 
   the earth in an endless night.
But the coyote, being a thing of flesh and blood, 
   grew tired and numb and longed for sleep, and for 
   the sun, and, finally, it had to beg the star to stop 
   awhile, but the star couldn’t because it was star, 
   and so the coyote decided to let go and fall back 
   to earth, alone.

Dance, dance, dance out of time...
And I have heard it said that people can stop 
loving for the same reasons they began.
New Orleans, St Paul, San the cities 
   the spirits, they stayed with him, holding him safe 
   against sadness, but never her, until their son died 
   and times grew hard and she railed against him 
   demanding a silence of voices that refused to know 
   her, and with whisky there came silence ,and an illusion 
   of finding each other again...but then the space inside 
   him filled with such a darkness the silence became 
   all of him, and, even without whisky, there were no 

Dance, dance, dance out of time...
They say that when the coyote fell to earth it
   lost its first life but found a second that it 
   lived less foolishly than before. 
My great-grandmother remarried an Irish horse-collar 
   maker who drank as full a measure as her first husband 
   but, afterwards, would simply sing himself to sleep,
   and that was enough, 
And no one ever asks about the star.
When my great-grandfather is remembered, always he 
   is remembered for leaving.
It is supposed he died an alcoholic’s death, anonymous 
   in a Sacramento hotel room.
It is supposed but no on knows, and it is said that 
   spirits of the dead wander forever in the circling 
   winds looking for their own lost world, and it is said
   that blood runs thin through silence, dissolving time,
   dissolving memory, dissolving connection.

Dance, dance, dance out of time...
And always I have wondered about the star.
And when I look at our family album picture of 
   my great-grandmother with her horse-collar maker, 
   I feel their silences echoing inside me, and I 
   know I almost understand the language of animals, 
   and I know I am uncomfortable around cameras, and 
   I know my own sadness always softens whenever I 
   stop and listen to the wind.

Karen Melander-Magoon to appear at Aqus Cafe, Petaluma Poetry Walk, Sunday, September 18, 2016

Karen Melander-Magoon will present her poetry as part of the Petaluma Poetry Walk at the Aqus Café, Foundry Wharf, 189 H Street, Petaluma, on Sunday, September 20, 2016, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, on a program with J. R. Brady, Erica Goss, Leah Lubin and Susan Weinstein. 

Karen has been creating poetry and songs since she was two.  She was published in the Seattle newspapers in grade school and also in Seventeen Magazine and won the Bank of America Fine Arts Award for Northern California.  Karen sang major opera roles in Europe for two decades, returning to the states to help manage Guenoc Vineyards and Winery and certify for import the Bordeaux vinifera Carmenere.  Her mini-operas for voice and piano have been staged and performed throughout the states.  She is a member of the Revolutionary Poets Brigade, received her Doctor of Ministry from SFTS, Graduate Theological Union and Masters in Counseling, Boston University.  

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Erica Goss to appear at the Aqus Café, Petaluma Poetry Walk, on Sunday, September 18, 2016

Erica Goss will present her poetry as part of the Petaluma Poetry Walk at the Aqus Café, Foundry Wharf, 189 H Street, Petaluma, on Sunday, September 20, 2016, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, on a program with J. R. Brady, Karen Melander Magoon, Leah Lubin and Susan Weinstein.

Erica Goss served as Poet Laureate of Los Gatos, CA, from 2013-2016. In 2011, she won the Many Mountains Moving Poetry Contest, and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2010 and 2013. She is co-founder of Media Poetry Studio, a poetry-and-film camp for teenage girlsShe is the author of Wild Place (Finishing Line Press 2012) and Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets (PushPen Press 2014). Her poems, articles and reviews have appeared and are forthcoming in many journals, including Contrary, West Trestle Review, Tinderbox, The Tishman Review, Connotation Press, Hotel Amerika, Pearl, Passager, Main Street Rag, Rattle, Eclectica, Blood Lotus, Wild Violet, The Bohemian, Café Review, Zoland Poetry, Comstock Review, Lake Effect, and Perigee.

Love Poem with Broken Things
By Erica Goss

I like to think of him as a small boy, disassembling

the old phonograph his father gave him.

When we moved in together,

he filled our garage with red metal

toolboxes, boxes with drawers

inside of drawers, stuffed with

wrenches of every conceivable size,

drill bits, washers, screws, and nails.

It seemed as if he knew our life ahead

contained a lot of broken things,

and he, for one, was prepared. Back then,

his boxes of tools annoyed me, tripped me,

forced me to park in the driveway.

But now, when I think our life cannot accept

another broken, hopeless thing,

I know that somewhere in the garage

he has a tool that will mend it, tighten it,

wire it or stabilize it, and if he doesn’t,

we’ve learned to let it go with a shrug,

like when he finally admitted he couldn’t

put the phonograph back together, and solemnly

handed the screwdriver back to his father.

                                        First appeared in Eclectica, 2016

Buck Moon
by Erica Goss

I didn’t ask why my country was

moonstruck, deep in the month of July

when I was nine years old. I didn’t

care about the stiff unflapping flag

and even less about steps, leaps or

mankind. I was not impressed with the

lunar module and its spider legs,

or the black sky, or a man’s footprint.

I didn’t know the US flag, fixed

upright in the bone-dry dust, was a

challenge to the world: beat this. I had

no idea who the Soviets

were. None of it mattered in that hot

July, for I received a brother,

knowledge that filled me with lovely pain

and made me dizzy, like when I caught

my first glimpse of a photo of Earth,

its blue surface mottled with storms and

continents, my head a whirlwind of

ragged energy, spinning, spinning,

breathless, euphoric, alive. Beat that.

                                         First appeared in Atticus Review, 2013

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Leah Lubin to appear at the Petaluma Poetry Walk, September 18, 2016

Leah Lubin will present her poetry as part of the Petaluma Poetry Walk at the Aqus Café, Foundry Wharf, 189 H Street, Petaluma on Sunday, September 18, 2016, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, on a program with J. R. Brady, Karen Melander Magoon, Erica Goss and Susan Weinstein.

Leah Lubin is an author and artist.   She was born in Israel, grew up in England, and now makes her home in Woodside, California.  Leah recently completed her first novel, Between Two Worlds, along with nine poetry books.  The poetry compilations, Continent of Light, published in 2011, and World of Change, published in 2014, include her work.

Leah’s short story, An Artist’s Fairytale, first appeared in Detail, A Journal of Art Criticism, published by the Women’s Caucus for Art, in September 1997.

In 1998, the Leonardo Electronic Almanac, published by the MIT Press, presented her short story, I Paint the Cosmos. The April, July, and November 2000 issues contained parts one, two and three of a series titled An Artist's View of Space Science.

Leah has also written a column, A Personal View, for CoastViews Magazine.

America’s only national British newspaper, Union Jack, recently published two articles by Leah.

Leah is listed in Poets & Writers ( under both the creative writing and poetry categories.

Earth School
by Leah Lubin

Home School,
Earth School. 
Life on the line. 
We are finally figuring out the truth.

It’s no picnic down here. 
Apparently these hardships
and lessons mean something.

So is the plan to move forward you ask? 
Well, sort of, but what you
think is important sometimes isn’t.

So what’s the point? 
I think it is to keep going by learning
and questioning yourself and others.

Then what happens? 
Does it eventually get easier? 
On some levels, yes. 
But generally speaking there seems to be
a path that can be called self improvement.

We take what we now understand as our
personal truth which helps lead us. 
Do we eventually graduate and is there
a diploma involved? 
Not sure, but when it becomes clear,
I will let you know.

It’s Our Ancestors That Knew the Earth
by Leah Lubin

Having a hard time connecting?

Me too!

To the spirit of the land that contained the knowledge about life.

The fairies, the spirit beings, so silent now.

It’s our ancestors that knew the Earth.

Talked to the land and the little fairies who were seen and heard.

With advice no more, it’s my belief that we sent them away.

So when you’re feeling lonely, cut off, misunderstood, here’s what we could do:

Call on the “old ones”, people and spirits here before us

Ask for guidance and help, plus a clear path to follow.

Rebel, Rebel, What Now?
by Leah Lubin

When overcome with
complex personal issues,
one asks one self
rebel, rebel, what now?

Defining progress takes work. 
I pace myself to complete and
continue the journey.

Amongst flowers and ashes,
dusk and dawn. 
I encourage the rebel side of
me to a rebirth.

Don’t just linger in the past. 
Come forward and demand
your future. 
Because without you, I am lost.

Frozen in niceness, but no longer
interested, I realize now that who
I really am is more complicated
than I originally thought.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Susan Weinstein to appear at the Aqus Cafe, Petaluma Poetry Walk, on Sunday, September 18, 2016, 6-8 pm

Susan Weinstein will present her poetry as part of the Petaluma Poetry Walk at the Aqus Café, Foundry Wharf, 189 H Street, Petaluma, on Sunday, September 20, 2016, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, on a program with J. R. Brady, Karen Melander Magoon, Erica Goss and Susan Leah Lubin.

Susan Weinstein first published at the age of 8 in Aunt Elsie's column of the Oakland Tribune.  She has written through the years and participates as part of Sonoma County Writing Practice.  Susan plays harp and piano both professionally and for her own enjoyment.  She works full time for the County of Sonoma as a health inspector, which provides fodder for poetry. Susan dreams of retirement at which time she will be able to pursue her many interests.

A Poet Walks Into A Bar
By Susan Weinstein

There are bistro tables set at angles
The steady hum of conversation stops
Heads turn
Like when the bad guy enters a saloon

She glides forward
Notebook and pen in hand
Patrons gasp as though in fear
The bartender breaks the silence
"What'll it be?"

Everyone is watching
"Gin and tonic", "Tanqueray"
She adds, to sound cool
Small scoop plunges into bin
Ice rings into the glass

She spots an empty table
Takes it
Sips her drink
Opens the notebook
Begins to write

The hum of conversation returns
It is almost as though she is alone
Laughter floats from other tables
The poet keeps writing
Not making eye contact
Pen to paper
Sparks fly

Before Yoga Pants
By Susan Weinstein

Everybody was doing it
My Mother loved it
My neighbors raved about it
and so I tried it
Signed up for a class
at the Good Shepard Center

Ivy covered brick building
Used to be a  "Home For Unwed Mothers"
A long time ago
Before yoga pants

Some women in sweats
Some with tights and leg warmers
Like dance majors gliding across campus
but that was before yoga pants

The wind chimes were in the window
Providing soft background
Gentle instructors circled the room
Correcting posture and positions

I kept looking at the clock
and out the window
Thinking about my cup of tea
The one yoga was not

What was my favorite part of yoga class?
Besides corpse pose and my walk home?
Rain soaked streets
Magnolia blossoms tossed in the wind
First sign of Spring
That was before yoga pants