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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The 7th Annual Beat Museum Poetry Festival

"Jack Kerouac Is Alive and Well"

The theme for this year's 7th Annual Beat Museum Poetry Festival was suggested by Andrew Mayer's poem to be found in the "World of Change" anthology. I based my illustration on a painting by Matthias Grunewald. Reading on Saturday, September 27, 3 to 6 pm at the Beat Museum are (listed in reverse alphabetical order, not in order of presenting) Gor Yaswen, Margo van Veen, Bill Vartnaw, Jonah Raskin, Jeanne Powell, Jim Miller, Andrew Mayer,
Jym Marks, Leah Lubin, Gary Horsman, Q. R. Hand, Philip Hackett, Ed Coletti, Tim Carl, Bob Booker, David Beckman and Avotcja.

Jonah Raskin to appear at the 7th Annual Beat Museum Poetry Festival, Saturday Sept 27th, 3-6 pm

Stormed the Gates of Paradise

The past came alive in
St. Stephen’s Green as
the wind blew through
the green trees.

Taxis turned
and returned
at the hotel,
ghosts of
rebels and ancestors
clamored for grace
under the dark sky while
betrayed by bullets
beat down the doors
of Heaven and
the River Liffey stormed
the gates of paradise.

Jonah Raskin
August 2014

Give Us Oh Lord
Save us from the solitary squares,
buttress our backs against
the un-beat bastards,.
keep us from the over-civilized crepes,
deliver us unto creative madness and
give us oh Lord our
daily dosage of organic grass and
let us not be tempted by the
sorcery of the un-cool.

Jonah Raskin

September 2014

David Beckman to appear at 7th Annual Beat Museum Poetry Festival, Saturday, Sept 27th 3-6 pm


light   cathedral towers straining west   gardens where trees wear scarves and 
people plant themselves deep   
putting out roots and leaves that
fall   come fall   Streets matrix at corners   buses troll   daring history  
in the metro below rue Monge an old man in tattered sweater

toward me to say   monsieur votre echarpe est dans le sol
then bends to retrieve it for
me   we resist all history here   all
light for fear it has more to say than we and feels it more
and will far past when these words wash away toward

we can’t get enough of your river   as if finer life were flowing here
and we tourist-lemmings head for it day
and night looking for some truth awash
near Pont Neuf since 1607 when men sharpened quills   dreaming
under scudding clouds that beauty was only here   and

beauty is here and art and forgotten hands that strained to be a part of it    at 
the tip of ile de la Cite   randy Henri IV established
a pubic bone of land where he dallied long
and named a narrow cobbled triangle opposite   the clitoris of Paris    oh, le 
mot juste   we walk there now thirsty for meaning and a glass of red Bordeaux.

-- David Beckman 

Last Colonialist in Paris
after Aime Cesaire, Redemption

Rain on rue de Rennes and his flame low   life boxed up
and shades drawn tight on his catacomb of a room.  Buses tear
air on boulevard Saint-Germaine as loathe to arise his body feeds

a virus he can’t name. A membrane too far -- his white skin --
flag of lost disposition   and his sweltering tongue empty of speech
mark him as man of another century.  Mind a maslin of Dickens and

Delacroix while on his tombstone    “oppressor of dark races
everywhere.”  He’s lashed to his father’s convictions and his
father’s father’s    so come on   history    knife his belly or let him be.
 -- David Beckman

Leah Lubin to appear at the 7th Annual Beat Museum Poetry Festival September 27th and 28th

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.

Paintings by Leah Lubin

"Massive Eruptions on Sun"

"Black Hole Caught Redhanded"

"Exploding Worm Holes and Time Travel"

Gor Yaswen to appear at the Beat Museum Poetry Festival, Saturday, Sept 27th, 3-6 pm

LEFT BEHIND by gor yaswen

We watched them go,
The Rapture, you know,
floating up the air
in their haughty Goodness.
They were right, afterall,
about piles of clothes
shed from rising bodies,
but wrong about invisible.
It wasn’t a pretty sight,
tho we were not close by
(they didn’t much hang
with likes of us)
as they bubbled from Cadillacs,
gated villas and mansions,
or asceptic abodes
primed for leavings
of hasty pilgrims,
or from temples
of The True Word
chiseled in stone,
where Devil and God
were equal topics.
They rose, pink and shiny,
toward a corner of sky;
that Christian one
reserved for just them.
They’d warned this would happen;
harangued us to join them,
with special rites
and total trust
in certain beliefs
not to question,
but we could never quite
be as special as they;
tho we envied
their apparent peace
(and sometimes glee)
as each turn of
pandemic destruction
but brought them closer
to their crowning.
It looked so easy
beside our scurry
to save the World,
but when it finished
(and we’d swept the clothes)
we found we groundlings
left behind,
with all critters and plants
they’d said didn’t matter
(to them or their god);
truely wished to be
here on Earth,
and owned our origins
in Its womb
and cared about It
as if It mattered much,
and would work
–each as could–
to prevent or cure
what would destroy It,
with now better chance.

Erica Goss and Tim Carl to appear at the 7th Annual Beat Museum Poetry Festival!

Erica Goss is the Poet Laureate of Los Gatos, CA, and the host of Word to Word, a show about poetry. She is the author of Wild Place (Finishing Line Press 2012) and Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets (PushPen Press 2014). Her poems, reviews and articles appear widely, both on-line and in print. She won the 2011 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Contest and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2010 and 2013. She writes The Third Form, a column about video poetry, for Connotation Press.Please visit her at:  


Friday, September 19, 2014

Clara Bellino to appear at the Petaluma Poetry Walk, Aqus Cafe, 7 pm, Sunday, September 21, 2014!

This is time-sensitive. Please act in September!

Clara Bellino is a resident of San Francisco, and a French native. She is a singer songwriter who performs music that is pop jazz with a 60s Euro-Twist. She recently launched a project called Leave It To Me on See the campaign for yourself here:
 This campaign is to help raise funds to record her next album. Clara has worked hard to get where she is. She’s given many people joy and inspiration through her music. Now everyone she’s touched has the opportunity to return the favor by supporting her and donating to the campaign. 10% of the money that is raised will go to Music in the Schools so kids of all backgrounds may enjoy music classes. Don’t miss the opportunity to get involved in this journey. It is one worth exploring.

Kirk Lumpkin and the Word-Music Continuum Live at the Petaluma Poetry Walk Sep 21st!

Kirk Lumpkin has been an important part of the Bay Area (and beyond) poetry scene for years, hosting readings in San Francisco and Berkeley, helping to facilitate the Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival [with Poetry Flash & former U.S. Poet Laureate, Robert Hass], and hosting open mikes at Burning Man.”
                                  —Bay Area Poets Seasonal Review
He is the author of two books of poetry, In Deep and Co-Hearing. As a solo poet he’s performed all around the San Francisco Bay Area & Northern California; Los Angeles (Beyond Baroque, etc.); New York City (Bowery Poetry Club); Colorado; Toronto, Canada; and Great Britain. He also performs as a vocalist with the Wild Buds (West Coast Mardi Gras music) who will soon release their first CD, Positive Voodoo. He’s on the Board of PEN Oakland. He works for the Ecology Center as the Special Events & Promotions Coordinator of the Berkeley Farmers’ Markets.

“ . . . one of my favorite performers.”—Avotcja, poet, band leader, radio host on KPFA & KPOO  "I'm deeply honored to have your poem for me [Walking in the Woods with a Poet] in a book [In Deep] with so many other wonderful poems.'s such a solid real illumination . . .”—Michael McClure, Beat poet & playwright
“If anyone is a real shaman, Kirk is.” —Frank Moore, Internet radio host & performance artist

Paul Mills is a guitarist, composer, producer, and co-founder of The Word-Music Continuum. He also plays with the synthesizer duo, Silent Motif and Jazz Sabbath, a jazz-rock fusion band specializing in guitar-driven improvisations.. Paul and Kirk were both in the San Francisco Bay Guardian “Demo Tape Of The Week” winning band, DETOUR. Mark Wieder (pronounced Weeder) has played bass with Aleph Null, Dick Oxtot, the Hot Club of Marin, the Shotgun Players, and more. His tunes have been performed by the Golden Age Jazz Band and the La Peña Latin Jazz Experimental Ensemble. He currently also performs with the Skimpy Portions and the Seething Brunswicks.

The Word-Music Continuum has recorded two CDs the most recent of which is Sound Poems.
“To say the house was rocked is an understatement. You were great! You showed us that the blend of word and music is limitless and that poetry has no bounds.”
—Bill Gainer, poet; organizer, Nevada County Poetry Series

 “…powerfully  performed… stunning performance…”
            “You knocked us out…wonderful spiritual fusion of words/music!!!”
—Jesse Beagle, poetry host, poet, songwriter

Marvin R. Hiemstra and John Roy Zat to appear at the Petaluma Poetry Walk, Sunday, September 21, 2014!

You don't want to miss Marvin R. Hiemstra and John Roy Zat at the 19th Annual Petaluma Poetry Walk! Marvin and John will be joining Clara Bellino, Kirk Lumpkin and the Word-Music Continuum, Steve Shain and myself at the Aqus Cafe from 6-8 pm, Sunday, September 21, 2014. For a full schedule of the day's events, starting at 11 am, and featuring (from among a list of too many great readers to be named) such luminaries as Jack and Adelle Foley, Sonoma County Poet Laureate Katherine Hastings, Joyce Jenkins, Molly Fisk, Maria Mazziotti Gillan,  Jeanne Powell, Kim Shuck, John Johnson, Geri DiGiorno, Nancy Keane, Michelle Baynes, Nancy Cavers Dougherty and Nancy Long, please see the Petaluma Poetry Walk link

Steve Shain and David Madgalene to appear at the Petaluma Poetry Walk, Sunday, September 21, 2014

Steve (bass) and David (words) caught in action by poet-photographer Joe Arcangelini at Coffee Catz ("Sebastopol's Living Room") at recent July 27th World of Change reading hosted by Poetry SoCo's Andrew Mayer.

Monday, September 8, 2014

I Keep On Coming Back To Chinatown

I keep on coming back to Chinatown
but it’s not the same…

I remember some years ago
a beautiful young girl
in a red kimono.
She sat outside a tea-tasting shop.
She played the samisen.

My friends went in the shop and tasted tea
as the sun went down and the neon lights came on.

But I stood outside and listened.
I was mesmerized
as this young girl plucked her samisen strings.

I was lost in her eyes of blue.
When she took a break, I found my voice.
I said, “You must hear it all the time.
You sure do play the samisen fine.

My name is Chris.
What is your name?
Do you have a CD?

Or may I buy you a mooncake 
or a cup of jasmine tea?”

She smiled and said,
“Although my eyes are blue,
I have a confession—
my name is Hazel, 
and I’m not supposed to eat or drink on the job,
and I don’t have a CD nor
enough memory on my Powerbook.”

Then, as my heart was breaking, I asked Hazel, 
“Where is your hat?
I’ll give you my money.”
And Hazel smiled 
and said, “I cannot take any tips on the job.”

Suddenly darkness swallowed Chinatown.
They got wild and rowdy down at the Buddha Bar.

Hazel laughed and began playing a lamentation on her samisen.
The entire scene got so surreal.

I didn’t know who I was
or where I came from.

Or how I got to Chinatown.

Then my friends came out of the shop
holding their bags of tea.
They were hungry and said, “We are moving on.”

I asked Hazel, “When can I see you again?”
She laughed and said,
“Come back any time. I’ll be here all weekend.”

I had a plane to catch.
I didn’t get back to Chinatown
for two more years, and when I did,
I went straight to the tea-tasting shop.

But a strange silence had descended upon Chinatown,
and the samisen player named Hazel 
was nowhere to be seen.

I walked around, then stood beside a large jar of tea,
and I asked the lady, “When is Hazel coming on?”
She said, “Hazel? Sorry these people I do not know,
but if you sit here, I will heat water for a cup of jasmine tea.”
I said, “No thank you,” and headed straight to the Buddha Bar.
I got plastered crying for Hazel and her samisen.

But I keep on coming back to Chinatown,
but it’s not the same it’s never the same—

Hazel’s gone.

But it’s not the same it’s never the same—

Hazel’s gone.

I keep on coming back to Chinatown…

-David Madgalene
(For Chris Luna)