• January 1st, 2012 Venice, CA – Mary Getlein
  • Home before the Hour – Michelle Lepori
  • Love Knows – Ronald K. McKinley
  • 16:13 Monday, January 30, 2012 – Roger Houston
  • can’t ask the wind why – Joanna Silva
  • Dance –  Jim Smith


January 1st, 2012 Venice, CA
For Diane Butler
I came out of the store
and saw Diane, handcuffed,
face to the wall,
surrounded by eight cops.
I’m, like, “what happened?”
How many cops does it take
to arrest one tiny musician?
The cops had rolled up to Ibrahim
and told him:
“Turn down the drums or
we will take all your instruments.”
They announced it on their loudspeaker
The crowds at the Bistro and the Candle Café
Booed loudly-
People love this drumming orchestra
The police:
it’s a strange play
The police act like assholes
the crowd goes WILD
now, suddenly,
they are watching someone have their rights
taken away from them
right in front of them
just like on T.V.


but this is Diane –
the painter of pictures
the singer of songs
Diane – who is mother to half the beach
Diane – who can laugh so bitterly
      who doesn’t see her own beauty
      the way others do
Diane –
whom everyone loves,
everyone is rooting for –
Diane – 
    Mother of the motherless
    guardian of the winds and the breezes
    a pigeon – mother
    rescuer of injured birds
Amazing paintings
    of the locals
    of the unseen
    making the invisible appear
    creating the illusion of reality upon a canvas
So there they are –
    a montage
    one tiny woman crumpled up on the wall
    her hands in handcuffs
    her weight shifts
    the big male cop holding her hands,
    behind her back,
    lets go –
    and she falls into the wall
    this is how they treat an artist in America.
Hey – 
Welcome to America,
where if you have beauty, talent, and guts
you can quite easily be rolled over by the Machine.


We all just stand there
Witnesses to these corrupt police
Why can’t they learn to talk to people? 
we’re still waiting
I know if they take her
I’ll be crying.
This wakens up all the anger I have against the LAPD
the tourists watch this little drama
and wonder about this country.
finally they let her go home.
the sun goes down and she is home.
we all love you Dianne.
we love your bravery and guts,
your light and your love
Keep your head up sister,
and I’ll keep mine up too,
and we will keep on dancing. 


–Mary Getlein
Home before the Hour


By Michelle Lepori


When I loved you… 
cooing over photographs. Glow
grey marine morning after sex
alone, away from no breakfast 
in bed organic chef, new lover. 
“You have one hour to leave.” 
“What I tell all my women…” 


Turned away from face down 
pillow sex to watch shadows fuck 
in a mirror for two minutes.
“The Four Agreements” 
watched from nightstand. 
Practicing honesty, spiritual man? 
“Sorry that wasn’t any good for you.”


What else could be said? 
Photograph boyfriend, mescaline 
chardonnay mushy white skin, 
remember then? So consumed.
They said I could do better, had to…
Last night I laid back to back, 
holding hands with my lover. I was
home before the hour.
Love Knows


Love knows no bounds or master
It comes not summoned
Moving without temperature
Energized by apathy
Cooled by contrived connection
Soul taction radiating from molecular memory
You are found before you find it
If you love a thing
Is this love
Are you what you love
A song, a laugh, some food, some sex
What magnitude of ascent can you survive
Waiting takes too long
Rushing is too dissolute
How do you know it’s love
It makes you human
All who love
All who are loved 
Are not absent
All you need 
Is the need
Your skin covers the intersection
Of then and now


–Ronald K. McKinley

16:13 Monday, January 30, 2012….. I found this sheet of paper in the sand, Along the Venice bike trail. I obtained By pulling to the side and stooping down, Impulsively; like picking up a stone. I felt no inspiration, nor a need To write something. Enough to plant a seed. And when the moment came, I’d probably know The best use for this wayward leaf; and so, A quick fold and deposit. I delayed, Until this moment. I was not afraid. I trust my muse. She radiates upon The alley of my consciousness. Condone, Does she. Likewise, my pen has ascertained, And breathed life into lines, not yet explained…..

–Roger Houston (nodding off with LG Octane in my hands.)


can’t ask the wind why
By Joanna Silva


Crows eat other birds. Crows are the tight knit family type and know their neighborhood.  If a kid says that way down that row of sickly, smog-dusted, rat-choked palms, towards the sunset-direction, there’s a seagull looking rather lost and slow, the crows, like wolves, will together begin the hunt. They’ll chatter and wait, a perfect, but not a considerate distance from the weaker, now terrified, sea bird.  


Beatrice, a young gull who’d shed her black and grey at birth, hadn’t known she was ill, but felt so immediately when the crows appeared, studied her, moved in, suffocating her courage. Her rapid-paced bird-heart and light-speed tiny-breath slowed.  Moments divided into themselves.  All things stretched out and spoke.  She had time to notice, to second-guess, and to have fear. 


In an instance of just one of her bird-swift blinks she went further.  She felt shame. She suffered.  She cowered because she’d been arrogant and had imagined maybe, not because she was special, but because she was true, that maybe God had blessed her, that there might have been a name for her even before she was hatched. 


She lifted lightly into the air as if nothing were different, as if she had not this shadow.


By Jim Smith


One by one my friends
are covered by Shadows.
The sunlight ends
and a cold wind blows.


Used to be The Fear was about
walking down the street when
a brilliant flash knocked us out
and then a harsh wind, and then…


Now the oncoming Fear is nameless.
So powerful your mind can’t visualize.
So ominous we’re crazy with stress,
which newspapers make us realize.


Here comes a singularity of hidden intention.
It could be the great hope of humanity.
But some say it’s our total destruction.
Change will be hard, or perhaps a calamity.


The dread will wake you in the night
when it creeps into your dreams.
It’s coming close, bringing tears and fright
Nothing can stop our fate, it seems.


So wrap it up and throw your Fear away
in a trash can. It’s your last chance.
Fear won’t help when comes the day.
Put it out of your mind, and D A N C E.


Dance until the morning Sun comes out.
Dance until everyone becomes a friend.
Dance until you drive away your doubt.
Dance until the end.

Categories: Poetry

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