A Stirring Underfoot –  By Mark Lipman

City of Angels – By Marty Liboff

Pale Life – By Joanna Silva

Roger Houston


By David Fewster

On Super Bowl Sunday in 2005
I was broke and busted and had returned
to Los Angeles like an elephant
looking for a graveyard. 
So of course I was at the
 Beyond Baroque open reading,
because years of suffering had
made me a Poet. 
I read from my book
”Diary of a Homeless Alcoholic
Suicidal Maniac & Other Picture Postcards.”
It went well–
got a lotta laughs.
 At the break in the lobby,
a wild-haired old hippie broad
dressed in bag lady chic
 said she wanted to buy my book. 
Would I take a check?
 Sure! I said.
I didn’t even have a bank account. 
And neither of us had a pen, either.
Someone had a Sharpie, however,
and I got my $7 check,
nearly illegible, written in
 big-assed black marker. 
Geez, I hope someone will cash this,
 I thought as I stared at it on the porch
while having a smoke.
 The name on the upper left corner
troubled me–it was so familiar.
 Then it hit me–OMG
 John Thomas, Charles Bukowski,
 Poet of Venice.
 Rushing back into the auditorium,
 I threw myself into the seat next to her
and gushed
”Let me just say what an honor it is 
to have my book purchased by the
 Queen of Bohemia. “
Letting out a raucous bark,
she reached over and literally 
patted me on the top of my head. 
Who the hell even does that
except in 19th-century novels?
Nevertheless, I vowed to never wash
my greasy, pony-tailed locks again
(yeah, like I did that very often anyway.)
Because I had been 
After the reading,
I asked my new friend the directions 
to Abbott’s Habit, where another 
open mike would be starting in an hour.
 She told me, and wished me well
on my journey. 
When I got to the coffeehouse, 
I threw my backpack on the bench to save the seat and asked the person next to me
 to watch it while I went to the restroom.
 She was a very old lady with an
astonishing set of whiskers at the point of her chin, which made me think of Gandalf for some reason.
Taking her barely-audible grunt as an ascent,
 I went about my business. 
Later that night, I just about had a stroke 
when she was introduced as one of
the readers.
 I had managed to meet both 
Philomene Long and FrancEye
 on the same February evening.

A Stirring Underfoot
By Mark Lipman
A rumbling can be heard on the horizon
A great stirring underfoot
          as dried, dying leaves crack and crumble
                   from the weight bearing down on them
The march into battle echoes in far off villages
          and mighty metropolis
                   as clear as the fallen pin.
A wisp of wind in the Sahara
          is all that is needed
                   to create a sand storm
                   in the dust bowl of the mid-west
Unrest in the streets and town squares
          amassed in the raised voices
                   at the checkout counter
And a fist can be seen in the air
          multiplied by the millions
                   of disheveled and downtrodden.
No, we are not to blame for the bankers’ plunder.
We, we are merely the results of deregulation
          of capitalization
          of corruption in high places
          and our voices will be heard
Vibrating in your meeting halls
          crumbling your capitols
                   to dust and ash
                   from whence they came.
Greedy children and their teachers
          are not the guilty parties.
The excess spoils will not be found
          in the pockets of the toiling masses.
Grandma’s social security check
          did not crash the economy
          any more than did immigrants
                   send your jobs to China.
We are not the problem
          but like a thunderbolt from Zeus’ fingertips
                   slicing through the darkness
of their expedient lies
We will be the solution.

City of Angels
By Marty Liboff

I’m just wastin away down here in L.A.
I don’t know if I’m gonna stay
I gotta have fun & play…
L.A. kind of mind
drivin & drivin nowhere
sittin on my behind
Money & food wasted everywhere
hungry homeless sit & stare
Robbers, thieves & crooks
nuts, assholes & snooks
Cops beatin & killin
they think its thrillin
The sun & surf are fun
but ya might be shot by a gun
The most talented get nowhere & die
the mediocre & crap is what gets by
Shut up & look cool
the streets stink with pee & stool
L.A. is a crazy town
everything seems cuckoo & upside down
Ya think there’s fog
its really poisonous smog
Billionaires, drug dealers & hoes
mansions, slums & only the lonely knows
Yo gals is sexy bitches
many are crazy witches
Nobody speaks except on the phone
many call Starbucks their home
Crowds on Hollywood Blvd., Universal Studios & Knotts Berry Farm
San Andreas Fault will snap – sound the alarm
Latinos, Blacks, Asians & Whites
sometimes we get along & sometimes there’s fights
Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu
atheist, agnostic & a Jew or two
Earthquakes rock & roll
the Coliseum, Dodger Stadium, Hollywood Bowl
Disneyland, Venice, Santa Monica Pier
you’re shot by a cop & nobody sheds a tear
There’s no more water cause there’s no rain
yet more people come in cars, jets & the train
No H2O so don’t shower long
pot is almost legal so smoke your bong
Gay is O.K.
sex is just exercise & play
The Lakers, Clippers, Dodgers & Kings
soon football teams & gold rings
Same sex couples walkin hand & hand
everyone wants to be in a band
A cultural mix
intellectuals, movie stars & hicks
Pizza, corned beef & tacos
falafel, pad Thai & burritos
Pig’s feet, burgers, matzo balls & sushi
Kim chi, ravioli, & Bacardi
Everyone wants to be a rock singer or movie star
the graveyards are full & not far
L.A. is my town
sometimes makes ya smile & at times a frown
I’m just wastin away down here in L.A.
I don’t know if I’m gonna stay
I gotta have fun & play…

Pale Life

“Mine is a gift of many colors
 not bright, not dark, but
 deeply, intensly, speaking.
Now exiled, truest tongue forbidden,
 stories halted, extinguished.
My eyes are dying here .
This pale life,
 a hard, sad riddle to live.”

Joanna Silva
09:35 Friday, May 22nd, 2015, Dudley&Boardwalk, Venice ….. We’re at the
“Venice West.” What used to be. Then dissolution came. To set it free. It used
to be illegal. Poetry. Here. At the Venice West. A felony. A time for
everything. Eventually. This place has had its time. Inevitably. The distant
afterglow. Remarkably. Is radiating still. Totality. Of vision. Let’s include
eternity. We’re right below the flight path. We are free. Let’s plan a course of
action. Turn and flee. Or stay us. Candle Cafe. In the lee. Let resolution come.
To simply be. While here at Venice West. What used to be ….. Roger Houston,
post-beat romantic

Categories: Poetry

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