Archives for category: Silver



Poem by Joan Jobe Smith

in this Long Beach city
by the sea
seldom do we ever see
lightning striking
crackling electric silver fire
wicked witch fingers
fatal neon zaps across the sky
bandit blasts
from Beethoven thunder guns
and if we do see
it happens when
rain cloud winds
blow so hard
the ocean gets up
on its hind legs
and walks across the land.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joan Jobe Smith, founding editor of PEARL and Bukowski    Review, worked for seven years as a go-go dancer before receiving her BA from CSULB and MFA from University of California, Irvine. A Pushcart Honoree, her award-winning work has appeared internationally in more than 500 publications, including Outlaw Bible, Ambit, Beat Scene, Wormwood Review, and Nerve Cowboy — and she has published twenty collections, including Jehovah Jukebox (Event Horizon Press, US) and The Pow Wow Cafe (The Poetry Business, UK), a finalist for the UK 1999 Forward Prize. In November 2012, Silver Birch Press published her literary profile Charles Bukowski Epic Glottis: His Art & His Women (& me). In 2013, World Parade Books will release her memoir Tales of an Ancient Go-Go Girl. Her literary magazine PEARL will release its 50th edition in 2013—find out more at


“Innocent Bystander,” poem by Joan Jobe Smith appears — along with additional poetry and a short story from the popular author — in the new Silver Birch Press release SILVER: An Eclectic Anthology of Poetry & Prose, which features writing from an impressive list of 62 writers. Find the complete list at


Silver in San Fernando Valley
(fast, shiny and new)

(Excerpt from “Silver: 4 Connotations”)

Poem by Jena Ardell

Two beams
silver headlights
slice through the night sky,
like bullets,
down Mulholland Drive

Lights divide
cutting quadrants
across bedroom walls
before disappearing
into the darkness
where partygoers stay awake
’til the stars are swallowed
by the San Fernando Valley fog

that pesters L.A. drivers
Freeway road rage
as sunglasses
polished dashboards


SUVs & Hummers
each, only holding
one person

This morning
make-up smears
glassy pupils,
metallic shadow to the brow
was I thinking?)

I walk to the mailbox
in pajamas,
bed head reflection
in shiny numbers

No one will see
because no one
does the speed limit

It finally came today
The steak knife
that cuts through a shoe sole
(or at least that’s what
the infomercials say)

I don’t care if it can’t
I just wanted something new

Photo: “Cruising up Mulholland Drive at Dusk” by John Wiseman, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Note: “Silver: 4 Connotations” by Jena Ardell will be included in the upcoming Silver Birch Press anthology entitled Silver. The poem was originally published in LA Weekly, 2/10/12.


(old and used)

(Excerpt from Silver: 4 Connotations)

Poem by Jena Ardell

Wooden coffee table
slick with dew
A rare roadside treasure
free to those who can haul it away

Two giant
wet glasses stains
in the center
accented by
silver spills
of God-knows-what

The voice inside my head
“Take me,
make me new.”

Originally published in L.A. Weekly, 2/10/12, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Silver on the 101 (cloudy, unclear)

(Excerpt from Silver: 4 Connotations)

Poem by Jena Ardell

Slinking down the 101
Abrupt stops.
Cherry taillights
explode color
into monotone sky

squinting to see
through silver fog
an infinite amount of steam
sl ug gish ly   sails
into my car
through  open  windows

constant streams
of streetlights
slur into the air
as we
(this fog,  these strangers, myself)

sit in the San Fernando Valley
wondering what minuscule detail
will distinguish this day
from the last

Published in L.A. Weekly, 2/10/12, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED