Archives for posts with tag: 1965



story by Joan Jobe Smith

A jet airliner flew overhead, a golden rod in the setting sun, getting the hell out of town while a full moon came rising like no other, just like every moon ever born is like no other moon before and that particular moon was the L.A. Watts Riots Silvery Moon, and it stared down at us with grand magnificent indifference and satisfaction for being faraway from the pyromaniacal crowd that was riot-making L.A.

 “Wow –” Mick panted, patting his chest to calm himself, as the hot August 12, 1965, sun dropped behind the Pacific Palisades to the west of us and the sky turned royal blue and the horizon turned magenta, then blood red, the smoke from the riots’ fires baking one of the most spectacular sunsets I’d ever see. Los Angeles can be so beautiful if, when, it is. 

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 B.A. from CSULB and MFA from UCI. 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 20 collections, including Jehovah Jukebox (Event Horizon Press, US) and The Pow Wow Cafe (The Poetry Business, UK), finalist for the UK 1999 Forward Prize. In July 2012, with her husband, poet Fred Voss, she did her sixth reading tour of England (debuting at the 1991 Aldeburgh Poetry Festival), featured at the Humber Mouth Literature Festival in Hull. In September 2012, Silver Birch Press will publish her literary profile: Charles Bukowski Epic Glottis: His Art & His Women (& me), and later in the year, World Parade Books will release her memoir TALES OF AN ANCIENT GO-GO GIRL.

NOTE: “By the Light of a Silvery Watts Riots Moon,” a 2,000-word creative nonfiction story by Joan Jobe Smith will appear in the upcoming Silver Birch Press release Silver: An Eclectic Anthology of Poetry & Prose (available November 15, 2012).


Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
by Joan Jobe Smith

It’s hard to believe today how bellybuttons
once drove men crazy in 1965, bellybuttons
the raison d’être, Original Sin of go-go bars
when French bikinis were still banned on
California state beaches and American tv
and I wouldn’t wear a bikini at first, I just
wore leotards or costumes showing just a bit
of midriff, the go-go bar owners not caring,
a shy new go-go girl gave the place class, but it
drove the guys crazy, one guy one day offering me
$20 to show him my bellybutton and I told him
No, I don’t have one, but he didn’t believe me.
I’m a Martian, I told him, but he didn’t believe
that either, he just got drunker and drunker
and yelled at me all afternoon, Hey, Baby,
lemme see yer bellybutton Baby but I kept on saying
It’s all so silly nowadays.
I sure could’ve used that $20 back then in 1965.
I still could.

SOURCE: This poem appears in Charles Bukowski Epic Glottis: His Art, His Women (&me), by Joan Jobe Smith, available at

Photo: Joan Jobe Smith, 1969, The Playgirl Club, Garden Grove, California