Archives for posts with tag: Los Angeles poetry

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TOWARD THE WINTER SOLSTICE
by Timothy Steele

Although the roof is just a story high,
It dizzies me a little to look down.
I lariat-twirl the rope of Christmas lights
And cast it to the weeping birch’s crown;
A dowel into which I’ve screwed a hook
Enables me to reach, lift, drape, and twine
The cord among the boughs so that the bulbs
Will accent the tree’s elegant design.

Friends, passing home from work or shopping, pause
And call up commendations or critiques.
I make adjustments. Though a potpourri
Of Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jews, and Sikhs,
We all are conscious of the time of year;
We all enjoy its colorful displays
And keep some festival that mitigates
The dwindling warmth and compass of the days.

Some say that L.A. doesn’t suit the Yule,
But UPS vans now like magi make
Their present-laden rounds, while fallen leaves
Are gaily resurrected in their wake;
The desert lifts a full moon from the east
And issues a dry Santa Ana breeze,
And valets at chic restaurants will soon
Be tending flocks of cars and SUV’s.

And as the neighborhoods sink into dusk
The fan palms scattered all across town stand
More calmly prominent, and this place seems
A vast oasis in the Holy Land.
This house might be a caravansary,
The tree a kind of cordial fountainhead
Of welcome, looped and decked with necklaces
And ceintures of green, yellow , blue, and red.

Some wonder if the star of Bethlehem
Occurred when Jupiter and Saturn crossed;
It’s comforting to look up from this roof
And feel that, while all changes, nothing’s lost,
To recollect that in antiquity
The winter solstice fell in Capricorn
And that, in the Orion Nebula,
From swirling gas, new stars are being born.

“Toward the Winter Solstice” by Timothy Steele, from Toward the Winter Solstice © Swallow Press, 2005, available at Amazon.com.

Photo: Jenny Spadafora, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Daniel Romo, author of the recent Silver Birch Press poetry release ROMANCING GRAVITY, will read from his work as featured artist at an event hosted by Feral Fusion — a weekly series of spoken word performances.

WHEN: Thursday, June 20, 2013, starting at 8 p.m.

WHERE: Moby’s Cafe

ADDRESS: 5668 Cahuenga Blvd., North Hollywood, CA, 91601

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Daniel Romo is the author of When Kerosene’s Involved (Black Coffee Press, 2013). His poetry and photography can be found in the Los Angeles Review, Gargoyle, MiPOesias, Yemassee, Hobart, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte and teaches creative writing. He lives in Long Beach, California. More of his writing can be found at danielromo.net. Find ROMANCING GRAVITY at Amazon.com.

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ABOUT ROMANCING GRAVITY: The poems in ROMANCING GRAVITY navigate through worlds (and words) nestled in nostalgia, rooted in the uncanny, and prime with pain. Striking language and rich images frame gangbangers, classrooms, and family, while trying to carry the burdens that come with being alive. These are poems of baseball and breathing, of heaven and healing. The speakers of the poems wander from one world and into the next, looking down to find their footing, and looking up for proof that they exist.

“Daniel Romo’s ROMANCING GRAVITY is a terrific collection—at once edgy, comical, and big-hearted. I was immediately drawn to his streetwise grit, his luminous vision of urban America. These are poems that swagger, that ‘boom boom sound’ and leave your ears ringing.” David Hernandez, author of Hoodwinked

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At the Silver Birch Press blog, one of our favorite topics is noir — novels (anything by Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, or Ross MacDonald) and films (especially Double Indemnity, directed by Billy Wilder, with a script by Chandler and Wilder). That’s why we were intrigued when we learned about THE NIGHT GOES ON ALL NIGHT: Noir Inspired Poems, edited by Rick Lupert (Ain’t Got No Press, November 2011) published in conjunction with the Los Angeles Poetry Festival’s “Night and the City” Noir Festival.

The collection features work from 24 poets who, according to the book description, explore “their own noir-de-vivre with humor, grit, nostalgia, and the requisite fedora.” The book includes an introductory note about noir from Los Angeles Poetry Festival director Suzanne Lummis.

CONTRIBUTORS INCLUDE: E. Amato, Michael C. Ford, Michael Cluff, Brendan Constantine, Mike Daily, Gloria Derge, Peggy Dobreer, Jerry Garcia, Joelle Hannah, Kris Huelgas, Elizabeth Iannaci, Jack Bowman, Ruth Nolan, Marc Olmsted, Kevin Patrick Sullivan, Angela Penaredondo, Douglas Richardson, Anthony Seidman, Eric Steineger, Eric Tuazon, Mehnaz Turner, Wyatt Underwood, Wanda VanHoy Smith and Florence Weinberger.

Here is a sampling from the collection…

PANORAMA CITY (Excerpt)
by Brendan Constantine

We started wearing
dark glasses between the house & the garage.
Panorama City had no view; from any window
we saw another window.

ABOUT THE EDITOR: Rick Lupert has been involved in the Los Angeles poetry community since 1990. He served for two years as a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets, a non-profit organization that produces readings and publications out of the San Fernando Valley. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, including The Los Angeles Times and Chiron Review. He edited A Poet’s Haggadah: Passover through the Eyes of Poets anthology and is the author of thirteen books. Since 1994, he has hosted the long-running Cobalt Cafe reading series in Canoga Park and is regularly featured at venues throughout Southern California. Rick created and maintains the Poetry Super Highway, a major internet resource for poets. (PoetrySuperHighway.com) Currently Rick works as a music teacher and web designer and can be reached by email at Rick@PoetrySuperHighway.com.

Find the 56-page THE NIGHT GOES ON ALL NIGHT: Noir Inspired Poetry at Amazon.com.

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TOWARD THE WINTER SOLSTICE

by Timothy Steele

Although the roof is just a story high,
It dizzies me a little to look down.
I lariat-twirl the rope of Christmas lights
And cast it to the weeping birch’s crown;
A dowel into which I’ve screwed a hook
Enables me to reach, lift, drape, and twine
The cord among the boughs so that the bulbs
Will accent the tree’s elegant design.

Friends, passing home from work or shopping, pause
And call up commendations or critiques.
I make adjustments. Though a potpourri
Of Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jews, and Sikhs,
We all are conscious of the time of year;
We all enjoy its colorful displays
And keep some festival that mitigates
The dwindling warmth and compass of the days.

Some say that L.A. doesn’t suit the Yule,
But UPS vans now like magi make
Their present-laden rounds, while fallen leaves
Are gaily resurrected in their wake;
The desert lifts a full moon from the east
And issues a dry Santa Ana breeze,
And valets at chic restaurants will soon
Be tending flocks of cars and SUV’s.

And as the neighborhoods sink into dusk
The fan palms scattered all across town stand
More calmly prominent, and this place seems
A vast oasis in the Holy Land.
This house might be a caravansary,
The tree a kind of cordial fountainhead
Of welcome, looped and decked with necklaces
And ceintures of green, yellow , blue, and red.

Some wonder if the star of Bethlehem
Occurred when Jupiter and Saturn crossed;
It’s comforting to look up from this roof
And feel that, while all changes, nothing’s lost,
To recollect that in antiquity
The winter solstice fell in Capricorn
And that, in the Orion Nebula,
From swirling gas, new stars are being born.

“Toward the Winter Solstice” by Timothy Steele, from Toward the Winter Solstice © Swallow Press, 2005, available at Amazon.com.

Photo: Jenny Spadafora, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED