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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Calaveras Poetry for Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead)

Calaveras (literally, sugar skulls,) are traditional satirical Mexican poems published on and around the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). The celebration of the day of the dead predates the independence of the countries in North America. Something native here, this idea of the dead living amongst the human. B-waaaaaahhh. Below you can read a calavera in Spanish about Donald Trump, everyone's favorite meerkat. Feel free to add your calavera here!

The Calaca of a Vaquera
(The Skeleton of the Cowgirl)

Not a tequila swilling,
sombrero wearing,
bandelero brandishing,
pistol-poppin dama,

but something pre-Columbian,
both creator and destroyer.
A molcajete grinding,
horseback riding Calaca.

Hot the pepper,
cool the salt,
when she licks the dust
from your bones.

Maria Garcia Teutsch

Calavera for Thelonious Monk

Play asymmetrical swing
with hands
hep to the jive.
Cherubim don't let fly
Maybe Bird and Dizzy
Can take it high.

River Atwood Tabor

Below you can read a calavera in Spanish with a loose English translation. It’s from here. It’s making fun of that pro-choice, tree hugging candidate we all know and love, (that's also a joke, remember when we wrote stuff and made fun of each other?) yeah, that's a calavera.

Donald Trump te lo aseguro
Le dijo la calavera
Que no vas a hacer el muro
Porque una hirviente caldera
Rebosante de cianuro
En el infierno te espera.
Y por lo tanto, te auguro,
Que todo buen mexicano
Predecirá tu futuro
Que allá en un lugar lejano
Por tu discurso tan duro
Se te va a podrir el: anillo periférico.

Donald Trump I assure you
He told the skull
You will not make the wall
Because a seething cauldron
Brimming with cyanide
In hell awaits.
And therefore, I predict,
Every good Mexican
It will predict your future
That there in a faraway place
For your speech so hard
You're going to rot on: beltway.

Calavera for Kauai

The ancients speak through Pele’s children,
scarlet roosters who reprimand pushy Nene geese,
chase tiny mourning doves into hibiscus groves.
The jagged silhouette of a sleeping giant
lifts volcanic hills, sprouts ghostly plumeria.
Steep Na Pali coastline protects royal bones.
Kauai sneezes silver rain,
scatters battalions of wandering banyan.
Poetry spills from belligerent clouds.

Jennifer Lagier-Fellguth

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

3rd Annual Speech is not Free Festival!


October 1st, 2016 at The Henry Miller Memorial Library

7:30 PM

Come join us in a benefit for Big Sur’s own literary press: Ping-Pong Free Press, published by the Henry Miller Memorial Library. The evening will feature a poetry reading by Brenda Coultas; a staged reading of Henry Miller and Anais Nin’s more salacious writing entitled Miller Out Loud! featuring local actors portraying the roles of Henry, June, Anais and Rimbaud. Chicago musician and Library friend extraordinaire, Al Rose, who just dropped a critically acclaimed CD entitled, Spin Spin Dizzy will close out the evening with a musical set featuring songs that put the free in free speech. Please join us in this celebration, because we believe that without free speech there can be no human rights. Doors open at 6:30, program begins at 7:30.

Poetry Reading by Brenda Coultas

Miller Out Loud! staged reading

Al Rose in performance

Brenda Coultas is the author of four poetry collections, including The Tatters (Wesleyan University Press, 2014), The Marvelous Bones of Time (Coffee House Press, 2008), and A Handmade Museum (Coffee House Press, 2003). Her honors include a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship and residencies from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice, Italy, and the Millay Colony for the Arts.

Al Rose is a striking songwriter and musician with a unique and powerful vision that continues with his seventh and latest release (2016), “Spin Spin Dizzy”. His previous albums have received extensive airplay on AAA and Americana stations throughout the US along with a bevy of critical praise. He is a mesmerizing transformer when performing live as a solo or with any number of his band, The Transcendos, in any configuration. This drives the songs each night, but the songs have always been what drives the musicians in what The Chicago Tribune has called “one audaciously entertaining ride”.

Ron Genauer is an optometrist who has been involved in community theatre for many years. Some of his favorite roles have been Gelman, in Arthur Miller’s “Broken Glass”, the Player, in Tom Stoppard’s  “Rozencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead”, and Charley, in David Mamet’s “Speed the Plow.”

John Dotson is a writer/producer/director/multi-media artist with Carmel Bay Players. He also works with The Seventh Quarry Drama Group of Swansea, Wales. John’s first acting was in excerpts of Shakespeare directed by Charlotte Perry at Santa Catalina School. He performed at the Forest Theater in The Hollow Crown, directed by Marcia Hovick, and in Robinson Jeffers’ Medea, directed by Nick Zanides. At Cherry Hall in Carmel, John performed Willie in Beckett’s Happy Days, directed by Conrad Selvig. John’s three-act play, It’s Always Something, directed by Nancy Pridemore, was staged in Kingsport, Tennessee, his hometown, in 2001. He then wrote and played the leading role in Without Why, directed by Conrad Selvig. With Lisa Maroski, John has written two plays, Touching Distance and Dearly Departing, performed in the US and at the Dylan Thomas Theatre in Swansea.

Susan Roether Zsigmond (Director) is a writer and film maker. She is a friend of the San Francisco Library; North Beach Citizens: American Film Institute; The Actor’s Studio Playwrights Unit; and the Mecahnics Institute Library and Chess room. Her recent novel “Our Lady of West Hollywood” was listed among “Best of the Independent Press, 2014” by Kirkus Review. Susan is also a member of the board of directors of the Henry Miller Memorial Library.

MariaGarcia Teutsch (Producer) The Revolution Will Have its Sky, won the 2016 Minerva Rising chapbook competition, judge: Heather McHugh. She is a poet, educator and editor. She has published over 20 journals of poetry as editor-in-chief of the Homestead Review, published by Hartnell College in Salinas, and Ping-Pong journal of art and literature, published by the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur, California. She teaches poetry and creative writing online as a member of the faculty of Hartnell College. She serves as president of the board of the Henry Miller Memorial Library, and is the founder and EIC of Ping-Pong Free Press.

Deidre Mccauley has been doing theatre for over 50 years. In Philadelphia she began at Old Academy Players following in her mother’s footsteps onto the stage.
She’s performed at Western Stage, Magic Circle Theatre, The Golden Bough, Outdoor Forest Theatre and Carl Cherry Center for the Arts. Recently she starred in a film called “Laces” which debuted at the Monarch Film Festival. She is part of The Actor’s Collective which is a group of actors who love to fly without a net.

Marnie Glazier is a writer, theatre artist and educator. She holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing, and a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies. She has directed a number of productions – professional and academic – has taught Theatre, Writing, and Communication Studies for more than ten years, and currently serves as Theatre Faculty Lead at Hartnell College in Salinas. Her scholarly writing has been presented at numerous conferences and published in Laconics and the Texas Theatre Journal, and upcoming performances include: Transpiration, at the American Society for Theatre Research Conference this fall in Minneapolis, MN.   Her work is deeply embedded in social practice/physical/visual theatre, ecology, and ecofeminism.

River Atwood Tabor is a poet, photographer, philosopher and other things that begin with the letter “p.” At 20 years of age, he has helped found a press, published a book of poetry, and traveled to 5 countries, and that’s just in the past year.

Monday, February 8, 2016

This is Not a Love Poem (V)

Boxed in Lovers (They Seem so Happy)

1) The quantity of nerve cells in the brain is in direct relation to need.

The sea nettle jellyfish spends
little on the purchase of nerve cells for his brain.
He is bell shaped and bold beauty
lace of tentacles
exquisite in their ability to scoop
passive prey.

2) To hunt active prey you need more nerve cells for your brain.

Consider the flatworm,
following sunlight, humidity,
the warmth of leaves.
His brain weighs data
which triggers the oozing of juice
onto the hapless earthworm,
who is dissolved and consumed.

3) Social animals have larger brains.
Two weeks before death
a honeybee is set free
from currying combs, setting wax.
Now a forager
he fluffs food from purple coneflowers
reads the sundial
times the flower
for nectar signals
and takes note
in a flower diary.
Returns at the precise moment
the petals open for penetration.

4) Survival depends on our ability to learn.

My last boyfriend painted large canvasses.
He’d come to bed smelling
of linseed oil
and turpentine.
Once he’d aroused me
he’d return to his paints.
In the henna of daybreak
I’d consider my naked form,
full moon breasts, burnt sienna hair
thick with the wet oil of color.
One day
I noticed the hair in a painting
was red, yellow, cerulean,
the eyes chartreuse, with teacup breasts,
not like mine.

5) To kill a scorpion you crack its husk. Once you figure this out, you’ve mastered the technique for life.

© Maria Garcia Teutsch
originally published in The Café Review

Friday, November 27, 2015

New Poem up: www.marialoveswords.com

The Judge's Girl

photo credit: Stewart Ferebee Photography

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Jesse Goodman Presents: Pink Martini! Poet David Meltzer to open December 8th, Monterey, California

For more info go here: marialoveswords

Jesse Goodman has been producing benefit concerts for the Henry Miller Memorial Library since he brought Patti Smith there in 2004. The past few years he has been bringing poets in as the opening acts of these shows, which as you can imagine, pleases us here in the Republik of poets to no end. This year he is bringing in legendary San Francisco poet, David Meltzer to open for Pink Martini in this year's benefit on December 8th at the Golden State Theatre in Monterey, California. Get your tickets baby, they're going fast . . . So, to honor Jesse's mad genius we are featuring his story as well as poems by David Meltzer and his wife, the poet Julie Rogers. Scroll down for his story, but first: the poets. Enjoy.

Art's desire to get it all said
to all who thought him dead
in the joint & beside the point
Art's struggle to sing it all
through jazz warfare & tell
everything he knew in brass
speed rap stir crazy utopia
of muscle chops push it in your face
rough unrelenting grace
fierce Art pitbull clamps down
pulls edges out in time to break through
scream knotty beauty
toe to toe w/ any joe
who thinks they know better
Art tattoos blue needles into moonlight skin
junk light makes mirror perfect
Art's smoke aches out of wounds
L.A. Art burritos & bebop
black guacamole serge zoots
Central Avenue cat copping
Art at Club Alabam
in Lee Young's band
all the chicks & the hatcheck chick
have big eyes for Art's horn
DAVID MELTZER began his literary career during the Beat heyday and is considered a prominent figure in the San Francisco/Beat Renaissance. He came to prominence as the youngest poet to have his work included in the anthology, The New American Poetry 1945 – 1960, edited by Donald Allen. He is the author of many volumes of poetry including Arrows: Selected Poetry 1957 – 1992, No Eyes: Lester Young, Beat Thing, and David’s Copy. He has also published fiction and essays, and has edited numerous anthologies and collections of interviews such as Reading Jazz, Writing Jazz, and San Francisco Beat: Talking with the Poets. His most recent book of poetry, When I Was A Poet, is 60 in the Pocket Poet’s Series published by City Lights. In 2012 David was nominated for the Northern California Book Award in Poetry. This year, City Lights reissued a special edition of his poetry guide, ‘Two-Way Mirror – A Poetry Notebook’, with a new introduction and an updated addendum. In April, with his wife, poet Julie Rogers, and saxophonist Zan Stewart, released the CD, ‘Two Tone Poetry & Jazz’. Diane di Prima, former SF Poet Laureate says of him, “David Meltzer is a hidden adept, one of the secret treasures on our planet. Great poet, musician, comic; mystic unsurpassed, performer with few peers.” David Meltzer is also known for his inspiring and witty teaching style, and has taught in San Francisco and elsewhere for four decades.

Witness          for Rodney King
Beaten under by the clubs of his protectors
he’s down for the count
on asphalt not meant to hold his blood
and he can’t get away
his scars are monuments to ignorance
his tears are dark water
left running in the city
filling toilets, filling swimming pools
flooding gutters with our trash and the homeless
his screams are the sirens of Los Angeles
forcing the traffic back: heart attacks
suicide attempts, maybe a kid on crack
taking a fast ride
through overgrowth that won’t stop
his family grieving, wanting revenge
while the TV shows a cremation of dreams
smoldering rage rising like smoke
from neighborhoods burning at dawn.
Witness the bashing of Mr. King
on an instant replay
while a jury argues his pain.
Someone said he fought back.
I saw a man struggle to stand on his own.
Julie Rogers(1)
Julie Rogers entered the Bay Area poetry scene during the 1970’s. Her poems were first included in a San Francisco anthology in 1980, and she later published five chapbooks. She has read her work on public radio and television and at many venues in California and Oregon, and more recently in New York City. Decades of involvement in the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism have influenced her writings, and in 2007, Vimala published her Buddhist hospice manual, Instructions for the Transitional State, with which she has begun a non-profit educational program. Her poetry has been featured in various journals and anthologies such as Beatitude – Golden Anniversary 1959 – 2009, Poetry Flash, Sparring with Beatnik Poets, Big Scream, The Cafe Review, World of Change, and others. In 2012, Wild Ocean Press published her first selected collection of poetry spanning thirty years of work, House Of The Unexpected. Omerta Publications released her newest chapbook, Street Warp, in 2013. She recently released the CD, 'Two-Tone Poetry & Jazz', recorded with her husband, poet David Meltzer, and saxophonist Zan Stewart. Currently, she teaches creative writing privately, and performs solo and with her husband. Poet Michael McClure has said of her work, “Few poems are written as close to the heart -- no extra words, just soul meanings…”
me, jesse, and eleni sikelianos at the Cibo Matto benefit show 2014 at HMML
Jesse Goodman's Story:
This story begins on Independence Day, at the turn of the Millennium, having just moved to San Francisco a day or two before the 4th. My very first mission having moved to the West Coast was to head South on Highway 1 to Big Sur. I had longed to go to this most special of places, that in my mind I knew would be pure magic. I'm not even sure when Big Sur entered my consciousnesses, but if it was good enough for 'The Beats' I was certain I'd find something special there.
I had been camping, hiking, and exploring both the little nooks and the grandeur of the area when the 4th of July came round. I had heard that Baba Oluntuji was performing at the Esalen Institute. Given how I was vibe'ing with the flow of Big Sur, I headed to Esalen, fully believing that despite being sold out, I'd find my way in.
Just as quickly as I arrived at Esalen, I was rejected (as to be expected). I hopped in my car and headed North back to the campground. I was feeling badly about not having had the chance to see the Nigerian drumming legend. Then in an instant, as I passed the Henry Miller Library (HML), I suddenly and without thought parked my car next to The Library's gates. There was a palpable feeling that something exciting was about to happen. It was here that I found the cultural beating heart of Big Sur.
The Library was in preparation mode, with a troupe of artists from Prague along with their organizer extraordinaire, Maya Cain. A tall charismatic Swede, Magnus Toren (Executive Director of HML), who somehow appeared as if he had been birthed from The Library's grounds, was everywhere. It was clear this was no ordinary spot. In this place of overwhelming beauty with its lofty trees and vast ocean, The Library is the intersection of Big Sur's spiritual grandeur and human creativity.
July 4th, 2000 began my relationship with HML & Big Sur. Fast forward several trips and I am spending the evening in Magnus & Mary-Lou's cozy cabin on Partington Ridge (Miller's Ridge) along with my partner, Max. We are drinking wine under the stars, and the talk moves to "how cool it would be" if Patti Smith could perform a benefit for HML. I said, not knowing how I'd accomplish this, "YES YES YES" !! I said "Yes" because in Big Sur anything is truly possible.
Patti did perform, on August 22nd, 2004, in what became the 1st Annual Henry Miller Library Benefit. Against all odds, she agreed to perform for the little Library off Highway 1. What an honor!
Not more than a moment had passed after Patti's encore when Magnus turned to me and asked with a cheeky grin, "So, who are ya bringing next year"? The thought that this might be the first of an annual benefit hadn't even crossed my mind, but with those words uttered, a new challenge emerged.
Who could I invite to the same place that inspired Henry Miller, gave birth to HML, and has attracted adventurers & artists for as long as there has been a Big Sur?
Eleven years have passed since Patti's performance. I think back to having never seen Baba Oluntuji and the moment another path was forged. Over the years audiences have enjoyed intimate performances by Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass, Marianne Faitfull, Rufus Wainwright as well as other artists who have been a part of HML's annual benefit.
As long as Big Sur exists, as long as HML exists, artists and audiences alike will come to inspire & be inspired. The magic will continue.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Ping-Pong Free Press

Announcing Ping-Pong Free Press Details TBA soon . . . . . .

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Speech Is Not Free! 60th Anniversary of Howl, poetry workshops, and more . . .

Speech is Not Free! 60th Anniversary Celebration of Howl, Ping-Pong Free Press Extravaganza!

Featuring Anne Waldman and Ambrose Bye in performance
pc: Jaroslav Kratochvil
Group Reading of Howl, screening of the Telling Pictures film, Howl.
Poetry Reading of The Revolution Will Have its Sky, Maria Garcia Teutsch
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Mike Scutari 667-2764

Speech is Not Free
Howl 60th Anniversary, choral reading and Film; music by Anne Waldman and Ambrose Bye; a benefit for Ping-Pong Free Press/release party for the 2015 journal.
On Friday October 16 the Henry Miller Memorial Library will present their second annual Speech is Not Free Event with apoetry reading from the Library’s literary journal Ping-Pong; a group reading of Howl; a performance featuring Anne Waldman and Ambrose Bye followed by a showing of the Telling Pictures film, Howl.
On Saturday the Library will host performance and poetry workshops: 10-11:45, Riot Writing: poems to start a revolution generative workshop with Ping-Pong EIC, Maria Garcia Teutsch; 12-12:30 brown bag lunch. 12:30-2:30-Performance and Poetry workshop with Anne Waldman and Ambrose Bye; 2:30-4: Free Speech Presentation and exhibit: informal chat with library executive director Magnus Torén.
On Saturday Evening there will be performances by Grammy award winning artist Ian Brennan, and Bob Forrest of Thelonius Monster.
Allen Ginsberg typing Howl
Saturday 10/17/15 Workshops:
10:00-11:45 am: Riot Writing—Poems to start a Revolution: Poetry of Protest is Poetry of Witness generative workshop with Maria Garcia Teutsch
Poetry is written for any number of reasons, most often having to do with witnessing: the poet sees something so beautiful they want share it with the world, or perhaps the poet sees an injustice they want to give voice to—poetry of social consciousness. Working primarily with poetry of the latter ilk, we will examine Chicano/a poetry, Feminist poetry, Palestinian Poetry, Jewish poetry, Russian poetry, Syrian poetry etc… and then generate and share our own poems of protest.
12:30-2:30:The Poem-in-Performance: A Workshop with Anne Waldman & Ambrose Bye
Working with our melopoeia, — the innate music of our writing — we will let our poetry guide us into various performance strategies and modes of composition. We will be working with our voice, our timing, possible instrumentation, collaboration and the like. We will consider methods of sprechstimme (speak-singing), monologue, vocal duets, curses, spells, lullabies, blues, poem-as-libretto, and also consider how to shape the work on the page with its orality in mind. We will begin with some “experiments of attention” and work toward individual pieces we will then record on a CD. Participants may also bring a piece of their choice to class to work on, as well as instruments they can play. Musicianship is welcome! Discussion will include some performance theory.
2:30–Freedom to Read with Magnus Torén
Informal talk with Executive director of the Henry Miller Memorial Library, Magnus Torén who will be giving an informal talk on Miller, free speech, censorship and where we are at today with regards to free speech. On display will also be an exhibit of rare books and other items from the Henry Miller Library’s archives.
Sign up for Workshops here: Workshop signup (space is limited)

7:00PM–Saturday evening performances by Grammy Award winning artist Ian Brennan and Bob Forrest (Thelonius Monster).

About the artists:
Anne Waldman The author of more than 40 collections of poetry and poetics, Anne Waldman is an active member of the Outrider experimental poetry movement, and has been connected to the Beat movement and the second generation of the New York School. Her publications include Fast Speaking Woman (1975), Marriage: A Sentence (2000), and the multi-volume Iovis project (1992, 1993, 1997).
Her work as a cultural activist and her practice of Tibetan Buddhism are deeply connected to her poetry. Waldman is, in her words, “drawn to the magical efficacies of language as a political act.” Her commitment to poetry extends beyond her own work to her support of alternative poetry communities. Waldman has collaborated extensively with visual artists, musicians, and dancers, and she regularly performs internationally. Her performance of her work is engaging and physical, often including chant or song, and has been widely recorded on film and video. www.annewaldman.org

Ambrose Bye, musician/producer grew up in the environment of The Jack Kerouac School at Naropa University, graduated from The University of California, Santa Cruz and was trained as an audio engineer at the music/production program at Pyramind in San Francisco. Working primarily with poets, he has produced four albums with Anne Waldman, “In the Room of Never Grieve”, “The Eye of the Falcon”, “Matching Half”, and “The Milk of Universal Kindness”. He also produced “Comes Through in the Call Hold” featuring Waldman, Thurston Moore, and Clark Coolidge. Recently he produced, “Harry’s House” a compilation from recordings done at Naropa University and is working on Volume Two. www.fastspeakingmusic.bandcamp.com

Maria Garcia Teutsch is an award-winning poet, editor and educator. Her most recent collection, The Revolution Will Have its Sky, received the Minerva Rising Chapbook award, Judge: Heather McHugh. She serves as editor-in-chief of The Homestead Review, Ping-Pong Magazine and Ping-Pong Free Press. She has been teaching poetry and creative writing classes at Hartnell College for the past 16 years where she received the Gleason Award for teaching excellence. Ilya Kaminsky says of Maria’s poetics: “The voices in her poems are direct and yet there is a certain mystery to this directness, this clarity of address. Clarity, the great Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish taught us, is the first mystery. She understands this too. Her poems can be devotional, or political or sexy, but there is always this sense of direct address, of clarity that isn’t all that simple, that contains a kind of tenderness, a kind of playfulness that is clear and mysterious at the same time.” www.marialoveswords.com

Henry Miller Library Director since 1993, Magnus Torén is responsible for creating a vital cultural and educational resource at the Henry Miller Library during the past twenty-two years. He holds a skipper’s license and he spent the years between 1977 and 1984 (and 1994-95), delivering yachts across 5 of the seven oceans of the world. He made landfall in Big Sur and is married to Mary Lu. They have a son, Stefan, 25 years old. Stefan lives in Houston, Texas, where he serves in the US Coast Guard. Mary Lu and Magnus live on Partington Ridge in Big Sur where they try to keep as much edible stuff as possible growing in the garden.