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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Henry Miller Library Grand Opening at the Barnyard in Carmel, California

 On May 28th, 2017 The Henry Miller Library opened its doors in Carmel, California at the Barnyard. I was asked to read along with Carolyn Mary Kleefeld and Elliot Ruchowitz-Roberts.
Carolyn Mary Kleefeld

Elliot Ruchowitz-Roberts, has a new collection of poems, White Fire published by Ping-Pong Free Press

Magnus Toren
Here is one of the poems I read for my mother who passed away this year:

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The Omen (must be) from the Great Blue Heron in my Backyard

My mother says it must be an omen, but of what, she doesn’t know.
Terminal cancer, she’s become a shaman of what’s between the sea and the landing.

We’re binge-watching Breaking Bad. “All doctors want us to radiate.”
“Fade away and radiate,” a Blondie song from the 80s pipes through my head.

She’s home now, not a metaphor, but a three hours drive from here
into a polluted wasteland of petroleum, pesticides and tumbleweeds.

A place where a great blue heron would never live, only migrate through.
My house is on a creek that trickles–sometimes torrents–to the ocean’s maw.

Now it’s meandering. The bathymetry has changed since last year:
two trees fell in my yard, on Easter a spruce crashed the trellis, shaved the cherry.

When the cottonwood smashed the tea roses, they were un-thwarted.
Lots of light now, more birds. The house finches returned: a nest in the barbeque:

the Steller’s jays returned; a nest in the bottle brush, not their usual stupid choice
of the patio umbrella, though they did leave a few twigs there for their gods.

And the great blue heron, a first time visitor.
A portent. “An omen,” she says.

The heron, who suffers no fool, flies past my line of vision, to the sea.
Great sweeps of wing close enough to tease a strand of hair from my face.

Over my shoulder a shudder of air as all the mourning doves tear out
of the sycamore, a sound like the gods’ shrill laughter, a chilling sound.

“An omen,” she says. There is a nest I built inside myself on a rocky perch. To love is to borrow a future sorrow made of sticks and hair and spit.
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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.


Maria Garcia 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.




PEPPER
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 SOLO(1)
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…”
IMG_2415
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 . . . . . .