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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.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Revolution Will Have its Sky, Now Available!

Judge's Citation, Heather McHugh

The Revolution Will Have Its Sky
by Maria Garcia Teutsch
The revolution will have its sky—where else might its banner wave, aloft,
esteemed--and still be widely legible? In order for us to discern what otherwise the
sight alone can’t catch, impulses appropriate letters, airs take shape, the wind turns
signs to tatters, tatters to signs. The author of these poems keeps an eye not on a
single great celestial value, but on the human disposition to scrips, emblems, notes,
names, lists: The scores we keep.

The tricks that contribute to this work's verbal motif are many, but not superficial.
Brothel trick, funeral trick, mirror trick, catafalque trick: they arise as the recourse
of an active alertness, in the face of masks, to the presence of representations.
In heraldry, an engraver's trick enlists letters or numbers (written or carved) to
represent colors (under whose airier sways may armies march). But this poet's
alerted attention is to another sort of detachment.

The senses of the word “trick” flicker between means and meaning, exploit and
exploiter, ruse and wit; between adroitness and waylaying; between wile and skill,
where working skeptics must be wary even of awareness: "Mirrors in tatters
become a veil." And where exactly are those "Stripes in gold fringes"? In words? In
garbs? The grand banners and regal ribbons of a Reine Soleil ? (Or the sun’s own
sine qua non , taken, in a coup d’oeil , for a single eyeblink?) Even love hurts; and
looking (or seeming) is its chief instrument.

This poetry isn't out to convert, but to advert. It doesn't pledge allegiance or invest
in transcendent causes, but rather observes some kinds of signs – signs of war, wars
of sex, hexes of communication It won't hallow a transparency; it won’t turn away
from an execution.

In the skeptic's etymology, to look and to reflect are kin. I watch, says the skeptic.
And the watch pulled from the Madame/ Queen’s breast “[s]teals a whirl of second
hands.” The ticker—with its little diamond—keeps count of time’s bit-bedevilled
billionfold: more and more representations of the claim to be one. Emblems of
Monarch, Freemason and Pope alike inscribe a dialectic: two arms serving the same
brain. (Hence the insignias of their respective realms: the unicorn's complement of
lion; the double-headed eagle; two keys crossed.)

The heart of the matter, the matter with consciousness, is the momentary: the
ticker cannot construct enough momentousness out of the countlessness or bits of
particulars. "…The eternal song/can prolong the funeral trick/ but for a moment…”
Whether in love or in politics, a con is attended by its pro.

This work's occasions are implicated in its materials: with trompes l'oeil , jacks and
johns, sleights of hand, this poetry registers some serious claims and obligations:
"After he sells her to the rebels/for 100 women…/…she becomes…/An anti-image
singing/to an image in a field of blue." (An engraver's trick is an anti-image too.)
Constitutions are (constitutively) vulnerable to prostitutions, restitutions,

In a final draft, the colors may come down to a blast of taps: "If you fasten a
collection/of decorations to a uniform/you can give last orders/ to last men." In
black and white, Old Glory has been tagged. Seeing illusions attached to
engagements, uses to ubiquities, profanities to idealism, privates to a general, The
Revolution Will Have Its Sky reminds us enlistees (whether in grays or blues,
whether in wishes or words, whether in war or love) how down-and-dirty signing
up can be.

Heather McHugh
February 14, 2015
Seattle WA

To purchase a copy of this collection please go here: Minerva Rising

Monday, July 6, 2015


--> My godbox is open
-- see dappled trout leap at your eye-hook.

In my box full of God,
warm cold blood,
spelunk through Godbox with wires, with juncos and towhees
we read as musical notes,
flat and sharp.

My godbox is open in the black speck
of your iris,
watching God business
as I put my sock
in my godshoe
and do godwork on god’s water and rock in my god hips
to Muddy Waters in my head blue as the parted sea.

I am Ella in the shower
I bubble my hair with godsoap
                feel god run down my leg
into the silver drainpipe in my backyard,

where I'll find my baby asleep by the river on a reed pillow
I wake him as I wipe his goddrool,
and then I finish
with this god-business.

Originally published in Talisman

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Profiles in Poetics at womens quarterly conversation with yours truly

Thank you to womens quarterly conversation for asking me really intelligent and interesting questions. Full text of the interview can be found on their website here: 

You are sitting beneath the shade of a coral curtain. The curtain was created by ‘we’ hand-strung ornaments, balanced from sandy trees in the Far East. In the Western hemisphere of the world ‘I’ stretch out my legs on a plush Ikea perch, making sure to check if ‘I’ have enough. Carbon dioxide cartridges for my home made sparkling mineral beverage, for example. Take a step away from the romanticization of these images and ask yourself the following. Does patriarchal structure and commodification depend on its cultural configuration? How does self and subjugation interplay in the conversation? Does identity depend on its soil? We converse today with Maria Garcia Teutsch: a writer whose journey in this interview begins as a young girl planter of wishes. 

Teutsch now, self-ascribed as “southern-protestant-pacifist-radical-chicana-feminist-super-pussy-take-no-crap-offa-nobody-no-how-type-of-writer,” is a well-traveled poet, mother, wife, teacher, community builder devoted to “helping artists get their stuff out there.” We speak to her about America’s open markets and how language is “shaped into the image of its maker”. The message is not always easy for readers to digest because of the origin of the earth. She admits, “part of the beauty of poetry is that I can break language down and let it do the work.” Here we glimpse how revolution occurs every day, pronounces and obscures the inscriptions of our cultural framework, and how we learn to respect the nuances of that glass of water. 

Teutsch’s most recent work, the focus of this profile, The Revolution Will have its Sky, is the recent winner of the 2014 Minerva Rising chapbook competition. The collection contemplates existential notions of the self. She tells us, “we little beings do all we can to change the world, and the effort is worth it, but don’t confuse good work with importance.” The focus of this book is about “women as subject, object, and ruler.” Here we “invert the social order and in the end, the madame becomes queen. Queen of what? The social order is still patriarchal, the war machine still goes on, but the revolution, well, that may have just begun.” Let us applaud and take part. In the revolution. 
--Jillian Mukavetz, EIC, womens quarterly conversation

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Revolution Will Have its Sky, Minerva Rising Contest Winning Entry!

I would like to thank Heather McHugh and the editors at Minerva Rising journal for selecting my collection of poems, The Revolution Will Have its Sky, which will be published this year:

Thoughts on The Revolution Will Have Its Sky by Heather McHugh

The personal is political, and politics are everywhere: the courtroom, the throne room, the confessional (real or fake), the brothel, the gallows, and the street corners. Here in The Revolution Will Have Its Sky, Maria Garcia Teutsch presents a manifesto for an ageless cause. By turning her poetic tricks, she conflates image and casts aspersions--we see shadow and reflection, we see queen as whore and judge as prophet as well as thief.

As Heather McHugh asked, in her Judge’s Citation for this year’s winner, The revolution will have its sky--where else might its banner wave, aloft, esteemed--and still be widely legible? Teutsch sets this poetic stage against the clear backdrop of sky, complete with cast of characters--Madame, General, Executioner, Pimp. There is a bishop, but is he fake? There is a judge, but is he fair? “the judge wants/ screaming”, and in the naked truth that the poet lays bare, isn’t that what we all want? To punish others, to absolve ourselves of sins? We want to confess, to be given permission to keep sinning, to make our whores criminals and queens so that they pay the price for our transgressions and also lead us into the next Tiananmen, the next Tahrir.

In the titular poem, “The Revolution Will Have Its Sky” we hear the “eternal song” advancing like a battle march. “If you fasten a collection/ of decorations to a uniform/ you can give last orders to last men. The eternal song/ can prolong the funeral trick/ but for a moment.”
The sexual, political, religious and historical, revolutionary every one, are layered here in bull-horned overtones and covert whispers. Weaving them together, somewhat violently in places, deftly and provocatively throughout, and flying its banner high, this chapbook raises a small yet mighty fist, crying “War, rebellion,/ showers of shrapnel,/ nothing stops them/ coming.”

Tricks of the oldest profession on earth are not tricks played while lying down, they are the tricks of the poet, who in this case is the Executionee. When she “empties her pockets, / words fall --/ iambs,/ quatrains/ couplets./ Nothing to save her.” Let this poetry, this poet be saved, let the language of her tricks and her tactics be more than a Revolution of One. Let them be an eternal song.

--Emily Shearer, poetry editor, Minerva Rising Journal

Monday, March 2, 2015

For Women's history month we have the twin goddesses of my existence: Alice Notley is this month's featured poet on Poet Republik and Anne Waldman's poem is featured in last month's love offering. It is a rare joy to be able to interact with such amazing poets.

Friday, February 20, 2015

This Is Not a Love Poem--A Rose is a Weed in a Cornfield

This Valentine's offering from marialoveswords-This is Not A Love Poem IV-- is for all those love-poets who still believe in love, in all of its many-faceted forms. We here celebrate love in its sticky thorniness, believing as we do that gender is a thing with feathers. Poetry may not save the world, but it could just save your relationship. I disagree with Shakespeare--kind of--he says music is the fruit of love, but I say it’s poetry. So dig in--let the nectar drip from your lips, run down your neck, let the music of these words play on . . .

“The Offering”
There were moments you slew me,
With a grindstone of curses
I’ll cut off your head to bring the rain
This god with his liver dangling beneath the ribs like a bell
I will ring it till it peals, peals, peals
Plastic trinkets in an offering box
A skull with spine attached
A shaman greeted you and beat
you lightly with branches
It was a blessing, a welcome to this city
Milagros pinned to a shrine
Calcium grins grim
Face to face with volcanic stone
I’ll never forget, my enemy or my lover’s shape
Cradling a head in my hands, memorizing the bony plates
Below the cobblestones
Temples built over temples
Riding the lake under the bed of the city
I’ll cut off your head to bring the rain
Wear your hair and face to the temple
And light the braziers, the belly
A stone bowl carved to hold a beating heart
Brenda Coultas
I cannot
Be away from him.

My Argonaut,
My wild flock

Of bright red

Feeding me
His sweet and golden fruit.
Cynthia Cruz
The Apologist
Orange lilies are not an apology. Maybe crimson columbines, if you picked them naked,
were caught by a ranger in your all-together, and given a ticket, yeah, then maybe it’s an apology.

If you offered your herbarium of pilfered wildflowers you’d pressed and labeled: “Flowers of the North Fork of the American River, of which I am most proud,” with taxonomic rank penciled in next to each entry: class, subclass, order and species, then maybe it’s an apology.

A recognition somehow of effort, not a florist phone call delivering flowers unseen.

Orange lilies are not an apology. And don’t even think about roses--don’t--no matter the color. A rose is just a weed in the cornfield of this argument.
Maria Garcia Teutsch
Orange Lilies
Let’s take off our clothes and fool around.
We can roll all over
like dogs off-leash at Lighthouse Beach. Let’s rummage
through each other’s body
like a Fourth of July blowout sale, pawing through the orgy
of tweed and twill, silk and sequins swirling up in flurries.
The Buddha says don’t argue until it’s necessary.
Let’s shuck oysters,
wash them down with dirty martinis,
the table littered with pearly shell. We can fill
the bathtub and pretend we’re looking out
at sunset over Tomales Bay. Your breasts
are lanterns flickering on the water.
Your hips are still California’s golden hills.
This morning I opened an e-mail from Texas
that said I’m going to hell and you don’t really love me,
but if I repent, though my sins be scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow.
Darling, it’s good to know we have options
but for now let’s get triplet Chihuahuas,
carry them around in patent-leather purses.
Drag your guitar out from under the bed
and sing “Rose of My Heart” again.
I’ll hunt in the garage for my zills and coin-covered bra
and do the three-quarter shimmy down the skinny hall.
Let’s not think about our children, miles away,
doing things we’d rather not know.
Haven’t we carved enough statues?
You remember the meadow I rented for you.
You wanted it sunny and edged with trees.
I paid the old woman a hundred dollars
so I could lay you down under the sky’s blue marquee.
The longer we’re together, the less I can tell you.
But hasn’t it been a long day?
The President of Infinite Sadness is sorry
she ever ran for office. She imagined
she’d be like those brawny angels
who lower you into the tubs of warm mud at Calistoga.
But monkeys are gorging on peanut butter
so science can prove fat makes you fat,
and the workers who grow roses in Ecuador
are poisoned so we can say it with flowers.
Tomorrow we’ll write letters. We’ll try harder
We’ll turn down the thermostat and bicycle to work
and you’ll swish plastic bags in a sink of soapy water
where they float like the jellyfish they’re mistaken for.
But tonight let’s bring Bessie back for an encore.
Don’t you want a little sugar
in your beautiful bowl?
Let’s make some rain, let’s invent skin,
give me your glorious, gorgeous, generous thighs.
The ghost of my mother’s in the basement doing laundry,
offering the damp clothes that extra little shake.
Wouldn’t she be happy
to hear us nickering and neighing?
Wouldn’t she be happy to know
death is feeding elsewhere tonight?
I’ll dust your eyelids with cinnamon
and braid those old feathers into your hair.
Morning will find us asleep on the roof,
our faces blank as the new day, just the mockingbird
in the neighbor’s tattered palm
whistling a tune that sounds a little like a Persian raga,
that twangy sitar, raising the sun.
Ellen Bass
On Love, On Representing It
We are so alive!
Planes and stars hang among stars
which I saw from the roof of the ineffable.
I distilled almost to vapor.
Meanwhile, the violation
of social distance defines
the panic element
of sex, the marvelous panic, the hoarder’s
closeness of gorging the flesh, but none of this
is love, only a coarse moon, orbiting but cold,
producer of tides and fickle odes,
but itself an emblem of the impassive
and worse, unable to sustain life.
Your purple earrings
sit on the edge of an earthly sink and I inhale
your age of sage and pine, I inhale
a particularity that could eat
everything for a thousand years
like a collapsing star, some angel
of nervous light, our shape
in a mirror, a forest, a garden.
But nothing will stand in, nothing will complete,
not even the coast road we took,
the views stunning, then a rockslide
halfway closed the way and what else to do
but pose with the ocean
behind us in its currents
and distant liners and the moon a vivid coin.
Jesse Nathan
The Kiss
(for DC)
Tonight, the kiss I’ve dreamed of,
the kiss of a lifetime, is here.
And now we hug and kiss
and kiss and love–
exploding the moment,
as if we were an extravagant bouquet
of burgeoning buds and stamens.
Like creatures dashing through the forest,
we tumble into each other’s arms,
our mouths and leafy boughs entwined.
Some strange and wondrous magnet
is drawing us together
like orbiting stars, carrying us
beyond the dust of ourselves.
Carolyn Mary Kleefeld
Divine Kiss
They Forget to Tell You
Here is the part of the story all the cards and first date performers forget to tell you:
The End.
Of which there is always at least one. You know this.
What you may not know, is that today a lone sailor took a tiny boat out on choppy waves
while I sat on a rock a few miles away recording how today was another day of mourning for the way someone would jerry-rig a buoy to look for rays
and the way another might forget sunscreen on the back of her neck and turn a painful red
and for how he sang while he packed, licked spoons on their backsides, lost socks in drawers, or took pictures of her in a certain light, and lost the film
or for how she would lose her voice, and root around in the bottom of her bag for her keys
and for how he lost so badly at cards, he cheated to avoid losing
for how he had always wanted to sail but lost the will-- who doesn't fear the open water, the unknown conditions?
The lone boat with its lone driver waited for a ferryfull of people to pass and didn't wave, but held still in the open water
and kept holding-- not moving, not changing, but holding--
then turned in the direction of the harbor, starting the motor which I could not yet hear
as the water kissed the hull,
and the hull kissed solitude
and this was a love song.
Jamie Zeigler Laurens
solomons love song done
Katie Cloutte
The milkman greets the hairdresser. The hairdresser greets the window washer. The window washer greets the street sweep­er. The street sweeper greets the priest, who greets the mayor, who greets the housewife, who sends her children on their way to school this Tuesday morning. The children greet the puppies that follow them, then scowl and send the puppies crying home. The puppies lie down and greet their own crotches, then greet the cats. The cats greet the milkman. The milkman greets the tourists, who point at a sculpture. The sculpture greets the jew­elry maker. The jewelry maker greets the chef. The chef greets the butcher. The butcher greets the baker with fresh lard for baking a limone-semolina cake. The baker greets the winemaker with a slice of sugary grape cake. The wine maker greets the wind that pollinated the grapevines where the grape cake grapes grow. The wind greets the gardener, who greets the pigeons, who greets bluebirds, who tweet to the doctor. The doctor greets the poets. The poets greet other poets. These poets greet a curvy dressmaker. The dressmaker greets the fine lady who had been waiting every day at the café for five days for her dress to be repaired and re­turned. The fine lady greets her and the café manager, who greets his miniature infant twins, who greet the angels they brought with them. Each one greets this crisp sunny day.
Shelley Marlow
What If
Orson Welles never existed? Or Vienna?
I’ve never seen The Third Man but what if
I had? Would I have faked my death
or made sure of hers? What if
there were phones that took selfies
ten years ago, when I shook my head
and told myself I’d met a crazy one, a woman
as likely to eat me as love me, who left me
staring at myself in window panes
as dusk slicked the world with darkness
and there I was staring back, lost or
in love: I couldn’t decide which. But
a picture: if I’d studied myself in a phone
tucked like a mirror in my hand, I’m sure
I’d have seen the truth. And what if
there is a single truth? I’ve been to Vienna.
It’s as if there was never a war. Until you look
past the cobwebs in attics, shuffle through
pictures and old letters, all the other secrets
hidden away in trunks and unmarked boxes,
or look into the eyes of the last lingerers,
who worry a little more than the rest of us
about what awaits them in the afterlife.
I feel like Sylvia Plath. And so what?
But what if I’d never returned her calls?
What if I’d looked into her eyes the first
time I heard her lie and called it
what it was: her truth. What if
I’d thrown her clothes into the street
that morning I read what she’d done in
a trail of texts on her phone, as she slept
with my son on a bean bag chair
in the next room. What if I’d walked
next door and borrowed a gun.
What if I’d written down her lies
like a list of wishes sung blue into the cold
space of cupped hands, her hands
as she walked home from another lover’s
crumbling tenement, walked home to me
still asleep in the predawn wheeze of our son’s
humidifier, asleep certain that my wife
had come home hours earlier, was drunk
and motionless a foot away, her hair
tangled in her own hands as if she’d
tried to climb free of a nightmare
and found herself in bed with me.
I remember her once offering me a lank
length of hair and lifting her chin
as if to say, Here, wrap it around
my neck. As if to say, Please.
What if.
James Harms