Punk Poetry/Music/Food/Fashion/Travels with Maria

  • * Punk Poetry * Music * Food * Travel * Fashion *Novels *Poets I Love, Ones I Don't *Poetry Workshops * Gender Issues

Monday, December 10, 2012

If you are wondering what to get me for Christmas . . . 

Go to Poetry Crush!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Donate Now! - Monterey County Gives! 2012

Donate to the Henry Miller Memorial Library, it's good for the soul. . . 
Donate Now! - Monterey County Gives! 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Moss and Black Stones

You there in the corner of the forest--
I am the singer of moss and black stones.

Remember when the balcony was where you started?
When thermal updrafts created wings of space

for you to fall upon, feasting and fasting at once?

Don’t you know that regret
is an opera with no audience.

A banquet of one is still a banquet.
Thieves will always dine with you,

glow midnight blue in shadows,

then they’ll honey the gears, and complicate a simple plan
with the machinations of stars in combat.

Your implosion is a darkness hidden, sucking.
Desire is the mesh to snag a fool’s heart,

in a hunter’s chest a pig’s can easily replace its beating.

forthcoming in Badlands, Fall 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tim Tatman by Stewart Ferebee

My buddy Bobby Fisher  just wrote a blog for our friend and anti-hero, the abstract expressionist Tim Tatman. When Tim died last year he left a vacuum in the art world. I dated Tim when I was young and stupid. He was the Sartre to my de Beauvoir, the Miller to my Nin. Here's a poem I wrote about him titled after a painting he gave me called:

How the Mind Works

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
                                                    to passive prey.

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

Consider the flatworm,
following sunlight, humidity,
the warmth of leaves.
His brain weighs data
which trigger the oozing of juice
onto a 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.

 originally published in the The Cafe Review

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

On Monday June 25th, Philip Glass, Joanna Newsom and Tim Fain did a benefit performance for the Henry Miller Memorial Library.
Below is the blurb I wrote for the program notes. If you are interested in donating to the Library's capital fund go here: Capital Fund for Henry Miller Library 
Days and Nights Festival and (((folkYEAH!))) Present
Philip Glass, Joanna Newsom and Tim Fain
The Warfield Theatre
Monday, June 25, 2012
There are stories to be told without
words, and lyrics that yet unfold in the
hollow corner of your heart, a space you
did not know existed until the bird of song
unfolded her wings there. And you felt
a truth in this wind created by this beat
of wings, this beat. Philip Glass, Joanna
Newsom and Tim Fain weave such musical
stories. Through their music something
rare and beautiful emerges. Emily
Dickinson said hope is a thing with feathers.
What these amazing bards will leave
you with tonight is not so much hope, but
a passage wherein you can find the way to
your own personal truth. This is a mythic
musical journey you are about to embark
upon. Enjoy the ride, it’s a magic carpet
you tread upon.

Maria Garcia Teutsch
Board President
Henry Miller Memorial Library

"Music is the can opener of the soul."
Henry Miller

Friday, June 1, 2012

Reading tomorrow night in L.A.!

Check out the
Latest Blog post by the Henry Miller Memorial Library

wherein Mike Scutari once again outdoes himself with his verbal repartee. This event promises to be epic. Will post pictures. Will listen to the entire soundtrack to L.A. Woman while driving down there. Will pass the ocean: sea oats, otters, pelicans, Monterey Cypress; then farmland: lettuce, lettuce, grapes, grapes, tumbleweeds; then climb the Grapevine, look at houses perched on hill tops, and finally arrive.

See you there-Maria

Monday, May 28, 2012

Henry Miller Memorial Library Blog about Coagula Gallery Reading and Ping-Pong Tournament and What is Reality Anyway Blog, can you find the link???

Check out the Henry Miller Library's blog:

 Henry Miller blog

about my upcoming reading at the Coagula Gallery this weekend in Los Angeles, California.

And if you missed Krystal Simpson's blog check it out:
What is Reality Anyway?

Both have thematic links to my limited edition chapbook featured above, available only at my readings or through the Henry Miller Memorial Library: www.henrymiller.org
all proceeds go to the fundraising campaign for the Library.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Banksy, No Future

For music lovers everywhere there is a special music edition of poetrycrush

This music edition features essays by the best writers around on: Tracy Chapman, Joni Mitchell, Cass McCombs, Will Oldham-aka-Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Pixies, Cowboy Junkies, The Mountain Goats, Joanna Newsom, Nina Simone, Leonard Cohen, Tori Amos and Martha Wainwright. It's a who's who: check it: www.poetrycrush.com

Below is my contribution to poetrycrush's music issue on guess who? That's right, Radiohead.


Many people whose opinion I admire say that Radiohead’s lyrics are weak. Not so, mon frère. Radiohead is composed of mad genius poets. Their lyrics do stand up on the page, though admittedly an entirely new form of language is created when joined with their music and Thom’s warbling. I chose “Idioteque” at random knowing I wanted something off of Kid A. There is an homage to the Dadaist poet Tristan Tzara on this album, and the band has admitted to using his method of cutting up lyrics and arranging the songs by drawing words out of a hat. As a poet and editor, I find this immensely satisfying. There is even a made up word in “Idioteque:” skwrking, at least in the lyrics I’ve found.
“Idioteque” is a timeless piece that encompasses the destructive force of wars, both past and present, and looks toward a future desolate landscape wrought by our need to consume unabated. The repetition of “women and children first” reminds me of piling into lifeboats, like on the Titanic.  For me, “Idioteque” embodies the breakdown of reason inherent in any war, or in anyone who holds a gun and shoots it at another living being.
Who’s in bunker, who’s in bunker?
Women and children first
Women and children first
Women and children
I’ll laugh until my head comes off
I swallow till I burst
Until I burst
Until I..
Who’s in bunker, who’s in bunker
I’ve seen too much
I haven’t seen enough
You haven’t seen enough
I’ll laugh until my head comes off
Women and children first
And children first
And children..
Here I’m allowed, everything all of the time
Here I’m allowed, everything all of the time
Ice age coming, ice age coming
Let me hear both sides
Let me hear both sides
Let me hear both..
Ice age coming, ice age coming
Throw me in the fire
Throw me in the fire
Throw me in the..
We’re not scaremongering
This is really happening, happening
We’re not scaremongering
This is really happening, happening
Mobiles working
Mobiles chirping
Take the money and run
Take the money and run
Take the money..
Here I’m allowed, everything all of the time
Background:  (The first of the children)

Friday, April 20, 2012

17 Poets for National Poetry Month

17 Poets for the 17th Annual National Poetry Month

Poetry Santa Cruz chose and the fun folks at Phren-z.org chose 17 poets to feature for the 17th annual National Poetry Month.
I would like to humbly add Thom Yorke as an honorary 18th.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mexican Wedding Poem

Mexican Wedding Poem

He looks for her from the water’s edge.

She rows down a green river,
wears a purple dress and turquoise leaves.

In the bow,
a basket of strawberries
and warm bread wrapped
in a towel embroidered with poinsettias.

Yellow poppies spill over.

As her foot leaves the boat—

The red ribbon in her hair
flies in the air like a cardinal.

but before it reaches the shore—

she closes her eyes
and jumps.

Maria Garcia Teutsch 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Talking Doll

Ladies and Gentleman,
I’d like to introduce you to the collection, Talking Doll, by J. Hope Stein, published by Dancing Girl Press. What Ms. Stein has wrought here is Genesis and the Big Bang birthing a corporate reality where everything and nothing is co-opted.
In the beginning there is “The Inventor’s Last Breath,” inspired by Thomas Alva Edison, but taken inward to that space in our lizard brains where we are all inventors:

            Ladies & Gentlemen The body
is the soul’s model T
A factory of microscopic men tug the diaphragm We breathe
into stomach not chest Ladies & Gentlemen
these are the principles that guide the machine
you see before you The Inventor’s final secret
found by the great-great-granddaughter
of the mistress of the Inventor
Ladies & Gentleman if
we were to voluntarily stop breathing we would
lose consciousness and the tiny men would take over

The final stanza in this poem tells us: “The story of a man/can be told in a single breath,” how true. This first poem serves as a Greek chorus for the rest of the collection. The inventor says let there be light and “names his disciples: The Insomniacs.” The inventor “births the Talking Doll.” The inventor here gives form to every dream you ever believed to be true. The secret every girl throughout centuries knows for sure is that dolls have always been able to talk. Ms. Stein guides us through the depths of our very stem cells of what we love and hold dear. It is the inventor who keeps us firmly rooted in reality and says, “the motivation/for evolution is dollars & problems—“ There is a masculine philosophy counterbalanced by the perceived feminine. In the “Invention of Light Bulbs, Hand Massage 1890” the feminine is made manifest:

            She rubs the factory from his palms
salutes each finger like an admiral—
Removes the ring
and begins on the bark of his hands.
It feels good to him when it’s off
& she makes putty
from elbow to finger.
She slips the ring back on. (It feels good to him
when it’s on) & how he finds himself by daylight.

In “Boneless Squab & Virginia Ham” we return to the world of men, and the dichotomous tightrope walk of this collection: science versus the natural world. Where men create and destroy and women “see inside your bones.” There is a Franny and Zooey moment when the inventor says: “when I drink milk I get God he says./My legs throb and sell. GOUT not GOD.”  But there is no Buddhist moment of Aha! Here, there is a man complaining, not seeking enlightenment, but rather a wish to command enlightenment. The inventor is not seeking god, the inventor believes he is god. In the poem “John D. Rockefeller & Charles Schwab,” Orville Wright enters the narrative and “whittles his wood by the paw/makes true monument & insult to gravity.” These men seek to conquer life in an attempt to conquer death, but the maleness stays the same, the need to conquer is inherent.
Finally, there is much to admire in the construction of the collection, Talking Doll. There is a precision of language and word choice that is at once anthem and chant as exemplified in the poem “Starfish and Pinheads:”

            Man is microscopic starfish.
When man dies, the starfish move on,
swarm with new starfish to become
cat or asparagus.

The collection ends with the poem “The Inventor’s Last Breath 2,” and this bit of wisdom: “all there is/to know about a man is in his breath.”
This collection reminds us that between the inhale and the exhale there are galaxies upon galaxies of potential within each one of us, to create, to destroy or to do both.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mother Contemplates Divorce at Creek with Son

Mother Contemplates Divorce at Creek with Son

Red-haired boy in pith helmet: “Shard of pottery forgotten by time. Draw me mom, draw a drawing of me.” Mother perched at edge of creek looks up from her reading.
            “Lookit this rock mom,” Walking through creek, stamps his feet on a sandbar, now wading over rocks into the shimmer and splash.
            “Lookit mom, something man made, whaddya suppose it is?” Ducks under a fallen tree, roots exposed like spokes.
            “Lookit this rock,” Throws it. Heavy splash, ripples percolate. Skips a flat stone, 2 skips.
            “See, isn’t this such a good idea mom? Lookit this skipping stone, it’s practically perfect in every way.” Skips 3 times, then bends to creek, comes up.
            “Lookit this rock mom.”
Mother looks up says:
            “It’s leopard skinned.”
            “Way to be a poet mom. Hey! Got my first decent skip. Dog truffle hunts under Mother’s chair, nose sandy, snorts, digs. Splash, clack of two rocks, boy examining intently.
            “It’s really light too . . . lookit this one.” Creek eddies to the left, ferns sprout from the embankment.
            “Oh my god, lookit this mom, it’s quartz, it’s pink, are you writing this down? It’s pink. You’re such a writer.” Pause, boy ankle deep, contemplating rocks. Looks up.
I’m glad it’s just us two here mom, cuz we get to keep all these treasures.”

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I Race a Train

I Race a Train

I race a train to erase the day
tough graffiti, I tap my foot to the chuga-chuga,

count each day unsolved like the box cars,
which are full of the lumber

we used to call trees.
I race clouds in canals next to the harbor,

watch seabirds watch
frigatebirds dive into toxic tides.

I race rows and rows of lettuce,
Lettuce rises like a choir of voices: steam

above each head, sound
is drowned

by the thwack-thwack of a helicopter rotor
hiss and spray over the fields,

I cannot outrace this fog
of filth,

and try not to breathe as I enter my house.
Outside my window

a valley of wind and lettuce
in a sea of earth. 

Off in the distance
a helicopter

no bigger than a spoon is headed toward my table.

Photo Credit: Stewart Ferebee