the journal of poetry center san josé
to be determined, online selections
cover art (above): Robertino Ragazza, George
Cæsura Editorial Staff
Poetry Center San José
PCSJ Board of Directors
Robert Pesich, President
Mighty Mike McGee, Secretary
Bill Cozzini, Treasurer
Nils Peterson, Emeritus
To contact the editors, send email to email@example.com.
For submissions, back issues, membership, and donations, please visit www.pcsj.org.
|Lillo Way||Your Ghost Outside My Apartment Door|
|Megan Wildhood||Stars, Ice and Fuel|
|Kenneth Pobo||Apostle Islands|
|Ellaraine Lockie||For Sale|
|Frank H. Coons||Interpreting the Nuclear Family|
|Diane Lee Moomey||Wearing Snakes|
|Leslie E. Hoffman||In less than a year|
|Joseph Jason Santiago LaCour||H3@℞T|
|Carolyn Grassi||Salvador Dali’s Christ|
|Martin Willitts Jr||Gratefulness|
|Lee Rossi||Painted Ladies|
|Milton J. Bates||Waiting|
|Andrena Zawinski||Open Skate|
|Chris Knight||Mr. Potato Head|
|Kate Adams||The Distances From Home|
|Janice Dabney||Mother Summers|
|David Galef||My Commute|
|Ruth Mota||Violet Creams|
|Renée M. Schell||The Atheist Addresses the Universe|
Robertino Regazza, George (cover art and conclusion), Caress
K. Mart, Trippin', Lovesick
Christopher Woods, Red Ladder
Bill Wolak, Attentive As Desire, The Announcement of Delirium
About the Poets
About the Artists
What poem isn’t a conversation?
The same could be asked about a journal. We put out a call to find what our friends and communities are thinking and feeling. Each year some sort of prompt or prod or invitation is created, hopefully to pique interest, to get the conversation started.
The phrase “to be determined” immediately brings forth certain ideas, but without context which one appears first? Does it measure the strength of your determination? Does it mean there is no decision? Does it portend the potential of a seed or child? Though not exactly a timeless puzzle or kōan, there isn’t an answer as much as an opportunity to realize and hopefully reply.
The editors understood the likely agitation and confusion with an indeterminate call deliberately acting as provocateurs in search of raconteurs. We appreciated the patience with our playfulness, and understood the blank stares and questions sent our way.
However, the range of themes and styles submitted show a dedicated and diverse set of voices that expressed themselves beautifully; great perspective, wonderful humor, and big hearts.
Many thanks for those that played with determination, many thanks to those that just sent in great poems. We enjoyed reading your creations, respect your courage to submit, and marveled at your words making their determined way to black and white.
with much appreciation
Robertino Ragazza, Caress
Your Ghost Outside My Apartment Door
-for Mim Rosen, Modern Dancer 1927– 2015
You’ve returned with all the secrets in your hand.
I could climb out the window, fire escape you,
you there on the doormat, knocking rhythmically –
a sound not unlike music we once danced to –
but I can’t leave you standing in the hall,
bearing hostess gifts you purchased
from the museum shop of the next civilization.
Through the door I think I hear laughter
gurgle from your depths, anticipating
our embrace on the threshold.
If I should open the door, it might fan you
into smoke, a just-extinguished candle still sweet
of beeswax and regret.
So I’ll keep you there humming and waiting,
standing on one foot, circling the other, reaching
one hand to the lintel, arching right, twisting left.
The kinetic shape of you starts to un-ground.
Hold on, I won’t be long.
Stars, Ice and Fuel
Keep his leg frozen, brace,
as long as his femur remains split –
like his marriage –
pinned for the healing it shows no signs toward.
Help us lug all our earthly
wares across America, road,
from heaving ground to air in tantrum.
Spangle our box of car, vacuum-sealed
jars of potato flour and dry beans,
crate of computer fragments
only he’s got a vision for,
two rescue Pit Bull mixes,
miles of pills to subsume the pain in his shoulders
– arthritic from the double duty of wheelchair life –
crusty, oversized atlas too stiff to use,
assorted bags of chips and pretzels.
Granola and gasoline, keep us moving.
Perch on his paralyzed thigh, lumpy Ziploc bag
of thawing water; imprint a jagged groove,
husband’s spine, into the cheap mattress
we’ve installed in the back of our 15-seater.
Negotiate for clarity in the sunroof,
aging fingerprints in the dust on both sides of the pane,
coil of storm we’ll have to outrun,
stars, I guess, at the edge of the cloud.
Help us, can you, leave behind nothing at all
but headlights like calving moons
bearing us down.
Winter’s ghosts never quite
vanish from Madeline Island,
even on warm days.
Superior’s cold water
makes bones ache.
The moon skinny dips,
its coral multi-gendered self
The Going Out of Business Sale sign has hung
in the Montana clothing store window for decades
Still visible through the massage of soap
If you get up close
you can see slivers of saddle shoes
and penny loafers lying in their cardboard coffins
a pillbox hat that plays peek-a-boo
through the soap streaks
beside a bent Stetson tagged like a deer
with a 70% discount
And if you press nose to glass long enough
characters cast themselves in an old home movie
Milky and rough, they replay a silent drama
A pubescent girl out of a photo album
sits by the shoe rack
her uncle Hank points to her birthday present
a pair of cowboy boots one size larger than the last
He shifts foot to foot under the weight
of Blue Waltz scent dancing off the girdled
garter belted and nyloned Clara
The girl carries her own hormonal burden
His name is Pacific and he's standing in front
of a mirror combing duck’s ass hair
A new sophomore import from California
who sees nothing in this hick town store
that keeps him from swaggering to his Harley
The girl decides no more cowboy boots
and fades into a teenager right before your eyes
The townspeople think of the building as empty
But you know otherwise and so must the owners
They've priced it several times higher
than any of the vacant buildings on Main Street
But like a crystal gazer you see through the glass
an altruistic donation shape shifting into the town library
Frank H. Coons
Interpreting the Nuclear Family
If every father is a river,
every mother is a bridge and the letter O.
Daughters are dandelions and morning
glories climbing a redwood trellis,
until they become teenagers when they morph
into sine waves.
Sons are barbed wire fences
and empty lots full of wild flax
and thistle. They are insoluble in water.
Crossing the bridge, a cart full of strawberries
is the daughter going to college,
and the raft drifting in the river is the son
joining the navy. Both have been hardwired
for success even though he has a slight ststutter,
and she a little listhp.
The flock of crows are not semi-colons,
but the prayers the parents say for the children,
even though they are dedicated atheists.
The moon is God laughing and also the letter O.
K. Mart, Trippin'
Diane Lee Moomey
I let them wrap around my wrists, the sleek
green scales so like the gold link bracelet Mother wears to parties. So like—
I close my eyes while wearing one and feel
the other. In summer’s green beside the fence,
by long stems my father’s mower doesn’t
reach, I wait, place my wrist on mullein,
grasses, dock. They part. I intercept
and lift, feel it wrap. Snake will twine
around an arm, always: body taut
and steadying itself against a fall.
(Ruby tongue flicks in and out). In my
own world I am, (ruby tongue tastes),
the only little girl who wears snakes.
Leslie E. Hoffman
In less than a year
an X-class flare ejecting a coronal mass
toward the North Sea is suspected of
beaching whales at the exact moment
a light breeze in Northern California
brushed across my face, like the cobwebs
floating on my optic lens, followed
by a rain of bullets in Las Vegas
and Maria’s powerful wind
dismantling lives in Puerto Rico—
or is it winds, plural
like the winds that drove
the Wine Country fires
unsparing in their cremation
of the oak tree my son once climbed
and today, within a matter of months
a gust of searing wind hurls
Mojave sand into my eyes, yet
clear images remain of boys trapped
in a Thai cave, where keeping their heads
above water is no longer a metaphor—
rather, a heroic act—and children
of the noble Mayans cry parentless
in America—no longer home
of the free and the brave—
and I am reminded that the season nears
when the winds return
to propel new fires, stronger hurricanes
and the unabated politics of fear
Joseph Jason Santiago LaCour
Inspired by “The Chamber of Heart and Mystery. Dedicated to my Kuya Earl, heart transplant recipient and straight up one of the realest people you will ever meet. Ever.
By far one of my favorite words.
Perhaps, fourth behind dope, poet and love.
A profane five letters.
Just the right amount of vowels wrapped in consonants.
Squeezed into a single syllable.
Diphthong. Maybe mono.
My southern twang sangs it as a single sound.
A one-inch punch trigger break beautiful
Suppressed shot that fires quickly
Escalating from whisper to wail.
Stopping short with meaning.
Its ancient origin in the diaphragm.
When you tell the tale of the timekeeper
You must pace yourself.
Lest the tiny spaces between life and death
Clog and crowd making it hard to bleed
Blood clots in the brain clap thunder lightning
Strikes and life's most familiar streaks
Across the sky estranged
Scorched clouds of memory
Become perfect places to dance.
The heart dances.
Isang paruparo. La mariposa.
My Lola visits me as a hummingbird
With instructions she concocted
Caring for my grandfather
Post-op quadruple bypass.
I laugh as she calls him "utu utu".
She says, “the heart is strong when you're young, anak.”
And I agree that it is also full of air
And far more likely to implode.
I have learned that, as a people,
We birth carbon copies of our hearts and call them children.
Handmade papier-mâché origami godlings,
We shape them in our image and fill them with flowers and sage.
I pray she creates her own cracks to fix. Forever.
For when we die, their hearts will become reanimated canopic jars.
Jewel encrusted creatures to be handled with care.
To be open is be shattered.
Our hearts are fractured.
Like mine started out as just "He".
Then she gave me “art" completing the puzzle.
A perpetual struggle...protecting this dark crystal
Matrix arc reactor behind our solar plexus.
Nothing is better medicine than to listen to it.
The heart is where the hurt heads when it's ready to receive healing.
Salvador Dali’s Christ
. . . this mysterious, mystifying, contradictory sign of the cross
by Salvador Dali portraying the naked Christ on the bare blond
wood without blood, so beautiful a body, though we can’t see
his face since turned sideways, no nails visible, impossible
how he was held suspended in space above the ground, where
a beloved friend stands tranquilly under a light blue sky,
while someone’s whispering in the wings: “How fathom this
tableau of suffering made noble by art? Was there a model
loved by the painter posing in the open air as Christ suspended
below the clouds? Did they go out for a meal afterwards,
celebrate with wine, toasting completion of this arduous task?”
First there were the storms
we could not control—being informed,
didn’t make a difference—they still
came and swept away years of life—
the living, storing, saving—cautions
thrown to the wind, and what remained
was stagnant hope. Then courage,
to keep moving forward until
the sorrows were behind and smiles
lit up the porches, and songs found
their words, stories remembered,
shared, recorded in the hearts of those
who braved the hard times,
but pulled through.
But what of the wars that came after?
Countless bodies we didn’t see—
the debris was what remained
of lives that were flown in to reboot,
to start anew. Tears unshed,
dreams driven to nightmares, walking
enigmas, stories untold, hearts heavy
with eyes of despair, wives heavy
with child—fatherless, mothers devoid of love,
longing for their lost sons, empty of words.
For what returned home, in spirit was no
different from bodies that came rolled
in the flag. Graveyards lined with red,
white and blue—stars and stripes
awarded posthumously. Families torn
wondering if the sons and daughters
they raised were just badges
they proudly wore, while their ashes
morphed, consecrating foreign soil.
And while we groom our children
for their future, we have learned
nothing. Now, are we still talking about war?
K. Mart, Lovesick
Martin Willitts Jr
A stream of debris follows a comet
in a hundred and thirty-three year orbit,
and tonight I will see the lightshow
through a telescope on a high slope
away from ambient light of city haze.
No one is here with me;
only solitude and clear skies, the pines,
and meteors making their long journey
in that endless heart-stopping arc.
Those particles have been up there
for thousands of years trailing
behind the comet Swift–Tuttle.
And here I am, my eyes following it, too.
It is mid-July, the best time to witness
the shooting stars of the Pleiades shower.
Conditions have to be perfect.
The dark has to be overwhelming,
and cloudless as far as forever.
It’s pre-dawn. Meteoroids rise up
by the side of the Earth, speeding forward,
sixty miles per hour, dizzying fireballs.
Afterwards, my heart is still following
as they trail away.
Practicing her second-grade presentation,
my daughter names the body parts,
then coaxes egg into caterpillar,
lingering over the chrysalis, then flutters
splayed fingers as the adult emerges.
Meanwhile in a darkened corner
of her room, five pupae in thin, tissue
shrouds cling to a shred of batting,
suffering their own molecular
wrenching in those tiny sacs,
as she flips the poster board and displays
her favorite internet images −
morpho, Xerxes, common Jezebels −
living harbingers of forgotten myth.
This morning we set them free,
opening the box in cool, bright air.
Two fly off, but two linger, one
immobile, the other flapping its glassine
wings and hopping, short Wright-brother flights,
from rock to leaf to wadded sugar-soaked cotton.
How soon will this wild girl,
creature flung by passionate agonies,
flee this narrow garden,
how long bare her radiancebefore she too dulls to drab?
Christopher Woods, Red Ladder
Slightest pull of damp butterfly wings
Still clasped from cool night air
Nape of a morning glory’s neck trembles,
Its spiraled-self waiting for warmth
Lace lichen shaking down,
A rain of dew on
Slanted oats stirring, lifting themselves
Free of deer weight
The finch’s beak at rest beneath feathers
Fading at the edges from blush to cream
Like sky’s edge that breaks nightFrom day…
Milton J. Bates
Waiting in line is not just about waiting in line. -Ronald C. Rosbottom
He wished he knew what they were waiting for.
Those in front of him were there for the same
reason he was: they’d seen a line and joined it
just in case, then couldn’t leave without losing
their place. The line stretched forward as far as
he could see, then turned a corner out of sight.
If he knew what for, he would know how to feel—
patient if they were selling concert tickets,
excited if they were giving away
prizes, hungry if it was a bread line
like the Thirties, angry if this was some
sadistic bureaucrat’s notion of fun.
The line was growing longer, yet no one
had advanced. He’d already memorized
the menu on a restaurant window.
Suppose they organized and rushed their goal.
Would they be rewarded or arrested?
If only he’d brought his cell phone. He’d call
his wife, ask her to relieve him for an hour
so he could use the toilet and take a nap.
How fortunate they were to have children
old enough to fill in after school. This mighttake years, and then what for? He wished he knew.
(at Neville Roller Drome)
Laced up tight in white leather shoe skates,
puffy pom-poms bouncing with jingling bells,
hand-in-hand we’d slide on four wheels
onto the roller rink’s slick wooden floor.
Short pleated skirts and satin bomber jackets
ballooning in a wind of our twists and turns,
gliding and swaying to cha-cha and doo wop
rhythms, we would wheel all night long.
Nothing like those sassy ones whirling weekly
across our grainy TV screens as Roller Derby
bad girls kicking and hip whipping, jamming
and sprinting, pivoting and weaving.
But poised, noses in the air during couple’s skate,
sipping sparkling cherry cokes, it was those bad girls
who occupied our heads in a song that was the whir
of rolling wheels rounding corners, hugging walls.
Pounding the rink on the footwork of dancers,
two girls, Saturday night, waiting for a break
into the next open skate to race the rink together
on the power of hips and legs—wildly beautiful.
Mr. Potato Head
Hi Mr. Potato Head,
I am glad to meet you!
I hope I'm not being too forward,
but I am worried about
the declining state of
the democratic ideals
here and around the world...
Do you like my mustache?
It is very dapper, yes.
But social media has
undermined our confidence
in what is true
I have a nice top hat!
Yes you do!
But what are your thoughts
on the expansion of
in the hands of "rogue states?"
I can take off these glasses!
If you like.
Perhaps you have something
wise to share regarding
the aging demographics
of developed countries,
and the xenophobia
turning away the next
generations of those
seeking their dreams?
Have you met Mrs. Potato Head?
Oh, yes, does she
have something to say
with regards to women
joining the workforce,
only to be paid less
and to suffer harassment
She can wear a mustache too!
you and she must be
for LGBTQ rights.
I can be "Spider-Spud" and she can be "Beach Spudette"!
with global warming,
do you wish that oil
had a carbon tax?
Or I can be "Luke Frywalker", with a light sabre!
Did you know that
you originally were parts
stuck to a regular potato?
I am glad I am 100% plastic now!I expect you are.
The Distances From Home
for Berta Magaña
She’s living on an empty, dead-end road,
old house she never had a chance to own.
Amidst black fertile ﬁelds produce prodigious yields
her labor hauls in, look, load after load.
The city slowly creeps across the ﬁelds,
trading cloven feet for rubber wheels.
One day it will implode, this house she’s called her home,
leaving her to ponder just what’s real.
To live here means she’s had to speak
a language all her own
can measure mud and wind, deep creeks,
the distances from home.
Sees it’s just a trace, a dream,
but what prodigious yields.
Years exploring what it means
to walk across one ﬁeld.
The city lights, encroaching, take the load
the stars above her bore. Abandoned home,
this empty sky no longer yields prodigious presence. Look, the ﬁelds
will be paved over, one more dead-end road.
Bill Wolak, Attentive As Desire
We sculpted the garden
weeding for hours
and when the sun stared too long
I brought the pack of Kools,
the Zippo lighter
and mugs of hot black coffee
to the arbor bench
on a tray with exotic birds.
slid around our shoulders
and I touched
the thin flame
to my mother’s cigarette
as she pulled air
to start the glow.
laced the morning
with its individual sound.
through wooden slats.
The black adobe
in the creasesof our open palms.
Gotta make the 8:13 bus and here I am hustling out the back entrance without my down jacket though it must be 30 degrees and the wind like a cold steel door slamming in my face. Rounding the corner realize I could heist some kid’s skateboard hiding like a skunk under that porch but damn when’s the last time I was on a board always so tippy and along would come another pothole from hell. Keep those feet moving. Five more blocks to go and here comes gabby old Lenny fingers in the air tells me a story tells me another and suddenly it’ll be late afternoon hello and goodbye Lenny catch you later guy I said later. 8:11 already no way am I going to make it I’ll just have to enter a time warp and get there before I even left the house but damn I forgot my time travel app. Okay okay, take two deep breaths and sprint for it not in such good shape need to quit the third beer at night sweating now but the bus stop’s in sight like an oasis on First Avenue. Beat the land speed record by making it the rest of the way in seven and a half seconds but trip on the curb and turn into a low-flying aircraft arms outstretched to break my fall and hoping nothing goes crunch. I almost black out, my eyes slowly readjusting as if I were an accident victim.So where’s my ride just the familiar line of people you’re kidding the bus is late and I start crying and laughing and the rest of the day is all anticlimax.
Many years ago, next door to Madame Tussauds
there was a chocolate shop that sold violet creams.
I went skipping in there, blond curls bouncing.
I clasped the hands of my big brother Nick and my sister Elizabeth.
Elizabeth, elegant in silk stockings,
seams curving over her calves in two soft waves,
the collar of her frilled white blouse receding,
revealing the seam between her breasts.
Nick on vacation from law school.
A faint scent of damp wool rose from his tweed coat.
Green eyes glittering, he feigned he was tipsy
to make the slender shop girl giggle at his antics.
I believed that this candy lady, just like all
the gray Londoners sloshing in rubbers outside the window,
assumed this vibrant pair who held my hands
were the ones who spawned me
not the bald, limping figure who was my father
not the wrinkled worried woman who was my mother.
My sweet dreams ignited when
they handed me a round chocolate shell.
My first bite burst open a bouquet on my tongue,
as petals of perfumed violets swirled in sugary cream.
Velvet flakes of flowers lingered in my mouth till nightfall.
Twenty-five years later when I returned
to London and exited that wax museum,
I searched again for violet creams.
But the chocolate shop was gone.
No one there remembered it.
My brother and sister gone too:
Nick having devoured too much
from the bottle that said drink me,Elizabeth herself devoured by the sea.
By the lake,
which laps the air with solitude
and teases silence,
you take a photo of nightfall blue
reflecting with a waning moon
from the surface.
And I am there,
reflecting near the lake in twilight,
regretting silence. I'm
outside the field of your focus,
next to you as you freeze the frame,
on the surface…
but not for real.
Real is the falcon’s folded
silence in the lake
shore shadow watching, with
strobe light glowing sharply
off the surface
of one eye.
In growing coldness, raptor like,
ignoring silence I
startle you. Clapping echoes off the lake
side dark, snapping me to memory
when the quietwas surfeit.
Renée M. Schell
The Atheist Addresses the Universe
O splendid universe, o dense black hole,
grant him a second chance, a new childhood.
Remake the moments of hit, strike, blow, shoot
that formed his brain. Redo, rewrite, redraw.
Remind us what might have been otherwise.
Rewrite his code. Flick back through the zeroes
and ones, linger on those years in high school.
Feel the fear he felt when other boys joked,
taunted, whipped the towel in the locker room.
You tell me, universe, what changed in him
when they pushed dirty socks into his mouth?
How close is my own son to this torment?
Heal the hurt, universe. Call off the curse.
Let columbine be just another word.
The smallest flowering plant.
A full moon
In the bedroom
Bathes the southern
I have worried
This short life
For so long
Of half-done things.
But the duckweed
Out at the fringes
Knows how a single
Root can cover
And down by
Along the banks,
Of their roots
Of life, have
Not yet learned
That we are
To come up
In our own
Grass in the presenceOf a hawk.
Bill Wolak, The Announcement of Delirium
About the Poets:
Milton J. Bates is the author of books about the poet Wallace Stevens, the Vietnam War, and the Bark River watershed in Wisconsin. His poems have appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Rattle, The Southern Review, and other magazines. Five Oaks Press published his poetry chapbook Always on Fire in 2016.
C. Branch has written for many years, and has decided to use this pen name for submitting. This is her second submission.
Frank H. Coons is a veterinarian and poet living Colorado. His work has appeared in The Eleventh Muse, The Santa Fe Literary Review, Pilgrimage, Imprints, Pinyon Review, El Malpais, Fruita Pulp, the Eleventh Muse, Cæsura, and elsewhere. He was a finalist for the Mark Fischer Prize in 2011 and 2013. His first collection of poems, Finding Cassiopeia, was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award in 2013. His second book of poems, Counting in Dog Years, has recently been released; Lithic Press published the books.
Janice Dabney is a long-standing member of Poetry Center San Jose and the Palo Alto group Waverley Writers. Her book The Comfort of Potatoes was published by Dutch Poet Press.
Morgan Driscoll is a long time commercial artist, looking to express himself in some other way than selling Widgets. Poetry seemed the least commercial, and most under the radar way he could think of. So far it has been a satisfying, but obscure, journey.
David Galef has published over a dozen books, including the novels Flesh, Turning Japanese, and How to Cope with Suburban Stress, as well as the short-story collections Laugh Track and My Date with Neanderthal Woman, and two children’s books, The Little Red Bicycle and Tracks. He has also co-edited an anthology of fiction called 20 over 40. His latest volume is Brevity: A Flash Fiction Handbook. David is a professor of English and the Creative Writing program director at Montclair State University.
Carolyn Grassi a long time member of Poetry Center San José where the late Naomi Clark believed in her poetry and offered opportunities to read publicly. Published: Journey To Chartres (Black Swan Books), Transparencies (Patmos Press), Heart and Soul (Patmos Press). Her poetry affirmed by Galway Kinnell, John Ashbery, and James Merrill. She is a recipient of an Ingram Merrill Foundation grant, read at Yale, Smith, Santa Clara University, as well as bookstores in New York and the Bay Area. She has a B.A. from Brooklyn College CUNY, and an M.A. in Political Science from SJSU. She also leads writing workshops.
Leslie E. Hoffman works as an independent copy editor of fiction and nonfiction while moonlighting as a poet. Results of her midnight sojourns have appeared in The California Writers Club Literary Review; Cæsura, The Journal of Poetry Center San Jose; Mojave River Review; Helen: FNS; Nevada State College’s 300 Days of Sun; Mused, BellaOnline; They Said, Black Lawrence Press; and various anthologies.
Ellaraine Lockie is widely awarded poet, nonfiction book author and essayist. Tripping with the Top Down is her thirteenth chapbook. Earlier collections have won Poetry Forum’s Chapbook Contest Prize, San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival Chapbook Competition, Encircle Publications Chapbook Contest, Best Individual Poetry Collection Award from Purple Patch magazine in England, and Aurorean’s Chap/Book Choice Award. Ellaraine has received multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize, teaches writing workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine Lilipoh.
Richard Luftig is a former professor of educational psychology and special education at Miami University in Ohio, now residing in California. His poems and stories have appeared in numerous literary journals in the United States and internationally in, Canada, Australia, Europe, and Asia. His poems have been nominated for the Pushcart prize and two of his poems recently appeared in Best Ten Years of Dos Madres Press.
Pushpa MacFarlane likes to read poetry at open mic, on poetry podcasts, and on local radio. She has arranged, designed, and edited Remembering: An Anthology of Poems Read at Willow Glen Books, published by Jacaranda Press, San Jose, in 2011, as well as arranged the most recent Third Thursday anthology, Volume Three of the Willow Glen Poetry Project. Recently, she has participated in “A Seat at the Table” arranged by The Children’s Discovery Museum, reading her poems and singing.
Ruth Mota was called to the music of poetry by Dylan Thomas and to its passion by Garcia Lorca and Pablo Neruda. This led her to live many years in Latin America. Her work as an HIV/AIDS educator and activist carried her on to Africa. Now she lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains and descends to lead poetry circles to men in jail and to veterans. Her recent poems will appear in Monterey Poetry Review, QuillsEdge Press and Passager Books Poetry Prize Collection 2018.
Kenneth Pobo has a new book (prose poems) forthcoming from Clare Songbirds Publishing House called The Antlantis Hit Parade. In addition to Cæsura, his work has appeared in: Hawaii Review, Nimrod, Mudfish, Colorado Review, and elsewhere.
Joseph Jason Santiago LaCour is a Poet, Artist and Emcee from the Midwest now living in Santa Cruz. A Filipino and French Creole fiasco, he has struggled as a young parent and worked countless jobs. Today, his daughters are grown, he has true love in his life and he wants to share his art, his heart, with you. As a co-curator of The Santa Cruz Word Church, he consciously works to contribute to a strong community in Santa Cruz.
Lillo Way's chapbook, Dubious Moon is the winner of the Hudson Valley Writers Center’s Slapering Hol Chapbook Contest 2017, published in March 2018. Her poem, “Offering,” is the winner of the 2018 E.E. Cummings Prize. Her poems have appeared in Poet Lore, New Orleans Review, Tampa Review, Madison Review, Florida Review, and Poetry East among others. Way has received grants from the NEA, NY State Council on the Arts, and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation for her choreographic work involving poetry.
Megan Wildhood is a creative writer working at a crisis center in Seattle, WA. Her work, which centers social justice, marginalized voices and hope for healing as an act of resistance, has appeared in, among other publications, The Atlantic, The Sun, Yes! Magazine and America Magazine. Long Division, her first book, was released by Finishing Line Press in September 2017 and she’s currently working on a novel. You can learn more at meganwildhood.com.
Martin Willitts Jr has 20 chapbooks including the winner of the Turtle Island Quarterly Editor’s Choice Award, The Wire Fence Holding Back the World (Flowstone Press, 2017), plus 11 full-length collections including The Uncertain Lover (Dos Madres Press, 2018), and Home Coming Celebration (FutureCycle Press, 2019).
Andrena Zawinski’s poetry has received accolades for lyricism, form, spirituality, and social concern and has appeared in Aeolian Harp, Blue Collar Review, Dallas Review, Progressive Magazine, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. Her latest collection of poetry is Landings. She has two previous books: Something About (a PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award) and Traveling in Reflected Light (a Kenneth Patchen Poetry Prize). She founded and runs a San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Poetry Salon and is also Features Editor at PoetryMagazine.com.
About the Artists:
Robertino R. Ragazza is an award-winning photographer and SVCreates Emerging Artist Laureate. He grew up in San Jose, embracing the diverse cultures, believing that they all have commonalities. A passionate photography practitioner, Robertino engages himself in knowing his subjects. Life’s experiences and observations affect his creativity. The visual expressions of emotion is apparent in each photo he takes. "Light becomes my paintbrush and printing provides the meditative process that brings life to my subjects says that Buddhist convert. Website: www.thememoirist.4ormat.com
K.Mart (President of Stabbydoll Media) She had been the art editor of the online e-zine, LitNImage. Her published work appears in Experienced: Rock Music Tales of Fact & Fiction Edited by Roland Goity and John Ottey and 7 Powers of Creating by Halfdan Hussey. K.Mart had her first solo show in Burbank, LA. She has been in several group art shows with local galleries, Works/San Jose, MACLA, Palo Alto Art Center, 63Bluxome. She makes films.
Bill Wolak has just published his fifteenth book of poetry entitled The Nakedness Defense with Ekstasis Editions. His collages have appeared recently in Naked in New Hope 2017, The 2017 Seattle Erotic Art Festival, Poetic Illusion, The Riverside Gallery, Hackensack, NJ, and the 2018 Dirty Show in Detroit.
Christopher Woods is a writer, teacher and photographer who lives in Chappell Hill, Texas. He has published a novel, The Dream Patch, a prose collection, Under a Riverbed Sky, and a book of stage monologues for actors, Heart Speak. His work has appeared in The Southern Review, New England Review, New Orleans Review, Columbia, and Glimmer Train, among others. His photographs can be seen in his gallery http://christopherwoods.zenfolio.com/
Thanks for all the support from our PCSJ Donors in FY 2018.
Hee-June & Mi-Hye Choi
Patricia J. Machmiller
Nektarios Eirene Butterfield
Kathryn K. Johnson
Mary Lou Taylor
Sally & Frank Ashton
Eugene & Christine Bernardini
Claire & Larry Jinks
Alice Anne Martineau
Alice De Parres
Alison Mary Woolpert
Brenda Joy Hurst
Carolyn M Grassi
Ellen Grace O'Brian
Julie Pestka Schardt
Leslie E. Hoffman
Linda & Chuck Drew
Mary Ann Savage
Mighty Mike McGee
Renée M. Schell
Murial & Ronald Karr
Robertino Ragazza, George