cæsura 2018

the journal of poetry center san josé

to be determined, online selections


cover art (above): Robertino Ragazza, George




Bill Cozzini


Art Editor

Joe Miller


Cæsura Editorial Staff

Jade Bradbury
Erin Redfern
Stacey Williams


Published by

Poetry Center San José


PCSJ Board of Directors

Robert Pesich, President
Mighty Mike McGee, Secretary
Bill Cozzini, Treasurer
Aparna Ganguly
Venus Jones
Amy Meier
Joe Miller
Scorpiana Xlent

Nils Peterson, Emeritus


To contact the editors, send email to caesura@pcsj.org.
For submissions, back issues, membership, and donations, please visit www.pcsj.org.







Editor’s Note


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
Pushpa MacFarlane Aftermath
Martin Willitts Jr Gratefulness
Lee Rossi Painted Ladies
C. Branch Waiting
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
Morgan Driscoll Uncomposed
Renée M. Schell The Atheist Addresses the Universe
Richard Luftig Duckweed



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


Our Supporters





Editor’s Note



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


Bill Cozzini





Robertino Ragazza, Caress




Lillo Way


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. 







Megan Wildhood   


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.




Kenneth Pobo   


Apostle Islands



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

rising from boat-killing waves.






Ellaraine Lockie   


For Sale



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   


Wearing Snakes



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 words.

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. 

Hear this. 

The heart   is where the hurt heads   when it's ready   to receive healing. 












Carolyn Grassi   


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?”







Pushpa MacFarlane   





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.







Lee Rossi   


Painted Ladies 



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 radiance

before she too dulls to drab?





Christopher Woods, Red Ladder




C. Branch   





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 night

From 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 might

take years, and then what for? He wished he knew.







Andrena Zawinski   


Open Skate

        (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.







Chris Knight   


Mr. Potato Head



Hi Mr. Potato Head,

I am glad to meet you!

        And 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

and right.

            I have a nice top hat!

Yes you do!

But what are your thoughts

on the expansion of

nuclear weapons

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

and abuse?

            She can wear a mustache too!

That's excellent,

you and she must be

for LGBTQ rights.

            I can be "Spider-Spud" and she can be "Beach Spudette"!


But seriously,

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.







Kate Adams   


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




Janice Dabney   


Mother Summers



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.

Grape leaves

slid around our shoulders

and I touched

the thin flame

to my mother’s cigarette

as she pulled air

to start the glow.

A mockingbird

laced the morning

with its individual sound.

Her smoke

wound upward

through wooden slats.

The black adobe

dried gray

in the creases

of our open palms.







David Galef   


My Commute



            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.







Ruth Mota 


Violet Creams



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.







Morgan Driscoll   





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 quiet 

was 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. 






Richard Luftig   



            The smallest flowering plant.



Last night,

A full moon

In the bedroom



This morning,

Winter sunlight

Bathes the southern



I have worried

About living

This short life

For so long


And still

It remains,

This house

Of half-done things.


But the duckweed

Out at the fringes

Knows how

To survive,


Knows how a single

Root can cover

The pond

With flowers.


And down by

The drought-

Drawn creek,

Old cedars


And pines

Along the banks,

The tendrils

Of their roots


Searching for

The meaning

Of life, have

Not yet learned


That we are

 So destined

To come up

Dry yet



To live

In our own

Innocent worlds


Like sparrows

Among sweet

Grass in the presence

Of a hawk.




Bill Wolak, The Announcement of Delirium



About the Poets:


Kate Adams was born and reared in San Francisco, in a house her father liked to call Mad Manor. Kate Adams currently lives in Mountain View, California. She teaches Spanish in a San Mateo middle school. She’s been writing since the age of twelve, when her first short story came to her, filling page after page of a very surprised notebook. For the past three decades, she’s maintained a daily writing practice: her catalogue now exceeds ten thousand poems.


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 ReviewCæsura, The Journal of Poetry Center San Jose; Mojave River Review; Helen: FNS; Nevada State College’s 300 Days of Sun; Mused, BellaOnlineThey Said, Black Lawrence Press; and various anthologies.


Chris Knight is an amateur filmmaker, poet, and art patron in the San José area for thirty years. He is the secretary and co-founder of Stabbydoll Media, a company focused on thought-provoking productions. He has worked as a computer engineer at the NASA Ames Research Center for nearly twenty years.


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.


Diane Lee Moomey has lived and wandered around the US and Canada, and now dips her gardener’s hands in California dirt.  A regular reader at Bay Area poetry venues, she has published work in Mezzo Cammin, The Sand Hill Review, California Poetry Quarterly, Cæsura and Red Wheelbarrow, and has been nominated for a Pushcart prize. She has won prizes and Honorable Mentions in the Sonnet and Creative Non-Fiction categories of the 2016 and 2017 Soul Making Keats Literary Contests.


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.


Lee Rossi’s latest book, Darwin’s Garden, will be released in early 2019 by Moon Tide Press. His poems have appeared in The Southern Review, Poet Lore, Poetry East, The Southwest Review, as well as many other venues. You can find his interviews and reviews at thepedestalmagazine.com and poetryflash.org.


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.


Renée M. Schell’s poetry appears in All We Can Hold: Poems of Motherhood; On the Dark Path: An Anthology of Fairy Tale Poetry; Catamaran Literary Reader, and elsewhere; online at Literary Mama, Shark Reef, Mezzo Cammin, Eye to the Telescope, and elsewhere. She teaches second grade in San Jose.


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

Timothy Tomasi



Jeanne Glad

Patricia J. Machmiller

Richard Burns

Stephen Lyons

William Cozzini

Jerry Dyer

Kara Arguello

Arlene Biala



Amy Meier

David Eisbach

Dennis Noren

Nektarios Eirene Butterfield

Elliot Roberts

Hudson Washburn

Jan Hintermeister

Jimmie Dawson

Joe Miller

Kathryn K. Johnson

Kevin Arnold

Mary Lou Taylor

Millicent Kellogg

Nancy Meyer

Sally & Frank Ashton

Stephanie Pressman

Lita Kurth

Clysta Sleney

Eugene & Christine Bernardini

Kristi Jordan

Pushpa MacFarlane

Vuong Vu

Claire & Larry Jinks

Karen DeMello

Kelly Cressio-Moeller

Leonard Anderson

Persis Karim

Robert Pesich



Alan Marshall

Alice Anne Martineau

Alice De Parres

Alison Mary Woolpert

Amy Karon

Annabel Boissevain

Anne Fountain

Anshu Johri

April Flowers

Ariel Smart

Ashok Kumar

Barbara Saxton

Brenda Joy Hurst

Carolyn Dille

Carolyn M Grassi

Casey FitzSimons

Catherine Latta

Cheri Kramer

Dana Grover

David Seltzer

Deborah Kennedy

Diane Moomey

Ellen Grace O'Brian

Erin Redfern

Evelyn So

Harry Adams

Henry Millstein

Hilary King

Jacqueline Mutz

Jade Bradbury

James Mehl

Janice Dabney

Jean Gillespie

Jenny Luu

Jessica Sauceda

Joel Katz

John Price

John Urban

Jonna Baker

Judith Kondo

Judith Schallberger

Judy Sandretto

Julie Pestka Schardt

Karen Franzenburg

Karen Llewellyn

Karen Rourk

Kate Adams

Katherine McCormick

Kathleen Budros

Kathleen Goldbach

Kerstin Stone

Kevin Long

Larry Hollist

Lesa Medley

Leslie E. Hoffman

Linda & Chuck Drew

Lisa Ortiz

Lisa Rogers

Lynn Brooks

Marcia Adams

Marjorie Schallau

Mary Ann Savage

Mary Curtis

Mighty Mike McGee

Miguel Gonzalez

Miriam Ahern

Nancy Fowler

Patricia Lively

Pearl Karrer

Pratibha Kelapure

Renée M. Schell

Richard James

Robert Perry

Robin Lysne

Murial & Ronald Karr

Rose Myers

Sabina Grogan

Sarah McNassar

Sharon Mirch

Sharon Olson

Stacey Williams

Susan Semans

Tamam Kahn

Terry Adams

Tonya McQuade

Veronica Kornberg

Vicki Harvey
Victoria Johnson

Wanda Waldera

William Barnhart

William Jacobson



Robertino Ragazza, George