In addition to the fascinating feature, the reading will include two segments of open mike; refreshments will be served and $3 donations collected for the cost of the venue, one of the earliest historical landmarks in the City of Los Angeles.
Georgia Jones-Davis grew up in Northern New Mexico and Southern California. A former Los Angeles Herald Examiner editor, Los Angeles Times Assistant Book Editor and former free-lance journalist, Georgia's poetry has appeared in various publications including West Wind, The California Quarterly, Brevities, The Bicycle Review, Nebo, Eclipse, poethicdiversity, Ascend Aspiration and South Bank Poetry, London.
She served as a board member of Valley Contemporary Poets for three years. Georgia was honored as one of the 2010 Newer Poets by the Los Angeles Poetry Festival and the Los Angeles Public Library ALOUD series. She is the author of two chapbooks, Blue Poodle (2011) and Night School (2015), both published by Finishing Line Press.
Where is the dog the Soviets
shot into space in 1957?
Where is Laika tonight?
Her bones could be sailing overhead,
a satellite of the cold war
stuck in the traffic of the commuting sky.
Experts now content
she died of overheating
within hours of launch
because her R-J sustainer failed
to separate from the payload.
the rest of us believe,
an orbiting, kenneled cosmonaut,
a terrified dog star,
night and day chasing past her,
the moon escaping fast as a cat.
She howled, I am the only dog
circling the campfire of the world,
lonesome as a wolf
in the prehistoric shadows.
On the sixth day
her breath evaporated;
she starved and froze in her capsule
as the human sounds she recalled--
"Moya malishka, moya Laylika" --
receded in her ears
with the memory of meat
and Kremlin bells only a dog can hear.
Laila was mailed into space,
a letter never answered,
a missal to the gods of the future.
To please him she submitted
to her handler's velvet-voiced commands,
the same voice that whispered her name.
She thrilled to the clammy, cushiony hands
that stroked her fur
even as they strapped her in.
AFTER THE STORM
Last night ended at the water's edge,
on an unbroken boardwalk,
above a lapping, tranquil ocean.
I followed a trail down the mountain
until there was nothing but blackberries,
nothing but their alluring darkness
between me and the sea.
There was no turning back.
I was going to live in a new house,
a secretive house
that stood beside my own,
a house with a view of the bay.
The house with shutters was painted
brilliantly as a parrot,
orange and apricot and jade.
The people who lived there,
a widow with a young son,
were going away to somewhere
tropical and foreign.
Those who move out of a house
and those who move in
never quite become friends,
even if they have lived side by side
for as many years as it takes
to never get to know each other,
and the rickety fence that separates
has fallen down in the wind.
Westside Women Writers at the Norton Simon Museum, with Georgia Jones-Davis up front.