Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Alex M. Frankel - Featured by Village Poets on June 23, 2013

Village Poets will present the next Monthly Poetry Reading at Bolton Hall Museum (10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91342) on June 23, 2013 with Featured Poet, Alex M. Frankel. It appears we want to feature all hosts of poetry readings in Southern California. 

So far we presented: Debbie Kolodji (Southern California Haiku Study Group at Pacific Asia Museum), Rick Lupert (Cobalt Cafe), R. Murray Thomas (Barnes and Noble, Long Beach), Don Kingfisher Campbell (Emerging Urban Poets, Pasadena's Catalina Library), Elena Secota (Rapp Saloon), Alice Pero and Lois P. Jones (Moonday East and Moonday West), Xochitl Julisa Bermejo (Beyond Baroque's Splinter Generation), Kathabela Wilson and Rick Wilson (Poets on Site readings and events, in Pasadena, Torrance, and elsewhere), and others. 

On Sunday, June 23 at 4:30 p.m. we will present poet and host of the famous Cafe Alibi Readings in Pasadena, Alex M. Frankel. The Village Poets Reading will also include two open mike segments and refreshments. The old hat of George Harris (who built Bolton Hall 100 years ago) will be passed around for donations to support our historic venue, City of Los Angeles Historic Monument No. 2. 


Alex M. Frankel was born in San Francisco in 1960.  He went to Columbia and studied with Kenneth Koch and lived in Spain for many years. Now he teaches at Cal State LA. His chapbook is called My Father's Lady, Wearing Black

He will have a full-length book out later this year, called Birth Mother Mercy.  His book reviews now appear regularly in The Antioch Review. He's been nominated by Judith Hall for "Best New Poet" for his poem "SoccerStud16 I Need to Leave This World Come Back as You."  

Nine Hundred Thousand Legs to Waterloo

Alex M. Frankel

Drab fury of trains.
Three hundred and forty-four thousand bodies
are being pressed into the Underground.
There are severe delays on the Picadilly Line.
There is a good service on all other lines.
and men and women rushing toward
men and women, a few falling.
Not one face like yours
and liquid Prozac on my jeans,
stains, stickiness. Warmth
of forty-four thousand travelers.
Eddie Jay Santos:
your brown skin
your young hands,
you did not like your hands.
Please keep your belongings safe.
The fine eyebrows and teeth.
Pickpockets operate at this station.
The steady, noxious watchfulness
of the surveillance cameras,
my jeans stained with Prozac,
juicy and pleasant.
Fifty thousand five hundred bodies
collected and expectant.
Would customers please use
the full length of the platform
to avoid congestion at the platform entrances.
Samoans with British accents:
it shouldn’t be allowed,
they should be speaking Samoan
or regular American.
There are severe delays on the Picadilly Line.
There is a good service on all other lines.
Six thousand people reading about knife crime.
Eddie: you left
and you never left.
The free paper says Pakistani youths
fight with knives.
Seventy-five thousand men, women and animals
are fighting
to reach Leicester Square.
Eddie: twice nearly expelled
from Hollywood High
for fighting.
A hundred bodies packed
into a single “carriage.”
Several grey men hunger
for a fragrant South Asian.
Your tattooed, hard arms
your stubby little hands.
This is Westminster.
Please change here for the Circle Line 
and the District Line.
Your fresh-smelling t-shirts
your cologne
your rugged tattoo soaking up
my spinster sperm.
Another tunnel.
Americans should not say “cheers”
when they mean “thank you”!
The next tunnel is terribly smelly.
Travelers can’t stop looking
at a Turk.
The smelly tunnel leads
to a long, smelly tunnel.
Please stand to the right
when using the escalators.
Eddie Jay: your naïve, unkind face
your thumbs efficient and alive
on your little keypad.
and wind.
Any unattended bag
or other item of luggage
will be removed 
and may be destroyed.
And not one grey hair
skin around your eyes alarmingly fresh
your lips and tongue hardworking
on my nipples—
if you had charged three hundred a night
I would’ve paid you
I would pay three hundred
for a single word from you now. . .
This is a security announcement.
Eight hundred and one
stale, stiff people
are trying to rush for their trains
in the warm wind
in the narrow white passageways
under London.


Here are some pictures from the Judith Terzi reading in May 2013. She charmed and inspired us with her wit, intelligence and sensitivity. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Judith Terzi at Bolton Hall Museum on May 26, 2013

After a phenomenally successful performance by Neil McCarthy, from Ireland to California with Love, we are returning to the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga (10110 Commerce Ave., Tujunga, if not, Google it).
Judith Terzi wil be our Featured Poet on Sunday, May 26 at 4:30 p.m. The evening will also include two segments of Open Mike, and refreshments. As usual, we will collect donations for the Bolton Hall Museum, the Second Historical Monument in the City of Los Angeles. Bolton Hall is celebrating its Centennial this year, and we, as poets, are thrilled to be a part of this celebration.

Judith Terzi is the author of several chapbooks including Sharing Tabouli (Finishing Line, 2011). Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Malala: Future Cycle Press Anthology, 2014; Myrrh, Mothwing, Smoke: Erotic Poems (Tupelo Press, 2013); Raintown Review; Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the 60s & 70s (She Writes Press, 2013); Trivia: Voices of Feminism; and elsewhere. Her poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and Web and have garnered prizes and honorable mentions. A new chapbook, Ghazal for a Chambermaid, is forthcoming from Finishing Line. A former high school French teacher at Polytechnic School in Pasadena, CA, she also taught English at California State University, Los Angeles, and in Algiers, Algeria. She holds an M.A. in French literature.

            starting with a line by Sappho

Who is the one with violets in her lap?
After the earth shook, she rang the bell
to warn the town to run. The women who sell
wool, their skeins spread out like garlands of tulips
and lilies, fled, but what about their shawls,
caps and gloves piled in the beds of trucks?
The sea ripped boats of fishermen like a shark,
twisted roofs and furniture, churches, schools
in its wild walls. The rage complete, it displaced
their planks onto black sand, into forests, streets.
Violet is the light of mourning, luz divina,
luz of healing, luz of valor for Martina.
She is the one with violets; she knits wreaths
for the silt of the río Maule and shredded lace.

Copyright © Judith Terzi
Honorable Mention, Knock Our Hats Off Contest, Mad Hatters' Review, 2010

Party Bus

You can bet your money on fiesta here,
the women wearing dresses short and tight.
Smoothed, oiled thighs glide onto leather seats,
hips and bare shoulders rocking to the jolts
down Cahuenga Boulevard. I'm face à face
with dazzle, breaths hot and minty after cigs
and the joints hid in compartments,
along with the Don Julio and Casadores tequila.
Twenty of us stream into Club La Vida,
corner of Sunset and Gower, my white hair
stark, stark as bleach as I hit the champagne
trail and the dance floor. Twenty-somethings,
some foxed from liquor, others foxed by me––
a jadis diva circling under the strobes.
I'm photographed, I'm fire-foxed, I'm Lady Gaga'd.
I'm re-fired, re-minted in this Hollywoodland
hormonal blitz. For a moment, I become
the young woman in a black sheath, her dress
almost skimming her crotch. After each groove
and grind, she nudges slippery cloth back down,
her partner holding on to accessible parts,
releasing her, then holding on again until the pulsation
ends. I face down time here, though so much closer
to the index than to the preface of a vida loca.

Copyright © Judith Terzi
2nd Prize, Bananagram Contest, Newport Review, 2010


Photographs from Neil McCarthy's reading at the McGroarty Arts Center are posted on Facebook, and Picasa Web Albums.

Neil McCarthy, center, with Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga and guests.