Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Lois P. Jones and Alice Pero Co-feature at Bolton Hall Museum on April 24, 2016

Village Poets present its Monthly Poetry Reading featuring Alice Pero and Lois P. Jones at 

Bolton Hall Museum, 
10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042 
on Sunday, April 24, 2016 at 4:30 p.m.  

There will be two sections of Open Mike for guest poets and refreshments will be served. The MAC is the historic home of California Poet Laureate, writer and politician John Steven McGroarty (1862-1944) that was donated to the City of Los Angeles and is managed by a nonprofit organization as a cultural center serving local community.


Alice Pero

 Alice Pero was born in New York City, the child of a celebrated electrical engineer and a housewife/editor who loved to play the piano. Pero graduated from The Putney School in Vermont and The Manhattan School of Music in New York City after also attending The Indiana School of Music. She received dance training at the Martha Graham School in New York. While a student she played with the National Orchestral Association in New York City and currently she is playing chamber music concerts, after a long hiatus from the flute. She is the founder of the chamber music group, “Windsong 2.”

She is a member of the California Poets in the Schools and teaches poetry to children throughout the Los Angeles area. Pero founded the celebrated “Moonday” reading series in 2002, which continues its successful run, now at The Flintridge Bookstore in La Cañada, CA. Moonday is co-produced by  poet, Lois P. Jones.  Pero lives on the edge of a Southland desert wash with her husband, Dennis.  She has two grown children, Sky and Amy, and four grandchildren.


If I could put all that I owned in one bag
I would place one guitar
and I can't even play
I would put the sensation of your smile
the memory of that child sitting on the edge of a chair
with an ice cream cone, dripping
I'd put the arrogance of a Spanish dancer's arched back
seven flute tones before they disappeared in the air
a hundred blank pages
I'd put the poem that would win your hear (unthinkable joy)
I'd put a map of places to place our dreams (inexhaustible)
I'd put points to place distances to own
all the future places to place
as many bags as I wanted



Cascading down the balustrade
careening around the corner
caroming from wall to wall
crinkling up and straightening out again
your smile finally did a dance
that landed right in the middle
of mine.



This morning I tried to squeeze those white
curtains blue with my wishing eye
The white curtains fluttered in the breeze
morning sent in the window
My blue wish didn't die,
but drifted downstairs
A little boy cried for a blue balloon
lost in the wind.


Poems from Thawed Stars by Alice Pero (c) 1999, copyright renewed 2016.

Poets at McGroarty Arts Center: Maja Trochimczyk, Susan Rogers, 

Lois P. Jones, Sonya Sabanac, Mira Mataric, Joe DeCenzo, Dorothy Skiles and Marlene Hitt.


Lois P. Jones has work published or forthcoming in Poetic Diversity and Cultural Weekly, as well as several anthologies including The Poet’s Quest for God (Eyewear Publishing), Wide Awake: Poetry of Los Angeles and Beyond (The Pacific Coast Poetry Series) edited by Suzanne Lummis, 30 Days (Tupelo Press), and Good-Bye Mexico (Texas Review Press). Some publications include Narrative,American Poetry Journal, One (Jacar Press), Tupelo Quarterly, The Warwick Review, Tiferet, Cider Press Review, Askew and other journals in the U.S. and abroad. 

Lois’s poems have won honors under judges Kwame Dawes, Fiona Sampson, Ruth Ellen Kocher and others. New Yorker staff writer, Dana Goodyear selected “Ouija” as Poem of the Year in the 2010 competition sponsored by Web del Sol. She is the winner of the 2012 Tiferet Poetry Prize and the 2012 Liakoura Prize and a multiple Pushcart nominee. Her poem was long-listed in the 2015 National Poetry Competition organized by The Poetry Society. 

Lois is Poetry Editor of Kyoto Journal, host of KPFK’s Poets Café (Pacifica Radio) and co-host of Moonday Poetry. She is an interviewer at American Micro Reviews and Interviews and is currently co-editing two collections for Glass Lyre Press: the Aeolian Harp and Peace anthologies.

Red Horse

No one understood this blood run
to the moon, this blaze

of you, red horse in a swollen sky.
How you turned loose

like a fistful of fire ants.
How your temper could burn

a field when there was too much
to drink. There were days we’d spread

the blanket on the grasses
near the sycamores and let the desert

air run through us,
let the sage burn our nostrils

as we sipped a silky rioja.
A wine you liked to translate,

as you decoded everything beautiful.
Your lips full and slightly curled

siempre, siempre: jardin de mi agonia,
tu cuerpo fugitivo para siempre,

always, always: garden of my last breath,
your body escaped forever,

Lorca in his red shoes
lighting our tongues, lifting

our hips until the sun
turned poppy and burst.

(C) by Lois P. Jones


Jean Sudbury, Kathabela Wilson, Endre Dobay, and Maja Trochimczyk, 2013 

Village Poets  said their farewells to Endre Dobay, husband of artist Susan Dobay, whose work on video interpretations of operas through art was presented at our events.  The Celebration of Life event was held on March 12, 2016 at the Scenic Art Gallery in Monrovia, and many poets read their verse inspired by and dedicated to Endre. A mechanical engineer,   a  family man,  and a supporter of all art forms which he respected and loved , with his wife artist Susan he was  the proprietor of the Scenic Drive Gallery.

The online documentation of these tributes includes a video assemblage of photos, a photo album and a series of poems, some reprinted on the Poetry Laurels blog by Maja Trochimczyk:

Susan Dobay (center) with Maja Trochimczyk (L) and Mira Mataric (R)
Photo by Penelope Torribio

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Georgia Jones Davis Presents Her "Night School" on March 20, 2016

Village Poets are happy to present Georgia Jones-Davis as the featured poet in the Women's Month, March 2016, reading from her recent chapbook, Night School (Finishing Line Press, 2015).  The reading will take place on Sunday, March 20, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. at Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga (10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042).

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.
Laila died,
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.


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
their gardens
has fallen down in the wind.

Westside Women Writers at the Norton Simon Museum, with Georgia Jones-Davis up front.