Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Village Poets Present Marsha de la O and Jerry Garcia on May 22, 2016 at Bolton Hall

On Sunday, May 22, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. Village Poets will present two fascinating contemporary poets Jerry Garcia and Marsha de la O, in the monthly Open Mike Reading at Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga (10110 Commerce Avenue). The reading will include two segments of Open Mike and refreshments - coffee, fruit, snacks or cakes - depending on the Village Poets' fancy.  This reading is one of "tenderness" - or "kindness" and "gentility" - because there's not enough of these three virtues in our world these days... 

The building, fascinating with is frontier beauty (facade and fireplace built of huge river-rocks) and storied history (Los Angeles's Historical Landmark No. 2, built in 1913), is managed by the Little Landers Historical Society that organizes events and quirky exhibits as well as invites the poets for their monthly feasts free of charge. Nonetheless, Village Poets do make donations to the LLHS, and for that purpose pass the hat, also historic - and formerly owned by the Bolton Hall builder, George Harris, to collect suggested donations of $3 per person that are then used to purchase refreshments for the poets and guests, and to donate funds to the Little Landers Historical Society.

Freshly squeezed orange juice was a must in mid-century California. 
Items from the current display at the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga. 


Jerry Garcia is a poet, photographer and filmmaker from Los Angeles who is too old to have been named after The Grateful Dead guitar hero.He has been a producer and editor of television commercials, documentaries and motion picture previews. He is currently producing Poetry Films based on his and the poetry of others. 

In 2006, Jerry was chosen by the L.A. Poetry Festival to participate in Newer Poets XI Series as part of the L.A. Central Library’s Aloud Series.  In April 2015 he was winner of Terry Wolverton’s dis•articulationsreader Poem series.

His poetry has been seen in Askew, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, Chaparral, The Chiron Review, Palabra, Verdad Magazine, KCET’s Departures: Poetry L.A. Style, Tia Chucha’s Coiled Serpent Anthology and his chapbook Hitchhiking with the Guilty. 

Jerry is a past-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets and former president of Beyond Baroque’s Board of Trustees.

While Walking the Dog
Last Evening

I saw a falling star,
its tail so long,
its head so black,
surely it must rest this morning 
in a neighbor’s backyard, 
blackened rock, warm to the touch,
conspicuous on a thick bed
of blue grass.

If it struck like the truth
it could be the famous Boson
and if it had not been honest,
the prayers of many
would nod as they hold on to tomorrow
while the rest of us scramble
to keep the day intact.

Sometimes, what is visible in the black,
like reflected branches
and multi-galaxies of matter,
would support belief in substance,
while to others
the flickering sky expresses
the Divine.

(c) by Jerry Garcia 


Marsha de la O was born and raised in Southern California. Both sides of her family arrived in the Los Angeles area before William Mulholland built the aqueduct that brought in water from the eastern Sierras. 

Her latest book, Antidote for Night, won the 2015 Isabella Gardner Award and was published by BOA Editions.  Her first book, Black Hope, was awarded the New Issues Press Poetry Prize. 


as far south as possible – to live – the ache  
on the edge of what can’t be endured, 
Monterey cypress on the spit, this remnant— 
when will longing be done with me—
parched, parched St. Catherine’s Lace 
fuming her last, and Sister Datura, 
mi loca, my girl, her closed mouth 
twisted like paper, horses in the 
shallows, piebald and panicked, rearing 
in the foam, ghost eyes wide, oh 
far-ranging roans, blue multitudes 
why oh why can’t I, rushing the horizon—  
naturally I dream the length of summer 
days & nights when the moon lives 
for weeks in my room, staggering in late 
every night drunk, slip sliding off her 
shoulders into an ivory pool on the carpet 
and still she will not ease me

(C) by Marsha de la O



The beautiful, inspired, whimsical, sensuous, and richly woven from a tapestry of words and images reading by featured poets Lois P. Jones and Alice Pero will remain among the highlights of the season. Not just the featured poets rose to the occasion, other readers celebrated the Earth Day of April 22 and commemorated the Armenian Genocide of April 24.

Poetry took us to the stars, inside a drawing by Leonardo, and on nature hikes, to see dragonflies in the Tujunga Wash. We learned how to eat a mountain and what Odysseus did when Sirens sang their irresistible song.  We listened, we thought, we laughed, we cried... 

Lois P. Jones thus summed up her experience: "The air was clean and crisp, the sunlight dappling, the poetry served al dente, warm and welcoming. There was humor and pathos (a powerful poem on the anniversary of the Armenian holocaust), odes to spring and renewal, the whimsical dynamism of Alice Pero and the welcoming light of MC, Maja Trochimczyk. A poet afterward offered something which I will take with me forever. "Your poetry opens the soul." Better than any awards or flashy publications. I must remember to keep my eye on the soul."

PHOTO L To R: Seated: Tim Callahan, Lida Abramian, Susan Rogers, Lois P. Jones, Alice Pero and Marlene Hitt . Standing: Maja Trochimczyk, Joe DeCenzo, Beverly M. Collins, Mark Evans, Bo Kyung Kim, Pam Shea, Elsa S. Frausto, Dorothy Skiles, Joe, Mira Mataric, Kathabela and Rick Wilson, and Janet Nippell.  Other photos are on Facebook and will find their way to an online album.