Photo by V.A. LeVine
The date for Wayne Allen Levine will be posted later.
On Sunday, March 22, 2020, at 4:30 pm. at Bolton Hall Museum (10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042), Village Poets invite poets and poetry lovers to the third Village Poets reading of the year 2020. We will feature two amazing artists: poet and photographer Alexis Rhone Fancher and poet, photographer and philosopher Wayne Allen Levine. The reading will include two open mike segments. Refreshments will be served and $3 donations collected for the cost of the venue, the second historical landmark in the City of Los Angeles, that celebrated its centennial in 2013. The Museum is managed by the Little Landers Historical Society.
Wayne Allen LeVine is a writer, poet, philosopher, storyteller, impassioned public speaker and four-time author. LeVine’s books include two collections of poetry: Forgiveness for Forgotten Dreams (2003) and Myths & Artists (2006. LeVine made his literary leap into the realm of nonfiction in (2012) with the release of his 3rd book – Insights of an Ordinary Man – published by Spirit Wind Books – a collection of essays and autobiographical vignettes, becoming his first Amazon.com international Best seller – which was followed by his 2nd nonfiction book THE FOURTH REFLECTION, published by Thomas Noble Books in 2016. Wayne Allen LeVine’s poems and stories have been included in several award-winning journals and on-line magazines, such as Rattle, the Examiner.com, and several editions of the Best-Selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series, including Chicken Soup for the Body and Soul. A Midwestern son – born and raised in The Windy City, currently resides in Southern California with his wife and their two rock star sons.
Photo by V.A. LeVine
It was only a dream. It was only a fantasy.
It was only a wish. It was only
My buoyant imagination running
Away with me – running away from me.
It was only a grandiose daydream –
While searching for guidance at a dizzying pace.
It was only another euphoric flash
In the pan that amounted to nothing.
It was only my naivety
Attempting to protect me –
A hollow echo in the guise of an opening song.
It was only a matter of time before
My fascination with reverie would
Be abruptly interrupted by reality –
Wherein, the passive-aggressive illusion of
Logic runs roughshod over my unexpressed passions.
It was only a thought, only an idea, it was only
My destiny begging, pleading, needing to be lived.
It was only a moment,
Which lasted an hour
That stretched into a day,
Which turned into a lifetime.
It was only the elongated shadow of a brave little boy,
Creating the welcomed illusion of a full-grown man.
It was only another anonymous poet –
Spitting grape seeds and soliloquy into the wind.
Copyright Wayne Allen LeVine - 2019
Photo by V.A. LeVine
No Way Back
I needed to get out today, after being
Sequestered for nearly a
Decade inside that granite mountain,
Searching for the ever-elusive diamond mine.
Now the world is asking me for
Everything, and I wish only to comply.
And it doesn’t matter where I
Left off yesterday – or where I
Imagine or pretend to begin today.
Maybe I’ll move to New Mexico
And let my beard grow . . . allow
My gray-brown whiskers to soften
My fleshy marble chin, and dance
With some of the other artists of my day.
Maybe I’ll climb to the top of a
Sacred mesa – watch a sunset through
The eyes of a brand new man
And permit my thoughts to fall like quiet rain.
Then, I’ll dry my emotions with the
Open end of a one-time-only rainbow –
Catch salmon in a bubbling brook
And cook my lucid dreams a little longer.
Maybe I’ll stain an empty canvas with
Unstrained honey, ancient sand, and
Half a glass of elderberry wine –
Then carve a bow from a willing branch –
A bendable cypress or pliable oak, mold
My arrows from hardened stardust,
And fashion tips from skipping stones . . .
Maybe I’ll shoot strait, this time? Hit my target
Dead-center, then dance home again, stopping
Along the way to see, and smell, and savor all
The roses, daisies, tulips, and erupting wildflowers.
And if all the crumbs I scattered along
The way have been feasted upon by
Tiny birds that never learned, though
Always knew exactly how to pray . . .
I won’t feel the least bit lost – knowing
All the while that there never was a way of getting back.
Photo by Wayne Allen LeVine
Alexis Rhone Fancher
She’s been published in over 60 anthologies, including the best-selling Nasty Women Poets (Lost Horse Press, 2017), Terrapin Books’ A Constellation of Kisses, (2019),and Antologia di poesia femminile americana contemporanea, (Edizioni Ensemble, Italia, 2018). Her photographs have been published worldwide, including the covers of Witness, Nerve Cowboy, Chiron Review, Heyday, and Pithead Chapel, and a spread in River Styx. A multiple Pushcart Prize, Best Short Fiction, and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis has been poetry editor of Cultural Weekly since late 2012. She and her husband live 20 miles outside of downtown L.A., in a small beach community overlooking the Pacific.They have an extraordinary view.
No, he did not look natural in his coffin.
He is not in a better place.
Don’t compare your pain to mine. Your dog
getting hit by a truck is not the same.
You really don’t know how I feel.
Don’t say you’re devastated.
Does it always have to be about you?
Don’t ask me about Fentanyl.
Don’t tell me not to dwell.
Don’t minimize my loss.
My boy is not better off dead.
For once, let’s say it like it is:
He did not pass away.
There is no plan.
Don’t say he is at peace.
Silence is good. A hug.
Tell me you have no words.
Or tell me stories of that summer
he rode the bulls in Ogden,
all that life tightly in his grip.
Honorable Mention, Beyond Baroque Poetry Contest, 2019, Judged by Diane Seuss
Photo by A.R. Fancher
When my husband’s two grown daughters are in town, the three of them go to the movies, or play pool. Share dinner every night. Stay out late. I haven’t seen my stepdaughters since my son’s funeral in 2007. When people ask, I say nice things about the girls, as if we had a relationship. When people ask if I have children I change the subject. Or I lie, and say no. Or sometimes I put them on the spot and tell them yes, but he died. They look aghast and want to know what happened.Then I have to tell them about the cancer. Sometimes, when the older daughter, his favorite, is in town, and she and my husband are out together night after night, I wonder what it would be like if that was me, and my boy, if life was fair, and, rather than my husband having two children and I, none, we each had one living child. His choice which one to keep. Lately when people ask, I want to lie and say yes, my son is a basketball coach; he married a beautiful Iranian model with kind eyes, and they live in London with their twin girls who visit every summer; the same twins his girlfriend aborted with my blessing when my son was eighteen, deemed too young for fatherhood, and everyone said there would be all the time in the world.
First published in ASKEW, 2016, and nominated for the Pushcart Prize, 2017. Winner, Pangolin Review Poetry Contest, and nominated again for the Pushcart Prize in 2018 by Pangolin Review.
Photo by A.R. Fancher