Village Poets Welcomes Beverly M. Collins & A. Jay Adler on Sunday, August 27, 4:30 pm at Bolton Hall Museum
Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga is pleased to invite poets and friends of poetry to our monthly reading held in person, on Sunday, August 27 at 4:30pm. at Bolton Hall Museum, located at 10110 Commerce Ave, Tujunga, Los Angeles, CA 91042-2313. In August our features will be Beverly M. Collins & A. Jay Adler.
Two segments of open mic will be available and refreshments will be served. Suggested donation $5 per person for the cost of refreshments and to donate to the Little Landers Society that manages the Bolton Hall Museum, a Los Angeles Historical Landmark built in 1913.
Beverly M. Collins is one of 3 Winners in the Wilda Morris June 2021 Poetry Challenge (Chicago), a 2019 Naji Naaman Literary Prize in Creativity (Lebanon). Collins is also a prize winner for the California State Poetry Society, twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize and short listed for the Pangolin Review Poetry Prize (Mauritius). Her photography can be found on the cover of Peeking Cat 40 (UK), displayed online by The Academy of the Heart and Mind, printed on Fine Art America products, iStock/Getty Images, Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, Spectrum, and others. Website: https://beverlym-collins.pixels.com www.facebook.com/beverlymcollinsnow Instagram@beverlymcollinsartist
Three Poems by Beverly M. Collins
Clouds move brisk on their way to
a gathering. All precipitation-on-deck!
There will be rain storms to tend to
and strikes of lightening will be needed.
While I relaxed on the grass with my friends,
I watched intently as a cloud with the
appearance of an elephant-with-a-
giraffe’s-neck, spun its way into their meeting.
Do clouds look down and wonder what we
really are or can they see through our disguises?
Do our biggest dreams hover in plain view?
Can clouds detect that a waitress running down the
sidewalk, is really a dancer?
When they retire into a drought periodically, is it
to remind us of the water that we’ve wasted?
Do they smile at our rain dance and forgive?
When I am flying in a plane, I am in awe to be on
their level without the slightest thought of ever
being their equal.
published by the Trouvaille Review
Water’s eyes can change from blue to black.
It can stare directly into the sun until the
sun fades from its gaze like a challenger
Waters long tongue can lick the back walls of
under ocean caves like an ant-eater on a quest
to plunder. Yet, pull away with its hunger intact.
Remember, ponds can settle to complete stillness,
like a mirror for the heavens to dress itself to,
and fane obedience…until touched.
Which way is up? Just ask water!
If angered by heat, water can “ghost” landscapes,
swirl within a circle of clouds then dive earthbound
And join a new river whenever it pleases.
Where would we be without water?
Probably on Mars. Camped like nomads in worship
Of water crystals near some upper region with spoons,
dippers and all of our thimbles-of-hope.
first published by The Writers and Readers’ Magazine, England
Those Delaware Times
Street lights and telephone poles
lined our journey down the New
Jersey Turnpike. A 3-hour ride that
felt like an anticipation-eternity to 10-
year-old me. In the back seat with me, were
my sisters and a cooler full of cold drinks.
On our way from Central New Jersey
to cousins, summer fun, night air speckled
with lighting buds, the salt scented breezes,
and the ground sandy under our feet.
We rode the highway with the car windows open.
Wind blasted my face. At times, it was hard
to breathe. I closed my eyes and listened
to the music on the radio while a happy
feeling of “I-can-hardly-wait-to-get-there”
filled my stomach.
published by Wilda Morris Poetry Challenge
A. Jay Adler is professor emeritus of English and former department chair at Los Angeles Southwest College. He has also taught at Fordham University, Queens College-CUNY, and California State University-Dominguez Hills, among other colleges and universities. He earned his M.A. and M. Phil. degrees in English Literature from Columbia University, where he was nominated in 1989 for a Junior Fellowship in the Harvard Society of Fellows. Adler writes and publishes in every genre including poetry, fiction, screenwriting, drama, memoir, nonfiction, and literary, film, and cultural criticism. His screenplays have won awards from the Maui Writers Conference, the Best of the West Screenwriting Competition, and the Los Angeles Scriptwriters Network. His writing on Native America has been variously published and anthologized by Greenhaven Press. He was also a featured writer in Alternating Current Press’s 2015 premier issue of Footnote, a Literary Journal of History. Adler’s most recent publications are the essay “Hemingway in the Twenty-First Century,” in the fall 2022 issue of The Hong Kong Review, and the poem “The Hard-skinned Fruit,” in this year’s spring California Quarterly. Awarded a 2002 residency grant in poetry from the Vermont Studio Center, Adler’s first collection of poetry, Waiting for Word, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2021. He publishes weekly personal essays on culture at his Substack, Homo Vitruvius, and he is currently at work on The Dream of Don Juan de Cartagena, a novel of the Magellan expedition’s circumnavigation of the earth.
Three Poems by A. Jay Adler
To swerve is to miss
To miss to long for:
A receding highway light
In the middle of the country
Through the center of the night.
How distance beckons and turns away.
This starry billboard rises
Along the road, through every county
It chances one may go.
To miss is to fail
To reach or contact. The tire
Misses the road. In the general vagueness
In the general night, the rest stops
Blink and sigh over cup and saucer
Above the glum Formica –
The accidental faces.
The windows mirror the way.
A stretch of darkness, like longing’s light
How far I must have traveled
When you rise up quickly, surely
It’s always the center of the road
And I swerve and miss you, miss you.
Originally published in Pebble Lake Review
Lives of the Poet
I see them all
succumb to the electric choke of the coffee drip
the dogs at my feet moan for the bonethis tenor’s lyric flight
lands on the baseboard dusta wash of light in the afternoon’s
hushed diminuendoat the sink before me
and I, in the end-day yard through the windowjourney back across this bounded place
to my only fleeting self.
Originally published in Adagio Verse Quarterly
A Lexicology of the Middle Year
Tracing the form of the last thing she says to me
how the lips round like ohs
sound bounds from bottom to top –
cavernous cry of the bone –
out of anger, the origin of the flip
concluding word, the yet unspoken
plea for kindness
seeking in my vocabulary
some cognate for this long transmission
of intimacy, still I think:
I have no ear for the young words
all buff and shiny, and not a thing to say at the bar.
Let me hear them spoken around the block
a time or two, their vowels longing for consonance
what gives them meaning – prefix of desire
suffix of regret – inflected now only by time
the history of their enunciation deeper
than any beginning I can know.
Originally published in West Magazine
September 24: Marlene Hitt & RG Cantalupo
October 22: Ambika Talwar & Susan Suntree