Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Poem I composed, inspired by a Lincoln HS student...


His hair looks like whipped cream, if it was black.

The buzz around his ears is not just a road, but a wave, or is that merely a fade?

Earrings appear as black screws, unless he turns his head, they turn into coned seashells.

He wears a dark blue cardigan that could have been Mr. Smith’s on the TV program Lost In Space (complete with contrasting white collar tee).

Around his birth-tanned wrist, a black plastic band declares in white letters, I <3 Boobies.

Bottomed-out by jeans which seem to be slacks, or is it the other way around (21st century technology)

and black suede Vans, wallaby-ribbed, like I wore in the 70’s when I was in high school.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I again taught Writers Seminar for high school students in Occidental College's Upward Bound Program this summer. (This was my 27th summer doing so, woo hoo!)

So, once more, thanks to the generosity of L.A. poets, I got to give these students an unforgettable poetic experience...each day! Each Guest Poet shared poems with them, answered any questions they might have had, and (optionally) offered a writing idea.

I know they loved, learned from, and appreciated the visits (as they have in the past). Here were this summer's poets:

Monday, June 27th, 10am to 11am - MIKEL WEISSER

Tuesday, June 28th, 10am to 11am - JIM BABWE

Wednesday, June 29th, 10am to 11am - KHADIJA ANDERSON and MARY TORREGROSSA

Thursday, June 30th, 10am to 11am - ANDREA CARTER BROWN

Friday, July 1st, 9am to 10am - ELI GOITEIN and CHRISTOPHER LUKE TREVILLA

Tuesday, July 5th, 10am to 11am - CALOKIE and RINA ROSE

Wednesday, July 6th, 10am to 11am - STEVEN KUTCHER and DORI MARLER

Thursday, July 7th, 10am to 11am - RON GREGUS and MARY FRANCES SPENCER

Friday, July 8th, 9am to 10am - SEAN RAYMOND HILL

Monday, July 11th, 10am to 11am - NEIL AITKEN and MAJA TROCHIMCZYK

Tuesday, July 12th, 10am to 11am - SHARON RIZK and RON BACA

Wednesday, July 13th, 10am to 11am - ED ROSENTHAL and RADOMIR VOJTECH LUZA

Thursday, July 14th, 10am to 11am - LYNNE BRONSTEIN and CHARLES HARMON

Friday, July 15th, 9am to 10am - JAMES MAVERICK and MICHAEL J CLUFF

Monday, July 18th, 10am to 11am - TOTI O'BRIEN and TAOLI-AMBIKA TALWAR

Tuesday, July 19th, 10am to 11am - PETE JUSTUS and JESSICA WILSON

Wednesday, July 20th, 10am to 11am - MIKE THE POET


Monday, July 25th, 10am to 11am - FRANK MUNDO

Tuesday, July 26th, 10am to 11am - DAN GARCIA-BLACK and REX BUTTERS

Thank you all for volunteering to visit our class,

Monday, May 30, 2011

Judge and Performer!

I was asked to be one of the judges for the first ever Pasadena High School Poetry Slam in their Little Theater on Friday evening, May 27th, 2011. As a bonus, I got to perform a poem I wrote on the spot called Because I'm A Student In The Theater Of Life (First Draft, of course) inspired by these surroundings.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Guest Poet

On Wednesday I made my 12th annual visit to Clark Magnet High School as a Guest Poet in Mrs. Guarino's Creative Writing classroom. We all had fun having the students ask me questions. I then read some of my poetry from a specially made chapbook I gave to them. Finally we composed new poetry. I always seem to get inspired by their energy (and in this case by the cover of my chapbook, photo below), so here's the poem I wrote:


On a street corner
in a suburban city

Hangs a metal box
attached to a light pole

No bigger than a book
bolted onto cement composite

And on the front of this
rectangle is a face

Two bulbous eyes,
left red, right blue

A small shiny push
button worn nose

And a tiny round flat screw
mouth that mouths, oh!

Like it's shocked that
it's spent decades here

With an affixed white
"hair" plate that points

The way to walk across on
which while someone was waiting

Took the time to etch
HARSH inside the black arrow

For now labeling the life
of an anthropomorphic creation

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Saturday Guest Poets, Round 2


This year I will again be teaching Creative Writing to a small group of middle schoolers (grades 7-9) at the Chiao Hsin Chinese Language School on 2231 Findlay Ave. in Monterey Park on Saturday mornings. We all love having poets and writers visit us.

I know your performances greatly benefit and inspire the kids, as they also certainly do during the summer at my Occidental College gig. Guest Poets will visit between 11am and 12pm, share three poems, answer any questions the students may have, even share a writing idea if you wish...then afterwards, we can head off for lunch together (my treat) if you like. Here is the schedule:

Saturday, January 8th, 11am to 12pm - JASON BRAIN & RADOMIR VOJTECH LUZA

Saturday, January 15th, 11am to 12pm - TOTI O'BRIEN

Saturday, January 22nd, 11am to 12pm - MIKE THE POET

Saturday, January 29th, 11am to 12pm - ELIZABETH ARANA, CALOKIE & LALO KIKIRIKI

Saturday, February 5th, 11am to 12pm - SCOTT KAESTNER

Saturday, February 12th, 11am to 12pm - LYNNE BRONSTEIN

Saturday, February 19th, 11am to 12pm - FRANK MUNDO

Saturday, February 26th, 11am to 12pm - JIM BOLT

Saturday, March 5th, 11am to 12pm - POETBROKER, SEAN HILL & NARINDA HENG

Saturday, March 12th, 11am to 12pm - LESLIE SILTON & MICHELLE ANGELINI

Saturday, March 19th, 11am to 12pm - ALICE PERO

Saturday, March 26th, 11am to 12pm - CHRIS WESLEY & KARINE ARMEN

Saturday, April 2nd, 11am to 12pm - CHARLES HARMON & TRACI KATO-KIRIYAMA

Saturday, April 16th, 11am to 12pm - JIM BABWE

Once again, thank you to all who have volunteered to visit my students in the past...may we all have poetic futures!

Your comrade in lines (poetic and otherwise),