Friday, September 26, 2014

99 Poems on the Bus T-shirts

Bay Area bus riders, come to Mrs. Dalloways on Oct 2 to purchase your own 99 Poems for the 99 Percent on the Bus T-shirts. Also hear Matthew Zapruder, Maxine Chernoff, Tess Taylor, Heather Altfeld, and Troy Jollimore read good poems!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

99 Poems Comes to Kepler's

The legendary Kepler's in Menlo Park hosted six contributors to the 99 Poems anthology on September 18. Readers included Ellen Bass, Sally Ashton, J. P. Dancing Bear, Rachelle Escamilla, and Dennis Richardson.  Every available seat was taken! Readers signed books, met with old friends, and answered questions about poetry and politics.


Ellen Bass talks about her father's long employment history in "My Father's Day"

Dennis Richardson talks about both Frogs and the French

Rachelle Escamilla dazzled everyone with her poem and her stories about growing up with immigrant parents

Sally Ashton reads Brian Clement's poem "A February Revolution"

J. P. Dancing Bear reads "By a Monkey on a Unicycle"

99 Poems for the 99 Percent Invades Santa Cruz

On September 8, several contributors to 99 Poems for the 99 Percent marched on Santa Cruz, taking over Bookshop Santa Cruz. Below are photos released last week by Gawker:

Sally Ashton reads her poem in Three Voices

Joan Gelfand tells the 1% to talk to the hand.

CJ Sage reads from her poem "To Occupy: An Advice"

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Podcast of 99 Poems Anthology read on KUSP Poetry Show

Hear Santa Cruz legend Dennis Morton read poems from 99 Poems for the 99 Percent on the nation's oldest poetry-only radio show. http://blogs.kusp.org/poetryshow/

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

#1


Images from the San Francisco Reading and Release Party for 99 Poems for the 99 Percent - Sept 3, 2014

Julie Bruck wows the crowd of the Booksmith

Keith Ekiss reads a poem about the Mission District
Barbara Berman imagines Walt Whitman on Wall Street

Barbara, Julie, and Hiya can't take their eyes off of Gillian Conoley

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

99 Poems for the 99 Percent hits #2 on the SPD Bestseller List

99 Poems for the 99 Percent: An Anthology of Poetry is at #2 on the Small Press Distribution Poetry Bestseller List and comes in at the very top of the "SPD Recommends" page.


Dana Levin, Rich Bouchet, and Jon Davis read from 99 Poems for the 99 Percent!

99 Poems for the 99 Percent, held the first of many reading/release parties at the Santa Fe University of Art & Design on July 26, 2014. Jon Davis, Rich Bouchet, Dana Levin, and Dean Rader read their own poems from the anthology as well as work by Bob Hicok, Catherine Esposito Prescott, Camille T. Dungy, Alexandra Teague, and several others:

Jon Davis adopts a creepy persona in his fabulous poem "Preliminary Report from the Committee on Appropriate Postures for the Suffering"

Rich Bouchet adopts an even creepier persona for his poem "Gently Now, Gently, Gently Into Your Black Tactical Duty Jacket, Your Striped Plunge Bra with Cherry Charm"

Dana Levin adopts her always cool persona for her haunting poem "Morning News."

Memory/Memorial, Ingrid Wendt


MEMORY/MEMORIAL
Ingrid Wendt

You whose family four years fled through jungles, whose mother,
Camp by camp, weakened, the cancer left to spread, untreated
You, whose mother fled with her children from Russian invasion
Your train bombed and bombed again as it inched its way south
You whose daughter disappeared on her everyday route home.

You to whom a government gave blankets riddled with smallpox
You whom radiation ravaged, whose fatherland won’t remember
You for whom the midnight knock on the door will echo forever
You for whom the syllables Tiananmen, Kent State, still smolder
You whose generation’s memory is short

You who cannot bear the sound of movie gunfire, cars’ backfires
You who’ve gathered together severed limbs from the wreckage
The swamp water; you, family whose mourning can never begin
You who never again will look into cameras, you who have seen
More of the face of evil than anything minds can begin to imagine

You who look for reasons where none exist, who bring to these
Elegies, images of your own, too deep for speech, wave upon
Wave they return when least you expect them, flotsam weighing
The future down. What shape do we give to horror, what form?
Silence between the paving stones of these stanzas: this is for you.

About "Memory/Memorial," Ingrid Wendt writes:
" Throughout human history, with all of its changes, one thing is constant in every country in the world: for every horror, every death, caused by other human beings – from large-scale warfare to airline crashes to the kidnapping and murder of a child coming home from school – there are those left behind who remember, who mourn, who often are isolated in their grief and in their inability to give shape to it.

This poem belongs to a 10-part poem sequence: my part of a collaborative project with a sculptor and painter in 1999. The horrors I refer to are events in the Philippines and Germany during and after the second world war, in China, Chile, Argentina, the United States during the Indian wars, and the United States today. For this poem, I created all lines (except one) of nearly equal length, to resemble paving stones of an imagined path.”

Friday, July 18, 2014

99 POEMS FOR THE 99 PERCENT: AN ANTHOLOGY OF POETRY - NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE

99 Poems for the 99 Percent, the popular blog begun by Dean Rader, is now available in book form, complete with notes about the poems written by the poets themselves. With contributions by Edward Hirsch, Dana Levin, Timothy Donnelly, Bob Hicok, Rachel Loden, Maxine Chernoff, Camille T. Dungy, Patty Seyburn, Rey Gonzalez, Matthew Zapruder, Hadara Bar-Nadav, Alexandra Teague, Jon Davis, Tess Taylor, Keith Ekiss, Joan Houlihan, Fred Marchant, Martha Collins, Robert Pinsky, LeAnne Howe, and a host of other writers, this collection represents one of the most pertinent and topical collaboration of poetry and politics.

Order your copy today from Small Press Distribution or Amazon

Thursday, December 1, 2011

February Was Only Half Over, Ellen McGrath Smith

FEBRUARY WAS ONLY HALF OVER

and so we decided to roll the coins.  We emptied all tin cans
and urns on the bed, and the bedspread was covered in coins.

The first large-scale contracts related to Hurricane Katrina, as in
Iraq, were awarded without competitive bidding, and using so-called
cost-plus provisions that guarantee contractors a certain profit
regardless of how much they spend.

We decided to pawn the wedding ring.  On the bus
on the way back, I cried to remember the love-knots
were deliberate and started in wax.  Then the gold
was poured over.  I paid the light bill with that.

Expecting nothing but the best, Margaret Ann wants to throw the biggest Sweet 16 party in South Carolina history. In anticipation of her birthday, Margaret Ann first goes shopping with her mom at the BMW dealer. After Margaret Ann's mom buys her a flashy convertible, she goes on a shopping spree with her dad who treats her to almost 2000 dollars worth of new clothes.

Those rolling tubes ran out, and so we decided to count out
the coins, then divide them in stacks and wrap units in foil:
50 pennies; 40 nickels=$2; 50 dimes=$5; 40 quarters=$10.

Based on data collected from five participants (and counting) and multiple anecdotes, rolling coins should not take more than two (2) minutes a roll for most people, although some individuals may take longer. At two minutes a roll, you would save only $1.34 an hour for rolling your own pennies (60 minutes / 2 minutes roll = 30 rolls * 50 coins a roll * 8.9% or 4.45 cents fee each roll = $1.32.) However, for each higher denomination, the amount saved rises as shown in the table.

We decided to sell the antique dental cabinet.  Over the Internet,
I pretended I knew what I had.  That took care of half my June expenses.
This was the year the cost of cigarettes spiked.  I bought my own
rolling machine.  I spent much of that year rolling coins and tobacco.

Brad Johnson noted in today’s Progress Report that “the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy are greater than the entire salary of most Americans.”

We decided that, after rolling coins, our hands had touched everyone,
somehow.  Some people soak them in bleach first — for germs —
but getting sick was the last thing on my mind.  Penetrating every sleeve
with my upright middle finger, I was getting through the month.
I was getting through the month and touching everyone.
_____________________
About "February Was Only Half Over," Ellen McGrath Smith writes:
 "February Was Only Half Over" was first published in Kestrel (Spring 2010): http://www.fairmontstate.edu/kestrel. It's a poem written about a particularly hard winter economically when, though employed full-time, I struggled to get through the month. I tried to get at the harsh irony of this young century: at the moment when more Americans than ever struggle to make ends meet, the "luxury" class has never had it better, and we are surrounded by media messages that make this bitterly clear. The collaging of those voices, along with "helpful tips" about rolling coins, was a way to place my own difficulties in a larger context. The resentment happened "naturally" with the middle finger being used to hold open the coin-rolling sleeve at the end. I've been fortunate enough to be able to say that, at least for now, those memories are in the past; but I'm overhearing in the other room a 60 Minutes story about 2 kids who are living in their family car. The Occupy and 99 percent movements may be the last chance Americans have to lessen the ever-widening income gap that threatens to destroy us as a nation. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Variation on a Theme by Milosz Misquoted by Robert Hass, Bradley Harrison Smith

VARIATION ON A THEME BY MILOSZ MISQUOTED BY ROBERT HASS                    
                                    Lunch Poems Reading Series, Berkeley 2004


O to see through teargas!  The color flash grenade—
            wait—
O to see through teargas the flash grenade transfigure what was once
in colored Oakland the flooded street ablaze!

The numbing quiet spilled from flesh the stun grenade
ripped open.  O molten scent of what it stung—
________________________
About "Variation on a Theme by Milosz Misquoted by Robert Hass," Bradley Harrison Smith writes:
This poem is written after a Robert Hass reading in 2004 in which he attempted to recite a translation of Czeslaw Milosz by memory but messed up and had to restart.  It is dedicated to Scott Olsen, the former Marine and Iraq War vet who sustained a skull fracture in the Occupy Oakland protests due to police brutality.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Noble Savage Learns to Tweet, LeAnne Howe


NOBLE SAVAGE LEARNS TO TWEET

Timeline  Mentions  Retweets  Searches  Lists

Noblesavage  Noble Savage  I walk alone 
11 seconds ago

Noblesavage  Noble Savage  I walk alone @ai.com
10 seconds ago

Noblesavage  Noble Savage  Please RT aI@ai.com
9 seconds ago

Noblesavage  Noble Savage  Contact Indian Agent @ai.com
8 seconds ago

Noblesavage  Noble Savage  Sample photos, comedy 2 horror @#AI.com
7 seconds ago

Noblesavage  Noble Savage  On first-name basis with Wall street culture @#AI.com
6 seconds ago

Noblesavage  Noble Savage  Body paint assignments @#AI.com
5 seconds ago

Noblesavage  Noble Savage  Wall Street bound . . . @#AI.com
20 hours ago

Noblesavage  Noble Savage  Auteur theory & me from Ford to Cameron on Wall Street @#AI.com
1 hour ago

Noblesavage  Noble Savage  No idea too strange or too far outside the box @#AI.com
3 hours ago

Noblesavage  Noble Savage  Learning to cha-cha with Lady Gaga on Wall Street @#AI.com
1 hour, thirty minutes ago

Noblesavage  Noble Savage  Nudity, a sign of the healthy Skin on Wall Street @#AI.com
10 minutes ago

Noblesavage  Noble Savage  Tobacco clients welcome on Wall Street @#AI.com
2 minutes ago

Noblesavage  Noble Savage   Hear on Wall Street, cool females wanted with that “suicide girl look!” Read more at @#AI.com
1 second ago
______________________
About "Noble Savage Learns To Tweet," LeAnne Howe writes:
1)      1. Dutch settlers built the ‘Wall path’ sometime around 1692 to keep out the Indians.  In other words it was built for whites settles to keep out undesirables to protect developing commerce. According to Hermes-Press.com, the Wall path “joined the banks of the east river with those of the Hudson River on the west.”  Wall path later named Wall Street.  Hence the poem’s narrator, Noblesavage, tweets irony.

2)     2.  “Indian agent” is a double entendre and can be read as Noblesavage’s agent, authorized to act on his behalf for acting roles in Hollywood westerns; or as an individual authorized to interact with American Indians authorized on behalf of the federal government.

3)      3. “Ford and Cameron” refer to Hollywood film directors John Ford and James Cameron.

4)      4. #AI.com is a site for “artificial intelligence.”  Another irony, Noblesavage is not real, a creation of Hollywood imagemakers. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Last Gesture, Hadara Bar-Nadav

THE LAST GESTURE
Hadara Bar-Nadav


My hand grew big as a house.
It was heavy to carry
and drag through the streets.

I staggered across the lawn
on gravel-burned knees
to watch the home
I could no longer enter.

My wrung wrist turned blue.
My shoulder bled.
Skin tore up my neck
and split open my eye.

I had given too much.
I had taken too much.

The hand grew
as the sky grew,
hand the size of wind

expanding until it was no longer
my own, until the weight
buried me.
_______________________
About "The Last Gesture," Hadara Bar-Nadav writes:
The “The Last Gesture” is from my first book, A Glass of Milk to Kiss Goodnight (Margie/Intuit House, 2007).  I’m still humbled by the lines: “I had given too much / I had taken too much.” Those lines remind to walk carefully though this world, often full of many difficult and strained exchanges regarding money, objects, love, and life. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

CONSIDERING HAPPINESS, BY CATHERINE STAPLES


Considering Happiness
                                                                                   
There’s no scoop in the grain bin
with which to measure a modest contentment,
no Arden, no unmapped hundred-acre wood.
Here there are city parks and places under bridges,
shanties where you dare not sleep. But no
leveling green wood for the dispossessed.
Still if fortune keeps your feet from the fire,
unsteadily, but with luck, you might
like the divorced Hicks street mother of three
raise chickens in a backyard hutch, petition
the old Italian men for tips on growing
winter chard, kale, & beets in a cold frame.
Twenty-somethings debate coffee grounds in compost
and heirloom seeds while the construction worker
in the metal-tipped boots has gone quiet,
hands deep in his pockets; we cannot know
why he’s here, but we’re hearing everything
from the girl who wants her loans forgiven
because the government bailed out the banks.
And she won’t vote for Obama again,
she may not vote at all. She favors anarchy.
Shall I distract her with the mystery of the red bees
of Red Hook or tell her about the friend of a friend
who farms all year down by the naval yard—
an old asphalt play lot gone heady with cornstalks,
sunflowers, every blessed vegetable under the sun
and the neighborhood boys busy every afternoon.
Shall I choose amity over rancor or retreat
while advancing and speak riddles like Feste,
“The better for my foes and the worse
for my friends” or just be plain and say
that for me contentment is three children
under the same roof, the kettle whistling, a book
tipped on its side, splayed open to the left off page
and waiting for the next conversation to begin. 
_____________________________
About "Finding Happiness," Catherine Staples writes
The Wallace Stevens question of finding “what will suffice” led me to thinking about a line from As You Like It: “some settled low content” and about the pastoral notion that one might make do with exile in the wood of Arden. But when you live in the city, how can you access the pastoral, the healing green? In terms of setting, I drew upon my brother Paul’s New York—from under the arc of the Brooklyn Bridge to the varied neighborhoods where long wandering bike rides took us.