A man gazes up
Out of coyote’s fixed eyes
Howling run over
A man gazes up
A man gazes up
Out of coyote’s fixed eyes
Howling run over
Sun blind transplants
seduced by lightening limbs of shade
Top heavy killers [Read more…]
Lampblack evening –
The naked I
reflects dusty halos:
severed from night’s
illuminated book of hours [Read more…]
Black Mountain spills
muffles daylight’s overheated engine
Rolls head on
into empty filling stations [Read more…]
yawns petals of snow
drifting in icicle arms [Read more…]
(Inspired by The Devil’s Dictionary, which Wikipedia says is “a satirical dictionary written by American journalist and author Ambrose Bierce. Originally published in 1906 as The Cynic’s Word Book, it features Bierce’s witty and often ironic spin on many common English words.”)
Three of the definitions here were written by Ambrose Bierce. Can you guess which ones? [Read more…]
By Patricia Maxwell
Today’s residents of Chula Vista have much in common with citizens of a hundred years ago. Make that a thousand years or more. Southern California has always been an arid land, with cycles of drought, interspersed with wet years every now and again. In December of 1915, San Diego’s city fathers tackled the issue from a completely different angle. They hired a rainmaker!
The impetus for their decision was the unfilled Morena Reservoir in the mountains sixty miles east of San Diego. A rock-filled dam had been completed in 1912, but the reservoir had yet to be filled beyond a third of its capacity. Other reservoirs in the area shared the same problem. None were filled and the city was growing.
The rainmaker, Mr. Charles Hatfield, said “I will fill the Morena Reservoir to overflowing between now and next December 20, 1916, for the sum of $10,000, in default of which I ask no compensation.” [Read more…]
By Lauren McCauley / Common Dreams
The world on Monday mourned the death of David Bowie, the iconic rock star, record producer, artist, and performer whose influence spanned generations and whose ideas constantly pushed boundaries of creativity, sexuality, and custom.
Bowie’s death was confirmed by a post on his Facebook page, which said that the artist died peacefully in New York City on Sunday “surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer.” He had just celebrated his 69th birthday on January 8.
Bowie, born David Robert Jones in Brixton, south London, was lauded as a performer who was always ahead of his time. [Read more…]
Rain gnaws away earth
Uncovers thirty foot flames
Scent of moist ashes [Read more…]
By Nat Krieger
When you tire of the televised prescriptions of funereal amnesiacs, and you’re feeling nauseated by generalizations repeated so often they become shorthand for not thinking, you could do worse than listen to voices from a Muslim land where the hatreds and the loves produced by the encounter with the West—specifically La France—have been cooking and periodically exploding for a long time. [Read more…]
A pomegranate kiss
breaks open lips
Lick roots into stems [Read more…]
I sat around last night trying to think of something to write and decided to click onto a page of prompts which gave me a choice of numbers between one and three-hundred-forty-six.
Sometimes just closing my eyes and moving the little arrow around on my Mac Os X and clicking randomly does the trick but I went, this time, with selecting number fifty-six.
Fifty-six is kind of a big number in my life. I had just turned 56 when Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa. A Highway 56 is named after Ted Williams, one of my favorite baseball players. I was in the Tucson High Class of ’56 and my life changed massively that year, in the time it takes to flip a light switch. [Read more…]
Between storm fronts
Winter rappels down cliffs
tumbling into Pacific
Walks along beach alone
fish swimming in boulders
a leaf blown into rock
before La Jolla was a gem
and human eyes saw shores [Read more…]
It was the week before Christmas
and all through the house
there wasn’t a sound
‘cept for that damn mouse.
Then out in the garden
there arose such a clatter,
I shuffled out in my bathrobe
to see what was the matter! [Read more…]
It’s Christmas week and as we do every year, the grown-ups in my family are keeping up the tradition of buying nothing for each other.
But for those of you who must endure the fear and loathing of the consumer frenzy, here is my annual list of books that might serve as good stocking stuffers for the alienated progressives or other likely suspects on your list (with a special focus on some of the best work that received less attention than it deserved) [Read more…]
For Christ’s sake!
Opt out of Christmas
unplug the lights
plant a tree instead of cutting one down
Wrap yourself up
keep the stockings on your feet [Read more…]
fly back into guns
implode into casings
ascend into planes
to grain silos [Read more…]
I drove over the crest of the hill to my home,
just as the sun was departing in a glorious inferno of red orange yellow.
Oh Nature, you can be such a show off!
I had to pull over and pause to pay tribute,
pause to marvel,
as human eyes have marveled for millennium.
I have never seen a creature not human
watch the sunset in awe,
and I muse that perhaps this is our raison d’être,
to simply pay homage to the magnificence of creation. [Read more…]
Donald’s farting mouth that troubles me
his defecating lips
have done more for Democrats
than Quayle did for potatoes
or Palin’s Russian garden
did for geography
Isn’t the millions of dollars
Trump pisses into America’s living rooms
it’s the toupee that Whigs me out [Read more…]
In this season when we should be enumerating all of the reasons we feel grateful, many of us are feeling so overwhelmed by the number of critical issues that need to be addressed that it is nearly impossible to summon up gratitude.
We are disheartened by the pervasive tirade of mean-spirited, uninformed yelling coming from mass media and our neighbors. The temptation is to cocoon – to crawl into our personal space, lick our wounds and resign ourselves to defeat.
We can’t! We know deep down we can’t stop! [Read more…]
In Mike Davis’s seminal discussion of noir in City of Quartz he defines the genre as “a fantastic convergence of American ‘tough-guy’ realism, Weimar expressionism, and existentialized Marxism—all focused on unmasking a ‘bright, guilty place.’” Born in the minds of the “Depression-crazed middle classes” of southern California, the “nightmare anti-myth of noir” trafficked in alienation and a distrust of the morality of capitalism. More specifically, Davis notes how “noir everywhere insinuated contempt for a depraved business culture while it simultaneously searched for a critical mode of writing or filmmaking within it.” Thus in the “through-the-glass-darkly” novels of this new genre, early noir writers created “a regional fiction obsessively concerned with puncturing the bloated image of Southern California as the golden land of opportunity and the fresh start.” In so doing, they transformed “each charming ingredient of the booster’s arcadia into a sinister equivalent.” [Read more…]
While the world
paints itself into corners
flowers of evil bloom:
troops are called in
security tightens its grip on the free
liberty, abandoned for barricades [Read more…]
Under glaring lights
earth gets smaller
Overwhelmed tide pools shrink
breathing becomes labored
fish run out of water
inches from sea [Read more…]
when grandma lies through teeth
selling machine embroidered cloth
as handmade lace
Blame it on the financial crisis:
for unnatural selection [Read more…]
By Olympia Andrade Beltrán
Brown skinned and beautiful,
Island girl the youngest of six.
Inner fire bursting forth from dimpled smiles.
Her Island rises up from the streets of Sherman Heights,
a great temple where love and family are revered.
Ancient smells of chocolate and roasted chiles
mixed with silky ballads of Jorge Negrete
coloring her walk to Stockton Elementary school
with piñata vibrant flair.
Obsidian hair, wild and unruly,
whips behind her as she defies gender stereotypes
with a line drive to center field.
Playground boys high five her when the game is over,
despite sideways glances from starch pressed girls
tightly clutching their school books. [Read more…]