Poetry

Photo by Arlene Mejorado

Pasadena’s Vroman’s Bookstore “Walk of Fame” dedication to Luis Rodriguez by Luis J. Rodriguez In two years, I spoke or read poetry to an estimated 25,000 people in over 200 events, and millions more in English and Spanish language TV, radio, publication, and Internet media. My press, Tia Chucha Press, released the largest poetry anthology of L.A.-area poets called “Coiled Serpents: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts of Los Angeles,” edited by Neelanjana Banerjee, Daniel A. Olivas, and Ruben J. Rodriguez. One of the poems I wrote for the city, “Love Poem to Los Angeles,” was read on KPPC-FM and published in Rattle READ MORE

Borrowed Bones by Luis Rodriguez

People’s Sonnet #1 by Luis Rodriguez A shadow hangs where my country should glow. Despite glories shaped as skyscrapers or sound. More wars, more prisons, less safe, still low. Massive cities teeter on shifting ground. Glittering lights, music tracks hide the craven. TV, movies, books so we can forget. Countless worn out, debt-laden and slaving; Their soul-derived destinies unmet. Give me NASCAR, lowriders, Hip Hop, the Blues. Give me Crooklyn, cowboys, cool jazz, cholos. Give me libraries, gardens of the muse. Give me songs over sidewalks, mad solos. Big America improperly sized. Give me your true value, realized. Excerpt from Borrowed Bones (Northwestern University Press, READ MORE

Amanda Gorman, US Poet Laureate

by Natalie Durkin “It’s fantastic to be a poet in L.A., and to be an Angeleno.” That’s right, our country’s chosen wordsmith is one of our city’s own. Amanda Gorman was born near Los Angeles International Airport, fitting considering she has wings rivaling any aircraft’s. Her path to poet laureate began “at the cross-section of diametrically opposed neighborhoods; the economically stable and largely black population of Ladera Heights, the cultural vibrancy of Inglewood, the rich and sprawling Ballona Wetlands and blue Marina lining the sea.” Gorman attended middle school in Malibu and high school in Santa Monica. Trekking up, down, and around the coast cemented READ MORE

Amanda Gorman, U.S. Poet Laureate

“We the People” by Amanda Gorman, The U.S. Youth Poet Laureate We the people live in a less than perfect union That accuses the vulnerable and never the top class and race When children are ‘illegal’ and intolerance bans humans I wonder who ‘we the people’ are in the first place ‘We the people’ meant All Lives Matter, but are white lives living a coincidence When if you’re not male or pale you get destroyed for demonstrating dissidence? When the color of his skin gives a killer assumed innocence? But still we will rise up, advocate and activate, with the peoples’ diligence Let’s speak names READ MORE

Rhiannon McGavin, Youth Poet Laureate

Love under or early September (I wrote this right after the election) by Rhiannon McGavin I go to the streets in a summer dress, today, because I’m afraid of a new year with the locked air of a suitcase a cold I may not feel and all I wanted was feeling I wanted a blue jacket that smelled like thyme and you   told me it had been the dearest sleep we talked with open windows, could stare unblinking and see nothing but stars for how many days a helicopter over campus now?   then the museums could be shuddered and swept off we had READ MORE

Linda Albertano, Arlondriah Lenyea, Heather Rabun, Glenn Rodriguez

Linda Albertano, Arlondriah Lenyea, Heather Rabun, Glenn Rodriguez We caught up with Linda Albertano to get the low-down about DADA, what it means, what it does, how she became a DADAist, and the theme of this year’s new LA-DADA book release (Maintenant11) MAINTENANT 11: A JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY DADA WRITING AND ART (Three Rooms Press) offers a compilation of leading Dada-influenced artists from around the world. This year’s theme, “EYE FOR A LIE,” features work that is timely and relevant examining the concept of “fake” everything—questioning the very essence of truth in what some have labeled the “post-truth” era. Watch Albertano’s live performance Saturday, June 10, 2017 READ MORE

Poet Laurel Ann Bogen

Why would The Reasonable Woman become unreasonable? By: LAUREL ANN BOGEN Photographer: GREG TUCKER Location: Beyond Baroque, Venice CA The Reasonable Woman is a hope chest, a locked cabinet. The Reasonable Woman is pleasant enough. The Reasonable Woman is the converse of sex. The Reasonable Woman is durable good, a sound diagnosis. The Reasonable Woman is a subordinate clause. The Reasonable Woman is childproof, although Heidi is already up to her knee. The Reasonable Woman is a skillet, a war bond. The Reasonable Woman is a fugue heard on the intercom. The Reasonable Woman is a graph of stock options, the percentage of return. The READ MORE

Linda J. Albertano

VIRTUE by Linda J. Albertano Photographed by Alexis Rhone Fancher Virtue rides into town on a convertible Clydesdale. She’s wrapped in blue-and-white stars and is eating an apple concoction. Ah, Virtue! They want you. Your symbols are so succulent! They want to use you for purposes of personal adornment. They want to pin you, wholesome and lovely, to their lapels. Virtue drinks nothing but water from glaciers and the sap of lacebark pine. Ah, Virtue. You’re deep in danger. Of becoming a dull boy. Everyone knows the most fascinating females are hookers with hearts of gold. They smoke their cheroots and sing in their whiskey READ MORE