Dear Poets and Poetesses,

Thanks for the birthday wishes! You are all invited to Marla and Stazja's Birthday Bash Monday, July 27, 7:00 pm, at Ebony Sun Java House, 1209 E. 11th Street, Suite C. Suggested gift: a coffee mug for the House.

Got an avalanche of responses to last week's editiorial comment and poetic theme: "Leaving the Cuckoo's Nest - Psychiatry". See some of the comments in the Announcements section. I've received even more poem submissions on the subject, so will definitely follow up on the theme at a future date.

Keep creating!

APAL Poets Guide:

All readings are free unless otherwise noted. Some venues request donations for the featured poets.

1. Tuesday, July 21 - Ruta Maya Coffee House, 4th & Lavaca. APAL open mic, sign up at 6:30 pm. Benefit for 1998 National Poetry Slam. The hosts are proud to feature 1998 Austin Slam Team member - Susan B. A. Somers-Willet. Hosted by Sara Sutterfield Winn and Maslow. FMI, contact

2. Tuesday, July 21 - Electric Lounge at 302 Bowie. Weekly Slam, winner takes $50 home. Sign up as early as 8 pm. $2 admission. FMI, call 476-FUSE.

3. Wednesday, July 22 - Borders Books and Tapes Borders on the Word, 10225 Research (Hwy 183) 7:30 pm. feature Stazja McFadyen. Followed by round robin open mic. Barbara Carr, Host. FMI 795-9553

4. Wednesday, July 22 - Cornerstone, 7:30 to 9 pm, emcee'd by Scott Wiggerman. Scheduled to read on July are Scott Wiggerman, Joelie Cruz, Jack Brannon, and Maria Limon. FMI, contact Scott Wiggerman at 467-0678 or

5. Wednesday, July 22 - Movements Gallery, 211 E. 6th St. BYOB: Blast Your Own Breath at Tammy Gomez hosts, 9-10:30 pm.

6. Thursday, July 23 - Ebony Sun Java House, 1209 E. 11th St. Free form poetry, 7-8 pm, followed by Edward Powell's Jazzy Poetry. Feed the poet, $3 donation requested. FMI call 472-8875

7. Saturday, July 25 - Windsor Village Library -5851 Berkman Drive. The Past Poetry Project will read "20 Sonnets" (featuring Shakespeare, Donne, Browning, Rossetti, Yeats, Frost, Millay, Neruda, and others). 2 pm. For directions, please call 928-0333.

8. Saturday, July 25 - Saturday Afternoon Live Poetry at Quackenbush's, 2120 Guadalupe. APAL open mic, sign up at 3 pm. Featured poet: Cynthia Good. FMI e mail

9. Monday, July 27 -Jovita's South Austin 1619 South First St, poetry series, 'Canto Libre' Open Mic readings 7-9 pm. Hosts Ariel and Danni Apodaca.

10. Monday, July 27 - Ebony Sun Java House, 1209 E. 11th street. Marla and Stazja's Birthday Bash! 7:00 pm. Come celebrate with us! FMI call 472-8875 or 346-7773.

11. Tuesday, July 28 - Ruta Maya Coffee House, 4th and Lavaca. APAL open mic, sign up at 6:30 pm. Hosted by Sara Sutterfield Winn and Maslow. Featured poet: Austin Slam Team member Karyna McGlynn! FMI e

12. Tuesday, July 28 - Electric Lounge at 302 Bowie. Weekly Slam, $50 to winner. Come compete, come judge, come listen (select one). Sign up 8:30 pm. $2 admission. Genevieve Van Cleve hosts. FMI, call 476-FUSE.

13. Wednesday, July 29 - Movements Gallery, 211 E. 6th St. BYOB: Blast Your Own Breath at Tammy Gomez hosts, 9-10:30 pm.

14. Thursday, July 30 - Ebony Sun Java House, 1209 E. 11th St, Ste. C. - Free form reading, 7-8 pm, followed by Jazzy Poetry presented by Edward Powell. Feed the poet requested donation of $3. FMI call 472-8875

15. Saturday, August 1 - Quackenbush's Coffee House, 2120 Guadalupe. Saturday Afternoon Live Poetry, APAL open mic sign up at 3 pm. Feature: Toronto poet Nancy Dembowski . Hosted by Diane Fleming. fmi e

Featured poems - theme - The Elephant Room/Tony Campise (local jazz legend)

Next week's theme: Song lyrics (to honor all you singer/songwriter poets)

1. From John Hawk, founder of APAL


Chaotic sounds flee

From electric strings and taunt

Leather like snow exploding

Out from under skilled skis

Riding the riff

Fingers to the bridge

Beats cut and build

Drums to Keyboard and back

We fly

Dancing up and down the mad tonals

The rhythms of desire and loss

Move outside the edge of rhythms

To massive love made strokes

On the thick neck of basic instincts

A river of sound

Flowing smooth and cool

This is not champagne

This is maddog / night train

For the ears. Beat for the heart

This is fluid sex

This is jazz

© 1997 John Louis Hawk

2. From Patricia Fiske of Austin, a long time jazz lover.


by Patricia Fiske

Mr. Jazz, The Italian Leprechaun,

Multi-horned, ambi-lipped,

Tony Campise.

Wailin', swingin',

horning in on keyboard,

bass and drums.

The Elephant Room-

Basement becomes Bistro

Til his high note shatters ceiling,

sending me round-the-world,

landing on a low note that

sinks below sub-cellar.

Drops me off at the melody.

Moves on to moon me,

like - How High the Moon,

Moon over Miami-

Blue Moon,

I saw him standing alone

Playing a tiny-toy sax,

or Baritone or flute,

singing gravelly scat

makin' mellow music.

Big man on a small horn.

Wild man of jazz,

Tony Campise at

The Elephant Room

3. From yours truly

where the music takes you

capitol city

hard as a rock on the surface

wouldn't you know

hot little jazz club

has to be underground

congress avenue

heart of downtown

easy to find

when you know where it's at

past the scaffolding

door on the right

down a flight

narrow staircase

smoky cellar

the elephant room

stage in the rear

neon green martini glass

backdropping jazz men

drummer in driver's seat

shifts into tempo

ready to go

buckle up, sister

taking the A train

riding the riffs

when tony breathes

air becomes music

moves over to give

his bass man finger space

serpentine rhythms

snaking their way

through your hands and feet

connecting the beat

to the tables and chairs

piano keys fly into orbit

keyboard hands

speak ivory language

elephant tusks never sounded

so good

and then, when tony

blows holes in his flute

you only think you are

in an underground place

where the music takes you

can only be seen with

your eyes closed

loosing the walls for a midnight second

floating on african waterfalls

lasting forever

over too soon

come in for an easy landing

back to earth and solid surfaces

neon green martini glass

still backdropping stage

nothing went anywhere

except you and the music

easy to find

when you know where it's at

© 1998 Anastasia

4. From Larry Jaffe of L.A.

jazzmataz or the

tony campise blues

a strident note hit in

musical enchantment

drips with

lustful bursts of

mockingbird sounds

as horn rips

speaks and sings

punching note

after punishing note

in syncopation

sax wailing in

soular tribute

bursting with

you got it babes

as gloria waifs

through her numbers

gershwinizing rhapsody

in summertime

her voice dancing with

divinity tasting

better than fudge

as she marks time

with ballet steps

giving into his


drunk on the

jazz listening to

leftover sounds

repackaged in harmonious


and resurrected loves are

hammered with experience

his sax sings of love

and disappointment

but the notes override contention

letting your mind dance

with all the new flavors

formed by desperation

and efficiency

and rhythm

lots of rhythm

© 1997 lgjaffe

Books/Chap books

(copied from Jaffe's Poetic License newsletter)

"chap*book (noun) First appeared 1798 : a small book containing ballads,

poems, tales, or tracts"

1. Road Trip Through The Four Spheres by John Herndon (Mike and Dale's Press, $5)--one poem, 23 pages. Some may have heard John read this on his (former) radio program.

2. Success Stories: Poems and Essays by Richard Cole. (Limestone Books, $11.95) 89 pages, contents divided into Part One - The East Village and Part Two - Brooklyn. "Success Stories is a great book, and I don't use the word lightly...The voice is unforced, direct, surprising." Louis Simpson, Pulitzer Prize winner.


1. The APAL free poetry workshop is taking a hiatus while Quackenbush's Coffee House reorganizes the space, will restart in the fall.

2. National slams. Volunteer meetings Sundays at 3 pm at the Electric Lounge. Contact Sonya Feher at to find out how you can volunteer, plenty of help still needed.

3. That Sara Sutterfield Winn woman is aptly named. She winn'd the slam Tuesday night. Some stiff competition, too, in the final round! Patrick and Jeff did good work.

4. Letter from our Australian friend Venie Holmgren, with some mentions:

"Hope Patricia Fiske is okay."

"Say hello for me also to that very nice Howard Frost."

"Give John Hawk a hug and tell him how I'd love to go shopping with him again."

"Say hello to your friends at the Austin Poetry Society for me."

and "My publisher says they will have no problem getting my new manuscript out into the world by the first half of '99." Go, Venie! See you next year.

4. And from that very nice Howard Frost in West Yorks:

",,, will DEFINITELY be visiting you all (health permitting - and at this point it

should) for A.I.P.F. in 1999. If all the plans go O.K. there will be six of us over,,,"

5. Texas Nafas is on Sunday nights, cable channel 10 at 9 pm. watch it. From Christine Gilbert:

Texas Nafas, the poetry show produced by Farid Mohammadi, ChristineGilbert, and Laura Baker continues running strong on Cable Channel 10, Sundays at 9 p.m. Two shows airing from June 21 to August 21 feature Poesia y Sur, with Sue Littleton, Thom the World Poet, and Miriam Balboa de Echeverria reading at Mexic-Arte. The first show presents the Argentine folk and children's poet Maria Elena Walsh. The second show presents works of famed Mexican scholar and poet Octavio Paz, who died this spring.

Also watch for two Texas Nafas one-hour specials called "Un-Cut TN" that will be aired after 10:30 p.m. on some nights (look at the Entertainment section of the Sunday Statesman for times) on Cable Channel 10. These two shows cover the venues at Waterloo Ice House during the 1998 Austin International Poetry Festival.

The first show, May 3, includes poets Albert Huffstickler, Graffiti, Carolyn Strickland, Vinnie Holmgren, and Karyna McGlynn, with poets Clebo Rainey from Dallas and Ken Hunt from Madison, Wisconsin, hosting an energetic evening of entertainment.

The second show, hosted by Tim Gibbard of Bristol, England, and Larry Jaffe of Los Angeles, includes poets Ross Clark (Brisbane), Donn Deedon (So. Cal), Howard Frost (UK), Melissa Hanes (Megaha), Mim Scharlack (San Antonio), Sara Sutterfield Winn, Warren Spencer (Bristol), Jay Words (Bristol), Jay Woodman (UK), and Brinsley Sheridan (UK). Don't miss these shows, even if you don't have cable and have to go to a friend's house.

6. Artists of a Different Caliber

This is a touring art exhibit featuring work that turns guns into beauty. They are seeking poetry (and poets) with work that speaks of alternatives to violence. If you've got poetry that uses words against violence then submit your work to Carol Koss

1819 B NW 42nd Street

OKC, OK 73118-2229

or e-mail

We will be using all the poems submitted. The two ways (so far) we will display them are verbally and visually. The evening of the opening (Sept. 11th), all poets who have submitted their work will be invited to read it at Harvey's Cafe (19th and Portland in OKC) at 8:30 p.m. The opening at the gallery will run from 5 until 8 p.m. If poets are not able to be present to read their own work, someone will read it for them. In addition, all poems submitted will be on exhibition, with the metalsmith pieces, at the gallery during the run of the show. We may put a poem or two in promo flyers and in our newsletter, and/or read at poetry readings/ events leading up to September 11th. All rights revert to and from the beginning - belong to the poet. If we plan to use any of the poetry in any other way we will get permission from the poets involved.

7. Here are some of the responses to last week's editorial comment and poetry theme: "Leaving the Cuckoo's Nest - Psychiatry" (Does not include the raves about the poems by Opie, Sara, Larry and Jen.

From Larry Cordle of Austin:

"Stazja... Most interested in your comments about poets, mental illness and psychotherapists. I was one for six years...and my poem in the anthology was about exactly that experience. The constant grind of watching people wash the same "dirty laundry" day after day. It never gets clean, but it keeps the laundromat in business, and that's more or less how it works, in my mind. I also believe what you say about certain people in the psychiatric and psychological communities seeking to suppress creative thought and expression. I teach a workshop about the relationship between creativity, addiction and mental illness.

I believe that they are all shades of the same color, and to indulge in one is to risk being overwhelmed by the others. I also, conversely, think that we may become "insane" or addicted because we get attracted to the wrong shade of the right color. Healing for many addicts and people with mental illness comes with creative expression. But since the mental health establishment can't make any money selling us something we already have, well, there's no motive to do so. So they sell us HMO proscribed, paint by numbers psychoanalysis or psychotherapy and then wash their hands of us when we don't get better...or even get worse.

Finally, because many of us never get help until we've caused some sort of social problem, the focus becomes on making us " solid citizens " not happy, individuated human beings. Expressing creativity when the mental health system wants to make sure we're keeping our appointments and being polite to the receptionist...that doesn't work for them. The other side of the equation is the price we must be willing to pay if we choose to access our creative self, and give it room. We play with the unpredictable, volatile energy we cannot always control. The example I use is Jim Morrison. He was a poet, writer, musician, alcoholic,,, To seriously treat his problems would surely have meant a premature end to The Doors. Nobody, me included, would have liked that. So Jim died pursuing the career we'd given him, and the rest of his band simply says "Oh well, that's Jim for ya. Too bad isn't it ? " To quote him " I was doing time in the universal mind. I was feeling fine..." In other words, he was o.k as long as he stayed where we put him. And we wanted his creativity more than we wanted his life. Sad, isn't it ? Whaddaya think ?

Larry Cordle"

From Carol Koss of Oklahoma City:

"The poetry on the theme of leaving the cuckoo's nest, was fascinating and moving. I partially agree with its thesis. But, I know a number of therapists and psychologists who do not function this way, who use the arts as a tool of and path to healing. I think that psychiatrists (and, again, I don't want to include all in this category) are the ones who tend to medicate creativity into a small box,,,

carol koss"

From Ted Slade of UK:

"Hi Stazja

Apropos your theme this week, do you know about this London organisation?


"promoting poetry by survivors of mental distress"

Diorama Arts Centre, 34 Osnaburgh Street, London NW1 3ND

I picked up on them during my trawl for information for The Poetry Kit. Don't know too much except that they publish poetry by people surviving mental illness (latest is "Out of Bedlam" - an anthology edited by Matthew Sweeney and Ken Smith) and organise readings around the country.

All the best

Ted Slade"

From Jimmy Smith of So. Cal.

"love you mucho, and got the newsletter today, great topic and great choices for the poems. (but you didn't run my stunning piece about the ice skating squirrel, harumph)

the last issue of your poetry thingy just remined me of these poor medical junkies, and how tough it is to deal with it when somebody is constantly telling you you are under a doctor's care so everything is okey dokey.

take care


Thank you all, for your words.

Welcome, new subscribers. Anyone wanting off the mailing list, e me.

And to all you hard working venue hosts, thanks for keeping spoken word alive and well.

Much love,


Hey Stazja. I'm going to be teaching another poetry workshop at UT this

fall. Can I send you the names and e-mail addresses of my students (15 of

them) and have them put on your mailing list? I have them go around town

and listen and read at open-mikes, and your listing is the greatest.


Subj: Re: Austin Poets at Large #37

Date: 98-07-20 04:09:15 EDT

From: Texaspoet

To: Stazja

Hi Stazja

Could you let everyone know that anyone who wants a copy of my "Poetry Pages" mailed to them to simply email me and let me know their address and such, and I'd be VERY happy to mail them one!

You're doing a good thing!


Subj: Re: Austin Poets at Large #37

Date: 98-07-20 06:36:17 EDT

From: TigerIily

To: Stazja

hi stazja ....

great newsletter ... some interesting responses to your theme ... readers are loving it.

have a good one ...


Subj: Re: happy B Day

Date: 98-07-20 04:05:49 EDT

From: (Pamela Hirst)



Dear Stazja,

many happy returns and reruns on your special day

have a blast on 27th.

We hope to see you in Austin in August

we have a musician friend who lives in Austin with his wife Hope

his name is Neil Astor

he is a wonderful guitar player

we will stay with them

will travel in 1971 VW camper bus

it is built for distance not for speed

we don't pass anyone unless they are broke down on the side of the road

I hope you live to be 119 and maintain your health and wealth

once again best wishes to the hard working Austin poetess

ready for the stage

with a new stanza

Beatlick Joe

Subj: Re: Austin Poets at Large #37

Date: 98-07-20 20:36:22 EDT

From: (Amber McIlwain)



i am mentoring an upcoming freshman at ut who i very interested in

poetry. she would like to be on your mailing list. her email address




Subj: Re: Austin Poets at Large #37

Date: 98-07-20 14:09:06 EDT



Hi Stazja,

I will be there for the birthday bash. I would like to be featured

around austin more. I have

new poems that needs to be heard. I went to U of H Saturday and one of the

Professors called my poems

the Male version of Nikki Giovanni which was a great compliment. I think you are

Marla are the greatest.

Thank you for your support and your poetic jazzy grove.

Subj: Reading

Date: 98-07-21 10:11:51 EDT

From: (Nancy Dembowski)



Dear Stazja, thanks for all your help. I hope you'll be able to make the reading even though you aren't

reading cause I really want to meet you. It worked out well for everyone I guess. It was generous of

you to share your bill anyway. Enjoyed the latest edition. Take care. nancy.

Subj: Re: Austin Poets at Large #37

Date: 98-07-21 10:39:11 EDT

From: (Diane Klein)



Sure wish we could be there! :)

Sincere thanks for the plug!! We're working on getting the book back out there.

I've gotten some terrific endorsements, and David's editing is pleasing readers.

Very well done on all your good works!!! :)

very much love, Diane