On this Monday like no
other Monday, hello from Austin. This is the Monday that follows the
1998 National Poetry Slam. The Saturday night finals at Austin's
Paramount theater, capacity seating of, oh, 1200+, SOLD OUT! See
Announcements below for details.
APAL Poets Guide:
All events are free
unless otherwise noted. Some venues pass tip jar for featured poets.
1. Monday, August 24 -
Jovita's 1619 South First St. Open mic readings 7-9 pm. Brett Axel
and Amy Ouzoonian feature.
2. Monday, August 24 -
Ebony Sun Java House, 1209 E. 11th Street. East Side Black and White
poets, hosted by Stazja McFadyen. Open mic sign up at 7:30 pm.
Featured poet: Larry Jaffe. fmi call 625-3368
3. Tuesday, August 25 -
Ruta Maya Coffee House, 4th & Lavaca. APAL open mic, signup at
6:30 pm. Hosted by Sara Sutterfield Winn and Maslow. Feature: L.A.
poet Larry Jaffe. fmi e mail maslow_at_flash.net
4. Tuesday, August 25 -
Electric Lounge, 302 Bowie. It's weekly slam time, this Tuesday, and
every Tuesday until pigs fly and ducks have teeth. $2 admission. Sign
up 8:30 pm. Genevieve Van Cleve is hosting. $50 to the winner.
5. Wednesday, August 26
- Borders on the Word at Borders Books and Music, 10225 Research,
7:30 p.m. Auricles of Delphi feature, followed by round robin open
mike. Hosted by Barbara Carr. fmi 343-7940
6. Wednesday, August 26
- Movements Gallery, 211 E. 6th St. BYOB: Blast Your Own Breath.Tammy
Gomez hosts, 9-10:30pm. fmi tejana.tongue_at_mail.utexas.edu
7. Thursday, August 27
- Ebony Sun Java House, 1209 E. 11th, Ste. C. Jazzy poetry with
Edward Powell. Free style poetry starts at 7 pm. Featured poet at 8.
Feed-the-poet donation of $3 requested. fmi 472-8875.
8. Saturday, August 29
- Past Poetry Project performance at Windsor Village Library. 2pm The
Past Poetry Project will be reading LIGHT POETRY (of Lewis Carroll,
Dorothy Parker, Ogden Nash & others) on Saturday, August 29th, at
2pm, at the Windsor Village Branch Library (5851 Berkman Dr). Call
928-0333 for directions.
9. Saturday, August 29
- Saturday Night Live Poetry at Quackenbush's Coffee House, 2120
Gaudalupe. Back in the evening time slot, APAL open mic sign up at
7:30 pm. Featured: Saturday Morning Writing Group and Thom the World
Poet, releasing "August 1998" chapbook. Diane Fleming
hosts. fmi buddydog_at_texas.net
10. Sunday, August 30 -
Electric Lounge. Volunteer Party for the Nationals. Genevieve Van
Cleve's going away party. CD release party for Tina's Fine Ass
Lingere, the live CD we did at the Lounge a couple of months ago.
9pm. This is an open party.Anyone that wants to come is welcome. If
you don't know where it's at by now, you probably won't attend
This week's theme:
Faeries and mythical creatures
Next week's theme:
At just for the fun of
it, theme for #44 is Work
1. From Aaron Sanders,
excerpt from "EMS"
The problem with this
that it's not love
it has kicked down all
and become something
Stronger than the heat
meaner than the yellow
This summer may not end
Traffic noise is like
if you close your eyes
and want it to be
The carried are afraid
to throw cigarette
Fire is everywhere
You have done your part
to keep me sane
You have championed the
one half hour at a
The solitude of white
anticipation of door
I make myself alone
giving this place
the benefit of the
again and again
I want magic to be true
If I do not believe
I will never be let
but if I do not
Where will the trolls
and the faeries go
if they can't live in
There is always room at
2. From Carol Eddington
I read The Book of
The forest swept my
Mortal, I came out to
Till I heard the
And opened an immortal
Dreaming, I slept
Now it's March.
We wake, kill the fire,
And journey on,
For spring and life.
Still a fairy, I notice
The way the rocks are
Still waiting, I live
A long forgotten vow
To never come to Now,
Till the Beauty wins.
3. From Drachen A.
Birch of Kalamazoo.
West Main Elementary
has a new parking lot.
Look up with the eyes
of a child for one more moment,
at the patched blue
sky, waving, shifting where the wind
shuffles the leaves,
the bright flashes of sun that
reflected off your
retina, and let you see for the first
time, one of your own
capillaries moving blood. Learn to
form clouds into myths
beneath that dark green canopy.
Learn to make love
beneath mighty oaks, or in pine needles,
or to the sound of wind
clattering poplar leaves together,
percussions echoed in
the shaking out crack of a brand-new
piece of paper, like a
pureed frog that can still be made to
croak. Walk hand in
hand through the still, pillared
that will be cleared to make room
for mini malls, feed
stores, unnecessary apartment
complexes. One by one,
trees that I gently hung those
remembrances on are cut
down, with no fuss. Just another
damn tree. The goblins
have come, with chainsaws and
bulldozers and lunch
Goblins, did you ever
lay on the ground and stare up
through those branches,
get to know the pattern of that
living thing? Pattern
is all that some creatures have.
Some people, too. Did
you wake this morning in an act of
saying, today I would rather cut down
trees than any other
act I can conceive of, today I must do
my small part to mess
over the global carbon-fixing cycle,
today I will snap one
more tiny life-strand out of the great
web? Or, was it another
simple pattern, as unaware as the
shape of a mollusk's
shell? Just another tree, grove,
stand, copse, forest,
Run to the bard of
the elves with this sad news,
for the goblins are
winning their war,
and there is too little
magic left to stop them. Correct
the singer of ancient
lays, for where the foe marches, all
is not darkness. It is
pale light and sparkling plastic and
shining aluminum and
fresh, reeking asphalt above the
rotting roots of
hickory. As a boy, I ate the fallen nuts
of that tree, and was
nourished in more than my body. What
child now comes to take
this pavement into its mouth?
4. From Rochelle
DiTonno somewhere in cyberspace.
"The Gypsy Wind"
My eyes were gazing
upon the horizon
staring at nothing,
to catch a glimpse of
the glitter that might shimmer
in the moonlight.
My eyes darted quickly
and tried to focus on the tiny
figure, flitting, on
the right side of heaven.
With the grace of a
hummingbird, she swayed melodically
upon the wind.
With each caress of the
music, she danced, sending sparkles
of light all about her.
Her hair was golden, as
though it was kissed by the sun
dropping in long
ringlets down around her honey brown face.
Her eyes a velvet
green, filled with passion and promise.
Her dress a multitude
of pastel colors-warm and gentle.
Her feet were bare, I
noticed, as I watched her float
upon the breeze.
My love for her allowed
me to be there with her- joined-
in her dance of love.
Together we danced upon
the wind. Carefree--
two hearts entangled as
one, unselfishly giving, giving,
Then as suddenly as she
had appeared, she was gone.
The Gypsy Wind had
swisked her spirit, upon its wings.
With my eyes gazing
upon the horizon---
I stared at
First appeared 1798 : a small book containing ballads, poems, tales,
1. "August 1998"
by Thom the World Poet. $5. 24 NEW POEMS, 30 PAGES. ALL NEW POEMS
WRITTEN THIS AUGUST. CONTACT THOM AT (512)416-7435 THANK YOU! Book
launch at APAL Saturday Night Live Poetry, Quackenbush's, Saturday,
August 29, 7:30 pm.
Review by Diane
"TRUTH! Thom tells
me that writing poetry is about being a witness and telling the
truth. In "August 1998," his new chapbook, he writes about
recent events...I see my friends here and I see people I've never met
but know somehow. He tells the truth about the specific to reveal the
truth about the general. As soon as he writes down the truth, the
truth changes, and he writes another poem, which turns the last poem
around. He writes in the poem "poor heart!":
who tell our truth
while others call it
And, he writes:
"she...is none too
impressed with those who like to impress themselves
upon an audience with
only WORDS to listen to
she prefers silence
so i shut up."
Soulfood: Tales of My Family in Story & Verse" by Larry
Jaffe. $10. 32 poems, 56 pages. Available at Larry's Austin features
at Ebony Sun Java House, Monday, Aug. 24th, 7:30 pm and Tuta Maya
Coffee House, Tuesday, Aug. 25th, 6:30 pm or e mail
Review by Debra Call:
"Old friends and
new, poets and nonpoets are in for a treat as Jaffe returns to Austin
with his latest book Jewish Soulfood. With humor, growing pains, and
unmistakable affection, Jaffe weaves a rich fabric of family stories
of being born, growing up, and seeing the world through the eyes of
childhood, sonhood, fatherhood, and reflections on a Thursday
morning. ... Once again he succeeds brilliantly in feeling words
together and touching tender times and remembered places. Jaffe's
words and style are penetratingly unique and his voice powerfully
whispers, chants, and passionately connects in personal and intimate
ways. His poetry is unrelenting in its eloquence, intensity and walk
on emotional edges."
1. Here's my "Evelyn
Wood" version of 1998 National Poetry Slam week in Austin.
Keeping it simple,
Congrats to all the top
#1 Team: New York
#2 Team: Dallas
#3 Team: Los Angeles
#4 Team: Cleveland
"Each year Dallas
has done better in the Nationals. Next year we only have one place
left to go." Clebo Rainey, Dallas Slam team leader.
The 1998 Austin Slam
Team made it to Friday night semi finals, and had the highest
cumulative score in the Nationals. Their work was polished,
professional and did the home town proud. (Ranking system based on
first place winners in the prelim and semi final bouts, not
cumulative points, determined qualifying teams for finals.)
And (drum roll)
Bellwood team member Reggie Gibson won 1998 National Slam Individual
competition with a tribute to Jimi Hendrix (bio: Poet, percussionist,
actor, political activist, and former armored car driver. Reggie was
on the '96 Berwyn team, and won the money slam at the '97 Nationals
in Conn. He wrote most of the poetry for, and appeared in the movie
LOVE JONES. He hosts weekly readings at Rituals in Chicago, and at A
Touch of the Past in Bellwood.)
My personal favorite
was Patricia Johnson of Roanoke, Virginia, who transcended the
question "Is it Art or Entertainment?" and proved Vince
Lomardi wrong wrong wrong (winning ISN'T everything OR the only
thing). In the Saturday night Individual finals, her 2nd round piece
ran way over the 3 minute 10 second time limit, with a 6 point
deduction for time penalty. But this 1996 National Poetry Slam
champion's heart-stopping piece on the brutal hate-murder of her
cousin Jimmy on July 25, 1997 wasn't about winning a contest. To
paraphrase Emcee Patricia Smith, some things just need to be said.
You can order Patricia Johnson's books and tapes by writing to
S.P.A.R.K.S., 86 Willow Oak Lane, Elk Creek, Virginia 24326 or
calling (540) 655-4024.
Other highlights of
Austin's whiplash week of slam/unslam poetry that I personally
witnessed and can still recall:
Monday: The Fado Irish
Pub open mic hosted by Dallas' Angry Girl Sextet.
Tuesday: APAL's open
mic at Ruta Maya, featuring Brett Axel and Amy Ouzoonian, with reads
by slammers from Los Feliz team, Winston-Salem, Pittsburgh, and
excuse me but after a couple of hours I lost track.
Wednesday: Me reading
the riot act to some idiot "model" clomping around
distracting the poets, judges and audiences at the Ritz. It didn't
make up for the interruptions during the second bout but I felt
Also, on Wednesday:
Tammy Gomez's open mic at Movements Gallery where L.A. poets Sister
Yo and Larry Jaffe, Cleveland's Boogieman, Kenn Rodriguez of
Albequerque and others did it for the sheer joy and beauty of "Blast
Your Own Breath".
Thursday: The fire
marshall was one of the few in Austin who didn't show up at the
Electric Lounge. Who cares about breathing when you can hear slam at
it's best, anyway.
Friday: Is a blur,,,,
must have been the oxygen shortage.
Taos-style open mic at Bookpeople, hosted by Thom the World Poet.
Kalamazoo-Animals gave better reads here than in the rated bouts.
Don't tell BookPeople, but employee (and fine poet) Sara Sutterfield
Winn was only pretending to work. And Dennis Jose knocked my sox off
with his piece on beer commercials.
(I only heard about
this one, but worth mentioning) Tammy Gomez and The Austin Poetry
Truck taking it to the streets on Saturday.
and the party after the
finals, like the energizer bunny, kept going and going and going,,,
Sunday: Sunday Salon
at DiverseArts, Tribute to Lorraine Hansberry, poetry by Larry Jaffe
and some of Austin's finest (and that doesn't mean the APD in this
case): Tammy Gomez, Akwesi Evans, Marvin Kimbrough, Floyd Freeman,
Marla Fulgham, Rashah and Melo on percussion. Phew!
It would be humanly
impossible to cover the entire 1998 National Poetry Slam extravaganza
in this l'il ole newsletter. So contact hello_at_monsterbitmedia.com for
details on accessing their online broadcast.
Some guy from the CNN
crew said to watch TV listings for 2nd week in September,
when CNN will broadcast
their 1998 NPS coverage.
Check out today's
Boston Globe site at
(read closely,,, there's a reference to Austin Slam Team member
Karyna McGlynn's "Thong Underwear" poem)
and Dallas Morning
Times at http://www.dallasnews.com/arts-nf/over1-113.htm
2. As a voice of APAL,
the editor thanks all participating APAL members who worked their
butts off volunteering before and during the 1998 National Poetry
Slam, especially Krysten Kiefer, Diane Fleming, Sara Sutterfield
Winn, Maslow, Cynthia Good and Rev. Wyrdsli.
3. From Tim Wood,
publisher of Dallas-based The Word:
A list of journals and
other poetry venues is now available at
suggestions are always accepted (journals_at_datawranglers.com). The
list is updated approx. weekly.
The Word, Dallas' arts
monthly (articles, reviews, poetry, events and announcements) is once
again available not just in print, but on the internet. The events
are primarily those in North Texas, but poetry and calls-for-entries
are accepted from around the world. Send to
word_submissions_at_datawranglers.com (poetry, articles, reviews) or
word_calendar_at_datawranglers.com (events, announcements, etc.). The
current and many of the past issues are available at:
I've just had my third
collection of poems --"Hollow Angels"-- published for the
PalmPilot handheld by the Lending Library at http://www.macduff.net/
4. GULF COAST
PUBLISHING COLONY (12/27/98-1/3/99): Call for Entry. Ten
selected writers to
join poet/editors, Susan Bright and Margo LaGattuta, for 7-day
intensive, collaborative publishing colony on beautiful Texas Gulf
coast resulting in publication of the 17th Plain View Press New
Voices Series anthology, a national showcase for American writers and
issue-based literary work. Send 15-20 pages by Nov 15: Plain View
Press, P.O. 33311, Austin, TX 78764. Inquiries: Susan Bright,
(sbpvp_at_eden.com), Margo LaGattuta, 810-693-7344
Follow New Voices Series link:
Reading Fee: $10.
5. NAP JAM II in Las
Vegas, September 21-25.
recap of jam one at
6. From Casey Bevan:
Attention Poets: There
is an amazing opportunity for Austin arts taking shape. The idea for
a festival incorporating the full spectrum of the arts, the spoken
word, theater, dance, visual art, and anything else that people are
willing to contribute. The idea came from a new theater company, One
Theater. This company has put on two shows so far at the Ritz
Lounge,,, The response to both shows was extremely positive. One
Theater has already gotten together with Bent Spectals, Theatreless
Theatre Co. and Flame Failure Productions. The invitations,,, to all
major cities in Texas,,, are being made as we speak. The festival
would like and should include the spoken word.
,,,a week long event
with each group having an hour slot,,, November 8-14. Ritz Lounge,
Spider House, Electric Lounge, Alamo Draft House. The thought right
now is to have slams every day and then have a finalist slam at the
end of the festival,,,
There are more details
to come,,, Please feel free to call and ask any questions..
Thanks to all who
Anyone wanting off this
mailing list, e me.