Dear Poets young and old, near and far, written and spoken word:

Welcome to the 45th consecutive week of the Austin Poets at Large e-newsletter.

I want to thank the many people who support the APAL venues and other poetry in Austin and across planet, including Venie and Ross in Australia, where it is springtime. Welcome to new subscribers.

Anyone wanting off the mailing list, e mail your request.

Table of Contents

I. APAL Poets Guide - a list of local venues and upcoming events.

II. Featured Poetry - This week's theme: Childhood Memories Part 1

III. Books/Chapbooks/CD's - for sale

IV. Call for submissions

V. Announcements

VI. Slam Stuff (which will be incorporated into general announcements next week)

I. APAL Poets Guide

All events are free unless otherwise noted. Some venues pass the tip jar for featured poets.

1. Monday, Sept. 14 - Patio of Jovita's Restaurant, 1619 S. First St. Red Salmon Arts continues its on-going poetry series, "Southside Poetic Action Series" Open mike reading from 7:30 - 9:30 pm. Red Salmon Arts is an organization focusing on the literary heritage of historically marginalized peoples, providing a space for emerging writers/artist as well as published writers from inside and outside of

Austin. fmi contact Resistencia Bookstore, 416-8885.

2. Tuesday, Sept. 15 - Ruta Maya Coffee House, 4th and Lavaca. APAL open mike. Sign up at 6:30 pm. Co-hosts: Sara Sutterfield Winn and Maslow. Featured poet: Rich Perin. fmi e-mail

3. Tuesday, Sept. 15 - Electric Lounge, 302 Bowie. Weekly Slam. Sign up around 8:30 p.m. Phil West hosts. Always worth the $2 price of admission. Win $50. fmi call 476-FUSE.

4.. Wednesday, Sept. 16 - Movements Gallery, 211 E. 6th St. BYOB: Blast Your Own Breath.Tammy Gomez hosts, 9-10:30 p.m. Open mic, i mean REALLY open. fmi contact

5. Thursday, Sept. 17 - Barnes & Noble Guadalupe (on the Drag) presents poet and essayist Richard Cole, reading and signing his newly released Success Stories. 7 p.m. See Books/Chapbooks section. fmi call 457-0581.

6. Thursday, Sept. 17 - East Side Black & White poetry at Ebony Sun Java House, 1209 E. 11th St., Suite C. APAL open mic sign up at 7:30 p.m. Host, Stazja. Featured poet: Vicky Charleston, author of Amazon. fmi call 346-7773.

7. Saturday, Sept. 19 - The Austin Poetry Society opens its 50th season at the Howson Branch Library, 2500 Exposition, at 10am. Featured guest speakers: Mildred & Nancy Baass. Everyone is welcome! fmi:

8. Saturday, Sept. 19 - Saturday Night Live Poetry at Quackenbush's, 2120 Guadulupe. APAL open mic sign-up at 7:30 p.m. Featured poet: Kai Bush. "Newcomer" Kai's soft-spoken passion will enchant you. Diane Fleming and Stazja McFadyen co-host. fmi contact or call 346-7773.

9. Sunday, Sept. 20 - HILL COUNTRY POETRY GARDEN, 3 p.m. Peggy Lynch of Poetry in the Arts sponsors a poetry reading in the shady garden at Eakin Press, Ashley Oaks, on Tara Road off 290 West. Light refreshments. Directions from Austin: take Mopac South to 290/71 West. At the "Y" in Oak Hill keep left on 290 for 2 1/2 miles slowing down-hill and turning onto the left turning lane, Ashley Oaks sign. Eakin Press is on your right, parking nearby.

10. Monday, Sept. 21 - North American Poetry Jam - NAP JAM 2 begins at the Plaza Hotel, 1 Main Street, Las Vegas. See announcements. fmi contact (I know this isn't a local event, but yours truly is going to be there, along with other APAL venue hosts Sara Sutterfield Winn, Mark Maslow and Diane Fleming, so it will SEEM like an APAL event).

11. Tuesday, Sept. 22 - Ruta Maya Coffee House, 4th and Lavaca. APAL open mic sign-up at 6:30 p.m. Guest host: John Hawk. fmi contact

12. Tuesday, Sept. 22 - Electric Lounge, 302 Bowie. The famous Slam! Sign-up 8:30 p.m. Mike Henry hosts. Win $50. fmi call 476-FUSE.

13. Wednesday, Sept. 23 - Borders, 10225 Research Blvd. at Great Hills Trail. Borders on the Word, hosted by Barbara Carr. 7:30 pm. A pre-publication reading of "Feeding the Crow", an anthology of poetry featuring Austin poets Peggy Lynch, Jose Flores, Lyman Grant, Robin Britton, Jill Wiggins, Carlyn Luke Reding, Jennifer Cardenas, a Phillip T. Stephens and Alyce Guynn and edited by Susan Bright, poet and publisher of Plain View Press. Followed by round robin open mike. fmi call Barbara Carr at 343-7940 or Susan Bright at 441-2452.

14. Wednesday, Sept. 23 - Cornerstone, 1117 Red River, 7:30-9 p.m. featuring some of Austin's outstanding gay and lesbian poets: David Meischen, Rick Garcia, Dennis Ciscel, and Ana Sisnett. Fmi contact Scott Wiggerman at

15. Wednesday, Sept. 23 - Movements Gallery, 211 E. 6th St. BYOB: Blast Your Own Breath.Tammy Gomez hosts, 9-10:30 p.m. Open mic, i mean REALLY open. fmi contact

16. Thursday, September 24 - Poesia y Sur at Mexic-Arte Museum, 419 Congress Ave. 7 p.m. Bi-lingual readings of great Hispanic poets. Selections from the poetry of Nicaraguan Poet Ruben Dario (1867-1916). Hosted by Sue Littleton. Introduction to the Poet by Dr. Miriam Balboa de Echeverria. Guitar music by Francisco Chavez. fmi contact 416-7435.

17. Saturday, Sept. 26 - Saturday Night Live Poetry at Quack's, 2120 Guadalupe. APAL open mic sign up at 7:30. Diane Fleming and Stazja co-host. Featured poet: Houston-based Jeramiah Frick. fmi contact

18. Monday, Sept. 28 - Patio of Jovita's Restaurant, 1619 South First St. from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Red Salmon Arts, focusing on the literary heritage of historically marginalized peoples, provides a space for emerging writers/artist as well as published writers from inside and outside of Austin; hosting on-going poetry series, "Southside Poetic Action Series" open mike reading. Fmi contact Resistencia Bookstore, 416-8885

II. Featured Poetry

This week's theme: Childhood Memories, Part 1

Next week's theme: Childhood Memories, Part 2 (because of the overwhelming response).

Following week's theme: "And the future generations?"

1. From Zer Purvee of Austin, who requested this theme.

Summer Afternoon

The tractor had plowed the field

a day or two before

I saw only the long dirt rows

But Al, she always

saw more than me

She saw couches and chairs

rooms with wallpaper

a whole new universe

asking for us to explore

We ran and played the day away

Her little brothers tagging along

After we were caked in dirt

the brook called to us and we swam

eating the mint that grew along the shores

I heard Mom's car pulling up

We made one last journey

to our furniture

then I left, only on my next trip

to find the house gone

2. From Dreya Lee Johannsen of Austin


I hear the table pushed on whining

wheels to the wall, and the volume

raised on the stereo; my stepfather's

feet shuffle on aged linoleum; his

tongue clicks invitation and come-on

to my mother. The dishes are done

and they dance in the kitchen because

it is empty, the counter is clear,

and the dishes are done.

I am a witness to weather,

always stand inside this door when

the air is thick, dark with dirt;

the hairs on my puny arms rise-

I smell rock from the riverbed.

A sneaky finger pushes up my glasses

and I press my nose flat

into the screen, closing my eyes in

the only prayer I know: please.

I stretch my tongue till it touches steel

then pull it back, testing the taste of grit

like my first sip of beer and I know

it's going to rain. I stand at the screen

with dust on my nose and lips, knowing

rain will bring my brother inside,

my parents from the kitchen. My stepfather

will go to the store, buy ice-cream

for us, a bag of candy for himself;

he will eat it at stoplights on the way home.

I stand at the door,

eager knuckles wrapped around the grille,

watching nickel drops of water staining concrete;

I blow the hair off my face and wait,

praying for the lights to go out

and candles:


3. From Jimmy Smith of So. Cal.


small white hands

fingers dirty,

feet dirty

sidewalk and dirt

and gray days

children in the hydrant

cars on the street

an old piano sits and waits

sister plays heart and soul

without any of either

"get away from that"

stolen time when no-one is listening

three stooges on the box

one finger at a time

I play a tune that runs like water

"I have heard this somewhere"

and add a finger

and another

"get away from that"

three years go by before

a stranger, visitor,

temporary official

stands outside the door

and tells my loving but ignorant mom

and my hopelessly drunken dad

and my heartless and soulless sister

that she stopped because

she heard somebody playing


concerto in F#

and wondered who the player was



streets and dirt

and the theme from Paganinni

what a whirlpool

we divest our time

4. From Dr. Robert Brown, of Austin,

Ruby Hunter

Among my grandmother's things

Is a yellowed newspaper clipping

"Local girl tricks her grandpa:

Miss Ruby Taylor of Sweet Home Plantation

Played an amusing stunt. Her

grandpapa was washing his eyes

with an eye lotion and she quickly

turned out the only lamp in the room.

When he opened his eyes, he shouted

I'm blind, I'm blind. He was so

startled she didn't dare laugh at him."

Ruby told me a story about his

prayers in the old days, including:

"Dear Lord, it's OK to send the boll weevils

but please send some with smaller appetites."

I follow his traditions today. Every

election day, I stumble blindly into

the voting booth and vote for the lesser

of two weevils.

III. Books/Chapbooks/CD's

chap*book (noun) First appeared 1798 : a small book containing ballads, poems, tales, or tracts

Addenda to definition of 'chapbook' - it was so called because it was hawked by 'chapmen' - or peddlers. The word 'chap' comes from a ME and/or OE word meaning 'cheap.' - from large Random House Dictionary

You are invited to bring your books/chapbooks/anthologies to sell at Ruta Maya on Tuesdays. For guidelines e-mail

1. Success Stories, Limestone Books; Austin, Tx. Poetry and essays by Richard Cole. $11.95. "Success Story is a great book, and I don't use the word lightly. It's as new as Leaves of Grass was for its time. Richard Cole has written about the corporation-run, downsizing world of today as one who knows it from the inside. But this is only half of it -- there is the engrossing report of his adventures, anxieties, fears, and -- wonderful to see in poetry these days -- tenderness and love. The poems link to make a continuous action. The voice is unforced, direct, surprising." --Louis Simpson, Pulitizer Prize Winner. Available at Barnes & Noble, signing on Sept 17 at 7 p.m. or e mail the author at

2. Tina's Fine-Ass Lingerie: The First Four Years of The Austin Poetry Slam Team.

CD recorded Live at the Electric Lounge. Contains cuts by the Austin Slam Team members 1995-1998. OProduced by Wammo. $10. Available at the Electric Lounge. e or call 476-FUSE. Order multiple copies now, while supplies last.

3. New offerings from The Poet's Tree Press:::::::

Each book is $7 or you can buy them as a set for $12

For ordering information e-mail

Into The Storm

by Chris Vannoy

From San Diego, California to St. Petersburg, Florida this collection of poems cross the continent. Poignant snapshots of relationships with a dash of Beat. They both combine to be a whisper within a shout.

The Unwinding

by C. Passmore

This book reflects the changing of seasons and the changes that come when life moves through the turbulent times of a woman's life. It shows how parents and children view different sides of life and how, when the roles are reversed, the other side of the storm is seen from a different view.

IV. Call for submissions

1. Long-Time San FranciscoF Slam supporter/co-host Lauren Shiffman is now seeking submissions for the next issue of Crack, her lit zine:


It's time to submit to the BIGGER, BETTER, BOLDER crack #2!!

We are seeking submissions of compelling and innovative poetry, sudden fiction and b/w art. Send 3-5 poems, fiction under 2,000 words, or inquiries regarding non-fiction pieces along with a SASE before October 31to:


P.O. Box 411113,

S.F., CA 94141.

Please include a phone number or email address.

Please forward this message to anyone who might be interested.


2. 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,

512-441-2452 (, Margo LaGattuta, 810-693-7344

( Follow New Voices Series link:

Reading Fee: $10.

V. Announcements

1. Austin Poets at Large (APAL) is a not-for-profit group of poets come together to promote the growth of poetry in Austin and provide a nurturing atmosphere for poets and those who love poetry. APAL runs one monthly and two weekly open mic venues. For more information attend Saturday staff meeting at Quack's, 6:30 p.m. or call John Hawk 458-3159.

2. BOWERBIRD: dear performance poets-you're invited to come and perform at

***** nap jam two *****the north american poetry jam, a 4-night explosion of performance poetry. unlike slam, where the central focus is competition, jam has _cooperation_ as its organizing principle. jam is a performance poetry showcase,

a videoshoot, and a big party, all rolled into one. the next jam is from september 21-25, 1998, at the "plaza" hotel, in downtown las vegas.

for an online version of the jam "manual", which contains all the info you'll need, visit <>. because of the las vegas location, we've got a great rate of $40 per room, double occupancy, so that's just $20 per person per night, $80 for all 4 nights.

3. 1999 Austin International Poetry Festival dates are set for April 15-18, 1999.

The next board meeting will be held on Monday, September 28 at Cepeda Branch Library, E. 7th and Pleasant Valley, at 7 p.m. fmi contact or call Midge Kocen at 835-5942

4. Great News from Howard Frost of West Yorks - received funding approval to produce poetry festival 2000. Details later.

5. Last week I asked << "The pen is mightier than the sword" ,,, (who originally said that, anyway?) >> I got an answer:

"Although I would have thought it was ole' William S himself, according to my research it was Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Baron Lytton in his play Richelieu (Act II, Scene 2) written in 1838, who wrote the line, 'Beneath the rule of men entirely great/The pen is mightier than the sword." He was probably alluding to Cervantes' line from Don Quixote (1605-15) "Let none presume to tell me that the pen is preferable to the sword." Robert Burton was probably similarly influenced when he used a similiar phrase, "The pen worse than the sword," in Anatomy of Melancholy also written in the 1600's.

If you know otherwise, please let me know, too.

Thanks! (Julie Dercle)"

6. If you are hanging online with some spare minutes, check out this website

And who are "Working Title Writers"?

"Working Title Writers are a group of poets and artists in Cardiff. We're dedicated to promoting poetry. We want everyone to hear and read the poetry we think is good. Apart from this, our job is to make sure poetry regains its status as a first-class, mainstream means of communication."

7. "Stazja - thanks for putting me on the mailing list, another nice

benefit from working the slam...

thanks -


VI. Slam Stuff (After this week, this segment will be incorporated into the general announcements section)

1. Seems I've forgotten to mention the weekly winners of the Austin slam over the past three weeks. Let's start with Sean Shea on Aug. 25. And for two weeks running, Jeff Knight has won the big bucks. Congrats to both of you!

2. Mo' Media - Slam

The Wall Street Journal, Thursday, September 10, 1998, Page A20.

[Headline] Poetry in Motion: Slam-Dunking With Words

[Byline] By Anne Lewis. Ms. Lewis is a writer in Austin, Texas.

[Dateline] Austin, Texas

Ed. Note: To request the article text, e-mail me at

Visit the National Poetry Slam website for collection of press coverage.

3. posted by Robb Thibault, on the slam list serv

"Greetings from Fargo, ND

I've been advised by the producer of the CNN story on the NPS that the

segment should air on CNN-Newsstand Entertainment Weekly on Thursday Sept 24 after Larry King Live ( 10:00pm EDT)."

4. excerpt (the best part) from Joshua Ostrander, the captain/coach of this year's Mesa National SlamTeam.

"In Austin, I was inspired by all of you. Your work made me long to refine and appreciate my own. I cried at a slam. This, however commonplace it must be in the medium, is not something that I had ever done. To me, this was priceless and without compare.

"I have never met such a group of people whose talents, words, and personalities have made me long for something more substantial in myself. I drank beers with you, shared phrases with you, and....drank another beer with you. I consider this invaluable and will carry within my cranium with relish."

5. Dear Stazja,

After attending the slams 98 I feel even more connected with the Austin Scene. You news is now a wonderful reminder of a highly mobilized congregation of cooperative operatives. you are the seamstress of the word. You all made the festival smooth & dazzling. you provided wonderful stages for the verbalists.

And Austin is a comfortable town

access to the water and the parks

my only complaints:

Bob Holman's name was not on the marquee as a feature on Saturday

the music at the Paramount Theater went on toooooo long

if I wanted to hear the Grand Ole Opery I could have stayed in Nashville

Barton Springs was locked up

the sacred cold waters were off limits

this was irksome because I have a feeling the springs

was there before Lavaca St

before Book People

before the university

before the word there was running water

the Austin Poets created a great space

thanks to everyone involved. Bravissimo

Beatlick Joe

6. Tim Wood provides Slam Family list serve through and publishes The Word.

The Word Online: the monthly guide to the arts in Dallas and beyond. In this issue, we interview slam founder Marc Smith. Noemi A. Collie talks with the Dallas Slam Team. We also have excerpts from their poetry. Finally, we have a poem by Dallas

poet Michael Jasper and this month's calendar

7. from Gary Drilling of Sarasota:

What I am looking for is video of the Slam, particularly the finals. I don't know if there are plans to release such a thing or not. I'm not even sure if people were allowed to video tape any of it. Anyway, I've been trying to explain what happened in Austin to people around here and they have no frame of reference. Video would help a great deal and possibly get some interest stirred up. I'm wondering if you know anyone with video, or if you might be willing to ask in your newsletter. I would appreciate anything you could do for me.


Gary Drilling

Now, we come to the end of the newsletter. Thank you for reading.

Much love,


Subj: RE: Austin Poets at Large #45

Date: 98-09-14 13:47:57 EDT

From: (larry jaffe)


good job... :)

Subj: Re: Austin Poets at Large #45

Date: 98-09-14 15:32:34 EDT

From: (Kendall & Benne Walton)


Don't recall reading with such pizzaz

News any better than yours dear stazj.zzz

Well, wanting to rhyme isn't poetry anymore..

I shall come to Ebony Thursday after working at public domain gathering

tickets and have a java with you and marla.....much love 2 c u ben

Subj: Re: Austin Poets at Large #45

Date: 98-09-14 13:38:56 EDT

From: Becarlton

To: Stazja

Very nicely done, Ms. Staz!

I actually read this one all the way through. I like the Table of Contents, is that a new addition or was I just not paying attention before when I skimmed through the newsletters?

You are indeed "the seamstress of the word", you lovely thing. Dr. Robt Brown sounds like quite a character.

Please give my love to Bowerbird, Joseph, et all when you see them. Sorry I can't make it to join you. I will be able to next time though, if the invite is still good.

Lots of love.


Subj: Re: Austin Poets at Large #45

Date: 98-09-14 07:36:47 EDT

From: (kerry-lee powell)


hi Stazja,

Thanks for the mighty blurb.


Subj: Re: Austin Poets at Large #45

Date: 98-09-14 05:49:28 EDT

From: CPKoss

To: Stazja

Just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your weekly updates and wish I could be there to hear/read/enjoy.

You do an incredible job!!

We are about to start new readings in OKC and I will keep you up on the latest as soon as I have the information.


Subj: Re: Austin Poets at Large #45- "And the future generations?"

Date: 98-09-14 06:05:54 EDT

From: CVannoy727

To: Stazja

I got the Clone Jam CD. It sounds AWSOME....It is called THE BASTARD MUSICIANS OF MESMER. Also, Digitized Eyes is on a CD titled WORMHOLE. If any one would like to purchase a copy...please have them contact me. both are on sale now for 10$ CVannoy727_at_aol,com


This is the year twenty twenty-two

You are here by instructed that

I am clone number two zero four

Of Master Body three three five

Fully functional

Standard intellect level was achieved

Through symbiotic representation

And sentience through a miscalculation of amino acids

I am being held in passive restraint

For donor organs

I overheard the bio-tech’s

Talking in low whispers

As they were excavating clone number two zero three

For master body implantation

Full retrofit

All usable material removed

I lay in darkness of my fate

For eighteen years

Prepared for a world that I had seen only

Through the pre-programmed memories of

Master Body Three Three Five

I am being kept alive for donor organs

I stand before you to plead for my life


NUMBER two zero four

And I am alive!

Copyright (c) 1994 Chris Vannoy

Digitized Eyes

Digitized eyes

She had

Digitized eyes

That were always flashing

In alternating sequences

Of ones and zero’s

Making my heart flip

What a trip

Didn’t have any thing like her in the sixty’s

Copper colored hair

Chest bare to the hips

Lips painted with platinum jewelry colors

Green leotards stretched

All the way to the ground

Belly button pierced

With transistors hanging down

On a gold chain

A schematic tattoo

Spilled over her naked breast

I must confess

It was loves glance

Just singing in my eyes

Took a chance

Ask for her phone number

Said she was listed

In the personal’s under

E l e c t r i f y i n g

Left me sighing in her neon glow

Don’t you know?

She melted my plastic exposed wires

I dripped WD-40 tears for 560 nanoseconds

Just trying to reboot my vacuum tube

Of crashing reality

She said she didn’t need me

My battery lacked her juice

(and that was news to me!)

Dissipated I said,

“Wait here! I’ll be back!”

And ran to find a Radio Shack.

Copyright (c) 1994 Chris Vannoy

Subj: Re: Austin Poets at Large #45

Date: 98-09-15 10:35:18 EDT


To: Stazja


I want to thank you for the newsletter. Even though my own muse is silent, and my pen lay idle, the words and announcements encourage me that the poet is alive and busy and changing the world with words. Peace.


Subj: Re: Austin Poets at Large #45

Date: 98-09-15 19:44:49 EDT

From: WBSheridan

To: Stazja

Dear Stazja - just to let u know I am stil an avid reader of the newsletter and have followed the Austin teams progress thro the Nats as a devoted fan!

Hope to get to AIPF 99 and will try to register this time.

Frank Poole gave me his card after the Ice House event but seem to have mislaid it.

Have agreat time in Vegas - Love Brinsley

ps - hope to see Genevieve in London soon - if she does,nt succumb to hypothermia - its more November than September here at the moment!

Subj: Re: Austin Poets at Large #45

Date: 98-09-15 00:12:44 EDT

From: (Morrie W. Greene)

To: Stazja_at_AOL.COM

dear sweet staz,

I hope the opening debut of your new book was fabulous...

wish I coulda been there

I know it was great!!

hope you enjoy nap jam!!!

and have a great time!!!

much love,