Thistle & Brilliant: Poems of Relationships in Motion//Performance at Blackbird in Chico

Blackbird 4:20 Poster

Northern California writers and readers:

Join Califragile founding editor Wren Tuatha and Poemcrazy author Susan Wooldridge, along with poets Bob Garner, Cory Himp Hunt, Patrick Napoco, Heather Rayann, Travis Rowdy and more for an evening of the messy!

Wren will read from her new collection, Thistle and Brilliant, interspersed with other poets’ offerings on relationships in motion! An open mic on the topic will follow, one poem per reader.

Blackbird Books and Cafe

1431 Park Ave., Chico CA 95928

Saturday, April 20, 2019, 6pm

**This will be Wren’s final public Chico appearance during T&B’s promotional period.**

Let me count the ways…you can order Thistle and Brilliant–

• Connect with us at Blackbird.

• Order via Finishing Line Press‘ website before April 26, 2019.

• Contact Wren via Facebook or Califragile.org before April 26, 2019

• Contact Wren to host a house party before April 26, 2019.

#Mountains: Fractured Lullaby in a Zinke Landscape by J.P. Dancing Bear

iatm_2_3_2_by_frogstar_23-dcafugo.png 
"Did I mention I'm a geologist?"  --often told lie by Ryan Zinke*
  
Who doesn't look at the mountain     and wonder,
What could that be put to use for?
Who doesn't look        where the ancestors are buried,
and wonder    what their time would be like
stuffed                        full of chemicals?.
 
Who doesn't look at the mountain     and think,
How can I break that down for its minerals?
Why wouldn't the spirits        in the water, rocks,
and trees, not want     to be free         of their bonds
and      their    children?
 
Who doesn't look at the mountain     and ponder,
Where did all this natural resource come from?
Is the spirit energy     trapped in the rocks               not happy
in its home?    Who says, Granite,    Shale,             Gold,               Ore,
Uranium,        and thinks       themselves      as liberator or hero?
 
Who doesn't look at the mountain                 and ask,
Could I own this mountain    or sell it?
All the spirits              and ancestors are                   thinking
About the government           word,                                       relocation,
And how          much more     the heart                                                can break.

 

 

J. P. Dancing Bear (Featured Poet, October, 2017) is co-editor for the Verse Daily and Dream Horse Press. He is the author of fourteen collections of poetry, most recently, Cephalopodic (Glass Lyre Press, 2015), and Love is a Burning Building (FutureCycle Press, 2014). His work has appeared or will shortly in American Literary Review, Crazyhorse, the DIAGRAM and elsewhere.

 

Painting by Jenn Zed. Used by permission.

 

*Editor’s Note: According to Wikipedia, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has a B.S. (couldn’t resist) in Geology but has never worked in the field.

#Immigration: Oracle of Witch Hunts by J. P. Dancing Bear

Certainly flashlights were burning
into the darkness.
There were whispers,
rumors and lies told—worse, believed!

And the sound of doors
cracking off their frames.

A hive waking—
misdirected, angry, attacking
the shadowed

under the claxons,
under the sirens.
Through the slits of curtains
we saw
people herded into vans,
people cuffed and led away,
people penned,
people executed by revoked asylum.

We saw people treated
as the supernatural beings
rising up from hell.

We saw red light bleed
out over panicked eyes.

The boss of uniforms
said it was him
who was being hunted

but he was doing what all
predators do,
camouflaged and preying

on the hidden helpless
praying
in the shadows.

 

 

J. P. Dancing Bear (Featured Poet, October, 2017) is co-editor for the Verse Daily and Dream Horse Press. He is the author of fourteen collections of poetry, most recently, Cephalopodic (Glass Lyre Press, 2015), and Love is a Burning Building (FutureCycle Press, 2014). His work has appeared or will shortly in American Literary Review, Crazyhorse, the DIAGRAM and elsewhere.

 

Photograph by U.S. Department of Immigration Enforcement (Department of Homeland Security).

Comrades of the Dream Life by Sergio A. Ortiz

I recognize you,
those with the moon
spread on their face,
whose faces have no beginning
but have a resounding
and enveloping end,

the ones with smiling sores
on their bodies,
who sweeten thorns
and pin hope to hearts,
who have painful tails
and tender eyes, and move
like a falling leaf or a
shooting star.

I regret your arrival
before or after the pain,
always at the wrong time
but when needed.

Volunteers of laughter,
multipliers of atmospheres,
inventors of the game
who win without winning
even when losing.

Brothers of the flesh,
companions of the fierce tooth
that leaves a mark,
connoisseurs of navels and buttocks
and of their own music,
I greet you!

 

 

Sergio A. Ortiz (Featured Poet, August, 2017) is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a six-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016/17 Best of the Net nominee. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Loch Raven Review, Drunk Monkeys, Algebra Of Owls, Free State Review, and The Paragon Journal. His chapbook, An Animal Resembling Desire, will be published by Finishing Line Press. He is currently working on his first full-length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard.

 

 

Photograph by See-Ming Lee. 

Nostalgic Hate by Sergio A. Ortiz

My ears listen to you lovingly
until the very end of love.

At the finish my hatreds harken,
my mind figures it’s a weapon

made of paper and tattoo ink.
I’d journey to East Asia and do us

love-making in origami.
Listen to the paper fold finely.

Imagine my ears there,
where the only thing that’s heard

is me disassembling, each time,
every time, at the end of tenderness.

Where hate is nostalgic
finalization of affection.

 

 

Sergio A. Ortiz (Featured Poet, August, 2017) is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a six-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016/17 Best of the Net nominee. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Loch Raven Review, Drunk Monkeys, Algebra Of Owls, Free State Review, and The Paragon Journal. His chapbook, An Animal Resembling Desire, will be published by Finishing Line Press. He is currently working on his first full-length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard.

 

 

Origami Spring folded and photographed by Jason 7825. 

Two Months After Hurricane Maria by Sergio A. Ortiz

1.
And the world disagreed with its own blood.
The wind blew away sanity and today
we pull against the riptide.

Time and space, wooden shacks, flew
in an unknown direction and love lied
on the image of a moon tired of unfaithful
lovers.

2.
Night undressed, and all could see
her nakedness. She stopped weeping
and wailing over lost paths to rescue
what was left of her pride, seaports, airspace,
enslaved hearts, and raised fist
without knowing the shackles were so heavy
that even her silence had toppled.

3.
If I were to expand to the point of bursting
into thousands of pieces, if my suffering
should ever reach that level
do not sanction my heart or my body
do not let me escape into nothingness
like an insignificant hot gas.

4.
Toilet paper or disposable towels…
insensitive son of a bitch— do we really need
to kiss your presidential ass?

can we afford another one hundred and nineteen
years of insults, grave diggings,
war deaths and stupidity?

 

 

Sergio A. Ortiz (Califragile Feature Poet, September, 2017) is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a six-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016/17 Best of the Net nominee. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Loch Raven Review, Drunk Monkeys, Algebra Of Owls, Free State Review, and The Paragon Journal. His chapbook, An Animal Resembling Desire, will be published by Finishing Line Press. He is currently working on his first full-length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard.

Oracle of Confederate Statues by J.P. Dancing Bear

Oracle of Confederate Statues

1.
To see the future the eye must burn
must experience its mass in two places
must cross dimensions

must love the flame

No one chooses to see
but not see

no one looks fondly upon the future

2.
What’s the use in such knowledge

we have a firm grasp
on myths like old blankets
we wrap ourselves in comfort

let’s not read inscriptions
not tonight by the fires
you’ve carelessly lit

here are the great surrenderers
mounted and pointing stoically
into a battle centuries gone

here once were cannons
and you may still hear the echoes
of the thread-bare and torn dead

and where it should have ended
it did not

These monuments
buried in Ozymandian sand
inscriptions worn
the tired faces warn
men from their hatreds

leave them earthed
and forgotten

now that the world is a better place

3.
you come to me not to see
that which is to come

but here you are
waxing nostalgic over the past

not even your own
but people who died
so long ago their very definition
of human (all humans) should be so different

from your own

4.
Now you fight to continue
to ignore the future
of sand slipping through

whispering truth
does not require your belief
to exist

still, I must open my eyes to this future

whenever yours are closed

 

 

J. P. Dancing Bear is co-editor for the Verse Daily and Dream Horse Press. He is the author of fourteen collections of poetry, most recently, Cephalopodic (Glass Lyre Press, 2015), and Love is a Burning Building (FutureCycle Press, 2014). His work has appeared or will shortly in American Literary Review, Crazyhorse, the DIAGRAM and elsewhere.

 

 

From the Editor: Welcome to Califragile‘s Featured Poet for October, J.P. Dancing Bear! Watch for poems from his Oracle series on Mondays and visit Verse Daily!