Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic Featuring Michael Shay and M. F. McAuliffe December 9, 2021

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic
Featuring Michael Shay and M. F. McAuliffe.

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Morgan Paige

LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, PRO-SCIENCE, ANTI-FASCIST,
ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

7 pm
Thursday, December 9

Art at the Cave
108 E Evergreen Blvd
Vancouver, WA 98660
https://artatthecave.com

$5 Suggested donation

NOTE: Art at the Cave co-founder Kathi Rick has graciously offered to help us to continue to include our new friends from around the country in the open mic. Email katecrackernuts@comcast.net by no later than midnight on December 8 to indicate your interest in participating. In the subject line, let us know if you are “Reading” or “Just Listening.” You will receive instructions for how to join the meeting.

Zoom open mic readers are invited to share one poem for three minutes or less.

Donations can be made in person or through Christopher Luna’s PayPal account (christopherjluna@gmail.com). Include a memo stating that the money is for Ghost Town Poetry. The suggested donation is five dollars.

Masks must be worn at all times to participate in this event. Open Mic readers may remove their masks while reading. The microphone will be sanitized after each reader.

Statement on Healthy Spaces from Art at the Cave: We want to provide a healthy space to enjoy art. We are practicing safety precautions such as regular cleaning, social distancing and mask wearing. We kindly request that you wear a mask and practice social distancing while visiting the gallery. If needed, we will limit the number of people in the gallery. Masks and hand sanitizer are available upon entry.

Art At The CAVE was established in 2017. Located at 108 E. Evergreen in downtown Vancouver, the CAVE is free and open to the public Tues-Sat, 10am-4pm, and on First Fridays when it remains open until 8:00pm. The gallery is also available to host events. Visit the website at artatthecave.com or contact gallery@artatthecave.com for more information.

Please support Niche Wine Bar, whose owner, Leah Jackson, provided a home for the reading series from 2015-2020: https://nichewinebar.com

Michael Shay was born in Ludwigschafen am Rhein, Germany, and grew up in Chicago. At the University of Iowa he studied with Louise Glück, attended the Iowa Graduate Summer Session Poetry Workshop, and holds a Master of Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary and Experimental Art. He is one of the editors of the Broken Word anthologies drawn from the Broken Word reading at the Alberta Street Pub in northeast Portland. His poetry has appeared in The South Carolina Review, Nimrod, Gobshite Quarterly, and elsewhere. He is the author of The Words I Own.

“Michael Shay’s The Words I Own is captivating. The poems are by turns playful and heartbreaking.” – Marvin Bell

“Michael Shay’s poetry whispers in the reader’s ear that before we are “ready to drink with death/ He drinks with [us].” He understands the importance of rising each time we fall, the fusion of love and living.” – Christopher Luna, author of Message From A Vessel In A Dream and co-author, with Angelo Luna, of Exchanging Wisdom: A Guide for Parents of the Autonomous

M. F. McAuliffe is an Australian writer and editor. Her long poem “Orpheus” was staged by La Mama as “Orpheus, an Australian Tragedy” at the Courthouse Theatre, Carlton, in May 2000. Her poem “Crucifix I” appeared in the Yoko Ono installation “Arising” in the Reykjavik Art Museum, Nov. 2016-Feb. 2017. She is co-founder and co-editor of the Portland, Oregon-based multi-lingual magazine Gobshite Quarterly and of Reprobate/ GobQ Books. She is the author of The Crucifixes and Other Friday Poems and 25 Poems On The Death Of Ursula K. Le Guin.

“Always succinct, often laconic, wonderfully humorous, and at times delightfully blasphemous, poet and translator M. F. McAuliffe hasn’t forgotten that the first order of business is to entertain. Whether writing her own poems or translating the words and worlds of others, McAuliffe makes the ancient feel contemporary, the contemporary timeless. If you’re ready for something compellingly different, open this book.” – Andrea Hollander, author of Landscape with Female Figure: New & Selected Poems, 1982 – 2012, Woman in Painting, and Blue Mistaken For Sky

“The poems are heart-rending and at the same time full of love.” – Luisa Valenzuela, Carlos Fuentes Prize winner, 2019, and author of Deathcats, The Lizard’s Tail, Bedside Manners, and God’s Joke

Reach Out, Reach In, the debut chapbook from Leah Klass

Printed Matter Vancouver is proud to present the debut chapbook from Leah Klass. Recently relocated from Portland to Ann Arbor, Michigan, Leah is a poet, community activist, global connector, and World Peace Fellow. Hers is the first book of poetry Printed Matter Vancouver has published featuring a writer who lives outside of Southwest Washington.

Order now: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09K1HRGF6/

The debut collection of poetry by Leah Klass tells stories of discovering empathy through human connection. Her work is a rallying call to value our everyday interactions with other people. Reach Out, Reach In offers concrete ideas for transforming the world into a warmer, more welcoming place.

Reach Out, Reach In

By Leah Klass

Published by Printed Vancouver

October 25, 2021

Cover Art & Design by Mercer Hanau

Edited by Toni Lumbrazo Luna and Christopher Luna

ASIN: ‎ B09K1HRGF6
ISBN-13‏: ‎ 979-8985129106

ADVANCE PRAISE FOR REACH OUT, REACH IN

How we are made is how we see, and from the rich mosaic of her background Leah Klass delivers kaleidoscopic poems that will persuade your vision to see this world made strange and precious. This book offers local beginnings, global consciousness, and the courage to use language for what it needs to do: sustain the sovereign self engaged in connecting the private life to the public world. Enter this book troubled, then emerge knowing “there is another way.” — Kim Stafford, author of Singer Come from Afar

I read Reach Out, Reach In straight through and want more. Leah Klass tells to the bone truth in bold narratives and chewable language. She is a thoroughly American woman who gathered new languages and a layered identity living in many countries. “Understand I am global,” she writes, and we do, seeing through her “inherited pattern recognition” a unifying grasp of culture and language that threads through her own evolution from childhood to maturity. These brave poems move with a strong beat, riding on a wide and inclusive heart. They illuminate so much of a woman’s experience through the stages of her life. For Klass, a fierce advocacy for all people developed, rooted in connection and kindness, and in her passion for acts big and small in families and communities that count toward healing the world. — Rae Latham 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Born in Washington, D.C., Leah’s education has included attending diverse public schools and studying abroad. She learned Spanish in the homes of her friends in Falls Church, Virginia. In high school she turned 16 on a secular kibbutz, where she worked on the assembly line in an olive factory and was chased by ostriches. She later waitressed and cleaned houses to help pay for her studies in Anthropology at the University of Virginia which included a year of study abroad in Brazil. She completed a master’s degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution at the University of Queensland thanks to a Rotary Fellowship in Argentina and Australia. 

She spent the first years of her career bringing businesses from different countries together and encouraging friendships between strangers. Market research and report writing were a ticket to long weekends in Chile and high speed taxi rides in Mexico. She has also helped get social services to migrant communities, taught students how to better network and facilitated group discussions for international business people.

Leah’s greatest pleasures are making connections and reaching out to build community. Speaking many languages allows her to communicate with more people. She speaks Spanish, Portuguese and some Hebrew and German. She is committed to valuing intergenerational relationships and amplifying kindness. 

After becoming a mother, Leah experienced a great shift in her understanding of the world and felt an overwhelming desire to express her need to build community and to help others find and use their voices. In tandem, she joined a kind and passionate poetry community in Portland, Oregon. With the support of the group, poetry has become a way for her to tell stories and to activate others to go out and do something good.

Learn more at www.leahklass.com.

The Work Poetry Workshop Fall 2021

Join us on the second and fourth Monday of every month for The Work.

MONDAY NIGHT EDITION

The Monday Night Edition of The Work takes place from 6-8:30 pm on the second and fourth Monday of each month, unless otherwise noted. These workshops will take place on Zoom until it is safe to do so again in person.

Upcoming Monday night workshops will take place on September 13, October 11 & 25, November 8 & 22, and December 13.

The Work is a drop-in poetry writing workshop for beginners as well as more experienced writers. Poetry encourages empathy and compassion, and sparks the shifts in consciousness which can lead to healing, personal growth, and an interest in fighting for progressive social change.

We will read and discuss poetry, write several new poems, and give each writer feedback on at least one of the drafts composed during the workshop.

The cost for the workshop is a suggested donation of $20 to Christopher Luna’s PayPal account: christopherjluna@gmail.com

“Suggested” means that we would like for you to join us regardless of whether or not you can afford it right now. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Bring a poem to share as a way of saying hello.

Please email Christopher Luna at christopherjluna@gmail.com by midnight the night before each workshop to RSVP if you would like to participate. Also, please share this event with others who might be interested.

Collage by Christopher Luna

SATURDAY NIGHT EDITION

The Work also takes place from 11:30 am – 2:00 pm on the second Saturday of every month, unless otherwise noted. Upcoming Saturday afternoon workshops will take place on September 11, October 9, November 13, and December 11.

These workshops will take place on Zoom until it is safe to do so again in person.


Christopher Luna encourages you to support Niche Wine Bar, which has provided a home for his poetry and memoir workshops, Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic, and other events for many years. Niche is currently open for both dine-in and takeout service: https://nichewinebar.com

If you are looking for writing coaching, editing/manuscript review, or information about poetry and memoir classes, send Christopher an email via printedmattervancouver@gmail.com.

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic Featuring Igor Brezhnev at Art at the Cave and on Zoom November 11, 2021

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic

Featuring Igor Brezhnev

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Morgan Paige

LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, PRO-SCIENCE, ANTI-FASCIST,  

ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

7 pm

Thursday, November 11

Art at the Cave

108 E Evergreen Blvd

Vancouver, WA 98660

https://artatthecave.com

$5 Suggested donation

NOTE: Art at the Cave co-founder Kathi Rick has graciously offered to help us to continue to include our new friends from around the country in the open mic. Email katecrackernuts@comcast.net by no later than midnight on November 10 to indicate your interest in participating. In the subject line, let us know if you are “Reading” or “Just Listening.” You will receive instructions for how to join the meeting.

Zoom open mic readers are invited to share one poem for three minutes or less. 

Donations can be made in person or through Christopher Luna’s PayPal account (christopherjluna@gmail.com). Include a memo stating that the money is for Ghost Town Poetry. The suggested donation is five dollars.

Masks must be worn at all times to participate in this event. Open Mic readers may remove their masks while reading. The microphone will be sanitized after each reader.

Statement on Healthy Spaces from Art at the Cave: We want to provide a healthy space to enjoy art. We are practicing safety precautions such as regular cleaning, social distancing and mask wearing. We kindly request that you wear a mask and practice social distancing while visiting the gallery. If needed, we will limit the number of people in the gallery. Masks and hand sanitizer are available upon entry.

Art At The CAVE was established in 2017. Located at 108 E. Evergreen in downtown Vancouver, the CAVE is free and open to the public Tues-Sat, 10am-4pm, and on First Fridays when it remains open until 8:00pm. The gallery is also available to host events. Visit the website at artatthecave.com or contact gallery@artatthecave.com for more information.

Please support Niche Wine Bar, whose owner, Leah Jackson, provided a home for the reading series from 2015-2020: https://nichewinebar.com

Igor Brezhnev is a poet and a book designer, among his other sins. His most recent body of published work is titled nights since. It is a series of 363 poems written every night from January 18th, 2019 to January 14th, 2020 documenting the emotional landscape of being without a home. Igor’s other work includes two full-length poetry books, dearest void (2016) and america is dry cookie and other love stories (2018) as well as a number of spoken-word albums available on Bandcamp at igorbrezhnev.bandcamp.com. You can support his work at patreon.com/igorbrezhnev and get daily poems & weekly audio recordings. More information about Igor and his books can be found at igorbrezhnev.com.

In Loving Memory of Olinka Broadfoot, Artist and Friend

Olinka Broadfoot’s sculpture portrait of Christopher Luna

I was saddened to learn that my friend Olinka Broadfoot has passed away. Olinka was a brilliant, witty, talented person with many stories to tell about her life as an artist and her home in the Czech Republic. I feel fortunate to have known her.

I first met Olinka through my friend Jason Mashak, one of the first Portland poets I met when I moved to the Pacific Northwest from Queens, NY in 2001. Olinka is a world-class artist who had returned from Prague, where she traveled once a year or so to teach sculpture. While much of the work she did was abstract, Olinka posted on Facebook that she was ready to do some portraits. I had never sat for a sculptor before and thought that it might be fun.

It was fun, and it was also an incredible experience that deepened my respect for Olinka and for all sculptors. I could not always watch her work, but when I could, I was blown away watching the clay transform into a bust of my head ans shoulders. I am a talker, a verbal processor who talks almost constantly. Olinka did chat with me a bit, but there were also times where she made it clear that she needed silence in order to concentrate.

I clearly remember the moment when she took a darker rectangle slab of clay and dropped it on top of the head of the bust to begin forming the hat I found in Berkeley, CA and had worn every day for years, almost until it fell apart. She requested that I leave the hat with her so that she could get it just right. She also asked for an old pair of my glasses which she attached to the face of the portrait.

I was not prepared for what an honor it was to be represented in this way. I remain in awe of how she was abler to capture not only my likeness but my spirit in this work. Later I was honored further when an anonymous donor purchased the work in order to gift it to me.

In April 2013 Toni and I curated a show at Angst Gallery called the Marriage of Poetic Words and Images. It featured art and poetry by many different members of the community including Greg Bee, Da Bat, Eileen Elliott, Jenney Pauer, Jim Martin, Erin Dengerink, Kelly Keigwin, and Michael Smith.

The show also featured two pieces by Olinka: her bust of me and “sometimes the latticework of the veil,” inspired in part by my poem of the same name:

sometimes the latticework of the veil
is so perfectly constructed
that it has the appearance of reality
flesh and blood, rather than
a sorry excuse for truth
pastiche of fortune cookie wisdom
ad copy & lines from old movies
stand in for the darkness
which is not evil after all
but the residue of a broken heart
throbbing, sweating
flooding blood-soaked tears
in a melodramatic gush
not to be contained by the
gauzy barrier of our skin

eventually
all
is revealed
we
are
hopelessly
(beautifully)
human
after all

You can see more images from the show here.

In May 2013 the bust was moved next door to Niche Wine Bar, owned by Angst Gallery director Leah Jackson. Here are a couple of photos from the unveiling of the bust that took place at Niche.

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic Featuring Raúl Sánchez at Art at the Cave and on Zoom on October 14, 2021 

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic

Featuring Raúl Sánchez

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Morgan Paige

7 pm

Thursday, October 14

Art at the Cave

108 E Evergreen Blvd

Vancouver, WA 98660

https://artatthecave.com

$5 Suggested donation

Masks must be worn at all times to participate in this event. Open Mic readers may remove their masks while reading. The microphone will be sanitized after each reader.

Statement on Healthy Spaces from Art at the Cave: We want to provide a healthy space to enjoy art. We are practicing safety precautions such as regular cleaning, social distancing and mask wearing. We kindly request that you wear a mask and practice social distancing while visiting the gallery. If needed, we will limit the number of people in the gallery. Masks and hand sanitizer are available upon entry.

Art At The CAVE was established in 2017. Located at 108 E. Evergreen in downtown Vancouver, the CAVE is free and open to the public Tues-Sat, 10am-4pm, and on First Fridays when it remains open until 8:00pm. The gallery is also available to host events. Visit the website at artatthecave.com or contact gallery@artatthecave.com for more information.

LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, PRO-SCIENCE, ANTI-FASCIST,  ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

Please support Niche Wine Bar, whose owner, Leah Jackson, provided a home for the reading series from 2015-2020: https://nichewinebar.com

Raúl Sánchez is the current City of Redmond Washington’s Poet Laureate. A 2014 Jack Straw Writer. Mentor and judge for the 2014 Poetry on Buses Project and a TEDx participant in Yakima WA. To learn more visit https://www.poetraulsanchez.com/

During the pandemic he put together the manuscript for his 2nd poetry collection “When There Were No Borders” published by Flower Song Press, available now: https://www.flowersongpress.com/books-1/p/when-there-were-no-borders-poems-by-ral-sncheztlatecatl

Advance Praise for When There Were No Borders

Sánchez writes borderless in borderless times. He breaks through the ancient  Mexica figure of death and transformation, Coatlicue, to poems as pyramids,  to the Sea of the Salish in the Pacific Northwest and on to cool-rebel Pachuco  dialect of the US-Mexico borderlands. He cooks on a rotating rainbow colored pan, he spices, he refuses to present his “papers” at the border stop.  There are nectars, harvests, the always-farmworker fields, a detention center  to tend to with resources and a poet. Open this collection — hold on, there  is a “pirinola,” an ever spinning umbrella-shaped candy with a pointed  tip burning colors, lights and stories that will take you to Latinx multidimensional magic. A precise, moving mural, this text of visitations of “life,  precious life!” Sanchez’s delights as he writes, as he tears across those borderlines,  dancing. Magnificent poetics to take home and to take you out.

– Juan Felipe Herrera

Poet Laureate of the United States Emeritus

Raúl Sánchez is also a translator who currently teaches bilingual poetry at Denny International Middle School through the Jack Straw Cultural Center. He translated Ellen Ziegler’s book for the Museum of Antique Mexican Toys in Mexico City, Mexico. Sánchez is a member of Writers in the Schools through Seattle Arts and Lectures (WITS), teaching bilingual poetry at Evergreen High School. This is his fourth year volunteering for PONGO Teen Writing in the Juvenile Detention Center. In 2019 he was one of the eleven speakers at the Ignite Education Lab storytelling event at Seattle University. He was commissioned by the Ballard Civic Orchestra to write the libretto for the “The Other Conquest” A Opera ensemble in response to Vivaldi’s Motezuma, which included the Score written by Hector Armienta.

NOTE: Art at the Cave co-founder Kathi Rick has graciously offered to help us to continue to include our new friends from around the country in the open mic. Email katecrackernuts@comcast.net by no later than midnight on October 13 to indicate your interest in participating. In the subject line, let us know if you are “Reading” or “Just Listening.” You will receive instructions for how to join the meeting.

Zoom open mic readers are invited to share one poem for three minutes or less. 

Donations can be made in person or through Christopher Luna’s PayPal account (christopherjluna@gmail.com). Include a memo stating that the money is for Ghost Town Poetry. The suggested donation is five dollars.

Exchanging Wisdom: A Guide for Parents of the Autonomous by Christopher Luna & Angelo Luna is now available for preorder from The Poetry Box

Later this year The Poetry Box will publish Exchanging Wisdom: A Guide for Parents of the Autonomous, featuring poems for, by, and about Christopher Luna’s son Angelo.

The poems in the book range from the time period when he was a toddler to pieces written in 2021. I couldn’t be prouder to co-author this book with my son, who has been such an inspiration to me. If you pre-order your copy now you will save two dollars off the cover price:

EXCHANGING WISDOM

$16.00 $14.00

BY CHRISTOPHER & ANGELO LUNA

Pre-Order discount thru Oct 30, 2021
Scheduled for Release on Dec 1, 2021

Available on backorderExchanging Wisdom quantityADD TO CARTSKU: 978-1-948461-96-2 Categories: New Releases & Pre-OrdersPreOrders

EXCHANGING WISDOM

A GUIDE FOR PARENTS OF THE AUTONOMOUS

BY CHRISTOPHER & ANGELO LUNA

Exchanging Wisdom features poems for and about Christopher’s son Angelo Luna, as well as a few pieces Angelo wrote for Christopher. The earliest poem was written when Angelo was three, and the most recent at age 21. Christopher endeavored to encourage his son to be an autonomous, freethinking individual. Angelo grew to become that and so much more. Taken as a whole, the poems in this collection track the development of Angelo’s personality and the strong bond between father and son.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Christopher Luna is a poet, editor, teacher, writing coach and collage artist. He served as the inaugural Poet Laureate of Clark County from 2013-2017. Luna has an MFA from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, and is the co-founder, with Toni Lumbrazo Luna, of Printed Matter Vancouver, an editing service and small press for Northwest writers. He founded the popular LGBTQ+ friendly, all ages and uncensored Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic in Vancouver, WA, in 2004. Christopher Luna’s books include Message from the Vessel in a Dream (Flowstone Press, 2018), Brutal Glints of Moonlight, and The Flame Is Ours: The Letters of Stan Brakhage and Michael McClure 1961-1978.

Christopher believes that the parent-child power dynamic is inherently fascist, so he endeavored to raise his son to think for himself, question authority, and make his own decisions. He respected his son’s humanity enough to trust him to be responsible, to “allow” him his autonomy. Despite what some saw as tragic indulgence, Angelo grew up to be a sweet, kind, polite, philosophical, compassionate young man who will surely accomplish things his father could not. Christopher could not imagine being more proud of the person Angelo became.

Angelo Luna is a poet, son, and LEGO connoisseur. Originally from New York, with a migration to Washington as a young child, he grew up with a fiery bloodline and cold weather. Currently employed as a teller for Wells Fargo, he loves writing, working, and finance and is interested in what every human has to offer.

EARLY PRAISE FOR EXCHANGING WISDOM:

Christopher Luna is a true heir to the Beat and New York School traditions of candor and grandeur. This collaboration and celebration of life runs on impeccable timing and deep love. As Luna and his son Angelo exchange wisdom they also re-invent the meaning of open verse: these poems crack open the heart and spill the joy of parenthood into the world.

—Lisa Jarnot, author
Robert Duncan, the Ambassador from Venus

One day you’re gonna have to…remind me how to believe in the basic goodness of all beings, Christopher Luna tells his son, Angelo, in his latest book, Exchanging Wisdom. More than a collection of father-son poems, Exchanging Wisdom is a record of gratitude. Luna knows that to be a parent is to be both teacher and pupil, vulnerable and responsible. In every poem Luna’s love beams: Like Lone Wolf and Cub we traversed…and you reminded me that magic is real….  These poems contemplate our never-ending wars, sickness, apathy, and art-making through the lens of a deeply reverent father. For some, being a parent, being the adult, is synonymous with having the answers. Luna, a Buddhist poet, community-organizer, and activist, reminds us that questioning is the only way to truth. What are you afraid to find? he wonders. Are these the right questions to ask? In these mind- and heart-opening poems Luna invites us to experience pure joy and wonder again through memory and thankfulness. Once you’ve opened those doors/ you need never do so again, asserts Luna. Once father you cannot go back to your former life. Thankfully for us, Luna never did.

—Claudia F. Savage, author of Bruising Continents

In this triumphant call-and-response love letter between father and son, the epic journey of the heart is explored in wisdom, witness, wonder, actualization, and kindness. We accompany two speakers in a multi-generational reckoning of what it means to be human, to be family, to embody and take forward a love which will outlive us all. I wept at the depth of connection I traveled in this lifesaving, life-affirming journey. As father and son are eternally swapping roles as student or teacher, together they inherit themselves. Angelo (the son) reflects in a poem to Christopher (his father) on his birthday, …focus on the love. That’s the real stuff the pure stuffThe world needs more of this…This collection gives it to us real and pure. Our world is so much better for it.

—Sage Cohen, author of Fierce on the Page

Christopher Luna always writes with his heart on a swivel, keeping watch for moments of significance, either now or some distance from now. But Exchanging Wisdom is more than just a love letter to parenthood or salvation or even to his son. In the right light, this book is a star map to guide the traveler. Drink it all in. Use both hands if you have to.

—Tommy Gaffney, author
Three Beers from Oblivion and Whiskey Days

I will also have a poem in the next issue of The Poeming Pigeon’s From Pandemic to Protest issue, which is available for pre-order at a special price through September 15:

https://thepoetrybox.com/bookstore/tpp-pandemic-protest

Do Not Abandon Her, a Poem for the Girls in Afghanistan By Leah Klass

Do Not Abandon Her

By Leah Klass 

August 16th, 2021

Listen, love, it’s bright outside those plastic blinds

don’t waste your time in turning open aching palms

step straight up off cotton cushions into rainbowed reeds

I’m here just off the path, treading lightly as the signs said no, 

no worries, just a breeze, the scent of leaflings curling open, purr of sandhill cranes beyond

Simone had told me that the frogs croak while the trees sway in the wind

I’d thought to step outside, catch my breath, it was too loud inside the house

and then I saw you, in my dream, lounging, alight on silken robes

smoke rising from your silver pipe and she was there, dear Leah Lost

aside the crowd, kneeling and more, her begging eyes a sign of times to come

You lie in bed in Lakewood in a room I’ve seen just once, 

pine bed posts tall and covers white, the carpets now tell tales of puppies, kids

your forehead freckled, red and wet and wild hair spread cross the sheets

you tell me little and I understand your fear is real

In this day Kabul has fallen and I long to walk straight to the White House

from this quiet pondside all my army of mosquitoes chasing

crickets and cicadas sing and cheer as I walk through Black Lives Matter Plaza 

gaining speed past iron gates, flash something at the guards, my tits, my ass, my empathy and entering that old colonial symbol of hypocrisy: no place for the people but The Person, take myself right up the red real-carpet stairs and turning left (I always do)

march up to you, your thin skin like the surface of a pudding oh, evoking kindness 

as the image of my grandpa would

 

Wait: this is my training, I am loyal to belief and so I tell you what to do, I tell you 

here’s my name, YOUR NAME, and my solemn promise

here’s my address and civil state: I believe in goodness, kindness, safety, light and 

freedom from hunger and misogyny, abuse and ignorance 

but no time to explain Dear Joe

I know you’ve read the news 

it’s time to act straight from our heart, 

Gaia, Collective Earth, the Mother she is rising

I lie in bed and look out at the plastic window blinds

as I wake my hands are clenched, my jaw is tired

all I know is what I am, all I am is what I must

This day I will call the White House, ask to sponsor 

I have room in my heart for as many girls

as they can send. 


Act now: https://www.whitehouse.gov/get-involved/write-or-call/

What Womens Advocacy Groups Worldwide Are Doing For Women In Afghanistan by Josie Fischels

https://www.npr.org/2021/08/16/1027929275/what-womens-advocacy-groups-worldwide-are-doing-for-women-in-afghanistan

Photos and Videos from Christopher’s First In-Person Reading in More Than a Year

What a magical night: perfect weather, welcoming venue, enthusiastic audience, and a killer lineup of poets ready to bring it to actual humans after more than a year of Zoom readings. I really enjoyed my first in-person reading in more thna a year. I am deeply grateful to Rebecca Smolen for inviting me to be a part of this event, and to Igor for being such a gracious and entertaining emcee. Below you will find photos and videos from this very special post-pandemic return to live poetry in Portland.

Painting of Christopher Luna by Simran Narmis

Igor Brezhnev
John Savage, Claudia F. Savage, and Christopher Luna