Al Young title

Archive for February, 2012

In memory of Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963-February 11, 2012)

Monday, February 13th, 2012


© Asterie Tecson | WSWS

The death of Whitney Houston

Hiram Lee
February 13, 2012

World Socialist Web Site

One receives the news of Whitney Houston’s death at the age of 48 with genuine sadness. Houston was a tremendous singer, whose best performances contained a vibrancy and larger-than-life quality, which endeared her to millions of listeners. Her death at a young age is a tragedy.

Houston’s body was discovered in the bathroom of her Beverly Hilton Hotel room in Los Angeles on Saturday, February 11. The cause of death has yet to be determined, but drugs or alcohol are suspected to have played a role. Houston had been struggling with addiction for years and there were reports that the singer was behaving erratically in the days leading up to Sunday’s Grammy Awards ceremony. She was clearly a troubled individual in need of serious help.


>>> Read all of Hiram Lee’s reflective obituary of Whitney Houston as it appeared at the World Socialist Web Site. >>>



Saving All My Love for You


Al Young’s Poem a Month for KQED’s ‘The California Report’

Monday, February 6th, 2012


Full episode for Friday, February 3 thru Sunday, February 5, 2012

Al Young: One Poem a Month for ‘The California Report’

Download audio (MP3)

Photo: Joseph Robinson / Courtesy Al Young
“Al Young served as California’s poet laureate from 2005 to 2008. The winner of awards and honors too numerous to mention, Al Young has contributed to The California Report many times over the years. Starting today, the show is making him a regular feature. Al Young spoke with host Rachael Myrow about what inspired him to write us a poem about California every month.”
— The California Report (February 3, 2012)


“Just chill and wait out winter,” Death Valley sighs.
Rain-drained, L.A. winces, then pulls back
for yet another long-shot. Will Squaw Valley settle
for recycled sewer water to keep snow slopes alive?

From bread-basket Fresno, where fresh food
hides, to poem-like Ukiah (haiku spelled backwards),
February — a deep-sea brew of troubling particles,
waves and winds — stays open-ended, up for grabs.

Thirty days hath September, /April, June and
November. /All the rest have thirty-one, except
February, February, which has, which has — what?

— Al Young
© 2012

<<Web Bonus Poem>>


Now with the two-faced mask of Janus off,
we take on February from the top,
from Crescent City, from Yreka: soft
poles of California’s scuffling north. Yup,
we got that right. The stretching of daylight
suits San Diego fine, but where we go
from there — say, Watsonville — extends the night.
Merced, you said, sees spring and winter mix
and match deliberately. VoilĂ  — Yosemite!

— Al Young
© 2012


KQED Radio


This Was the Blues of Langston Hughes @