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Archive for April, 2012

POETRY IN JAZZ: Selected Writings (1987-2011) ~ Jesse Beagle

Monday, April 30th, 2012

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178 pages
$9.00 USD
ISBN: 978-0-9815047-7-3

Cover design: Jessica & Doug Rees | Cover photo: Paul Goettlich

THE HOUSE ON DANA STREET

(from “Med Café Stories”)

He, the new young man never knew
what to make of Jimmy Lynn’s house
on Dana Street in Berkeley,
writers coming and going, mostly blacks,
talking revolution never tired of
talking about what it was all about
being black
what the whites did to the blacks.
We got those college degrees, yeah!
Some writing movie scripts, some
writing poetry, some doing it all,
Al Young sitting late night on a stool
at the kitchen counter, paying respect
to his older friend,     Al was relaxed,
while Jimmy was in motion,
Al listening to Jimmy telling it like it is.
Listening closely to Jimmy’s paranoia
which as it turned out,
we said one by one, “it wasn’t paranoia,
it was hieroglyphics on the wall.”
World politics vindicated Jimmy.

At Jimmy’s house, some writing novels,
some writing plays, Big Herb
Handsome, devilish, and trailing a
King’s robe behind him.
“Won’t you come in and have a cup of tea
I’ll tell you about my play.
The Day of the Nigger
let me explain the storyline, it’s the
day all the white people are killed
except, of course, some women.”
He grinned.
Jimmy, an intellectual who supported his art life
working on the docks,
gave free room and board to one young man,
“until you get a place,” he said.
The new border, light-skinned, ethereal, smiled
dreamily;  was he listening?  to urgent discussions in
this Parisian Left Bank on Dana?
While they talked revolution, the young man’s soul
whispered dreamily,     “Lena Horne   Lena Horne”
He was inside his own song and sweetly melancholic
as if he knew then he would later die young.

When I met him, he was floating, flute in hand
into the Med Café, speaking in rhyme, keeping time.
Some thought it odd but all thought him beautiful, with
sea green eyes and gold skin.
I couldn’t understand his words but sat with him
xxupstairs

where the blacks sat at the Med if not at Robbie’s.
The new boarder dreamily wafted in and out
of the Dana Street flat, like a mirage,
like a collage on the wall,
to be viewed or ignored by writers, musicians, artists,
smoking pot, making movies, talking about Camus as if
the subject was inexhaustible.
Jimmy let him stay there, saying wistfully,
“I just wish the young man would pick up his socks
and underwear from the floor.”
“But he’s so beautiful,” I said.
The young man overhearing, smiled sadly,
“Yes, of course, I am beautiful.
My mother is LENA HORNE!”

© 2011 Dorothy Jesse Beagle


Jesse Beagle, San Francisco, 1987 (National Poetry Week at Fort Mason)

1731 Tenth Street
Suite A
Berkeley, CA  94710
U.S.A.
510.528.8713
http://beatitudepress.net


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ISHMAEL REED SAMPLER: A Staged Reading at California College of the Arts — Oakland, April 28; SF, Sunday, April 29

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

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A Sampler of the Theater of Ishmael Reed

Directed by Carla Blank

Narrated by Tennessee Reed

Performed by Boadiba, Seth Corr, Sherry Davis, Michael Lange, and Alex Maynard

Saturday, April 28, 2:30pm, Nahl Hall, on CCA’s Oakland campus | 5212 Broadway at the intersection of College Avenue & Broadway

Sunday, April 29, 2:30pm, Timken Hall, on CCA’s San Francisco campus | 1111 Eighth Street between Hooper & Irwin

Maps and directions

Free and open to the public

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TRANSLATING POETRY | American Academy in Rome, May 3-4, 2012

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

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American Academy in Rome e Casa delle Letterature di Roma Capitale sono liete di invitarla a:

Translating Poetry: Readings and Conversations

Damiano Abeni, Edoardo Albinati, Antonella Anedda, Sarah Arvio, Geoffrey Brock, Franco Buffoni, Patrizia Cavalli, Clare Cavanagh, Moira Egan, Massimo Gezzi, Julia Hartwig, Robert Hass, Karl Kirchwey, Franco Loi, Valerio Magrelli, Lucio Mariani, Guido Mazzoni, Jamie McKendrick, Anthony Molino, Jennifer Scappettone, Maria Luisa Spaziani, Susan Stewart, Adam Zagajewski

Per programma dettagliato

3 maggio 2012 – ore 18,00
American Academy in Rome, Villa Aurelia
Largo di Porta San Pancrazio, 1
www.aarome.org

4 maggio 2012 – ore 16,30
Casa delle Letterature
Piazza dell’Orologio, 3
www.casadelleletterature.it

Ingresso libero fino ad esaurimento posti. Sarà disponibile la traduzione simultanea. Questo programma è reso possibile grazie alla generosa donazione dei Sig.ri Price e della Sig.ra Nancy M. O’Boyle, e al supporto della Casa delle Letterature di Roma Capitale, dell’Istituto Polacco di Roma e del Polish Book Institute; in collaborazione con la Keats-Shelley House e il British Council.

American Academy in Rome and Casa delle Letterature di Roma Capitale request the pleasure of your company at:

Translating Poetry: Readings and Conversations

Damiano Abeni, Edoardo Albinati, Antonella Anedda, Sarah Arvio, Geoffrey Brock, Franco Buffoni, Patrizia Cavalli, Clare Cavanagh, Moira Egan, Massimo Gezzi, Julia Hartwig, Robert Hass, Karl Kirchwey, Franco Loi, Valerio Magrelli, Lucio Mariani, Guido Mazzoni, Jamie McKendrick, Anthony Molino, Jennifer Scappettone, Maria Luisa Spaziani, Susan Stewart, Adam Zagajewski

Access full program

3 May 2012 – 6pm
American Academy in Rome, Villa Aurelia
Largo di Porta San Pancrazio, 1
www.aarome.org

4 May 2012 – 4:30pm
Casa delle Letterature
Piazza dell’Orologio, 3
www.casadelleletterature.it

Seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Simultaneous translation will be available. This program is made possible through generous gifts by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Price and Mrs. Nancy M. O’Boyle and with the support of the Casa delle Letterature di Roma Capitale, Istituto Polacco di Roma, and the Polish Book Institute. Collaborating institutions include the Keats-Shelley House and the British Council.

Photo credit:
Giorgio Vasari, Uomo che legge alla finestra, affresco
Museo statale di Casa Vasari, sala del Trionfo e della Virtù


Su concessione del Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali – Soprintendenza per i Beni Architettonici, Paesaggistici, Storici, Artistici ed Etnoantropologici di Arezzo

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APRIL, THE COOLEST MONTH

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

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Visit Al Young’s Poem-a-Month page at KQED’s
‘The California Report’


butterflypictures.net

April, the Coolest Month

April? The cruelest month? Says who?
From Chula Vista to Bakersfield – she drove up
to the San Joaquin Valley to hear him quote this?
What was it about reading and college anyway?
“Fool,” she ached to say, “just look out the window.
Your A-plus blacks out sunlight!” Breathe.
She knew how April fools, but April pulls, too.

April pulls up National Poetry Month. Breathe.
April pulls up National Library Week and (bass
and drum roll) Jazz Appreciation Month.
Lobbies buzz. With every spore afloat, adrift,
ravishing her sinuses, she could feel April’s
mutual pulls flow out in her snail-soft exhale.
Her family knows beet fields, artichokes, grapes.

She breathed the early pull of April, a soul of melt
and yearly turn-around. Unsprung, they kissed
away distance and loved it up for lost time.
All the way home to green, old San Diego County,
she missed him bad. She made up poems
to sing for them over a crackling SmartPhone
in the twilit chill of April, the coolest month.

© Al Young

Courtesy photos


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Adrienne Rich (May 16, 1929 – March 27, 2012) ~ In Memoriam

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

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© Lillian Kemp

SONG

You’re wondering if I’m lonely:
OK then, yes, I’m lonely
as a plane rides lonely and level
on its radio beam, aiming
across the Rockies
for the blue-strung aisles
of an airfield on the ocean.

You want to ask, am I lonely?
Well, of course, lonely
as a woman driving across country
day after day, leaving behind
mile after mile
little towns she might have stopped
and lived and died in, lonely

If I’m lonely
it must be the loneliness
of waking first, of breathing
dawns’ first cold breath on the city
of being the one awake
in a house wrapped in sleep

If I’m lonely
it’s with the rowboat ice-fast on the shore
in the last red light of the year
that knows what it is, that knows it’s neither
ice nor mud nor winter light
but wood, with a gift for burning

© Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich at a Glance (5:58)

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photo