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Archive for November, 2012

DECEMBER 2012: One Five-Weekend December to Remember

Friday, November 16th, 2012


Neither the Maya Calendar–nor the World–Ends on December 21, 2012

This year’s doomsday angst owes much to public ignorance about pre-Columbian civilizations

By Erik Vance

© Scientific American | June 6, 2012

Images: Flickr/Joseph A. Ferris III (Aztec stone of the sun, left)
|  Amaury Laporte (Maya statue, right)


This year, 2012, December has 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays and 5 Mondays.

This happens once every 824 years. asks: True or False?



Thursday, November 15th, 2012


  Al Young


Your native zone is silence.”
— Kenneth Patchen

To have to silence the phone

tells you what you deeply need:

surcease, time-out to feed

on soul, some quiet nights alone.

You’re good as long as breathing

lasts, as long as you can still

make out the taste and smell

of truth around you, seething

like the midday sun, a common

force of nature. “Please don’t call.

None of you.” You review all

the rules of order you can summon.

“Turn off your ringers,” you conclude.

An un-safe-cracker, you tumbler-dial

until you fail. Locked out, you smile.

Silence backs your every mood.

© 2012 Al Young


Tuesday, November 13th, 2012


“All money raised will go for publishing and distribution costs.”
— Alice Rogoff, co-editor, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal

Thank you for your generous support.

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“Poetry brings sanity to an insane world.

“[We’re] maybe the sort of utopia of an old Chinese poet writing poems and dropping them into the stream.  The Haight Ashbury Literary Journal chronicles the lives of  denizens of the present-day Haight Ashbury – professors, homeless people living in the park, veterans releasing their rage, prisoners, first-time writers, lovers, and a good dose of the lunatic fringe.”
–HALJ Editors

The Haight Ashbury Literary Journal is one of San Francisco’s oldest literary magazines. We have been publishing since 1980, but our roots go back to 1968 and the Summer of Love. We pride ourselves on publishing poets before they hit the big time.  Before they became well-known, we published Al Young,  Molly Fisk, Dorianne Laux, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Devorah Major and Jack Hirschman.

We keep the price pretty low (only 4 bucks), so that anyone can afford the Journal. Not long ago, we were subsidized by grant money. But the Great Recession dried that up.  So now we are turning to you to help.


“The HALJ from the beginning has always been a happening supported by a crazy, bohemian neighborhood with a bizarre history of its own. In the mid sixties…when flower children were everywhere in the Haight, I was walking down Haight Street one evening.

“Want to buy a poem?” a voice called from a dark doorstep and I stopped. Three young hippies sat on the steps holding up poems they had written on pieces of paper. So I bought some.

“I thought of Li Po writing poems and throwing them into a stream. The endless flow of poems that come in the mail year after year is another ongoing stream. Often I’ve wondered how it would ever stop, but I could never figure that out, and have just gone along with the constant flow.”

— Joanne Hotchkiss,
from her HALJ Historical Essay


THIRD ANNUAL MORTON MARCUS MEMORIAL POETRY READING at 7:30pm, Saturday, November 10, 2012 | Cabrillo College, Aptos, CA

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Lunch Poems | Arthur Sze, UC Berkeley 2008


Saturday, November 10, 2012
 Samper Recital Hall
Cabrillo College
6500 Soquel Drive
Aptos, CA 95003


   Poetry Foundation

Arthur Sze

Poet laureate of Santa Fe; recipient of the American Book Award & the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry

Click on postcard for full details about poet Mort Marcus (1936-2009), the Award, and its history

THE ANNUAL MORTON MARCUS MEMORIAL POETRY READING, held each year in November, honors poet, teacher and film critic Morton Marcus (1936-2009), one of Santa Cruz’s beloved cultural icons. Always free of charge, the mission of the series is to bring an esteemed poet to Santa Cruz County each year to read and meet with the public – a goal which Mort was dedicated to throughout his life.

THE INAUGURAL READING was held on November 6, 2010 at Cabrillo College, featuring Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award winner and U.S. Poet Laureate (1995-1997) Robert Hass. Also featured was the launch of Marcus’s final book, The Dark Figure In The Doorway, with readings from the new book by poets Joseph Stroud, Gary Young and Stephen Kessler. Below is a link to the video from the Inaugural reading as well as press articles.

Watch the 1st Annual Morton Marcus Memorial Poetry Reading sponsored by Community TV. CLICK HERE.

Morton Marcus Lives On by Lisa Jensen, Good Times Weekly, November 3, 2010.
Elegy For A Force Of Nature by Tessa Stuart, Santa Cruz Weekly, November 3, 2010.
First Memorial Reading Dedicated To Marcus by Wallace Baine, Santa Cruz Sentinel, November 4, 2010.
Pulitzer Prize Winner To Read At Cabrillo, Aptos Times, October 15, 2010.

Inaugural Sponsors: Poetry Santa Cruz, Cabrillo College English Department, Ow Family Properties, University of California at Santa Cruz, and Community TV of Santa Cruz County.

THE 2nd ANNUAL READING was held on November 20, 2011 at UC Santa Cruz, featuring Pulitzer Prize winner, MacArthur Fellow and U.S. Poet Laureate (2008-2010) Kay Ryan. Hosted by Gary Young, poets Shirley Ancheta and Jeff Tagami reminisced about Marcus and read some of his poetry.

2011 Sponsors: Poetry Santa Cruz, Cabrillo College English Department, Ow Family Properties, University of California at Santa Cruz, and Bookshop Santa Cruz.

David Sullivan

THE 3rd ANNUAL READING is scheduled for November 10, 2012, at 7:00 PM in the Cabrillo College Samper Recital Hall, featuring renowned poet Arthur Sze and David Sullivan, winner of this year’s Morton Marcus Poetry Contest.

2012 Judge: Al Young


OH, NO, NOVEMBER, NOT AGAIN! ~ A Poem by Al Young

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

  Listen to Al Young’s fresh poems monthly at KQED’s ‘The California Report Magazine’


© Elliott G. Garbauskas |

Mendocino Coast late sunset | Wikipedia
Photo via Betty Crocker Recipes at


Nobody knows November better than
all those on whom November zeroes in
real close, real hard. From Mendocino cold
to stark Kern County homelessness, behold
the ways we come at holidays: We scheme,
we borrow, break down, beg & pray & dream.

Why sport November? Try another shot.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, voting year or not
— eliminate the holidays. Postpone.
What makes us want to hibernate & groan
about how dark & cold our mornings get?
Just picture Turlock turkeys gobbling wet,
well-doctored feed, an evil meal, their last.
Feast on the breast & meat Novembers cost.
Dig into cooked root veggies, fallen leaves,
& smell the yawning earth; the way she loves
a coat or shawl or sweater fuzzed with lichen.

Time out. Oh, no, November, not again!
Our Veteran’s Day (once called Armistice Day),

the Bay of Pigs, the hit on JFK,

Presidio of Monterey, Seal Beach,

Fort Pendleton, McClellan, Travis. “Reach

for the sky, partner. And don’t nobody move!”

The stage-coach robs us now. Do you need proof?

Nobody knows November better than

all those on whom November zeroes in.

©2012 Al Young

Al Young at SoundCloud