Saturday, March 30, 2024

The Bucks?/Hoo Doo Girl/War Birds/Sunny Spring Festival/Joseph Zaccardi/

Counting the bucks yet ?

This also is a kick!  

Ed and Justin Coletti performing David Madgalene's "HooDoo Girl" at Occidental Center in 2017. I found it on YouTube. Just a bit over 3 minutes. Enjoy!


First Festival of Springtime
Our third year at Cafe Frida Gallery
On the outdoor stage
March 24, 2024

A typically atypical wonderful time
was had by all!

Great Poets included
(clockwise from the top left)
Donna Emerson, Rita Losch, Larry Robinson, Bill Vartnaw, 
Steve Shain, Gerald Fleming, Lin Marie DeVincent, 
Sandra Anfang, Ed Coletti (center)

Photo collage is my Lin Marie DeVincent. Many Thanks, LMDV!

Our Summer Festival Reading will be held on Sunday June 23d at Café Frida Gallery, 300 South A Street, Santa Rosa, on the outdoor stage. Come early for lunch and to enjoy the Jazz!


War Birds by Palestinian Poet

Marwan Makhoul


Joe Zaccardi On His Process

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Rare Footage of Jack Micheline Reading/A.D. Winans/Photos from Festival of The Long Poem/ Coletti Works/ Etc.

Jack Micheline and Al Winans (right to left in this cool painting by Jason Hardung)

click for Jack Micheline Reading

A. D. Winans Remembers Jack Micheline (part 1)

Jack Micheline, a poet of the Beat generation, died of a heart attack on Friday, February 27, 1988 aboard a Bart commuter train. The transit police at the Orinda Bart station discovered his body, which ominously was the end of the line.Micheline was a “Street” poet who lived out his life on the fringe of poverty, first in the Bronx neighborhoods of New York, where he was born, and later in San Francisco. He saw the Beat generation as a media created fancy, having little if anything to do with the creative spirit. He hung out in Greenwich Village, in the early 50s, where, he met Langston Hughes, the legendary Harlem poet. When Hughes was asked why he remained in Harlem, he said he preferred the company of wild men to wild animals. Micheline would adopt this motto as his own.

Langston Hughes was but one of many talented poets, writers and musicians whom Micheline met and associated with in the 50s while living in New York. In 1957 he received the Revolt in Literature Award. One of the presenters was the celebrated Jazz musician, Charles Mingus. This resulted in a lasting friendship between the two men, and they later performed together in the seventies at San Francisco’s California Music Hall. It was around this period of time that Jack Kerouac wrote a foreword for Micheline’s first book of poems, River of Red Wine, and Dorothy Parker later favorably reviewed the book in Esquire Magazine, which further enhanced his reputation.


The 50’s were an exciting time for Micheline, a period in which he met Jack Kerouac, Norman Mailer, Franz Kline, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Herbert Gold, and other noted poets and musicians of the Beat era.


He walked the streets of his hometown writing about the down and out, the losers, and the dispossessed, and gave Street poetry new meaning. He was included in Elias Wilentz’s Beat Scene and later in Ann Charters Penguin Book of the Beats, which helped further his reputation as a poet.


Born of Russian-Romanian Jewish ancestry, under the name of Harvey Martin Silver, he took to the road at a young age, working at a variety of odd jobs. It was during this time that he changed his name, adopting the first name of his hero Jack London, and, in part the surname of his mother (Mitchell). He worked for a short time as a union organizer before devoting his life to poetry and painting. He was 68 years old at the time of his death, and for the last several years of his life had suffered from diabetes.


It has been said that in his younger days he had a “Bad Boy” persona to him, and often took delight in his outrageous behavior. He would frequently get drunk and make coarse passes at cultured ladies. “To go into a café and go Boom, Boom, Boom and see some woman spill coffee on her skirt is a revolution,” he declared to Fielding Dawson, a New York poet friend of his.


There is little doubt that publishers like City Lights and Black Sparrow Press found his behavior offensive, which probably accounts for why they never published one of the more than twenty books he published during his lifetime. All of them published by small presses.


His reaction was to say, “I will never get any awards for how to win friends and influence people. I’m not a politician. I don’t kiss ass. I don’t play the game by the rules.”


A.D. Winans & Jack Micheline in 1976.I was privileged to be his friend for more than 30 years. If there is such a word as Pure he can lay claim to it, for sadly poetry has become a business world where public relations and backstabbing have become finely tuned arts, and he wanted no part of that kind of world. He refused to bow down to anyone, choosing to write poetry for the people; Hookers, drug addicts, blue-collar workers, the dispossessed, and he did it from deep inside the heart.


He frequently boasted to me that he had never taught a creative writing class, held a residency, received a grant, or sought the favors of the poetry “business” boys whom he regarded as the enemies of poetry.


In a 1997 interview I conducted with him, he talked about the futility a poet faces in finding a large publisher. He said, in part: “I don’t want to be published because I wear the same clothes that others wear, or because I have the same ideas. I want respect for my own individuality, but it doesn’t work that way.”


He didn’t attend college. His University was the streets, where he majored in street smarts. He wasn’t concerned with semantics, or the carefully arranged use of metaphors, as we can see from a poem titled Real Poem:


A real poem is not in a book

It’s a knockout

A long shot

A shot in the mouth

A crack of the bat

A lost midget turning into a giant

A lost soul finding its own way…


I met him in the 60s, but it was not until the early 70s that we became close friends. It was during this time that I was editing and publishing Second Coming, and he became a frequent contributor to the magazine. In 1975 Second Coming published a book of his poems Last House in America, and in 1980 I published a small collection of his short stories, Skinny Dynamite.


He never received the acclaim that Ginsberg or Burroughs received, not even the recognition afforded Lawrence Ferlinghetti or Gregory Corso, but the body of work he left behind is considerable, and I have no doubt that some day he will be given his rightful place in Beat history.


John Tytell, a professor at Queens College, New York called him an Orphic figure, “a poet of urgency and exhortation in the tradition of Jack London and Vachel Lindsey.”


A self-proclaimed lyrical poet, he frequently drew on old blues and jazz rhythms, infusing the cadence of word music, while paying tribute to the gut reality of the material he wrote about. I asked him how much music influenced his poetry. His response:


“I was born to a poor family in the Bronx. I think if I had been born into a cultured family, I would have been a composer. I write the music first, not the words for it, before I write the poem. I hear the music, the rhythms, and therefore I’m basically a composer, a musician. I can’t remember when music wasn’t an important part of my life. Without music there is no life.”


His poems ring true, because beyond the lines and stanzas flow the energy of life. His voice was an original one and no one tried to imitate it because it can’t be imitated. He was truly at home with himself, and loved by both young and old alike. Although he exasperated many people with his outspokenness, his true friends saw through this facade, and focused on his genuine love for the common man and woman. In my interview with him, he said:


“I never wanted to be a poet. I still don’t want to be a poet. I just want to live my life. The thing is people don’t understand poetry. All they have is their football, baseball, and television. They’ve never had a chance to see a real poet that relates to them. What they need are poems that relate to their own way of life. In America, everything is profit motivation. It’s the spirit that I relate to. The church doesn’t do the job. Television doesn’t do the job. Everything in America is based on greed, money and mediocrity.”


Ignored by the poetry establishment and the larger alternative presses, he went about his writing, fighting off the disillusionment and bitterness that have overcome so many poets his age. He survived with the skills of a street fighter, his words resounding like a hammer on a nail.


His poems were personal poems. Poems that came from the heart and personal heartbreak; poems that were questioning, probing, and often accusing, but which always rang out with the truth. They came from street life experience, not from reading Charles Olson or Robert Creeley.


(To be continued)

AJ Winans Poem

I Kiss the Feet of Angels

by A. D. Winans

A. D. Winans

dark stormy night
fog creeping in
over the hills
raindrops falling
on the window
I see the faces of old friends
staring at me
ghosts from the past
freight trains steam ships
subway trains carrying their
cargo of death
Rimbaud the mad hatter
Lorca fed a meal of bullets
Kaufman black messiah
walking Bourbon street
eating a golden sardine
Micheline drinking with Kerouac
at the old Cedar Tavern
Jesus wiping the perspiration
from his forehead
the fog horn plays a symphony
inside my head
I hear the drums
I feel the Beat
I kiss the feet
of angels

Lin Marie DeVincent Photos from Festival of The Long Poem Sept. 24, 2023

                                                   clockwise from top Rob DeLillo, Marty Lees, Rob again, 
                                                     Elizabeth Herron, Ed Coletti, Avotjca, Pat Nolan, Bill Vartnaw


above - Dave Seter, Marty Lees Le Reynard, small bit of audience, Jonah Raskin with Greg Randall

above left, assorted photos including 2 with Gwynn O'Gara

From The North American Review (Fall 2023)

There ain’t much to being a ballplayer — if you’re a ballplayer.

                                             — Honus Wagner


It’s Easy


It’s easy to be a sparrow

If you’re a sparrow.

It’s not easy to be human

When you’re a man.


It’s easy to be a tree sloth

If you’re a tree sloth.

It’s not easy simply being

When you’re a human.


It’s easiest to be a rock

If you’re solid stone

not struggling to define yourself

and empty of thought.


It was easy to be Everest

Still unsurmounted,

Easy to be lunatical

not spacecraft landed.


Look how easy breathing

plainly inspires,

while thinking about it

smothers incidence.


It’s easy listening to Neil

(now old) Young

carrying me on his younger

harvest way, old me now.


It’s easy for me to worry

always about future things.

Easy to forget about being

here right now, sated smiling.


It’s easy living

even easier dying

or at least letting go

when I let myself do it.


,,,and Ed Coletti’s “It’s Easy” reminds us of the great Honus Wagner’s simple but hopeful tautological truth of existence: “There ain’t much to being a ballplayer—if you’re a ballplayer.

Ed Coletti Lost Paintings

All react

Thursday, September 07, 2023


Breaking News Washington, 9/7/23 (Huffington Post)

Sen. Tommy Tuberville Says He's Worried About Sailors Reciting Poetry

 The Alabama senator tried to defend his widely criticized blocking of military promotions with anti-"woke" blather.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) said Wednesday that poetry is proof the Navy needs to root out “wokeness.” 

“We’ve got people doing poems on aircraft carriers over the loudspeaker,” he said to Laura Ingraham on Fox News Wednesday.

The right-wing senator has been widely criticized for blocking military promotions to protest the Pentagon’s policy of supplying service members with paid leave and travel costs to get an abortion in another state.

Tuberville attempted to defend his monthslong blockade by fighting the culture war on “wokeness.”

“Right now we are so woke in the military, we are losing recruits right and left,” he said. “Secretary [Carlos] Del Toro of the Navy he needs to get to building ships; he needs to get to recruiting; and he needs to get wokeness out of our Navy. We’ve got people doing poems on aircraft carriers over the loudspeaker. It is absolutely insane the direction that we’re headed in our military.”

Tuberville did not specify the instance of Navy personnel reciting poetry on a ship. But he was likely referring to a spoken-word event on the USS Gerald Ford hosted by the Gay, Lesbian, and Supporting Sailors (G.L.A.S.S.) association in November. Tuberville previously griped about a nonbinary junior officer praising that gathering.


Coming on Sunday September 24, 2023 at 1PM

Dear Friends, Readers and Enthusiasts,

Don't miss 

Ed Coletti's Festival of the Longer Poem which will be our final event for this year at Sunday September 24th from 1:00 -3:00 PM on the outdoor stage at Cafe Frida Gallery located in the Santa Rosa Art District at  300 S. A St, Santa Rosa, CA 95401.   

Here is the reading order of truly great poets this time reading one poem for up to 10 minutes.

  • Ed Coletti reading and hosting 
  • Jonah Raskin SSU Professor Emeritus and writer extraordinaire
  • Elizabeth Herron current Sonoma County Poet Laureate
  • Robert DeLillo who shares in the depth of his famous cousin
  • Greg Randall bringing us a new book
  •  Intermission
  • Avotcja  back here from Oakland
  • Dave Seter environmental engineer, poet and translator
  • Gwynn O'Gara former county poet laureate
  • Pat Nolan who never fails to surprise and impress
  • Marty LeReynard lively and once again with us from Great Britain

You might also be interested in arriving at Noon or before to have lunch and listen to jazz.

I look forward to sharing this final event with you on the 24th!


Ed Coletti


Correspondence With Sandra Anfang 

Following my having discovered her poem on Larry Robinson's site, I contacted Sande in Petaluma.

First here's Sande's poem


The Hatred of Poetry

I read it in the Times
so you know it’s true:

a poet writes a book of poems
about why the masses hate poetry.

I ponder hatred;
surely it’s too strong a word

for the random tickle,
the mind’s unravel

something we ought to welcome
when analysis of the latest 

police shooting glazes our ears.
Fear not—gentle reader

think of it as the latest staycation
an interlude of dreaming

at the kitchen table
mind in the stars

while cats trace figure eights
between a plate of crusts

and the cup of cold coffee
separating you

from all you think
you need to do today.

- Sandra Anfang

PoetryLovers mailing list


Hi Sande

I want to tell you how perfect your poem “the hatred of poetry” is! And it’s a perfect illustration of poetry in action. I’ve done a lot of thinking about why people say they hate Poetry. They don’t understand Poetry. I think it goes back to education. In England, there is far less distaste for Poetry, because Poetry is part of the language. In our educational system, school teachers, who have been brought up without Poetry either don’t teach it or at least they don’t understand it and pass on false impressions based upon such as John Greenleaf Whittier’s “Trees.”

Perhaps the emphasis in the schools should be not so much on creative “writing“ so much as creative “reading”

Instruct the student in class to read a poem to themselves, and then state their impressions. Have them read it a second time and ask them to give their further impressions. After a third reading, they might be able to explicate the poem now lodged in their souls. This way, the teacher learns along with her students. This also is a good illustration of the Buddhist concept of “beginner’s mind.”Older students (aren’t we all?) might benefit from this poem of mine.

Thank you so much  for yours, Sande,



                    Read Three Times


Charge yourself

to read a poem

three times at each

single session.


Discover depths

of richer substance

gifted you and other

readers over time.


Regard how the poet’s

one rare quatrain

calls to attention

all souls marking time.

                    - Ed Coletti


Hi Ed,

Thanks for the thoughtful note. I agree with many of your views on why people “hate” poetry, though I think it’s more that they fear it. The way it was presented in high school in my era (late sixties) and before was to explicate its “true meaning” and cram that meaning down students’ throats. We were never asked for our own responses to a poem, except in one rare class for me. I actually started writing that year--Honors English 11. I enjoyed reading your poem, “Read Three Times and Call a Poet.” I enjoy your wry humor and dead-on aim.

I often write are poetic poems in an attempt to draw a bead on the mystery of poetry and how we blow life into words like glassblowers.

By the way, do you know Billy Collins’ poem, “Introduction to Poetry?” It’s one of my favorites. 

Enjoy and be well,

Introduction to Poetry

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

   - Billy Collins

Sande, Yes I know and love the Collins poem. My first college text was John Ciardi’s HOW Does a Poem Mean .




...and now something completely different:

The Bucks?/Hoo Doo Girl/War Birds/Sunny Spring Festival/Joseph Zaccardi/

Counting the bucks yet ? This also is a kick!   Ed and Justin Coletti performing David Madgalene's "HooDoo Girl" at Occidenta...