Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This Saturday!

Bloggers,

You are invited to join in the festivities this Saturday afternoon, October 3rd, between 3 and 5pm in the backroom of the Santa Catalina Branch of the Pasadena Public Library on 999 (there's that number again) E. Washington Blvd.

FIRST...

we will spend some time planning events for the 2010 San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival

...THEN...

participants in the 999 Poetry Contest will each be receiving broadside copies of their poems and a chapbook featuring all the poems entered in the contest:

ANITA HOLZBERG
BARBARA COGSWELL
CALOKIE
G. MURRAY THOMAS
MARVIN DORSEY
ETHEL MAYS
PATRICK THOMAS JEFFRIES
CHRYSTINE JULIAN
BRUCE NIEDT
BARRY SCHWAM
MARCYN CLEMENTS
HELEN GRAZIANO
CORRIE GREATHOUSE
DAVE NORDLING
MICHAEL GONZALEZ
XOCHITL-JULISA BERMEJO (the winner)
CHARLES HARMON
NATHAN ZHAO

Copies of the broadsides and chapbook will be available for 99.9 cents each!

Hope you can join us!
Don the ring master

http://saturdayafternoonpoetry.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Nathan Zhao

9-9-9

My Grandma's birthday is in September, the ninth month.
Daddy hates to work outside when it's ninety-nine degrees.
Old people wouldn't like climbing 9 flights of stairs.
I will be nine years old until April 7th.
Now there aren't nine planets in the Solar System.
Little baby Erick used to be nine months old.
I saw the Dodgers play for nine innings.
I can play part of Beethoven's Ninth on piano.
The number nine in China symbolizes the Chinese dragon.

Charles Harmon

999

First of all, don't read this poem upside down;
Nine is fine, but not mark of the beast.
Pluto was planet number nine, now condemned to Hades.
Nine is a lucky dragon number in Chinese culture.
Nine months after I met my wife we married.
Love Potion Number 9 was in the chemistry lab.
Nine months later we had a nine pound baby.
Nathan, my stepson, is nine years old and nice.
I hope to live to be 99 years old.

Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo

IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT GOD

My brother had me listen to Revolution 9 once.
Man’s voice spouted, number 9 number 9 number 9.
“It’s a world with no God,” he told me.
Number nines floated in air; number nines numbed my
mind. “Without God we’re just a number.” I listened
to conversations, clashing, chaos, and pictured a five-star restaurant
filled with nine-shaped patrons. White linens, candles, roasted garlic
wafting in, and people with featureless circles set atop
sloping shoulders: blank space in the place of tongues.

Michael Gonzalez

4TH WAS THE 9TH…

She was the 9th girl I ever fell for
Long dark curls I wanted to get lost in
Lips so perfect a smile was almost a shame
Almond eyes tore through me to take my words
Olive skin my fingers yearned to know how smooth
Legs long enough to make my thoughts a sin
Friendship so good I didn’t want it to stop
“4th in the Year” was my poem about her
I never told her how she made me feel

Dave Nordling

MY DEAR, FLUORINE

Slippery in Teflon’s bonds, I can scarcely contain you.
The supremely reactive and negative, all things must passivate
for your yellow poison renders all life’s breath toxic.

You refine the fierce power of the Uranian gods.
You devour and consume the organic muck leaving bones.
Less than noble by nine, blinded martyrs paid dearly

to reduce you to the elemental in centuries labor,
our teeth hold strong and worry of our future
with holes in our sky opened by the refrigerator.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Corrie Greathouse

UNTITLED

The wind blows, she watches you move. You think
you hear her say something, You ask her, What?
Nothing, she says. You ask why she says that.
She asks what you would like her to say.
Laughs, like song heard nine seasons ago, you say.
Was it a love song? she wants to know.
No, you tell her, it wasn’t a love song.
What other songs are there? Reply, you don’t know.
She laughs again. You hum along, ask her name.

Helen Graziano

DIVINE 9

I am on my ninth cup of coffee--black.
Vowing no phone calls till after 9. Naughty Nitro,
My tuxedo cat lies purring. His 9 lives incarnate.
My 9 iron chips me out of sand traps--
I’m playing in the rough with rubber tease. Now
Hebrew 9 tay’-shah means to wander. To-fro
Wander from being cirrus to cumulus--cloudy 9
A pilgrim through all 9 circles of hell--murder
Lust, treachery, 9 minutes of shame--9 howl divine!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Marcyn Clements

PRUNING THE FIG VINE ON A LABOR DAY WEEKEND

I’m out in the back, pruning this blasted vine
again, strains of an old song in my head:
“And I’m just nine hundred mile-es from my home…”
Goldfinch in the apricot tree are my chorus backup,
my youza girls. “Tee you Tee you,” they sing.
(They’re Lesser goldfinch, but American would be more poetic—
the beetle in my head’s an American folk tune.)
Something plops from the vine, slithers away! An alligator
lizard! Nine feet long! I quit! Too much sun!

Barry Schwam

NINE LIVES

Cats have nine lives, but what do they know?
As though they are seeing into the ninth dimension,
they strut with a nine lives sort of attitude
peering into that unseen furry realm, which explains why
they appear to be engaged with things that are
never really there; at least by our limited standards.
We humans think we have all the knowledge needed
to run the world, shutting out unfathomable wisdom, which
may be lying dormant, in our ordinary house cats.

Bruce Niedt

Click on this entry to magnify:

Chrystine Julian

ONCE THERE WAS NO ZERO

Once there was no zero, just one to nine
Once there was a little life without any love
Then something more was added in for exponential proportion
Now numbers range from zero to ten and then
Love means nothing by itself but it adds dimension
To the whole range and possible spectrum of life
One-hundred seems more, even a new level above ninety-nine
One adores a ninety-nine’s busty profile with lusty desire
Though surpassed by ten, one and love are satisfaction

Patrick Thomas Jeffries

HER (I) & 9 LIVES

Death losing breath comes with neither goodbye nor wave
Dreaming, One’s eternal narcotic nod Love’s roots are grave
Brave broad storm on; defiant Sol stir it up
Feeling your depth rising resurrected from your coffee cup
Form invisible too real to touch now G-d permeate
Ghostly kiss from your lust bruised lips Passion’s taste
DNA twisting; like crossing stars that portended our Fate
Old wars insults suspended upended washing away blood stains
Wise wailings remorseful tears now joyful; come cleansing rains
Fire-sparked in the dark igniting Nietzsche’s (I); nine lives—

Ethel Mays

WHEN NINE WENT UP

Nine flew the wing like Armageddon on a lark
and the reverence by youngsters had no likely match.
Not the biggest nor the smallest, just an honest
hardworking soul that loved to skate with the wind
playing the game hard enough to break glass sometimes,
proof of dues paid during years in the minors;
noted by the press that swooped like carrion birds
when tears fell at retirement when nine went up
to the rafters where it belonged – with the winners.

Marvin Dorsey

LIFE IS ALL ABOUT NINES

Numerical nine is the last single digit in line
Nine years old ninth grade in school our childhood
Each month in our time has the number nine
Nine hours nine days nine minutes present and past
Life is all about nine our days our time
Is it really superstitious that cats have nine lives
Bargains nine times galore the ninety nine cent store
Nine ladies dancing ninth day in a holiday song
Life is all about nine present and our minds

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

G. Murray Thomas

THE WHITE ALBUM

Twelve years old, the world still ahead of me,
searching for clues to the death of a Beatle.
Lyrics always hinting at something beyond what they say.
“Revolution #9” offers the possibility of art in anarchy;
“You become naked,” a seductive whisper in the chaos.
The famous collage poster spread out on the floor,
Paul (the dead Beatle) almost naked in its photos.
I reach no conclusions about the possibly dead Beatle,
but learn a lot about where art comes from.