Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hot Poetry in the Park

  • Maureen Hurley & Chris Olander reading on Monday, June 18th at 7pm in Fremont Park, 15th and P streets, Sacramento, CA

  • Please join us for a reading by Chris Olander and Maureen Hurley. Free pizza. Open mic after. This is instead of the Monday nite reading at Sacramento Poetry Center.

    Chris Olander, poet, teacher and bio-educator with California Poets in the Schools (CPITS) since 1984, blends performance techniques with spoken word to create an Action Art Poetry: musical image phrasing to dramatize relative experiences--a poetry arising from oral and bardic traditions. "I am a sound poeet exploring various meanings of words, phrasings and ideas arranged in sound and rhythm patterns."

    Poet & artist, Maureen Hurley has won many grants, awards and fellowships including 8 California Arts Council grants and two KQED SPARK artist grants; she holds an MA in Creative Writing, but owes a thesis on her MFA at SFSU. As an artist in residence, she teaches Bay Area kids poetry & art through California Poets in the Schools and Young Audiences. She grew up in the wilds of West Marin and currently lives in Oakland near Lake Merritt.

    Angelic Harp by Chris Olander

    When the Angels' harp
    stings sing true
    age improves
    the instrument's tone!

    So many years laboring
    marriage familiarity's
    mundane necessities:
    quick-step dancing
    to keep it together-----

    When we embrace
    and I slip my hands down
    inside her tight-fit Levis---
    squeeze firm buttocks-
    Snap-strum her panty strings

    heaven's harmonic quickens
    her Victoria's Secret Angel fingertips pluck
    the muscles: Ahhhhhh--Ohhhhhh--
    Ouuuuuu--Yeeaaaa--pure tone.

    13TH WAVE by Maureen Hurley

    When I was a child at Venice Beach,
    floating in the calm sea beyond the surf,
    out of nowhere, rogue waves rose up
    like translucent jade knives, formed crests
    against the throat of the deep summer sky.

    Out of my depth, I swam to greet them.
    That was the drill if an Outsider appeared—
    Swim to meet the wave before it broke you.
    Dive through the crest to avoid its force.
    Swim and dive, swim and dive. Deflect the blow.

    Rise and fall, rise and fall. Far from land,
    I watched the blond shore grow ever distant.
    The waves played me—like the father I never had—
    tossing me up to the roof of the sky. In terror,
    I waited for the right wave to bring me in.

    But I grew numb, the sea sapped my strength,
    I was too far from shore for lifeguards to see.
    When would my crazy mother—sleeping it off—
    Stone-deaf to my brother's wails, realize I was gone?
    I was a child alone in a vast sea. Breathe. Breathe.

    Out of nowhere I heard my grandmother's voice:
    "Always count the waves," she said. "Find the set."
    9, 11, 12—I counted, but couldn't find the pattern.
    Then, on the horizon of a wave, the fin of a dolphin.
    A break in the set. He looked me in the eye. "Now!"

    We caught the 13th wave toward the safety of shore.
    I lay facedown in the sand, too tired to be amazed,
    or say "Bye." Who'd believe a child's tale, anyway?
    I said nothing about the waves and the sea that day.
    It was my secret—a matter of survival, at best.

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