Thursday, March 29, 2018

Waiting with Marilyn Hacker

photo © Mark Butkus 2011
"Dismissals and evictions come by mail."

I get up every day before the mail
and go through the same matinal ritual;
piss, wash, make coffee, warm my hands,
prune and water my three rooms of plants,
feed the cats, answer yesterday's letters.
Something frightening is going to happen.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Speak Out with Priscilla Baca y Candelaria

photo © Mark Butkus 2018
You can never be too young to speak out.

Give them voice
Child's song, poetry
Value their pearls.
Read, regurgitate
Read, question
Read, write
Voice rights

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Open Call for Artists and Writers in Melaque

photo © Mark Butkus 2017
Art shows are in bloom this spring in the Costalegre.

I say Melaque, you say San Patricio. A new Centro de Arte y Cultura is opening at Las Cabanas #15 — across the street from La Paloma in San Patricio, Jalisco, Mexico. Expat artists and writers are encouraged to join local artisans in promoting art and culture in the Costalegre at the inaugural art show and sale on March 24.

In attending and showcasing their creative output for market, expats get to strengthen their ties to the community while exchanging ideas with native born creators of all things artistic.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Blanca Segura y la poesia de la Ceguera

photo © Mark Butkus 2009
Colgar de un hilo...hanging by a thread.

Colgar de un hilo,
como suspendida en el aire,
flotando impaciente
esperando que algo pase:

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

River Mary Malcolm and the Vagina Nigretto

photo © Mark Butkus 2009
Welcoming the first day of spring.

In my dream, my patient,
herself a physician
asks me about
the "Vagina Nigretto."

Monday, March 19, 2018

Stacy Rae Lake and her Mystical Kauai

Do not throw pebbles into a pond without blessing them first...

Today her astounding beauty made me cry
I felt mesmerized with the wind and the promise of true movement forward
Sitting at my table now..
The Holy Ones...
Each of us a strong tree still growing
The Kahunas tell me to be true to myself

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Eileen Shanahan and The Three Children (Near Clonmel)

photo © Mark Butkus 2012
An Irish poet for an Irish day.

I met three children on the road —
The hawthorn trees were sweet with rain
The hills had drawn their white blinds down —
Three children on the road from town.

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Taste of Mexico at Barra Galeria de Arte

photo © Mark Butkus 2015
Call for artists for upcoming art exhibition in Barra de Navidad.

The Barra Galeria de Arte has put a call out to invite all artists in the Costalegre to participate in a new art exhibition that will run from March 19, 2018 through to April 6, 2018.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Of Chynna Chilton and Body Language

photo © Mark Butkus 2010
Sway with Chynna on April 1, 2018 for the Backstage Bar and Blue Wave Cafe's Eighth Birthday Bash!

His body sways
Toward her very presence
Permeating heat waves
That singe the hair on her arm
As they pass

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Prisoners Literature Project

photo © Mark Butkus 2017
Nelson Mandela, Eldridge Cleaver, Jean Genet, Angela Davis, and Gandhi have written about the great solace they received from books in prison.

In perusing an "anarchist collective" bookstore in Haight-Ashbury named Bound Together, we spoke with volunteer staff about life, politics and the Prison Literature Project — a project to give prisoners books. They had a couple of shelves of used books selling for a buck or two to help fund this project. They passed  me a flyer about the project and I asked if I could reprint it here in the hope of spreading the word about the Prison Literature Project. They gladly gave their consent.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Great Expectations in Haight-Ashbury

photo © Mark Butkus 2018
Where 21st century hippies quote 19th century Dickens on sidewalks.

On a recent walk through the streets of San Francisco we came upon a quote from Charles Dickens 1861 novel Great Expectations scrawled upon the sidewalk at the intersection of Haight and Ashbury — Ground Zero for the Summer of Love.

The quote as it appears in Haight-Ashbury reads as follows:

Saturday, March 10, 2018

On the Road: America's Poet Maya Angelou at 15 Breaks Color Barrier as First Black Streetcar Conductor in San Francisco

photo © Mark Butkus 2018
San Francisco today runs historic street cars from many cities, like this one from Toronto.

Some notable people, in life, get to write an autobiography. Maya Angelou wrote seven autobiographies. The trailblazing poet who was reverentially called "the black woman's poet laureate" was also a trailblazer outside of arts and letters — Maya Angelou was the first black streetcar conductor in San Francisco in 1943. At age 15.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A Lenten Poem by Olga Broumas

photo © Mark Butkus 2014
A river runs through this poem.

Still weeks before the equinox
in March strange pleasure
to prepare to come
to visit you in April April