Jeff Rogers–Featured Poet

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Impressions Expressions 20141206 01

Jeff Rogers

Five poems by Jeff Rogers

A son of the Midwest, Jeff Rogers was born in Ohio, but he grew up in Michigan college towns: Kalamazoo, where his father taught at Western Michigan University, and East Lansing, where his mother practiced archaeology at Michigan State University. According to Rogers, his interest in writing and poetry began with a childhood ritual of his mom reading to him at bedtime, which he says “wove a spell of words over me that has never lifted.” In 1983, Rogers dropped out of college to drive across country to Los Angeles in a rust-fringed white Chevy Malibu. Since then, Rogers says that he has “adventured far in the many worlds and across the many landscapes of L.A. among the storied and the unknown.” In Los Angeles, Rogers has been a “working stiff,” a poet, a performer, and a blogger. Rogers grins while he claims to have invented the word “blogger” in 1985 as the nonsense curse word of a two-year-old girl in the poem “Blogger Old Potatoes.” However, he quickly adds “You won’t find that etymology in any dictionary.” Rogers has also written with, performed with, and directed the poetry chorus and theatre troupe known as Gray Pony. Continue reading

Welcome to Archive 405, Vol. 4: The Materialism Issue

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Letter from the Editor: Talking Out of My Pie Hole by Lisa Montagne

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 Anne Frank wrote in her diary during World War II, “I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.” I have to agree. There is a lot of misery in this world, no matter who you are or where you live. Yes, we all have to deal with the crap that life sends us, and we should make it a mission to help others deal with theirs, but who are we not to enjoy the beauty in the physical world that remains around us? From glorious sunsets on the horizon, a daily gift from nature, to a beautifully wrought piece of furniture, gloriously rendered painting, or carefully composed bite of food, the work of loving human hands, the material world is ours to enjoy. It seems ungrateful not to.

If you asked me, say 10 years go, if I were a materialistic person, I’d have said absolutely, categorically not. No way. Happiness comes from within, from relationships with others, and from doing good for others. I still firmly believe this with no doubts, despite many set backs. But, I now have a slightly modified point of view, which goes something like this: Life is short, and it should be savored—morsel-by-morsel. Continue reading

Devin Murphy–Featured Poet

IMG_0933Devin Murphy is a performance poet, writer, and director who moved to LA from New York about two years ago.
Check out his original comedic webseries, Here Comes Godot, about artists behaving badly in the downtown NYC theatre scene, at HereComesGodot.com, or under the “Here Comes Godot” channel on YouTube. 
You can also find some of Devin’s writing on the beta version of his website “Gone With It Productions,” soon to be updated and relaunched at GoneWithIt.weebly.com.
 Here are three of his poems. Enjoy!

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Fearlessness by Lisa Montagne

IIMG_2141 was invited to read in this poetry and spoken word show. The theme is “Fearlessness,” and so I wrote this sonnet:

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Fearlessness” is the chosen theme, you say?

The word—alone—strikes fear in this arch heart.

I fear many things: traffic, tooth decay,

Bears, the acid skin of some men, just to start.

 

And, in the night, stiff straight, I lay awake,

Because it was chasing me. What was? It!

It was. But that’s when…I take It by the throat

And…I snuggle It close, damned hypocrite.

 

This is my life, and I am living it.

Day by day by day by day by day by…

It is mine. Mine. Fear: my bitch, my trinket.

When the audience is ready to play…

 

Fear-less-ness, you say? I want fear. I eat

It for breakfast, and for ev’ry meal and treat.

May 27, 2014

Atomic Comics by Natalia Eristavi

 

NataliaNatalia Eristavi, 21, emigrated from the country of Georgia to Southern California with her mother and sister when she was in elementary school.

In 2010, Eristavi began Swing dancing at Atomic Ballroom in Irvine, California. In 2012, she also became a dance instructor there. Although she has been drawing since she was a small girl, her two passions, dance and art, remained separate until she was asked to create comic strips for the Atomic Ballroom website weekly blog. Eristavi has developed a charming, unique style that is both witty and whimsical. Her comics offer a humorous take on partner dancing blended with subtle insights into human nature.

She said, “The offer [to draw these comics] appealed to me. Considering the amount of cynicism that floats through my head on a daily basis, I could definitely see myself spending my afternoons in the backyard drinking tea and throwing miniature ink dancers into awkward situations. As long as feet continue to be stepped on and jaws continue to be elbowed, Atomic Comics will live on.”

We definitely want to see more. Here is a taste for now: Continue reading

My Little Buddy by Lisa Montagne

T-bird.1For a decade, I had an extremely unique car. He made everyone smile. At least once a day, my Little Buddy the T-bird made at least one other person besides me happy, and sometimes many more. I loved him. He was faithful, loyal, and brave through 114,000 miles and a decade together. He had a powerful V-8 engine under his hood, and he was 252 horsepower-full of fun. He was a rare gem with white-and-black leather seats and a smooth-to-the-touch, ivory stick shift. He even got excellent gas mileage and immaculate emissions reports.

T-bird4 I have included a photo here of the original 1955 mint-green model, the very first Ford Thunderbird. My Little Buddy was made in this signature color: Only 50 in this color were in the 11th generation of T-birds, the last series, which was produced only from 2002-2005, and I had one of them. I saw another mint-green signature model from the same series only one time, up in L.A. at the corner of Sunset and Coldwater Canyon in Beverly Hills. I waved enthusiastically; he did not wave back. Snob, I thought. I had my Little Buddy, and he had me; we were not alone.

Sadly, my Little Buddy was struck down in his prime on March 2, 2014. He has been mourned and very much missed. I had hoped we would be together for another decade, but unfortunately Ford (absurdly) decided not to support these little beauties, and no parts were available to rebuild him. He was finally relinquished to the insurance company, but not before I laid myself across his hood in the parking lot of the Ford dealership body shop and wept like a B movie queen. My only consolation is that his engine—like donating a heart—likely went to a Jaguar in need. The stereo system—like a kidney—went to my brother’s family. Continue reading

Featured Artist: Linda Kaye, Poet

Linda Kaye picLinda Kaye lives in the Mt. Washington area of Los Angeles in the hills east of downtown, famous for L.A.’s very first museum—the Southwest Museum. This area of Los Angeles is also currently home to many musicians, artists, and community and political activists, including writer Jack Smith from the LA Times.

Kaye is a native Angelino who grew up in the San Fernando Valley. She claims to be both a first-generation Valley Girl, and The Original Hipster. Educated at Antioch University and Cal State Long Beach in psychology and social work, her day job is working as a psychotherapist for an out patient mental health clinic, and as an adjunct professor at the USC School of Social Work. Linda also loves to travel. She shared, “Just tell me where you want to go, and I’ll join you! Hawaii, Buenos Aires, Thailand, Israel, France, Greece, Italy – all have seen my happy face. I’m down with all future adventures.”

In April 2014, Linda told Archive 405 about how she makes poetry:

How did you start writing poetry?

 In February 2012, The Eagle Rock Center for the Arts was hosting a tribute show to celebrate, Don Cornelius, famed host of Soul Train, who had committed suicide a month before. My then neighbor, DJ Peanut Butter Wolf was spinning the music and videos for the show, and he invited me to attend. While walking into the venue, I saw a very handsome, Johnny Depp-looking man enter before me. We began talking and he turned out to be a writer/poet, who shared that he hosted a monthly open mic poetry salon. After going to it, I was instantly inspired to write. My first attempt was a poem titled “20 Years Left” which was written to the song, “Whatever Lola Wants,” from Damn Yankees. Continue reading

The White Lady by Joe Janicki

Splash! For the first time in a couple of hours my eyes are actually wide open. As a paralyzing shiver rolls through each and every one of my veins, I ask myself, why am I not on my boat? Why don’t I have a drink in my hand? Just a moment ago I was partying my brains out with people I consider my best friends, alongside the closest thing that I have MACALLANfound to true love in the past 7 years, which I pay through the nose for—sometimes literally. In all directions, except for one, I see nothing but darkness. In the direction of the coast, I can see lights. We must be 5 miles, give or take, from the harbor. Man, is it freezing! What the hell happened? I must have leaned back a little too far on the railing along the starboard side of the bottom deck. Cigar in one hand, drink in another. Shit. The yacht is not turning around. Nobody saw me. They couldn’t have. They were all two stories above me while I was enjoying a few moments alone. Continue reading