Dear Poets and Poetry Lovers, I am pleased to remind you of the July 2012 Fixed and Free poetry reading featuring a wonderful pair of Santa Fe poets Debbi Brody and Rachelle Woods.
Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 6:45-9:00 pm at The Source, 1111 Carlisle SE, Albuquerque (SW corner of Carlisle & Anderson) in The Garden Room. Hosted (as ever) by Billy Brown (401-8139). Although always free, donations are gratefully accepted for pastries, to help cover the $20 charge for the venue and pay the featured poets. The rules are simple: 5 minute limit on the open "mike." Food/drink: There will be pastries for sale – 50¢. Water is available in the Source's kitchen for tea.
A PERSONAL COMMENT: I've looked through all the issues of Central Avenue (2002-7) and was astounded at how many poems I found by our two July featured poets – about 75! With 60 issues during those 5 years, that's an average of 1.25 poems per issue from this powerful pair of Santa Fe poets. I am reminded that Central Avenue, my poetic home for those 5 years, was such an inspiring monthly publication/event, thanks to the brilliant work of the two founding editors Dale Harris and Cathryn McCracken, as well as the prodigious production work of Robert Arthur Reeves. I am deeply grateful to these three for all they did in support of New Mexico poetry.
It was only after the "wrap" of Central Avenue in November 2007 that I considered providing another venue (Fixed and Free) in Albuquerque for some of the same poets who frequented Central Avenue, although I never seriously considered creating a monthly Fixed and Free poetry publication …
It is a special pleasure to provide this opportunity for two of Central Avenue's most prolific poets, Debbi Brody and Rachelle Woods, to be our Fixed and Free "Double Feature" this month! Below I reproduce one poem by each poet, both of which appeared in Central Avenue. Looking forward to seeing many of you on Thursday!
Debbi Brody was one of our very first Fixed and Free featured poets in 2008. She conducts poetry workshops and readings at festivals and other venues throughout the Southwest for writers and listeners age five through eighty-five. She publishes frequently in regional and national literary journals as well as in numerous anthologies of note, including Adobe Walls, Malpais Review, Sin Fronteras, and Fixed and Free Poetry Anthology 2011. Her books, FREEFORM and Portraits in Poetry (Village Books Press, Oklahoma 2006) are available through email@example.com. Debbi lives in Santa Fe.
Desert Women, Born of Babylon
Empty, not a vessel nor a vassal,
hungry for mother names, know
naught of Nimrod, but his Babylon fame.
And his wife, was she God reaching,
or God living in one language, one
people, before babble, before crumbs,
before scattered alphabets?
Mothers carry mud feet from where
we come, dust a cloak of shattered towers
on shoulders, babies slung across broken
chests. Disperse over Darfur or Dimashq,
as unnamed as Nimrod's wife, collect
dung along the way. A head with two
hands, carry precious water. As unknown
as a vulturous sky, read signs of sleet
on bared foreheads in a buzzard picked
heat, a sudden water in red dryness.
Between letters, behind words
white flame bursts bright, anoints
Nimrod's wife and all her cognation—
snow, paper, child, being of light.
'Desert Women, Born of Babylon' appeared in Central Avenue issue #30, May 2005. Copyright © 2005 Debbi Brody
(amended bio and poem "In The Oaks," from the Santa Fe Poetry Broadside) is a contact improvisational dancer and massage therapist. She has hosted monthly Open Poetry and Poets for Peace readings in Santa Fe, where she settled after many years of calling the Maine woods home. Her work has appeared in Manzanita Quarterly, Central Avenue, Curbside Review,Adobe Walls, Malpais Review, The Harwood Anthology, the anthology Audible Fire, and on the CD Poets For Peace. Rachelle frequently and generously distributes announcements about poetry events to a large email list! She also graciously consented to write a "blurb" for our Fixed and Free Poetry Anthology 2011, for which we all are grateful.
In the Oaks
When trays of shining fruit appear,
you will be tempted.
When the god, needing something,
appears in the silent eyes
of one who will be leaving,
you will be tempted.
Your hand will reach for what it remembers.
Your breath will quicken.
You will be tempted by a story of the underworld,
succulence so divine,
by the quiet ones, safe in twisted oaks.
You will let a man see
the imprint of grass on your breast.
You won't tell him where you lay.
You will take the stories you want.
Let the dog days fall into water.
You will be tempted to stay,
eat mint—sharp, bright—from the creek,
listen only to rain.
When your tribe sets out on a winding road,
you will be tempted to follow them,
but will travel alone.
You will reach the other side of twelve years,
another spring, another oasis,
a snake crossing the path you walked
to honor the Lady of the Oak.
Another spring, another snake—coiled—
on the trail in the devil's stomping grounds,
after you buttoned a woman
into her mother's wedding dress,
seventy four satin covered buttons.
She is naked on the rocks
and you are tempted to ask
if she is certain it is time to smash her mask
and settle where three rivers meet.
'In the Oaks' appeared in
Central Avenue issue #12, November 2003
ANTHOLOGY: The Fixed and Free Poetry Anthology 2011 will be available for sale at our July 26 reading, before 7:15, during the breaks, and after 9:00. The price per copy is $ 15. All proceeds support Fixed and Free readings. Feel free to give me a call and arrange for me to deliver a copy to you or for you to pick up copies from me at my home: cell 401-8139
LAST MONTH: Our June reading featured Albuquerque poet Carol Lewis and Santa Fe poet Wayne Lee. Wayne regaled us with some very funny stuff and with poems from his two books Doggerel and Caterwauls: Poems Inspired by Dogs and Cats and Twenty Poems from the Blue House, which includes poems both by Wayne and by his wife Alice Lee. Thanks Wayne for your wonderful presentation! Please visit Wayne Lee's website: http://www.wayneleepoet.com/
Unfortunately, Carol Lewis was not able to join us due to health considerations. However I read a set of her poems which she had published in The Rag over the several years when she edited it. Several other poets read Carol's poems. I was once again very inspired with the depth, variety, and excellence of Carol's poetry. Thank you, Carol, for your wonderful contributions to New Mexico poetry! We hope to see and hear you again soon.
NEXT MONTH: Thursday, August 23, 2012, same time, same place, same rules. Featured Poets: Kathamann, Mary McGinnis, and Moriah Williams, all of Santa Fe
DOUBLE FEATURES for the rest of 2012
- September 27 ~ Marilyn Stablein and Barbara Rockman
- October 25 ~ Dale Harris and Tony Mares
- November 22 (Thanksgiving) ~ Joe Bottone and Patrick Houlihan
- December 27 ~ OUTSpoken Poets, curated by Patricia Gillikin and Erin Northern