The first in a series of women's poetry events: SHE SPEAKS at the Beat Museum happened on Saturday December 2nd, 2006. It was a literary event that people are still talking about on the street! We were lucky to be joined by ruth weiss, goddess of the beat generation and also the originator of poetry & jazz open mics. We had a line-up that was diverse and powerful in many ways:
SPECIAL FEATURED POET: ruth weiss
Ruth came by to meet with the girls prior to the reading and we had the chance to speak with her about the poetry scene to which she is still involved, both in san Francisco and internationally. She has a vivacious power in her voice and true strength behind her words, did we say that she's cute too! Being hosts of a the poetry and jazz night at club deluxe, we owe ruth a debt of gratitude for paving the way for us. long live poetry and jazz!!!
FEATURED POET GODDESSES of the night:
Jennifer Barone and Ingrid Keir — We were so happy to be a part of a great line-up of talented ladies! Daniel came to play a little for Jennifer and Ingrid read poetry from her upcoming book.
Bast — tantric priestess and dancer, shared an original piece of poetry with us.
Elz — Lovely and talented hostess of Poetry Mission Thursdays at Dalva, came to grace the stage at the Beat Museum.
Nicole Henares read some poetry from her recent chapbooks! She made us cheer and laugh with her great wit and social commentary.
E.K. Keith — A bright and shining star in the poetry scene, E.K. Keith talks about life from a honest and personal place. She has been active in the local scene, recently the host at the Unity cafe and one of the originators of the Poem Under the Dome open mic at City Hall.
Jessica Loos — A North Beach performance artist, Jessica is the host on Wednesdays at the Beat Museum and brings an unpredictable and arresting stage precence.
Monique Marquisa De Magdalena — Speaking of stage precence...Monique is one of the most exciting performance artist and poet on the scene. She is the originator of She Speaks and the energy behind bringing these ladies together. She put on a rockstar performance of original songs and poems accompanied by Maria M. and Robert Perala.
Maria Medina Serafin (M.M. The Word-Weave Rumbera!) — Maria brings honesty, soul and music with her voice, bongos and her huge heart. She is a multi-talented recording artist, poet and performer.
Tatiana Molinar — One of the shining lights on Tuesdays at Club Deluxe, Tatiana's poetry is also featured on this site.
Delia Tomino Nakayama — Delia is a moving singer, poet and performance artist. She can usually be scene performing alongside Peter Nu on his very colorful steel drums.
Imaya Sage — Imaya brings the voice of the goddess with her. She is a gracious and talented performer and poet. She lead our opening ceremony with a beautiful dance and original chant!
CaraVida — What can we say about Cara Vida!! She rocked the house with her sweet cabaret stylin'. No one does it like Cara Vida. Check out her website on our "We likey" page!
She speaks aims to put together a Series #2 in March 2007, National Women's Month. Come and celebrate the goddess and your local women poets! Be on the lookout for more info.
A Poets Response:Read "Dear Angel" a poetic response to She Speaks
from fellow poet Jim Hammond:
If you don’t mind me calling you that again. I know you insist you are completely human and I would never go against your self-definition(s), but if you will allow me such an endearing nickname by which to address you it won’t hurt you to know of my appreciation, and besides might serve to hold some of my more selfish tendencies in check.
This is me, jimmy815. In case you don't want to hear from me because I talk too much...or am too old or too funky or my poetry stinks and isn’t even poetry amid the cacaphony of performance artistes and primadonnas and stutterers who take forever to say nothing and hold no one entranced and reveal nothing, revel in tonterias, and can’t even dance. Amidst the oppression and reaction,
obviously i am thinking about you, sweet charmer,
Graceful dancer of my mind.
your name comes up everywhere.
you are so well-thought of.
i can tell you, you have been heard.
isn't that all we writers can ask? that we've been heard? i can barely keep up with you. Your brilliance. So I must tell you of something I saw:
You should have seen the She Speaks Show Saturday down at the Beat Museum.
I read there the following Wednesday night along with the usual suspects. And drank some Kerouac Kognac with all in all. But that was days later and the magic had already fled. Wednesday was great fun, but no revelation. And the sparkle was, if not gone, diminished.
For the Grrrls had had the day already. And made me cry. How often does that happen? And I was somewhat unashamed of my propensity for once. It's all good. We are on the right path. We will win and Life will not show us any gratitude for saving it. But it will feel good anyway to redeem ourselves as native earthlings once more, and for me it is the beginning of feeling good already.
I can feel the front approaching–it’s in my medulla, behind my eye sockets, in the lightness of my feet–I caught myself floating again just last night–the sunshine state of being, which precedes the age of empathy, is roiling through Time to sweep us up!
See? For I have learned to cry in public. i can sing my tears of joy! And you have now subsided into being only one of the many reasons for that...my dear friend/angel.The women of poetry–oh yes–especially of She Speaks [they have no clique, no limiting number that I am aware of, only an endless stream of truth and kindness (my religion is that, sayeth Ms. Black Elk)] move through the well-known travails to inner peace and joy and quirkiness. This is ultimately a victory for quirkiness. And not strife (that evil dupester). Quirks are good and they are what make us individuals. And so we don’t forget: the goddesses are speaking! And what a comeuppance for the dull!
For should we forget to use our voices we shall forget to save our memories and if we forget to bring along our memories we shall not exist. How could we forget the quirks that make us unique. By definition, individual is quirked-up. Has to be.
It’s as simple as that, I believe.
And those memories are the things the Machine would most like to own of us. Every slave-owner has performed that erasure on the minds of their serfs, subjects, wage-slaves, chattel. And if we move back along the line of matri-linear antecedency we shall find our mamas’ mamas’ mamas’ exponential mamas back on down in history and prior to history somewhere lost in slavery. Black, white, brown, yellow, olden, golden, and babes in rags, abused all, and worse, owned by man.
So we are all sons and daughters of the Original voiceless Slave Mama and her sisters of the past.
And I was there to see the remedial salve applied on one small stage, in one hot incubating barrio, in one cosmically blessed and activated cuidad on one night amidst a fecund crowd of enlightened souls pleased to have been taught how to see the light and where, exactly it would be coming from...the next time...and the next time...and the next.
For this is not a glitch, not frilly decorations to distract us; this is the voice of Yin calling out and the sound of Grrrls arising and la femme and las madres choosing to end the silence.
And if that ain’t a mighty acorn. If that ain’t a brightly lit circus train coming at you in this dark tunnel of fascism that surrounds us then I’m a dead pigeon at the side of the poisoned will of man. What I say I saw was Artemis leading the charge by flinging the arrows of impending change. The inexorable rumble of tectonic social (r)evolutionary change on its way...and this time you didn’t have to put your ear to the tracks to hear it either.
She Spoke. And I cried, welcome!
And so I am there for you, but it's a very small xmas present--one you'll find buried in the bottom of your stocking...maybe for the next xmas...or ramadan...or hannukah, kwanzaa, Dia de Nuestra Dama de Guadalupe, or wiccan, pagan, goddess holiday poured upon us from the chalice of antiquity [after all it is pretty near the shortest day of the year, this year of 2006=8, which of all the Chinese superstitions is the happiest: prosperity, which I call love. [With out a doubt there is no prosperity without love.] For that would leave only greed, and that is the point of where we are now, and so will be changing. Great, huh?]
Of course, we will feel better and the new wild order will be better than this formerly-new weird one anyway. We shall feel better. And that will make us BE better and we will notice that Feeling is important, as much so as thinking all the time...or rather, reacting, which is what goes for thinking these days most often.
And that knowing is what makes these voices so well spent and needed, and you so great for knowing this in your own right.
So peace, love, power to you always. Miss me, please.
Miss the Us that will never die! Dear Angel. I'm grateful for knowing you.
And forgive me for calling you angel. I can’t help it when I’m crying tears of joy.
So feeling that about you, I must tell you of a mighty acorn I was lucky enough to have witnessed falling.
I'm not sure it was poetry, except in the sense
that all things contain poetry and all people are
poets and everything rhymes in some cosmic way
whether or not we notice it or are ready to
acknowledge such a thinking.
Even the wars we make have an abysmal rhythm
about them, especially lately, since Viet-nam, a
re-cycled bob and weave of a rhythm somewhat diffused
in the minutia of quotidian horrors. and we try not
to listen to that (or we would go into deep
depression just like our victims).
And we bemoan the loss of our government and the
damage to our democracy and we hope that somehow the
system will work and bring it all back to our
idealized concept of it.
and we try to laugh until that day when we can
really know we are a free and empathetic people.
but we have to free and re-make ourselves
into this more empathetic and expressive spirit
before we can expect an entire nation [and world] to follow...
so in that sense it was good and that is why i still
go to readings and sign up: to make myself better.
to dare something new. to feel it
--the words bestowed upon me by the Muse as their steward--
and to repair them
if i blocked them or warped them as they
fluttered thru me onto the pages i'll leave behind
somewhere for someone to peruse in some future
culture that might be sentient enough to try and
look back at us and wonder what went wrong, or
luckily, what may have gone right, in order to have
them notice our work and remember us...for if they
remember us at all it will be as saviors of a world
on the cusp of degradation and destruction by our
superstitions and self-deceptions and false beliefs
and our predecessors' mantras of ignorance and songs of
which should have been songs of warning.
and in that sense the Shes Speaking in the Beat Museum was good.
And will be good for many visitors who will be reminded of a flame, a breakthrough.
come this summer, visitors from the "Great Flyover" who blow my mind
with their stolid humanity and their cramped patterns of behavior. visitors who can not conceive of even sitting down in front of a poet and listening...to anything outside of the cacaphony in their TV brains and duty’s varied calls. so in that sense it was a success, because we filled the place, and it is a good place to fill helpfully, hopefully, someday speaking to the unknowing and not the choir. i don't need to be entertained anymore. i need to know. to learn. to get better. and to make my words more powerful and meaningful and somehow to advance the cause of Gaia and mankind and the oceans and the air and the land and of course, Life, and all of it so that my daughter's great-grandchildren might breathe and drink and live
> and love here as i have done <
next year we will be stronger and better--if they don't kill us we will be stronger. you will bring in the crowds and they will hear us rant and whine and guide and create new modes of living. next year we will take over and the planet will thank us with it's constant rhythm and it's bounty--it will sigh with us as it catches its breath--and we will begin to see the healing come through the death clouds. so hum it. tap it. whisper it in your own rhythm and time and with your own consciousness as i am doing and don't be sad like i am, or was until now, because of your notice of me and my notice of you. we are all placed around to reverberate our energy and spin the wheels of social (r)evolution and peace.
To start the engines of this train.
That is our only job: and language our only invention.
so keep on keeping on. the world needs us.
i can hear it gasping my name, your name, other names too countless to even know....
PS--are we going to have women featuring for the foreseeable future? support for that should not be forsaken. women are the answer. in women is the reality and the truth and all the power. this i know. men are destructive if left to their own devices. everything a man does that is good he does for the consideration of a woman or women. so think sisterhood. bring a friend. speak.
Help to end the war on women.
|Ingrid Keir & Jennifer Barone|
|Jennifer & Daniel Heffez|
|Ruth Weiss - Goddess of the Beat Generation|
|Maria Medina Serafin & Peter Nu|
|Monique De Magdalena & Robert Perala playing|