L.A. Poetry Examiner’s Friday Pick: Chad Sweeney’s Parable of Hide and Seek








poet chad sweeney


in it’s





The following poems are from poet Chad Sweeney’s latest book

Parable of Hide and Seek

by Chad Sweeney

I was a junebug found by a vole.

I was a wave ruffled by a wind.

I stood in long bank lines.

I attended the Third Church of the Heretic.

I hid as a darkness

diminished by a torch.

I wore glasses and a bowler.

I lay flat like a sill.

I his as a bullet fired into hay.

I his as a system of government.

You were my partner in everything.

I lived for you to find me.


by Chad Sweeney

In the town of essences

there is only one chair,

the unadorned average.

One toaster, one catapult,

one orange ripens in a bowl.

The colors are clean and good.

A canary circles the bell tower.

A vicar, a pregnant woman,

a madman share the red

picnic blanket.

A wheel turns

in view of the guillotine.

One moon

n different than a moon.


by Chad Sweeney

Everywhere I went

the maps were more accurate

than the land.

I was lonely.

I broke into Heaven

to steal three gold leaves

but found myself in a dispute

near Minsk

behind a grain elevator

where a girl wanted to kiss.

Red wheat. Green moon.

The peasants asleep

standing up in their boots.

White river. Red branch.

Sounds drifted back

toward their makers,

minnows flickered

in the white skins of grapes —

oblivious to the laws of composition

someone streaked lapis

diagonals onto the background

suggesting horses in motion.


Picture Chad Sweeney is a poet and translator. He is the author of three books of poetry, Parable of Hide and Seek (Alice James, 2010), Arranging the Blaze (Anhinga, 2009), and An Architecture (BlazeVox, 2007), and translator (from the Farsi, with Mojdeh Marashi) of The Selected Poems of H.E. Sayeh:The Art of Stepping Through Time (White Pine, 2011). He has published five chapbooks of poetry, including A Mirror to Shatter the Hammer (Tarpaulin Sky, 2006) and the bilingual (English/Spanish) Lost Notebooks of Juan Sweeney de las Minas de Cobre (Forklift, 2010), which has been translated into Catalán by poet Anna Aguilar-Amat of Barcelona. Sweeney edited the anthology Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sounds: the Teachers of WritersCorps in Poetry and Prose (CityLights, 2009) and is coeditor of Parthenon West Review, a print journal of contemporary poetry, translation and essays, based in San Francisco. Chad’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Best American Poetry 2008, American Poetry Review, Black Warrior, New American Writing, Colorado Review, Denver Qtly, Verse, Volt, Barrow Street and elsewhere. He taught poetry and literature for fifteen years in San Francisco, while earning an MFA from San Francisco State University, before moving to Kalamazoo, Michigan to pursue a Ph.D. at Western Michigan University where he teaches poetry and serves as assistant editor of New Issues Press.  He lives in Kalamazoo with his wife, poet Jennifer K. Sweeney and their newborn son, Liam Greenleaf Sweeney.

wikipedia article

By Yvonne de la Vega

LA Poet Yvonne de la Vega ‘s literary works embody the very spirit of the city. Her voice is one of social consciousness, compassion and humor,…

Read more


The new astrology hoax clarified by Ashley Gallup at Persephone’s Prophecies

I had come across this business recently about the astrological sign changing due to a shift in the orbital paths of our major key players in the sky and in the annals of  Western Astrology.

It seems that simultaneously, our resident astrologist Ashley Gallup was being assaulted with questions in regard to this and so posted up the answers. Read it here and rest assured…

Don’t worry, you still get to be a Leo…. or whatever you were before.

read more…

Poets & Writers January Horoscope from Persephone’s Prophesie

My favorite Capricorn Artist: Zane Musa (wiki)
I love this man. Zane Musa has a voice. His saxophone voice is one reminiscent of the great John Coltrane, his educators have deemed him at the foreforont of “The Young Lions”, those hearty and hip bebop hip-hop cultured masters of the bebop era. You can find Zane’s calendar and other interesting stuff at his facebook, myspace and Zane’s website.
You can also read about him here  under The L.A. Players

Saxophonist Zane Musa

This month, dedication will have its rewards. The month starts off with a solar eclipse in your 10th house. Its time for you to seek the recognition you deserve. It’s not a time for you to stay behind closed doors and write for your own personal fulfillment. It’s time for you to shine and get people to notice you for your talent. After the 23rd, Jupiter, planet of luck and expansion, will make it easier for you to succeed in your effort to do so.
This month would be a great time to merge your ideals and inspirational messages into your writing. Seek spiritual depth or higher knowledge to define your own truth. Doing so will give your writing the purpose that will transform it from good to extraordinary. It would also be a good time to finish whatever you are working on, so that you can show it off, later in the month.
This month, you will want to put a lot of depth and deep reflection into your work. You may be willing to share your work with others. Whatever you are working on is too close to home to make yourself vulnerable to the opinions of others. After the 15th, you will have more energy and will feel more extroverted. You will be inspired to write about your ideals.
This month starts off with a solar eclipse in your opposite sign, Capricorn. You may be dealing with some major changes in your relationships and other personal issues. On the 19th, the full moon in Cancer will give you the inspiration you need to regain control of your life and focus on your self and your work. Use all the emotion you are going through to bring character and humanity to your work.
This month is full of action and organization for you. Its time for you to take control of your life and be productive in every way. It would be a great time to edit, finish pieces, and organize your work, so that it is presentable. Venus moves into your 5th house on the 8th, so your creativity will not be compromised if your practical side comes out. You will need to balance your energy in order to contribute to the different directions you are being called to.
This month you will want to develop your own unique style and work independently. Your creativity will be at a high point, so make the most of it. Have fun with your work and don’t be too critical of yourself. You are more talented than you know. It’s really important for you to stay true to yourself and not worry about what others will think right now. Write from the heart.
Now would be a great time for you to find inspiration from your interaction with others and by learning about other artists. Networking and sharing ideas will activate your creativity. This month there is a lot of potential for you to really show and find out who you are. It will be important for you to establish a strong connection to your roots and reflect on the past to bring character and sense of depth or “realness” to your work.
This month, you may be feeling very social and you will have the support of your peers. It would be great to collaborate on a project that promotes community involvement. You may get a lot of ideas while you are out and about, so keep a recording device or a pen and paper with you at all times. Also, there is a Jupiter/ Uranus conjunction on the 4th in your 5th house, so you may get some exciting inspiration from your romantic affairs or children that you will want to put toward your own independent work.
The past few months, you may not have felt very social. You may have preferred to do all of your work alone in private That will change and you’ll be ready to face the world and bring your ideas to the surface after the 8th. You will also have an easier time attracting people and getting their support. Mars moves in to your 3rd house of communication and writing on the 15th, so you will have the urge to bring all of your ideas to paper, after this point
This could be a very big year for you. The month starts off with a solar eclipse in your sign. That means it is time to establish a strong voice and identity for yourself. You may go through some major changes as a person that will help you evolve to the next level of depth. Your energy is yours to direct wherever you see fit. Whatever you put your mind to, you are capable right now, at this moment
Now is a great time for you to delve into the depths of your imagination and get in touch with your intuitive side. Don’t over think things. Go with your gut. You have the potential to bring your out of this world ideas to paper and to the unassuming eyes of your readers. Mars moves into your sign, Aquarius, on the 15th. After this point, you will have a lot more energy and drive and will be willing to come out of your shell and show people what you’ve been working on.
On the 4th, two things happen. There is a Jupiter/ Uranus conjunction in your sign, Pisces. You may get some great unexpected news that brings up your confidence and helps you realize your worth. Also, there is a solar eclipse in your 11th house. Right now, you will not find inspiration working alone or writing for your own satisfaction. Put your energy toward a collective idea that brings you into contact with like-minded people. You may meet people who help you see the bigger picture which is good for your soul.

For More Persephone Prophesy

visit Ashley Gallup

Happy Birthday to Jim Morrison the mythical bard of The City of Lights

If my poetry aims to achieve anything, it’s to deliver people from the limited ways in which they see and feel.  ~ Jim Morrison

James Douglas “Jim” Morrison (December 8, 1943 — July 3, 1971) was the lead singer and lyricist of American band The Doors.[1]  He also wrote poetry. Morrison was ranked number 47 on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”[3] and is widely regarded as one of the most iconic frontmen in rock music history. (wiki)

As a poet, Jim Morrison was everything a poet is. He was a born poet, and not one made. His words were always of a shamanistic value, with a forewarning of inevitable doom if humanity did not finally “WAKE UP”, this famous shout from a stage in Paris or Toronto and from stages across the globe since then. He was best known as the lead singer and lyricist of The Doors and is widely considered to be one of the most charismatic front men in rock music history. He was also the author of several books of poetry and the director of a documentary and short film.

Although Morrison was known for his baritone vocals, many fans, scholars, and journalists have discussed his theatrical stage persona, his self-destructiveness, and his work as a poet, he was warrior in spirit and the misconception of him and his fellow band members as mere rock and roll stars is one of the most false ones in comparison to who The Doors really were.

Named The Doors after an excerpt in a book by Aldous Huxley’s “The Doors of Perception”. The book takes the form of Huxley’s recollection of a mescaline trip which took place over the course of an afternoon, and takes its title from William Blake‘s poem The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. In the early 1950s, when Huxley wrote his book, mescaline was still regarded as a research chemical rather than a drug and was listed in the Parke-Davis catalogue with no controls.


“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would
appear to man as it is, infinite.”             —William Blake

I am interested in anything about revolt, disorder, chaos-especially activity that seems to have no meaning. It seems to me to be the road toward freedom… Rather than starting inside, I start outside and reach the mental through the physical.          ~ Jim Morrison

The poet’s mind of Jim Morrison was in understanding of the consciousness widening effect of peyote. The misconception that The Doors were the normal iconic rock stars of no regard whatsoever, was the greatest misconception in Modern Pop history. On the contrary, Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robbie Kreiger and John Densmore were on a different mission,

The Doors were rockers in search of the New Age consciousness that in effect we are living in today. For perfect example, with the historical electing of a minority into the White House. His messages were heard by the Nation 40 years later and in Jim’s very voice, singing the instructions for humanity’s survival and the survival of the planet overall.

The very moments word came to the awaiting world on November 8th, 2008, that Barack Obama was indeed the Nation’s new leader,  mystically followed was the sound of the Doors in a blaring rock tune of lightning speed keyboards. drums and guitar.  Jim was shout singing in the voice that knew one day they would hear him and agree.  He sang it again, “…break on through to the other side …break on through …break on through,  … break on through   to the other side…”.

And now in a Birthday celebration of Los Angeles mythical bard, please enjoy the poetry of Jim Morrison.


Moment of inner freedom
when the mind is opened and the
infinite universe revealed
& the soul is left to wander
dazed & confus’d searching
here & there for teachers & friends.

Moment of Freedom
as the prisoner
blinks in the sun
like a mole
from his hole

a child’s 1st trip
away from home

That moment of Freedom

Cold treatment of our empress
The Transient Universe
Instant communion and
emeralds in glass
searchlights at twi-light
stoned streets in the pale dawn
robed in exile
swift beat of a proud heart
eyes like twenty
swift dream
frozen heart
soldiers doom
clouds & struggles
doomed from the start
“That’s how I met her,
lonely and frozen
& sullen, yes
right from the start”

Then stop.
The wilderness between.
Go round the march.

he enters stage:

Blood boots. Killer storm.
Fool’s gold. God in a heaven.
Where is she?
Have you seen her?
Has anyone seen this girl?
snap shot (projected)
She’s my sister.
Ladies & gentlemen:
please attend carefully to these words & events
It’s your last chance, our last hope.
In this womb or tomb, we’re free of the swarming streets.
The black fever which rages is safely out those doors
My friends & I come from
Far Arden w/ dances, &
new music
Everywhere followers accrue
to our procession.
Tales of Kings, gods, warriors
and lovers dangled like
jewels for your careless pleasure

I’m Me!
Can you dig it.
My meat is real.
My hands–how they move
balanced like lithe demons
My hair–so twined and writhing
The skin of my face–pinch the cheeks
My flaming sword tongue
spraying verbal fire-flys
I’m real.
I’m human
But I’m not an ordinary man
No No No

What are you doing here?
What do you want?
Is it music?
We can play music.
But you want more.
You want something & someone new.
Am I right?
Of course I am.
You want ecstasy
Desire & dreams.
Things not exactly what they seem.
I lead you this way, he pulls that way.
I’m not singing to an imaginary girl.
I’m talking to you, my self.
Let’s recreate the world.
The palace of conception is burning.

Look. See it burn.
Bask in the warm hot coals.

You’re too young to be old
You don’t need to be told
You want to see things as they are.
You know exactly what I do

I am a guide to the Labyrinth

Monarch of the protean towers
on this cool stone patio
above the iron mist
sunk in its own waste
breathing its own breath


I can make the earth stop in
its tracks. I made the
blue cars go away.

I can make myself invisible or small.
I can become gigantic & reach the
farthest things. I can change
the course of nature.
I can place myself anywhere in
space or time.
I can summon the dead.
I can perceive events on other worlds,
in my deepest inner mind,
& in the minds of others.

I can

I am

People need Connectors
Writers, heroes, stars, leaders
To give life form.
A child’s sand boat facing
the sun.
Plastic soldiers in the miniature
dirt war. Forts.
Garage Rocket Ships

Ceremonies, theatre, dances
To reassert Tribal needs & memories
a call to worship, uniting
above all, a reversion,
a longing for family & the
safety magic of childhood

The grand highway


Now is blessed
The rest

A man rakes leaves into
a heap in his pard, a plie,
& leans on his rake &
burns them utterly.
The fragrance fills the forest
children pause & heed the
smell, which will become
nostalgia in several years

Rain & Thunder
Jet from the base
Hot searing insect cry
The frogs & crickets
Doors open & close
The smash of glass
The Soft Parade
An accident
Rustle of silk, nylon
Watering the dry grass
Rattlesnake, whistles, castanets
Lawn mower
Good Humor man
Skates & wagons

Where’d you learn about
Satan-out of a book
Love?-out of a box

night of sin (The Fall)
-1st sex, a feeling of having
done this same act in time before
O No, not again

Between childhood, boyhood,
& manhood (maturity) there
should be sharp lines drawn w/
Tests, deaths, feats, rites
stories, songs, & judgements

Men who go out on ships
To escape sin & the mire of cities
watch the placenta of evening stars
from the deck, on their backs
& cross the equator
& perform rituals to exhume the dead
dangerous initiation
To mark passage to new levels

To feel on the verge of an exorcism
a rite of passage
To wait, or seek manhood
enlightenment in a gun

To kill childhood, innocence
in an instant


The 1st electric wildness came
over the people
on sweet Friday.
Sweat was in the air.
The channel beamed,
token of power.
Incense brewed darkly.
Who could tell them that here
it would end?

One school bus crashed w/ a train.
This was the Crossroads.
Mercury stained.
I couldn’t get out of my seat.
The road was littered
w/ dead jitterbugs.
we’ll be late for class.

The secret flurry of rumor
marched over the yard &
pinned us unwittingly
Mt. fever.
A girl stripped naked on the
base of the flagpole.

In the restrooms all was cool
& silent
w/ the salt-green of latrines.
Blankets were needed.

Ropes fluttered.
Smiles flattered
& haunted.

Lockers pried open
& secrets discovered.

Ah sweet music.

Wild sounds in the night
Angel siren voices.
The baying of great hounds.
Cars screaming thru gears
& shrieks
on the wild road
Where the tires skip & slide
into dangerous curves.

Favorite corners.
Cheerleaders raped in summer
Holding hands
& bopping toward Sunday.

Those lean sweet desperate hours.

Time searched the hallways
for a mind.
Hands kept time.
The climate altered like a
visible dance.

Night-time women.
Wondrous sacraments of doubt
Sprang sullen in bursts
of fear & guilt
in the womb’s pit hole
The belt of the beast

Worship w/ words, w/
sounds, hands, all
joyful playful &
obscene-in the insane

Old men worship w/ long
noses, old soulful eyes.
Young girls worship,
exotic, indian, w/ robes
who make us feel foolish
for acting w/ our eyes.
Lost in the vanity of the senses
which got us where we are.
Children worship but seldom
act at it. Who needs
temples & couches & T.V.

We can do it on a sunny
floor w/ friends & make
any sound or movement
that comes. Roll on our
backs screaming w/ mirth
glad in the guilt of our
madness. Better to be
cool in our worship &
gain the respect of the
ancient & wise wearing
those robes. They know
the secret of mind-change

“Have you ever seen God?”
-a mandala. A symmetrical angel.

Felt? yes. Fucking. The Sun.
Heard? Music. Voices.
Touched? an animal. your hand.
Tasted? Rare meat, corn, water,
& wine.

An angel runs
Thru the sudden light
Thru the room
A ghost precedes us
A shadow follows us
And each time we stop
We fall

No one thought up being;
he who thinks he has
Step forward

Shrill demented sparrows bark
The sun into being. They rule
dawn’s kingdom. The cars-
a rising chorus- Then
workmen’s songs & hammers
The children of the schoolyard,
a hundred high voices,
complete the orchestration

“In that year there was
an intense visitation
of energy.
I left school & went down
to the beach to live.
I slept on a roof
At night the moon became
a woman’s face.
I met the Spirit of Music.”

An appearance of the devil
on a Venice canal.
Running, I saw a Satan
or Satyr, moving beside
me, a fleshy shadow
of my secret mind. Running,

The day I left the beach

A hairy Satyr running
behind & a little to the

In the holy solipsism
of the young

Now I can’t walk thru a city
street w/out eying each
single pedestrian. I feel
their vibes thru my
skin, the hair on my neck
-it rises.

Los Angeles: Jack & The Giant, Derrick Brown, WriteBloody.com & how it’s done.

“Once upon a time, there was a playful little boy whose internal organs were the size of a giant’s. His insides had grown to these inconceivable dimensions simply by association. That is, by eating off the giant’s plate every day and by playing in the giants house. In a nutshell, by hanging with the big boys…”

Known to be a maverick in his field, Derrick Brown of Write Bloody Press is at the forefront of his peers in the Independent and Small Press category of book publishing. The common question and stigma key phrase asked of authors when signing with independent and small press publishing companies is usually,

It’s small press honey, what do you expect?”

Well, there is only one answer: Write Bloody. Expect Derrick Brown and WriteBloody.com. Derrick Brown is President of Write Bloody Publishing He’s working on a new music project, “Night Reports” about a haunted baseball team and his latest new venture, poetrycruise.com where he Captains an actual harbor cruise with wine and poetry for hire by the romantic and avante garde.

If others in small press would make the leap like Brown has, well, perhaps the category might one day finally become big press or at least medium press. Providing of course that they have grasped the reality of the Internet and observed how the net has affected every Industry known to Industry, and simply just …get with it, like Derrick Brown has. and providing as well, that they believe they can, and stop already with the “It’s small press… blah blah blah”.

The record Industry was at first devastated by the Internet until the record industry embraced it. To quote music business entrepreneur David Codikow when interviewed by Frontline,  “The way I look at it is that the music business to me is fairly healthy. It’s the recorded music business that may not be as healthy as it once was.  …there is a tremendous amount of downloading. Sometimes I believe that downloading is good. I think in certain respects, in certain limited respects, if you really have a tremendousmendous buzz, …  there’s incredible promotional opportunities through viable marketing on the Internet.

It’s with this open minded mentality that Derrick began the journey
toward becoming probably the first of his kind, a maverick in Independent Literary publishing where every one of his authors go on tour, and enjoy the otherwise unattainable pot of gold: global distribution. Brown and his company Write Bloody Publishing, are an independent and small press company that is easier fathomable as a small playful boy with the internal organs the size of a giant’s whose insides grew to these inconcievable dimensions by swallowing what the giant did every day and playing in the giants house.

No one told Derrick Brown it could not be done, and if they did, the small boy listened not and set off instead, skipping even, with his hands full of truly magic beans. As a poet, he is quick, clever and all of charming. He’s funny with boyish good looks and he truly is Jack of Jack & the Beanstalk fame. Except, our Derrick Jack Bean Brown doesn’t aim to trick the giant into falling off the beanstalk, well first of all, he’s a poet. Poets hardly carry ill-will toward freaks of nature, rather they would feel it their duty to make others see the plight of the giant and eventually utilize the giant into marching in the anti-war fight against big oil.

In this scenario, it seems our Jack just wants to play in the giants house. And why not? Great things are much bigger there! Yummy things. Bigger. Golden things. Bigger. The end of the rainbow from the giant’s perspective? Closer. Playful little Jack wanted to acquaint himself with the ways of the giant in hopes that one day-  and it seems likely that they just might, eventually become playmates, without the constant fear of the small boy getting squished during game time.

If the level of playmates is attained, what a great thing, if not, Jack will still play in the house of the giant, that’s what he came for in the first place, remember, where things are bigger, better things are closer. And, Brown encourages and requires his authors to think likewise, “Be all that you can be, follow me and let’s go climb the beanstalk!”

Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing Derrick Brown of Write Bloody Press:

•    When did you know poetry was your calling?

When I got out of paratroops my attention span was so short I couldn’t finish any novel. I was drawn to the quick punch of poetry.

•    Who are your poetry influences, dead or alive?
Anne Sexton, Bob Hicok, Tony Hoaglund, Thomas Lux, Jeffrey McDaniel, James Tate

•    What was the seed behind the brainstorm that formed Write Bloody Press?
Our philosophy is born out of a small record label philosophy which is you have to tour. You must tour,  you must have a website. You must build a fan base. You must be unashamed to push your merchandise after a performance. the fan base is everything for each author. We also push making the books, posters and T shirts look good. It’s worth the initial investment to have an amazing website and book for longterm revenue down the road.

•    It must have been quite a journey breathing life into Write Bloody, what’s the story?

I was touring my butt off and meeting these amazing underground authors. I thought, “Wow”, I have more access to raw talent than any literary talent can ever get their hands on, I wish I could get these folks into the limelight.” I was just very naive and started it up in 2001 and spent my nights pushing to learn everything hands on for progressing. I asked bookstores and literary agents a lot of questions.

All of your poets tour. How do you get your writers on the road?
We have our own booking agency based off of my years of touring and building contacts. A great man in Seattle named Adam Bates runs that just for our authors. We have two levels of touring, Level A which is colleges and theaters and level B which is coffee shops and living rooms?

•  You also have global distribution, which is quite conscientious of you btw, as an independent publisher.  Your distributors?
We use SCB Distributors and they are picky and super friendly. It took us years to get accepted by one of the top 3 distributors.

•    What’s the longest you have been on tour? The best location? I feel like I’ve been on tour since 1996. the best country is Germany. There are 8 large monthly poetry shows in Hamburg alone.

•    Talk about the Poetry Cruise found on your website, and, you’re a licensed Captain then? Talk about the vessel? It is a 37 foot fishing vessel called the Sea Section.  I take folks out, give them wine, read ’em poems and people can witness sea lions and sometimes dolphins in the moonlight of the Pacific. (rates are at poetrycruise.com)

•    How many titles do you currently have on Write Bloody Press? Almost fifty.

•    You have an awesome website, credit? Josh Grieve used to be a skateboard designer and then we worked on a kids show together called Kidmo with other brilliant designers and illustrators like M. Carver, B. Lyon and J. Keckley. they all worked freelance at some point for us.

•    What’s on the horizon for Derrick Brown, the poet? Where can we catch a reading? I will be hosting a benefit Dec 5th 2010 in New York City at The Bowery Poetry Club with Fred Armisen of SNL, David Cross of Arrested Developement, Amber Tamblyn of House, Authors Sarah Vowell and Matt Cook. On Jan 29th I’ll be at Beyond Baroque with the brilliant author and rapper, Idris Goodwin who won many awards for his album, “Break Beat Poems”. WriteBloody.com

And let this tale be a lesson for you little ones out there. Fairy tales and the power of myth. The power of believing and beliefs creating realities. With the question, “This is small press honey, what do you expect?” There is only one answer: Derrick Brown and Write Bloody Publishing.


* This article also in Examiner.com /Los Angeles Poetry Examiner
 Interview with Derrick Brown 

Thanksgiving: The National Day of Mourning Text of 1970 Speech by Wampsutta, an Aquinnah Wampanoag

Thanksgiving: The National Day of Mourning Text of 1970 Speech by Wampsutta, an Aquinnah Wampanoag

Elder Frank James (1923 – February 20, 2001) was known to the Wampanoag people as Wampsutta, In 1970, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts invited himto speak at Plymouth’s annual Thanksgiving feast. When the text of Mr. James’ speech was revealed before dinner, Massachusetts “disinvited” him. Wampsutta refused to revise his speech and left the event. He went to the hill near the statue of the Massasoit, the Wampanoag leader during the Pilgrims’ arrival in 1620. There, overlooking Plymouth Harbor and the replica of the Mayflower, Frank James recited the speech that Massachusetts Commonwealth had refused to hear:

“I speak to you as a man — a Wampanoag Man. I am a proud man, proud of myancestry, my accomplishments won by a strict parental direction (“You must succeed – your face is a different color in this small Cape Cod community!”).

I am a product of poverty and discrimination from these two social and economic diseases. I, and my brothers and sisters, have painfully overcome, and to someextent we have earned the respect of our community.

Native American Actors.

We are Indians first – but we are termed “good citizens.” Sometimes we are arrogant but only because society has pressured us to be so. “It is with mixed emotion that I stand here to share my thoughts. This is a time of celebration for you – celebrating an anniversary of a beginning for the white man in America. A time of looking back, of reflection. It is with a heavy heart that I look back upon what happened to my People. “Even before the Pilgrims landed it was common practice for explorers to capture Indians, take them to Europe and sell them as slaves for 220 shillings apiece


The Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod for four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors and stolen their corn and beans. Mourt’s Relation describes a searching party of sixteen men. Mourt goes on to say that this party took as much of the Indians’ winter provisions as they were able to carry. “Massasoit, the great Sachem of the Wampanoag, knew these facts, yet he and his People welcomed and befriended the settlers of the Plymouth Plantation. Perhaps he did this because his Tribe had been depleted by an epidemic. Or his knowledge of the harsh oncoming winter was the reason for his peaceful acceptance of these acts. This action by Massasoit was perhaps our biggest mistake. We, the Wampanoag, welcomed you, the white man, with open arms, little knowing that it was the beginning of the end; that before 50 years were to pass, the Wampanoag would no longer be a free people. What happened in those short 50 years? What has happened in the last 300 years? History gives us facts and there were atrocities; there were broken promises – and most of these centered around land ownership

Among ourselves we understood that there were boundaries, but never before had we had to deal with fences and stone walls. But the white man had a need to prove his worth by the amount of land that he owned. Only ten years later, when the Puritans came, they treated the Wampanoag with even less kindness in converting the souls of the so-called “savages.” Although the Puritans were harsh to members of their own society, the Indian was pressed between stone slabs and hanged as quickly as any other “witch.” “And so down through the years there is record after record of Indian lands taken and, in token, reservations set up for him upon which to live.

The Indian, having been stripped of his power, could only stand by and watch while the white man took his land and used it for his personal gain. This the Indian could not understand; for to him, land was survival, to farm, to hunt, to be enjoyed. It was not to be abused. We see incident after incident, where the white man sought to tame the “savage” and convert him to the Christian ways of life. The early Pilgrim settlers led the Indian to believe that if he did not behave, they would dig up the ground and unleash the great epidemic again. “The white man used the Indian’s nautical skills and abilities. They let him be only a seaman — but never a captain. Time and time again, in the white man’s society, we Indians have been termed “low man on the totem pole.” “Has the Wampanoag really disappeared? There is still an aura of mystery. We know there was an epidemic that took many Indian lives – some Wampanoags moved west and joined the Cherokee and Cheyenne. They were forced to move. Some even went north to Canada! Many Wampanoag put aside their Indian heritage and accepted the white man’s way for their own survival.

There are some Wampanoag who do not wish it known they are Indian for social or economic reasons. “What happened to those Wampanoags who chose to remain and live among the early settlers? What kind of existence did they live as “civilized” people? True, living was not as complex as life today, but they dealt with the confusion and the change. Honesty, trust, concern, pride, and politics wove themselves in and out of their [the Wampanoags’] daily living. Hence, he was termed crafty, cunning, rapacious, and dirty. “History wants us to believe that the Indian was a savage, illiterate, uncivilized animal. A history that was written by an organized, disciplined people, to expose us as an unorganized and undisciplined entity. Two distinctly different cultures met. One thought they must control life; the other believed life was to be enjoyed, because nature decreed it.

Let us remember, the Indian is and was just as human as the white man. The Indian feels pain, gets hurt, and becomes defensive, has dreams, bears tragedy and failure, suffers from loneliness, needs to cry as well as laugh.

He, too, is often misunderstood. “The white man in the presence of the Indian is still mystified by his uncanny ability to make him feel uncomfortable. This may be the image the white man has created of the Indian; his “savageness” has boomeranged and isn’t a mystery; it is fear; fear of the Indian’s temperament!

“High on a hill, overlooking the famed Plymouth Rock, stands the statue of our great Sachem, Massasoit. Massasoit has stood there many years in silence. We the descendants of this great Sachem have been a silent people.

The necessity of making a living in this materialistic society of the white man caused us to be silent. Today, I and many of my people are choosing to face the truth. We ARE Indians! “Although time has drained our culture, and our language is almost extinct, we the Wampanoags still walk the lands of Massachusetts. We may be fragmented, we may be confused.

Many years have passed since we have been a people together. Our lands were invaded. We fought as hard to keep our land as you the whites did to take our land away from us. We were conquered, we became the American prisoners of war in many cases, and wards of the United States Government, until only recently. “Our spirit refuses to die. Yesterday we walked the woodland paths and sandy trails. Today we must walk the macadam highways and roads. We are uniting We’re standing not in our wigwams but in your concrete tent.

We stand tall and proud, and before too many moons pass we’ll right the wrongs

we have allowed to happen to us. “We forfeited our country. Our lands have fallen into the hands of the aggressor. We have allowed the white man to keep us on our knees. What has happened cannot be changed, but today we must work towards a more humane America, a more Indian America, where men and nature once again are important; where the Indian values of honor, truth, and brotherhood prevail.

“You the white man are celebrating an anniversary. We the Wampanoags will help you celebrate in the concept of a beginning. It was the beginning of a new life for the Pilgrims. Now, 350 years later it is a beginning of a new determination for the original American: the American Indian. “There are some factors concerning the Wampanoags and other Indians across this vast nation. We now have 350 years of experience living amongst the white man. We can now speak his language. We can now think as a white man thinks. We can now compete with him for the top jobs. We’re being heard; we are now being listened to.

The important point is that along with these necessities of everyday living, we still have the spirit, we still have the unique culture, we still have the will and, most important of all, the determination to remain as Indians. We are determined, and our presence here this evening is living testimony that this is only the beginning of the American Indian, particularly the Wampanoag, to regain the position in this country that is rightfully ours.”


A Poem by Iris Berry

I have known of Iris Berry for years but never had the opportunity to get to know her until recently. Iris is a poet rock star and was also my first choice when selecting fellow poets to be with me in the upcoming “Sextet” project with Ray Manzarek,the particulars of which you can get here, but I will expound on it when we start rehearsals in December.

Visit her website: http://www.irisberry.com and her blog Bad Girls Go To Hell. Here’s the Poem in its entirety, but more from her and her blog comrades at Bad Girls Go To Hell.

Iris Berry mixed media by Yvonne de la Vega



by Iris Berry


In the past two years

I’ve learned

that just because you’re

loyal, honest and devoted

doesn’t mean

it will be reciprocated

that sometimes,


no good deed

goes unpunished

and most movies

do not resemble

real life

especially the ones

with big budgets

and what my Grandmother’s

told me about men

is true

I’ve also learned

that no matter how much

you know and love somebody

they can still have secrets

that could break your heart

and possibly kill you

I’ve also learned

don’t rely on fortune cookies

but never let

a good wishbone

go to waste

that nothing is personal

and everything is personal

no one is perfect

especially me

and the more mistakes

I make

the more human and nice

I am towards


and the more powerful

I think

I am

the more danger

I am in

I’ve learned

that everyone dies

some quickly

some slowly

so it’s best

to live

the life

you really want

it’s taken me forever

to realize

that I still haven’t


and that

somehow I still

have the fantasy

that as long

as I am

a good person

life will get better

but what

I’ve really learned is

the clock is tick tick ticking

and maybe

I should

do my best

to leave this place

with a smile on my face

and love in my heart

for you

and for me

and maybe that’s

as good

as it gets

and if that’s the case

I will

consider myself



A Poem for Veteran’s Day

Cool Chick & the Girl

Part One: Instant Messaging

When I get home,
first thing I do
I go online click on my Boo,
He loves his cool chick
her satirical view,
“hey baby
hey baby
what’s up nothing,
And we just go on
till well after 2
and we laugh
like you laugh when online.

I got a cold Rolling Rock and Menthols
Bobtails cats on waterfalls
of satin where
my pillows call my name…
But here he is,
and beautiful,
sending words in chamomile,
with honey like
a salve for Mondays flame..

Then  it’s time for disconnection,
sad I cannot add inflection,
yet our exchange
is still perfection,
when his words
recall his voice
unlocking whispers
he once breathed
into my ears
that had swept like wind
right through my head
to hide inside my heart.
Out with them steps
the Girl he met –
Cool Chick keeps them apart,
and the music changes
when we say good-bye…

Part 2:   E-mail

We just said later gator
click- & that was fun…
But I forgot to say- well,
I’m sorry,
sometimes Cool Chick leaves
and Girl comes in…

I’m missing you.
Yeah, I’m set on you until further notice.
And yes I did get your email this  morning…
But- how do you read email dialogue?
Girl: she searches every line for reassurance.
Cool chick: remembers the planet is in turmoil.
Girl: wallows in Haagen Daas and DVD’s:

Original Sin:
I am Angelina Jolie and You
are Antonio Banderrrras…
I am a beautiful con artist and you,
debonair and irresistible,
will soon join me in a sting
that only you and I can devise…
Easy Money followed by erotic sex
on a bed of clouds and hundies

Cool Chick watches
Dave Chappell as Rick James.
Girl is bothered by something,
somewhere tugging,
a thought that pretends to fade…

Cool Chick smokes a joint
turns on Zeppelin and
sculpts a penis out of candle wax,

“Many times I’ve loved and many times been bitten
many times I’ve gayee-azed along the open road..
Da-dah doo-doo-doo   doo-doo-doo…da-daah

Girl loves this song,
we sat on the bed for hours
that day while she taught you
the acoustic guitar  intro…
she remembers your hands, sighs…

Cool Chick’s wax penis is kinda crooked.

CHI-kung CHI-kung –
Many is a word  that only leaves you guessing,
Guessing ’bout a thi-i-ing,  you really ought to know
… ohh …oh

Girl thinks of you in her mouth…

Hey lady- you got the love I need maybe more than enough…
Oh darling darling darling…

Cool Chick goes on myspace, facebook, twitter, linkedin, stumble, and etc.
on a binge to seduce the entire planet
with her indulgent
literary masturbation…
Girl sends you this email..

Part 3: What It Is

I am walking,
it is raining.
I see a soldier in a photo
and muse at the speed
of the internet,
that he may get my letter,
without a soldier yelling mail call
but instantly
in between the sandstorms
and the whistling petes
in the mess hall…

I begin to sob
for the sons of men,
war on the planet,
and for love…
and for the Angels of
or Allah
or anyone,
bigger than all of this…
Why Lord?
That is
the clot in my heart
that the cool chick brought
to the girl
that they may cry
in a rainy
dead November…
One cries for Peace
The other cries for Love,
One prayer sent through sandstorms,
The other in the rain…
hoping no one dies today,
and wondering
if he knows now
that he loves me,
all of me,
Cool Chick
The Girl.

– by Yvonne de la Vega from the book, “Tomorrow, Yvonne” ©

WORDBEAT – THE LA POETRY MUSIC SCENE | Internet Radio | Blog Talk Radio

Call in and share your poem to our jazz, it’s a lot of fun. think about it, we’re here every Sunday 8pm – 10pm PST.             WORDBEAT ☛  Poetry & Jazz Joint Open mike hosted by Poet Yvonne de la Vega and John Drew Barrymore.

Poets and Listeners in the WordBeat chatLounge.  LISTENERS REGISTER TO BE SEEN IN THE CHATLOUNGE.  Unregistered guests can’t interact. AWE 😦


Call-in Number: (646) 929-0302

LaLa haha. the poetry marathon.

Beyond Baroque, Venice, Cali. Los Angeles County. November 6, 2010

I think the event was called “McPoetry”?  Don’t ask me. Wrong person to ask what the name of it was. I walk in scheduled to read at 6pm. I’m late, it’s 6:30 I read by 9pm. That’s kind of like what the dentist does to you. You come in late, everyone that came in on time goes before you.


This time I didn’t mind, I got to listen to Suzanne Lumis. Seriously? Google that. She is Literary Royalty. Know why I remember her name? I had dinner at her home. Me. I had dinner with a group of Los Angeles poets… 20 years ago, at



the home of the hilarious and gracious poetess Suzanne Lumis.

What a landfill of Class. That was the Lumis dinner. And she’s a great writer from a long line of great, great, great writers. Los Angeles Authors. Suzanne Lumis is a name, okay?

They’ve been grinding since 9am was it? Someone famous kicked it off. I can’t remember the name, but if Rafael said the name which of course, he did,  then it was a name drop and it had to be someone special.

So, like, name dropping fallen on deaf ears turns into name dropping fallen on name dyslexic poetess who mistakenly calls people “Yvonne”, her own name.

Overtime I’ve talked to Rafael about this event, he said the name but that’s worse for my special kind of  name dyslexia, if you repeat the name over again, it acts as an erasure for the first time the name was dropped.

I am not trying to be hipper than thou, acting like I am soooo Lala that I don’t get excited when a famous person, poet, celebrity or you know, a name that everyone knows is mentioned.

Okay, I don’t excited I admit it.  Once, ONE TIME I asked for an autograph and it was Michael Jordan at the pool hall and the autograph was for my son who was 11 years old at the time. And Jordan said NO,  adding that if he signed ONE autograph he’d get stuck signing for ever.

Other than Jordan, I’ve never bothered. when you live in Los Angeles, you enter bathroom stalls some star just walked out of. You wipe their trickles of piss off the seat before you sit.

I do not disrespect nor do I envy. I simply live in Hollywood. Bottom line. One person’s Star is another’s forgotten name.

I remember faces. That I do. “Heeyy…!! We’ve met before, I know you, right?” I jut and point.


I have a name dyslexia. It’s at a very serious level.

Names. In one ear, out the other.

Sometimes, between the ears, it’ll roll off my tongue before bolting out the other ear. Gone. Never to return until I am told the name a 2nd time. Then –  the name is with me but only to catapult the main function of my special  name dyslexia, which is to forever ban the knowledge of the name from my entire psyche and being altogether.

Here’s the redeemer: The only way I remember a name, is when I actually, physically say words to ask and seriously inquire, “What’s his name?” , or, “Who?” But I only ask when I sincerely want to know.

When names are dropped, I go blank. I think it’s an L.A. condition. I seriously do. When you’re a Native here, you are a bit deprived. The deprivation is the unfettered you. You, as a Native Angeleno are just not impressed. It’s like a multi quadrillionaire who has resorted to scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast because he is just plain OVER the eggs Benedict, the lox ‘n bagels with capers, the lobster Newburgh omelette and the Foix gra crepes.

Okay. The poetry Marathon, or whatever the name of it was. I’ll finish this post when I get back from a picnic at the park:

The Best of France & Italy