Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Lyrical Rhythms is officially Cool

The twice-monthly "Lyrical Rhythms" poetry open mike gets a shout-out at Cool Cleveland.  First and third Tuesdays at the Grog Shop, 8pm.

Not a reading I usually make-- anybody want to do a review?

Friday, December 26, 2014


Looking for your Cleveland poem fix?

 The second annual Best Cleveland Poem Competition was held on Sunday, June 1, 2014 at the Willoughby Brewing Company.  #ThisIsCLE features contest highlights including poems by Geoffrey Landis, Theresa Göttl Brightman, Jeffrey Bowen, Mary Turzillo, JP Armstrong, Anita Herczog, Danya Eichhorn, Michael Murray, Steven B. Smith, Frannie Lograsso, S. Renay Sanders, two-time Best Cleveland Poem winner Dianne Borsenik and competition emcee Ray McNiece.

The book is 40 pages, perfect bound, 6x9" and a steal at only $10 from Crisis Chronicles Press, 3344 W. 105th Street #4, Cleveland, Ohio 44111.

  • The book will have a release party at the Monday at Mahall's reading, Monday January 5th, 7:30 pm. Mahall's 20 Lanes, 13200 Madison Avenue, Lakewood

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Another Winter in The City

Photo- Winter One, by Smith
Winter One, by Smith
In time for Christmas, here's the 2014-2015 Winter issue of Kathy Smith's 'zine of poetry and art, The City Poetry, with poetry, art, and haiku from some of your favorite local (and not so local) poets and artists, including Smith, PM Pope, Mary Weems, Mary Turzillo, Joanne Meincke, Bonnie Thompson, Holly Jensen, Renay Sanders, Geoffrey Landis, Lady, Bree, Heather Ann Schmidt, KE, John Swain, Daniel Bellinger, Wendy Shaffer, Agram Bigsby, Jim Deuchars, Cyrus Taylor, Jayce Renner and Dianne Borsenik.
A festival of light.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Bring on the Dark

photo by Neil Herbert
The winter solstice issue of the New York Times had an essay about darkness by Clark Strand.  The whole essay is lyrical, but I seem to be seeing poems everywhere these days, so I pulled this sonnet out of it:

Bring on the Dark

There is, of course, no need to fear the dark,
much less prevail over it: not that we could.
Look up into the sky on a starry night,
if you still can, and you will see that there is
a lot of darkness in the universe.

There is so much, it simply has to be
the foundation of all that is.
The stars are only an anomaly
 the planets an accident.

Is it evil or indifferent?
I don’t think so.
Our lives begin in the womb
and end in the tomb.
It’s dark on either side.

--(after Clark Strand)

I hope you all have a happy solstice, and wish you all the best in your celebration of the festival of lights, and darkness.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Shopping Away from the Malls

Coventry Christmas - Passport to Peru.  Photo by Geoffrey A. Landis

It's coming up fast toward Christmas!  When it comes time to look for holiday gifts, instead of hitting the big-box stores and being mauled at the malls, take a thought to check out some of the local independent stores in your neighborhood.

Our town is full of quirky little shops.  I can't even name all of my favorites--

Coventry-- the whole thing, from the library up to Mayfield.  Start out at Mac's Backs, take a lunch at Tommy's, then check out the toys at Big Fun, which has all that stuff you saw advertised in the back of comic books but your parents woudn't let you buy.  Did you know they were named by Playboy as one of the “coolest stores” in all of America? Then browse the street-- Passport to Peru (OK, I admit it: that's where I did my shopping this year.  Don't tell my family, it's a surprise), and around to City Buddha*, for cool stuff.

Over to the west, in Berea try the Shoppe for gifts, and then wander over to Kidforce Collectables to shop for the younger set, and check out their games and comics. Then, if you're over 21, stop for a craft beer at Cornerstone Brewing on the Triangle. Hey, a growler of Seven is always the right thing to bring to a Christmas pot-luck!

Over to the east, check out the arts, antiques and consignment shops in the Larchmere area, starting with Loganberry Books.

Gordon Square: stop for a movie at the Capitol, and right next door you're find Guide to Kulchur.

And don't forget street fairs and festivals. This week, Coventry Holiday Festival is December 13.

And that's barely more than the surface-- there are thousands more. Look, this year, when black Friday comes, make a resolution: don't shop in the big boxes. They don't need your business. Go for the independents. Support your neighborhoods!

What's your favorite?

For a different view, see:

*What makes City Buddha unique? Interview.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Page A Day Poetry

Writing Knights just released their anthology of 365 poems: a poem a day for 2015, including eight of mine. Check it out here: https://www.createspace.com/4927522

Monday, December 1, 2014


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau