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Wayman Barnes 3.15.02
Rippin' Up the Rapp Saloon

Pete Justus is fond of saying that the trick to having a successful poetry reading is to "have no bad features." And being true to his word, he only books the best (myself included - ha ha) and this week he had our very own Jelena Andjelkovic aka Helen the Bashful Dragon featuring there. I shouldn't have to tell you that she ripped the place up!

Bashful Drags!!!

Poets: Laughing Larry, Jeff, Adam, Peggy DeBreer, Jelena Andjelkovic, Tom T Hall, Wayman Barnes, Sam, Dave Nordling, Gary Justice, and Pete Justus.

The Rapp Saloon
Hostelling International Building
1436 2nd. Ave.,
Santa Monica
Parking available in nearby Third Street Promenade parking structures.

The Exorcist 3.14.02
Exorcist posting: Friday I was at 217 taking part in beat poetry. They had about 5 of us on the mike. Saturday I was at Mia's where Slim featured. The last poem he did was Master Pop money. Wayne Slappy also did something and he features next week. Sam did a great piece called 'Food Court'.Tuesday at the Lounge Poetri did his Michael Jackson poem. Poetri had the crowd chant each poet's name as they stepped down. Thursday at Green Seiku did a very hot poem. He said Poetri's piece made him want to recite it. Friday at Midnight Special you had to see it to believe it. The poet warned us in advance that she was going to be exposing something about herself in the poem. She put the T in 'transparent'. During the course of her poem she revealed that she sported a strap on dildo for the benefit of her lesbian friend and had a sort of simulated sex. She said when it was over she was strangely detached from the whole thing. She looked at the dildo on top of the TV and felt distant from what had transpired. I'd heard her about three weeks back do a great piece on the drudgery of office life. Exorcist signing off.

Frankie Drayus 3.14.02
Java Zone

Java Zone is the new home of Monday Night Poetry hosted by Don "Kingfisher" Campbell and Jack Bowman. Good move, guys - this is much cooler than the stark white back room at the library, and I can drink coffee here. Selena, the vivacious owner, let it rip for a bit herself with a story-poem she pulled out of thin air. Feature Deborah Edler Brown painted herself into a corner and then magically escaped into the next poem and the next. I will never look at a long, hot, red chili pepper in exactly the same way again... Parking is easy, the reading is fairly laid back, and the people are really nice. But this place is in (desperate) need of more women - I was one of only five women in a room of 20+ people that night. Check it out.

Monday Night Poetry @ Java Zone
8-10 p.m.
490 N. Lake Ave.

The Exorcist 3.14.02
Tuesday night at the Lounge Poetri did his first erotic love poem. It was very graphic. Besskepp was part of a trio that rapped. Half the audience gave them a standing ovation. Thea did a poem and Shihan's wife did a love poem for him that turned into a rap flow halfway through. Slim did a dedication to the DJ poem.There will be a slam next week.

Wayman Barnes 3.13.02
Mike the Poet did a great write up on some of the LA poetry venues for Underground.net. Very informative. Check it out.

Wayman Barnes 3.12.02
Ventura Road Trip V

Barry says Hello.

That's right, Barry has moved to Ventura. And he's part of the Ventura poetry scene now. No more Rapp Saloon. No more South Beach. No more Midnight Special. No more Mia. No more Green. Abednego's and Zoey's have taken him from us. And he ain't coming back.

So when you go up there, be very, very careful. You may end up staying.

Tuesdays at 7:15
Abednago's Bookstore
21160 E. Thompson Blvd.

Amelie Frank 3.10.02
Ladies and gentlemen of the Southern California Poetry Community, The Big Picture is already history in the making! Poets & Writers Foundation, Poetry Flash, and Zzyzzyva Magazine have all made advance requests for copies of the print.

Even if you have already RSVP'd, come visit our brand-new and extensively detailed website (designed by the divine Christine Palma, the host of KXLU's "Echo in the Sense") to learn more information about parking, what to bring for the potluck, to see who has already confirmed his or her participation, to find out how the event is being planned, and to learn how you can help out, if you like. Come back and visit every week as we update with further information about additional parking, new sponsors, and VIPs who are planning to attend.

There's a splendid portrait gallery sampling of Mark Savage's portraits from "Souls and Passions," along with a fascinating, historical overview of the Southern California poetry scene penned by Bill Mohr. You can post a poem for a commemorative collection that everyone can download. You can also check out how to purchase your own print of The Big Picture.

Throughout the site, the message is this: Beyond Baroque is making this day and this photograph possible to celebrate you and your important part in our extraordinary community.

To access the web via Beyond Baroque's site:

Click on the promo on the left.

To go directly to the site:

Don't forget to RSVP! The drop-dead date to let us know you'll be there is Monday, March 25th! And if you have any questions, you can always e-mail me: poetamelie@onebox.com

Wayman Barnes 3.10.02
We all had a wonderful time at the Second Annual Beyond Baroque Creative Nonfiction Workshop Reading last Thursday. It was great to hear everyone share their stories, poems, and essays. Thanks to all the people who came to listen.

Readers: Cindy Bailey, Beatrice Felix, Trudy Goldman, Bob Lem, Marina Borawick, Nathalie Zeidman, JP Pomposello, Thurston Seaton, Frankie Drayus, Luis Russo, Ed Randolph, Todd Jackson, & Wayman Barnes.
And if you are a nonfiction writer and are looking for a weekly writing group, please join us.
Beyond Baroque Creative Nonfiction Workshop
Tuesdays, 8-10
681 Venice Blvd., Venice

Wayman Barnes 3.8.02
Movie Star Poet

Exciting times! There is so much happening to so many of the poets in the scene that it is becoming hard to keep up. So and so is going to be on the Def Poetry Jam. So and so is going to be reading poetry on Showtime. Such and such bigtime nightclub is going to start having poetry shows. So and so is on KCRW. So and so has just put out a CD and it is in such and such bigtime stores. So and so is in this play or that musical. And so on and so forth and so on and so forth.

Exciting news! A good friend of ours and fellow poet, Jenny Gabrielle, is one of the stars of the new Henry Jaglom film, Festival in Cannes. It is so wonderful to see one of our own up there on the silver screen. And sparkling. Way to go Jenny!!!

World domination!! Poets, poets everywhere! We're coming to get ya!

The Exorcist 3.7.02
Thursday night at the Green was a slam. Bowerbird and Rachel were calibration poets. The judges gave Bowerbird an unfair score, I think. Rachel got a high score. Mike Cirrelli got to the third round. He did a great piece about attending a poetry gym. Published by bench press, asking ink to spot him, trying to get cut up and lose some words, pumping irony. You get the picture. Another piece he did tickled me. He said a night out for him was doing the laundry. Slim got in the second round. He peformed Master Pop Money. Inq did a great chant piece. Got everyone yelling 'Right now!' when he pointed to them. Strychnine did his musical number again. Jorge did blinding. He got 29.9 in the first round and perfect 30's in the second and third rounds. Talaam Acey is the only peson I know that has had 3 perfect rounds. One judge gave him a 9.6 on the 1st round. It was a dropped score so I've never seen 3 rounds of 5 tens. Friday at Midnight Special Lee Sloka did a poem that made you ralize that cum tasting was as much of an art as wine tasting. He went into the different flavors and consistencies and what you should eat after depending on the taste and that it should sit on the tongue so the taste buds can benefit instead of being swallowed. I told him the Creator broke the mold when it made him. Saturday at Mia's Jorge was the feature and Charlotte also featured at the end to promote her chapbook. Tuesday at the Lounge was something. One guy rapped to the background of his friend playing the piano. Just as fresh as when I saw a guy rap over his friend's guitar there once. Strychnine did a 'Euro rap'. Adjusting his cap to simulate four people rapping. It was awesome. Mike Cirelli did a new and touching piece about food and the preparation of it and a dead relative that taught him. He mentioned weeping tears of vinegar. Sam did a piece about his granddad that he also performed at Mia's called 'Bill Brown'. Azekwe did a piece where he was a superhero catching bullets in his teeth. He was the only poet that sat on the edge of the stage to recite.'I wipe my nosebleed' was the chorus. Exorcist signing off.

Jelena aka Helen the Bashful Dragon 3.6.02
After Ours Hours

Up until last night, I didn't even know where Atwater Village was, not to mention assuming that it had anything that looks like hip, after-hours intelligent, I mean cultural life. But that was only up until last night, when I dropped by the Tuesday Nights at the Cafe.

The cafe in question is After Ours Cafe, the winter home of a multi-media happening produced by Katalyst Productions in partnership with Little Tokyo Service Center CDC and Blacklava. This long-running (going strong for more than 3 years) open mic, or better yet "open house" showcases talents of the young Asian Americans in Los Angeles, but is not limited to the Asian American community -- anyone with an open mind and any artistic talent is warmly welcomed.

The eclectic mix of spoken word artists, musicians, and performance artists on a small stage in the coffee shop window, dim lights, and a variety of amazing artwork on the walls make this venue a cozy hangout after a hard day at work. Traci the gracious hostess, Johneric the MC, and the amazing House Band (these guys play some mean guitar!) alone will easily make you forget all the trouble it took just to get to Atwater Village. I won't even mention the fact that open mic readers get whole 5 minutes for their performance. Nor am I going to mention the fact that the night ends with sort of a singalong (that you will have to experience for yourselves). However, I will mention that the next Tuesday Night at the Cafe will be on March 19th, so go check it out, say 'hi' to Traci and the gang, and make sure to mention we sent you.

March 5th featured artists: Jonathan Caparte Chavez and friends, Laura Rhi of Teatro Nueva Alma, Kristina Sheryl Wong ( www.bigbadchinesemama.com ), and LitRave's own Jelena.
House Band: Glenn Suravech and Shin Kawasaki (2/3 of the "Visiting Violette" band) Hostess: Traci Kato-Kiriyama
MC: Johneric Concordia

Tuesday Nights at the Cafe
7:00 p.m. (open mic sign-up at 6:45 p.m. - be prompt, open mic spots are limited)
After Ours Cafe
3416 Glendale Boulevard
Atwater Village
(323) 667-0844

For more information, check out www.blacklava.com

Oh, and if you get a chance, go to Japan America Theatre in Litle Tokyo on April 6th at 8:00 p.m. to hear the "Visiting Violette." They will be performing to promote their debut CD, "A Hero's Day." For details, please visit www.visitingviolette.com

Wayman Barnes 3.5.02

Each month I've been to the Roni'z Bakstreeet Cometri the crowd has gotten bigger and bigger. A great big tsunami of poetry and music ripping everything up. Come along for the ride, if you dare. Whhooooooooossshhh!!!

Roni'z Bakstreet Cometri
First Monday of each month
Must be over 21
$5 cover plus two drink minimum
The World Famous Comedy Store
8433 Sunset Blvd.

Jelena aka Helen the Bashful Dragon 3.3.02
Beyond Baroque, Beyond Belief

No, Beyond Baroque doesn't exactly mean what those T-shirts used to tell you ("Baroque is when you are out of Monet.") Actually, yesterday afternoon, Beyond Baroque was pretty much beyond belief. But I guess, that's what you get when you combine Frankie Drayus and LOB as features, a bunch of amazing open mic readers (Charlotte O'Brien, Wayman Barnes, Brandon Backhous, Mike Sonksen, Charles Ardinger... to mention just a few), and a well known poetry hostess (and poetess) such as Amelie Frank. Not even the all-black interior of the venue managed to dampen the bright light emanating through the words of LA's brightest poetic stars. Poetic tradition at Beyond Baroque lives on!

Wayman Barnes 3.3.02
It's Beyond Baroque, Baby

Yes, we have been patting ourselves on the back quite a bit lately and we realize that that gets to be boring after a while, but tonight was a special show for us. So please allow us to pat away. LitRave began at the Creative Nonfiction workshop at Beyond Baroque, so it was a victory of sorts to see one of our own feature there. Way to go, Frankie!

For those of you who don't know, Beyond Baroque is a big tadoo in the poetry world. From 1969 onward, they have been nurturing and promoting many of LA's finest poets and writers. They have writing workshops (free), writing workshops (not free), a bookstore (focusing on poetry), readings (with internationally known poets and writers), an art gallery, and so on and so on. We can't say enough great things about the place. Support them, support them often.

Because of the reputation of Beyond Baroque, the monthly open reading attracts a high caliber of poets. A great place for fans of poetry to perform and/or listen. So go! You will be very happy that you did.

Note: They will not be having the reading in April, because they are having a large gathering of LA poets for a photo shoot.

Poets: (Host) Amelie Frank (work by Elliott Baker and Enid Osborn), Ray Lanthier, Alex M. Frankel, Rick Weinberger, Jeannie Novak, Annette Robinson, Jelena, Paul Koenig, Amy Nolan, Thurston Seaton, LOB, Nathalie Lawhead, Tanja Lawhead, Frankie Drayus, Wayman Barnes, Marjorie Roberts, Ron Dvorkin, Brandon Bacchaus, Mike the Poet, Cindy Bailey, Charlotte O'Brien, Dina Hardy, & Charles Ardinger

Beyond Baroque Open Reading
The first Sunday of each month
4:45pm, Free
681 Venice Blvd., Venice

The Exorcist 2.27.02
Exorcist posting. Thursday at Green was a trip. I'd been away for two weeks so I didn't get to see the gradual build up of college age kids. One of them was a national slam winner in 2000. He performed at the Lounge on Tuesday too. My favorite part of his poem was the last line where he said he'd use white out on his poetry so that when he dies nobody would be able to read his mind. One kid did a poem about pissing in bed because he was too lazy to get up and use the toilet! Strychnine was a hoot. He did a poem with a musical chorus that had him all but clicking his heels. Friday at Midnight Special I saw again the poet that tickles everybody with his observations. He has a dry wit. I would love to see him and Dana Snow back to back. I can't remember the name of the feature Saturday at Mia's but I remember he had a chapbook called 'Hollywood Poetry'. More like prose than poetry. He said he bought a tux and gatecrashed a celebrity party. He told us what celebrities he talked to who thought he was somebody because he wore a tux like them. One black guy did a very intense 9/11 poem. Danny Boy did the usual 'piss off the Christians' piece. It was a great first half at the Lounge on Tuesday. Poetri had about 20 people up. One guy had a great piece about 'Revelations' referring to the U.S. and Enron corporations. He said the angels told him to make the earth shake with his poetry. Another poet dissed Master P and praised the earlier 'earth shaker'. Thea, Brigitte, Gimel, Damon did pieces. Unsaen couldn't be there as he was running for mayor so Nonsaen represented for him. In his chorus he said 'Nonsaen is nonchalant, Nonsaen is no Don Juan'. Two girls tag-teamed. The first one did a poem called 'Musical blessings' and the second one did a piece about finding a lyrical place. It had a rap feel to it. She talked about being in heaven and telling an angel he looked kinda fly with those wings. She tells Eve. "Girl, when the snake offered you the forbidden fruit why didn't you just turn around and leave?" Inq did a great piece on the Congo and Africa being split up. The issue that 'Black Hawk Down' addressed. Cindy did a very erotic piece about the pleasure she derived from eating Hershey's Kisses. She compared the benefits of the Hershey's Kisses and compared it to the failings of the vanilla wafer. She got Nonsaen shouting out that she was his wife. This has been a message from the Exorcist

Wayman Barnes 2.25.02
Back to the Grind, Again

Let's cut to the quick, some venues are cooler than others. As soon as you walk in, you know that you will be hearing some kick ass poetry from some kick ass poets in a kick ass room well, the Back to the Grind reading is like that. Put on by the Riverside Underground Poetry Organization, this weekly shindig has just hit the two year mark and is going stronger than ever. It really is worth the drive.

Back to the Grind
Mondays from 9-10:30
3575 University Ave.
Riverside, CA
(909) 784-0800