Part 5 Contributors


Millicent Borges Accardi
Kim Addonizio
Marjorie R. Becker
Jacqueline Berger
John Brandi
James Cagney
Carol Moldaw
Kosrof Chantikian
Brendan Constantine
James Cushing
Kim Dower
David Garyan
Valentina Gnup
Troy Jollimore
Judy Juanita
Paul Lieber
Rick Lupert
Glenna Luschei
Sarah Maclay
Jim Natal
Judy Pacht
Connie Post
Jeremy Radin
Luis J. Rodriguez
Gary Soto
Cole Swensen
Arthur Sze
Charles Upton
Scott Wannberg (In Memoriam)

Part 1 Contributors

Rae Armantrout
Bart Edelman
David Garyan
Suzanne Lummis
Glenna Luschei
Bill Mohr
D. A. Powell
Amy Uyematsu
Paul Vangelisti
Charles Harper Webb
Bruce Willard
Gail Wronsky

Part 2 Contributors

Elena Karina Byrne
liz gonzález
Grant Hier
Lois P. Jones
Ron Koertge
Glenna Luschei
Rooja Mohassessy
Susan Rogers
Patty Seyburn
Maw Shein Win
Kim Shuck
Lynne Thompson
Carine Topal
Cecilia Woloch

Part 3 Contributors

Michelle Bitting
Laurel Ann Bogen
Laure-Anne Bosselaar
Lucille Lang Day
Corrinne Clegg Hales
Marsha De La O
Charles Jensen
Eloise Klein Healy
Glenna Luschei
Clint Margrave
Henry Morro
Alexis Rhone Fancher
Phil Taggart
David L. Ulin
Jonathan Yungkans
Lorene Zarou-Zouzounis

Part 4 Contributors

Tony Barnstone
Willis Barnstone
Ellen Bass
Christopher Buckley
Neeli Cherkovski
Boris Dralyuk
Alicia Elkort
Mary Fitzpatrick
Michael C. Ford
Kate Gale
Frank X. Gaspar
Dana Gioia
Shotsie Gorman
S.A. Griffin
Donna Hilbert
Brenda Hillman
Glenna Luschei
Phoebe MacAdams
devorah major
Clive Matson
K. Silem Mohammad
Rusty Morrison
Harry Northup
Holly Prado Northup - In Memoriam
Cathie Sandstrom
Shelley Scott - In Memoriam
Daniel Shapiro
Mike Sonksen
Pam Ward
Sholeh Wolpe
Gary Young
Mariano Zaro

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Click to enlarge picture Judith Pacht
Judith Pacht
Californian Poets Part 5: Five Poems
Judith Pacht



Broken Pantoum

     First and last line, phrases from the poem “Dear Rose” in Time is a Mother, by Ocean Vuong.

A word is only what it means
one way to know white noise      round sounds
so rapturous at night    in daylight
fractured as old skin     fault-lined

one way to know white noise     round sounds
my maquette tries to be a poem
faultlines again     did I write that     say that
yes   here it is

my maquette tries     still not a poem
& the passion’s not quite gone
yes here it is     (the likeness doesn’t scan)
my edit-eye excises sentiment

allows some passion    (his receding chin)
a taste of past    Selma’s cake with plums
my edit-eye   my tongue remembers
cold-sweet   warm-tart   enjambed as lovers’ limbs

those plums in Selma’s cake
sharp   intense   but flat   depending on the year
cold-sweet   warm-tart   enjambed as lovers’ limbs
despite my private fears

sharp   intense & flat   depending on the year
but colored wild & rapturous
despite those private fears  rapturous  ravenous
but words aren’t only what they mean
                                (feeling is the only truth)

Depression Soup, 1936

               the chicken feet
             at Sammy Yee’s
                              a jumble
grasses tuck
     slivered duck
     scallions    in bao-clouds
                                   orders sing out
                                             treble clatter
                                             roll & rattle
                                          metal carts

right here
mother ladles
soup pot to bowl
          of ancient
                    hens’ feet
broth leached & leached     hours & hours
from barely bubbling bones

father’s bald head
a brass-globed finial
        gleams tall over
        suit & tie
           starched dinners
mother’s ordered breaths    Her Table
           set for dining

with me    an animal
                         whose procreant urges
                                             primal     ravenous
                           suck jellied bits off
          mount of moon
          mount of Venus
my hands
          their feet

In Palmistry mount of moon, an area at the base of the palm opposite the thumb said to be the source of creativity, moods & emotions. Mount of Venus, opposite the mount of moon said to be the source of energy, love, affection and sympathy.

Portrait as a Complex Object

She has excised
what some call
          an ever so slight
          fat-flap at the waist
          a prominent nose
          her pointed chin
                    pain + time
                    her currency
                         her only leverage
leaves her
for something unseen
her deep reaches     back
          in that dim corner
          where she (privately)
          turns over     arranges     rearranges
her portrait
          (composing her real self)
           from shattered redactions
                         an object     something like
                         a decorated dish     warped in a mirror

                    she is looking
                    for anything that might
          (it must be there)
           her worth
                              just the thinnest slice.

“I say inner beauty doesn’t exist. That’s something that unpretty women invented to justify themselves.” Osmel Sousa, longtime head of the Miss Venezuela pageant, on the popularity of plastic surgery in Venezuela. (NY Times, 11.9.13)

Another Slow Fade
                         After Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun

reads as disappeared     not
an insult     though unpredictably

spawning rage
permission to relive lingering
                         or tenderness

& abandonment again

          you know how it goes
          one gone & one left
          plunged into orphanhood

affecting the same absence
of person     wisdom & smart-ass repartee

          alpenglow fades & disappears

                    in every direction


          unwashed dishes     disheveled sheets
          two fishing boots each molded by a foot

body heat
not erased      simply
          (like Verdi’s Va Pensiero )

a pulse
a heart    whole & beating
that outlives us


scraps collected
saved & shaped to stanzas
or laid out with care on paper
like starched & ironed organza
          oh those crumpled hours
          torn & tossed away
                    (something might be there)

     once when I was three
I tried to tie my shoe     hurled it flying
                    fury against the flowered wall
                    making bruises of the purple-petaled flowers

not so much later
I came to know
          the shoe’s lace better
                    its loop-the-loop
                    its up-round-down
& then the lace & I
          became a bow