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 Judy Juanita
Judy Juanita
Californian Poets Part 5: Five Poems
Judy Juanita



I try not to keep seeing jesus

I try not to keep seeing jesus
on the mean streets of san fran
where he makes me hate gutters
why isn’t he black like the wooly haired jesus in the black churches?
I keep seeing him white as old caked dirt
I could bathe his nasty self
make him white as snow
But he’s too mean to touch let alone scrub
I keep seeing him (dat not babyjesus)
I keep seeing this snarly man
evil as a woman who just found
her man in bed with another man
(him so evil his mama don’t want him)
and he curses his father
every time he looks to the heavens
sends a tail of comets
up gawd’s ass out of pure spite

give him a plain name like rahim
who cares if it’s muslim?
and, my gawd, decapitalize it

when godzilla booted nixon out of the oval office

lawyers and secretaries stood at the juncture
caught in the frisson of empire changing hands
young jewish lawyers earnest about civil liberties
poor for a minute and horny/suspended
in space between law school and their life-to-be
sharply dressed black secretaries
privy to everyone’s secrets/which is to say
completely powerless/unless inclined
to blow jobs and quickies at the juncture
it looked like a permanent mosaic
complete with the local black militant
in his socialist phase who marches/into the office for cash
like it was guerilla warfare/sweeps past the secretaries
(soon to be replaced by computers)
secretaries tasked to visit the big donor’s big mansion
the big donor writes the big check, asks if they want ice cream
rings a bell in the blink of an eye
a colored maid in uniform
comes down and serves them
hair askance
top button unbuttoned
eyeballs rolling
at the black women
she serves
before she leaves
in a huff
and the talking goes on

arming for armageddon and godzilla

I put everything she taught me in a snow globe
and turn it upside down
          never let a man use you for a pisspot
          I brush my nipples against men’s chests
your lips are too big for red lipstick
never wear red, you’re too dark
          I look at red dresses forever
buy one and wear it forever
do you know how ugly you really are?
and white people don’t have flat feet
          a white girl blond and giggly
orders spumoni in front of me standing
on white feet flatter than pancakes
years later I read that in slavery the mothers protected
their young daughters from rape by the slavemaster:
you is ugly, never forget how ugly you is

Barney, the gawdzilla-training toy

I take little Jo-Jo to see a real live Barney. All the kiddies are so excited. They had their little purple Barneys, singing the goofy song, all their mothers, aunties, grandmas-one or two daddies-all ready to see Barney. This great six foot five Barney, looking like a dinosaur with purple carpeting, comes out and all the kids start bawling. Boo-hooing. Shivering. Scared shitless. Jo-Jo jumps on my chest, his little heart thumping away. Terrified. One thing to see Barney on the TV set every day at daycare. A horse of a different color to see this great big old purple people-eating megasaurus. They never do get those kids quieted down. The closer he comes to them, they more they freak out-gawdzilla, in small measure, confronted directly by children. The terrible irony is that the adults, we who’ve fought gawdzilla all our damn lives, howl. Bowled over, pitifully cracking up. Hysterical with laughter. I haven’t laughed that hard in a month of Sundays. It brings tears to my eyes.

d.j. raw product

Yeah, went to get a burrito in Berkeley and next door the white boys were playing John Coltrane, no, a John Coltrane score. Hah! Sheet music. Shit Music!! If I never took a lesson held a clarinet tuba snared a drum bruised a thumb playing on a trumpet trying to be Dizzy Gillespie I gotta watch? Watch, ma’ fucker, no I ain’t gotta watch nothing. I’m a player. I ain’t dead. I know niggas was fabulous raw product for the last 400 years and capitalism functions high white and mighty off raw product. Capitalism say, we got to commodify John Coltrane. Put his shit down on paper, sell it, buy it, store it, CD it, stream it, and then we don’t need John. Die, mafucker, for all we care. We will build you an edifice called smooth jazz and on your tombstone put: NIGGERS WATCHED SLAVED AND FORGOT THEY DREAMS. Go eat a burrito, mafucker, with hi tech no sauce, we can’t be commodified because we free even if some of us gotta die to get that freedom.