Anthony Castillo

Poetry

The Venice Primer – by Marti Liboff

Beyond All This – by Aryn Youngless

Social Soul – by Ronald K. McKinley

Whole Life is Black – by Jax Zepnick

Homing in – by bETO Perez

Back Street Life – by mt

Roger Houston

Amiri Baraka: Never Forgotten – by Anthony Castillo

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The Venice Primer-

Walkin down da Venice Boardwalk

Everyday people Talk

Venice can be a Menace

Cops may kick yer Ass

Skateboards zoomin By

Everyone gettin High

Bikes runnin down old Ladies

Segeways hittin Babies

Some hawkin Crap

From all over da Map

Thugs stealin Stuff

Hookers sellin their Muff

Movie stars and the Rich

Starvin homeless sleep in a Ditch

Ain’t it a Bitch

Dogs of all Kinds

People losin their Minds

Gang bangers Bangin

Suicides a Hangin

Pigeons and seagulls Shit

Even on Jolie and Brad Pitt

A pit bull walks with a Crook

Another tourist Took

I can write a Book

Meth,crack,Cocaine

Every drug to make ya Insane

Lost a job Again

Drinkin Gin

Bein homeless ain’t a Sin

Sleepin in a Garbage Bin

Hippies smokin Pot

Some have & have Not

A thief sellin a bike that’s Hot

Phony Healers

Drug Dealers

Fortune Tellers

Worthless Fellers

A crazy in the Head

Cold without a Bed

Lookin to be Fed

Until you’re found Dead

Gays & Lesbians

Screwin producers & Thespians

Loonies & nuts Yell

Yer all goin ta Hell

Tourists run from their Smell

Jim Morrison singin to Charles Manson

The Beach Boys writing California Dreamin

Musicians play all Day

Krishnas & Christians Pray

Tourists Pay

If ya sleep in yer car ya can’t Stay

Hunks showin their Nuts

Sexy gals showin their Butts

While walkin ugly Mutts

Sick & in Despair

No one to Care

Is a real Scare

Waitin for Obama Care

Beautiful empty sand & Sea

No one wants to swim in feces & Pee

Young & old Fucks

Water is 5 bucks

Man,that Sucks

Pigs beat yer Head

Yell,You’re better off Dead

Cause the cement’s your Bed

Some with & without Talent

Ain’t got a Cent

Can’t pay the Rent

Rent used to be 100 dollars

Now its 5000 Dollars

& everyone Hollers

Drummers bangin da Drum

Drunks drinkin Rum

A billionaire dancin with a Bum

Whites,Blacks & Asians

Hangin out with Martians & Vegetarians

My arrest was Wrong

Just smokin a Bong

My poem is too Long

Shoulda been a Song

Venice has it All

The small & Tall

The sad & Mad

And every Fad

So just be Glad

To be Livin

Venice is Hell & Heavin…

Marty Liboff  -c. 2013

—————————————————-

Beyond All This

By Aryn Youngless

Beyond all this

There is more

There are new beginnings

A new day & time

Filled with laughter

& friends

Beyond all this

There will be sunrises

& sunsets

Cascading stars

& moon lit nights

Songs with harmony

& sorely out of tune

Yes, life

Beyond all this

Are new beginnings

New endings

1000 do-overs

Gallons of tears

Mingled with smiles

& glorious food

Beyond all this

Are more reasons to try

Than give up

To forgive, than regret

To embrace, than let go

& to let go

When you must

Beyond this moment

There will be more

EVERYTHING

With each step we can

Tailor, trim

Envy & love

Beyond all this

We can always

Start again

————————————–

Social Soul

by Ronald K. Mc Kinley

Man is a social animal

An animal

Organized around madness

Righteousness

Cover for children

And bearers of

Isolation physically

or intellectually

Man/woman become unbalanced

Grouped together to get her

to get him

Assembled to make laws

In session to interpret laws

Elected to enforce laws

All can be perverted

Vigilance made worst by prejudice

Peace on earth good will toward men

A collective prayer is a wonderment

When there is a massed moment

For good

Man can truly be social

———————————————

Whole Life is Black

by Jax Zepnick

Nothing really mattress

When you are strolling down the street

With your tattoos

Covered head to toe

And the art,

That changes weekly–

A free ticket to a gallery

If you’d just open your eyes

And enjoy.

Step on the sand,

Take a sip,

Watch the sun,

Ride a wave,

Ride the pavement,

Ride your life–

And

Escape your life,

Because the blue skies will persist

When your whole life is black

Because Venice Beach will be here

When you need yourself back.

——————————————–

Homing in

By bETO Perez

having no ground to retreat

my back up hard against

my home grown presidio,

mask almost all splintered

scattering to the 4 winds

no dark passengers left

I repeatedly rebooted

moved to la Ciudad De

Nuestra Senora La

Virgen De Los Angeles.

———————————

Back Street Life

I lived the backstreet life.

Traveling unmarked roads hidden from view.

Tasting lives lived out of sight

and out of mind.

Being a welcome visitor into the secret spaces

inhabited by rare and dangerous souls.

The backstreets of the cool, dark hours.

The times and places where passion, courage

and inspired lunacy prowl and hunt

and dance.

Where open eyed love is made to the vast glory

Of a universe unfelt by the safe and unknowing

in their beds on main street.

The backstreets are filled with beginnings and

endings.

The middles are for somewhere else.

—————————————————–

22:10 Saturday, January 18th, 2014, Adullam, commemorating the 50th anniversary

of Ed Sullivan Show  featuring John, Paul, George, and Ringo …..Flashed past,

the decades. Things have come around. Was only yesterday. First heard the sound.

I was but ten years old. Ed Sullivan Revealed them to America. Began A spiritual

adventure. Rock and Roll Was back on track. I heard the bell’s bright toll.

Still vivid, those fresh faces, the delight Of hearing their renditions. Sunday

night Would never be the same. Down in my soul. I understood the little girls.

Control Was cast aside. Part of the master plan. No turning back. The future has

begun. It was just yesterday. They still resound Between my ears. My soul was

fertile ground ….. Happy Valentine’s Day, Venice, Roger Houston

——————————————————————————

Never Forgotten: Amiri Baraka – By Anthony Castillo

On January 9th at the age of 79 famed poet, playwright, teacher and activist Amiri Baraka died in his home state of New Jersey. Born Everett LeRoi Jones, he began as a Beat Poet alongside Alan Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. He published his first major collection of poetry “Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note” as LeRoi Jones. He wrote his 1964 play “The Dutchman” dealing with racial tensions, and it garnered wide critical acclaim.

But it was a trip to post-revolution Cuba along with the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965 that politicized the then-LeRoi Jones and transformed him into Amiri Baraka. He became a Black Nationalist, a self-proclaimed Marxist, and distanced himself from the a-political Beat Poets, leaving his old life as LeRoi Jones behind him. Besides his name, the biggest change could be seen and heard in his poetry. Baraka started using Jazz and Blues rhythms as the foundation of his writing. He developed a freer, loose, almost musical style in his reads. He would often read over Jazz tunes and write his poems for specific songs. His revolutionary politics were ever present in his writings till the very end of his life.

It’s one thing to read an Amiri Baraka poem, but it was quite another experience to hear Baraka read his work live. I had the chance to see/hear him read in Leimert Park a few years ago, as well as speak with him afterwards. It was an amazing evening, one I will never forget. Luckily there are many recordings of Baraka reading his work, so future generations can be inspired by this influential, creative force.

Baraka had 50 books published, including his 1984 book “The Autobiography of LeRoi Jones.” He was Professor Emeritus of African-American Studies at the State University of New York Stony Brook for 20 years. Baraka won numerous awards for his writings and fought many battles as an activist and revolutionary.

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