Saturday, February 15, 2020

Stinky Poo Rendezvous

I’ve mentioned the Write Up The Road project, and the collective I’m a member of. While participating in the collective’s build out and going through my files, I came across a poem by Richard Anthony Spadaro. Although he was from Berkeley, California, I met him in Santa Barbara twenty years ago. He was selling his poems on State Street. The poem I bought, Stinky Poo Rendezvous, is dated September 29, 1998. It’s about getting a group of friends together to wash clothes at a “laundermat.” If you Google Richard Anthony Spadaro, you’ll find a few results, some pictures, and a couple of his poems (but not Stinky Poo Rendezvous).

Sure we honor the academy poets, the tenured, the chaired, the shortlisted, the statured. But what about the true poetry warriors, the Richard Anthony Spadaros of this world?

I remember sending Stinky Poo Rendezvous to my dad, who wasn’t much of a poetry reader, but he really liked it, and my story of meeting the author.

Earlier this week I went to the city library and checked out three poetry books. I enjoyed each immensely.

Dispatch from the Future, by Leigh Stein, 2012
Hip, hyper and self aware, these poems are observations from the center of a pop universe.

Last Train to the Missing Planet, by Kim Dower, 2016
These are more or less Los Angeles-centric, and can be very funny. “Day Whatever of Heat Wave” and “It’s Wednesday, Not Thursday” comically reflect some of what people in Southern California put up with, every day, whatever the day; she captures the exasperation. I laughed out loud often.

On Time, by Joanne Kyger, 2015 This book is the calmest of the three, less romcom obsessed, more Buddhist sensibilities. 

Last Rays in the Garden

They lasted a long time didn’t they
those rays

I’ve also been reading, from the internet, in ones and twos and threes, poems by:

Sara Borjas (She teaches at UC Riverside, which is right up the road from this Write Up The Road office).
Natalie Diaz (I noted “Museum of tribal dentistry” and laughed but wasn’t sure if appropriately so? She’s from Needles).

And then, Robert Louis Stevenson. I posted this on the Write Up The Road blog.
Thanks for reading. 
And if your state has a primary election coming up, please Vote!

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