Save The Dates!

Sat Sept 28 1-3pm
100 Thousand Poets for Change
Great line-up of about 20 readers, nice shade, come for some or all…at Ethyl the Whale on SFCC Campus (right across from La Familia clinic at SFCC)

Sun Oct 6
2 pm
Op Cit in the De Vargas mall
Miriam Sagan reading from new book of a two year diary, A Hundred Cups of Coffee, and Melissa White reading about Japan in her memoir Dizzy Sushi.

Review of Luminosity

Poetry Review

Luminosity by Miriam Sagan
Reviewed by Karla Linn Merrifield

Miriam Sagan’s newest poetry book, Luminosity (Duck Lake Books, 2019, 80 pages), is an eye-opening poetic experience that will leave you wanting more from the poet’s distinctive modern Renaissance mind.  Most of us can remember the dramatic 2017 total solar eclipse, but I suspect none of us rendered the great celestial event into such wise, lyrical poetry as may be found in Luminosity. In “Woman, Sleeping I-20,” Sagan writes, “we are going to drive to Nebraska/ to see the total darkness” and we realize that by contemplating total darkness, we may also comprehend what it is to be bathed in total light, whether from the sun emerging from eclipse, or the moon—a recurring metaphor for light in darkness—or from Ceres and Orion’s belt in the night sky.

From the opening page, every poem brings its luminous reward. In the lead poem, “Book of Darkness,” we are told, “…light must close the cover/ on darkness.” Many are such quiet declarations we can ponder. In “A Funeral in Pawnee,” Sagan invites us to consider “the loneliness of beauty.”  She also asks questions we need to answer for ourselves. Again from “A Funeral in Pawnee,” she asks, “what did I expect/ to be betrayed?/ and what supplies/ did I prepare/ from this betrayal?” Which betrayal? What supplies?! I’m still mulling over the concepts she addresses.

Luminosity delivers many moments of pure delight. One simply must smile when reading in “every poem,” “every poem/ should have some fireflies”.

The book also touches us with bittersweet flashes. In “Dunkin’ Donuts,” we read, 
                                                         Each of us 
                                                         carries a map of the day,
                                                         sometimes creased 
                                                         in sorrow
                                                         or stained
What does your map of this day look like? Where lie the creases and stains?

Prepare to be uplifted and transported in revelatory light–and shadow–from without as well as within “your different selves.”  Miriam Sagan’s Luminosity invites you to contemplate not only the “loneliness/ of beauty,” but also “the architecture/ of suffering,” knowing, however, that “Buddha nature is everywhere” and that truth will always arise from “a fog bank/ of lies.” Luminosity is wildly, boldly illuminating.

Editor’s Note:  Luminosity is available in trade paperback for about $16.00 and as an e-book for about $4.00 from most major booksellers.

100 Thousand Poets for Change–Santa Fe–September 28. Please Join Us!

SFCC will host local 100 Thousand Poets for Change event from 1 to 3 p.m. September 28
Poets will read by Ethyl the Whale sculpture, public invited to free event on campus

SANTA FE, NM – Santa Fe Community College will host a Santa Fe 100 Thousand Poets for Change event from 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 28 outdoors by the Ethyl the Whale sculpture on the college campus, 6401 Richards Ave.(Just across from La Familia clinic on campus) Michael Rothenberg organizes the international event. In Santa Fe, poet Miriam Sagan (former director of the creative writing program at SFCC) and Santa Fe Poet Laureate Elizabeth Jacobsen are organizing the Santa Fe event.

More than 25 poets will participate. Each poet will read one poem that speaks to peace, justice, sustainability – social, environmental and political change. Readers include Jacobson, Joan Logghe, Tom Ireland, Beyzad Dayeny, Jamie Figueroa, John Macker, Barbara Rockman, Serena Rodriguez, Barbara Robidoux, Mary McGinnis, Shuli Lamden and many others. The readers include community poets, as well as staff, faculty, students, alumni and friends of SFCC.

Drinking at the Hub Bar by Mary Strong Jackson

Drinking at the Hub Bar

After spending my quarter at Ralph’s Jumble Shop,
I spoke to a parrot name Ruby
in a bar window in Chadron, Nebraska.
I was sent for stomach pills
after Hope drank too much
and came naked down the staircase
at the Hub Bar, where I sat
on a bar stool next to my dad.
Hope was my small town’s “Nude
Descending a Staircase”.
I knelt beside mother at mass,
found art in crisscrossed wrinkles
of old men’s necks, while summer heat made
made mirages on paved country roads.

Mirages on paved country roads
of old men’s necks while summer heat made
found art in crisscrossed wrinkles.
I knelt beside mother at mass.
Descending a staircase,
Hope was my small town’s nude
on a bar stool next to my dad
at the Hub Bar, where I sat
as she came naked down the staircase.
After Hope drank too much,
I was sent for stomach pills.
In a bar window in Chadron, Nebraska,
I spoke to a parrot named Ruby
after spending my quarter in Ralph’s Jumble Shop.

Stops on the CTA

This excerpt from the “South Side Weekly” in Hyde Park. “Survival Guide” by Stella R. in the 9th grade. Curated by Michaela Bailey. This is part of a cool project–Student Writing Delivery Service.

when your friends become stops on the CTA
let earbuds take their place
learn the lyrics so that
when you pass childhood’s second homes
you’ll have something to say

Inequities–Poem by Mary Strong Jackson


In the bathroom two mice begin pulling
pieces from toilet paper rolls under the sink
gathering bits for a cushy nest.

You tuck and smooth sun-dried
still warm cotton sheets across your bed.
Mice push tissue with noses and paws.

The next morning more roughed
up rolls and tiny dark poop tells on them.
If not for the lure of peanut butter,

they might live to settle into bed
just a pair of mates making
plans for tomorrows.

Same morning after the couple
Is sentenced to death by loaded
trap, a charm of hummingbirds sip
sugar-water outside the window

where red amaranth known
as Love-Lies-Bleeding
and orchids named Lady’s
Tresses spark your senses.

Mary Strong Jackson