Dear Poets near and far:

Here I am in Los Angeles, making me once again an Austin poet at large. More about it in the announcements section. First, tho, the upcoming happenings:

APAL poets' guide:

Tuesday, January 6, 1998 - Ruta Maya Coffee House features CHRIS

CRABTREE, poet laureate of San Antonio. There will also be open reading. Located at 4th and Lavaca. Laura Moliter hosts, sign up by 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 452-3332.

Tuesday, January 6, 1998 - Electric Lounge 305 Bowie, The Lounge open mic, hosted by Phil, takes place every Tuesday at 8:00.

Wednesday, January 7, 1988 - Rio Grande Coffee Haus, open mic sign up at 8 p.m., with guest co-hosts Jennifer Williams and Cynthia Good, covering for moi. Have fun, ladies!

Saturday, January 10, 1988 - Quack's, APAL Saturday Live Poetry, hosted by the inimitable John Hawk, sign up by 3 p.m. (And note, this venue will return to the 7 p.m. time slot on Saturday, Jan. 24.)

Tuesday, Jan. 13 - Ruta Maya will feature MIM SCHARLACK on 13th-drummer percussionist performance poet par excellence-she is

starting a fund to get top UK rant poet M.C.JABBER here. also open mic reading. 6:30 p.m.

East End Black and White in Color - Thursday, January 15, 1998 at 7:30 pm. at East End Coffee House, 1806 E. 12th Street. Flora Wilson, 71 year old Austin poet, will release her collection of poems titled: “Eyes on God.” Open reading to follow. Sponsored by East End Coffee House and Austin Poets at Large. Free admission. For more information call 346-7773.

Poesia y Sur for 1998 - Thursday, January 22, 1998 at 7 p.m. precisely, at MEXIC-ARTE MUSEUM, 419 Congress, will see the first presentation of Poesia y Sur for 1998! Host readers will include Dr. Miriam Echeveriea de Balboa, Sue Littleton and Thom the World Poet. Previous readings featured the work of PABLO NERUDA and Federico Garcia-Lorca. Admission is FREE, but seating is limited. Phone 416-7435 to book your seat for the first presentation of SPANISH poetry with English translations. Sponsored by the City of Austin Mexic-Arte Museum and Poesia y Sur.

Release Party! Karyna Perkins releases her newest collection, Mint Jelly, on Saturday, January 24, at 7 pm at Quackenbush's. Open sign up to follow. 2120 Guadalupe. For info, call 452-3332

What happened last week:

The second Pasha Benefit at Ruta Maya on Tuesday, Dec 30! Featured Albert Huffstickler, and of course, Pasha. Farid was again on hand to video the historic event for ACTV's NAFAS! We collected over $150, and a warm thanks to all who pitched in!


Electric Lounge - Tuesday, Dec. 30 - Slam news submitted by the slam correspondent, Susan B.A. Somers-Willett:

The monthly slam at the Electric Lounge was well-attended this Tuesday.

MC's Mike Henry and Phil West filled in for Genevieve Van Cleve while she

celebrated her birthday in sunny Mexico. Nine poets competed, with four

poets in the final round. Last round poets were (in ascending finishing

order): Jeff Knight, Karyna Perkins, and Ernie Cline. Susan Somers-Willett

won the first place $50 cash prize with her poem "Dedications for the 8th

Ward Clinic."

New Year's Eve at Rio Grande Coffee Haus, Dec. 31. Thanks to all who came out and shared poetry and fun -- Now, everyone go buy some coffee at 2222 Rio Grande -- show your appreciation.

Saturday, Jan 3 - at APAL's Saturday Night Live during the Afternoons (soon to return to Saturday nights) - highlight, according to usually reliable sources, was our own Jennifer Williams with her freeforming flying poetry improv work.


Ok, exploiting my editiorial privileges here: I'm visiting my friend Larry Jaffe in L.A. for his feature last night at Celebrity Centre Live Poetry Show and release of his new collection "hate's not natural" and the poetry is intoxicating, elevating, satiating! A pride of poets came together at the Little Theater and I swear I heard the producer use "best" to describe the energy and quality of poetry last night! Do you think I exaggerate or make this stuff up? Ha! Then on to the Onyx, celebrating first anniversary of that venerable venue. Co-host Milo Martin called it right -- raising the soul in poetry and music, that's what church is all about, isn't it? And Milo and Ben Porter Lewis send their greetings to the Austin slam poets they met in Connecticut last August. As for me, five more nights of L.A. poetry, and promoting the festival, then back to Austin.

Oh, and here's a little tidbit: " calling all performance poets! nap jam one -- the poetry jam in las vegas in march 1998". For more info, e mail (attention Thom the World Poet: Bower Bird says you get a personal invite!)

Austin International Poetry Festival 1998, April 1-6 If you haven't yet registered (yes, you!) call (512) 918-AIPF or e mail: or or just see me! I have application forms on my person!

NEEDED! Housing for poets coming to the 1998 festival the first week of April. Volunteer by e mail now. And thanks to those of you who have already offered your homes.

The Austin Younger Poets Awards will be presenting $100.00 in prizes and publication in the Austin Younger Poets Awards anthology in conjunction with the Austin International Poetry Festival in April. Young people up to the age of 19 are eligible for the prizes, but work of college students will be considered for publication in the anthology. All poets published in the anthology will receive a free copy and an invitation to read their work in public at AIPF 98. For information, call 346-8717 or email

AIPF poetry slams have been scheduled for Thursday, April 2 and Sunday,

April 5. Those interested in signing up should contact Phil West at

419-7669 or by e mail

The planning committee for the 1998 National Poetry Slam to be held here in

Austin this August is hard at work making this the best Nationals ever. The competition, to be held August 19-22, draws teams from all over the country and even overseas (last year's competition included teams from Canada and Sweden). In true Austin style, the National team finals will take place in the historic Paramount Theater! Those interested in volunteering or planning for the National Slam should contact Phil at the above number.

Frank Pool is a featured poet on the Poetry Super Highway website during the week of January 5 - 11, and then forever thereafter in the Past Poets Archive.

Check it out at

and enjoy this poem by Frank:

The muse is a harsh mistress

Who never heeds commands.

I shout, when at my great distress

To shape a line, I make demands

On her, then vivaciousness

Turns wanton, and she damns

My insolence. Yet worthiness

To her means patience, grand

Endurance, even waywardness

With truth; she understands

Nothing of time’s wretchedness

Or the failure of empty hands.

Yet only can I listen and my muse adore,

And lay my lines and meter at her door.

Frank Pool

APALers are looking for ways to help poets market their chap books and MAKE MONEY at poetry that way. Anyone wanting to list their chap books in the APAL weekly e-newsletter, e mail me the info.

Featured poem, by Karyna Perkins. Karyna will be featured at Quack's on Saturday, Jan 24 at 7 p.m. when she releases her newest book. Y'all be there.

"Fresh Eggs, Ales"

I dream the eggs, yellow eyes

fixating stare from the skillet

the butter bubbling hot in disbelief

I take the yolk, touch my lips

to it, the fragile swollen body

-need paprika and a fork-

my mouth to it's phosphorescent

blood, I eat my eggs

nothing more, I eat my enemy

wet and endometrium in gullet

deep enough to wake me

Ales, let's show our bodies

tonight: peaches. mangos.

banana. coconut.

You check for freshness

and I'll check for firmness, Ales

we have the good fruit

we have the God fruit

and when you step into me, foot Here

the aisles of my legs are perfect to taste

perfect to part, Ales

like all their lives they have waited, so

let the dogs come

and cry at our toes, our cooked smell

still lingering from spilled dream-butter

but we are better now, resewn

thrown from a marital morning

and into each other's mouths

and maybe I'll stay, but

somewhere, Ales, is a skillet

still smeliing of Teflon

and it taunts me tonight

your tokens of affection are at hand

on my hands, frozen loop

of frying fat, this wedding ring

holds nothing of my dreams, only

the fate

the eyes of eggs

my eggs

the morning when you kiss my spatula

with the mouth of a spouse

when you say, juicy pulp

dying pastel on the window sill, Ales

that my fruits are out of season

and it makes me stop-

and touch you now

hold your sleeping head in my hands

suckle and weigh you

like a rare and solar


--karyna perkins

have a great week, get out to spoken word, put some poetry in people's lives!



media liaison

austin poets at large