Dear World,

On this Monday like no other Monday, hello from Austin. This is the Monday that follows the 1998 National Poetry Slam. The Saturday night finals at Austin's Paramount theater, capacity seating of, oh, 1200+, SOLD OUT! See Announcements below for details.

APAL Poets Guide:

All events are free unless otherwise noted. Some venues pass tip jar for featured poets.

1. Monday, August 24 - Jovita's 1619 South First St. Open mic readings 7-9 pm. Brett Axel and Amy Ouzoonian feature.

2. Monday, August 24 - Ebony Sun Java House, 1209 E. 11th Street. East Side Black and White poets, hosted by Stazja McFadyen. Open mic sign up at 7:30 pm. Featured poet: Larry Jaffe. fmi call 625-3368

3. Tuesday, August 25 - Ruta Maya Coffee House, 4th & Lavaca. APAL open mic, signup at 6:30 pm. Hosted by Sara Sutterfield Winn and Maslow. Feature: L.A. poet Larry Jaffe. fmi e mail

4. Tuesday, August 25 - Electric Lounge, 302 Bowie. It's weekly slam time, this Tuesday, and every Tuesday until pigs fly and ducks have teeth. $2 admission. Sign up 8:30 pm. Genevieve Van Cleve is hosting. $50 to the winner. 476-FUSE

5. Wednesday, August 26 - Borders on the Word at Borders Books and Music, 10225 Research, 7:30 p.m. Auricles of Delphi feature, followed by round robin open mike. Hosted by Barbara Carr. fmi 343-7940

6. Wednesday, August 26 - Movements Gallery, 211 E. 6th St. BYOB: Blast Your Own Breath.Tammy Gomez hosts, 9-10:30pm. fmi

7. Thursday, August 27 - Ebony Sun Java House, 1209 E. 11th, Ste. C. Jazzy poetry with Edward Powell. Free style poetry starts at 7 pm. Featured poet at 8. Feed-the-poet donation of $3 requested. fmi 472-8875.

8. Saturday, August 29 - Past Poetry Project performance at Windsor Village Library. 2pm The Past Poetry Project will be reading LIGHT POETRY (of Lewis Carroll, Dorothy Parker, Ogden Nash & others) on Saturday, August 29th, at 2pm, at the Windsor Village Branch Library (5851 Berkman Dr). Call 928-0333 for directions.

9. Saturday, August 29 - Saturday Night Live Poetry at Quackenbush's Coffee House, 2120 Gaudalupe. Back in the evening time slot, APAL open mic sign up at 7:30 pm. Featured: Saturday Morning Writing Group and Thom the World Poet, releasing "August 1998" chapbook. Diane Fleming hosts. fmi

10. Sunday, August 30 - Electric Lounge. Volunteer Party for the Nationals. Genevieve Van Cleve's going away party. CD release party for Tina's Fine Ass Lingere, the live CD we did at the Lounge a couple of months ago. 9pm. This is an open party.Anyone that wants to come is welcome. If you don't know where it's at by now, you probably won't attend anyway.

Featured Poems

This week's theme: Faeries and mythical creatures

Next week's theme: Smiles

At just for the fun of it, theme for #44 is Work

1. From Aaron Sanders, of Austin:

excerpt from "EMS"

The problem with this feeling is

that it's not love anymore

it has kicked down all the doors

and become something more

Stronger than the heat of Texas

meaner than the yellow soil

This summer may not end

for us

Traffic noise is like the sea

if you close your eyes

and want it to be

The carried are afraid

to throw cigarette butts

out sunset-downed windows

Fire is everywhere

You have done your part

to keep me sane

You have championed the cause

of love

one half hour at a time

The solitude of white stripes

flying by

anticipation of door knocking

I make myself alone

with over-exuberant hope

giving this place

the benefit of the doubt

again and again

I want magic to be true

If I do not believe

I will never be let down

but if I do not believe,,,

Where will the trolls and the faeries go

if they can't live in my heart

There is always room at the inn

2. From Carol Eddington of Chicago


I read The Book of Elves.

The forest swept my landscape.

Mortal, I came out to die,

Till I heard the witch's cry

And opened an immortal eye.

Dreaming, I slept enchanted.

Now it's March.

We wake, kill the fire,

And journey on, searching

For spring and life.

Still a fairy, I notice

The way the rocks are turned.

Still waiting, I live

A long forgotten vow

To never come to Now,

Till the Beauty wins.

3. From Drachen A. Birch of Kalamazoo.

West Main Elementary has a new parking lot.

Look up with the eyes of a child for one more moment,

at the patched blue sky, waving, shifting where the wind

shuffles the leaves, the bright flashes of sun that

reflected off your retina, and let you see for the first

time, one of your own capillaries moving blood. Learn to

form clouds into myths beneath that dark green canopy.

Learn to make love beneath mighty oaks, or in pine needles,

or to the sound of wind clattering poplar leaves together,

percussions echoed in the shaking out crack of a brand-new

piece of paper, like a pureed frog that can still be made to

croak. Walk hand in hand through the still, pillared

dirt-floored cathedrals that will be cleared to make room

for mini malls, feed stores, unnecessary apartment

complexes. One by one, trees that I gently hung those

remembrances on are cut down, with no fuss. Just another

damn tree. The goblins have come, with chainsaws and

bulldozers and lunch boxes.

Goblins, did you ever lay on the ground and stare up

through those branches, get to know the pattern of that

living thing? Pattern is all that some creatures have.

Some people, too. Did you wake this morning in an act of

self-aware volition, saying, today I would rather cut down

trees than any other act I can conceive of, today I must do

my small part to mess over the global carbon-fixing cycle,

today I will snap one more tiny life-strand out of the great

web? Or, was it another simple pattern, as unaware as the

shape of a mollusk's shell? Just another tree, grove,

stand, copse, forest, jungle.

Run to the bard of the elves with this sad news,

for the goblins are winning their war,

and there is too little magic left to stop them. Correct

the singer of ancient lays, for where the foe marches, all

is not darkness. It is pale light and sparkling plastic and

shining aluminum and fresh, reeking asphalt above the

rotting roots of hickory. As a boy, I ate the fallen nuts

of that tree, and was nourished in more than my body. What

child now comes to take this pavement into its mouth?

4. From Rochelle DiTonno somewhere in cyberspace.

"The Gypsy Wind"

My eyes were gazing upon the horizon

staring at nothing, really--

waiting, wanting, hoping...

to catch a glimpse of the glitter that might shimmer

in the moonlight.

My eyes darted quickly and tried to focus on the tiny

figure, flitting, on the right side of heaven.

With the grace of a hummingbird, she swayed melodically

upon the wind.

With each caress of the music, she danced, sending sparkles

of light all about her.

Her hair was golden, as though it was kissed by the sun

dropping in long ringlets down around her honey brown face.

Her eyes a velvet green, filled with passion and promise.

Her dress a multitude of pastel colors-warm and gentle.

Her feet were bare, I noticed, as I watched her float

upon the breeze.

My love for her allowed me to be there with her- joined-

in her dance of love.

Together we danced upon the wind. Carefree--

two hearts entangled as one, unselfishly giving, giving,

giving love.

Then as suddenly as she had appeared, she was gone.

The Gypsy Wind had swisked her spirit, upon its wings.

With my eyes gazing upon the horizon---

I stared at nothing-really--

waiting, wanting, hoping...


"chap*book (noun) First appeared 1798 : a small book containing ballads, poems, tales, or tracts"

1. "August 1998" by Thom the World Poet. $5. 24 NEW POEMS, 30 PAGES. ALL NEW POEMS WRITTEN THIS AUGUST. CONTACT THOM AT (512)416-7435 THANK YOU! Book launch at APAL Saturday Night Live Poetry, Quackenbush's, Saturday, August 29, 7:30 pm.

Review by Diane Fleming:

"TRUTH! Thom tells me that writing poetry is about being a witness and telling the truth. In "August 1998," his new chapbook, he writes about recent events...I see my friends here and I see people I've never met but know somehow. He tells the truth about the specific to reveal the truth about the general. As soon as he writes down the truth, the truth changes, and he writes another poem, which turns the last poem around. He writes in the poem "poor heart!":

"poor we!

who tell our truth

while others call it 'story' "

And, he writes:

" none too impressed with those who like to impress themselves

upon an audience with only WORDS to listen to

she prefers silence

so i shut up."

2. "Jewish Soulfood: Tales of My Family in Story & Verse" by Larry Jaffe. $10. 32 poems, 56 pages. Available at Larry's Austin features at Ebony Sun Java House, Monday, Aug. 24th, 7:30 pm and Tuta Maya Coffee House, Tuesday, Aug. 25th, 6:30 pm or e mail

Review by Debra Call:

"Old friends and new, poets and nonpoets are in for a treat as Jaffe returns to Austin with his latest book Jewish Soulfood. With humor, growing pains, and unmistakable affection, Jaffe weaves a rich fabric of family stories of being born, growing up, and seeing the world through the eyes of childhood, sonhood, fatherhood, and reflections on a Thursday morning. ... Once again he succeeds brilliantly in feeling words together and touching tender times and remembered places. Jaffe's words and style are penetratingly unique and his voice powerfully whispers, chants, and passionately connects in personal and intimate ways. His poetry is unrelenting in its eloquence, intensity and walk on emotional edges."


1. Here's my "Evelyn Wood" version of 1998 National Poetry Slam week in Austin.

Keeping it simple,

Congrats to all the top four teams:

#1 Team: New York

#2 Team: Dallas

#3 Team: Los Angeles

#4 Team: Cleveland

"Each year Dallas has done better in the Nationals. Next year we only have one place left to go." Clebo Rainey, Dallas Slam team leader.

The 1998 Austin Slam Team made it to Friday night semi finals, and had the highest cumulative score in the Nationals. Their work was polished, professional and did the home town proud. (Ranking system based on first place winners in the prelim and semi final bouts, not cumulative points, determined qualifying teams for finals.)

And (drum roll) Bellwood team member Reggie Gibson won 1998 National Slam Individual competition with a tribute to Jimi Hendrix (bio: Poet, percussionist, actor, political activist, and former armored car driver. Reggie was on the '96 Berwyn team, and won the money slam at the '97 Nationals in Conn. He wrote most of the poetry for, and appeared in the movie LOVE JONES. He hosts weekly readings at Rituals in Chicago, and at A Touch of the Past in Bellwood.)

My personal favorite was Patricia Johnson of Roanoke, Virginia, who transcended the question "Is it Art or Entertainment?" and proved Vince Lomardi wrong wrong wrong (winning ISN'T everything OR the only thing). In the Saturday night Individual finals, her 2nd round piece ran way over the 3 minute 10 second time limit, with a 6 point deduction for time penalty. But this 1996 National Poetry Slam champion's heart-stopping piece on the brutal hate-murder of her cousin Jimmy on July 25, 1997 wasn't about winning a contest. To paraphrase Emcee Patricia Smith, some things just need to be said. You can order Patricia Johnson's books and tapes by writing to S.P.A.R.K.S., 86 Willow Oak Lane, Elk Creek, Virginia 24326 or calling (540) 655-4024.

Other highlights of Austin's whiplash week of slam/unslam poetry that I personally witnessed and can still recall:

Monday: The Fado Irish Pub open mic hosted by Dallas' Angry Girl Sextet.

Tuesday: APAL's open mic at Ruta Maya, featuring Brett Axel and Amy Ouzoonian, with reads by slammers from Los Feliz team, Winston-Salem, Pittsburgh, and excuse me but after a couple of hours I lost track.

Wednesday: Me reading the riot act to some idiot "model" clomping around distracting the poets, judges and audiences at the Ritz. It didn't make up for the interruptions during the second bout but I felt bettered.

Also, on Wednesday: Tammy Gomez's open mic at Movements Gallery where L.A. poets Sister Yo and Larry Jaffe, Cleveland's Boogieman, Kenn Rodriguez of Albequerque and others did it for the sheer joy and beauty of "Blast Your Own Breath".

Thursday: The fire marshall was one of the few in Austin who didn't show up at the Electric Lounge. Who cares about breathing when you can hear slam at it's best, anyway.

Friday: Is a blur,,,, must have been the oxygen shortage.

Saturday: The Taos-style open mic at Bookpeople, hosted by Thom the World Poet. Kalamazoo-Animals gave better reads here than in the rated bouts. Don't tell BookPeople, but employee (and fine poet) Sara Sutterfield Winn was only pretending to work. And Dennis Jose knocked my sox off with his piece on beer commercials.

(I only heard about this one, but worth mentioning) Tammy Gomez and The Austin Poetry Truck taking it to the streets on Saturday.

and the party after the finals, like the energizer bunny, kept going and going and going,,,

Sunday: Sunday Salon at DiverseArts, Tribute to Lorraine Hansberry, poetry by Larry Jaffe and some of Austin's finest (and that doesn't mean the APD in this case): Tammy Gomez, Akwesi Evans, Marvin Kimbrough, Floyd Freeman, Marla Fulgham, Rashah and Melo on percussion. Phew!

It would be humanly impossible to cover the entire 1998 National Poetry Slam extravaganza in this l'il ole newsletter. So contact for details on accessing their online broadcast.

Some guy from the CNN crew said to watch TV listings for 2nd week in September,

when CNN will broadcast their 1998 NPS coverage.

Check out today's Boston Globe site at (read closely,,, there's a reference to Austin Slam Team member Karyna McGlynn's "Thong Underwear" poem)

and Dallas Morning Times at

2. As a voice of APAL, the editor thanks all participating APAL members who worked their butts off volunteering before and during the 1998 National Poetry Slam, especially Krysten Kiefer, Diane Fleming, Sara Sutterfield Winn, Maslow, Cynthia Good and Rev. Wyrdsli.

3. From Tim Wood, publisher of Dallas-based The Word:

A list of journals and other poetry venues is now available at Further suggestions are always accepted ( The list is updated approx. weekly.

The Word, Dallas' arts monthly (articles, reviews, poetry, events and announcements) is once again available not just in print, but on the internet. The events are primarily those in North Texas, but poetry and calls-for-entries are accepted from around the world. Send to (poetry, articles, reviews) or (events, announcements, etc.). The current and many of the past issues are available at:

I've just had my third collection of poems --"Hollow Angels"-- published for the PalmPilot handheld by the Lending Library at

4. GULF COAST PUBLISHING COLONY (12/27/98-1/3/99): Call for Entry. Ten

selected writers to join poet/editors, Susan Bright and Margo LaGattuta, for 7-day intensive, collaborative publishing colony on beautiful Texas Gulf coast resulting in publication of the 17th Plain View Press New Voices Series anthology, a national showcase for American writers and issue-based literary work. Send 15-20 pages by Nov 15: Plain View Press, P.O. 33311, Austin, TX 78764. Inquiries: Susan Bright,

512-441-2452 (, Margo LaGattuta, 810-693-7344

( Follow New Voices Series link:

Reading Fee: $10.

5. NAP JAM II in Las Vegas, September 21-25.

Info at

recap of jam one at


6. From Casey Bevan:

Attention Poets: There is an amazing opportunity for Austin arts taking shape. The idea for a festival incorporating the full spectrum of the arts, the spoken word, theater, dance, visual art, and anything else that people are willing to contribute. The idea came from a new theater company, One Theater. This company has put on two shows so far at the Ritz Lounge,,, The response to both shows was extremely positive. One Theater has already gotten together with Bent Spectals, Theatreless Theatre Co. and Flame Failure Productions. The invitations,,, to all major cities in Texas,,, are being made as we speak. The festival would like and should include the spoken word.

,,,a week long event with each group having an hour slot,,, November 8-14. Ritz Lounge, Spider House, Electric Lounge, Alamo Draft House. The thought right now is to have slams every day and then have a finalist slam at the end of the festival,,,

There are more details to come,,, Please feel free to call and ask any questions..

Thank you,

Casey Bevan

(512) 441-5016

Thanks to all who contributed.

Anyone wanting off this mailing list, e me.

Much love,