Liberty Circus … A Rogue Band of Outlaw Songwriters and Poets

The Liberty Circus are Malcolm Holcombe, Al Maginnes, RB Morris and Alan Kaufman: a rogue band of outlaw songwriters and poets who have thrown in to criss-cross the land in a performing celebration of good old democratic open-heartedness. They say that “A lion’s share from the proceeds of our shows will directly benefit organizations working with immigrants and refugees. Along the way we’ll invite local performers to our stages and grow our Liberty Circus into a big national family of love and support for Lady Liberty’s tired, poor masses yearning to breathe free.” Follow them on Facebook HERE.  A worthy project that promises to be fun.

Thanks to Alan for the heads-up on this. Alan Kaufman – “citizen poet” with five published volumes including The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry has been featured here before and was also featured in The BeZine.

“LET US”, a poem by citizen poet, Alan Kaufman … and your Wednesday Writing Prompt

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LET US
For the Poets of January 15th and the Women of January 21st

Let us
take ourselves aboard a bus
and travel to the dispossessed
And let us praise their dreamless eyes and hardened smiles
with rogue words of truth
to the killing fields of their hopes
The slum wards and ragged towns and stolen farms
Let us take to them the carnival of our mad and scattered lives
Let us bring them the mountain, let us give them the vision
of an open window, an unlocked door, a bed to sleep in, a plate of food
Let us give them the keys to the house of our love
Let us bare our throats tattooed with roses, our breasts sequenced with diamonds
our loins hot with dragons, our hands and feet pierced with beauty
Let us come to their dusty squares and drinking holes with canticles of magnificent defeat
Let us deliver to their mangers
of pollution and penitentiaries, shopping malls and tenements
the hard beautiful birth of the heart
Let us bring renewal, let us declare the death of despondency and tyrants
For I have seen our campfires beside the roads, like fallen still-burning miraculous stars
I have seen our bus voyaging to innocence
I have seen us tossed this century like a bone
after decades of science and war reason and corporation
art and Auschwitz
I have seen my vocation descend like a pen to a page
that can never be filled with enough truth
I have crossed a continent of despair and I swear to you, Poets,
I live for greater than myself
You, street-Latin Elizabethan hustlers, I tell you time has come to deal
death’s passionate kiss to kings
Time has come to bare our asses in Paradise
Time has come to write the Constitution with poetry and flesh
Time has come to costume up and ride
with words like steel-tipped whips
into the soul of American
and rage there and sing
till the mouth of every hungry child
is fed.

– Alan Kaufman

Thanks to Alan (Alan Kaufman – writer,poet, artist, teacher) for his willingness to share his poem here.

WRITING PROMPT

Alan Kaufman’s poem is published here with his permission and in anticipation of the event featured in the poster above and initiated by Alan along with Michael Rothenberg.  In coordination with their event, the theme for the January 15 issue of The BeZine is “Resist.”

We invite submissions for the January issue.  This is the second writing prompt to help you toward participation – online and/or off – in  this important event designed to push back against vulgarity, bigotry, xenophobia and misogyny. For The BeZine we invite world-wide participation – not against any one person – but against the renewed growth of these trends all over the Western world and the continued entrenchment – business as usual – for the rest of the world.

For the Zine, you don’t have to write a poem. You can do an essay, feature article, creative nonfiction, art or photography, or music video, which we hope will not only frame the issues but have constructive suggestions toward resolution.  No hateful language please. When you have written something on “resist” and if you feel comfortable submitting it to be considered for publication, email it to bardogroup@gmail.com

Save the date for both live and virtual events and prepare to submit your work or works to the Zine by January 10th, end of day. Let your work be both truthful and artistic . . .

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise

As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind — Emily Dickinson

The Zine submission guidelines HERE. The Zine mission statement HERE.

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LATE BREAKING NEWS: “RESIST” live and virtual events and “Artemis Poetry” calls for submissions

“On January 15, 2017, poets around the U.S., in cities, towns and villages, will gather on the steps of their local city hall to read poetry against the coming dictatorship of Trump.”

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Organized by Alan Kaufman and Michael Rothenberg.

Alan Kaufman is the Editor of The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry

“Outlaw poets” is a term of endearment used in reference to poets whose work is featured in the Outlaw Bible. The following is a partial list of the characteristics of such poets:

  • anti-authoritarian personality;
  • anti-Vietnam war activists known for their anti-war rhymes (many poets write about Vietnam who are by no means outlaw poets).
  • Elder poets that gained notoriety via unconventional forms
  • Poets deliberately not included in most academic curriculums
  • Often inspirational to or inspired by the so-called “Beat” movement in American poetry during the mid-20th century

and

Michael Rothenberg is co-founder (with Terri Carrion) of 100 Thousand Poets For Change. He is an American poet, songwriter, editor, and active environmentalist who recently moved to Florida from the San Francisco Bay area. Born in Miami Beach, Florida, Rothenberg received his Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1993 he received his MA in Poetics at New College of California. In 1989, Rothenberg and artist Nancy Davis began Big Bridge Press, a fine print literary press, publishing works by Jim Harrison, Joanne Kyger, Allen Ginsberg, Philip Whalen and others. Rothenberg is editor of Big Bridge, a webzine of poetry. Rothenberg is also co-editor and co-founder of Jack Magazine

It’s probable that The BeZine January 15, 2017 issue will be devoted to this event. Save the date for both live and virtual events and prepare to submit your poems. Let them be both truthful and artistic . . .

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise

 

As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind — Emily Dickinson

Δ

The latest issue of ARTEMISpoetry (UK) just landed in the USA with its usual rich assortment of essays, book reviews, art, announcements and – Yes! – of course, a wealth of good poems. (Apologies for not getting a better photograph of the cover.) ARTEMISpoetry is the bi-annual journal (November and May) of the Second Light Network and published under its Second Light Publications imprint. The poetry is by women forty-plus or better. The poems are for everyone. You can order this issue and others through Anne Stewart‘s poetry p f and/or sign up for membershipMembership includes a journal subscription.

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CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS

Opportunity Knocks

Poetry Deadlines: Issue 18, February 28, 2017 and Issue 19, August 31, 2017. “Women poets only, of any age. Unpublished poetry only and not out in submission elsewhere.  Strict limit: max 4 poems; the total number of lines in all should not exceed 200 lines (i.e. you could send a poem of 200 lines and this would restrict your submission to just one poem).  Two copies, A4 paper only [U.S. standard letter paper – 8 1/2 x 11 is the closest we have in the US to A4], typed or neatly handwritten.  Each numbered sheet to bear the poet’s contact details (name, address, telephone, e-mail). Send to ARTEMISpoetry, ATTN.: Dilys Wood, 3 Springfield Close, East Preston, West Sussex, BN162 SZ.”

Response by April 30 for Issue 18 and October 31 for Issue 19.  Kate Foley is the poetry editor for Issue 18.

Artwork – Black and white photographs or line-art sketches are welcome for submission. Four max.

For new and emerging writers, Second Light also offers “remote” – i.e., distance – workshops.  Check out the website for details.

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HEADS-UP: December 7, 2016,

Poetry Now @ The Department of English and American Studies, The Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities, Tel Aviv University

Our own Michael Dickel is a featured.15289246_10154375245428557_1972176959953952764_o