A list of future features as Stone Soup winds down for the year.
November 27th: Poet, comedian, artist, and activist Janet Cormier.
December 4th: Paul Hapenny visits Stone Soup before heading back to Hollywood.
December 11th: Enzo Surin brings his new chapbook to his feature.
December 18th: The return of Aldo Tambellini.
Photo by Anna Salamone
Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On December 18, Aldo Tambelllini returns to Out of The Blue and Stone Soup.
Aldo Tambellini was born in Syracuse, New York in 1930, his father from Sao Paolo, Brazil, his mother from Italy. He was taken to Italy at the age of eighteen months where he lived in Lucca (Tuscany). At the age of ten, he was enrolled in the Scuola D'Arte, A. Passaglia. His neighborhood was bombed during WWII; twenty-one of his friends and neighbors died and he miraculously survived. In 1946, Aldo returned to the United States. With a full scholarship at Syracuse University he received a BFA in Painting, '54 and a Teaching Fellowship at the University of Notre Dame, '59, studying with world-renowned sculptor, Ivan Mastrovic.
Aldo moved to New York City, Lower East Side, in the summer of '59. He was the founder of the artistic underground, counter-culture group called 'Group Center" which connected painters, sculptors, poets, photographers, musicians and dancers active outside of the art establishment, organizing alternative ways and non-traditional presentation of the artists work to the public. They engaged in social-political activities. In 1965, he began painting directly on film beginning his "Black Film Series" of which, "Black TV," (made using both film and video) was the winner of the International Grand Prix, Oberhausen Film Festival, 1969 and is in the Museum of Modern Art Collection.
Simultaneously, Aldo began a series of "Electromedia Performances" which organically brought together, projected paintings, film, video, poetry, light, dance, sound and live musicians which The New York Herald Tribune called Tambellini's Rebellion in Art Form. The last performance, "Black Zero,"part of Intermedia 68, was at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, NY. In '66, Aldo and Elsa Tambellini founded the Gate Theatre, in New York's East Village, the only daily public theatre showing avant-garde independent filmmakers. In 1967, he co-founded with Otto Piene, the Black Gate, a second theatre which presented live multi-media (Electromedia) performances and installations.
He pioneered in the video art movement in the late 60's and his first video was broadcast on ABC TV News NY in '67. With Otto Piene, Aldo created "Black Gate Cologne," the first national TV broadcast by artists in Cologne Germany, in '68. Aldo was part of the first broadcast by artists, "Medium is the Medium," on WBGH, Boston, MA. In '69. For his media work, he received several grants from the NY State Council for the Arts and exhibited extensively in the United States, Europe, Brazil and Japan. He participated in the Sao Paolo Biennale in Brazil in '83.
From 1976 to 1984, Aldo was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As a Fellow at CAVS he conducted workshops and organized with "communicationsphere" as series of international interactive Media Communication Projects. Although Aldo was involved in writing poetry most of his life, since '84, he has concentrated on writing and performing his poetry with music, video projection, and has participated in many radio shows and countless poetry venues. He ran his own venue called "The People's Poetry" in Cambridge, MA. He has been published in journals, magazines and several anthologies. His poems have been translated into Italian, Sicilian and Russian. Most recently, his visual poems have been exhibited in Berlin, Germany at the No! ART Show and at the Altered Esthetics Gallery, in the Guerilla Art Exhibit, in Minnisota. He is a founding member of "Poets Against the Killing Fields<" an anti-war group of political and social poets in Massachusetts. He has produced his first digital film, "Listen" which incorporates his anti-war and political poetry, animation/video and film clips. This film premiered at the HOWL Festival in 2004 in New York City. And won First Place in the Short Experimental Film by an Independent Filmmaker category at the at the New England Film Festival in October 2005 and the Syracuse International Film Festival in 2006. The film has been chosen to be screened in several film festivals throughout the United States and Europe. The digital triptych,-1 (Minus One) was presented at the 2005 HOWL Festival in New York City and includes pieces of Aldo's early video work, poetry and digital images.
Click here for a sampling of the author's work.
Photo by Lila Khan
Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On December 11th, Enzo Surin returns to familiar ground to promote his new chapbook from Finishing Line Press, Higher Ground.
Enzo Surin, born in Petion-ville, Haiti in 1977, migrated to Queens, New York in 1986 where he spent most of his youth. A graduate of Framingham State College in Framingham, MA with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, he has counseled college students, presented on diversity related topics, conflict mediation and health and wellness. A recipient of a Salem State Poetry Seminarscholarship, Enzo’s poems have appeared in The Caribbean Writer, Soundings East, Pine Island Journal of New England Poetry, Red River Review, Firefly Magazine, Poetry Magazine, among other literary journals. He is a member of the Virginia Writer’s Club and currently serves as editor for Joy of Writing, a literary publication for Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville/Albemarle County in Charlottesville, VA. He founded and served as editor of Introspection, a former Wentworth Institute of Technology literary newsletter. Enzo has participated in poetry readings inNew Jersey, Chicago, New York, and Massachusetts and is a regular reader at the Out of the Blue Art Gallery in Cambridge, MA. He currently resides in Boston, MA, where he works for Bunker Hill Community College Library and looks to continue his involvement with literacy efforts.
Photo and bio from author's website, which can be visited by clicking here. A sample poem follows.
poetry in nine rounds
night canvas is serene, absent of patrol,
void of the undercover vignettes that swing
through these tenements in search of rock cubes—
the national symbol of withered urbanites.
old-laced Converses perform a high wire act
on the avenue, an anthology's written in their fade.
laughter on the corner vibrates like the bass in a drum.
outside Papi's Bodega, a chromed-wheel Escalade
multiplies the ghost of Tupac Shakur from its speakers:
I wonder if heaven's got a ghetto.
the night drowns in a native glare, suffocating
this thug air, and lays down bereft of memories.
inside, young black order chase arcade mortality
with quarters. any landscape is better than the one here.
each step taken toward higher ground feels cold and lonely—
we inherit this grief each day we step into the a.m.
these blacks faces with razor smiles
are my brothers and my sisters;
crowd of trees forms the pillars behind them,
cracked concrete forms the foundation.
stones on the side of roads filled with weed
and old tires, broke down hearts and old hymns,
have been resting for decadent years; laid to rest
for reasons that still forge through this hood:
segregation, thuglife, mismanagement of love....
their residue linking old-school and new generational heroes:
the rapper, the ball-player, the comedian—no longer
the granddads, the grandmamma, the preachers—their spirituals
lost in this modern urban parable.
we wonder why our children face the day malnourished,
when no new heroes tell them to stay away from the river;
no one tells them it is not the Nile—it is manmade on this side,
it is a battered woman, birthing dead fish from her womb.
into the man
who staggered in a hooded sweatshirt,
pant leg in blood, pale as I've ever seen
dark skin, eyes loaded ready to cock-back,
his gaze landing a thickness in my stomach.
i've seen it before.
we've seen it before
in the retreat of our living room
where words come cleaner and men
in costumed clothing grapple with prepared lines.
but this isn't a movie—
—this is Winthrop and Thorndale
where an elementary school rounds the corner,
where the men in white tee-shirts hem up foot traffic;
their chambers usually loaded, but today
empty as winter flower boxes.
Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On December 4th, we welcome Paul Hapenny, who will take time off from his busy schedule to read a selection of his poetry.
The Boston and Nova Scotia based, mixed race, playwright and screenwriter, Paul Hapenny, has had a long and productive career in legitimate theatre and feature films. He’s the screenwriter of more than a dozen screenplays including "Vig" for Lion’s Gate, "The Insider" for Jerry Bruckheimer /Paramount Pictures, "The Untitled Paul Hapenny Project" for WB, "Nest of Vipers" for MGM and more.
His plays including"Vig," "Vignettes of a Masculine Tableau," and "Sacrament" have been produced to great acclaim and have won multiple awards in Canada, the US and Overseas. The Los Angeles Times called "Vig" "one of the best American plays. He’s scheduled to direct his newest play, "March Morning Frost," starring the Stratford Ontario Shakespeare Festival‘s leading man, Victor Talmadge in Los Angeles in the Spring.
Paul has also been a News Reporter for CBC English and Radio Canada French News Services. He covered Canadian politics for La Presse Canadienne/Canadian Press. He’s recently returned to writing poetry. It’s a discipline he hasn’t attempted since his first tentative readings at Stone Soup Poetry more than 25 years ago.
Paul attributes his writing abilities to a fortuitous blend of Native American and Irish ancestors. "All of my ancestors, Celtic and Aboriginal were grounded in a storytelling tradition. No one I knew ever told a joke. It was always a performance piece. And both ethnic groups had the inherent ability to laugh at life’s absurdities. The worse a situation got, the harder they laughed. I hope my work can honor even a fraction of what those two peoples and their cultures passed down to me."
A sample poem follows below.
A Novia Scotia Winter's Lament
Winter naked branches
hold stark against a slate grey sky
a lost goose circles
trying to find south
in a season stayed far too long
My back molds to the rock
embracing pain of sharp edges
and the salt tang haunts
longings of your sex
wet around my insistent tongue
Marsh grass brown and bending
under January’s frozen grip
will it green again
under April sun
and complete the ancient cycle
I look to Gunning Cove
across the bay houses huddled
against wind and wave
wood smoke chimney’s scent
a house, a home, I’ve never known
An old Cape Islander
inshore bound riding low with catch
and trumpeted by
squalling gulls returns
to talk and glance and fevered nights
Oh how much I envy
simple joys and so much I would
give to you if you
would only see me
here shorn of pretense and of pride
The wind tacks sou’east from
Sandy Point whipping whitecaps into
fine salt spray nettles
rend my flesh and pain
validates the depth of my want
From water we have come
to water I would go if I
possessed the courage
to dive into the
icy blue harbor of your eyes
But it’s just a pipedream
a desperation born not of
loss but of never
having held your breath
in mine my flesh in yours as one
Winter naked branches
gash thickening snow pregnant clouds
a lost goose settles
tries to save itself
and brays all alone at the storm
Open Bark is Deb Priestly's open mike event that happens every Saturday night starting at 8:00 p.m. at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery at 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge. This week, Open Bark will feature poet Shrewsbury native John Hodgen will be reading from his new book, Grace.
Winner of the 2005 Donald Hall Prize in Poetry. Hodgen, who teaches writing at Assumption College in Worcester, has two other prize-winning books, and his poems, according to Ha Jin, National Book Award winner and professor at Boston University, contain "a voice that speaks directly from the heart."
His publications include the anthologies Witness and Wait: Thirteen Poets From New England and Something and We Teach Them All: Teachers Writing About Diversity. His other honors include the Grolier Prize in Poetry in 1980 and an Arvon Foundation Award (Kensington, England) in 1981.
Photo by Bill Perrault
The Open Bark is Deb Pirestly's open mike event that occurs every Saturday night at the Out of the Blue Art Gallery on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge, starting at 8:00.
Priestly has recently teamed with Mike Amado (pictured above, from his October 2nd Stone Soup performance) in an effort to start including regular features at the Open Bark.
A seperate web site and email adress for the Open Bark will be announced soon. Those interested in featuring for the Open Bark can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for the time being.
October 9th: Deborah Priestly reads from her upcoming book.
October 16th: Multi-media visual and performance artist Poet Radiant Jasmin features.
October 23rd: Joe Santos, AKA Santos Sussio has his first feature ever at Stone Soup.
October 30: The return of Ryk McIntire!
November 6th: Poet and Activist Luke Warm Water features.
November 13th: Performance Poet Tony Brown returns.
November 20th: Open mike regular Gordon Marshall gets a 30 minute window.
November 27th: Poet, Commedian and Visual Artist Janet Cormier Features.
Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On November27th, poet, commedian, visual artist, activist and organizer Janet Cormier shows off her many hats at Stone Soup.
"I have been writing all my life. Before I could read or write, I loved creating stories. Once I learned the alphabet there was no stopping me.
"I started writing poetry in jr. high school. It started with a homework asignment. Our teacher brought in a stack of photos. She said to pick one and write a poem about the photo. In the last couple of years, I have writeen poems about that experience and about writing poetry.
"I also do stand-up comedy and am a visual artist. I have always been an artist, but didn't claim the title until 1999. At the same time I started doing stand-up comedy. The combination works well for me. My process is that I start out paining, but the image becomes verbal, and it turns into a poem or a joke. I find that the different media inspire the images, mood and rhythym of my work."
Cormiers' writing has appeared in local newspapers. She has read in Cambridge, Jamaica Plain, Malden as well as various local TV programs, most redcently for Somerville Community Access Television. She hosted a reading for the Franklin Libray in Franklin, Massachusetts and currently hosts Cormier's Comedy Madness every month at All Asia, located on 334 Mass Ave in Cambridge.
A sample poem follows below.
Our rights, like leaves
dragged into a muddy whirlpool.
I can barely see the Stature of Liberty!
Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On November 20th, Gordon Marshall, a regular in Stone Soup's weekly open mike, will have the chance to flex his muscles for an entire thirty minute feature.
This will be Gordon Marshall's first solo reading since Jack Powers featured him at Charlie's Tap in the summer of 1986. Gordon was born in New Haven, CT, in 1963. He has been writing poetry, with some periods of down time, for 25 years, balancing the practice, like most poets, with work and school. He worked for several years in the financial industry, received a degree at UMass Boston, and went back into the financial scene to get an M.A. in English in December 2005.
over a period of twenty years, Gordon has surreptitiously moved from a neo-classical style, to one that may be described as neo-surrealist. His photographic treatments of nature written in metric forms in the '80's have given way to recent prose and free-verse outings, where shots of nature and urban life rub up against spectral memories and deconstructed dreams. Think Cesar Vallegjo growing up in Surburban Boston.
Marshall grew up in surburban Boston (Hingham) on the South Shore. He attended both public and private schools. He liked drawing and music, and studied jazz and classical piano at the South Shore Conservatory in Hingham. He like to ski as a child--enjoying it more an exceling at it-- and he also liked, and continues to like, to sail around the Boston Harbor islands. All these things infuse his poetry.
Marshall's hero is William Wordsworth, and his ambition is to realize Wordsworth's vision of the Philosophic Poem. He works at a bookstore and would like to teach creative writing someday. He lives in Boston's North End. A sample poem follows.
Blow my dreams into dust, dirt darling; tear out my tongue and hang it on a hook. Twist my eyes like tangerines, and tell my dirtiest secrets to your sister. Sleep with me under the stars of soap operas; spill my seed into the stream of your thought. Hang out with me at the club on 52nd Street, where the cool-jazz clarinetist climbs his chords. Pick up a flute and blow blue notes in my ear. I'll buy you a mint julep, a plate of non pareilis and a canape. I'll suck on your straw and steer your hand to the remote on the camel hair couch. Let's watch the fish flow across the flat screen TV. Let's linger in the lava lamp light. Let's walk outside to my walk-up, and wheel through William Shakespeare, or William Wordsworth, or William Blake. For love's sake, take a break from heartache; rake the flakes of flaring from the brakes of shame. Verify the verve of the verse. Clarify the clusters of luster, dust off the must of my soul. Let it roll.
Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On November 13th, Stone Soup welcomespoet and venue host Tony Brown back to Stone Soup.
Tony Brown is an award winning published poet and performer whose work straddles the line between page and stage. His work has appeared in journals such as The Furnace Review, The November 3rd Club, Home Planet News; his poems have been anthologized in volumes such as 100 Poets Against the War (Salt Publishing) and In Our Own Words: Poems from Generation X (MPW Books). He has been involved with slam poetry for many years in many capacities, has read and performed his work all over the US, and currently runs a reading series in Providence RI. He also is a columnist at gotpoetry.com. A sample poem--previously unpublished--follows below.
He announces that the poem
he'll be reading is a gift
from the ancient ones
unveiling the dangers of the coming
Then he begins in German
and if he could speak German
at anything more
than a freshman level
we might find
less menace to his voice.
Instead the elementary cadence
over art into history.
We catch snips of words
and phrases, some in English:
We shift in our seats,
startle when he reaches
under his shirt. Nothing
is forthcoming but no one
relaxes. His voice rises
to a near shout. He concludes
with English: "man cannot destroy
the earth, he is of the earth." We
are not comforted, we who are in
this room full of smart people terrified by
a strange man reading a bad poem
in halting German. But when he is done
we applaud, looking around to see
who is applauding, who is not, who sees us
Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On November 6th, Stone Soup welcomes poet and activist Luke Warm Water.
Luke Warm Water is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota tribe who was born and raised in Rapid City, South Dakota. Luke writes within the context of contemporary American Indians, mostly within urban communities. Many of his poems contain unsafe topics; they have perspectives of racial issues past and present, along with adult themes and content. But his poems also have a sense of hope and a thread of humor, often dark humor.
In 2005, Luke was awarded two artist fellowships for his poetry. Since 2000, Luke has featured at poetry venues throughout the U.S. and in Europe. He also won several Poetry Slams from Oregon to Germany. Recent publication credits include: Drumvoices Revue, Cold Mountain Revue and Red Ink. In 2005 Luke released his latest collection of poems titled On Indian Time along with his animated short film titled Iktomi And The Food Stamp Incident.
Luke is an activist for Indigenous people’s rights, especially in the cause to help free the unjust incarceration of American Indian activist Leonard Peltier. A sample poem follows below.
Art of Huffing Paint
When the green lizard is gone
while you're on the wrong planet
whom silver and gold are your best friends
where train tracks run behind Safeway
Mills Drug Store and Don Margo's Liquor store
near the viaduct from which that sign
'North Rapid, A Great Place'
circa 1970's Rapid City, SD
Pass out drainage tunnels or
in thickets on abandoned lots
empty Wonder Bread bags
of modern day warrior dreams unfulfilled
Riding my orange Schwinn banana seat bicycle
with the cool black racing stripe fenders
innocence of summer break days
grades take new meaning when
up hill peddling with only one gear
coasting down all too familiar
cracked pavement streets
gravel alleys soaked with black oil
dirt walking paths
keeping my distance
from those unfortunate misplaced
spirited warrior ghosts
my fear stronger than compassion
Maneuvering my bike between
broken wine bottles
like a slalom downhill skier
for the bronze medal
In turn peddling takes on new meaning
when there are no more food stamps to sell
items stolen or fished out of dumpsters
for Safeway and Mills Drug Store
and a parking lot re-sale
not enough change for a jug
from Don Margo's Liquor store
so go find that hidden in the weeds
spray paint can again
I had witnessed
too many brown faces with
silver and gold stained lips
not yet comprehending at that young age
this could have been my future
--Luke Warm Water
Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On October 30th, Stone Soup celebrates the return of Ryk McIntyre.
Ryk McIntyre is a three-time National Poetry Slam Team member, as well as Co-host at The Cantab Poetry Reading. He has toured nationally and in Canada, opening for acts as varied as Leon Redbone and Jim Carroll, as well as appearing as part of Lollapalooza 1994. He performed in "The Legends Of Slam" Showcase at NPS2006. He has been published in Short-Fuse- An Anthology Of New Fusion Poets, 100 Poets Against The New World Order, Nth Position Magazine and The Worcester Review. He is a known biped, and he has pretty blue eyes.
Click here for a sample poem published in Nth Position Magazine.
What Follows are two eulogies that were written for Simon Schattner in August. A collection of poetry to mark Simon's passing is in the works.
In Honor of Simon
When I remember Simon, what I visualize is a happy spirit who finally felt that his life was coming together. The last time I saw Simon, we were sitting together in Carberry's coffee shop having a chai and coffee, while he talked about how fulfilled he felt because he had joined a new temple where he would be taking classes and the people were so friendly and accepting. He talked about visiting his parents and nieces and that he felt like things in his life were better than ever except for the fact that he hadn't met the woman of his dreams yet. I remember hearing him say, "Well, maybe I'll meet her soon enough. That's the only thing needs to happen for me, but other than that, things are great!"
He then spoke about how through most of his life, he had to deal with depression, but that through friends and therapy, and a wonder outlet of poetry of music, he had learned to appreciate his life. He smiled more times that night than I ever remembered, and I felt like I had met the "real" Simon for the first time. He mentioned that he felt like his website was a major accomplishment and that coming to the Out of The Blue Art Gallery was a Godsend for him.
Our conversation faltered a bit, and he asked me if I was okay in a very genuine way. He had heard that I suffered from manic depression and epilepsy and knew that I had problems in the past year, which led me to the hospital. He said in an encouraging way that I looked great and that he only hoped the best for me. He reminded me that I played an integral role in the community and in his life. It was the best cup of coffee I had ever had. There was much sincerity deep in the soul of this man.
Simon to me was always a poet. I believe he had the spirit of a poet - pure, honest and highly creative. He also had a great sense of humor and never missed a beat in letting others feel welcomed and warm inside. I do miss him and as a tribute to him, I will be attending Temple Beth Shalom because he convinced me that there was something good that it had to offer. He said that it changed his life and that he couldn't wait to learn more about his religion again. I do believe that he is accomplishing that feat on a higher plane!
Simon's Song: In Memoriam
I knew Simon the length of the shine of a firefly. If I had known that he would soon be gone forever, I would have tried to know him better. Yet still to me and to countless others, he was not a complete stranger. Because you see, Simon chose to share his story through poetry. Daring to expose his trembling heart by placing it in our hands like jiggling Jell-O. And through the night through the rustling whispers of trees that tell tall tails, I had heard that Simon had survived some somber strife in his life, but much to my chagrin, he could not survive the dark claws of death. They say that when you die you suddenly become enlightened.
I wonder if Simon has all the answers now. Yeah, I wonder. My memory of Simon was vague since our acquaintanceship was equally vague. However I do remember a couple of not so vague interactions with him. The first being when he bought my first poetry book Sparks in the Dark. After he bought my book, he looked me with transfixed eyes and said, "Thanks Jacques, I think I need this book."
I never quite understood what he meant by that. I found his statement to be profoundly simple, but the potential meanings behind it profoundly complex. Since Simon's impression on me was complex. The next time he saw me at the Out of the Blue Gallery, he uttered, "Jacques, your book is kicking my ass." Yet again, I never truly knew what that meant, so I decided to take it as a compliment. Since Simon seemed to me benevolent, I did not question his comment. The other encounter with Simon was Out of the Blue once again. We were having an outside reading to mourn the dying amber of summer. Simon got up and read one of his works from memory.
After he was done, I remember thinking, "Simon, you deserve a standing ovation." But I wasn't brave enough then to give him one. I am brave enough now. In that moment, I realized that I was amongst friends, amongst family, amongst artistry consumed in the sunny swallow of creativity, where artists stand on the shoulders of each other nursing yearnings of building a brighter future. And Simon was an artist of the highest caliber, but was as humble as a dying fire. Now Simon is living yes living under a different sort of weather as a winged white horse transfer parts of his soul into the hearts of those of whom he made an indelible impression like crystallized imprints to mitigate our tensions. And as I speak these words today in the grandeur of the heart of this Cambridge community, the legendary Out of the Blue Gallery, I shiver as I feel Simon's essence hanging on the walls, immortalized and forever free in the world of art and beauty. And that's the way it should be. I'm just sorry he had to die in my poetry.
--Jacques "The Hatian FireFly" Fleury
Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. October 23rd marks the first feature of popular open mike poet and actor Joe Santos, aka Santossussio.
Whether dodging bullets in the movie Heat or precision driving on Bone Collector, Santosussio has done a number of things in an industry full of things to do, including going to San Diego to perform historical reenactments in Old Town as well as historic role playing as a Mexican bandito raiding Mormon camps in El Centro, CA.
From there, Santo went into stand-up in local clubs in and around San Diego and LA, where he met a writer for the Drew Carey show, allowing him to spend the next three T.V. seasons in a steady gig, as one of the local bar patrons drinking near beer all day, as well as doing feature parts as a stand-in and one line small parts in other productions around an industry town.
In NYC he performed in a few feature films, mostly driving as a precision driver and doing a bit part on Sopranos. With the New York City Opera in Lincoln Center, Santo performed an understudy role as a bumbling waiter in La Boheme as well as being part of the stuntmen team in Macbeth. He also claims the right to being the only actor to be hit on stage by a car in any production of New York City Opera. While working for New York State Theater he was a supernumerary for universal ballet’s production of La Bayadere.
Locally, he has performed with the Salem Theatre Company production in a principal role as Greg in A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia and a principal in a Delvena dinner theatre company production.
Currently, he’s writing a one-man show of Copley Square in Boston observations from a street corner and performing spoken word/poetry on a regular basis at the Cantab and Lizard lounge in Cambridge, Mass. He held his first poetry slam showcase for the “Copley School of Language” drama department in the Boston school system this past school year. Santo was featured on a panel of poets this past summer at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
He just finished taping a part as one of the slam poets for an episode of a children’s series on WGBH called “Fetch with ruff ruffman” on location at Club Passim in Cambridge. It will be airing early next year on PBS. Santo will be performing at the Niagra Bar in the East Village on October 26th. A sample poem follows.
Observation from a street corner named
Hey Reggie/ check this out hey young lady/ you dropped something/ yea your smile. Hey here comes Cagney/ and lacey/ or is that Kate and Allie/, nope it’s Laverne and Shirley/. Joey/ what can brown do for you? Overnight guaranteed delivery for two/.
How bout this one/ hey you have something/ on your back pocket/ yea right there/ oh yea/ it’s my eyeballs. say What/?!! I said is that an ipod/ you bipod/?
How bout this one/ did you hear about Mel Gibson/? his publicist/ is putting out a press release/ Mel say’s he’s sorry/ what he meant to say was, I’m not anti-Semitic publickly/, just privately/….. On a lighter brown Arab note of currency, the press release said he should play well in Arab countries/. Arab lawyers are already talking about suing him for intellectual properties/. Saying they hated the Jews first.
Hey Gary/, Tommy/.,… the broom just asked me/ when was the last time I had sex/….oh honey/ that’s like asking a lady/ her age or what comes next/, they won’t lie and you shouldn’t ask/.
Did you here about the Hezbollah splinter groups/ and off shoots/….yea there’s fezbollah/ for the guys with the turbines/, lezbollah a new women’s movement/, and there’s a new candy for the kids after the suicides/ pezbollah/
Hey Gary this is so gay/. Joey I’m gay/. Why does everyone have to interpret everything I say/?
Hey Gary/, Tommy/ thought I was gay/,.. What did you say/ no but I root for your team. Ya know what they say/ every guy is only a six pack away/ from being…. bisexual.
Remember that movie/ with mitt Romney/ as Pontius Pilate/ and woody/ Allen as Jesus fogediboutit/ “everything you wanted to know about Mormons but was afraid to ask/”. Are the nights of templar Jewish/, or are they a secret sect of Mason, Muslim, Druze, Agnostic, Mormons, I’ll bet they’re Danish/ try explaining the history of communism to mental patients/ The Guantanamo years of Jesus/
ya know all men are created equal, let me show you the poll figures Catholics and Jews are almost as low as Mormons when it comes to winning the presidency/ so it’s gonna be a tough hall for Romney/
Don’t forget When you go to the Dubai steamship port authority for that job application/
Make sure you check that you’re an islamaphob infidel in the land of the great Satan/. Praying to Dearborn, Michigan/.
Hey did you hear about Israel attacking the lesbinese/, hey I know Israel/ he’s working in San Diego/ please/.
Where you from brother?
I’m Sikh/ don’t freak/
You’re Sikh/ I’m sorry I hope you get better
No I don’t mean sick I’m Sikh.......
Yea I know you already told me that.... no Sikh Indian/ Ohh now you gotta bring race in the picture/ didn’t they give you guys gamblin’/…. No from Indonesia/ ohh now you gonna blame us for amnesia/. Hey what do you think about those new guinea’s in East Asia/.
Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On October 16th, Radiant Jasmin has her first Stone Soup feature.
Radiant Jasmin is a multi-media visual and performance artist. Her mediums are: dance, jewelry making, painting, singing/songwriting, poetry, and theater. She recently began to weave together her art forms and by doing so has become a stronger creative force. Her art focuses on helping people to love themselves, each other and respect the earth. It is autobiographical at times, deeply reflecting her study of yoga, midwifery and interpersonal relationships. She lives in the metro Boston area where she grew up with her husband and two children. A sample poem follows below.
Freeing My Fear of Death
When I can stare death in the eye and not cry
That is the day that I’ll truly live
To not be afraid of the night or the day
To not be afraid to say what I really want to say
To live each day as if it’s my last
To live neither in the future or past
To present myself with the present
A quantum leap in consciousness is for what I mostly stive
For what’s the use of living my life if I’m afraid to B alive?
Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On October 9th, Deborah Priestly takes time out from one of the busiest schedules in the art and poetry world to read new work and selections from her upcoming book.
Deborah Priestly is a poet and painter from Cambridge. She is co-owner of Out of The Blue Art Gallery, the current home of Stone Soup Poetry. OOTB also serves as the home fo the Open Bark Candlite Series, which she has hosted for over eight years. Her poetry has been published in various venues including Spare Change News, Posey, Ibbetson Street, Manifold, boston Girl Guide, Bay Windows, and the anthologies I Refused to Die and Out of The Blue Writers Unite. She has written four chapbooks and the book The Woman Has a Voice.
Click here for sample poems published on the website The Better Drink.
Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On October 2nd, Mike Amado has his first Stone Soup feature.
Mike Amado, a performance poet, tries to open your mind to thoughts and images of your inner soul. He recites spirited poetry, this poet/musician is a lifelong resident of Plymouth, Ma. Poems Unearthed From Ashes, his first book, was published in 2006.
He was a contributor to The Bagelbards Anthology and has featured and performed throughout Emass and Rhode Island, as well as putting together a Poetry Showcase in conjunction with the recently held 39th Annual Plymouth Juried Art Show. He's influenced by Beaudelaire, Blake, Bly, his Native American ancestry, the occult and metal music. A sample poem follows.
Slam poet sorcerer, necromancer romantic-
Don’t wait to burn like Frida Kalho,
While posing on your funeral pyre and
Waiting to see your bones
Turn to iridescence...
That day is now
So dress yourself impaled
With an arm-rail
And bathed in blood
With golden glitter,
Make your life a spectacle
As an avant-garde portrait
Of spirit made flesh
Wanting to be a symbol
Three minutes ought to do it,
That day is now.
Standard-model human, benign barbarian
With non-Machiavellian tongue
Tied in knots...
Don’t wait to unblind your
Low-brow mind and start
Living the truth. Even if
The Philistines say:
"Do so" or, "Don’t so"
That day is now.
Don’t paint yourself a Picasso
If you really are a Mark Swan.
Be a recluse writer and
Milk your cows at midnight.
Free _expression for everyone! -
Even in sporadic intervals.
That day is now...
You have three minutes.
Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On September 25th, Stewart Florsheim visits Stone Soup while he visits the east coast to promote his new chapbook.
Stewart Florsheim was born in New York City, the son of refugees from Hitler's Germany. He has received several awards for his poetry and has been widely published in magazines and anthologies. He was the editor of Ghosts of the Holocaust, an anthology of poetry by children of Holocaust survivors (Wayne State University Press, 1989).
Florsheim's chapbooks include The Girl Eating Oysters (2River, 2004). and The Short Fall From Grace, printed by Blue Light Press this year after winning the Blue Light Book Award in 2005.
a technical writer by day, Florsheim also sits on the board of directors of Compassion and Choices of Northern California, an organization that helps the terminally ill make end-of-life decisions. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two daughters. A sample poem follows.
As the plane begins its descent into San Francisco
in thick cloud cover, the pilot says
And on your left is Yosemite, El Capitan.
My mother always hoped that what she had
was Lyme disease so she could give it a name,
imagine that it might be treatable.
The subject in Vermeer's Woman Reading a Letter
opens her lover's note quickly, then reads each line over and over
hoping that she might detect a change of heart.
We are compelled by what we can't see
so that we might be surprised
by the things we already know--
The one thought we prey upon,
not unlike the way a bat stalks a grasshopper,
swoops down, then misses.
Visit Stewart Florsheim's website.
September 4th: Poets and hosts of the Brockton Library Poetry Series Philip Hasouris and Frank Miller visit Stone Soup.
September 11th: Political commedian turned political performance poet Jamie Kilstein features.
September 18th: Poet, cartoonist and Squawk staple Mick Cusimano returns to Stone Soup.
There will be readings from various people, and a selection of Simon's poems and music will be featured. Thanks to Bill Perrault, the event will be recorded.
Those attending with the intent to contribute to the taping that will be later presented to Simon's family are asked to refrain from harsh language.
Even though this is not a suit and tie occassion, it would be greatly appreciated if participants could wear clothing more formal than shorts and t-shirts for the filming.
A selection of eulogies from Simon's family can be read here.
Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On September 18th, spoken word veteran, Stone Soup Poet and Squawk poet Mick Cuisamo features.
"Professor of Surrealism" Mick Cusimano has been a cartoonist, poet and filmmaker for many years. When he moved to Boston from Buffalo in 1984 he illustrated cartoon posters for the local poetry troupe the Underground Surrealists. Sitting in the audience at readings he caught the bug and began writing comic poetry himself. He helped form the poetry troupe Fire of Prometheus consisting of Billy Barnum, Kasara, and RU Outavit. The Fire performed atBoston University, Tufts, and in Toronto, Washington DC, and Paris. This group further evolved into the infamous Barnum and Buddah poetry Circus which consisted of up to 18 poets traveling and performing along the East coast.
Cusimano's 12 minute movie Poetry in the City featuring himself along with a dozen local poetscan sometimes be seen on CCTV. He also publishes the magazine Underground Surrealist and helps run Squawk Coffeehouse on Thursday nights.
Pyramids of condos line the desert of the town
Ruins of a culture spawned by electric sound
The expedition works its way to Harvard Square
Anachronistic figure in jeans over there
Stuck in the 60's like a car in the snow
Reliving old memories only he can know
His radio plays Hendrix wasn't it great back then?
Peace marches, deadheads and psycedelic zen
Now its computer games and the high tech blizzard
How can it compare to Jim Morrison's lizard?
The Magical Mystery tour has suddenly come to an end
Time can stand still only if you pretend
Is that the Maharishi or Tim Leary on the street?
He's moving closer
No it's the policeman on his beat
"Move along hipster Woodstock's now a pasture.
Get that software over to the office one step faster!"
Visit Mick Cusimano's web site.
Click here to visit the Squawk Coffeehouse.
Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. Stone Soup commemorates September 11th with an politically charged reading with rising star Jamie Kilstein.
At the age of 24, Jamie Kilstein has become one of New York City's top slam poets, and was just ranked 5th in the nation at the 2006 National Poetry slam. He is touring internationally and was recently a featured headliner at the Brighton Arts Festival in Brighton England . Jamie was also featured in the largest French Newspaper Le Monde, England's The Fringe Report and Australia's Wo! Magazine.
After making a living with stand-up comedy, he quickly exiled himself after the war due to political censorship. Because -- to quote a club owner-- "The people don't come here to think. they come here to drink."
While working the stand up circuit he worked with such greats as: Dave Chapelle, Lewis Black, Marc Maron, Doug Stanhope, and Dave Attell. Jamie has been featured on MNN/PBS 102.7 WNEW NEW YORK The syndicated Ron and Fez show, The Boston Comedy Festival and The New York Underground Comedy Festival. His writing has been published in Mcsweeney's literary journal and the upcoming Still not making a living as a poet? National release -- summer of 07.
This year he was in all three New York City slam poetry finals including The Bowery Poetry Club's URBANA team, The LOUDER ARTS team, and The Nuyorican Poets team. He will be going to the 2006 National Poetry Championship as the URBANA GRANDSLAM CHAMPION, and will be featured on the 2006 Best Of Urbana CD.
He has somehow managed to find a career that pays less than standup comedy, but now has a book, CD and soon to be DVD. He has no idea how his wife hasn't left him and his parents still support him.
Also, in conjunction with Deb Priestly's Open Bark, Simon Schattner Remembered on Saturday, August 26th.
Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On September 4th, Stone Soup welcomes Philip Hasouris and Frank Miller, the hosts of the prestigious Brockton Library Poetry Series.
Philip Hasouris has been writing for many years. Like most poets, he began unsure of his words. kept them hidden in notebooks, draws, closets, always in the back of his mind. started reading publicly and eventually people started listening. since then, he has taken every opportunity to share the words.
Born in Scotland and educated both there and in the U.S., Frank Miller now works in sales. "I started writing almost seven years ago and, despite the pleas of the public, continue to do so. If there is anything to interest you it will be found in the poetry. My life certainly would not be entertaining enough to warrant a second glance."
Old Man In The Mountain
Caitlin my flesh looks around
anticipates, eyes wide,
tell her we are going to see
"The old man in the mountain"
rock face wall
with his jutted jaw
cheeks smooth as glass years slide off
eyes hold wise
Family walks path
We are young, strong...
Caitlin stops short our chain reaction tumble
points "Is that him'?"
Is that the old man in the mountain"?
Sandals under black socks rise over
vein blue water rush
sparse gravel hair,
his gate rusted.
Her words echo over cavernous walls
a pebble thrown into stream of our conscience
rippling "is that him"
our nervous smiles
our lips pout shhhh.
to her innocence.
Old man stone faced.
We recall old man at family gathering
remember when we were immortal.
My hand writes this message in my bottled up memories
older in my travels
shakier in my sorrow.
The old man slid off his mountain
surrendering rock face in the mourning of his mortality
I look in my daughters eyes and see his wisdom.
MEMORIAL DAY, 2002
Main Street resigns becomes State Route 9,
slides downhill past St. Mary's cemetery.
Awkward groups stand uneasy at their graves;
children fidget, wisely knowing
there is nothing there.
Father I remember you would have walked away
and left her if you could. The body
in which she lived was dead and the life
in which you dwelled was done.
You did not linger at the site,
had no sign engraved to mark the ending road
and did not return to see if grass grew sweet
above her head.
I remember when I found
the picture frames you packed away;
a silver filigree which once
had held the past; now boned
they wait the future empty.
Flags hang limp on Main Street.
The day sags beneath the weight
of all the other days. The sky cracks
then cracks again. The road sheens-
slick with memory,
and blood warm rain
Click here to visit the home page for the Brockton Library Poetry Series.
Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On August 28th, Nati Amos returns to Stone Soup Poetry.
The one in the corner of bus stops always with a pin and scratches of paper bags, transfers and napkins is sometimes the form Nati Amos takes. She has been shocking the senses since she arrived on the platform of stages, nearly 7 years ago, all across coffeehouses, studios, and stations. She has graced the stages in competitions for slams all across the west coast and making her way to the Midwest and East earning her a reputation as a little earthquake you don’t see coming. For the better part of the decade, this has been her mission: To discontinue intellectual morphine.
She has preformed in prostigious venues including Green mill; Bowery and Nuyrican. She is currently in propotion for her fist collective Patchwrk Girl due out this fall.
Nati Amos' myspace page.
Simon Schattner passed away last mnth shortly after his forty-ninth birthday. As a tribute to his numerous contributions to Boston's poetry and music scene, the Stone Soup Poetry website presents below the euologies prepared and read by his family for his funeral. A tribute is planned this Friday, August 26th, starting at 8:00 p.m., at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery. All photos below are by Bill Perrault.
Simon’s mainstays were his music, poetry, family and friends. Although he battled with diabetes and bipolar disorder for most of his adult life, the core of his unique self was always there- Simon- the peacemaker – sensitive, loving, caring, and intense about his interests- but funny too.
He loved his siblings, Tamar and Andy- love which later extended to their spouses, Helaine and Albert, and to his nieces and nephews, Danielle, Eital, Matthew, Natan, and Lia.
Simon was born in 1957 in Manhattan, where we lived in the Morningside Heights/West Harlem area, also the home of Columbia University, Jewish Theological Seminary, Manhattan School of Music, and Union Theological Seminary. He attended the local public schools (elementary and junior high school), where he was known for his school yard basketball and leading a group of 11 year old Rock musicians, who also hoisted up food to Columbia University students who had occupied buildings in 1968.
He prepared for his Bar Mitzvah with a tutor, a student at Jewish Theological Seminary, who, to his delight,exposed him to heated debates with co-Rabbinical students on the meaning of everything. One day, while reading one of the preparatory books, he yelled from his room, “Mom, Dad, we’re very Jewish- it says here that Jews are involved in social isssues”. On a beautiful, sunny June day in 1970, Simon was Bar Mitzvahd at Jewish Theological Seminary with Rabbi Joshua Heshel one of the rabbis on the bima with him, who, at the end, patted his back.
His musical life included starting guitar at age 8 following Recorder and Eurethmics classes at Dalcroze Music School, trumpet study at Manhattan School of Music, and piano on his own.
After graduating from high school in Montclair, he lived in Boston, and after a while, when he switched from rooting for the Mets to the Red Sox, realized that he really had found a home in Boston. At the age of 29 Simon received a Bachelors Degree from Northeastern University (with the medal in English). A few years later he graduated from Northeastern with a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation.
For the past few years, important in his life was affirmation of his Jewish identity, and continuation of musical and poetic creativity. He very much enjoyed using his creative energy by performing music and doing poetry readings at the small venues that dot Boston. He attended Bet Shalom Synagogue in Cambridge, enjoying its dual nature- two congregations housed in the same building with simultaneous services-“traditional and “egalitarian”,joining together for kiddush.He had participated in mutual synogue/mosque visits, and was looking forward to joining the Rabbi’s Talmud class this month.
To us Simon was a very human person with joys and sorrows, contributing to and open to the world around him. Beyond our love for him, our first born, we treasure him for the ways he enriches our lives.
Dorothy and Emil Schattner
When I think of my eldest brother Simon, the first thing that comes to mind is music. Simon was also a prolific and profound poet. Indeed, I have always been inspired by and proud of the fact that a stirring, wise poem written by Simon when he was 11 years old was published in a book. Just as Simon’s poetry is inspirational, so is his music.
Simon was six years older than me so by the time I was old enough to call him “Imon”, I was already privileged to be in proximity to his musical talents. He began his musical career playing recorder but quickly progressed to guitar, piano, drums and trumpet, among other instruments. I remember how after I had been studying clarinet for a few years, Simon picked up my clarinet one day and started playing amazing jazz music. From that moment on, the clarinet belonged to Simon.
I recall always feeling such deep pride in my biggest brother Simon, both musically and otherwise. I truly looked up to him because of his diverse and multiple talents, such as his basketball shooting prowess, for example. On the musical level, one specific incident that stands out is the excitement I felt as a kindergartener watching my brother play the lead role of Captain Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music” and listening to him perform “Edelweiss” so sweetly. Another musical occurrence that I recall was when I was in fourth or fifth grade and Simon would take his electric guitar out on the flat part of my parents’ roof and play the Jimi Hendrix version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” for the neighborhood to enjoy.
Aside from playing music, there are certain record albums that I automatically associate with Simon because he would play them over and over such as Carole King’s “Tapestry”, Carlos Santana’s “Abraxas” and Kavaret’s “Siporey Poogy”. His love of music was infectious!
Simon’s enthusiasm for making, playing and listening to music was an aspect that was important for him to share with those dear to him. Eital recalls “jamming” with him at his old apartment on his various musical instruments. Natan remembers that the very last time he saw Simon, they “jammed” on their guitars together and, henceforth, Natan couldn’t stop wishing that Uncle Simon would be his guitar teacher.
For Simon, communicating with others through music and lyrics was integral to who he was. Simon had a gentle, optimistic outlook which was expressed through his music, poetry and his way of living. He liked to please others. Eital has a fond memory of how his desire to make her happy caused him to put on ice skates for the first time in fifteen years and take her ice skating at the Boston Commons!
As Simon’s “baby” sister, I was spoiled greatly by him and he treated me as if I were precious. Once, after I had spent a year in Israel at the age of eighteen, we were visiting together and I was describing to him how beautiful and tranquil the sunset over the Mediterranean Sea is. He agreed as he remembered the summer he spent in Israel ten years prior. Impulsively, we decided to drive to see the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean in New Jersey. It was when we were only ten minutes from the beach that we both realized that the Atlantic in New Jersey is east of the beach. We had a great laugh at our hasty foolishness and ate a delicious fish dinner instead.
After I grew up, married Albert and had Eital and Natan, we developed a relationship with Simon as a family. Albert and Simon are the same age and found it easy to communicate with each other, perhaps because they are part of the same generation. Eital and then Natan built their relationship with Simon over the course of summer visits to the States when we lived in Israel and, afterwards, through visits which were all too infrequent after we moved back to the States.
Just three days before his death, I had written to Simon that we were planning to visit him before the end of the summer. He wrote back immediately to say how much he was looking forward to seeing us. Although we will not be able to fulfill our plan and we will never hug Simon nor look upon his sweet face again in this lifetime, he will remain in our minds, hearts and souls forever. May his poetry, his music and his spirit of blessed memory bring grace and a touch of divinity upon us all!
As I have been thinking about Simon, it occurs to me that throughout my life he was always giving me gifts. Many of which I failed to appreciate at the time, but which grew in significance over the years. When thinking about my brother, I thought it was time to share those gifts with others and thank him for giving them to me.
The first gift I received from my brother was my name. The family lore is that Simon suggested I be named Andy, after one of his favorite books, Cowboy Andy. He may have been hoping for a sidekick or a partner to ride the ranges with, which explains the many times we spent turning our beds into stage coaches or sneaking through the sage brush of our apartment in search of vittles.
The second gift I received from Simon, was the understanding that we were responsible for protecting our family. This was especially true when our sister Tamar was born. Again, the family lore is that Simon put a picture of her on the door to her room so that she did not have to be disturbed. I am sure that I would have been the primary disturber, but Simon made sure that I understood my job, at the age of 3 to be the door guard and make sure to protect our baby sister.
The third gift I received from Simon, was my first nickname – Little-Si or Little-Simon. Little-Si was a nickname that would serve me well while growing up and going to elementary school in West Harlem. Simon was well known, and invariably when I was “picked on” by kids in the neighborhood, I was rescued, by someone saying “don’t you know who that is? That’s Little-Si”.
The fourth gift I received from Simon was the understanding that to accomplish anything in life, takes talent, passion and most of all hard work. One day when I was about 10 years old, after observing me playing basketball with friends, Simon took me out on the porch of our apartment and asked me “do you know why the ball keeps getting stolen from you?” I didn’t know why. He said “because you only dribble with your right hand, so all your opponent has to do is wait for you to dribble and move in, since he always knows where it will be.” With that he stood in front of me and instructed me to look him in the eye while I dribbled with my right hand. Then he asked me to do the same with my left and of course the ball bounced away.
We repeated this until I could maintain a semblance of a dribble with my left hand while looking up. He left instructing me to “do this every day for a half an hour before dinner”. After several weeks he taught me to dribble with both hands and so on. If only he had worked on my layups, hook shots and jumpers, but he was my brother after all and not a miracle worker. Simon always worked hard and drove himself, from learning a new musical instrument, to writing songs and poetry, playing sports or mastering a new piece of digital equipment to enable his recording of his primary love in life – Music. Simon also worked hard on dealing with his illnesses. While they sapped his physical and often emotional energy at times, he never gave in to them and allowed them to take away his dreams and hopes and most of all his love for his family.
This is the fifth gift that my brother shared with me. His love of music. He would excitedly play a newly learned piece on the guitar, piano or whatever instrument he was playing at the time. He would call or send me his latest compositions for my review. He also would send me Tapes and later CDs of artists that he was excited about. As a teenager he took me to several spur of the moment concerts, two that stick out are Return to Forever and George Benson. Most recently He has shared his love of music with my children. He composed a song for Danielle and has helped infect Matthew with his love of music as Matthew recently began guitar lessons. Matthew and Simon would chat about this and after one recent conversation, Simon said that “it sounds as if Matthew is really getting into this guitar thing, you ought to be careful, you never know where it will lead” and we both burst out in laughter. I would be proud if my children follow their dreams and passions the way Simon did. Lia wants everyone to remember that “Uncle Simon had a great musical spirit”. In a typical act of loving kindness, Simon attempted to teach me the bass progression for a Jimi Hendrix favorite of his – “All along the Watchtower”. To this day it is the one thing that I can play on a guitar, or at least I think I can. Simon praised my playing and assured me that If Jimi Hendrix were alive, he would have wanted me to be his bass player. It was not coincidentally one of the only pieces that Simon taught me. Even his patience had its limits.
Simon had a great spirit for many things in life. The sixth gift that Simon gave me was an appreciation for and an opportunity to study and enjoy the martial arts. When I was in 9th Grade Simon began studying Karate in Montclair. He very quickly dragged me along, saying “look, it’s something we can practice together”. In his youth, Simon had always been a gifted athlete and generally in great physical shape. By contrast, while I always enjoyed being active I was not. After introducing me to karate, Simon moved onto something else, but was always encouraging and supportive as I studied Karate for the next half dozen years. In retrospect I understand that Simon was helping me find something that was not only fun and active, but fulfilling physically and spiritually.
The final gift that Simon gave me is that there really is no final gift. Simon was my first hero and is still my hero. He was my hero as a young child for his knowledge and abilities, and in typical younger brother fashion I knew there wasn’t anything he couldn’t do. But as we grew up, I realized that Simon’s real heroism was not in the things he did, but in his belief in others and especially in me and those he loved. His heroism was in living his life with all of its difficulties and trials and still remaining true to his passions and beliefs. When we last spoke about two weeks ago we ended our conversation the way we usually did, Simon would say “I love you so much my brother” and I would say “I love you Simon”.
Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On the twenty first of August, Sommerville's Ibbetson Street Press sends us two of their poets: Patricia Brodie, one of the newest poets to join the roster, and Steve Glines, who recently had a hand in helping to publish the Hugh Fox memoir Way, Way Off The Road.
Patricia Brodie is a clinical social worker with a private psychotherapypractice in Concord, MA. Several of her poems have appeared in The ComstockReview, The Lyric, California Quarterly, Raintown Review, The Edge City Review, The Pedestal and many other journals as well as several anthologies.She recently also won Honorable Mention in a New England Poetry Club contest and awards in contests sponsored by Massachusetts, Georgia, and Wyoming poetry societies. Her chapbook The American Wives Club (Ibbetson StreetPress) was published this year.
Steve Glines is a freelance writer who describes himself as “mostly a technical journalist but really a writer of anything that will pay thebills. I've written poems and polemics. I’ve written monthly columns ontechnology. I’ve written trade books, political obituaries, as well asessays on goose poop and political corruption. I’ve written whitepapersand press releases and all those unread installation manuals that camewith your computer that you wish that you hadn’t thrown away.”
Click here for a poem by Patricia Brodie.
Click here for a poem by Steve Glines.
Photo by Bill Perrault
Tom Tipton and Deb Priestly of the Out of the Blue Art Gallery report that Simon Schattner, musician, poet, Stone Soup regular and featured participant in the recent 35th Anniversary celebration of Stone Soup Poetry, has died from a heart attack.
Stone Soup will attempt to report more information as it becomes available. For many examples of his life's work, visit his website at http://www.simonschattner.net/
Don't miss out on these upcoming features:
July 17th: Ryan "Rat" Travis presents his Halloween in July show.
July 24th: Sue Savoy, one of the Cantab's favorite open mikers, visits Stone Soup.
July 31st: Prabakar T. Rajan, open miker and member of the beloved Friends of Poety, features at Stone Soup for the first time.
August 7th: The Highway Poets make their annual visit.
August 14th: Nate Connors reads from his new book, Why Air Winks at Me.
Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On August 14th, Stone Soup welcomes another member of the Friends of Poetry, Nate Connors.
Nate Connors is an actor/writer who recently published Why Air Winks at Me through Friends of Poetry. He is a graduate of the Emerson M.F.A. program and currently lives in Somerville. He thanks Sunny, Keith, Ron and Sue for their continual support and poetic guidance.
This is a love poem to
the girl I have not met
yet. She has a pair of dark
and wild eyes and a wreath
of flowers in her hair. No,
I think I saw her
today bright sunshine
in my eyes and song
in my head
as I drove to work. When the song was over
the sun dipped behind
a cloud and she
was gone. Even now
I could not tell
her name but it must be
rhythmic and round
on the lips. Rebecca. Yes,
her name must be Rebecca.
This is a poem to
Rebecca who I have not met
yet. And if today she raps on my door
to ask where everyone meets for lunch
to gossip like overgrown school children
and says “I’m Tina.” I will tell her
the truth and lie
Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On August 7th, The Highway poets visit Stone Soup, just one of their many stops in celebration of the Second Annual Biker Poetry Month.
Photos by Bill Perrault
K.Peddlar Bridges is the co-founder of the Biker Poets & Writers Association and founder of the ROADPOET online magazine. He also serves as a columnist for CT Cruise News and motorcyclegoodies.com. An occasional writing workshop teacher, his work has appeared in numerous publications and has made many radio and television appearances.
Marc D. Goldfinger has been published by Ibbetson Street Press, The Aurorean, Pegasus, The Boston Poet, Clamor magazine, Earth First! and the Crooked River Press among others. He is currently the poetry editor of Spare Change News, a paper put out for the benefit of homeless people. He is a counselor for people with Substance Use Disorders and some of his work has been used to augment courses at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.
Gypsypashn publishes in print and on the web regularly, she is well-known for her monthly column in New England's Motorcyclist Post. She and Colorado's Gypsyrose produce 'Biker Bits,' a daily Biker Rights e-zine. In 2004, Gypsypashn published A Samplng of Soul, a collection of poetry. She currently hosts a monthly reading at BestSeller's Cafe in Medford MA, Gypsypashn's Poetry Caravan.
Colorado T. Sky is the main co-founder of the Highway Poets MC and a lecturer at Franklin Pierce College in Rindge, New Hampshire. Sky has published several chap books as well as a perfect bound book of poetry and prose. He has been published in numerous magazines and journals and has won several literary awards. He has also recorded and produced numerous poetry CD's and cassettes. He is a house writer, poet and columnist for the Harley Rendezvous Motorcycle Rally in New York.
Tonight, David R. Surette, co-host of Bridgewater's Poetribe, reads.
The Poetribe anthology will also be available, as well as Surette's own book.
Photo by Chad Parenteau
Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On July 31st, Stone Soup welcomes habitual open miker, occasonal feature, and longtime Friends of Poetry member Prabakar T. Rajan to read.
Prabakar T. Rajan was born at the Cantab sometime in 2003 and has since then continued, with audacity, to inflict his poems regularly on hapless audiences at the Cantab and the Brookline Booksmith. Neither Brockton nor East BridgeWater are safe from him. His only saving grace is that he has the good sense to truly enjoy the open mike at these and other venues, where he savors and steals from poets better than he. No true poet is safe from him. That could well be the most generous epitaph he merits.
Below is a list of features for July. More information will be added next week.
July 3rd: Celebrated local poet Richard Cambridge celebrates the Fourth of July in a less common fashion.
July 10th: Welcome poet and teacher David R. Surette.
July 17h: Ryan “Rat” Travis returns to Stone Soup.
July 24th: Sue Savoy has her first Stone Soup feature.
July 31st: Friends of Poetry member Prabakar T. Rajan also features at Stone Soup Poetry for the first time.