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Where & When
826LA in Mart Vista
12515 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066

Friday, September 6th, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Please join us as we celebrate the latest installation in The Mar Vista Time Travel Mart: The PoemBooth Project!

A poem in a phone booth bears witness to disappearing modes of communication, while suggesting different ways that we might speak to each other. When you pick up the receiver, this phone will automatically dial a hotline. From there, you can listen to a collaborative poem, record your own contribution, or hear the work of a featured student writer. If you choose to contribute, you will be given a question about your life or your surroundings. Don’t worry about making your answer sound like a poem. The raw ingredients of poetry are just that – raw. What makes something a poem is the way the different parts are put together. When we receive enough messages, we will collage them together and put them on the hotline.

We will be having a reception with light refreshments, poetry performances, and, of course, the PoemBooth. Event admission is free and open to the public.

The PoemBooth is an installation for 826LA by Brent Armendinger and Matthew Williams.

Artist Bios:

Gloria Enedina Alvarez is a Chicana poet/intermedia artist, playwright, librettist, literary translator and curator, who presently teaches creative writing and works as a consultant in public schools, universities, libraries, museums, and art centers. Her literary/artistic efforts have been recognized by the CAC, National Endowment for the Arts, Cultural Affairs Department, City of L.A., COLA Award, Poets & Writers, Inc., among others. Her plays and librettos for opera, Los BiombosCuento de un Soldado/Story of a Soldier, and El Niño, have been produced internationally. Her books of poetry in English and Spanish include La Excusa/The Excuse and Emerging en un Mar De Olanes.

Brent Armendinger is the author of two chapbooks, Archipelago (Noemi Press, 2009) and Undetectable(New Michigan Press, 2009). In 2014, his full-length manuscript, The Ghost in Us Was Multiplying, will be published by Noemi Press. His work has recently appeared in Aufgabe, Bateau, Bombay Gin, Colorado Review, Conjunctions, Court Green, Denver Quarterly, LIT, Puerto del Sol, and Volt. In July of 2013, he was a resident at the Headlands Center for the Arts. He teaches creative writing at Pitzer College and lives in Echo Park.

Kristopher Manuel Escajeda is a guitarist, born and raised in Boyle Heights. Other instruments played are the keyboard, piano, drums, saxophone and others. He writes and performs music that takes you on a global experience, a cross fusion of punjabi, jazz, avant garde, break beat, progressive rock, experimental, folk, and percussive rhythms, featuring the three string guitar. He has performed and toured throughout the U.S. and U.K., solo and with his groups, White Gurls, Electric Current Eccentric Chaos, and as a duet with Eddika Organista of El Haru Kuroi. He has performed at many local festivals, music and art venues in Los Angeles, like the World Stage, Leimert Park, and others in Southern California.

Sesshu Foster has taught composition and literature in East L.A. for 25 years. He’s also taught writing at the University of Iowa, the California Institute for the Arts, the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and the University of California, Santa Cruz. His work has been published in The Oxford Anthology of Modern American Poetry, Language for a New Century: Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond, and State of the Union: 50 Political Poems. He is currently collaborating with artist Arturo Romo Santillano and other writers on the website, His most recent books are the novel Atomik Aztex and the hybrid text World Ball Notebook.

Matthew Williams is an artist, writer, and woodworker. He grew up in the San Fernando Valley and for about ten years he could slam-dunk a basketball with two hands. He lives in Echo Park.

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look at dirigible

ELADATL’s Chief Financial Officer Enrique Pico denies ex-lover stars in pornos—“In Argentina I admit to insatiable anxiety about Shadow Abyss filled with overweight dirigibles,” said doctor to Sagging Surgery Bulge—covered in unsightly shameful clouds, Shadow Lover slides across the Moon of Worry and Bills She Did Not Pay for House Taken By Bank for $6 Debt—“Last vacation on long poverty stricken beach, I was mocked for Inoperable Cancer and Lonely Flight,” claimed police geranium—overnight transport shadows—“Boxes of unsold dreams”—foggy waves folding endless sound of foggy waves, so we sold unwanted child to Argentina for X dollars when nothing could be farther from the truth, “Stealers Stole It,” he/she was told at the end of the day/ or night/ Zoo escaped python swallowed dirigible baby skin eggs—after several deaths, Sleep Floating on letters sent several years after bitter divorce to Happy Ex-Lover who Laughs at the fuzzy edge of Rising


a writer from Hangzhou asked about reading venues in Los Angeles so even though I don’t get out a lot I mentioned these:

1. Poetics Research Bureau, Chinatown

Ara Shirinyan and Joseph Mosconi:

2. Conrad Romo’s Tongue and Groove reading series, Hollywood:

3. Beyond Baroque Literary Center, Venice

Richard Modiano, director:

4. The Last Bookstore, downtown L.A.:

Chiwan Choi might have a tip for you:

or Mike Sonksen:

5. Vermin on the Mountreading series—Mountain Bar, Chinatown L.A.:

Jim Ruland:

6. Machine Project, L.A.:

Mark Allen at

Anthony McCann has info:

7. Avenue 50 Gallery, Los Angeles:

Kathy Gallegos (or Laura Longoria or Don Newton with the Palabra reading series):

8. Jen Hofer’s house, Los Angeles

Jen Hofer at

There’s lots of venues, including pop up venues, or universities and colleges that want advance notice months or years in advance. I have readings coming up at the Last Bookstore and 826LA. Wish I got out more, but you gotta write.


Please join us as we celebrate the latest installation in The Mar Vista Time Travel Mart: The PoemBooth Project!

Friday, September 6th, 2013 at 7:00 pm

826LA in Mart Vista
12515 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066



Saturday 9/7 at 1PM – kicking off LAB•FEST @ The Last Bookstore will be this amazing duo: Sesshu Foster  & Luis Javier Rodriguez. the two Los Angeles legends and literary heroes will be on stage together for a conversation about this city, about writing, about social justice, and about past, present, future. DO NOT MISS THIS!— with Judeth Oden Choi, Lilly Flor, Kaya Press, Luis Javier Rodriguez and Peter Woods.


Today’s Index

—martyred animals: their oceanic vistas

—yesterday’s major commotion (loud noise): these nightly shadows

—rolling tumbleweeds: the Asian aromas

—bugs, green rocks, untold capability: retinal homework

—walking beside the water: because our bodies are folding

—Okay, the giant hole in America: almost exactly projects a black asteroid

—everyone in the street: exactly the whisper campaign wanted

—stocking glinting spaces: possible sensation spaces opening

—dirt on money: shiny coinage in verbal operations

—sectional dialogue: you there, with the fickle

—boiling toes: her radiating desert feelings

—I said: wan the rippling lovely surfaces

'Riverbed Square' Vase by David Smallhouse

‘Riverbed Square’ Vase by David Smallhouse

Today’s Necessary Indexes:

1. Alaskan colors indexed to legends of fictionalized historical characters

2. Humors and riots

3. Cars named after favorite shoes

4. Dog looks plotted on flea trajectories

5. Desert feelings and others, radiating from her burnt, blistered toes (the ship rocked in waves, the boiling pasta water poured down her legs into her shoes, she could still walk)

6. aromas and expert advice combined with endless illusions, grit

7. blood immunology, green rocks

8. martyred animals: their oceanic vistas

9. I was there—you were there—

10. Glowing renumeration for existential losses continually suffered via erosion, go

'Fire Dance Square' Vase by David Smallhouse

‘Fire Dance Square’ Vase by David Smallhouse




Right on 50


left on El Paso


Greek Orthodox Church

over the hill past the hill


Stop sign, left on Cleland


over the hill

T intersection


left, right on Rome


first intersection right,

stay right


dead end


washington mon

For 2 days walked south from 125 years old Tabard Inn Hotel past the White House (groundskeepers working on the front lawn, street out front closed to vehicles with tourists taking pictures and joggers going by) with Andrew “Indian killer” Jackson equestrian statue out front, Treasury Bldg nextdoor, big bank bank buildings surround it (“this is Obama’s neighborhood”), then past the block-long Commerce Dept., with two black kids and teenage minders waiting to get into Aquarium of National Water Creatures and the giant hole they’re digging for the Museum of the African American (they are clobbering us with architecture of overwrought symbols, 80 degrees and I am dripping sweat), the Washington monument covered in scaffolding and a truck-sized elevator running up one side, I stroll under damp tree shade on the grassy ‘mall’ (Capitol at the far end), to the old brownstone Smithsonian where I read a sign in the garden that said in 1886 a handful of remnant bison herd were kept penned there till they were transferred to the national zoo, with school kids milling about and hesitant tourists quietly walking through, I went down into the air-conditioned basement conference room with a bunch of Phd interns and professors and Eric Nakamura and Shizu Saldamando so they could pick our brains—

Eric Nakamura, founder of Giant Robot, by Shizu Saldamando

Eric Nakamura, founder of Giant Robot, by Shizu Saldamando


One of Eric's slides behind me at the Smithsonian---photo by Shizu Saldamando

One of Eric’s slides behind me and Konrad Ng at the Smithsonian—photo by Shizu Saldamando

“Is he eating stuff out of the trash?”


“He is dancing, and taking stuff out of the trash.”


“Is he drinking stuff out of the trash?”


“He is dancing, I told you, and drinking random things he finds in the trash.”


“That’s not good for you.”


Junk food.


“WARNING: Unreasonable obstruction of pedestrian traffic in this area by persons loitering, standing, sitting, or lying is prohibited and punishable as a misdemeanor.”


Guess who passed her driving test.






agawa family_1960s_01 038


We’re caffeinated by rain inside concrete underpasses, rolling along treetops, Chinese elms,palm trees, California peppers. We pushed a lawn mower for white people, we got down on our hands and knees in their San Marino driveways. We told our youth to grab hard a piece of paper swirling like like tickets in a bonfire, firecrackers at Chinese New Year, toilet paper in a bowl. We coiled green hoses. We oiled mean little engines that buzzed like an evil desire that could spit a steel slice or sharp stone to take your eye out. We gripped rusty clippers, clipped leafy hedges, ground sharper edges. We hauled their sacks of leftover leisure that rotted at the curbside. We slapped our hands with gloves, slammed white doors of Econoline vans, showed up at sunrise in the damp perfume of the downtown flower market. With all the Japanese gardeners gone, we’re Mexican now. The ones given five minutes a week or fifteen minutes a month. They wrote us a check, we wiped our hands on our pants or they did not shake them. Fertilizer under our fingernails grown large, yellow and cracked as moons. Instead of us, they saw azaleas, piracanthus, oleanders, juniper shrubs, marigolds. They didn’t want to see us, they like nature in rows and flowering things, not another kind of face. Notions rattled in us like spare bolts in a coffee can. Our days off rode us hard, like a desert storm on mountains far away. Try to make our children see more than this man with green stains, cracked skin, red eyes. More than the back bent over stacked tools and coiled hoses. Coffee breath. On dry boulevards fading into smog, kids just like ours smash our windows and loot our tools. Our kids today want to grow up to get lucky. Okay, we tell them, have it your way, and we light our children like candles.

postcards 1













August 2013