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Featured Readers

Kim Shuck

Jerry Dyer

February 11th–7:00 P.M to 9:00 P.M.

Kim Shuck

Kim Shuck is a poet, educator, activist and visual artist. Born and raised in San Francisco, Shuck benefitted from the artistic ferment of the 60s. Shuck is author of four full length books, two chapbooks and many pieces published in anthologies, journals and online. Shuck is coming to the end of a tenure as the 7th Poet Laureate of San Francisco, which started in June of 2017. In April Kim was one of 13 poets honored as National Poet Laureate Fellows by the Academy of American Poets.

Another Map

Catch the trees
Ringing first thing
Chiming about
Anything but their
Deepest held
Secrets something about
Rum and
Raspberries and
Star charts that show
Movement as well as relative
Positions I can’t hold my
Breath as long as that bay laurel still
One morning I caught their
Ringing in an old
Silver locket and am
Saving the sound for a
Desperate occasion

Blooming

Mother fire dragging herself through the
Dry licks and tastes she is the
Extreme cure singing
Shape shift songs singing
Change and heal
Toast and soup and the
Pines know their own
Ways to balance to
Call fog and harvest her
Thousand colors like
Fish scales they
Sizzle in the mother fire her
Muscles tight and
Feral the
Clench and release of her
Rummage through the rattlesnake grass and
Sumac and her touch on the
Cones just so
Just so and each one
Blooms and
Scatters

Jerry Dyer

    Jerry Dyer is a very recently retired teacher. In that life, he taught a wide range of language centered courses, from mainstream English to ELD (ESL), five years of German, a bit of philosophy, and poetry. (The divisions were less rigid than it might seem!) He taught from middle school up to and including college courses, with the last 18 years at the high school level, at Silver Creek in San Jose’s East Side Union.
    Poetry has been at the core, always, the spark of creativity feeding the curricular choices and the activities and enterprises in all his work. Beyond the classroom, Jerry has been an active member of Poetry Center San Jose, especially the Willow Glen Poetry Project community.
    Dyer has read at Willow Glen, in Redwood City, and for the Peninsula Literary Series in Palo Alto. He has been published in the WGPP anthologies, in “Remembering: Poems Read at Willow Glen Books,” in Caesura, in kai han, a journal of the Albuquerque Zen Center, among others. His chapbook, What I Don’t Know, was published in 2012 by ProsodyEtc.  A second collection is underway. He intends to devote his post-working life to the P’s that have always mattered: poetry, politics, philosophy, and photography, a new P that will (he hopes) sharpen his eye.

Not Counting

I’ve been alive for exactly
2,880 weeks.
This is very accurate, including
even the thirteen leap-days
that I have been forced to endure.

If you want to count by season,
I’ve entered my 221st.
I’m long past my axial age,
way past the first mud of spring,
more than a kite-string’s length
beyond summer, deep into leafless Fall.

The morning sun is pulled out
of the bag of night like a scrabble-tile.
There are only twenty-six
possible shapes to the day,
not counting the two blanks that
give us the chance
to make something new
out of what we have.

Then again, there are only 23
pairs of human chromosomes,
our stencils, shaped and cut
by our forebears or our race,
giving us all the instructions
that our living gets to use.

I’ve been alive for exactly
20,162 days.
This is approximately the number
of human genes, which sets us squarely
between the chicken and the grape.

Jerry Dyer
December, 2011

Blue Moon

I was sitting all
subterranean, homesick,
when the moon rose, blue.

It was a blue moon,
sailing through the empty sea
that we call heaven.

Our loneliness touched.
We built between us a bridge:
all reflected light.