Don invited his friend poets from all over Los Angeles area to visit his summer classes and read. Yesterday was my first day, and I was thrilled with the experience. I took a few photos of the class listening to Theresa Antonia at the beginning of her presentations. She warmly asked the students to gather close around, and started us off on a journey together, through her family's past, reading her strong poetry, and ending with a slide show, illustrating the characters in her poems. Then I took a few group photos before I started to talk. But the rest of these great photos were taken by and Jonathan Grijalva and Johnny Meza-Canales, students in the first class, and Jevon Wilkes from the second class. I was very excited and this was my first time at this. My only regret is that I did not photograph the student poets reading during their normal class session, which I observed. I was very impressed with their fine writing, and dynamic deliveries! Next time I will do portraits of each, if they would like this. I explained the origins and read a few of of my 18 "She Poems", accompanied by a sampling from my collection of found creatures, my unfolding journals of discovery, including sketches and notes as well as original versions of many of the poems, and Australian chocolate graciously sent to me a friend poet Leanne Hanson, an Australian poet I know from the PoetryDMV.com (the Department of Modern Verse) These were to be eaten especialy during She Poem #1. I was amazed when many of the students brought up their copies of "Looking Our of Pasadena" Don's new publication, and wanted me to autograph my section. Most impressive was that they asked me to sign certain poems, which were their favorites. Thanks to Don and the students for a wonderful, inspiring time!
Start Photos by Jevon Wilkes
At the foot of the stairs
the stones lay in wait.
she felt the heaviness of their silence.
She held her tongue,
and wished to hear a voice.
Later, she began to carry them home.
They gradually took over her house—
from all the ledges and shelves
they stared down at her,
with their indecipherable markings.
She was charmed,
and wished to understand.
Her third wish came true
when she began to eat them
one by one.
Luckily, the first was small and light—
and it was when it cracked between her teeth,
that she began to hear them speak.