Poet & Performance Artist Pat Payne writes: uterine vinegar

Hello friends,

Come join me this weekend as I unveil ‘Uterine Vinegar & Other Stories,’ a series of humorous performance vignettes that confront the medical industry’s prejudices about mature women and their bodies. In the stories, a pair of sibling protagonists battle gynecologists, surgeons, self-help books, and feminist health centers,as they attempt to regain control of their reproductive organs. Although the subject matter is serious, the sisters’ decidedly offbeat approach to their medical problems is delivered with a healthy dose of sarcasm and macabre imagination. Bottles of uterine vinegar will, of course, be available for purchase at a modest price.

This STUDIO includes some of my favorite performers, dancers and troublemakers, so it will be well worth the trip downtown to see these folks do their thing. Hope you can make it…and please excuse any duplications – it just proves that fabulous people have fabulous friends in common.



Curated by Marcus Kuiland-Nazario and Lionel Popkin

March 8-9, 2008 | 8:30pm

Join us for the next installment of Studio, REDCAT’s ongoing performance series that brings together a fresh line-up of six L.A artists to launch new projects, investigate new forms and experiment with new ideas. This edition features a dynamic range of emerging and established artists in works that draw on opera,performance art, dance and theater.




light verse by Joyce LaMers

January 26: Joyce LaMers

friday on Saturday at the Bell Arts Factory
432 N. Ventura Avenue – Ventura
last Saturday of the month 7:30pm
host: friday
Open Mic

Dick Cheney shoots quail
With an aim that can’t fail,
But he sure pulled a boner
When he shot that big donor.

Joyce La Mers


“ArtLife is still here because of you and your devotion
to the obscure and enlightening work we all do.”
–Phil Taggart, in an e-mail to local poets

The work is obscure and enlightening
And yet it’s what poets all do,
A concept that’s just a bit frightening
Because it is terribly true.
And yet it’s what poets all do
In spite of the pay, which is minimal,
Because it is terribly true
That letting one starve is not criminal.

In spite of the pay, which is minimal,
A poet is sworn to speak truth,
And letting one starve is not criminal
Though it might be considered uncouth.

A poet is sworn to speak truth
So let the chips fall where they may,
Though it might be considered uncouth
To listen to what poets may say.

So let the chips fall where they may
On work both obscure and enlightening.
Who listens to what poets say?
What a concept! That really is frightening!

Joyce La Mers

Joyce LaMers is the queen of light verse and has been a force in mid-coast poetry for many years. She’s a treasure and always gives a not-to-miss reading.
Future Readings:

February 23: Holaday Mason
March 29: Roe Estep

Kathleen Lynch’s “Impetus”


You must change your life.
– Rilke

Begin anywhere: sleep

on the other side of the bed tonight.



Tomorrow walk as though your head

is filled with helium & your spine

the string that holds it to the earth.





Fill a gallery with something

you have not yet made.

Name your show I Promise.

Buy a large piece of blue

paper. The shade should be vast

and deep and remind you

of nothing. Roll it carefully

and carry it home on the bus

cradled in your arm.

Try not to pretend

it is your child.





Don’t cry, but if you must

don’t stop. Tears

are only water and salt.

You felt this way once before

when you first moved

from fluid into air.



It is no one’s fault

you are more than halfway there.

Surely you know that and are grateful

to have come so far. Just go.

Just keep going.

Kathleen Lynch, Hinge (2006)

Kathleen Lynch read in Ventura 730pm Tuesday Dec. 11 at the Artists Union Gallery, where “C” street meets the sea (330 S. CA St, near the Crowne Plaza and the Aloha Steakhouse) . Students from two Ventura College writing classes read Tuesday 12/11 as well as Tuesday 12/18.

Readings are held every Tuesday, and often have a feature. These events are free and open to the public; an open mic follows the featured reading.

Kathleen Lynch’s collection Hinge (2006) won the Black Zinnias Press National Poetry Book Competition (California Institute of Arts and Letters). Her chapbooks include How to Build an Owl (Select Poet Series Award, Small Poetry Press, 1995), No Spring Chicken (White Eagle Coffee Store Press Award, 2001), Alterations of Rising (Small Poetry Press Select Poet Series, 2001) and Kathleen Lynch – Greatest Hits (Pudding House Publications, 2002). Her work (fiction and poetry) appears in several anthologies. She received the Spoon River Poetry Review Editor’s Choice Award, the Salt Hill Poetry Award, Two Rivers Review Prize, Peregrine and Sow’s Ear prizes, and ten Pushcart nominations. She lives in California.

OTHER POETRY READINGS In the past year, the Ventura Thursday night reading “Train of Thought” moved from the Bell Arts Factory on the avenue to the Selah Cafe by the college to the Coffee Roasting Co downtown to the ArtBarn. The current incarnation is laid back and friendly; I was over there for the Dia de Los Muertos reading and for subsequent readings as well. On these occasions, everyone gathered outside around the fire to read their own work or the work of others in a very informal but respectful way. If the weather dictates, the reading can always move inside the ArtBarn (856 Thompson near Kalorama, behind Kids & Families together).

words of writing wisdom from nila Northsun

My good friend nila tipped me about this video of Joy Harjo reading nila’s work:

Watch for a visit by nila to Ventura College this spring to read from her new book, Love at Gunpoint(RL Crow 2007).

Hmmn looks like I better figure out what’s wrong with the video or how I posted it!

In the meantime, here’s a classic poem of hers and an analysis of it:

the way & the way things are

1	gramma thinks about her grandchildren
	they're losing the ways
	don't know how to talk indian
4	don't understand me when
	i ask for tobacco
	don't know how to skin a rabbit
	sad sad
8	they're losing the ways
	but gramma
	you told your daughters
	marry white men
12	told them they would have
	nicer houses
	fancy cars
	pretty clothes
16	could live in the city
	gramma your daughters did
	they couldn't speak indian anymore
	how could we grandchildren learn
20	there are no rabbits to skin
	in the city
	we have no gramma there to
	teach us the ways
24	you were still on the reservation
	asking somebody anybody
	get me tobacco
		   		  	Nila NorthSun (1979)

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