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The Random Lane summer poetry series opens with four women poets: Breanna Hardy, Christine Neuman, Jill Stockinger, and Mo Fowler

May 21 @ 6:00 pm

Friday May 21 at 6pm Pacific time on Zoom

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Breanna Hardy is a poet and arts educator from Solano County with a B.A. in creative writing from San Francisco State University. She is the founder and executive director of Solano Writers Society, an organization dedicated to creating opportunities for writers and inspiring passion for the literary arts within the county. Her poetry is feminine and sensual, grounding readers in their bodies as she blurs the line between fantasy and reality.

Aloe
An expanse of days,
three weeks, a month,
colored lapis, carolina,
and cornflower
with moments that glimmer
and sound like the patter of
rain on the back of my skull.
Cleansing, fasting
to forget instants
that made years
that never existed for us.
I break a leaf from shower
aloe plant, rub bitter, gossamer gel
across tongue – heal burns
of desperate words.
The smell of clean earth
coming and going
to replace the scent
of you
in my memory.
But two words from me to you
and from you to me,
two words, and I’m back.

– Breanna Hardy

Christine Neuman is a graduate student in the creative writing program at Sacramento State University. She has had poems published in various online journals, including Cough Syrup issue #4 and İPalante! issue #2. She likes to read poets that dip their toes into surrealism, like James Tate. She is studying to become a poetry teacher and wants to publish books of her own.

The Goat

I thought I knew loneliness,
but when you’re at the local farmers market
at Carmichael park, Sunday morning
you buy a goat’s foreskin,
sew it onto your back,
and walk through the town proud.
The goat says hello in the eyes
of everyone who stares,
because they cannot see the goat
they hold within.
They have no idea
I am the goat.
I am the wind.
My limbs began to wither.
I do not love marriage.
Her dull smell, her thin string-like hair
wrapped in a ball within my stomach.
The babbling of your partner of ten years.
The unbearable silence returning,
sounding sweeter than any bar talk.
I do not love marital sex.
I do not love polyandry.
Because I keep the worst company
in the company of myself.

– Christine Neuman

 

Jill Stockinger obtained her MLS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She worked as a librarian for 42 years, including at the Sacramento Public Library, where she ran an open writing group for sixteen years. Jill retired in 2019, but continues to be an active member of many writing groups. Her poems have been published in several literary magazines. She and her artist husband Max have traveled throughout the US in their 45 years of marriage; they enjoy writing, taking online classes, playing chess, and socializing with their son, his wife and 2 young grandchildren.

Here Is The Moon And Winter
by Jill Stockinger
Winter hangs a moon
above the barn and calls
a hoot owl to celebrate.
The mouse scurries for safety
far below jagged icicles
glistening from the eaves
of the snowbound house
where a man chafes his rough
hands together and feeds
another fat log to the fire.
Smoke rises out the chimney,
the fire barely heating the house.
The smoke lifts shapeshifting forms
in the heavy cold which tries to
hold them but they quiver and
dance to the drawn-out moan of
a passing freight train and then
dissipate under the searchlight
of the silent round moon.
The man scratches at his wiry beard
wondering if he will get any sleep
before day breaks but it keeps
getting harder, harder to deal with
the pain in his back, harder to sleep,
harder to pee and harder to face
the losing that just keeps piling on.
He gets into bed under the quilt
she sewed and hugs the pillow
in the case she embroidered but
with all the aches and pains he
just gives up and sits in his chair
by the fire and visits with the dead

-Jill Stockinger

 

Mo Fowler is an artist and writer raised here in Sacramento who will begin work as an MFA candidate at UC Irvine this fall. Her forthcoming poetry chapbook, Sit Wild, will be available for preorders July 12. Connect with Mo at mocfowler@gmail.com or @original_mo_fo

WHEN I WAKE UP I AM NOTHING AT ALL

that you would recognize. I am dredging
on locked thumbs toward the miracle
corner of the kitchen’s gone-gray linoleum
where my four dollar coffee pot sits
in a continent of stains I never
clean up. I see characters
in the loose shapes
of the mess, shake my head
to clear them, in the motion spill
again, hot flow over the lips
of my daisy yellow mug
coffee drops steaming dark
onto the bleeding seams of my knuckles
cracked open in the dry January air
in a quiet moment between the cars
that drive past this shaking
room where I kneel
on bare bruised skin in front of the piddling
cracked pot. I take a sip
through my nose
as much as my mouth
the morning is vast
in every direction
still, there is no way to get
what I want in this life
but every sunrise
is beasting and battles and I would rather
be bloody than nothing
at all

– Mo Fowler