Celebrating over 30 years as an arts organization.

The Center hosts readings, workshops, lectures, and publishes a variety of poetry publications. SPC is located in the R25 Arts Complex located on the corner of R & 25th Streets in midtown Sacramento.

Sacramento Poetry Center memberships support a variety of local poetry programs, publications, readings, and events. Members receive a free subscription to Tule Review and Poetry Now. Please send your check for $30 or more to SPC, 1719 25th St., Sacramento, CA 95816. Fixed incomes are $15.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Luke Warm Water brought his mixture of Sherman Alexie meets Charles Bukowski meets Tom Waits to the Sacramento Poetry Center. With Asylum Gallery's altar show going on, it was almost as though Luke was undergoing a religious conversion. One moment he might have seemed Catholic, the next he might have seemed Aztec.

He read from Iktomi's Uprising [2007] and from his previous book On Indian Time [2005] to an intimate crowd. His story-poems told of his life growing up in Rapid City, South Dakota and his subsequent travels around the globe.
His characters, like Iktomi, the Lakota trickster figure of a spider, spoke of troubled souls and souls still trying to make good on their promises. There were tales of lost Halloween by kids in Fat Albert costumes, tales of down-on-their-luck welfare mothers whose hospitality runs over into the next morning , the tale of Ishi's eventual demise.

There was also this Sacramento tale from his latest book.

Not Your Average Sacramento Mother's Day

While his home is empty in the suburbs
symptoms of yet another spousal spat
wife and kids out of town visiting her family
on this her special day of motherly recognition
his afternoon sitting at a downtown watering hole
among the bikers shooting pool
listening to the out of shape middle aged
dishwater blonde bartender
complain about her co-worker bartender
to an older black woman dressed in sunhat
wensible shoes with long pink dress to match
the Dodgers are playing the Giants on the TV
that hangs from the wall behind the bar
he grows weary of it all
leaving after the first beer
driving in the general direction toward home
stopping at an Auburn Blvd. strip club
no cover charge gets you expensive beer prices
it is dark and cool inside
from afternoon 100+ degree sun heat
he hangs back by the bar
far away from the stage
so dancers do not mistake him with money
and wanting to sit in his lap
leery of his t-shirt and khaki shorts
being perfumed up
this would send his wife into a rage worthy of divorce
sagging out of shape asses
and flabby thighs puffing out of tight panties
grace his temporary runaway dog existence
the Dodgers are still playing the Giants
on the TV hanging off the wall at the end of the bat
his inner eye wanders to thoughts
weighing his own life's strikeouts and base hits
before walking out after only one beer
driving to the safety of his suburbia consulate
with a six pack of cheap beer
he tips the dnacer on stage
who is the oldest most overweight weathered one of them all
dancing to a song by Rage Against The Machine
laying at her high heel feet
a 20 dollar bill
wishing her a happy Mother's Day

Luke signed books and made his way into the night back to Antelope where he waits for the deer-like figure to turn into a trickster.