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.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


James Lee Jobe and Gailmarie Pahmeier appeared before an air-conditioned crowd at the Sacramento Poetry Center on Monday June 23 before a crowd that had just learned of former president Luke Breit’s admittance to University of California, Davis hospital earlier that morning for what appeared to be a stroke. Our best wishes here at SPC in the days ahead to Luke.

James Lee Jobe, straight from the Republic of Jobe (situated near Davis), entertained and heartened the gatherers with poems about family members and daily incidents from life. He led off with a long poem about, among other things, being trapped inside public transportation moving phallically through the night and contemplating a Dennis Eckersley breaking ball that sneaks under that annoying line of the bifocals rendering it unable to hit. Here it is in its entirety:

Letting The Poem Find Us

We know there is a poem on this bus,
the #42 Loop bus from Yolo County to Sacramento.
We have been searching for it
since we boarded. We looked first to the driver,
one we haven't ridden with before.
His tremendous stomach is the wooden horse
that hid Odysseus and his men
when they finally took Troy.
-- It's a line, but not a poem.

There could be a poem in the fact
that no one looks at each other,
except for us, of course. We stare
at random riders like film noir detectives
picking out a suspect. They get on, get off,
gaze out of the windows with Please Kill Me boredom
painted on their faces,
the dullest dullards who ever yawned unashamed.
They've already give up.
If there is a poem there, we don't want to write it.

Perhaps there is a poem in the bus itself, after all,
it is a metal, motorized penis sliding
across the feminine surface of the Teeth Mother herself.
We are riding in a mobile porn movie,
we are John Holmes, and maybe our pen
really is mightier than our sword.
There might be something there
as it does make us uncomfortable.
We'll get back to that in twenty years.

We are trying too hard, we tell ourselves.
We will never find a poem like this!
We are a rookie pinch-hitter in the bottom of the ninth,
two outs, a runner on second base,
down by a run, and it's a road game.
Dennis Eckersley is on the mound, and he is young again somehow,
and he is looking at us like he doesn't particularly like us.
"Hey Dennis, it's only a game, man."
Eckersly looks us right in the eye, spits on the ground, winds up, kicks,
and puts an inside curve right where we loose it
in our bifocals! Man! Dennis Eckersley pitches around our bifocals!
How can we ever find a poem about riding the #42 Loop bus
when we are behind in the count for wearing bifocals
and our metaphors are getting the better of us?
That is trying too hard.

Our chi is unbalanced.
We are not relaxing into the poem.
We are going to start again, close the notebook
that we take everywhere, open it again
and just let the poem come to us. We are going to breathe
and just let the damn poem find us.

Another poem called “Assholes” spoke of coming across a collection of young men who were tasting the first sublime defeats in life and declaring everyone “assholes.” To which, the speaker, spoke quite affirmatively and admonished them they should never forget how they had been screwed over. It was a heartwarming moment.

Gailmarie Pahmeier wound her way down from Reno to be with those assembled at SPC on a Monday night. She delivered a memorable reading that others would be remiss in not attending if she should come back down the hill and join us again (which I hope she will do when her new book West of Snowball, Arkansas and Home from Red Hen Press becomes available in 2010.

She started off reading some baseball poems from The House on Breakaheart Road in the persona of Emma, who is one of the main characters of the story. She also read some poems from her upcoming collection on Red Hen (see above) which features the letters from her godfather, Brownie, who had left his home in Arkansas for health reasons to live out his final days in the dry heat of Arizona. During this time Brownie wrote one letter each day back home. In the book Pahmeier collects bits and pieces of these letters and writes response/companion poems on the opposite page, a tender tribute to her grandfather and her family back in the Ozarks. Finally, she read several newer pieces, the last of which, “When in St. Louis, Consider the Saint” ruminated over the sad fate of the historical saint for whom the city was named, the patron saint of wigmakers, and used the language of the Bible as an overlay for her speaker’s visit to the city.

For those people who like poems with strong characters with a lot of heart of substance, you might want to catch Gailmarie Pahmeier the next time she passes through Sacramento.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Literary Events in Sacramento for June 2008

Mon, 6/2, 7:30pm-- Theresa McCourt reads.
Performance by contemporary violinist Sasha Tkacheff
and the A Capella group C-Sus with Bob Stanley; F.D.
Graham hosts, at Time Tested Books, 1114 21st St.,
Sac – SPC hosts a reading every Monday nite.

Tues, 6/3 7:30 pm and every Tuesday: SPC Poets'
Workshop @ the Hart Cntr, 27th/J sts. Danyen@ 530-
756-6228 FREE bring 15 copies of your one page poem
to be read/critiqued.

Every Tuesday 7 p.m. - "Life Sentence" poetry reading
and open mic. The Coffee Garden, 2904 Franklin Blvd.,
Sac. http://www.myspace.com/lifesentenceshow

Wed, 6/4 8pm Mahogany Poetry Series, and every Wed
nite at Queen Sheba restaurant @ 1704 Broadway, with
Khiry Malik M., Slam, open.

Wed, 6/4 The Bistro, 3rd and F Streets in Davis, 1st and
3rd Wednesdays. Free. 530.756.4556
http://www.bistro33.com/bistro33_davis for schedule

Thurs, 6/5 and every Thurs 8pm, Open Mike and
featured poet at Lunas Café -- Feature TBA
Sat., 6/7 and every 1st Sat- Rhythm N Rhymes:
open mike, webcast & filmed for public TV @ Butch N
near corner of 19th & I. myspace.com/RNRshow

Sat., 6/7 Galleria Posada open mike 1024 22nd St. in
Spanish and English 916.456.5323 916.446.513346-
1324 fax

Mon, 6/9 - 7:30 p.m. FD Reeve & Al Garcia read at
SPC, at 25th and R. Asylum Art Gallery. Free. 916-979-
9706. http://www.sacramentopoetrycenter.org.

Tues, 6/10, 7:30 pm and every Tuesday: SPC Poets'
Workshop @ Hart Cntr, 27th/J sts. Danyen@ 530-756-
6228 FREE bring 15 copies of your one page poem to
be read/critiqued.

Wed, 6/11, 7:30pm --Rattlesnake Press, a new
chapbook by James DenBoer (Day Moon) and a
littlesnake broadside from Carol Louise Moon, a brand-
new issue of Rattlesnake Review (#18) at The Book
Collector, 1008 24th St., Sac Free
kathykieth@hotmail.com or 916-442-9295.

6/16 Summer Solstice open Reading – at SPC HQ 1719 25th St.
Rebecca Morrison hosts.

Tues, 6/17, 7:30 pm and every Tuesday: SPC Poets'
Workshop @ Hart Cntr, 27th/J sts. Danyen@ 530-756-
6228 FREE 15 copies of your one page poem.

Sun, 6/22, 11am-1pm. El Camino Chapter of CA FED
Chaparral Poets meets at the Hart Cntr,
27th /J Sts, bring 10 copies of your poem for critique.

Mon, 6/23, 7:30—James Lee Jobe and Gailmarie Pahmeier, Tim Kahl hosts at
SPC, 1719 25th St.

Thursday, June 26th
Poetry Unplugged at Lunas 1414 16th St. SAC
Featuring:Bob Stanley, Mary Zeppa and Will Staple

Mon, 6/30, 7:30-- Stephen Kessler, author of 8 books,
and Jeff Knorr read with SPC, at Time Tested Books,
1114 21st St., SAC, http://stephenkessler.com

Tues, 6/29, 7:30 pm and every Tuesday: SPC Poets'
Workshop @ Hart Cntr, 27th/J sts. Danyen@ 530-756-
6228 bring 15 copies of your one page poem to be
read/critiqued. FREE

COMING SOON: July 7, Asian Forms Poetry @SPC

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Theresa McCourt reading at Time Tested Books

Theresa McCourt read at Time Tested Books on Monday night. We also had a celebrity appearance by contemporary violinist Sasha Tkacheff, who played and read some of her own poems. Bob Stanley, SPC President, played some old favorite pop songs and lead the audience in a musical participation. I was a "ka-chaa" sound person, but many others were bass, horn or whatever else vocally. We missed the C-Sus vocal jazz group, but they will be seen and heard elsewhere around town.