Julie Rogers’ House of the Unexpected is a brilliant gathering from a life of making poems. I’ve stood in awe at the solitary pursuit of such art, of such a poet. Taken from several manuscripts, her first book is a Selected! “The voice of Julie Rogers is so pure,” I blurbed her powerful “Torch” seventeen years ago, “so unadorned with the usual poetic conceits it reads like the soul’s voice inside us all.” This is just the beginning. The uncompromised full manuscripts will follow. She articulates the inarticulate. And you too will live in the Unexpected.

-Sharon Doubiago, Oregon Book Award Winner, author of Love on the Streets, Selected and New Poems & My Father’s Love.

Few poems are written as close to the heart; no extra words just soul meanings as they are bodily enacted -- the kisses, the gashes, and the good and the agonizing memories. House of the Unexpected has politics and clarity. Especially the poems for David are brave. Love grows, matures, and is reborn alive, like the touch of Cupid's arrow.

-Michael McClure, Beat Poet, novelist & artist

Surpassing a consistency of sensitivity, Julie Rogers reveals that she can write with political and personal vision, and can make a truly visionary leap of imagination, the brilliance of which resonates through all the love poems she writes to David Meltzer.

-Jack Hirschman, former SF Poet Laureate, translator & artist

"I'm like everyone, familiar with isolation, nervous, but certain we're not strangers/I raise my head to look you in the eye." And she does look you in the eye & heart, never afraid of going deep into the darkest spaces, making light of them. The language is vibrant & spare in its expression of complexity and passion. This is such a profound & delightful collection of poems - you'll want to return again & again. House of the Unexpected lives up to its title. It's a treasure.

-Agneta Falk, poet & painter


Find more reviews in 'Endorsements'


by Steve Deiffenbacher, writer for the                Mail Tribune, Medford, OR

I started ‘House of the Unexpected’ and was immediately swept up in it. It's honest, beautiful, visceral, often painful, but always mesmerizing. Its strength is in how the poet engages both the personal and political and how they mesh with moments of extraordinary grace and love of life.

‘House of the Unexpected’ works excellently, combining the personal dramas with the horrors that have been visited on women in the past and that still are going on in the present. I love its rage and fierce determination, its unstinting willingness to look at the worst and the best that we can be as human beings and its voice of female empowerment. In that sense, I think it's a rare gem. I can't remember the last book of poems I read with that kind of impact.

After reading the last half of the book, I realize I hadn't grasped it's full scope, and my appreciation of it is even greater. It starts with the personal, melds it into the political, brings in the connection with nature and spirituality and then ends back with the personal in the tender and honest love poems at the conclusion. In the end, all these things become part of one another. All of them were there all along, but the full journey of the book completes the circle to make that even clearer.

I realize again the uniqueness of Julie Rogers’ voice.   Always between the lines of her work there is an awareness of the unseen, a felt but impossible-to-define mystery of being. It gives the poems great power.


photograph by Katie Heflin


Proof of a Screw for the women, Sharon, & Dr. Ford

Heart in my belly

in the pit of what was

rising again, dark vomit

stuck in the trap shut

by the ones who did not ask

or listen, a gag in my mouth

facing the rest of a life spent

hammering down whatever


to that young girl who learned

not to trust, who knew

well enough

she was not safe, surrounded

by those who could save her.

Not silence– accusations.

Not comfort– words like claws

in her ears, absence so deep

she could not prove it.

She was chosen

to carry the guilt

of every man who takes

a woman down

and leaves her there

as the others, watching,

pointing their fingers,

turn their backs.

Buried in the hands of a world

clenched, immobilized

like a story from the news

screwed to a board

for all to see  

she is still ignored,

pushed away, invisible

like when they were done

with her.

I barely remember, so long


Stripped of being

the girl remained a stranger

until her nightmare woke me

knowing to tell the truth.

Prayers for those broken men.

Prayers for the lost victims.

Prayers for the ones

who do not help us up.


JR / 11-20-18 / Oakland


Grief: Another Perspective


Sad is a turd

you step on more

than once, stays deep

in the tread, prints

the hall floor

as you come to meet

the people who would

notice, even if you remove

your shoes the smell

is unmistakable, you nod

and smile at the table

all the guests are your friends

and you want to become

a napkin gently protecting

your lap.


From Street Warp (pub. by Omerta 2013) SF

For the End of Submission            for Jyoti Singh                                                                     

As they eyed her she appeared

to be an object, clay yoni

in a roadside stall

breasts pressed flat in a centerfold,

open faced easy target,

a boy’s wet dream

with no name, no heart,

no home, no life.


When they took her, the child,

the girl, the woman

pinned as a butterfly

in a black frame

an alley, a room, a bus,

a public toilet,

they say she lured them–

young skin, dark eyes,

small soft hands, 

fingernails dug in,

cries like a cat

on prowled streets

where porn hits back.


After they had her she fell

a crumpled candy wrapper,

half eaten fast food

tossed in a gutter,

a package ripped of strings

like torn newsprint

to wrap meat soaked in blood

but why don’t they see her

in the headlines?

Screams from a gagged mouth

become whispers.

If she tells they don’t believe.

They blame her.







The sun, a coin flipping

deep in a pocket of heat

that won’t give. Newscast:

governor’s gruff voice

rations water, Sierra snowpack

dryer than a century

green hills starved in torch yellow

burnt hell in the woods

empty lakes, asphalt melts

as we slowly wash the dishes

and tend to ourselves

- turn off the faucet -

trying to figure

when it’s important.

How clean and fresh

is life? Do I look right?

Can I see myself?




San Francisco, CA


Witness          for Rodney King

Beaten under by the clubs

of his protectors

he’s down for the count

on asphalt not meant to hold

his blood and he can’t get away

his scars are monuments

to ignorance

his tears are dark water

left running in the city

filling toilets

filling swimming pools

flooding gutters with our trash

and the homeless

his screams are the sirens

of Los Angeles

forcing the traffic back:

heart attacks

suicide attempts, maybe

a kid on crack

taking a fast ride

through overgrowth that won’t stop

his family grieving, wanting revenge

while the TV shows

a cremation of dreams

smoldering rage rising like smoke

from neighborhoods burning

at dawn.

Witness the bashing of Mr. King

on an instant replay

while a jury argues his pain.

Someone said he fought back.

I saw a man struggle

to stand on his own.


March 1991



TWO-TONE POETRY & JAZZ CD is still available

David Meltzer & Julie Rogers swinging                              

with some sassy poetry and Zan Stewart on sax!

   "A spectacular cd! Wonderful joy, courage                                   and humor; all blended like braided starlight                             in the listening horn!" -- Gene Berson

    To order email: julmind@mtashland.net                                 $10 + $5 shipping in the US = $15


HOUSE OF THE UNEXPECTED published by Wild Ocean Press

a few still available! Julie Rogers' selected collection of poetry                             can be ordered here by emailing via 'CONTACT'                                             at this website ~ $15 + $4 shipping and handling.


STREET WARP by Julie Rogers                                                                    All new poetry of place written in and about the SF Bay Area -                         $15.00 - Order from Omerta Publications at                                                http://lesgottesman.com/                          

'WORLD OF CHANGE' The poem and essay, 'To Open                                   the Eye of the Needle' by Julie Rogers, addressing the US                           medical machine's impact on women, have been published                               in the San Francisco anthology, 'World of Change'. Order from                   publisher David Madgalen by emailing: madgalen@sonic.net.

Feather Floating on the Water —                                                 Poems for our Children!

Julie Rogers' poems 'Teeny Power' and 'Living from the Heart',                           as well as two lessons designed for teaching educators, are                               included in this unique and culturally diverse anthology                                     of poetry for children by over 50 San Francisco poets.                                       Includes an appendix of 26 poetry lessons for teachers                                     and parents based on poems in the book. Copies have been                               distributed free of charge to all the public elementary and                                 middle schools in SF as well as all the branch libraries of                                   the city system through a public fundraising campaign.                                      A delightful collection for both young and old!

A portion of the proceeds from sales supports poetry workshops in                  schools and community centers. To order go to: http://www.studiosaraswati.com/feather.htm




 Wed. Oct. 9, 2019

Open Mic followed by Featured Reading @ 8:00

sign up at 7:00

featuring Julie Rogers

at Sacred Grounds Cafe

2095 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94117


Sat. January 11, 2020 7 p.m.

Temple of Man 60th Anniversary Celebration

Art Show, Music & Poetry 

with George Herms, SA Griffin & others

including a reading by Julie Rogers

Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center

681 Venice Blvd, Venice, CA 90291









Julie Rogers @ 26:02 mins.


                                 Julie Rogers & her late husband,

                                      Beat poet David Meltzer 2011    

                                           photo by Chuck Koton

Barely in the Race         

         for that couple living on Harrison St. off ramp, Oakland


Might seem easy

to sit there on a corner

w/the sign misspelled,

hand printed HUNGERY,

more legible than a doctor’s

scrawled script for meds,

maybe forgot to take ‘em or just can’t afford it

anyway, it’s about food, water, shelter

just begging day & night

weathered face facing traffic

sometimes w/a dog to feed or a kid

or a bottle or reading a book

waiting w/no room for anything else

just your life all packed up beside you

in a shopping cart or just a bundle

crouching down on the curb

at the starting gate

of the finish line.


The Majority          for Joanne Kyger & Suzuki Roshi


of us are not.


Zen Master said this

just the other decade

& now he is not too


those words flew from his mouth

without a head count

and got stuck, think about it.

No way to catch up.

The dead have it.

Roll call is endless.


Some of those souls may want

to fix what broke, apologize

send flowers, another kiss

the last dance. But


we are

now able to sit

watch the sky from this side

& share breath.

Let us not forget.



Bolinas Beach


Crazy Rain  for David


Raining dogs

weathering the night

like someone recently blinded

shocked there is no light

the darkest place of pinholes

I can’t fit through to get out

a drained lake, a puddle of twin carp

two full cups of sake yet to share

life unread but written constantly

no room for tears or the house will flood

how to save the books?

How to walk around you all day

and sleep with your empty pillow?

The shaving cup immovable

on the table by the boxes

for your family, certain we hold back

before touching what you held

your shaving brush still hidden from view

in the bathroom cupboard

dam breakers, re-con scouts

from memory’s trenches

waiting to be picked up, to decide

where to give and take your world.


Where have you gone?

Frozen, I can’t cry

without you beside me

and then it rains.







RUMPUS Make/Work Interview

Make/Word Podcast interview

with David Meltzer and Julie Rogers

at home - to be released online on Thurs. March 19, 2015

by Scott Pinkmountain

go to: http://therumpus.net/sections/blogs/make-work/






An informal interview with Julie Rogers and David Meltzer       at their home in Oakland, CA. Biographical history, conversation and poetry recorded by Duncan McNiff in 2012


Aug. 5, 2012 at Mythos Arts & Arifacts, Berkeley:





WordTemple Radio Show

on 91 FM, KRCB Santa Rosa,

a National Public Radio affiliate-

readings by Beat Poet David Meltzer 

and Northwest Poet Julie Rogers 

recorded at their home in the Bay Area.

Hosted by Katherine Hastings. 

Go to the link: feed://media.krcb.org/podcasts/word_temple/Word_Temple.xml

at www.krcb.org/wordtemple



with Beat Poet David Meltzer at City Lights, San Francisco - June 23, 2011



with Beat Poet David Meltzer at Moe's Books, Berkeley, CA - June 29, 2011