ENDORSEMENTS FOR HOUSE OF THE UNEXPECTED
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'
HOUSE OF THE UNEXPECTED
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
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
–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
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
his tears are dark water
left running in the city
filling swimming pools
flooding gutters with our trash
and the homeless
his screams are the sirens
of Los Angeles
forcing the traffic back:
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
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.
SEE THE READING SCHEDULE BELOW
TWO-TONE POETRY & JAZZ - the new CD!! 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: firstname.lastname@example.org $10 + $5 shipping in the US = $15
HOUSE OF THE UNEXPECTED published by Wild Ocean Press
is still available! Julie Rogers' selected collection of poetry can be ordered here by emailing via 'CONTACT' at this website ~ $15 + $4 shipping and handling.
CHECK OUT THE CHAPBOOK!
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: email@example.com.
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
2016 READING SCHEDULE
Sat. Feb. 20 3 - 6 p.m.
A Cavalcade of Poets
A Fundraiser for Poetry Flash with
Joyce Jenkins, Richard Selberg, mK Chavez,
Adele & Jack Foley, David Meltzer, Julie Rogers
Lynne Knight, Nadine Lockhart, and others
at FIREHOUSE NORTH
1790 Shattuck Ave. at Delaware, Berkeley
$10 suggested donation at the door
Sunday, April 17 - 4:00
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
In Acknowledgement of National Poetry Month
Bird & Beckett Books and Records presents
AN AFTERNOON OF POETS
Marina Lazzara, Julie Rogers, Ava Koohbor,
Sunnylyn Thebodeaux & Sarah Menefee
653 Chenery St. in SF's Glen Park
Free Admission / Book signing to follow
Thurs. August 4 - 6:30 p.m.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Jack Hirschman & SF Library
Readers' Poetry Series Presents
Julie Rogers and Adrian Arias
Building C, Room 165
Fort Mason Center, San Francisco
Tues. September 13 - 7 p.m.
STINSON BEACH, CA
'A Couple of Poets'
David Meltzer & Julie Rogers
read their work and perform "Fours"
free / booksigning to follow
at Stinson Beach Library
3521 Shoreline Highway
CATCH THEIR INTERVIEW SUN. SEPT. 4
on KWMR’s "Swirvin' Kirven" show,
Airing live from 3 – 5 p.m. on kwmr.org,
90.5 Point Reyes, 89.9 Bolinas
& 92.3 San Geronimo Valley
Mon. September 26 - 7 p.m.
To Honor Omerta Publications'
Tenth Annivesary as a Press
Bird & Beckett Books and Records presents
David Meltzer & Julie Rogers
with musical guest accompaniment
653 Chenery St. in SF's Glen Park, SF