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


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

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 - 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: julmind@mtashland.net                                 $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.



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




 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


1790 Shattuck Ave. at Delaware, Berkeley

$10 suggested donation at the door

    refreshments provided

Sunday, April 17 - 4:00


In Acknowledgement of National Poetry Month

Bird & Beckett Books and Records presents


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.


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.


'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


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

Free Admission

         Julie Rogers & husband, Beat poet David Meltzer          

       photo by Chuck Koton


Dark Street/White Eyes

                                         for the Oakland Police Dept.


Shouts fling bad dreams

through dark eyes of sleep–

stirring, stunned, raking back blankets

 a command tears the quiet  

“If you don’t stop

I’m going to fucking kill you!”


Stumbling to a window

wide over naked streets at 2 a.m.

a citizen wakes

to spastic flash of blue/red lights

stuttering on asphalt.


Someone is running, a shadow passes

followed by a pistol held high

black and tan uniform

gun belt badge streaking metal

behind a young black man

gone down Brandon St.


Running and pointing

the officer orders his partner

white eyed from the car

lopes past the corner, disappears

his disembodied rage

slamming back between the houses

screaming, “You knew that car was stolen!”


In Oakland’s calloused fist

they appear, captor w/captive’s arm

twisted up on his dark back

the cop’s face lit, pale, contorted

inches from the other’s eyes

shoving him up against the black and white

he snaps on the cuffs.


“I didn’t know.”

The breathless voice caught

clear as sight, fading,

falling silent

into the caged back seat,

the bite of the lock shut tight.



at home in Oakland



Empty neon billboard

ad for space

squared void

open white light

glows across the sidewalk

on Haight at a bus stop

opposite a city map’s

relative world view

dim in comparison

the peninsula looks

like a slice of the body

side street veins

arteries: Market, Van Ness

green muscle of the park

bus line tattoos

a fist raised to the blue sea

all the words explaining

how to get around

in the silent glare

of no place

staring back

from the other side

of the bench.



 written on the corner

   of Haight and Pierce, SF 



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