Friday, November 29, 2019


Get your copy of the Poetry Club Book today!
A colorful compilation of responses to the weekly prompts, all written on-site by poetry club participants. 
Click on the photo below to go to 2727's Holiday Webshop! 

Monday, November 25, 2019

Poetry Club Continues...

Harvest Season

This collection of Renga poetry was collaboratively created on November 20, 2019, at 2727 California Street by the Poetry Club.  Debby Charlene Segal facilitated and edited this work.
The poets who contributed stanzas:


October moon, shrunk
to a bright threaded sliver
lights sleeping wheat field

pitch black five-thirty PM
sight given on next full moon

I know water is
west of here water waiting
for me to visit

the water is very kind
and is very good for me

I wish I was home
but now I'm stuck over here
when will it be done?

I wish to be understood
I see a middle finger

I am lost in thought
climbing my way back to here
noticing my foot

change is the only constant
constantly I am surprised

does a llama cry?
does a llama feel wonder?
how will we know this?

I asked the pensive white beast
contemptuous, quiet said all

wild fire, flown water
trees flaming hot, smoke rising
sad, not beautiful

volcanoes are amazing
so, so hot, the fire is blue

I once heard of a
volcano rock goddess in
a Hawaiian book

I draw my thought with a pen
but my thought starts to fade now

heavy blue squash sat
on the counter in low light
early dinner time

the dinner bell rings---  ding! ding!
the hungry workers eat squash

in a quiet wood
a bear scoops amber honey
hibernation soon

not so quiet, bird splashed blue
squawks and dives between branches

if only, she said
yes, if, said he, but no more
thoughts stopped, quiet glances

heartaches are truly the worst
but it makes you feel alive

the little feeling
inside is all that we have
cherished sacredness

cherished hearts of good people
we will show this world now

peaceful, peaceful fish
swimming in the great big sea
showing love and peace

every scale a message now
one fish eating another

a muddy footprint
under a bridge--- earthly thing
I live here alone

I am of the earth, are you?
I am of the sand and rock

goddess of the night
as I sleep--- watch over me---
you rule the darkness

we want to live forever
so we shouldn't choose to die

fruits are always in season
California persimmons
sweet little pumpkins

crunchy leaves fall to the ground
crunchy leaves all get crunched on

I love the forest
the forest is so peaceful
I wish I lived there

caterpillars do
and thick yellow slugs

I am in the sun
wishing to be in shadows
wishing for something

where did my youth go? Tell me!
I ranted at the hilltops

I lost it somewhere
wrinkles and gray hair suit me---
I know myself now

some things gone need not be found
some losses are natural

this one blue-eyed dog
seems at times not animal
but then poops on rug

animals--- like us, I thought
but are probably smarter

I have been thinking
about Chinese medicine
body as nature

they all help us live if we
share all the things we all have

who is that I see?
there is something in the sea!
there lays big Nessie!

I've heard the story since birth
I'm humble at the lake's edge

a man rakes the grass
he can hear the crunch of leaves
crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch

tree trunks get knocked hard with brooms
walnuts in strange black shells

sea and horizon
one color silver I think
seal slips off the rocks

the wet rocks are slippery
and covered in barnacles

where am I to go?
is the cry of the wild geese
where is my new home?

the fish could not hear, safe below
the pounding rain, a soft rhythm

her bicycle gone
who would do this, she despaired
then--- there!  ---by a tree

jump for joy my bike is here
freedom is with me, goodbye!

grrr, hsst, slither, bay
ba -tat-tat-tat ---"who goes there?"
night animals live

look right over there--- you see?
the animals who rule night

earth, fire and water
metal wood air--- they help us
they all help us live

water is in the air now
a big dark cloud overhead

together with God
rain on top of our fat heads
God don't mind puddles

today I will be happy---
I'm not promised tomorrow

butternut squash at
the market--- kale and corn, too;
one more tomato

The shop workers are bored--not
having seen the young corn sprout up

large flat rock, on sand
sea water just a puddle
has seen angry water

expansive, full of all
emotion, the ocean, our sea

I do not see you
you are big and unmoving
where are you brother?

although I may not see well,
I can still hear your deep voice

I know I just lost,
but that is alright with me
at least I got it

I got something that's just mine
I floated on the water

crows fly over me
an elephant steps over
belly grazing head

bark peeling from the tree trunks
shows the stag has scratched his head

small twigs crunch under
the feet of all who run here
soon they will be soil

ashes to ashes, dust/dust
soil releasing old spirits

Icarus soared, high
ecstatic, triumph is his!
Even as wings melt

we could live a very long time
if we really wanted to

               *The End*

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Week Six


Group Activity 1: Reading/Writing Circles (exercise from CA Conrad)
First, we will divide the group in half-- half of us will begin as writers and the other half as readers. The writers form a circle, with their notebooks ready, while the readers form another circle around them, with their texts ready. (The readers can use any piece of text available.) The readers will walk around the inner circle alternating between speaking, singing and whispering their text. Meanwhile, the writers in the inner circle are writing freely, without stopping. There is no right way to do this— the exercise is meant to create a textural experience of language while providing the writer with a wash of disparate words and meaning. 

Group Activity 2:
I have printed out some poems that I felt were emotionally relevant to this moment. One person will read one poem out loud. After the poem has been read aloud, everyone will be invited to speak aloud a word, phrase, or line that resonated. 

Fred Moten

Hoa Nguyen 

Alice Notley

Prompt 1:
Now look over the poems on your own, and on a separate sheet of paper, make a list of those words and phrases that resonated. Try to find at least 20 words/phrases. 

Pass your list to the person on your right ——>

Prompt 2:
Think about the meaning of weather. How can the idea of weather function in a poem to express emotion? Consider the temperature of a poem, what creates a sense of temperature? Think about wind, and what it symbolizes. A higher power, a violent message, breath…? Using the list of words from your neighbor, try writing a poem that somehow contains weather.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Week Five

Prompt #1 PICS

*Choose a photo from the stack (below) that you want to work with. 

Part 1
Make a list of what you see in the image. What you see doesn’t have to be explicitly depicted (i.e. feelings).
Part 2
Write about the image as if you’ve known it forever. Maybe try explaining it to someone like you really need them to understand it.
Part 3
Write to completely dismantle the image. Try to untangle/unravel.

*Find someone to switch pictures with, or get a new one from the stack.

Part 4
With your new image, repeat Part 1.
Part 5
Write backwards toward the image. 
Part 6
Write about the image in a way that’s wrong, a way that makes no sense. 
Part 7
Feel free to repeat prompts on either image.
Using what you’ve written today, make as many two-line poems as you can.

Prompt #2 HOMEWORK

Reflect on what you’ve written over the last few weeks. Choose one poem or piece of text to record yourself reading (up to 3 minutes). Additionally, choose a song, or make a field recording that somehow supports/speaks to your writing. Send your audio recordings/songs to, in order to be included in a special audio component of the poetry club publication! 

 .  .




Monday, October 21, 2019

Week Four

Prompt #1
Video Description (Inspired by Millie Kapp and Maliea Croy)

--Part 1
Start with lists:
List the shapes, colors, and textures in the video. Can you list the characters?
--Part 2
Start to describe what's happening. Can you construct a narrative? Perhaps utilize your lists.
--Part 3
Write to the beat of the video.

Prompt #2
Using what you've already written, create 3 poems. The 3 poems do not need to be specific to Parts 1, 2 and 3. Feel free to combine and cross-reference.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Week Three


Prompt #1 
Using the colorful markers, write down something(s) that you want to leave behind. The thing(s) can be a feeling, an action, an object, anything that doesn’t serve you. Imagine leaving it behind in last year. Place this piece of paper in the bowl of water.

Prompt #2
Close your eyes. Open your eyes and look at the bowl of water. Close your eyes again. Think about your list of what you want to leave behind and choose the thing that stands out most. 
Write it on a new piece of paper. Turn the thing over in your mind, like a stone. Examine the underside of it. What does it look like? Describe what you find. Where exactly will you leave it?

Prompt #3
Think again of that thing you want to leave behind. What is at the other end of the spectrum? What is it’s opposite? Come up with a word, or list of words, that embody what you do want to bring into the new year. 

Prompt #4
Think of someone you want to connect/reconnect with this year. Write them a poem using your new word (the opposite). Write this poem on a postcard and send it to that person.

Week Two

Prompt #1 THE OPEN WOUND (by Anne Boyer)
“To write often means remembering what never existed. So how can I know what has never existed? Like this: as if I were remembering. By an effort of memory, as if I had never been born. I was never born. I have never lived. But I remember, and remembering is like an open wound.” — Clarice Lispector, Selected Chronicas 

-Remember what never existed. Write this down

-Seed the course of future time by creating a proliferation of these memories of what has not been. 

Prompt #2 (by Anne Boyer)
-Textual: Write inside the pores of another text, your own, a text you love, or one that bothers you. Additionally, you might extract a work from the pores of language.
-Spatial: Find a space or thing that appears fixed, monumental, established, concrete, “itself” and write into its permeability as damp would, mold, air, sound, disease, or scent.
-Temporal: Write a work that demonstrates/enforces/creates/charms/advantages the porosity of time.
-Historical: Does history have pores? Can you contaminate them? Try. 

Prompt #3 
Draw what you wrote today. Then find a partner, and swap your writing. Draw each other’s poems.