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Kate Braverman

Lynne Bronstein

Lynne Bronstein's Venice Poems

Ballad of Reading Jail

Wanda Coleman

Eavesdropping on the Boardwalk

John Thomas and Philomene Long

Poems and Prose by Philomene and John

Last Days of John Thomas

The Beats: An Existential Comedy

Laureate at Ceremony

My Philomene

Illuminating the Wasteland

Majid Naficy

Van Gogh's Ear

Stuart Z. Perkoff

John O'Kane

Clair Horner

Venice Poems

Zendik poem:
Buck-or-Two Blues Rap

Gas House beat HQ


In Venice CA



John Kertisz

Dear Lovely Venice,
Please accept my apology for not writing sooner, although i know your
constituent electrons, energies and spirits keep you well aware of how
slowly we operate on this plane and especially in this particular space
whose name is yours, sweet lady.

As you well know, it is now 7 score plus 7 more since you became a city no
more, on the promise of boroughs and benefits galore. How we impossibly
remain in peculiar form of non-conforming community all the same with
essence unchanged, is a question i wish not to explore.

For myself, it seems as yesterday, some 30 years ago, that i found myself
in your beauteous domain savoring your breath and warmth, falling instantly
in love, knowing i had found home at last,

Soon after, i became acquainted with your founding father, Abbot Kinney,
and became familiar with the history of your becoming a city nearly 100
years ago. Time flies when in love. I also discovered that Abbot did not
have a street named in his honor nor a sculpture anywhere to be seen.

Later in the 70's, i had the good fortune to find a charming small store
for Artist residence on then named West Washington Blvd. (As though we
didn't have enough of George ) Which is where i founded the Front Porch
coffee/tea House, including the usual accouterments of music, art, poetry
and such.

During this period, your make-up and structure were somewhat in disrepair,
reflecting the adversities from which you were emerging. Nonetheless, your
mystical spirit gave inspiration, meaning, and purpose to countless
itinerant artists of all kinds. For me resulting in 200 poems; and 100
flutes from bamboo cut from your then numerous patches, created and played
in celebration and tribute to your spirit and beauty.

This interval included yearly community festivals in your canals to
celebrate the people's love for you through art, craft, music, and dance.
These were fun filled gatherings of joy and hope. Unfortunately a form of
incurable functional obsolescence had set into your estate and the canal
festivals terminated sadly in 1976.

Hiatus ensued until 1984, when a small band of citizens, residents, and
merchants on then west washington blvd organized a new Arts/Crafts/Music
Festival to celebrate your continuing tradition. 5 years later in 1989
another group came to being to honor and recognize your founder, for whom i
wrote and delivered the poem, "Ode to Abbot Kinney", at the now yearly
Venice Festival, and presented the first "Spirit of Venice" award to direct
living descendants of Abbot.

Am sure you noticed that i have presumed to elevate your status from the
original "venice of America" to "Venice of the Universe". I did so in
keeping with reality of the fact that you are known, loved,
inter-comingled, and appreciated by people from all points and places on
this planet and certainly the universe too; and especially i am sure at our
guiding planet Venus, where i understand that you and we are #1 in their
soap opera programming.

A dozen more festivals have since celebrated our youth, our elders, our
unity in our non-conforming diversity; all in appreciation of your being
the most unique place on this plane where each is able to work within your
spirit and to live in harmony.

About all for now except to mention that the citizens of your community are
preparing for a grand centennial celebration of your birth, two years from
now. Please pretend to be surprised. Spoke to Abbot, he will attend. I love
you more each day and remain your devoted servant.

John '33

P.S. Put in a good word for me at the home office.

Tell them i would be ready for a transfer if not for the fact that i love
being here with you so much.

"New Venice Century"

Awaken Abbot come sense the sounds sights
and memories Of 100 years
As we celebrate & commemorate
Birthing Creation Founding of
this place called a City: Venice of America
USA by the Sea on Beach & boulevard
half-way place between Disney Mountain
And Downtown L.A.

It is now 4 score since we became city no more
By promise of borough and benefits galore
The vision remains unchanged Of the City of yore
Time & Spirit fly high over scorched prints of souls
In sand below marks ions of eons in diverse unity
Of non-conforming community
Pulsating in rhythm with ebb and flow
Attuned in the glow of a century of festivals
Heralding the new now beginning again
A village no more

How simple it is how easy can be
Lacking soul desire truly to be free
One day one century one moment
All Hail All welcome
Venice Century two




John Kertisz began writing poems during the mid-70s in Venice CA, where he started a performing arts center called the "Front Porch Gallery", working with countless local & regional musicians, artists & poets. In 1984, he was a founder of the first W. Washington Blvd Community Festival which later became the "Abbot Kinney Festival", in honor of the founder of Venice. He became Master of Ceremonies in 1988 and was instrumental in the name change to Abbot Kinney Blvd. He was initially designated Poet Laureate of Venice in 1990 by County Supervisor Deane Dana, serving in that capacity until 2005 when the Mayor of Los Angeles conferred upon him the title of Poet Laureate Emeritus. Kertisz was a finalist in the first "Favorite Poem Project" and was honored to be recognized as Venice Poet Laureate by U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky at UCLA in 1998.

The Spirit of Venice

The Spirit lives in the land
In Venice of the Universe by the sea
And in the trees, flowers, birds
Fish, cats, dogs, and people
Who live love and find their true fortune
In this place where fantasy creates reality

Absolute Arrogant Anarchists
Baleful Bountiful Buffoons
Charismatic Charlatans
Dutiful Daunting Democrats
Happy Harrowing Homeless
Revolutionary Reactionary Republicans
Zany Zealous Zebras
All find home in Venice
As the Spirit lives on
Thru the under, over, & non- achieving Characters of Venice

Magic is here
As the muse inspires
As the players perform their roles
In the Spirit that lives
Now and forever

Owed to the Children

In this time of Trials
Confusion & Tribulation
There is one thread
Of reason to live

For our children
Who know they have done no wrong
And wonder why they are here
In this world

With our rhymes seasons games to play
Lies to tell and die
For country & power

What is it all about
Is that all there is
No time no money
For Art-Beauty-Culture

Only time for oil tobacco drugs
Fires tornadoes & shuttles to places
No one can live

The time is now here
To listen to our children
And give to them
Trees flowers peace & Love




© 2004 - 2012 Pat Hartman
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