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Lynne Bronstein's
Venice Poems

Lynne Bronstein

Ballad of Reading Jail

Kate Braverman

Wanda Coleman

John Kertisz

John Thomas and Philomene Long

Poems and Prose by Philomene and John

Last Days of John Thomas

The Beats: An Existential Comedy

My Philomene

Illuminating the Wasteland

Majid Naficy

Van Gogh's Ear

Stuart Z. Perkoff

John O'Kane

Clair Horner

Eavesdropping on the

by Anne Alexander

Venice Poems

Buck-or-Two Rap

Gas House beat HQ


In Venice CA




A hundred years ago, this very day, July 2, 1905, Venetians gathered to turn on 17, 000 light bulbs illuminating Venice of America. That light is now being passed to another century. We here today, are a result of those first Venetians' intentions as we gather to witness Bill Rosendahl take his oath of office as our Councilman. His intention: to both preserve and nurture that luminosity.

Raised in Venice, the very place in which he will take the oath, he is deeply connected to the land. "I try to live close to the earth," he says. And "My religion is simple: Love thy neighbor." Apparently his neighbors included all living things for (this is true) a chicken will lay green eggs for him! There is both an unexplainable magic and a practical explanation for this. But the real question is- if he can nurture a chicken to the point where she will lay green eggs, what else can he do and how does he do it? Of Bill Rosendahl it is said: "He listens."

Today, July 2, 2005, just before noon
In the full force of our Southern California sun
Before the Pacific Ocean
Surrounded by those whom he calls neighbor
As Bill Rosendahl speaks his oath of office
With him will be the voices of those
Who illuminated Venice 100 years ago
And with them our voices joining
In the full force of that original intention
To preserve and protect the body and soul of Venice

Venice, city conceived in imagination for imagination
With body intact -the canals, the welcoming houses
The people came. It happened - the magic -- unexplainable
Venice becoming the city imagined
A city like no other city on earth
Its community of Venetians giving her a soul
Bright. Transcendent. The soul of Venice
A gift, which cannot be bought nor stolen
This is the gift out right, freely given
To those open to receive it; for those who listen

But Venice transcendent still needs a body
It can be, has been, wounded
It can die; live on only in history

So we here today, as with previous Venetians
Welcome all as neighbor, loving freely
At the same time preserve and protect our radiant city
With magic and practicality
And with the hope of a pale green egg-almost iridescent
In a Venice afternoon light
That resolve passed on from those that have gone before us
For them as for ourselves, and for those that will follow
Will walk upon our footsteps into the next century
That the light of Venice not be extinguished
Nor diminished, nor simply be maintained.
But that light burn, burn, burn into a boundless luminosity!

--Philomene Long, Poet Laureate of Venice



Venice Poet Laureate
at Swearing-In Ceremony

On July 2, 2005, as part of the Centennial celebrations, newly elected 11th District Councilman Bill Rosendahl held a public swearing-in ceremony at Venice Beach. It was his intention to create an inclusionary, populist event to celebrate the diversity of the area, symbolized by Venice, which is about as diverse as an area gets.

After complimenting Mayor Villaraigossa, "I appreciate your vision of Los Angeles as cultural capital of the 21st century," Poet Laureate Philomene Long read the inauguration poem for Councilman Rosendahl.

Present in this photo are Mayor Riordan, Councilman Bill Rosendahl, Mayor Villaraigossa, Philomene Long, and Nancy Riordan.

© 2004 - 2012 Pat Hartman
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