Connect with us
  • Culture & MediaAugust 1, 2013adminsm

    Another Divorce

    you want dogs? I walked all four shepherds
    in the park, by day and dark
    and nobody dared come near; bark?
    all they had to do was walk,
    the four big shepherds in the park

    love? you want love? I hardly miss her;
    but her dogs I walked
    by day and dark, yes,
    I miss the dogs, the four
    big shepherds in the park.


    Source: Intensifications, published by Red Hen Press (2010).

    Originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., Austin Straus has been drawing and painting since childhood, but began writing seriously in his mid-thirties. His poems and illustrations have appeared in such literary magazines and anthologies as Caliban, Grand Passion, Jacaranda Review, Red Dance Floor and The Maverick Poets. Known as the host of KPFK’s The Poetry Connexion,

     » Read more about: Another Divorce  »

  • California ExposeJuly 31, 2013Gary Cohn

    Prop. 32 Ghost Looms Over Lawsuit Against Teachers Union

    Last November unions won a resounding victory when voters defeated Proposition 32, a ballot measure that would have crippled labor’s political influence in California, partly by barring public-employee unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. The initiative, which enjoyed a huge lead in early opinion polls, was heavily funded by wealthy conservatives and far-right groups.

    Union leaders were overjoyed by its defeat.

    “You can’t buy California,” Dean Vogel, president of the California Teachers Association (CTA), told an election-night victory party in Sacramento. “We’re not for sale.”

    The celebration hasn’t been long lived. In a little-noticed move in April, a conservative legal organization that has pushed to overturn the 1964 Voting Rights Act filed a lawsuit in federal court in Santa Ana that could accomplish in the courts what Prop. 32 couldn’t at the ballot box. The players behind the suit may not be household names but the millionaires and private foundations covering their legal fees represent a familiar klatch of extreme libertarians who,

     » Read more about: Prop. 32 Ghost Looms Over Lawsuit Against Teachers Union  »

  • Culture & MediaJuly 25, 2013adminsm

    Santa Clarita After the Fires

    Valley after valley,
    as if some primeval fiend
    dragged its talons here
    as it fell from the coastal shelf.

    Eighty years ago, after the gold
    and copper towns ghosted,
    before Gunsmoke came to Vasquez Rocks,
    William Mulholland’s dam gave out
    and flushed the canyons clean
    54 miles to Ventura, and the ocean.

    We’ve seeped in, bloomed
    like thrush in hollows
    flecked with rust-capped roofs,
    and bone-white stucco.

    Now, across the 14’s eight lanes,
    vast scabs of sooty earth
    and blacker scrub proclaim:
    the land finds ways to slough infection.


    David Eadington is a fifth-generation Southern Californian who lives in West L.A. His work has appeared in several places, including Xelas Magazine and Check Other. He was named one of Los Angeles’

     » Read more about: Santa Clarita After the Fires  »

  • Culture & MediaJuly 22, 2013Lalo Alcaraz

    Lalo Alcaraz on Charter Schools

    See Gary Cohn’s article, “Why Charter Schools Are Tearing Public Campuses Apart.”

     » Read more about: Lalo Alcaraz on Charter Schools  »

  • Culture & MediaJuly 18, 2013adminsm

    Anyone’s Son


    — for the family of Trayvon Martin

    This poem wants to write itself backwards.
    Wishes it were born memory instead, skipping

    time like a record needle stuck on the line
    of your last second. You sit up. Brush not blood,

    but dirt from your chest. You sit up. You’re in bed.
    Bad dream. Back to sleep. You sit up. Rise and shine.

    Good morning. This is the poem of a people united
    in the uniform of your last day. Pockets full

    of candy, hooded sweatshirt, sweet tea. This poem
    wants to stand its ground, silence force

    with simple words, pray you alive, anyone’s
    son — tall boy, eye-smile, walk on home.


    Tara Skurtu is a Teaching Fellow at Boston University, a Robert Pinsky Global Fellow and recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize.

     » Read more about: Anyone’s Son  »