I picked up each of these little books after being present at a reading by the authors, each of whom is a great performer with a unique and powerful voice. If you have the chance to catch them at any one of the many poetry events around the San Francisco bay area, I highly recommend you go have a listen.
House and Home
by Jaz Sufi
Hand made with a string binding, House and Home is a gift of words, expressing raw wounds of body and heart, mind and soul. The poems explore love and its failures. They address the lives of women, revealing how they are damaged, while revealing a strength that allows them to reclaim their own power. What a gorgeous little collection.
Poetry is not the ship.
Poetry is not the captain.
Life is a constant storm, and poetry
is what we make of the wreckage,
what we cling to alone in the ocean.
— from “Better a Blacksmith Than a Writer, a Carpenter Than a Poet”
Jaz Sufi is a poet, a Bay Area native, and the slammaster of the Berkeley Slam, the longest running poetry slam in California.
by Jocelyn Deona De Leon
Although only about the size of my hand, I don’t know if I can quite call Reflections mini at 62 pages.This collection is introspective and soulful, alternating between diary entries exploring and reflecting the author’s emotional space to individual poems sending messages to the world. These poems call upon the reader to ground themselves in the present moment, to look inside themselves, and to feel the world deeply.
moments flutter by like
butterfly wings slowly
floating you away from me.
i cannot catch you
because your freedom is exquisite.
it is the most explicit reminder that
the only way to love free is
to free love.
— from “Complicated Simplicity”
Jocelyn Deona de Leon writes poetry inspired by her Pilipino ancestral heritage and reflecting on experience through the eyes of love (see bio). She has toured nationally, sharing her words and energy with youth at various elementary, high school, and college campuses.
Highku: 4 & 20 Poems About Marijuana
by Brennan ‘B Deep’ DeFrisco
Lucky Bastard Press, 2015
I don’t smoke, so normally I wouldn’t be interested in a book of poetry about pot. But when I saw this tiny, adorable little book, I couldn’t help but pick it up. The poems inside follow the traditional haiku 5-7-5 syllable format. Each tiny poem contains a single thought, some witty, some perceptive. A fun little read.
for Vietnam protesters:
Arrest them for pot
Brennan ‘B Deep’ DeFrisco likes words and the way they move. He is an organizer and performer at the Berkeley Poetry Slam and will represent them for the second time in the upcoming 2015 National Poetry Slam. He is a co-founder of Lucky Bastard Press.