Monday, November 26, 2007

Poets in Port, September 26, 2008

Poets in Port will feature Doug Swezey, Kate Kelly, and Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan reading the poetry of Jean Schmidt aka Grace Darling aka fairscape aka Jean Stainback at 7:30 pm on Friday, September 26, 2008 at Caffé Portofino, 249 Main St., Northport, opposite the theatre. Also Turtlehead will sing some songs she and Jean wrote. There will also be an Open Reading — the audience is encouraged to bring their poems and participate. For more information, contact Steven Schmidt.

Jean Schmidt was a Registered Nurse, a graduate of Queens Hospital School of Nursing. Most of her career was at Central General Hospital (now Plainview Hospital). She was a long time member of the Northport Chorale. She described herself as "a full-time poet and a part-time human being". She participated in the Long Island Poetry Collective Peer Workshop and, as Grace Darling, in Island Songwriters' Showcase. (Songs co-written with Turtlehead: Wandering Days and When We Dance)

When the Paris Cafe in Huntington went out of business, she hosted the remaining scheduled featured readers in her home under the name Fairscape [anagram]. She helped George Wallace with the Poetry Barn for a couple of years and booked the musicians. She helped with Sundays at Seven at the Northport Historical Society, where she hosted Guitar Goddesses and organized the Real and/or Surreal immediate magazine assembly. She also organized a series of readings and workshops at the Northport Library.
She had poems published, as Grace Darling, in American Atheist, Aphrodite Gone Berserk, The Aurorean, Black Cross, Lucid Moon, Mediphors, North Shore Women's Newspaper, Poetalk, and Poetyr.
Jean died of cervical cancer on May 31, 2007. Don't delay your checkups because you're taking care of other people.
More about her life can be seen on
Some of her poems can be seen on these blogs:
fairsCaPe, Evil Influences, and Poerotica.

From Jean's introduction to her reading at Peacesmiths Coffee House:

Jean Schmidt is a poet who believes there is a poet within each of us.
She is cursed with nearly unlimited patience and the ability to see problems from more than one point of view.
This makes it difficult for her to identify herself with any
specific isms or ists.
It also makes her dizzy at times.
Occasionally she is brave enough to write.
Sometimes she is bold enough to read.

above water

my ideas
are flat rocks
which I skip
across the sea
of your mind
as if your attention
alone is what is needed
to keep them visible

a lack of interest
on your part
is all that is necessary
for them to sink


I am a virtual reality

—my eyes the colour
of storm clouds
against a clear blue
Autumn sky

my hair — long — pale
begs stylists
for a good cut
—grain ready for harvest

as my time here
is to be short
and my life
I lay very small claim
to this very large planet

my atoms
scatter back
to the universe
outside my skin

when I shed
this crusty membrane
I will rejoin
all that I was

all that ever was

Poets in Port, Friday, May 30, 2008

Poets in Port will feature Thomas Brinson at 7:30 pm on Friday, May 30, 2008 at Caffé Portofino, 249 Main St., Northport, opposite the theatre. There will also be an Open Reading — the audience is encouraged to bring their poems and participate. For more information, contact Steven Schmidt.

brief poetical vitae of thomas brinson

who has been writing poetry for the past 40 or so years as self-meditation against cynicism and nihilism, despair and abject hopelessness . . .

who enjoys reading his stuff at open mikes all over the island, because he gets to pretend again he is the actor he chose not to become 35 years ago, when he first moved to New York . . .

who has been published in several small magazines online and in real life, but who is mostly too lazy to go through the submittal/rejection-slip-notification game . . .

and who presently lives in a studio apartment in Long Beach with a splendid ocean view, where after a five year sojourn in Tucson and Sri Lanka he is most privileged to again be the ardent New York Peace Activist that he has been since returning home from duty in the American War in Vietnam, landing in Washington, DC’s National ("it’ll never be ray gun for me") Airport a couple of hours after Martin Luther King was assassinated on April 4th, 1968.

Thomas can be seen reading at Poetry VLog

sea smell
sweetly pungent

early light
soft, diffuse

surfers dance
white-flecked waves

was it as gloriously quiet
and stately serene that morning
in early morning sealight
sixty-two years ago yesterday
in arbitrarily doomed
Hiroshima ?

August 7, 2007
Long Beach, NY

Poets in Port, April 25, 2008

Poets in Port will feature Gladys Henderson at 7:30 pm on Friday, April 25, 2008 at Caffé Portofino, 249 Main St., Northport, opposite the theatre. There will also be an Open Reading — the audience is encouraged to bring their poems and participate. For more information, contact Steven Schmidt.

Gladys Henderson runs poetry workshops for Live Poets, based in Islip and the Poets Circle at the Graphic Eye Art Gallery in Port Washington and co-hosts a poetry reading venue at the Cool Beanz coffee house in Saint James, New York.

An award winning poet, in 2004 she was awarded first prize in the Live Poets, Mid-Island Y JCC, and Ronkonkoma Productions poetry competitions. In 2005 she won first place in the Farmingdale Poetry Group and Performance Poetry contests. For the year 2006, she received first place in the Ronkonkoma Productions competition and was a finalist for the Paumanok Poetry Award 2006.

Gladys Henderson’s poems have been published in: For Loving Precious Beast, Kaleidoscope, Long Island Dreams, Long Island Sounds, Lyrismos, Midwestern University Quarterly, Oberon, Performance Poets Anthologies, Robert Frost Participant Anthologies and The Light of City and Sea. In addition for fall 2007, her poems were selected to appear in Songs of Seasoned Women, PAUMANOK: Poetry and Pictures of Long Island, and Primal Sanities. Her chapbook, Eclipse of Heaven, has been selected for publication by Finishing Line Press, Georgetown, Kentucky and will be released in April 2008. It can be ordered here

She can be seen reading at Poetry VLog.

A Nine Year Old Prepares Dinner

You have been alone,
in the kitchen below the lights
kept dim, and sliced your finger
cutting raw onions for dinner
while they argued
and wrangled and never
saw that finger, although
you showed it to them twice —
the cut so deep you couldn’t
stop its bleeding, found
scrap sheets in the bottom
of the closet, ripped them
with your mouth and free hand,
like a soldier in a war movie,
and wrapped the wound,
until the top grew white
as though nothing had happened —
and went back to cooking
the dinner, the one you would
eat in silence, your finger throbbing
on the table, their leftover words
breaking the quiet, your blood
seeping through the bandage,
while your father, the first aider,
mumbled under his sherried lips.
You have been alone, invisible,
danced for them a thousand
times. In the morning the blood
flow stopped and your mother
asked to take a glance. It was a gash
that looked mean, reeked of onions.
She recoiled, turned away and went
on outside to feed the quail.

Poets in Port, March 28, 2008

Poets in Port will feature Michelle Whittaker & Kempton Van Hoff at 7:30 pm on Friday, March 28, 2008 at Caffé Portofino, 249 Main St., Northport, opposite the theatre. There will also be an Open Reading — the audience is encouraged to bring their poems and participate. For more information, contact Steven Schmidt.

Michelle Whittaker creates poetry on a few sorted highways, and at her computer early mornings while eating clementines. Her poetry, she says, is "old school," listing Octavio Paz, Pablo Neruda, Ai, Lucille Clifton, Mary Oliver and Sharon Olds as influences. Co-founder of the Northport Opera Company, she holds a Bachelor of Music in composition and piano from SUNY Fredonia. She was a scholarship winner for her collection of poems Building a Backbone. She currently enjoys reading at various Long Island venues, and teaching music.


what was left was
advice for me
to have two children
to keep around the house
like two Bibles
in case one goes missing
and what was left were six
and a set of pearls
and cherry bushes
broken faces
into a late moment of August
stamping a tongue bitter
as if slipping off a pointed chin
of an air mail envelope
to someone thought forgotten
in a Freeport casket,
behind wailers,
on a Sunday walk
dropping a garden of stone
into a coffin now dented
as how a hunter bows
and finalizes a deer
from its lost grave

Kempton Boone Van Hoff is a member of the human race who earned a BFA in Writing from Green Mountain College in 2002. Since then, he's brought his interdisciplinary approach to life to various fields and cities, though he'd always rather be in, on or near the ocean. He is currently a teacher, writing assistant and student at C.W. Post, among other things, which you may come to know through conversation.

Legacy (beginnings [part 1: mathematics of religion])

Smoke and mist above crests craning
These the work of fisherman thorn

Texture-coat held close with leather
Remember life like old wooden

Pachyderm peers his one challenge
What human will you leave behind

Within hulls and gardens well kept
Secret son weaves crimson carpet

Kings craft paths as only kings can
Son of one son threading daughters

Needle learners through these thought seas
Dropping rain nimbly through the eye

And eye of one god was alive
Vanishing in a trail of smoke

Like philosophy on the breeze
With the equation that must fail.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Golden Spiral Bamboo Sculpture

This sculpture by Thea Lanzisero Monier-Williams is back up in Heckscher Park in Huntington. For pictures, see

Golden Spiral

One-way spiral dance
not to death
but to a beginning:
the first day and a half
of this cosmos--what
day meant before any sun, turn
before any nebula.
A month began before the moon
in original glade, simple and lush
screened from infinity,
where children forget.

Twist from strong point
down to greedy open gate--
and we must extend, think bamboo
continued sharper and smaller
to engulf park and slice fences.
Orbit spiral's domain--
Night partitions rigged stakes;
shadows on them change
as if to hide steps of a plan
one dare not picture whole.

Full moonlight shows them battered slack,
on grid renewed in orange.
Day's meaning follows woven ropes, gradual and jumping,
to knots and spurs, lives in harmless cracks and
breaks, in precise haphazard
slanting together.