CANCELLED – Open Mic Night!

Hello Forum Followers!

We have had to cancel our Open Mic Night on Wednesday, November 28th, 2018 at 6pm at the Ocean Ale House. 😦

Due to the cancellation of classes through next Monday, November 26th, the Forum staff will be diligently working on preparing Forum Magazine for print; therefore, we need to cancel our Open Mic Night.

There is a possibility we will be able to reschedule an Open Mic Night prior to the Launch Party!

Stay tuned and thank you for your continued support of CCSF’s Forum Literary Magazine!!


Lit Crawl 2018!

Adobe Books in San Francisco’s Mission District sponsored many events for Lit Quake 2018 and on Saturday, October 20th they sponsored contributors of CCSF’s Forum Literary Magazine for the final day of Lit Crawl 2018!!

The well-attended event on Saturday, October 20th at 6pm had writers Jackie Davis-Martin, Matt Andrews, bloodflower, Vincent Calvarese, Matt Luedke and Zachariah Hauptman.


Forum Magazine would like to thank Adobe Books, CCSF English Department faculty Jen Sullivan-Brych, Jackie Davis-Martin,  Chante McCormick, John Isles, Julie Young, Leila Easa, Cullen Bailey Burns .

FORUM at Litquake Lit Crawl – Saturday 10/20



Contributors to City College of San Francisco’s FORUM literary magazine will read works published within its pages during its 81-year history. Emceed by Jackie Davis Martin.

Saturday October 20, 2018 6:30pm – 7:30pm

Held at Adobe Books & Arts Cooperative, 3130 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA


Matthew Andrews

Born and raised in Sacramento, Matthew Andrews moved to San Francisco almost a decade ago by way of Ann Arbor. He is a student at CCSF where he is pursuing a Creative Writing Certificate.


a native of southern New England, bloodflower has been publishing his singular yet provocative poesy since his teens, leading to publication in The New England Anthology of Poetry. bloodflower is an accomplished composer and multi-instrumentalist and has exhibited his photography… Read More →

Vincent Calvarese

Vincent Calvarese was born and raised in the Bay Area and has lived here all of his life. He has worn many hats in the Bay Area—barista, salesperson, journalist, graphic designer, union representative, deputy sheriff, homeless advocate and published writer and poet. After a long… Read More →

Matt Luedke

Matt Luedke was the Fiction Editor for CCSF’s Forum in Spring 2018. You can often find Matt either hiking through the nature of the Bay Area, biking up a steep SF hill in the easiest gear on his beloved, sticker-covered hybrid, or bundled up at one of SF’s cold beaches with a notebook… Read More →

MK Chavez Poetry Reading

MK Chavez is an award-winning author, co-founder/curator of the reading series Lyrics & Dirges, co-director of the Berkeley Poetry Festival, a fellow with CantoMundo, and a Fall 2018 guest curator of the reading series at UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

Join us September 19 for a free and open to the public poetry reading poetry reading on Mission Campus in Room 107-108 from 6:00pm-8:00pm.

MK Chavez Writers Series PDF Flyer



The End by Aniah Hill

The origin of my misery lay dying in a hospital bed.  As I entered the room, I was overcome with the competing emotions of compassion and anger. A natural urge to embrace the suffering was rapidly suppressed by the anger that had burned inside me for so many years.  He was dying, finally, but only after he had damaged the souls of those who came close to embrace him. In fact, he actually did not appear to be suffering enough, all things considered.  He lay there comfortably, all doped up,  resting on crisp white sheets, smuggled in warm white blankets,  an array of white pillows framing his head like a halo.

He reached out to me. “Eshe” he pleaded, using my African name. “Come closer, I want to tell you something.”

The sorrow in his eyes again reached out to my compassionate nature. Which was immediately slammed again by the anger.  Just because he was dying did not mean he was a changed man. He was in fact still the abusive asshole who ruined my life and scarred the emotional development of our children.  It was not so long ago, this year I think, that he had physically assaulted our son in a dispute that began over steamed vegetables. His death could only bring relief. I looked over into his swollen, yellow eyes and almost felt pity.  But then I saw just a glint of that old, nasty flame that deceitfully invites you to be burned.  Instinctively, I began to back away.  It’s a trick, one last swing to bruise my psyche before departing to face the consequences of his choices.  No way will I give him the opportunity to inflict pain on me, even if it is his dying wish.

“Eshe, please…!!” he begged as I turned my back and exited the room.


The Skyscraper (Benjamin Guterman)

The Skyscraper

by Benjamin Guterman

Concrete slabs, ribbed and reinforced with iron,
Set together on riveted crossbars of steel,
Towering from the earth, and thrusting
Ever upward through the clouds.

Skyscraper of bold and massive slabs,
A thousand glittering windows soaring through the clouds
In ever faster succession along the rising grey rock.
Skyscraper with skeleton of tempered iron,
Firm in the midst of hurricanes, earthquakes, and natural devastation,
Oblivious to that ancient mother of creation,
Soaring proudly upward beyond the clouds.

Skyscraper, symbolic apex of human achievement,
Its simple form the projection of logic, science, and truth,
Its invariable upward rise the reflection of recent evolution,
Its foundation the headstone of mankind.
And nature cannot revive the myth of Babel,
For man will only politely listen, preferring instead
To launch his energy upward into the unknown,
To build to new dizzying heights of understanding and control.
The tower, foundation of further experimentation,
Of basic principles the conglomeration, stands firm,
Piercing the heavens to proclaim the triumph of man,
Stands firm, and proud, and glorious. . .

The tower stood majestic in the darkening shadow of bursting clouds,
Until pounded by a booming fist, as stone gave inward,
Until it snapped, and those slabs were ripped apart
And hurled as meteors in all directions.

The blinding, wondrous clouds expand and roll upward,
Evoking the screams of sixty thousand generations,
Exhaling the breath of instant annihilation,
Threshing the bones of civilizations.

Before the rumbling folds of mushrooming clouds,
A tower crumbled suddenly, into rubble and mounds.

“The Skyscraper,” by Benjamin Guterman originally published in Forum (1969, City College of San Francisco).

“Futility” by Dorothy Pilgrim


by Dorothy Pilgrim

To rise from earth’s low level for a space
And soar to giddy heights of mind’s delight;
To hold brief commune with the great, a sight
Of greatest truths to catch; and then this place
Of slowly muddling things to reach; to face
The thought that through your life you’ll fight
In vein to see again the splendid sight; —
This is the fate of those who seek to trace
The paths of mighty thoughts; the fate of those
Whose little minds one spec of greatness bear.
For though they feel the urge to rise again
They can but fall once more from where they rose,
They cannot grasp and hold the truth; they stare
Amazed, afraid, ashamed, that they are only men.

“Futility,” by Dorothy Pilgrim originally published in Forum (1938, City College of San Francisco).

“Ten-Second Sermon” by Jack Hulse

Ten-Second Sermon

by Jack Hulse

There seems to be a tension in people’s talk these days. Their speech is nervous, impatient. All of this, of course, is the reflection of fear–fear of their war-baby that killed so many Japanese so quickly. Maybe people are beginning to realize that you can’t be relaxed and charming while balancing yourself on a tightrope with madmen trying to cut the wire.

“Ten-Second Sermon,” by Jack Hulse originally published in Forum (1949, City College of San Francisco).

“The Highway” by Fred Mayer

The Highway

by Fred Mayer

It parts the forest pushing trees aside,
And leaves a wedge of concrete gaping wide.

It stretches past the plain like the leveled light,
And curls around the mountain tops at night.

Or sweeping by, it mocks the creaking waste
Of dying towns, rotting and hollow faced.

It cracks the desert’s lip and hard, parched, dry,
Trails chalky white against the blazing sky.

And running past the eye and round the bend,
The concrete has no purpose and no end.

“The Highway,” by Fred Mayer originally published in Forum (1945, City College of San Francisco).

A Rational Weakness (Peteso)

A Rational Weakness

by Peteso

“Destruction is the duty of every man, woman . . .” the loud speaker blared, just before the thrown grenade exploded on the platform, sending the Vice-Admiral in charge of Persuasion back to the ship in a log. And indeed a thirst for destruction, self- or other- wise, seemed a common goad for the masses of pocked-flesh creatures below us; hideous, mutated creatures whose ancestors had seen fit to call themselves “men.”

When we first arrived on this war-torn planet their hostilities had been directed solely toward our ship. But once our anti-gravity screens had proved too much for their feeble weapons, they turned them on each other, themselves, and the decayed world they had inherited from their forefathers so long ago. Every so often we sent a man down like the Vice-Admiral with the expressed purpose of making a deal with them. But, as we anticipated, he would always be killed, and then systematically brought back aboard the ship and re-cloned. This little game proved effective in keeping them from losing the hope that in their self-destruction we, their enemies, might also be destroyed. Our orders were to rid the galaxy of transfigured or corrupt forms of life. If we could do it with a minimum of blood on our hands, we preferred it that way.

“Eat a grapefruit of Sundays,” would be somewhat accurate translation of the message which flowed from the twisted mind of what appeared to be the leader of the mutated population. A least he was the largest, his mutation being limited mainly to his brain. His limbs and body seemed fairly well developed, but his head rested on his huge shoulders like a ping-pong ball, with massive jaws hanging beneath it. “Eat a grapefruit of Sundays,” he repeated. He spoke in faint brain vibrations which could only be discerned from the high amount of radiation in the air with the greatest scrutiny on the part of our communications department.

Being the ship’s head communications analyst, the message found its way through the circuits to me, where it was my duty to analyze it and suggest a proper response. I mulled the statement over in my head for the few seconds allowed a personal evaluation. When this proved fruitless, I fed it into the K-Phonic 5000 computer on board the ship, as is standard procedure in this situation. It seemed to take an uncommonly long time for the machine to make anything out of the message, and I sat before the control board expecting the “non-computable” sign to flash at any moment. But there must have been something in the message which was not quite comprehensible even as nonsense, for the computer soon showed signs of mechanical strain.

Much astonished, I found that turning the machine off was impossible. The computer was so enthralled with the input data that it had recircuited itself around the power switch, and I flipped it back and forth in vain. Meanwhile, the computer was drawing far more than its share of energy from the banks, and soon the “emergency life-support system” lights began to flash. The computer’s usual hum rose to a deafening shrill and I found myself sprawled on the floor, my eyes locked shut my hands tightened against the sides of my head, hopelessly trying to block out the stinging scream.

Before long, almost unconsciously, I felt the ship touch down moderately hard on the surface of the planet. Although at the time I was almost incapable of rational thought, I did realize that the ship must have lost even the power to maintain its altitude and that would surely mean that our anti-gravity unit was no longer operating. We were completely vulnerable to attack, and the K-Phonic 5000 went right on draining energy.

All of a sudden the computer stood very quiet, almost screaming with quiet after its shrilling rampage. I opened my eyes to total darkness; something I had never experienced in twenty-seven years aboard the ship. From this and utter silence I guessed that the ship must be completely drained of energy, but soon I found my guess to be slightly in error. Through the deathly silence ran slow monotonous clicking, the last click being stretched over several moments and resembling a mechanically synthesized death rattle. Flashing my pocket light proved what I suspected. The clicking was the output card being strained out of the computer with its last breath of atomic will power. It had taken the total energy of the ship to produce that tiny slip of paper and, if it was the last thing I did, I had to read what it said.

I rose feebly to my feet, and took only a few steps before the explosion racked the ship and sent me hurling toward unconsciousness. When I awoke, scaly hands were gripping my arms like vises, carrying me away. I turned my head for just an instant to notice the slip of paper laying face up on the pile of debris which had once been my instruments, but I was too far away to read what it said.

“A Rational Weakness,” by Peteso originally published in & other lovely insects ([Forum] 1976, City College of San Francisco).