Poetry: La Petit Mort by Alexandra Saba

La Petit Mort

by Alexandra Saba

Glowing
crashing
waves flit
across
the nebulous terrain
of my body.

Aching.
Arching.
Crash.
Echoing ripples
reverbing back
into my surrounding reality.

Warm, white glow
blankets me
lulls me
into sleep,
little slice of death
tingling
tasting sweet.

Alex Saba is a poet and student at CCSF. She enjoys psychedelic trance, dancing in the rain, talking to cats, singing to the moon, and hailing the glow cloud (all hail).

Poetry: The Hobo Ride, by Gloria Keeley

The Hobo Ride

by Gloria Keeley

the night railroad holds sleepers
each with their own dreams
the train in the rain whistles
lonely on skinny rails
rolling the canyons
boxcars hold card games
the flickering lanterns lend
credence to kings and queens
corn stalks the land
nests dry in the moonlight
grass grows around baby birds
beaks red from cherries
fed by their mothers
the early morning breeze
ripples the fish-full pond
the hobo rides the freight
after tramping the yards
the main line tunnel
where souls are hidden
spoon the smokestack veins
indians set ears to ground
sense the ancient rumble
riding down the double E’s

Gloria Keeley is a former student of CCSF. She attended City in the late 60s and taught for CCSF for 34 years. Her writing was included in the 1968 issue of Forum and she was editor of the 1969 issue. Her poem “Billie” won the 2016 Forum Online writing contest.

 

Nonfiction: The Moderating Influence of the Other Gender, by Howard Isaac Williams

The Moderating Influence of the Other Gender

by Howard Isaac Williams

Responding with an anger to exceed that of his adversary, the youth yelled and leaned his taut body toward his foe. The other young man stood his ground and yelled back. If either felt any fear, he showed none and both ignored the earnest pleas of their friends to avoid violence. And there on that pasture just outside Peshawar, Pakistan, a fistfight between two men might easily escalate beyond the boundaries of persons into battles between families, tribes, or entire ethnic communities.

The men standing around the two would be combatants knew their obligations to keep peace and felt those obligations even more. Elders and youths pleaded for calm. For the sake of ethnic solidarity, the two should make peace. For the holy cause of Islam, they should put aside minor differences.

But such imploring, so emotional yet so reasonable, mean so little to egos in conflict. The two angry youths cared only about the perceived insults to their manhood and forgot their masculine responsibilities to others.

And their friends were losing hope in their own efforts. If this matter did come to battle, each man on each side might have to stop protecting his friend with appeals to peace and start protecting him with fists or worse. Even as they tried to physically restrain the two would be combatants, they were watching others to see if any might take advantage of an opening to dangerously escalate this matter. And in this quite masculine society where women are rarely seen and never heard, didn’t some of these men yearn for the moderating hand of the other gender, so familiar at home yet so unknown on the street?

On the other side of the field, about 30 yards away, a water buffalo cow observed this noisy and potentially dangerous scene. Rousing herself from the near somnolence associated with her domesticated species, she grunted, then bellowed. Her hoofs pawed the ground. She swung her massive head in great expressive arcs and kicked out her forelegs, then bellowed again. She began trotting, then cantering toward the two angry youths.

Her charge first distracted the friends and relatives of the two adversaries who were still shouting at each other, apparently oblivious to the approaching danger much greater than each other. On she rushed, her massive bulk fixed like an arrow on a target just between the two foes. Now the crowd began to part but the two youths stood momentarily transfixed as the huge mother, her udder swaying, nostrils snorting, her mouth bellowing, charged toward the tiny gap between them.

At the last instant the two adversaries dove away from each other and the buffalo seized the contested ground, instantly stopping and occupying it with authority as dust rose all around her. The two would be fighters lifted themselves off the ground and dusted themselves off.

Now as all in the crowd regained their composure, they began laughing, none more than the two who had been so angry a few moments before. One man in the crowd turned toward another and asked, “Why did she do that?”

The other shrugged his shoulders and replied, “I guess she didn’t want them to fight.”

Howard Isaac Williams was a student of Professor Julie Young’s Spring 2016 English 35A class. He also has a Certificate in Labor Studies from CCSF from 1991. He lives in the Outer Mission and is a retired bicycle messenger and pest control technician.
From 1989 to 1997 Williams worked summers as an aid worker in Pakistan and Afghanistan assisting disabled persons. “The Moderating Influence” is a memoir of one of his experiences there.

Photography: St Slim by Ted Herzberg

st slim
St Slim by Ted Herzberg
Ted Herzberg is the photographer of The Quarterback and St. Slim. He has had a long history with City College. In the late ’70’s Ted took life drawing classes at Fort Mason and in the mid-90’s an acrylic painting class there. He has taken ti chi classes at the main college and on 18th St. at various times. He took senior computer classes at the Oakdale campus about ten years ago. Ted also appeared as Trotsky in the musical Frida and Diego in the Diego Rivera Theatre. The last classes Ted took at the main campus was a semester of Cantonese about seven years ago.

Poetry: Sober by Jake Ortega

Sober

by Jake Ortega

Moving on sounds simpler than it is
I can’t move on if you don’t let me go
I can’t count how many times I’ve heard it
“Just give it up!”
“Do something else to substitute it!”
As if I haven’t tried

Despite the brand you left on me
As blatant as the day it started
Your influence seems superficial to them
But that’s just the man that I portray
The pain continues because I try
I try to salvage what remains

And every day that precipice gets wider
Every hour you goad me to take that leap of faith
I’ll never be rid of you until I do
And you wave that opportunity like a checkered flag
Assured that I won’t even try
It’s a distance you know I can’t overcome

You drink my misery like beer
But I’m the one who’s off my face
As the world goes ‘round without me
I can’t lay down without holding on
I used to relish such spirituous delights
Part of the plan you’ve laid before me

Your laughter echoes through my being
A face beneath my jaundiced skin
Cackling at the husk you inhabit
Knowing that all that I carry with me
Is everything that I have
And everything that I am

Your presence threatens to consume me
But with your presence I must live on
In hopes that my appeasement is enough
And if the day comes that you depart
The vacancy of your being may be too inviting
For another to take your place

Do I have you, or do you have me?

Textile Art: Comet by Trudi Hauptman

Copy of Visual Arts – Comet – Fabric
Comet by Trudi Hauptman
Trudi Hauptman is anchored in modern feminist Jewish sensibilities of spirituality and a commitment to social justice with an understanding that one’s life is Hanging By A Thread, this work comes from the soul. As an artist, she is involved with fiber crafts and is a member of NOCA Women’s Caucus for The Arts; Surface Design Association;  and the Pointless Sisters Guild. Her child is a student in CCSF’s Creative Writing Program

Meet the Editors 2017 [Part Two]

Today we’re meeting the head genre editors!

These talented folx are in charge of maintaining the submission logs of their specialty, organizing the submissions, and leading reader discussions. They’re also responsible for editing, author revisions, proofreading, and work in conjunction with the Managing Editor to communicate with authors and artists.

Bryce Riegel is our Fiction Editor

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Bryce presides over the brilliant fiction crowd.

Bryce Riegel moved to San Francisco 7 years ago for school (with a B.S. in biochemistry with a physics minor). He’s now a carpenter and spends most of his time remodeling houses and apartment buildings in the city. In his free time he’s either writing short stories or reading them.

 

Kriz Natalie Monrose is our Nonfiction Editor

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Kriz Natalie, excited to get to work on the Non-Fiction pieces

Kriz Natalie Monrose is your Transgender gender fluid non-fiction editor! Thank you for reading this blog. She likes all animals, especially cats and snakes! She’s looking for a husband. To apply, email submissions@forumccsf.org.

 

Kevin Cosby is our Poetry Editor

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Kevin Cosby lives and works in San Francisco. He recently #####%%&&
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Meredith Brown and Lulu Samuel are our joint Visual Arts Editors

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Lulu (front) and Meredith (back)

Lucretia Rhys Samuel is a Visual Arts Editor on this edition of Forum. She is a poetry-writer and a zine-maker residing in the Richmond District of San Francisco. She is currently studying Creative Writing and Visual Media Design at CCSF, working at the San Francisco SPCA, and spending too many hours hogging the xerox machine at the public library publishing her own zines.

Meredith Brown
Meredith gave me an actual picture!

Meredith Brown is a lifelong learner from Tracy, CA. She believes in empathy, art and science.

Happy UN World Poetry Day!

decision to proclaim 21 March as World Poetry Day was adopted during UNESCO’s 30th session held in Paris in 1999.

One of the main objectives of the Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.

The observance of World Poetry Day is also meant to encourage a return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, to promote the teaching of poetry, to restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and to support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media, so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art, but one which enables society as a whole to regain and assert its identity.

The selection of poetry below is not even a scratch at the surface of poetry all over the world.  Take a moment to think about how you feel, talk and write about poetry. Poetry can be heartwarming, sublime, hilarious and political all at once.

What do you like about it? What don’t you like? What inspires you?

Continue reading “Happy UN World Poetry Day!”