Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Happy Presidents Day Week!

Hi folks :  Well Valentines Day has come and gone and now Presidents Day is here along with spring break. The year is just flying by.  This week I'm letting folks know about the American Poetry Journal. They are accepting submitions through March 31st 2011. They're also running a book prize.  Here's the web site for info:
Now, here's this weeks poem: It's a revised version of a poem called "The Crack Baby's Prayer" that was published in Instant Poetry (Just add words!)

Four Thousand Years Ago
By "Laughing" Larry Berger
Four thousand years ago
the Nile ran red
Red with the blood of
a people yearning for freedom .

Five hundred years ago
The Hudson ran red
Red with the blood of
a people losing their homes to
to the new kids on the block.

Ttwelve years ago
Los Angeles burned
burned with the fires of
hatred and of promises
too long left unkept.  

Last week
Egypt burned
burned with the fires of liberty
and of hope for the future.

Four thousand years ago
the Nile ran red
what color will it run for me?

Here's the Link to buy the book If you want:

See you next week!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Well , It didn't go well for me . How about you?

Hi folks: I hope you had a better Valentine's Day than I did. I couldn't get a date.  Oh well, I'm better now and my very first interview was done in December and published in January and just went live online yesterday so the week has NOT been a total loss. (YYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!)
If you want to read the article here's a link:

Check it out and leave me an opinion in the comments for this blog if you would. I'd Love to hear your thoughts. You can also email me to arrange future interviews. Alright, enough with the snappy banter! Here's this weeks poem:

Your customs are different from my own
By " Laughing" Larry Berger

The sun was just setting in it's daily ritual when I met him
A rather small and diminutive man .
He stopped me on the street and we started talking.

He tells me his name is James and that he's a "Third Class"
citizen of Johanesburg, South Africa.
He shows me a letter from his priest stating that
he and his familyy could not keep the$50,000
he had come to America to claim.

If he brought it through customs at the airport 
he and his family would be shot to death.

We walk to vine and sunset and turned right towards the Jack In The Box  
restaurant there and we go into the men's room when he opens the satul he's carring
and shows me the $50,000 is real. 
We walk out of the bathroom and I by a Jumbo Jack for each of us
 We sit at a table and his eyes light up.

He says " I heard in America that you have a 'magic card' that will let you put money into a bank or take it out at any time."

I say" Yes,It's called an ATM card" and I show him mine so that he can see it. 
His eyes  grow large with wonder and he asks me if I would take $600.00 or so for myself and give the rest to the " Poor People"

I explain that since it was a Sunday It might not help him and get me into trouble because you had to report any deposits over $9,000.
 His hole body slumps when I say this and he tells me he'd need to make a "smoke sacrifice"
I finish  my burger and we part ways but before we do he makes me promise not to tell anyone we'd met.
I nod and tell him I'll wait five years till I mention it and head on to the Oynx.

A couple of weeks later I'd headed out to what is arguably the best reading in Southern California, The Anansi Writer's  workshop and reading at The World Stage in Leimert Park .
This is the heart of south central LA on the corner of 106th and Crenshaw . The reading lives up to its reputation  and I have a fabulous time!  Going from the reading to the bus stop was only about ten feet but it was about midnight and pitch black . I see the lights of an oncoming bus so I stand up and I could see that the bus was slowing down.

I heard a voice behind me yell "DIE WHITE BOY!" and a bullet hist the window of the bus and I'm totally convinced that If the driver had not opened the door and let me in at that moment there would have been a second shot and I would not be alive today!

I loved the reading  but in the six years beyond this that I lived in LA I never went back
now you know why.

 Hope you enjoy this. If you like you can check out my book at

see you next week.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Happy Valentinesday 2011 Part two.

Sorry folks, I ran out of room. Here's the poem:

Reply for a Goddess
By Lawrence R. Berger
You offer me a treasure
far beyond the dreams
of mortal men.

Just one single night with you could
satisfy the eternal lust of Zeus himself!

Ah , but alas
I'm only a man!
With naught but human emotions,
and I could never possibly worship you as you truly deserve!

For I am but a mere mortal
and I have no powers to grant.

All I could ever hope to give you would be my heart!

Ah , but tell me please 
how can I possibly give you
that which you already own?
(c)1999 Lawrence R. Berger

An old poem I know, but Its the most appropriate one I have for valentines day and its in the book : Instant poetry ( Just add words!) 

to get your copy. Books make great Valentinesday gifts!

See you next week!

Happy Valentines Day 2011!

Hi folks : HAPPY VALENTINES DAY to one and all! I got something special to share this week. I recently found out about the tenth annual Poetry Super Highway's Great Poetry Exchange. It's exactly what it sounds like. You pledge to give a book by Feb28th, 2011 and in return you get a book from one of the other participants. I've been participating every year since it's inception and I've gotten books from other poets across the country, one from London and even one from Dijon France! Complete details are available at: check it out. There are events you might want to check out with your special someone too. Here are a few: Flowetic Rhythms:Thursday, February 10 · 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Location Gallery One Fine Arts 36 W. Main St. Suite 17 Rochester,NY: Poetry Reading for Lummox Press  Friday, February 11 · 7:30pm - 10:30pm  Location Beyond Baroque Foundation 681 Venice Blvd.Venice, CA :  There are of course many more but  Facebook and Goggle are not cooperating right now.  Of course there is no way to list them all here but If you're interested ,  I do provide a service where I take a look at a few of your poems and provide a tailored list of appropriate venues in your area of the United States where your readings might  go over well. This list comprises 10 venues at the price of $10.00 for the list. Email me if this interest you. Now for all you love birds out there. Here's this weeks poem:


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It didn't work!

Hi folks: Well , I went to Peter's Feature at the Tango Cafe last night. It was a pretty good show . I had worked hard and got my hour and a half freestyling presentation boiled down to a five minute short version but I still couldn't get him to freestyle a poem. After the reading he told me he likes to freestyle with a pen. So we'll see . He did thank me for breaking it down so maybe it wasn't a total loss. Anyway, I got this poem out of it. Enjoy:

It takes two to Tango
By Lawrence R. Berger

I show up early and Kari  is turning tables  
getting ready for the show.
she pulls out a CD that won't be released till Saturday
a preview of coming attractions.

She has trouble getting the plastic off
but soon it's free at last.
She puts it on and suddenly
I'm flying like Charle Parker
back to the days
of Monk and Mingus
When the overhead projector reigned supreme.

I feel like I'm back at the Onyx
with LoBase and the Mothership
jamming on a Sunday night.

Peter walks in and the notes start
dropping like chocolate
covering strawberry's for desert.

The songs end when Frank shows up to start the reading.
We all hunker in for a storm.

And by the way, thanks to those of you who gave me the feedback on posting the direct links to my book here. Here it is again in case you missed it last time.:

See you next week.