Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Happy National Poetry Month part 3

Hi folks:  Well, it's almost over! April 2011 is coming to a close and It's going out with a bang! (more on this later) Here's a couple of events to close out the month:

1. Searching Beyond: an exhibit at the Creative Wellness Art Gallery. 320 N. Goodman St. Rochester , NY across from Village Gate. Reception 6-8pm. 5/6/11 refreshments served. call 585-325-3145 extension 142 or 119 for more info.

2.  Tango Cafe: 389 Gregory St. Rochester, NY: weekly feature and open mic on Tuesdays 8-10 pm.  visit www.facebook/ or send email to  for more info. 

I have two  poems for you  this week! The first is a recent colaberation with a writer I've know for decades yet this is the first piece we've ever done together:

It runs in the family
By Lawrence and Sean Berger 
The other day I was
on the phone 
with my Brod 
and mentioned I was the victim 
of credit card fraud.

I said " I don't understand!
It happened in England!"

He replied 
"Well, at least they didn't get one of your poems!"

(Note: My brother and I grew up in the area when expressions like" Hey Bro." and "What's up brother?" were common place so we started calling each other Brodrazine to differentiate our relationship.  It got shortened to Brod over the years but we're both in our forties now and it stuck.)

and the second piece

My life, My rules!
by Lawrence R. Berger

I don't care if your
Yvonne Del a Vega
or the Future King of England!

So what if it's the event of the century!
If you want me to get up at 4:00 A.M.
to be there at 5:30 A.M.

Neat huh?  Here are the book links : 
See you next week!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sorry I'm a little late!

Hi folks:  I know I said I'd try to keep this blog updated by wendsday at 3:00 p.m. EST but it's National Poetry Month and it's been a busy week.  Here's a couple of updates on what I've been up to.

1. I just got the follow up manuscript to  Instant Poetry (Just add words!) called Entitlement published on Turner Maxwell Books (Yay!)  you can buy a download copy at

The company is UK based and this is my first foray into the e-book market so we'll see. They use British pounds as the currency of choice and there is a  conversion factor with the US dollar  so be sure to buy through the Pay Pal link to make it as easy as posible.

2. Happy Easter and Passover It's that time of year again!

Here's this weeks poem:

Spring Time
by Lawrence R. Berger

The snow flies fast
people put on their
running shoes and try
to put their coats away
welcome to the warm weather folks.

Just a reminder , Instant Poetry (Just Add Words!) the third edition is still on the market! pick up your copy at your local bookseller or by the following links:
see you next week!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Thanks for comming!

Hi folks:  I hope you enjoyed K. D. Jospe's posts last week as much as I did! She did a fantasic job as guest poet and I want to say thank you again! Some of you may be new to this blog and may not know it's mission so let me take a moment and explain myself. for those of you more familiar with it feel free to jump ahead but you may want to read id anyway becausein the nearly three years I've had this blog up and running I'm not entirly sure if I ever mentioned it before. For those of you who don't know my name is Lawrence R. Berger and I'm also known in some circles as  "Laughing" Larry Berger. for the past 17 years now I've been making my living promoting poets and poetry across the US and I've recentlyopened markets for myself and my clients in India, Europe and Asia.  Before I started in poetry I spent 30 years as a salesman dealing with varring produtcs ranging from Tonerto Toothpaste and Apple Sauce to Oil Wells.  I decied on poetry because I saw that while a lot of poets go to readings and try to sell chapbooks and CD's and such the prevaling wisdome is that there is no money in it. so I did some reasearch and foundthat while the average poet only sold 50-100 copies of a chapbook per title there were so many peole doing it that the US market alone was a wopping $ 1.3 Billion (Yes I said Billion with a B.)  with the internet that market has obviously expanded world wide. Upon further investgation I found five other "markets" for poetry and  like I said I've been suporting myself in the industry for 17 years now.

When I started I found that you got credibility from you own succses so I aprecenticed my self for three years under the guidance of the Los Angeles Poetry Community( Artist including: James "Bommer" Maverick, Rafael FJ Alvarado, S. A. Griffin Etc.) L.A. got to expensive to maintain so I moved back to my home town of Rochester, NY six years ago I soon found that there were a lot fewer readings in rochester than thier were in LA soI had to change and evolve but It's here that I learned forms and started actualy studying the craft of poetry and developed my own form. I've taught for the University and  last December I released the third edition of my collection Instant Poetry (Just Add Words !) to the world wide market.  About for years ago I tried setting up a web site. I had it up for a year and advertisted it but it never got a single hit. so I started this blog, within a month I had 100 hits  so I've kept it going and it now gest about 1,000 hits a week .

Whew, Well that's the history lesson for this week.

here's a list of some readings I'l be at in the near future. if your around, come check em out!:

1. 8th Annual National Poetry Month celebration at Lift Bridge Books  
4/17/11 1-5 P. M. Sunday 45 Main ST. Brockport, NY visit for more details.

2. 4/26/11 8-11 P.M. Tuesday The Tango Cafe

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday, April 6: a pot-pourri about po - e -try

Guest Blogger, Kitty Jospe
In the April 2011 issue of Poetry, David Orr has a section reviewing new titles in the po-biz world prefaced by an introduction about "Public Poetry".

What is public for a small sector of the population interested in poetry? As he puts it, "There is almost nothing tinier than the poetry world, just as there is almost nothing bigger, stranger, and more disturbing than the bloody country that contains it." His review of Thomas Sayers Ellis' book, "Skin, Inc.: Identity Repair Poems"
reminds me of the importance of reading the multiple faces of poetry -- not just in America, but throughout the world. I am as intrigued by Ellis's titles such as "The Pronoun-Vowel Reparations Song" or the superabundant use of "OR" (see p. 46 of Poetry) as Donald Keene's translation of "Essays in Idleness." (Tsurezuregusa (徒然草, Essays in Idleness) is a collection of Japanese essays written by the monk Yoshida Kenkō between 1330 and 1332.) see

I have copied the passages about READING and CONVERSING. This provides us with grist for our writing. I've reproduced them here:
The pleasantest of all diversions is to sit alone under the lamp, a book spread out before you, and to make friends with people of a distant past you have never known. (13)

How delightful it would be to converse intimately with someone of the same mind, sharing with him the pleasures of uninhibited conversation on the amusing and foolish things of this world, but such friends are hard to find. If you must take care that your opinions do not differ in the least from those of the person with whom you are talking, you might just as well be alone. (12)"

Balancing reading, good conversation and responsive writing, as daily hygiene is a way of polishing the mirror in which we see ourselves...

For today, a response to the e-zine, "Esque".

(The trigger thought: How it is a French "est-ce que" (it shows a question) cannot be translated into an equivalent in a non-inflected language nor can "esque" be separated to be truly independent!)

Esque wants to mean so much more.
a more-esque
question about the picture
est-ce pittoresque?

The man who wants more
lives in a manner
suitable for a man
living in a manor.
Can you define this man?
Est-ce qu’un homme? Homme-esque
with a mask? Don't r-esque...

Have fun with reading conversing, and pinning down thoughts with words. Then, the work begins.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 6 of NAPOWRIMO; Inspiration

Reflections by Kitty Jospé, guest blogger:

P eople
E very
T ribe
R egion
Y es to your voices!
Are you writing a poem a day? I love this challenge and have posted them under “NAPOWRIMO” on my blog. I am a teacher of language, poetry and art appreciation, and love preparing lectures on music, word, art, human expression.

Saturday April 2, in a gathering of poets, we all read our favorite poems and why they are among our favorites. I presented a topic of the day on Style and Performance and how we are captivated by tone and language more than content.
Here’s the “occasional” poem I wrote – i.e. the ditty for that occasion.

If by YOU – the world’s your oyster, you’re the one to tell—
the poem, your pick
to play open, or closed, or simply on the half shell

For the Edna St. Vincent Millay poem, I picked, (Modern Declaration), I would not have enjoyed it as much, nor been able to read it convincingly without analyzing the syntax. By responding to it (on April 1), I was able to dig deeper not only into her poem, but find an echo in my own voice.

This idea of resonating with another voice in a conversation, might be called by some “imitation” – but it is deeper than that. We observe the style, the manner, linked to a time period, culture, affectation, but underneath it is a universal element of being human which makes us say, “I recognize that” – and if it is GREAT, we want to follow suit.
My poem for April 6 is a response to Wallace Stevens, “Large Red Man Reading”.

Behind the Reading

perhaps, a large red man, or a ghost returning
to hear his phrases or one of those stars,
or scars etched into midnight,
mid-point wilderness where memory hears
the clatter of pans, tulips in clay pots, wheels
sinking barefeet first spoken by spoke
where the shiver spines and pricks
and iron-clamps lock the throat
until the heart expulses broken rocks
veiled in the eyes saying, and yet, and
yet –

Friday, April 1, 2011


Here we go for April 1st. The first day our dog is officially 15 years old.
The 3rd day after my Uncle died.

April 1

Response to Heather McHugh’s “Etymological Dirge”

Let us pray for the dead, here in the
Dark of wee hours. They have no sun to wake them.
Let us rejoice in the calm of their silence.
The balm of working in the dark
Kindles word to thought, feeling
For instance, tall becomes grand,
as in high in stature mutated to gi-zal
as in quick and soon syllables
race into flame chasing figure eights
setting tunes to win our heart.

Let us pray for the dead, sing requiem
With a coda measured to bring
the idea of some Dominus,
who will comfort our fear
help us swing our invisible tails
as if we were again beautiful,
beyond someone’s idea of normal.

Let us pray for the placers of masks,
worn by living and dead, as we look
at a life, praying for light to define it.