IN THE BEGINNING…

Cover

“The power of the extracted image and the power of a timeless story…” says Simon Pettet, author of Lyrical Poetry. Mary Lou Taylor’s newest publication, In the Beginning, brings you biblical tales—a combination of the poet’s precise meditations on David Park’s delicately sinuous artistry, titled “Genesis Suite.”

This slender publication, put together by Frog on the Moon, a small press, consists of “fourteen stencil prints making a perfect thematic language to tell Bible stories,” as Grace Cavalieri from the Library of Congress puts it. She says, “I love Taylor’s In The Beginning, colorful and meaningful—complete with stunning worlds and visuals; it seems neither poem nor picture could live without the other.” Furthermore, Cavalieri says, “this is bright speech invested in lyric; with sheer lingual strength to make old legends new.”

In this new publication, you will find new poems by Mary Lou Taylor, who was inspired by David Park’s “Genesis Suite“, and as Grace Cavalieri mentions, “has formed a legacy you’ll come back to, for enlightenment and delight. You’ll want to reread, savor, and share this work of art…for the purest pleasure.”

In addition, here are comments from our First Santa Clara County Poet Laureate, (2009-2011) Nils Peterson, Professor Emeritus, San José State University. “To the exquisite prints created by David Park out of stories from Genesis, Mary Lou Taylor adds poems that give context and commentary. Sometimes she even speaks the imagined voices of the actors in that great drama. Together they make a remarkable book, a beautiful book, one that you will want on your shelf to look at and read again and again.”

SOME POEMS FROM IN THE BEGINNING, by Mary Lou Taylor.

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THE CURSE OF CAIN

Cain tilled the earth. Abel kept sheep.

Lord, I bring you fruits from the fertile ground.
Accept them with my respect and love. Cain knelt
before his God in reverential pose.

God refused his offering. I see your brother’s
blood in your mouth. You are a man of wrath.
I accept only Abel’s sheep. Cain became enraged.

Meeting Abel, blood in his eye, Cain lifted a stone.
I am bleeding, brother. Leave me enough to live.
But Cain no longer listened.

God questioned Cain. Where is your brother Abel?
Cain replied, I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?
Cain the first murderer; Able the first to die.

The Lord cursed Cain, saying, You have contaminated
the earth with your brother’s blood. It will no longer
be fruitful in your hands.

Cain left the Lord, banished now to wander, traveling
to the land of Nod, east of Eden.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

DAVID PARK (March 17, 1911-September 20, 1960) was an American painter and a pioneer of the Bay Area Figurative Movement in painting during the 1950’s. A Park retrospective opens later this year at the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art. It comes to SFMOMA in 2020.

Check out other paintings by this artist on the video in this blog.

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SAIL ALONG PAPER “MOON”

THE THIRD THURSDAY JANUARY 21 READING AT WILLOW GLEN was a full house. Many of my friends, both personal and poet friends, attended the reading. Several copies of my new book, Bringing Home the Moon were sold that evening. Here are a couple of videos from that reading.

FROM THE PENNY CANDY STORE BEHIND THE EL

Walk down three steps to the mom-and-pop store
near Hayte School and enter a Hansel-and-Gretel land

of striped peppermint sticks, gumballs, jawbreakers
and, best of all, bubblegum. I could blow the biggest,

most unladylike bubbles in the second grade,
huge pink balloons that bloomed until I ran out of air.

What didn’t seem right, though, were the bubblegum wrappers,
like tiny cartoon strips, five sections of off-center print.

All in color, red meant blood. Severed legs and heads flew
through the air. Children, little arms stiff, lay in broken heaps.

My father explained new words to me: behead, disembowel.
From a Dubble Bubble wrapper at the penny candy store

I found out about the Sino-Japanese war. I could hardly wait
to open more gum, blocked out in green and black and blood.

MORNING WALK

We heard them before we saw them.
Two jays fluttering, screeching.
Then a swoosh so close we could
almost touch the hawk sailing past,
wings outspread, something
in its beak. Something small
with feathers. With only a quick look
still we knew. High above us the jays
squawked and flapped in disbelief,
their just-hatched baby out of sight
in little more than an instant. The jays
might not know its end, a beautiful
death come quickly
. We walked on,
hoping that was so, knowing they knew.

MY NEXT READING: Bringing Home the Moon to Works Gallery, Downtown SJ

My next reading is at Well-Red at Works Gallery, 365 South Market Street, San José (across from the St. Claire Hotel) at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 9, 2016. Hope to see some of your who missed the reading at the third Thursday, Willow Glen reading.

A smaller reading than the ones at Montalvo and the Willow Glen Library’s Third Thursday, Well-Red is sponsored by Poetry Center San Jose and Works Gallery, food and drink available, $2 requested. Parking on the street or in a garage close by, not the one connected to the Convention Center. That one costs too much.

I’ll be reading with Len Anderson from Santa Cruz, a good friend. The readings have been going well at Well-Red. Robert Pesich, President of PCSJ and Joe Miller, head of the Graphics Department at SJSU, are the sponsors.

Len_MLT Book
 

POETRY WITH MARY LOU TAYLOR at the Montalvo Writer Series: Sunday, November 8, 2015

Join me on Sunday, November 8, 2015 at 4:30 p.m.at the Historic Villa at Montalvo Arts Center, where I’ll be reading from my new book, Bringing Home the Moon, published Aldrich Press, 2015. This event is FREE! Books will be available for purchase; beer and wine will be for sale, and light refreshments will be served. But first—please RSVP at the Montalvo site. All MUST RSVP at the Montalvo site. You can click the button to reach the Montalvo website.
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Hope all of you can attend. See what some of my poet friends have to say about my new book, Bringing Home the Moon: Cover Art: Chuck Drew.

Bringing Home

“Mary Lou is one of my favorite poets,” raves Grace Cavalieri, radio host of The Poet and the Poem. “In Bringing Home the Moon, we have her past experience turned into poems boldly planned and implemented through the prism of memory….These are beautifully proportioned recollections you will read and then revisit.”

“We float through moments formative or formidable, touching or frightful, but all…lit with generous spirit and a graceful love of language” —Harry Lafnear

“This is THE poetry collection of the year!” —David Denny, first Poet Laureate of Cupertino

MLT at Montalvo

POETRY MONTH @ 21

VILLAGE HOUSE OF BOOKS at 21 Main Street, Los Gatos, CA hosted the launch party for (AFTER)life: Poems and Stories of the Dead published by Victoria Johnson’s Purple Passion Press at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22, 2015. The cover painting, ‘The Grass Bends’, is by local artist Lacey Bryant. The anthology is edited by Renée M. Schell, Barbara Froman, and Marta Svea Wallien.

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The reading was great fun. Can you imagine getting paid for your poem, two free books, and a T-shirt? My poem is called “Remains”, which I unearthed from some notes I took when I lived near the Coquille River in Oregon.

Village Houselaunch photo

2014 BLOSSOM FESTIVAL IN SARATOGA, CA

I read poetry—along with three other poets—at the Saratoga Blossom Festival on Saturday, March 22nd at 10:30 a.m. at the Warner Hutton House next to the orchard on Fruitvale Avenue off Saratoga Avenue.There definitely were blossoms! And food, drink, booths and fun.

Here is the beautiful flyer for the event and some photographs of the poets—David Denny, Jennifer Swanton Brown, and Renée Schell, who read with me at the 2014 Blossom Festival.

2014 Blossom Fest flyer

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Jennifer_Group

Coming Up

Lots of good readers: Erica Goss, the LG Poet Laureate, along with Kelly Cressio-Moeller, Renée Schell, Sage Curtis and Ellaraine Lockie so far. And me. A quick read; five minutes apiece!

Hope to see you there.