The Portland Poet

Poets of Portland, Oregon

Bards bide their time in bundles of intense rhythm and woe. Trials and tribulations of the common troubadour.

I'd like to introduce you to a few local poets via their poetry.

Becca Yenser host of Broken Word

Copyright © 2008 J.A. All rights Reserved.

for days, like breathing
the depression comes and goes

a thought of pink blanket:

a reaction to hills or wrenched spine:

someone would deliver me.

a shadowy person came and went
with the orange juice

I was on a soft dome

the subway tracks were gone
and the nurse came in
orange juice was all I could remember
Orange Juice is as nourishment for the dying

no one told me about the little island
i went up and down upon, not reaching
the stirrups, thumbs of men in my
armpits, up and down and around the island
bag of poetry at my foot, bag of poetry at my foot

and the copious nurse with the red hair who liked puppies
nourished me like a tortured adopted colt.

-Alice Olds Ellingson

from "The Devil Won't Let me In", manic d press

Alice is a dear friend and resides in Portland, OR. She is from Chicago, IL and has led a very interesting
life con mucho gusto. Her performances are out of this world shocking with a vaudeville feel. She's on the
lower right hand side of the photo.  She has several books published and often sells and buys copies back from
Powell's book store since there are so few copies left.  

Infatuation vs. Entropy by Starlite Motel

You watch as my will disintegrate
as fast as public lives of tabloid stars that sniff up
hasty coke along the road to rehabs more fabulous than
the house that I sweat rent for, and I let you smash the
smoking cigarette of your whole self into the crowded ashtray
of my sentiment because why not, why not when I paint myself
with lipstick trickery into a total whore for love that's still not 
smart enough to turn down IOU's.  I am still high booted on the corner
that connects the shin bone to something else, and the wet spot of the heart
to the intersecting pipe of gutter as you tug, unraveling my sleeves of glitzy
dresses that seemed, like other bad ideas, so glamorous, and just so briefly lit with sparkles
I'd once thought 
would not rub off
this easy. -Starlite Motel is a performance poet as well with her own sultry sass style. She also has a book 
called Neon Signs of America.  She recently tied the knot in Vegas with Elvis at the altar.  

Tommy Gaffney, I Hope (Three Beers From Oblivion) Earwater Press

I hope to see a reflection not whitewashed in angst,
I hope to live just one moment free of self-destruction,
I hope to overthrow the terror that has siezed my existence,

I hope to be more than just a breeze,
I hope to quench my insatiable hunger to belong,
I hope to find a friendship that doesn't wither,

I hope to kiss lips eager to kiss mine,
I hope to devour a passion that doesn't blister,
I hope to open my overcoat and expose my desires,

I hope to peel away from the shadows,
I hope to confront a world that has long ignored me,
I hope to find a conviction strong enough to blaze my own trail,

I hope to have a notion others believe in,
I hope to be gazed upon with envious eyes,
I hope to live a life not easily forgotten,

Tommy is not living a life easily forgotten, he's an inspiration to us all.  

I am the demon inhabiting George W. Bushe's head
split open like a satanic
Athena sprung from Zeus

the president's a portal
teleporting archetypes
into the whitehouse

former sinner, now saved
open his heart attack surgery
Socrates screaming from his cave.

Plato's ventriloquists
chopping heads
and eating hearts
this road to hell so 
well paved

this cowboy warrior
must burn
sagebrush in a Texas desert
burn down Basra

Behind this archetype lurks another,

watch me spin Social Security like a gyroscopic neck,
spider walk this economy into Argentina's toilet,
puke up Mapplethorpe Abu Ghraib photos
and shove a unilateral crucifix up the U.N.'s cunt.

the electorate chants, "we're going to let Bush
fuck you, fuck you , fuck you:"
Just don't blame him for all the evils
done by all you in my possessions.

Patrick Bocarde is Portland's "monster poet" although this isn't one of his monster themed poems, or is it?

Ver Olas
from sweet victrolas,
comes the singing soma
in goatee and bolo
performing a garden suit solo

troubling its fellow for a pinch of the dusty dreary (I regret to this day reading that poem in a job interview)

in a velvet smoking cloak, sways across the moat time and time again

wiping weary from its clouded windshield

ver olas ver olas ver olas ver olas

feel spooky feels sane to stand upright in the wave

Here is a poem by James Victor Yeary a.k.a. Jimmy Victory


Pan has a camera under his kilt

He was born to make porn with lilt as red leaves yellow, brown+drown in their seasonal promise. you ask for a slave, veal and a laser pointer.

I hurriedly order the next drink.

can i photograph you with my golden camera Obscura, next to your sister, September?

can I buy you, with gold,

perennial pastures and azure land?

light shoots from your lenses to mine, blinding me. I machine out a dollar, masked as the inventor of comedy. was Persephone's mom I really wanted

only for the letters she sent with each new mood of hers. a read leaf's letter, Brownian nail of her intangible finger. as i lord over hell makin' babies, sayin' "Goliath was my friend"

when things fail or fall off call it a harvest,

For as I am King of Hades:

When hell freezes over I'll bring her.

seven sisters softly sing

Six kings dream

Ring round a dead girl's finger

Jimmy Victory is victor in his yeary dear in the dare-y aire a swell kid swimming.



Alice Olds Ellingson-click to go to Jimmy Victory's website