Were YOU There with Vic and Gair?

Photo by Deborah Berman, co-host of Balboa House Poetry

Here are the two co-features of Balboa House Poetry’s April 2014 event, collaboratively reading. Victoria Hoyt and I have been friends for a good half-dozen years, and it is always an honor to perform with her.

Vic went on first, and she moved the audience to laughter and tears and glowing good feeling. Then I went on, showing off an acrostic portrait of Patrick Stewart, a valentine to my Sweetheart, Denise, and certain other selected poems. Fellow poet Paul Dlouhy had offered harmonica accompaniment, and I took him up on it for my “The Love Song of Heinrich Chinaski, Deceased.” We had never rehearsed, and I suggested before we started that Paul come in with a cadence like walking. He did a jazz/street riffarama that was perfect for my words.

Finally, Vic joined me at the podium and we did some back&forth haiku we’d written in e-mail exchange a few years ago:

Dueling Haiku



Blossoms all around
Transport me and my nose to


No Spring

Millions of meno-
Pausal baby boomers add
To global warming


Global Warming

Global warming’s cool
Majestic ice calves make
Ocean on the rocks


No Global Warming

From Lark to Exxon
Smoke and mirror scientists
Falsify research


Falsification Haiku

Weapons of bereaved
Weepings of mass destruction
“Whoops–honest mistake!”


No Falsification Haiku

Now playing on your
Smart phone: Iraq war heli-
Copter video



Blockbuster’s busted
Netflix flickers red box loi-
Ters near entrances


No VideoHaiku

Reality killed
The video star who killed
The radio star

Lastly, we read this, which we’d written together on a sketchpad. First Vic wrote one word, then I two, then she four, then I eight, and so forth till we got to 32, and then we imploded it back to the final word, which we co-wrote: “BLOOD.” No transcript is available at present, but wrestling through it is half the fun…


Long story concluded: a good time was had be all, and especially us!


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