Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Blast from the Past - Turkey Buzzard Review

The Turkey Buzzard Review was a little magazine I published with the help of Joanne Kyger, Diana McQuaid, my then spouse and brilliant artist Terry Bell and so many others, beginning in 1977. Here is an account of that first publication by Kevin Opstedal in his

Dreaming As One 

Poetry, Poets and Community in Bolinas, California 1967 - 1980) 

The Turkey Buzzard Review was a unique little magazine that first appeared in July of 1977. With a cover designed by Terry Bell and silkscreened by Arthur Okamura, The Turkey Buzzard Review was inspired by Lew Welch's ''Song of the Turkey Buzzard'' and inside the front cover, above a Susanna Acevedo photograph of two turkey buzzards, was reprinted the last stanza of that poem,

This first issue, ''lovingly dedicated to Lew Welch wherever he may fly'', was edited by Dotty le Mieux, assisted by Sara Schrom, Joanne Kyger, Susanna Acevedo, Charles Berrard, Terry Bell, Diana McQuaid, and Michael Rafferty. It was a group effort. The magazine featured works by Bill Berkson, Lawrence Kearney, Aram Saroyan, Joanne Kyger, John Thorpe, Michael Wolfe, Nancy Whitefield, with a collaboration written by Tom Clark and Lewis MacAdams, photographs by Susanna Acevedo, a painting by Lynn O'Hare, and drawings and cartoons by Gordon Baldwin, Terry Bell, Lynn Phillips and Ted Saladin. Inset among its 24 pages were excerpts from various sources related to turkey buzzards and vultures. The theme set by the Welch poem was carried through the magazine. Joanne Kyger said ''It was much fun and a group effort. We did have a hilarious theater event presenting 'Woodrat and Gopher visit Tibet', which was a benefit for the second Turkey Buzzard I think. Phoebe got ga-ga and kept kneeling at Lewis' feet, Sara fell over a bench before it was her turn to read, Nancy Whitefield's beanbag chair caught fire, etc, etc. It was a total participatory event, in which the audience acted out as much as the readers- actors.''
The Turkey Buzzard Review ran from 1977 to 1981 and produced only four issues, but it was a classic, eclectic little Bolinas magazine.


Thursday, July 9, 2020


Just realized a poem of mine has been out for a couple of months in a great little literary review, Gyroscope, but I lost it in all the Covidity. Here it is:


The road is narrow
It is dark and Lisa drives
the Volkswagen slowly away
from the writers’ conference
I sit behind and light her cigarettes

Every few hundred feet our headlights
bounce back at us, reflected
off a patch of fog on the road
then brightens again
along the winding highway

We are driving
to a town called Marshall
where the houses sit on stilts
the bar leans out over the bay
Lisa says we’ll find men who won’t judge us
on our poetic style

Beyond the signpost
fog obscures the bay to our left.
walling the road in front of us
and I think -- So this is what it’s like
at the bottom of the ocean
dense and we grow fins.