kernpoetry.com

Month: August 2016

Summer Open Mic 2016.

photos by Martin Chang

In June and July of 2016 the poets of Bakersfield came to Open Mic.  They had an opportunity to performs more of their poetry these two months.

Open Mic Featured Poet: Fidel A. Martinez

Martinez will be the featured poet at the Open Mic at Dagny’s.

Dagny’s is located at 1600 20th Street (corner of 20th and Eye St.) on First Friday September 2nd.

Open mic Starts at 6:00pm; sign-up for open mic is 5:50pm.

Fidel A. Martinez is the author of Factory Lights (2013), An American Mythology (2011), and Ghost Stories from the Tower of Souls (2006). His work has appeared in The Bakersfield Californian, Southwest Voice, and The Levan Humanities Review. A Garces High School and California State University Bakersfield graduate, he received his Juris Doctorate in Law from Santa Clara University Law School in 1987.

Many of Fidel’s poems draw upon his heritage as a Mexican-American born and raised in Kern County. Biblical episodes, saints and angels, the strictures of the church—the common figures of Catholicism—populate his poems, often recast in a modern light. He tackles topics ranging from the pocho to the flawed, self-congratulating sense of generosity that motivates an official to keep a barrio school open.

A poem by Fidel Martinez:

Tule Fog

I have my expectations

Morning’s still trying to define itself

Out my window the fog is patient

Low and full it waits

I walk out

It clings to me like a frightened child

Cobwebs of moisture

 

I have trepidations

This stuff is suffocating

Like a world of ghost stories filled to bursting

Each materializing at once

Too many

Too much

Becoming accustomed so quickly

I get into my car and drive

 

Slowly diving in

Swearing I’m still asleep

Alone

The fog swallows me whole

Jonah

I repent wishing to be regurgitated

Someplace safe

Resurrected reborn

Somewhere far from this thick forgetting

 

To burn away

Fears

That define me

 

Martinez will be the featured poet at the Open Mic at Dagny’s. Dagny’s is located at 1600 20th Street (corner of 20th and Eye St.) on First Friday September 2nd.

Open mic Starts at 6:00pm; sign-up for open mic is 5:50pm.