AV Arts Convo: Poems by Hollie N. Martin

HAPPENING NOW: Antelope Valleys Arts new initiative, the AV ArtConvo, featuring poems by Hollie N. Martin.

Presenting poems by Hollie N. Martin – “Laguna’s Labor” & “Shakes in Heat”

SATURATION 2.0: The Arts in Conversation project at Antelope Valley Arts is now live: Local artists (painters, poets, photographers, fiction writers) have been invited to submit art and partake in a conversation on artistic influence and inspiration as the print arm of Antelope Valley Arts is going digital.

This week we are featuring the work of Hollie N. Martin, a poet with a vivid and deeply rooted connection to the arts. When she is not actively meditating on sound through her writing, Martin teaches at Antelope Valley College, where she is probably also meditating on vowels and consonants in delicate contrast and delightful pattern.

File:Rocky Sea Coast-William Trost Richards.jpgLaguna’s Labor


Waters of sanctification scattered.

The sonogram of fish.

A birthing, writing baby

begging to issue from the womb.


Waves do not seem as harsh

from so great a height,

from so small a whisper

not wanting to crack the air with human language.

The tide sings an aria of rocks,

of an intercourse between liquid and solid.

Freely you have received.

                                    Freely give.


Waters of sanctification scattered.

The out-spray of a crash.

Brute force munching a foundation,

eating the cracks of the earth.


And you are down there,

deep-sea decked in 80s yellow.

World never to be born.

World who wonders what it must be like

to inhale deep and

escape amniotic fluid.


And I am up here,

arms cradling the metal guardrail, my own tightrope,

waiting for this foundation’s dissolve,

for the moon’s glow to liquefy my heart

and issue a prayer.


Interview Part 1

Who is your favorite writer? How does he or she influence your work?

Li-Young Lee will always be my favorite poet, and Book of My Nights will always stand in my mind as his best work.  I was first exposed to Lee as an undergrad at CSUN, and I fell in love with the spirituality and sensuality of his language.

I love the recurring theme of the father figure in his work, as in the poem “Little Father,” which discusses burying the father in the heart and birthing him again into the child’s own image.  This is especially touching now, as my own father is suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease; I am having to rebirth him today, to take his sounds and movements and make words out of them.

Lee also brings in song and birds, which are two intense touchstones in my life; these images brought me through my own “book of nights.”  This line from “Lullaby” comforted me when I was suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts while in college: “After crying, Child / there’s still singing to be done.”  The capitalization of the Child spoke to me of importance and significance, as a push to keep existing.  Then the lines, “After wings // and the shadows of wings, there’s still / the whole ungrasped body / of flying to uncover.”  This spoke to me of the promise of potential: there was, and is, so much more flying to do.

I have wanted to emulate the sense of pause and depth in his work, and while I am far from achieving that goal, Lee gave me a deep appreciation of the way one word can change the timbres of a work.

Shakes in Heat

does not feel like Christmas
until there are lights.

Small and white
like rain drops.
Large and pied
like gum drops.
Lights from trees, cars, overpasses,
lights from a city screaming daytime in nighttime tongue.

And I whisper words
while the lights scream. Somehow.
They pulse. I think it’s my eyes.
I think it is lack of 20/20,
lack of hindsight, no time to reason,
only to eat the moment
one droplet at a time.

Sometimes I choose to unfocus.
I open eyes wide and rest.
The lights explode in blur.
Then I strain, then I readjust,
then the light’s song rushes toward me
and it shakes in heat.

Completely mechanical. What
isn’t mechanical.
Christmas becomes a series of bulbs
dangling from gaunt-green strings.
Swear words
at the raising of a killed tree.

So I look for a miracle in shivering lights.
(They’re cold from lack of attention.)
I look for a dream through bars
locking away the view.
Dear city of angels,
I look for winged creatures under every bush.
We with our snowless eves.
Us with questions and pleas.
You and I and cries for peace.

My heart matching a pulse too great to be a machine.

I think light is magic.
I think the city is lit by Gabriel’s torch.
The cries accompany glorias.

I will catch the light in my hands.
I will take it home, sew a little nest,
and watch its wings develop.
I will ask it to fly inside my eyes.


Interview Part 2

How does music influence, shape or fit into your work?

To be honest, I often can’t write anything creative without music.

I have been singing since I was little, and I learned to play guitar when I was 21.  I tried to form a band with my sisters for a time, and we had our own level of success, but it never went very far.  I think I was more fascinated with the writing process of music and performing it for a few friends than for “musical success.”  (One of my favorite pieces of ours was a melodic rendition of pieces from Eliot’s “The Hollow Men.”)

Musical sounds captivate me.  Playing a chord progression in a repetitive manner will often allow me to “see” words or images (I’m a sucker for very traditional time measures with sticky melodies).  I will get a concept, set the guitar down, and start writing.  Some of my strongest poems have been written in these moments.

I have also produced work while listening to the music of others.  My musical tastes tend to not reside in the mainstream—and I’m not talking about the “cool” non-mainstream.  I grew up surrounded by music that was written from the perspective of people who were followers of Christ.  I attended concerts almost every weekend through my teens and twenties, and some of those musicians have remained in my auditory repertoire ever since.

Arts BlogThe artists Jason Upton and Rita Springer are two of these people, and they produce music that I just can’t classify into a specific genre.  Upton is extremely free-flow, in the sense that he often writes songs while in the concert experience itself.  That creativity helps uncork me, especially when I am suffering from writer’s block.  Springer channels a Janice Joplin type of voice and pounds out melodies on the piano.  She is very raw—like a wild lioness who could kill you at any moment and afterwards comfort her baby cubs.  She is so different from me that she also uncorks new arenas of creativity.  Their albums can’t even capture how they sound live, so whenever I can, I try to see them, often with a notebook and a pen in my hand.

Most recently, I have been moved to write while listening to “When the Music’s Over” by The Doors and “The Fire and the Flood” by Loud Harp (a duo who sings the Psalms).



Note: Image above of “Rocky Sea Coast” by William Trost Richards (public domain image).

MacQuarrie & Manannan mac Lir – Still Lording Over the Underworld After All These Years

Book news:

The Waves of Manannan mac Lir

Title: The Waves of Manannan mac Lir

Author – Charles MacQuarrie | Illustrator – R. Tato

Find it:  Sagebrush Cafe has a limited number of promotional copies and is offering them to customers starting Monday, January 12.

Mythology is populated by figures of sky and sea, fire and water, might and wisdom and all that stuff. We like to think that mythology belongs to the past. Greek culture, in terms of mythology, is not identical in our minds with the reported lethargy and decadence of today’s Greece. (I’ve never been there, but that is what people say…) No. Our image of Greek mythology is set firmly in the past.

But those stories somehow translate to the present. One reason this is true – people keep making new translations of ancient stories.

Who is doing that translation and breathing life into those stories? Well, one person doing it hails from the Antelope Valley. Professor Charles W. MacQuarrie has made a book on a figure of Irish and Scotish mythology – Manannan mac Lir, god of the underworld.

“Manannan mac Lir was the king of the Celtic underworld in the sea and under the earth of Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. There are many stories told of him from the Voyage of Bran which was written down around 750 a.D. to his appearance in James Joyce’s novel, Ulysses, which was published in 1939. This is a long life, over 1200 years, but Manannan is an immortal after-all. In this book we have translated and adapted the very earliest, and some of the best, stories about Manannan. We very much hope you will enjoy them.”

The illustrated collection of stories produced by MacQuarrie includes the work of R. Tato, an Antelope Valley artist who also has ties to the Antelope Valley College/Cal State Bakersfield satellite campus in Lancaster.

Sagebrush Cafe is located at 42104 50th Street West, Quartz Hill , CA 93536. 

Supplies are limited.

The UFO SHO is gearing up. Have you sent in your story or your art yet?

Blast off October 11th at Sagebrush Cafe! Do you have a paranormal experience in the Antelope Valley that you’d like to share? Email THEUFOSHO at gmail dot com.

The Antelope Valley is rich with unexplained phenomenon and the goal of this show is to compile these experiences and and have an open discussion about the who/what/when/where/and whys.

We’ll be attempting to achieve this goal (at 6-9pm on October 11th) with:

– Live Space Music
– UFO Stories, Art and Videos
– Alien Autopsy
– Experimentations
– Power Point Presentations
– Alternative Theories
– Ancient Sculptures
– Tribute to Science Fiction Artwork
– Much More!

If you have a local UFO (or any unexplained phenomena) story to share, please send an email to theufosho at gmail dot com and we’ll print it in our UFO SHO ZINE. Thank you!

Antelope Valley Anthology: A literary event at Sagebrush Cafe

A literary event: Saturday, February 15, 2014 from Noon to 2pm.

at Sagebrush Cafe [42104 50th Street West, Quartz Hill CA]

This series of books represents a decade of creative work from writers in the Antelope Valley. Authors of the works anthologized in the Antelope Valley Anthology will be on hand.



Come on out to meet some local writers and pick up copy of your favorite AV Anthology Volume. MousePrints publishing guru Gary Helm will be on hand and will also be offering his two new books, released just in the past few weeks. They’re so brand new, the ink is practically still running.

Remember the celebration at Sagebrush. For those who don’t know, The last two AV Anthologies were both up for international prizes. DARKNESS VISIBLE was up for an international small press prize, and 9 was up for a Pushcart Small press prize. Come see these marvelous pieces of literature at the Sagebrush Cafe in Quartz Hill.” – Gary Helm

AV Anthology “9, the Last Antelope Valley Anthology”

News of the release of the new AV Anthology “9, the Last Antelope Valley Anthology”

The 9th volume of the Antelope Valley Anthology was released this week. This is the final installment of an arts publication that has offered an opportunity to Antelope Valley writers, artists, and readers to come together in a print experience.

After nine volumes over nearly a decade, the editors have decided that this publication will remain in the single digits, not going on to a tenth edition next year.

Each issue of this nicely bound Anthology features work of Antelope Valley writers and artists, cycling in and out over the nine volumes. I wish we had a list of all the contributors, but I know if we did, this post would be very, very long.


The new volume is new, brand new. Brand new writing. It’s a new as it is final.

You can get a copy of the Antelope Valley Anthology at various venues around town.

To find out where you can get your copy, contact Gary at:



G. L. Helm
43200 Yale Ct.
Lancaster, CA 93536
or pop into Sagebrush Cafe
You can also check out the full interior of Antelope Valley Anthology Volume 6, The Raven and the Writing Deskhere.

SATURATION: AV Arts Publication Vol. 3 – released

SATURATION: AV Arts Publication will release Volume 3 on October 13, 2012.


SATURATION volume 3 is the product of a collaboration now spanning three issues and dozens of Antelope Valley artists and editors, providing a venue for artists to share their work.

The theme of this issue is TURNING POINTS or THE POINT OF NO RETURN. Artists submitted photography, poetry, short stories, drawings, and paintings to this third annual issue.


The list of contributors looks something like this: Larissa Nickel, Todd Cooper, Tom Varden, Edwin Vasquez, Tonia Crews, Sam M., C. Vanderpool, Linda Ruiz, Ruba Alvarado, Vincent Reyes, Frank Rozasy, Frank Dixon, G.L. Helm, Marilyn Dalrymple, and June Marie Milham.

Editors on this project: AJ Currado & Steven Fiche & Eric Martin

Copies are on sale at Sagebrush Cafe and through local art events hosted with/by AJ Currado in Quartz Hill. (Information on those events can be found at AJ’s website and at the AV Arts Blog.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


*This slideshow represents many of the submissions to the 2012 SATURATION. Copyright is owned by the artist. We just wanted to show you what kind of visual art came our way for this issue of the AV Arts magazine.

Performers & Writers Group Meeting January 28


Performers And Writers Society “PAWS” 


Saturday January 28th, 2012

@ The Academy @ Artist’s Loft 
661 W. Lancaster BLVD
REAR SUITE (at the back of the building) 
Lancaster, CA 93534


SCRIPTS AND PLAYS up to 5 pages




The scripts are fantastic and the group
comments support the writer’s development of
the characters, transitions and storyline.
Actors are receiving reinforcement for
cold reading and transitional character arcs.

Join us!

Producers and Directors are welcome to attend

Writers are invited to bring up to 5 pages of their scripts in progress which will be presented for “Cold Readings” by Performers. The readings will be critiqued by the group at large to support the development of the writing and to help performers strengthen their overall performance skill set.

Pages will be presented on a first come first serve basis time permitting:

Bring enough copies of your screenplay for each character in your scenes & a narrator. If your scenes have 4 characters you will need to bring 5 copies. You can bring more than one scene; however, after your 1st scene is read, additional scenes will be done on a time avail basis.

Group name:
Performers And Writers Society

Group email address performerswriters@gmail.com

Group home page

Email us today to receive announcements about workshops, casting notices, auditions, film & entertainment industry news

PAWS is open to all writers & performers. Workshops are FREE

Founded and Hosted by:
Susan Kay Moses, Writer/Producer/Actress
Susan Moses Film Credits 


Lancaster Horror Magazine (More than Just Horror)

From the people at LORE:

September 28, 2011


Lancaster just got a little scarier this Halloween season.

The scariest time of year is nearly upon us, making it the perfect time for Lancaster resident Rod Heather to release the first issue of his horror magazine, LORE.

Rod is an award-winning editor of spooky story collections, and is a published horror author in his own right.

The first offering, titled “LORE: A Quaint and Curious Volume of Selected Stories”, will become available just in time for Halloween, and will feature stories by internationally renowned authors like Harlan Ellison (another LA County resident), and Brian Lumley.

LORE will be available electronically, and as a print edition, and is considered a professional market by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, and Horror Writers Association.

In addition to more information on how to order or submit work to LORE, the publication’s web site (http://www.lore-online.com) offers a host of regular horror, science fiction and fantasy features that are sure to raise the hackles of even the most seasoned ghoul.


Rod Heather





Artists: Get Listed

Antelope Valley Arts Blog is dedicated to supporting arts and artists in the Antelope Valley through online word-of-mouth.

If you are an artist (of any kind) in the southern Mojave and you have a website and you’d like to direct more people to your site, then send a link to your website to poeticwax@rocketmail.com and we will list you here along with other AV artists.

If you have an arts related event coming up and you’d like to promote it, send us an email and we will post your message and photos and help spread the word.

It’s free. We’re just looking to keep things lively in the Antelope Valley, to help people find each other, and especially to help artists find an audience. Obviously, we are only one link in the chain, but all chains are made of links. Together they are strong.


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A Summer of (Original) Theatre in the Antelope Valley

Several new and original pieces of theatre will be showing this summer in Lancaster and Palmdale through Laity Theatre Company, Antelope Valley Thespians and […there are rumors of a festival of one acts going up in August somewhere…AV Arts Blog will try to find out where and let you know.]

Look for an article about these works – dramas and musicals, full length and one acts – in an upcoming article in the Antelope Valley Press Showcase (weekend). The article is to include interviews with the writers, directors, actors and producers involved in bringing these original productions to Antelope Valley stages

For the time being here is some information to pique your interest:

Laity Theatre Company

Bridget’s Girl
A New Musical
Book & Lyrics by
Barbara Dixon
Music by
James A. Goins
Directed by James A. Goins
in The LAB Theatre
Thursday July 28th 7:45PM
Show Running: Thursday, Friday, Saturday 7:45PM 
& Sunday 2PM 
July 29th – Aug.20th

Antelope Valley Thespians

AUGUST 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28
by Eric M. Martin

Winner of the 2010 AVT New American West Play Competition
Produced by arrangement with Eric M. Martin, Quartz Hill, CA.

Check out the websites of these theatre companies for more information. Links are at the top of the sidebar.