Steven Miller

          Steven Miller was named “Best House Painter in Los Angeles” by Los Angeles Magazinein July, 1999. Steve Miller has been involved with Beyond Baroque and the Wednesday Night Poetry Workshop for the past 17 years and co-edited the workshop anthology, Echo 681. He’s currently at work on his second chapbook. His first one, entitled 80 Grit, was published by Big Dog Press.
          Tough, virile, spare, blue-collar, defiantly local, excited, questioning and indirect—these are some of the words I’d use to describe Steve Miller’s work. I know him from the Wednesday night workshop, where he is a thoughtful and dedicated critic. His taut, confidently crafted poems are suffused with danger and insight and vivid social commentary. Sometimes these poems are as edgy as rap lyrics. And they always offer a unique combination of slice-of-life street wisdom, on the one hand, and deep preoccupation with style, on the other. It is a wise and vital voice we hear each time we pick up one his poems, or have the privilege to listen to him perform them.

Taking Johnson Road

Debbie's saying shaking hands
with people with AIDS
might as well kill yourself
and Andy always gets
to ride shotgun
poised as a cut tree
not falling

the road dips at the clearing
where power lines throw
shadows on the marsh planks
a hawk dodges - crow in tow
tormented and shadowed
past his territory

the ribbon of road rises at the rocks
funnels my brain past the memory
of the MG flipped in the brush
the easiest place to be beheaded

at the turnaround
fire roads worn into a
mental map take us down
there aren't any rangers here
now, when we skinny dip at
Maltby Lakes,
throw cigarettes at the stars
on the water.

2012 Steven Miller
Steven Miller was a Featured Poet who read his poetry at the June 2012 Second Sunday Poetry Series