Terry McCarty
    Terry is an exciting poet-presence who constantly and creatively rails against the Gatekeepers of Fine Writing. The Gatekeepers who block Terry’s way may be different from the ones who are blocking (for instance) my way (I suppose we all have our own Gatekeepers), and yet I love his anger at the cliquishness and pomposity that pervade our Scene, as they have perhaps tended to pervade every scene since Time Immemorial. I love the fact that, unlike many of us who are simply ignored by hosts or editors, Terry is actively banned from certain meetings. Terry came into the LA Scene at a time when protest and performance were prized above all things. A few short years later he discovered—to his dismay—that the rules, or the criteria, shifted, and doors closed, or you needed new keys to get in the doors. And Terry was left out in the cold. But maybe that’s the place for the true outsiders, the true poets and misfits who refuse to conform. The true artists. I understand that Terry doesn’t like long introductions, so I won’t go on and on. Buy his books, read his work, check out his blog, which is lots of fun, because he talks better than I can; and listen to his uncensored voice—the voice that has been bounced from more than one Citadel of Fine Writing but is always welcome here at the Café Alibi.

Folk Music as Wooly Mammoth Preserved in Ice
(inspired by the PBS fund-raising special

 Did you see old man John Sebastian
 on the Public Broadcasting System?
 He now looks a little like George Segal
 and sounds a lot like Peter Coyote.
 Did you see old man Barry McGuire
 He now looks like a retired WWE wrestler
 and wears NYPD patches on his black T-shirt.
 Did you watch this tribute to old folk music
 in the comfort of your home
 as people protest and die in far-off lands
 and American media propagandizes
 about the evils of WikiLeaks
 and the perfidy of Julian Assange
 (the timing of the latter is rather convenient)?
 Did you once gather for communal singing
 and peaceful demonstration
 until you "grew out of it"
 because too many people told you
 that standing up for the rights of others
 was passe and not likely to lead to good job offers?
 Of course you did.
 And I did too.

© 2011 Terry McCarty
Terry McCarty was a Featured Poet who read his poetry at the July 2011 Second Sunday Poetry Series