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Phil Taggart is poetry curator at the Artists Union Gallery in Ventura and from 1991 through the present, started and ran several poetry readings in Ventura, Santa Barbara and Camarillo, including: Ventura: The Insomniac, Nicholby's, Cafe Voltaire, The Daily Grind, The Art Gulag at the Plaza Players Theater, Art City 2 and co-directed The Ventura Poetry Festival. Santa Barbara:The Green Dragon, The Perch Gallery and the Santa Barbara Poetry Series at the Contemporary Arts Forum. He's producing and compiling poets reading on video through the ASKEW video/poetry project and was editor of ARTLIFE from 1996 to 2005.

Publishing credits include: SOLO, Brick, rivertalk, Sirens Silence, ZamBomba, sicviceverse, San Gabriel Valley Quarterly, F.T.S., Lummox Journal, Voce Piena, So Luminous the Wildflowers and on a t-shirt for Café Voltaire. His book of poetry, Opium Wars, was published by Mille Grazie Press.


- for Kathleen

It is
your birthday
dear sister
the labor of you

our mother crazy
Norwalk crazy she
divines a miracle
and somehow is
lost in its darkening

the chafe separates
and the grain is luminant
a pearl is irritated
and arrives in flannel
with red stars set deep
in denim you

madness and death
has taken our siblings
the shame a codex
that weaves around
us binding what a

you a mania
quirky quick brilliant
and driven a flurry a
Darwinian resolve
rooted in a dinner
party and a consciousness
arriving just in

we are family
and scarred and
standing on feet
that hurt and lose
circulation we buzz
outside and hurry
along busy and regretful
and half a state away
we gray we

I think of
you today
and most days
happy that
you are and
we are

Open Mic Across From Bus Station

the middle aged man at the mic
goes on about masturbation,
chat room cyber sex and Jesus

scary guy really
reads directly off his laptop
no time limit in a mostly
empty room

I wonder if he's online
now, chatting away
he says without Jesus,
he's trapped in depravity

thank god for Jesus


If You Lived Here

it's Easter in
a city of angels

detached angels transient angels
dancing on pins forgetful

prostrate to the ephemeral
with nails gripping earth

it's all possible here

a state of culture a dream
builds monuments in ether

does anyone really live here?

a sign off the 101
in Hollywood says,

if you lived here
you'd be homeless



© 2006 Phil Taggart

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