Stephen John Kalinich

What else is there
but to be humble
and know
there is only one creator
we are all the possibility
of expression that love allows
a poem is gods gift
through you
to communicate.
If it formed your body
and heart
and mind out of cosmic dust
and elements
surely it is that
which inspires the poem
and the one in touch with that
is in touch with the pulse of life.
© 2012

“Laughter” by Stephen John Kalinich

Laughter is an unwritten poem
A child’s first touch of joy.
A smile within a wounded world.
Certainly the world has grown too serious
We need laughter
to bring us
closer to each other.
Laughter as a voice against our sorrow
Laughter as a voice against our heartache
Laughter as a voice of hope
That carries us into other hearts.
Laughter as the appreciation
of simple childhood days
When all the earth
lay before us
Like an open road
Echoes of laughter
From the winter’s wind
of our youth
We need laughter in our world
If we are to survive.

Stephen John Kalinich

“Our Gang” Artwork

L. K. Thayer’s Foto Fetish

© 2010

Happy Birthday Stevie…from The Juice Bar!!


Foto by L. K. Thayer


He had a dream
I have a dream
that one day
we will learn to live in love
that each man is your brother
each woman is your sister
underneath the skin
we are all the same
the same heart
beats through all hearts.”
“Embrace what you do not like
Caress what is difficult
From what you resist
and what disturbs you
the greatest lessons
can be learned.
From your detractors
and those who despise you
those who do not get you
Give them peace
Give them love
Do not be afraid of sadness
or mental pain
The are part of the purification”
© 2011


“My Dream For America” by Stephen John Kalinich

Grace in abundance to you
riches spiritually,
and emotionally.
Each moment is a great adventure
All is in its time
all things work for good
all things teach us
and tears
and faith
we carry onward
in this journey.
Beauty is everywhere
lack is everywhere too
starving children cry out to us
a world beckons
where races and creeds
and religions
are not  a hindrance to living love
Inspiration invites us all to the feast
of possibilities
where other see problems
i see challenges
where there is lack
i see opportunity
where there is greed
i see generosity too.
Hand in hand
we can not hold on
to one material thing
it all goes when we  go
we only have spirit and life
to live and bless each other.
Limitation is not in our language
we do not give up
we follow the dream
of Martin Luther King
and John Kennedy.
Yes it is rough
there are rugged tough times
but we can overcome the obstacles.
We can learn to live with less
and still be blessed.
We can share
those of us who have
to those who need
without depleting ourselves.
Calmness and stillness
silence earth quakes
bring inner peace.
Only we with our hand
in the hand of Grace
Can triumph in this adversity
and we can.
I know we can.
Nothing can stop
our determination,
intent and pursuit
to make
this a better planet
and a more united world.
I will not bow down
to the oppressive forces
that try to hinder
this onward journey.
I will strive every day
to be more gentle and kind
yet strong and resilient.
Our greatness lies
in our humility
our ability to change
when we pick the wrong course.
All trials can lead us to awareness.
Let the angry become meek
Let the tragic inspire
a never ending appreciation
of how great a gift life is
and how fortunate
with all our problems
that we live in America
that even with all its complexity
and short comings
it is still being carved out
that rights to all
are granted and enforced
that all people
are embraced and included
abide by the laws
as long as the laws  are just.
Let us never serve false masters
or those that will split us apart
One nation indivisible
with liberty for all.
Let the teaching be love
that meets the human need
where it is
that feeds the hungry
and offers the gift of freedom.
Last but not least
let us make practical
in the every day
living peace.
© 2011





“OUTSIDE” by Stephen John Kalinich



Foto by L. K. Thayer

life is fucked some times
when you ain’t got a dime
when nothing
seems to rhyme
when you hang with the slime
what do you feel
what do you expect?
When you are a wreck
don’t have a clue
about you or anyone else
you’re a drudge


a dirt filled
you’re a mess
and you are
not in confession.
you jerk off
on Smirnoff
coming down with a cough
friends in rehab
you still have a life
with out a family
a handful of friends
does it get any better
is this how it ends?
Why pretend
no one ascends
its earth
for us all
sooner or later
were all gonna fall
on the street
at the mall
the silence
is deadly
it cuts through your soul
there is no one to blame
you dug your own hole
stop being a baby
blaming everyone else
as if you are helpless
like your somebody else
take responsibility
for your life
put an end to sedition
and strife be ripe be prepared
I know you are  scared
so am I
we all die
a little piece
of me dies everyday
that is truth
what more can I say.
that how it is
need I express more 

my spirt is flat
I crawl on the floor
Its an uproar
a catastrophe
why is it
all about me?
Am I that blind
I don’t see
the answers
all around
in  every experience
each minute
life is going fast
I am not in it
I am not going to last
and I am not in it.
I am outside
along for the ride
I want to jump in
but do not know how.
I do not exist
I am not in the now

along for the ride.

© 2010
All Rights Reserved

“Elderberries Rap Up” by Stevie Kalinich


Last night after a full day of shooting a video
I was exhausted feeling low
as if nothing could help me.
I rushed to the venue at Elderberries.
Thank God I did because last night by the time I got
Home it planted new seeds within me.
Not only did I feel better but I was so inspired by the evening.
It restored my soul
it was alive and inspiring. A needed time.
an amazing array of voices and characters poems and prose.
It had a casual but vital energy about it.

Michael Camacho opened & closed with a wonderful lively set, and one of my friends said
he never saw anyone put so much feeling into “If I Only had a Brain” from
The Wizard of Oz, and all of his jazz standards with so much passion.

Lisa K. Thayer and her tireless effort…
She has devoted herself to this for love of sharing thoughts, poems
and language. I feel blessed to  know her.
She kicked the night off with her poetry. She delivers her poems
with sensuality and feeling.
She speaks with her body and she brings me in…
Each time I find other layers falling into me.
I love this poet who I have grown to call a friend.
You have to see her. Not only is she a poet but she brings an intensity
to The Juice Bar like none I have seen.
She does a great service to the world
and the language
bringing these treasure these tiny jewels to others
on a daily basis.
If someone thinks this is sentimental
that is tough… because she gives the street an urgency
the disenfranchised and she can kick ass.

Michael C Ford was next.
A seasoned and interesting poet with a voice that sends chills through me
and goes very deep with great wit and humor and sometimes a cynicism
that is so right on in today’s world.
Last night before writing and reading two incredible poems he read an excerpt from his novel that was so exceptional it reads like a poem.
His voice is  so astonishing. I tell him he could read a menu
and you would thing it is Shakespeare.
He is smart funny witty and takes no prisoner and no bull shit
comes out of these lips.
I love this guy. He gets to my core and I cannot turn away or deny
what he conjures up within me.
He is a choir within one soul
that really resonates with me
and calls me forth
to be extraordinary in the chaos.
He loves words and language and he is also producing with

Eve Brandstein, Rex Weiner
and John Densmore “Waiting For Jack” (Kerouac) another must see poetry event for everyone.

Next a new friend of mine who I have grown quite fond of Susan Hayden. I never heard her read her own work before.
This was a real treat for me.
To see this lovely being with great humility and presence
deliver her work
Her last two poems about the long Kiss and the one about boys without fathers
touched me very deeply.
powerful feelings
expressed in such a tender way
it broke down my resistance and it even reversed some of my
hostility and negativity last night and for a few moments I forgot that
I was not feeling well.
She  have a tender touching sweetness
about her
her verses and sent shivers through me.
I was so very moved.
I want to hear more of her work.
All these people penetrated into my defense mechanisms
I felt some of the tension leaving my bruised body.
I was calming down and no longer wanted to jump of a bridge.
I was released of my mesmerism of limitation.

Then came my dear friend Bill Duke
by the time he delivered “Men Like Me”
and finished the last cadenza as I recall it
You could hear a pin drop.
This is a fucking poem that will knock your shorts down
and rivet your very essence
it is not pretty and neat
it is rough on the  edges all more powerful because
he started it again because he could not find a page
and it rocked it gushed out like a stream
like a steam roller hit you
and Bill got into a rhythm that left me breathless
and speechless.
I was torn kissed and his crescendo was so exhilarating.
I felt as if I had lived through birth and death tragedy and renewal.
That one poem says it all.
I walked away from this evening with renewed strength
and gratitude to be alive and  even felt better.
These evenings are so great so inspiring so wonderful whether
two people come or 2 thousand
it does not matter .
Last night was a good show but the poems live on there own
and these poets even if they leave there poems
on the music stand.
The poems will jump off the stand
take on shape and burry themselves in your heart.
What a pleasure and honor to work with all these people
at the sweet little Elderberries.
I have performed around the world worked
with  many famous acts and I have to tell you
I have never had this much fun,
Everyone should go to Elderberries and experience these poets
They are my Rolling Stones my Pink Floyd and they all play
lead guitar and sing lead vocals.
Stevie Kalinich

L. K. Thayer adds:

Theida Salazar got up impromtu and hypnotized the room with a personal

poem by memory that snake charmed us all. He is a magical wordsmith & performer

delivering electric beats with his exciting rythms and exquisite delivery.

Stevie Kalinich, who you’d never know wasn’t feeling well

captured the room in his butterfly net of poetry, with me holding his

book for him at one point (such a joy for me to be next to this powerhouse)

he is a master of heart, soul & compassion that literally

lifts you out of yourself and into his effervescent stream of consciousness.

He is a genius poet and a stunning performer you must see to believe.

Thank you to the full house that came to hear us at Elderberries

and to owner Dottie Zold, for her amazing food & hospitality & spirit.

Until next time, Cheers! 🙂

Stephen John Kalinich

L. K. Thayer’s Foto Fetish

© 2010


Stevie Kalinich on “The Jazz Poets Social Club” @Elderberries tonight!



Foto by L. K. Thayer

I love the poetry
I love the people
like hungry children
like needy beggars
we ned the inspiration
to carry on
in the face of such immensity
when economies are falling
and depression is rising
and everyone says no
I say yes to keeping the language
and its many voices alive.
The word painters and the painters
with the brush
and the invisible brush of images
The prose and poems
will touch you
one for one
one for another for
certainly in our time
the end f 201
we need the voice of poets
that spoke through the beats
The Kerouac’s and Mcheline;s
of the world
who are now blooming
to keep poetry alive
is to keep life alive
while poets write
and painters paint
and doers do
there is hope for the world
for they will never
silence these voices
and we will rise
a sisterhood a brotherhood
rise up against oppression
and hatred.
We will plant the seeds
for peace
and revolution
wherever the soul is violated
and mankind’s needs
are pushed under.
Keep the poem alive
and God Damn come tonight.
There is something for you here
whoever you are.

Stephen John Kalinich

Elderberries Cafe, Hollywood, CA

L. K. Thayer’s Foto Fetish

© 2010

“Waiting For Jack” Rap Up… by Stevie Kalinich


“The people tonight were really amazing. It was an alive needed vital evening of poems and entertainment.
Jill Jarrett was sensational with her camera, as a photographer she captures the whole scene beautifully.

First let me say
all the touches, the saxophone player in the beginning
the trumpet the voice over,
it keeps coming more and more alive.
Michael C Ford and Rex Weiner kept the ball rolling as MC’s
with the provoking witty dialog and setting the pace.
This show is alive in the now
and no one is doing anything like this.
This is so much fun to be involved with.
Everyone should see it many times.

S.A. Griffin as Laurence Ferlinghetti was sensational, fun & marvelous.
Always an interesting intriguing performer
full of energy
he knows how to move and play to a receptive crowd.

Eve Brandstein was sexy, funny,
her poems by Diane DiPrima were very sensual and they rolled
off her tongue
like her delivery of the “Kisses” poem.
She had me from the start.
Kenneth Patchen’s poem as usual delivered by our friend Herbert T. Schmidt, Jr.
moved everyone in the house.
He read it from the heart and with great conviction
waited for the response of people
and built a tension in the air
What a great timeless sincere poem

What is the Beautiful? (Pause, and begin again)

If we all could live that poem
the world might be different
kinder sweeter.
Susan Hayden as Bobbie Louise Hawkins was charmer a sweet and lovely being.
She infused her poem wit, compassion and love,
it got to me.
She allowed the rhythm of the evening to flow.

Elkanah Burns as poet Frank O’Hara was right on the money, delivering his thoughtful poem with tenderness and heart as Frank O’Hara would’ve himself, it seemed like he was there last night.
Lisa K. Thayer’s Ann Waldman was a killer.
The way she moves her body
the way she makes the poems live.
Lisa is entertaining, funny, poignant, and uses visual textures,
showing us that the poem is an experience,
a living breathing thing.
John Difusco as poet Lew Welch was mesmerizing and John Densmore playing bongos for him was a wonderful, fun,
happening occurrence.
John Densmore from The Doors, was so into his  character, and the choice of poems and the way he read them as poet Gary Snyder, captured me and made  me smile.
He spoke them in such a simple a manner,
he made them seem easy. He brought a sense of fun and a beat to the evening and has a humility that none of my drummer friends or partners ever had most of the time.
I like him more and more every time I see him perform.
The way he cares about getting it right the way he focuses on what he will say and takes it on as a responsibility and still has fun with it.

Doug Knott as Bukowski brought the house down. He has so alive and becomes Charles B. and takes you on ride.
He is great, funny and I can relate to his weakness
and his appeal his attraction and why Bukowski
still lives stronger in death
perhaps than in life.

Eric Trules blew me away as Allen Ginsberg and got everyone going.
He has a great sound a wonderful voice
like a Rabbi or an evangelist with depth.
he cracked the stillness open
with his sense of timing  and getting the audience to participate.
He really gets into the Ginsberg mold and I believe he channeled Alan G.
for a few moments.

Theida Salazar as Bob Kaufman, was amazing.
The poem which he chanted from memory says so much. He was a wonderful addition.

Bill Duke as Leroi Jones was a powerful presence.
That large beautiful frame
his demeanor that can frighten you speaks the lines
in such a caressing a manner,
in the moment of expectation brings a soft tone and gradually builds the poem
so you can experience every word. Bill Duke taught me last night
you do not always have to shout these poems
they shout themselves
they sing their own music.
He rises and the fever expands by the end of his words
he has crept into you in a subtle way. Bill gets himself out of the way and lets the words come alive within him. At least that is how I experienced it.

It was wonderful and this evening at many points lets people into the play
involves and engages the audience and maybe it could even go more in this direction.

I only know this show was one of the best I have ever been to and I love these poets and the people inhabiting them.
It is an experience of collaboration and community and brings people together in an important and vital way.”

– Stephen John Kalinich

L. K. Thayer adds…
“Stephen Kalinich is a brilliant poet in his own right, who takes care with wit and reverence to every word

Jack Michelin wrote and delivers it with humor and grace, touching the audience with his soul and the soul of the poet.

The sold out crowd in the loft art gallery said it all. People are hungry for this experience and the words of these beat poets that are timely, especially now. Their words and passion ring true and will live on through this one-of-a-kind show

~”Waiting For Jack”~

– L. K. Thayer