3 poems by Mike Meraz

M MerazYour soul


Took a
Living on

But now
I miss


Artists are
So much
That comes
Their way


Poems & Self Portrait by

The Juice Bar is on Summer Hiatus!


Thank you all for your devotion & juicy contributions!

L.K. Thayer is in a play called “O’Neill’s Ghosts”

Rehearsals start today for a September 5th opening!

(See previous post for info)

Too much is happening for me to split my focus

so I bid you a sensous summer and see you

this Fall!!  xoxo

– L.K. Thayer

“O’Neill’s Ghosts” Play at The Odyssey Theatre – Opens Sept. 5th


September 5th – 8PM (Limited Engagement)

Performances: Thurs.- Sat. 8PM – Sun. 2PM

The Odyssey Theatre


O’Neill’s Ghosts, written by award-winning playwright Jovanka Bach, is told from the tormented perspective of Eugene O’Neill as he struggles with his latest writing while being haunted by the ghosts of his alcoholic-suicidal son, Bud; his career-plagued father, James; his dope-fiend mother, Ella; and debauched older brother Jamie. O’Neill suffers pangs of conscience while ravaging his family’s troubled history as plot fodder for his many plays, but it doesn’t stop him from pushing the pen.

The drama is set in 1912, in a coastal Connecticut home. As O’Neill arduously tries to concentrate on his latest work, he is haunted by the years of paternal neglect toward his eldest son, Eugene O’Neill Jr. (Bud). This relationship is reminiscent of the interactions with his own father James, mother Ella and brother Jamie. In the meanwhile, his long-suffering but dutiful wife, Carlotta struggles to uphold his privacy. The interruptions include a series of frantic calls from the family attorney concerning Eugene’s and Carlotta’s overwrought concern for their ailing dog. From her own perspective, the family’s surly Irish maid, Maude, grows even more disgusted as she tries to make sense of the family’s dysfunction.

Sadly neither O’Neill’s father, his mother, nor his brother can impress upon him enough to change the way he interacts with his own son, Bud. The more he tries to impress his father, the more Bud’s spirit deteriorates as it becomes evident that his father will never take the time from his calling to accept him into his world. And, just as O’Neill seems to have an epiphany, it is all too late as Bud takes his own life. But, the show must go on as they say, and O’Neill continues to bury himself in his work.

Featured as Eugene O’Neill is John DiFusco, with a supporting cast of Dana Kelly, Michael Vaccaro, Lisa Thayer, Penny Orloff, Tom Groenwald and Tanya Starcevich.

The production is designed by Jaret Sacrey, with lighting and sound by Kent Inasy and stage management by Joe Morrissey. Poster designs by Lara Starcevich.

Fruit for Thought…




Photo by L.K. Thayer

“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Maryrose Smyth


Salad Days


Poof, and it’s all gone,



in an egg mixture with seasonings

— lips thrown onto brown paper,

hot beast smiles we grab and eat,

exoskeletons detached from their flesh bellies,

moon shadows and French kissed souls snapped from their God given rights,

All the world loves a parade, a good meal, found money,

Oh, but to behold that face!


It was September and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

A time before things changed forever and life asserted it’s irrevocables,

became opposite day everyday.

How I hate that Pat told us the future that day, said he planned to die early and leave a pretty corpse.

How I hate that we just sat on the deck of our uncle’s boat nodding,



sunning ourselves between mile markers,

spent time talking about bee shadows messing up our tans,

liar, liar, pants on fire,

how I hate how funny became ‘un,’

how glad never regained her running momentum,

how time, just left out the side door,

after first hanging a forever picture in my mind,

then gone,

slipping out the side door.


Paul told me, “Had a friend named ‘Congo’ once

— a man who lost both legs in the war to end all wars,

still made himself do leg lifts after his morning coffee everyday,

lifted what wasn’t there,

hundred-fifty times,

each side,

every day.


looking at me so I’d get it,

“The hardest, too much compromise, I guess.”


A new client texts me, “Things will happen quickly, shift’s coming.  Things long forgotten will be remembered.

No doubt it’s the Lord’s doing.”

I send her a text, let her know she can count on me, let her know where the Christian right can go now that I’m working my new shoe job at Bloomie’s,

I text her bold, “’COME. Well-stocked 4 end times:

50-off Jesus sandals and Armageddon boots.”


Mid-April, I ask my gardener,

“Can I ask you to move the wood by the oak we just took down?”

Straw hat tipped back of his head, Frito greasy,

only hat ever owned, him standing with feet apart taking the agaves out real slow.

Sun, that time of day, hot, you know the one,

 then I ask,

“Would it be too weird to ask for you to take down the Christmas lights?”


The narcissus did not bloom this year.

All over town, pale tissue fists raised on green lawns,

gardens too — white, yellow, orange.

Our house?

Green stems,

nothing but stems.

The hundred or so I planted last Christmas with money my mother-in-law sent me,

nothing but green stems.

All over town, fists on lawns,

— white, yellow, orange, pale fists on lawns, gardens too


Green stems, stems, stems,

no fruit,

no flowers. 

Just stems.


August sun, a bitter hag, even the mountains turned their backs when the great outdoors became an oven last week of April. 

August, every month of the year. 

The city, a lean factory, temps tipping past the century mark.

No a/c units, no fans left to purchase in big box stores,

the work of pushing cumulus and wind gone to where manufacture’s cheap.

Permanent summer, shade, not coming back.


I’m chillin’ shaking hash night and day ‘til I get my street cred back,

you know, get some reserves in the bank.

Get me sweet cheeks? 

Times tough, somes got more doubt than down for fill, more druther than they can handle,

SUV wheels stuck on some coulda shouldas woulda hill grinding hope to a halt. 

Tell you this much, raising kids like raising opossums —

doubt – the same – can’t cage what’s rabid, stir-crazy,

thems, moody mother suckers,

first things first, first coax the heart, then the mind, cross my heart,

the money will follow.

– Maryrose Smyth

Charles Bukowski

charles bukowski photo:  mural1.jpg

Consummation Of Grief

I even hear the mountains
the way they laugh
up and down their blue sides
and down in the water
the fish cry
and the water
is their tears.
I listen to the water
on nights I drink away
and the sadness becomes so great
I hear it in my clock
it becomes knobs upon my dresser
it becomes paper on the floor
it becomes a shoehorn
a laundry ticket
it becomes
cigarette smoke
climbing a chapel of dark vines. . .
it matters little
very little love is not so bad
or very little life
what counts
is waiting on walls
I was born for this
I was born to hustle roses down the avenues of the dead.

– Charles Bukowski


Stephen John Kalinich




Photo by L.K. Thayer

Art kills
and builds
levels all fields
strips power
from the unworthy
and thieves.
Art does not
take advantage
of the market.
Does not cave in
or pander
to the lowest
common denominator.
Real Art
is pure intent
in my opinion.
Art does not manipulate
or call garbage or dreck
and lewd expressions genius.
Art is the destruction
of the mundane.
Art must be ever fresh
create new boundaries
that enhance
and bring benefit to all beings.
Stephen John Kalinich
© 2014