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Nostrovia! Poetry’s 2015 Online Reading!!!

To celebrate the end of the year, Nostrovia Poetry is planning an online reading event–think of it like a 2015 press / family celebration!! We’ve really loved the recent online readings from Alien Mouth, Witch Craft Magazine, and TRANS PLANET, and think this should be a fabulous party! Lots of good energy, and the right kind of passionate vibe.

Just as Nostrovia! Poetry seeks to support and empower writing communities across time zones, what better way than the internet to host a country-wide performance?

Starts at 6pm (PST)! Friday the 13th! We’ll share the URL for the reading before the show!

We’ll be featuring our diverse and talented finalists from our Nostrovia! Poetry 2015 Chapbook Contest(!): Sarah Xerta, August Smith, Leah Mueller, Adam Tedesco, Barrett Warner, Meg Eden, and Logan Ellis

For more info, including our readers’ bios, check this link on FB–CHEERS!!

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The A train arrived.

by Beach Sloth

The A train arrived.
For a while I stood but eventually I found a seat.
I transferred at Broadway Junction.
The Manhattan bound train came in three minutes.
I sat down and wanted to sleep on the train
The person across from me looked at me too carefully.
They made me feel too uncomfortable like if I slept they’d be able to see my dreams.
I stayed awake.

Beach Sloth blogs hard.

The A train arrived. was initially published in Fuck Art, Let’s Dance issue #011

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4,269 miles later, we’ve landed in Tucson, AZ

Hapgood & I left New Hampshire hesitantly.  Our car is a 92 camry station wagon that has aged as well as most people do.  We had to rip the passenger door panel off & cut the window motor out in order to screw the window in place.  We found a Saint of Auto-mechanics who offered his time to teach us how to do basic repairs & car maintence.  We replaced a cv axle, the breaks, dug around with pb blaster & wrenches, & w/o having done more than 20 miles in the car, we jumped in to put 3200 miles down over 4 days. We had a show at Lit Crawl w/ The Arts Resistance to make it to.

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It took us 3 1/2 days measured w/ empty cans of caffeine, stale jokes, & cigarette cherries.  Ritalin helped with the first 20 hours. My piss was green. I’ve developed a nasty cough. I’m sweating some cliche clean from the exhausted system with quick patchwork & jerry rigged health.

We’d taken a shot in the dark to make it out, & hell-fire, or water, we intended to make it to Lit Crawl.

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Late light Nebraska flat is dark & dull.  Wyoming sunrise, passing thru another day into Utah where we rested, wandering salt beds, Nevada & the smell of glass in gas station bathrooms, & into California, jumping over Tahoe & landing in Bay Area traffic & middle fingers & lane changing seconds split.  We pulled into the Excelsior district of San Francisco to a homie’s place & burnt out quiet.


& San Francisco days began again.  We wandered the Mission drunk.  A back alley hip hop show of traveling kids & locals passing the mic snared us from a poetry reading of cliches being passed like joints.


We ran from there to a renegade reading w/ BE ABOUT IT & Alexandra Naughton, reading poems in the streets till rushing off to The Arts Resistance & Lit Crawl present: Write Piercingly to perform w/ poets Zarina Zabrisky, Simon Rogghe, Charlie Getter, among other voices spanning three generations & continents.

jeremiah walton lit crawl

Jeremiah Walton // photo by Yana Jane

charlie getter lit crawl yana jane

Charlie Getter // photo by Yana Jane

Yanina Gotsulsky lit crawl

Yanina Gotsulsky // photo by Yana Jane

alexandra naughton poetry reading

renegade (unsanctioned) #litquake cipher

We romped around San Francisco & the Bay for a couple of days before dipping South to Santa Cruz.  We hit The Arts Bar & Cafe, & set up Books & Shovels, our traveling bookstore.

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Jeremiah w/ Books & Shovels

Zipping from Santa Cruz back up to San Francisco, we ran 7 miles to try & make it in time to see Lawrence Ferlinghetti read at City Lights.  We arrived to a packed building & closed doors.  None of the barred windows would budge.  All other entrances were locked, & the roof was inaccessible.

Like a horny dog I waited by the door.  Folks exiting allotted a second for Hapgood & I to jump into the crowd.  We listened, sweated in the packed room of hipsters & painters & creatives & lovers to watch Lawrence read new poems.  He read.  We left.  & there was nothing more to it than that.


We shot down to Monterrey for a show at The Rubber Chicken Open Mic & Slam.  We kicked with old friends, set up the traveling bookstore, shared poems & stories, & rumbled onto the beach for poi & fire dancing.

traveling bookstore nostrovia

Hapgood w/ Books & Shovels


There is something to be said for the brief intimacies of traveling thru a community.  We all share our most entertaining values.  There is grime & dirt & vulnerability, & under the light of the road, there is a glimmer of hope.  It may be empty parking lots.  It may be people.

We like to inspire others & be inspired by others.


From Monterrey, w/ an old homie who is about to cross the continent himself, we went to Subrosa, a community space in Santa Cruz, to participate in To Change Everything, an international panel discussion on anarchism & tactics in the 21st century.

The next long haul began that night.


We straight shot to Tucson, the city that has shaped much of Nostrovia! thru show hosting, spontaneous street ciphers, & a booming creative juice that is too loud to ignore.

From here, we’re snagging up Neeko Ford, a hip-hop artist that represented Nostrovia! at the 2015 NYC Poetry Festival, & James Mulroy, a poet who’s helped us maintain in Tucson.

Tucson, AZ

Tucson, AZ

& no we’re coordinating to dip out on Halloween, heading into New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, & on & on.


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9000 miles to get these books in your hands, & we’re still chugging along!

nostrovia poetry poety

Boom / bang / na da / BOOM!  Going to see the eye doctor, because we can’t believe it, but our second print run has already sold out! We’re stoked on how well received our first Chapbook Contest was.  The support shared from the community was tremendous, both for these gorgeous chapbooks and our work to grow Nostrovia! forward to better provide publishing opportunities promoting Passionate Living > Making A Living.

This year has been a consistent trail blazing maze of confusion / willpower / & much love.  Often, over the past 9000 miles, things got out of control, and we had to roll the die again & again in order to keep trekking forward, making shows & deadlines, & to feed our printers.  From the NYC Poetry Festival to Lit Crawl San Francisco, we’ve done our damn hardest to get these collections into the hands of as many people as possible.

& now, to further promote the distribution of these collections, we’ve decided to begin wrapping up 2015 by closing the distance between print & digital.  We’ve uploaded all three collections as free, downloadable PDFs!

Check the excerpts below to find praise + direct links to each chapbook for download.

juliet ii by sarah xarta

You opened your mouth and Juliet was the the sound that escaped into the sky. You opened your mouth and said, ambulance, emergency, Mother.”

Sarah Xerta’s “Juliet (II)” continues the powerful series of its title character as she reflects upon her life’s journey with unflinching, lyrical sincerity.

[ ebook ]

moon facts by bob schofield

THE MOON built the / weather out of strings”

Bob Schofield’s “Moon Facts” is a wild sequence packed full of surreal imagery and unexpected moods to remind us of the unending complexity in everyone’s favorite lunar friend.

[ ebook ]

bird lizard horse by august smith

There are two things we all have in common: / We are going to die, and our parents definitively had sex. / Not with each other, but maybe. The 80s were a wild ride.”

August Smith’s “Bird Lizard Horse” is a poetry collection with intelligence and depth, leading us to a mournful series from which the collection draws its name.

[ ebook ]

Thanks for supporting us thru 2015 and helping make this contest possible.  If you dig the publications, and want to show these writers support, sharing the links to their publications / placing reviews is greatly appreciated!

We’re going to be hosting round two of our Chapbook Contest in 2016.  Stay in touch with us on Facebook / Twitter for when we announce the submission dates.  Again, this contest is free to enter, & the submission window is spontaneous & unannounced till the gates open.  Winners debut in print at the 2016 NYC Poetry Festival.

Looking forward to reading your words next year, cheers!

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Two Poems – Leah Mueller

Category Five

I am trying to remember you
as the sweet boy leaning against me in the taxi
while we surveyed the wreckage through the window
after an evening of beer and beignets in the Quarter.
We sped through the ninth ward,
gaping at the collapsed houses,
door-less, windowless, and abandoned.
Garbage rotted in mildewed piles,
and it was curiously erotic.
It was disaster sex, like New York after 9/11.
We landed in the parking lot of an old betting track
and you apologized for making me pay the fare
as if you could ever have the means to pay,
as if anything could ever be equal, or normal.
I am a romantic, but not a hopeless one.
In fact, hope is what helps me
to remember that you refused to hit your own children,
even though your father punched you directly in the face,
and smothered you with pillows for fun.
Did you become a criminal because your dad was a cop
or because you thought everyone was stupid enough
to believe the lies that flew out of your mouth like bacteria?
You lay beside me because it was too cold to sleep,
and you needed warmth desperately,
squeezed my hands so hard that my wedding ring
cut into my fingers, reminding me
that all promises and bets were off for the evening.
Afterward, we went at it whenever we could–
sex like packing to leave town at the last minute
stuffing everything unfolded into a suitcase
haphazard, urgent, afraid of being late.
Sex on a single bed in a plywood shack,
watching an old Risky Business video,
while your friend, the bipolar cowboy
whom you’d rescued from the streets of the Quarter
snored outside in your donated tent.
Everything you had was given to you
in moments of altruistic weakness,
and you atoned by trying to save others
who were even weaker than yourself.
It was a mission I could understand,
the reason why all of us were there,
ladling food onto the plates of those
who could not afford to feed themselves.
On the last morning, you kept waking up
as though you were in pain;
you paced outside with rationed cigarettes,
complaining that you were too warm.
Then you stood in the parking lot
door-less, windowless, and abandoned
and whined about everything you lost–
your laptop, the cell phone that UPS was supposed to deliver.
You complained about being out of cigarettes,
then turned and walked away rapidly
without looking at me.
It didn’t surprise me when I heard
you had an extensive jail record
an assumed name, a crack habit
and that after I left New Orleans
you stole two hundred dollars
from the people you worked with, then disappeared.
I have no way to talk to you except here
but you will never read this because you don’t read,
you don’t think, and you don’t feel,
you just make everything up as you go along.
I stare at an atlas of the continent
with Louisiana at the bottom like a ragged sock,
and I wonder where you are hiding,
and I wonder which parts of you were real.
I fucked my shadow, but I’m not sorry.
It wouldn’t be the first time.
I had to choose between passion and necessity.
I could always return to necessity–
my fumbling and well-intentioned husband,
my children, my yoga practice, my too-high mortgage
on the house in a city I don’t even like.
I have sacrificed for years on the altar of necessity,
It has to accept me back,
no matter what I’ve done.
And I wonder whether my daily, subtle thefts
like the piles of bills I refuse to pay,
are really that different from yours,
or the gulf between who I am
and who I pretend to be
is really that much narrower.
Next time, I will build a stronger levee
that can withstand the wind, and the flooding,
but in the meantime
I sort through the piles of debris
and salvage whatever I can.

Long Distance

My boyfriend told me
he didn’t love me any more
while I was standing at the laundromat
pay phone, with a fistful
of quarters in one hand
and a receiver in the other.
My eyes were puffy and baggy
already, from crying for a week
in front of the mirror.
I could watch myself age,
and I often did, nestled as I was
against the backdrop
of gnarled farm machinery—it was all
Norman Rockwell, but not picturesque,
but I swore I wasn’t stuck there.
He wasn’t either,
and he let me know in no uncertain terms,
while I rocked in the late afternoon
sheen of the mirrored windows
and the operator kept asking for money.
I hung up finally
and she called me right back
because she wanted more,
so I gave it to her, $2.25 additional,
and all in quarters, which I kept dropping
on the linoleum floor, and they rolled
into crevices underneath the dryers,
where they shone like the eyes
of animals trying to hide.
I kept saying,
“Hang on a minute.
I’m sorry.
I’ve got it all.
I just keep dropping it.”
Finally, I started weeping again,
until the operator asked me
what the matter was, and I wailed,
“My boyfriend no longer loves me!”
and she said she was sorry,
and I only owed seventy five cents more
and she would be happy to hold
until all money had been deposited.
It was the nicest thing
anyone had said to me all week,
and I was able to find
all the quarters I needed
so I could somehow continue living.

Leah Mueller is a passionate poet and astrologer from rain-drenched woods of western Washington. Her work has appeared in Bop Dead City, Talking Soup, Dirty Chai, Writing Raw, and various anthologies. Her previous chapbook, “Queen of Dorksville” was a winner of a chapbook contest and was published by Crisis Chronicles Press. Leah’s fondest dream is to do nothing except write and lie on the beach while eating vegan bonbons.

Both Category Five & Long Distance were initially published in Fuck Art, Let’s Dance issue #011