The 80s

Old Man Talks

I was a toddler when the year 1980 began.  I was also fortunate to have cable at home. So, most of my childhood was being babysat by a television. During my adolescent years, I would watch after school cartoons and Music Television(MTV).  Rock and pop video were the rage on television with wild hair bands and colorful outfits.  It got to the point where I would go to school and see kids already sporting outfits they saw on a video. MTV had a powerful impact on the 80s generation.  So, It is surprising to view documentaries about popular topic. For example, Michael Jackson being the first Black artist to appear on MTV, YO MTV Rap was only suppose to be one season but became bigger than they could imagine.  These events made powerful strides in the music to the viewing public that can still be influential today.

But, here is a pop mix that will give you a sample of what I am talking about:

Iambic’s Meet the Host: Wendy Williams

Wendy Williams extraordinary story goes beyond being a open mic host at Sacramento Poetry Center.  She is a speaker, published writer/ poet, English teacher, Coach, and visual artist. She considers herself an artistic Healer.  Her website, Restory your life, present her work and her experience with Post traumatic stress disorder.  I interview Wendy with 10 unique questions for July’s issue:

When did you start writing poetry and why continue doing it?

I started writing poetry in 1976. I was struggling in life and poetry provided me with an outlet for intense emotion and a way to get clarity by putting ideas onto a page.

When did you start hosting poetry readings and why?

I started hosting poetry around 2013. I was on the board for the Sacramento Poetry Center. After Paco Marquez, the previous host, left for graduate school in New York City, Bob Stanley asked if I wanted to fill the vacancy and I went for it!

Do you watch poetry at other venues like Mahogany, Shine café, or Luna’s café? Why?

I’ve been to Shine and Luna’s. I especially like Luna’s because of the super open mic where all types of folks read and react. There’s a lot of emotion from the audience and the poets, which feels good.

Did you ever wanted to go & hang out at Shine Café due to its LGBTQA following that is present there?

Yeah, I’m gonna check out the LGBTQA scene at Speak Out Sacramento. Haven’t yet.

As a PTSD survivor, is your message to help others people deal with their PTSD? Is that what your website’s main objective?

My main objective for the website is to help others see that they might unknowingly have PTSD or Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. (I don’t like the “Disorder” part of the term because, in my view, it’s inaccurate.) In any case, I have PTSD from an infant surgery without anesthesia. Many people experience symptoms from early trauma but don’t realize it. They conclude they are crazy, weird, or screwed up. Some drink or do drugs to deal with symptoms. I want people to know that they could be suffering from unresolved trauma and they can get help. They can work to resolve the trauma and find relief, understanding, and peace.
You have several poems published and a book. Impressive. Which way do you like better? Publishing a book or submit poems for publish books?

I like the process of getting a book published more than the act of sending out poems. Working with Dave Boles, my editor of Cold River Press, was easy and fun. He’s super professional. And he’s a real nice guy.

So, tell me about Restory your life?

ReStory Your Life is about using writing to heal from trauma and reclaim your authenticity. Oftentimes, trauma (past hurts) run our life and we’ve got to face our pain and resolve it so that we can become more of our real self. Freedom after trauma is what we’re after. I teach Writing as Healing classes and have done speaking engagements on this subject. I’ve also worked one-on-one with folks.

Viewing your website, poems, books, and art; what do you consider yourself? Artist? Healer?

I am an artist healer.

How do you feel about the current state of poetry presented by young poets?

I love the young poets’ poetry–lots of emotion, caring, concern for others, passion, anger about injustice, and experimentation. l like spoken word poetry and the slam experience. I LOVE all the slants rhymes because language is being used in a new way.

How would you feel if you were appointed poet laureate? What would you do?

Poet laureate? I’d feel overwhelmed. I’m still teaching at community college and getting a Writing as Healing class off the ground. Let’s say I were appointed for fun’s sake. Maybe I’d spearhead a big conference/celebration/slam week to showcase all the different poets and types of poetry in the Sacramento area. We’d have workshops running all day and ask the public schools to participate. It would be like a poetry lovefest for our region. We have so much richness, don’t we?  Let’s all get-together and see who we are and share it with everyone. We’d make most of the events free somehow and try to get grants or donations for use of a space. We’d also invite folks in from the surrounding counties to check us out. Sound grand? It could be.

Thank you for reading the interview with Wendy Williams. You can find more about Wendy and her life healing program at


Iambic’s Meet the Host: NSAA: Part 1

Lawrence “NSAA” Dinkins is a Renaissance man: Veteran Poet, Poetry Show Host, Blogger, Recording artist, photographer, graphic designer, podcaster, entrepreneur and book author. A Detroit native, his portfolio life has made him an active artist in the Sacramento art and poetry scene. He appears in June’s Issue of Iambic.

His latest event is Poet vs. Band on June 11, 2017 At Gold Lion Arts (2733 Riverside Blvd) at 3pm – 6pm. The event will be filled with poets and musicians & will be celebrating NSAA birthday.  For more information, visit his website:

This is part 1 of our interview where we discusses his poetical Journey:

So, how long have you been doing poetry? When did you become a poetry show host?

I guess I started around 2009. The Sacramento urban poetry scene was slowing down. A lot of my favorite poetry spots was thinning out and falling off. Me becoming a host wasn’t about ego thinking, “I’m a poetry pillar” but instead it was an act of desperation. It was a finger in the dike. I didn’t know if I could save poetry at Mahogany but it was worth a try. So, I offered to host a Wednesday. I mean if one or two people are coming out I can host that. But we survived the drought and Khiry (Khiry Malik, founder of Mahogany Poetry Series) brought on more host. I am very proud to say that I helped save Mahogany in some small way. We also must give much love Zion and Queen Sheba for allowing Mahogany to stay there after they took over that location.

Do you enjoy form or academic poetry (sonnets, odes, Villanelle) or free verse?

I think all forms have their value. We are living in such an open time thankful to those like the beat poets that smashed the poetry rules making free verse a more acceptable poetry style. My love is free verse, of course. But occasionally, I write in form.

Did you perform or publish poetry in Detroit? If so, how were the poetry spots difference from Sacramento scene?

I didn’t start coming out as a poet until I got here in Sacramento.

As a sketch artist, how does it compliment your poetry?

Sketching allows you to really look at things, as does all art forms. But for me sketching allows me to really see things. You might say something is beautiful or interesting but what makes that something appealing to you. When you try to sketch it and really capture what it is that draw you to a subject you’re mind switches. In figure drawing class, you learn this. Nudity in public is a taboo because of its link to sexuality but in figure drawing class something interesting happens in your brain, a trigger, and you start to see the human body more than a sexual or shameful object but as something beautiful and difficult to capture.

You are known as a Poet veteran in the Sacramento Poetry community like Bob Stanley, Sean King, and Indigo Moor. But, you are still more active than them in streets and corporate realms. Why?

I don’t see myself as more active. Bob (Bob Stanley, president of Sacramento Poetry center) is everywhere. What I’m saying is that we just don’t know what they are doing, there is a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes. Now I will say I’m a grass root poet or a poet on the street. I believe in poetry, I believe in art, that it should be accessible, have meaning, help in some way. Theater, dance, visual, short story, storytelling, spoken and written poetry, song all the art forms should elevate, imagine, reflect, solve the human experience and plight. What does it mean to be human, right now? Who are you, right now? As an artist, this is what I reach for. The other poets you mention are doing that in their own way, probably in a better way than I am.

Playing solo(mentality)

Say What?

I was surprised to find out that masturbation month was celebrated in May. An odd rabbit hole to fall into. In the past, it occurred to me how ashamed I felt about the act.  I never wanted to catch my kids or vise-versa doing it. It was a struggle to understand that masturbation is normal.  We all should educate ourselves(with our partners) about masturbation to destroy the taboo in society.  The more we understand it, the better we will feel about it. But, what about mental masturbation?

Continue reading “Playing solo(mentality)”

Lone Writer Online

Cristian wrote a compelling blog post on the lone writer.  It is what 98% of all writers do.  Any writing profession has a person writing alone.  I struggle with this because it is an antisocial state of mind.  I enjoy the emotional release I get when I write but, you are left with a choice: do I let someone read this and give me feedback or do I hide or destroy it?  Unlike speaking aloud, you still have control on what is written and who will see it.

But Read Cristian’s Post below and I bet you will also agree:

“An artist is always alone – if he is an artist.” – Henry Miller Writing is a lonely job, no doubt about it. And no matter how successful you might become, you’re still alone. It’s the inexorable truth of the writer’s condition: you sit at your desk, in an empty room or in the most […]

via A lonely job… — Cristian Mihai


Happy Star Wars Day, everybody! May the fourth be with you. You think with that gesture it would signal someone not to present a Vulcan salute. But, this is Star wars day: there will be a lot of Carrie Fisher tributes, Star Wars attire are worn in interesting places (I definitely have my eye on a Darth Vader Tie), plus Stars themed memes, joke, art, and videos. This is the day when my daughter goes to school in her Darth Vader costume and her parents are dressed up as her Storm Troopers. We, definitely, left an impression on her teacher when she enter the classroom. So, how do you celebrate?

Here are some Stars Wars Tweet Poem below:

Celebrate National Poetry Month? Why?

Someone ask me why I celebrate national poetry month. I gave them the most copied answer: To celebrate poetry and poets. I have been hyperactived at writing poetry from prompts, read about the veteran poets and different poetry forms, and learned more about publishing and speaking. I even participated in more contests and Poetry slams. I started to feel that this was the time to shed some light on the effects of poetry. I started to research the underground scenes. Guerilla poetry was becoming popular in Sacramento by ZFG. So I started to do video of me performing poetry in public areas. I took the idea of poetry and started to live by it. It became a weird addiction to me.

This is my second year diving into poetry this deep. My tweet poems were starting to get more attention, I performed a few guerilla poems at various public places, I spent more time studying new poems and forms in the various Libraries, I took second place in my monthly Sacramento Poetry Slam, and I pursued to write and blog 30 poems in a month for Napowrimo that I will make into a chapbook. I, even, started a poetry information zine called Iambic for the Sacramento Poetry community.

But I finish reading Jim Behrle’s Article and a question appears: Why do I celebrate national Poetry Month? Am I trying to restore my faith in poetry and shed some light on my own or has society’s abandonment disturbed me? I understand that all poetry is not good poetry. But, we discard poetry like racial harmony in the world. Plus, businesses exploit to sell a lot of poetry books and materials to intrigued patrons this month since, poetry sales are not an ongoing money maker.

Jim Behrle’s Article

Day 25: My Picture Folder

My computer can lose everything except: My Picture folder
Nestled on my desktop screen,
My Pictures folder is my little large gallery.
A gallery of a scattered past:

My father’s last photo
My first child’s confused look at a camera
My second child’s confused look at me
My brothers’ nights out
My self-portraits
My self-portraits

You don’t realize how much change
until gleams at your former self.
Face is still there
Blemishes & lines are new.

I become Alice
step into imagery Wonderland
And be lost for hours
Some pictures hurt
Some pictures heal
But a white rabbit will remind me
it’s time.

Closing time to the past once again.
Close the folder & be present once more.

Day 23: Tako (elevenie)

Korean Barbeque
Sacramento food spot
Kimchi quesadillas & bulgogi burritos

Tako is a Sacramento Korean BBQ Food Spot. It has a Korean – Mexican infusion with burritos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, or Echiladas.  You should try the Kimchi eyerolls. Delicious.