West Hollywood Welcomes the Holidays with Poetry from City Poet Laureate

Photo: Getty Images.

The holiday are just around the corner, and the City of West Hollywood knows how to celebrate!

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Each year, the City’s Art Division creates a holiday card featuring the artwork of a local WeHod artist and a poem from the City Poet Laureate. The current Poet Laureate, Charles Flowers, has lived in WeHo since 2010. He was the founder and editor of BLOOM, a journal for LGBT poetry, prose and art, which Edmund White called “the most exciting new queer literary publication to emerge in years.” Over the course of ten issues, BLOOM published  over 150 poets, such Adrienne Rich, Reginald Shepherd, Eileen Myles, Rafael Campo, Minnie Bruce Pratt and Mark Doty.

This time of year, Flowers is ringing in the new year with “Feast for the New Year/ Bringing the Feat” down below.

For more information about the City of West Hollywood’s City Poet Laureate program, please contact Mike Che, Arts Coordinator, at mche@weho.org.

Feast for the New Year / Bringing the Feast

By West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Charles Flowers 


The world is too much with us, late & soon,

     Wordsworth reminds me

As I flip channels to find a bit of news,

     if not uplifting, then with less despair

Than a White House briefing.

I love this time of year, when another spirit prevails:

     across borders, across faiths & languages,

We long for a feast of peace & good will,

     to be safe & whole. The world will

Always rage and hunger, yet wherever

     we can, let us make a home, forge a family,

By birth or chosen, the unlikely kinship

     of strangers & adult orphans.

Let us bring the feast together,

     whether potluck, prix fixe or soup kitchen.

From Gelson’s or Odessa’s Grocery,

     a 99 Cent Store or food bank,

Let us gather the foods of the season

     for a holiday menu of memories:

Latkas and Tamales, Herring under Fur,

     a Feast of Seven Fishes, or a Princely Trout,

Babka or Kutia or Melomakarona,

     Pickled peaches and fried okra,

Kimchi dumplings or oyster dressing,

     Black-eyed peas for good luck in the New Year –

The world needs luck, and more.

Let us give grace for what unites us,

     for what we can share;

Let us live a riddle of humanity:

     we keep what we have by giving it away.