"Topanga Poets Published"

by Pablo Capra

Two poets from “Idlers of the Bamboo Grove: Poetry from Lower Topanga Canyon” published their first solo books under Brass Tacks Press in March, “Life as a Poet presents: Anesthesia Lake” by Robert Campbell, and “Life as a Poet presents: Death Eats the Words that I Don’t Write” by Pablo Capra.

With “The Lowered Bucket” by David Hayward, published last year by Brass Tacks Press, this makes three Idlers poets who now have their own books.

See P. 12 for more on Robert Campbell’s book “Life as a Poet presents: Anesthesia Lake.”

Pablo Capra’s book, “Life as a Poet presents: Death Eats the Words that I Don’t Write” also collects his contributions to first five volumes of the Life as a Poet poetry series, as well as his poetry from Idlers of the Bamboo Grove.

Capra was born in Vienna, Austria in 1979, and currently lives in a greenhouse next to his father’s house in Lower Topanga where he grew up. He went to Malibu high school and UCLA, graduating in 2001 with a degree in American Literature. He is 6’ 7” tall, doesn’t know how to drive a car, and is afraid of dogs.

Capra’s poetry is personal and straightforward. The subjects he writes about most are love and his desire for transcendence through art. The following excerpt is from “This Girl is Getting Bored of Me:”

Finally she says, “You know, Pablo,
You don’t have to be so uptight.
Loosen up, live a little, life’s not that serious.
Sleep less, make a mess, wear a dress,
Be frivolous....
Nothing’s that important.”
My answer is obvious:
“Everything’s that important!”

David Hayward’s book “The Lowered Bucket” presents an overview of his poetry, including his refrigerator magnet poetry, and his poetry from “Idlers of the Bamboo Grove.”

Hayward was born in Winchendon, Massachusetts in 1940, and moved to Lower Topanga with his wife, Joy, in 1960. He is a husband, father, grandfather, professional trumpet player, astrologer, and massage therapist. As a musician, he worked with Sonny Rollins, Stan Kenton, and Janis Joplin.

Hayward’s poetry is thoughtful, humorous, and often reveals his deep love for astrology and music. The following excerpt is from “On Ballads:”

Poems are to prose
what ballads are to other tempos.
The tendency to over speak
kills the soul of a ballad.

All three books are available at Lobal Orning in Topanga Canyon, and at Village Books in Pacific Palisades. For more locations check the

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