We’re saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend, Marsha Getzler, an early Venice West Beat poet. Marsha Rena (Spokoyny) Getzler was born in New York on March 29, 1940. She was integral to the maintenance of the Temple of Man, a refuge for poets and artists to gather and share their work. Getzler passed on November 17, 2015. --UCLA Library Archives
Attaching a photo from the house that beatniks built high in the Beverly Hills (below), along with a scan from Venice of America, Marsha's beautiful poem resting between Jimmy and Frankie. Enjoy! love, s.a.
Our Lady The Beatnik Queen of Beverly Hills
load up the bong and sing along
with your own curious song
Marsha is in the house
an amazing and rare human being
who flew under the cultural radar
living life as a bargain according to
her own rules
Swami Mommy enters into the light
to join all the other ghosts of Venice West
familiar faces damn happy to see one another
Marsha smiles, raises an eyebrow and
kick starts the party with, "Whaaaaattttt?"
she's got the coffee brewing
and is putting out plates of fruits and veggies
as she assembles more eats on her ancient stove
lovers and friends all catching up with one another
beyond the decaying gravity of bone
where stories are wedded with time
and life is an ever loving gas
where sprits cast no shadow
and art and love meet god
where we too shall rest
--S. A. Griffin
Upstairs Already? for our Bubbleh with abiding love, and for Jeff Clark
She’s up on top
at the end of the road
no homes beyond and she loves it.
Last we heard
finally fixed the plumbing
just in time, got the stairs in
don’t need the extra railing.
She is the Queen
keeper of stories
friend to poets and fools
jazz bopper, crooner of show tunes
Swami Mommy w/patio crock pot
cookin’ yams and chicken
half a grin in your face
her wild eye roaming the kitchen
for a letter lost in a stack of books
saved just in case.
The Temple of Man Museum
crams her chambers
avant garde relics, a hide out
for silent myths and legends. Jeff
has made room at the desk
snug on her bosom.
The Temple of Man Memorial plaques
stake out her garden
Wally, Baza, Marsha
hanging out between worlds
but not hung up. Now
we will call longer distance
send out smoke signals, cosmic flares
Yiddish chants: Oy vey ist mir,
nu, what’s it like up there?
Throw down the stairs
the part of my heart you kept
tucked in your pouch
and I’ll light it for us
like a holy torch
and send it right back.
It will never go out.
On the rooftop in Venice
Poets arranged again
and sideways Marsha herding the lot
Frankie Tony John Philomene Saul
Saul late as always
and Marsha sideways who opened the door
and they let us step through
Who are you how did you wind up here in Venice where
Poets wander and are caught in the ocean’s edge
Where Marsha kept the tomes and historian legends
and art i facts the groovers left to mark
Strange visits with Charles, cramped in J&P’s apartment
Treading dark Speedway at night for images
and walking where they walkd before
Where Marsha said they were and where
their ghosts could lurk and we could
hear and dig their night
Marsha and the thing type memorial type thing
just down the path from the house that Tony and the dudes
helped build with pieces from all over and
Marsha served up the whammy breakfast
along with bits of Stuart Perkoff and Wally Berman and
the voices long stilled we still hear cause Marsha
wanted that and she had us wanting that too
Marsha you dig, Marsha
Thanks for seeing u- Elaine Trotter
A piece of Los Angeles
Would pay a visit
We'd sit and eat
Visit The Chinese herb shop
But mostly we'd talk
Sometimes we'd roll south
Perform at Beyond Baroque
Celebrate or mourn
We became members
Of the Temple of Man, and
Married our friends
Now Marsha is gone
We'll hold on to her spirit
Miss her company
MOURNING FOR MARSHA
Tears for swamimommy
Tears for Marsha
Who played solitaire
On her computer
As I do,
Who talked a blue streak
But listened too,
Who had trouble walking
The last time I saw her
But nooooo trouble thinking
Nooooo trouble laughing
Tears for Marsha
Who was no fool
But loved fools
Loved everything that moved.
How your great ones vanish!
The Temple of Man
Had a woman as its keeper.
Tears for Marsha
May every Beatnik in Beatnik Heaven
Greet her with love
And good dope.
how do we mourn
gone now the friends
so many tears
is there an infinite number?
some remain but many
how many sorrows
dead or away
must we bear
how strangely we age
how many loved, treasured friendships
regret, anger fade
how many embraces
now no longer possible
we will not see the end of it
how many kisses
until the end
dried on the cheek
Goodbye, dear Marsha. We’ll not see your like!
sometimes our Creator only makes one of us—
a newly minted creature unlike any other—
with a double dash of whimsy
or a wit spiked with delicious wisdom
like rich marrow inside a rare bone.
this one made us smile
like a dragon-fired Sun inside her magickal castle
of archaic collections: mystical papers, tapestries,
various discs of beloved songs and memories,
grand assortments of art and treasures…
and faint smells of many seasonal feasts.
her shaggy tales of madness and irony entertained the strays--
us ragged, aging poets, artists and passing saints
who climbed the stairs to her mighty forest sanctuary
to listen, nosh, smoke, and worship.
and like a rogue warrior she observed her world
with a slight hint of reservations:
she was the Temple’s Guardian
and the One Who Remained.
a few times she changed my life
and many times she opened my Eye
and offered me a precious toy for my spirit
and never once a fake truth passed her lips
in all the years we traveled.
she was the perfect Sister, Swami Mommy,
Jester, Wisewoman and Yiddish Goddess;
my heart knew her heart
and the same blood flowed in us--
strong and relentless as Love is,
as the ongoing appreciation of the impossible,
improbable Journey this blessed questing
takes us on…
if we do not get to meet again
in a finer nirvana than this
i don’t want to go!
farewell, dear Marsha-lah!
the light has dimmed:
your Cheshire smile never will!!!
-from Aya with Love