The Philosopher’s Stone Poets create a safe place for dance, poetry and music with local flavor

By Michael Reyes

Poets, musicians, dancers — it’s hard to predict who is going to perform during a Philosopher’s Stone Poets gathering, but you can be certain they’ll be baring their souls.

On Monday, the Philosopher’s Stone Poets group continues its residency at Gravlax restaurant with a bill that’s open to just about any form of expression. Prior meetups have included interpretive dance, acoustic music, erotica readings and, of course, poetry.

Dubbed “Charles Bukowski Night,” the upcoming gathering includes a similar eclectic mix in addition to a handful of performers who’ll make a special effort to honor the legacy and spirit of L.A.’s bard of the downtrodden.

The P.S. Poets’ mission to provide an all-inclusive safe space for artists to experiment, connect and grow is driven by a sense of community building. Participants’ personal and artistic outcomes are often times healing and empowering in nature, co-founders
Sergio Cacciotti and Chase Maser say.

“You have people who just want to learn how to write and express themselves in a safe environment, and there’s a purity in that artistic expression that is hard to find,” Cacciotti says.

“We are able to provide the community a safe haven to feel comfortable sharing their work — and not only sharing it, but being appreciated for it,” adds Maser.

Building self-esteem and community bonds through the arts is an idea that Cacciotti and Maser picked up from a 2014 creative writing workshop at Santa Monica College. Led by Dr. Mario Padilla, the course emphasized experimentation, openness and appreciation for writers of all abilities and genres.

“Without that class we wouldn’t have met, and we wouldn’t have the inspiration that we have now to keep up what we’re doing,” Maser says.

Cacciotti and Maser have plans to publish a P.S. Poets literary review and to develop full-stage plays.

As always, they seek poets, musicians and dancers who are serious about their work and open to growth.

“The Philosopher’s Stone, if anyone’s read “The Alchemist” [by Paulo Coehlo], is a material that can turn anything else into gold,” says Maser. “After we work together, work as a collaborative community, that final product is something with value.”

The Philosopher’s Stone Poets’ Charles Bukowski Night starts at 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23, at Gravlax, 12400 W. Washington Blvd., Mar Vista. Email to reserve reading or performance time.