If interested in having me for a reading, class visit, or conference/festival, please contact me at lorcaloca AT aol DOT com

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Friday, December 30, 2005

Top Ten Bucks of the Year

Ever wonder what kind of guy turns Eduardo on? Sure you do! Here's my list of top ten hotties of the year.

10. Pablo Montero
9. Ted Mathys

8. Terrance Hayes
7. Peter Covino
6. Rob Marciano
5. Antonio Villaraigosa

4. Jonathan Safran Foer
3. André Boisclair

2. W
1. Sufjan Stevens

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Suprematist Bits


Don't forget: Shin Yu Pai has a new blog to document her two month stay at the Taipei Artist Village in Taiwan.
*
Speaking of residencies, I hope you're going to apply for the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. The deadline is February 15, 2006.
*
This week I finished writing an eight-part poem. The poem came real fast. It helped that I used a lot of stray images and lines from my notebook. I finally managaged to plug in my favorite simile:

Moonlight piercing her emerald brooch like a pale fox
rushing through a field of grass
.

The poem is about La Placita Raid in LA in 1931. The poem has settled into the middle of my collection.
*
The painting: Kasimir Malevich: Suprematist Painting: 8 Red Rectangles.
*
I think someone needs to write poems that give César Chávez a sexual life. I might have to do it.
*
Catrióna Rueda Esquibel's book With Her Machete in Her Hand: Reading Chicana Lesbians will be published next month.
*
I'm having a baby! Anthony Robinson got me pregnant. Or was it Jordan Davis? Adam Clay? Josh Corey? Liam Rector? James Galvin? Robert Bly? Oh boy. This calls for a DNA test.
*
This post is dedicated to Joseph Massey. Joseph, darling, calm down. It's obvious you're POSSESSED by poetry love. You're radiating. Come illuminate my path.
*

Looking forward to these books

Mark Levine: The Wilds
Joshua Clover: The Totality for Kids

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Forget AOL Radio!

I just discovered the Chicano Radio Network. Am I the last one to arrive at this party? Geez. Great stuff. From Lalo Guerrero to Romantic Oldies to Fat Joe.

Mark Guerrero will be hosting Chicano Music Chronicles every Friday at 6:00 p.m., Pacific Standard Time. A one hour show which features the legends and pioneers of Chicano music with stories and background information.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

WordWoman

Poet Patricia Smith has a LJ site.

Tip of the hat to Collin Kelly for the link.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Post Xmas Bits


I survived spending Xmas alone. No emotional or physical scars. I called home a lot these past few days. My little nephews and nieces drew me thank you cards for their gifts. How sweet! I can't wait for the cards to arrive in the mail.
*
The painting is by Roberto Juarez.
*
I went out for Chinese on Xmas day. Alone. It's the first time I've had Chinese on Xmas day. Fun fun fun. And the nice lady behind the counter gave me TWO fortune cookies!
*
I'm surprised and disturbed by my capacity to enjoy solitude. I should become a hermit. But who has the time to shop for sackcloth?
*
Have you seen the cover for the Digerati anthology? Great, no?
*
Chinese cookie fortune #1: Your love life will soon be happy and harmonious.
*
I'm really looking forward to Stefi Weisburd's first book: The Wind-Up Gods.
*
Jacob's gift.
*
I love reading about the daily lives of New Yorkers. I would love to live like this.
*
I gave myself a Xmas present this year. I signed up with a online porn site. My first one! And no, it's not Sean Cody. Okay, why I'm writing this on my blog?
*
This cat is beyond cute.
*
Chinese cookie fortune #2: Your planning will bring rich rewards.
*
This news story is strange.
*
The latest installment of Slope is up.
*
Confession: Last night I dreamt I was in the bed with Liam Rector. He kept pulling objects out of his mouth: a stuffed canary, a pen, matches, a paper cup. I asked him, What are you? A Joseph Cornell box? He just laughed, and said, You know. My last name kinda of rhymes with rectum.

Hmm. Thanks Liam.

Anthology

The Knoxville Writers' Guild is currently seeking lively & interesting
submissions for its 2006 anthology whose theme will be The Body.
Submit short stories, poems, memoirs, creative nonfiction, & art that
explores & amplifies the connections we have with our bodies.
Celebrations of sensuality are welcome, though this is not intended to be an
anthology of erotica. Have you ever spoken to your big toe? Lost your vision?
Worshipped a neck? We're looking for things that have universal appeal,
material that will push us into a deeper intimacy with our bodies. Humorous
perspectives are of course always encouraged. From body parts to whole body
experiences, we seek submissions that provoke new perspectives or enrich familiar
themes.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Question

Does anyone know the poet Jorge Sanchez? If so please email me. And if Jorge is reading this, Hola hombre! Email me.

JORGE SANCHEZ recently received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan. His work has appeared twice before in The Adirondack Review and was published or is forthcoming in The Iowa Review, Hotel Amerika, Puerto del Sol and Nidus. He lives and is trying to work in Chicago.

2 Bits

I hope this is true! I would love to see her on Broadway.
*
The latest installment of Wicked ALice is online and it's dirty! Some poem titles:

Ode to Fellatio
Indecent Docent, Sex Deprived Tina
Employees Must Wash Their Hands

Pictures of the Year: 2005

Reuters

Ready for Pre-Order

Barbara Jane Reyes:Poeta en San Francisco.

Charles

I hope that everything I do in poetry serves my work. Blogging serves my work. Reading as many books as I can on my bus ride to and from my job serves my work. Showing my work to other people serves the work. I don't engage in these things to serve me. That's a different kind of poet, and a kind of poet I hope never to be.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize for Latino/a Poets


The postmark deadline for the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize is January 6, 2006. There is NO entry fee!

The winner receives:

1. Cash award of $1000 and publication by the University of Notre Dame Press.
2. An invitation from the Creative Writing Program of the University of Notre Dame to read from his/her work, along with the judge, upon publication of the book, with all expenses paid.

Submit!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Stripped & Lashed

What bothers me about all this finger-pointing and anti-foetry crap is that even the greatest poets can be damnedly insecure about their work—I've read of plenty of "greats" who are haunted their entire literary lives by the prospect of being uncovered as a fraud. Tell me that a creature such as this needs another reason to second-guess him/herself, to allow another whisper of unassuredness creep in. For Great Poet X, it's not only a matter these days of ultimately distrusting your own work, but of being taught to distrust the judgments of others (especially friends) and being wary of even appearing to trust any one or of gestures of support. That is to say in this culture of suspicion the poet now has a second voice at his side whispering "You are a fraud."

Wrong Eduardo

I'm not the belly dancer.

Sorry.

Not So Pious

But what about anthologies published by bloggers? Steve Mueske asked me to submit to his Digerati project. I submitted. He offered me a slot in the anthology and he took three unpublished poems from my submission packet for three candles.

I'm looking forward to the anthology. I'm grateful Steve took an interest in my work. I guess this illustrates what other bloggers have been saying: you will meet people and "befriend" them and those connections will lead to some publication.

It's a tangled web. And I like some of the spiders.

Bits

*
Current music: a-ha: Analogue.
*
Current books: Gabrielle Calvocoressi: The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart
& Thylias Moss: Small Congregations: New & Selected Poems.
*

I've been alone. In this townhouse. For more than a week. R left for family/vacation time. I'm going to be alone for Xmas. Deck the halls indeed.
*

If you're looking for a residency this year check out the Anderson Center.
*

Last chance: the postmark deadline for the Latino/a Writers issue of the Indiana Review is December 31, 2005.
*

Thanks to all of you who commented on my submitting panic post. I found it amusing that the first four comments came from editors. I understand that our po-biz world is relatively small. Soon or later you're going to run into everybody. But I'm not there yet. Believe it or not. Some people think I'm this great networking poet. Sometimes I get emails asking me for advice on how to network at MFA parties and readings. As if!

But for the foreseeable future I will continue to refrain from submitting to journals edited by fellow bloggers/friends. I just hope the editor of the VQR doesn't start a blog. Don't do it Ted!

My stance doesn't mean I'm frowning at those who submit and publish with fellow bloggers. Far from it! We need good poems. I don't care who writes them or who publishes them. I want them in the world.
*

I committed an act of blasphemy today. I bought a can of menudo. A can! May the Mexican mothers of the world forgive me.
*

Did C. Dale really encourage me to knock his pants off?
*

Five random facts about me:

1. I once kissed a tobacco shop Indian.
2. I hate runny spaghetti sauce.
3. I cheated once in high school.
4. I, like Shanna, have a heart murmur.
5. I like men with hairy chests.
*

Some bloggers explained how journal publication for them is an extension or byproduct of community. I don't feel any urgency to partake in community by seeking/gaining publication in journals. Crazy, no? And you know why I don't feel this urgency? Blogs! Blogging makes me feel like a member of a community. My blog is a small and silly contribution to a community I care deeply about.
*

from Five Miracles by Thylias Moss:

What's a nice colored girl like you
doing in New England?
Thinking about changing my reputation.
*

Monday, December 19, 2005

My Hands Are My Heart #2: Gabriel Orozco: 1991

Submit This

I might be in the wrong business. I just have no big interest in submitting work to journals. Crazy, no? I've never been one of those poets who add and add to the slush pile. I'm not knocking these poets. It's just not me. I send out about four packets a year. Two to three poems in each packet.

Don't get me wrong. I like seeing my work in print. I'm really looking forward to seeing my poems in future issues of Poetry Northwest and Quarterly West. But I've never been one of those poets who associates success with publication. I know how subjective the whole process is. I know how insectous the whole process is. To me publication is no big deal. Though I do, like so many other bloggers, jump with joy when one of my poems gets accepted. But I'm jumping with joy because my poem has found an appreciative reader. I want readers not CV filler.*

I have this attitude toward journals because I'm so critical of my work. Of all the poems I've published only one has escaped revision after appearing in print. One. The other poems have been edited, reshaped or thrown out. I know poets who only keep a poem in their mss because it has appeared in a good journal. Crazy, no?

Also, I'm such a bad player of the game. I won't submit to journals where I "know" the editors. No New England Review or 32 Poems or The Canary for me. Last summer one of my friends became the poetry editor of a new hip journal and he asked me to submit. I didn't want to submit. There are so many journals out there! Why submit to those edited by your friends or fellow bloggers? But in the end I did submit and my friend did take two poems. I felt no joy. I was disgusted with myself. Thankfully, his stint came to end quickly and the issue never materialized.

Gawd, this post sounds bitter! I asked myself if this post originates from a place of jealously. And I can safely say no. I have no reason to be jealous of those who play the game better than me. I know it's about the game not the work. Of course, not all poets are players. Some who submit religiously do it because they produce a lot of work. I'm thinking of Paul Guest. I adore his work. He's actually one of the few people whose work invokes envy in me. When he gets published, I'm thankful.


*
Publication leads to readership: an audience of practicing poets. But responses are rare. Perhaps a kind blog comment or email. I'm glad people are reading my work in journals. But in my head the acceptance from a journal means the editor has read my work intensely. I might be wrong about this. But that's my fantasy.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Yikes

Someone arrived at my blog by Googling "ben lerner homo." LOL. Sorry Ben!

The Hunky Alex Lemon

has a new webpage up and running. Mosquito, his first book, will be published by Tin House Press in 2006.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

2005 new england/new york award

Congrats to Cynthia Cruz for winning the New England/New York award from Alice James.

Yeah!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Monday, December 12, 2005

2 Bits

Over at Anne's blog you can draw your own little house in the Po-Blog Avenue. Her house puts my house to shame!
*
Neil Aitken is asking for the titles of first books published in 2005. I suggested about ten titles. I know I forgot a lot of books, so go to his site and help out. He's launching a new web journal called Boxcar Poetry Review in January. Neil will be publishing book reviews of first books and interviews with first book authors. Great idea!

Shit List

1. People who think too hard about Xmas cartoons.
2. James Shea
3. People who haven't read this short story.
4. Texas sheet cake! I can't keep my paws off it!
5. The man or woman who holds the hand of Jordan Davis. I'm so jealous! He's sexy.
6. Ford.
7. People who don't buy this calendar.
8. And if you buy the calendar your significant other might want to post this sign in the bathroom.
9. People who don't view the great photographs posted at Nick Carbo's blog.
10. The fact that I missed this concert at Wembley. I wish I lived in London!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Radio Love

My Vocabulary will feature the work of Shin Yu Pai this Sunday.

Some Cool Reviews

Asian and American: a review of books by Victoria Chang, Zamora Linmark and Ed Bok Lee.

*

Rigoberto González reviews Pablo Medina.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

My Favorite Blossoms of the Year



Ben Lerner, The Lichtenberg Figures
Lorna Dee Cervantes, Drive
Kazim Ali, The Far Mosque
Lara Glenum, The Hounds of No
Peter Covino, Cut Off the Ears of Winter
Scott Hightower, Part of the Bargain
David Bezmozgis, Natasha & Other Stories
Rita Dove, American Smooth
Sarah Gambito, Matadora
Jason Schneiderman, Sublimation Point
Tyehimba Jess, Leadbelly
Dana Levin, Wedding Day
Victoria Chang, Circle
Richard Siken, Crush
Sheryl Luna, Pity the Drowned Horses
Ignacio Padilla, Antipodes

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Listen Up Latino/a Writers

The deadline for the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize is January 6, 2006. There is NO entry fee. Submit!

*
The postmark deadline for the Indiana Review's Latino & Latina Writers Issue is December 31, 2005.

I'm not submitting to the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize because I know the people behind the award. I did send a poem off to the Indiana Review recently. Yes, I sent one poem--again--to a journal. Bad poet!

Eduardo Needs

Eduardo needs to get out more often and stop playing curveball...
What Eduardo needs is a change of beliefs
Eduardo needs your prayers
Eduardo needs to get some rest so he can ride the horses in the morning
Eduardo needs help
Eduardo needs these (OS, Arch, UserLevel) within a month
Eduardo needs to return to Chevron as a stronger engineer with
new excellent business ...
Eduardo needs to redo his Life
Eduardo needs lessons
Eduardo needs help from Elliott
Eduardo needs a wife to level the playing field
Eduardo needs cojones and acting classes
Eduardo needs to know about Ivana's real intentions of becoming a nun
Eduardo needs so much more knowledge and experience to avoid losing
whatever money he has
Eduardo needs to prep his buddies of The cloth a little better
Eduardo needs a sweater (large) and he would like some shaving lotion
(any flavor) and some tennis shoes, size 11.
Eduardo needs a sponsor
Eduardo needs direct physical contact in order to control his remote probes
Eduardo needs to be freed in the spirit
Eduardo needs to avoid: fences cows senrock!
Eduardo needs a cup of Pro Tools quick
Eduardo needs to show proof his moustache still does grow
Eduardo needs to butt out
Eduardo needs to chill out on the empty parking lot donut sessions
Eduardo needs a photographer down on Seventh and Main pronto!
Eduardo needs the string cheese?
Eduardo needs further medical attention
Vince is usually very careful about fucking, but he must have
sensed Eduardo's needs

Monday, December 05, 2005

Apply!

The deadline for the summer session of MacDowell is January 15, 2006.

It's what I've dedicated my life to prevent—the non-writing of the great poem.
—Marian MacDowell

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Is That a Rat on His Head?


Congrats to Antoine Wilson who just sold his first novel to Other Press/Handsel Books.

Bits

I've never owned a car in a city where it snows. Man, it sucks! The other day, after resting from my blissful walk in the snow, I had to scrape off six inches of snow from my car. What a chore!
*
Cyndi Lauper has joined the Honorary Board of the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
*
I still haven't received my "free book + shipping/handling" from Zachary but I'm glad he received the book I sent him. Sign up for it! I like the fact that I don't know what I'm getting. Maybe I'll love the book. Maybe I'll hate the book. Who knows? But the fun is in the reading.
*
Adam Clay is asking: If you could have any living poet write a blurb for yr first book, who would it be?

I have a wish of list of three poets.

1. Rita Dove
2. Lorna Dee Cervantes
3. DA Powell
*
Yesterday, I went to a reading celebrating the latest issue of Ninth Letter. Wine and stinky cheese were up for grabs afterwards. The graduate students freaking tore up the wine and cheese! I had to stand back from the cheese table because I feared one of them would bite off my fingers.
*
And this is why you always properly discard condoms after you have fun in a park.
*
Matthew Thorburn is offering to swap copies of his first book Subject to Change.
*
Is it wrong to be crushing on this new dad?
*

December Prize: Action Books


The December Prize postmark deadline is December 5th 2005.

You can also buy the first three titles online for just 30 bucks. Or you can order one for 12 bucks.

Photo Essay: US/Mexico Border

from Slate.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Thursday, December 01, 2005

It's Snowing

I woke up early this morning and when I glanced through the window I noticed snow falling. I put on my shoes, jacket and hat and headed out the door. I walked around for about thirty minutes.
*
Here's a wonderful poem by Scott Hightower from his brand spanking new book Part of the Bargain.

*
I have a new crush. His name is PJ Clark. Anyone know him?

*
Snow

Soothes and burdens,
endangers, hardens.

Erases, revises.
Extemporizes.

Vistas of lunar solitude.
Builds, embellishes a mood
.

Robert Hayden
*

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Rigo Rocks


My roommate and amigo Rigoberto Gonzalez has received some great news this week.

Other Fugitives and Other Strangers, his second book of poems, has been picked up by Tupelo Press

And he's been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in non-fiction.

Yeah! I couldn't be happier or prouder.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Shin Yu Pai

Check out Shin Yu Pai's new fab website. Not only is she a talented poet but she's also an accomplished artist. I especially enjoyed this photograph, and this one, and this one. But this one is my favorite.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Mose Benjamin Snyder Poma


Laurel has given birth to a beautiful baby boy!

Congrats Laurel & Chris!

As A Damper Quells A Struck String

Cool poem

Kool

Looks like some of my work is going to be studied at the university level.

Topic: Chicano Poetry and Poetics - *H

This seminar is an exploration of the history and culture that informs the social and political movements of Chicano poetry from the 1960s to the present. Students will learn to explicate, analyze and contextualize a variety of poetic strategies and are expected to apply that knowledge in class discussions, presentations and research papers. Readings for study will include selections by early pioneers such as José Montoya, Gloria Anzaldúa, Alurista and Ricardo Sánchez, to the mainstream poets Alberto Ríos, Gary Soto, and Lorna Dee Cervantes, to recent emerging voices Blas Manuel de Luna, Sheryl Luna, Brenda Cárdenas and Eduardo C. Corral.

THE TOMAS RIVERA AWARD IN CRITICAL WRITING

CRATE seeks essays that explore or examine emerging writers, Latino/a contemporary works, American landscapes, migrant issues that reflect global transformation, power and the arts.

Total prizes in $1000.00:

1st prize - $500 and publication in CRATE Journal and CRATE website

2nd prize - $250 and publication in CRATE Journal and CRATE website

Honorable Mentions - $125 and possible publication on CRATE website

Please limit your submissions to 3,000 words. All submissions must be postmarked by Dec. 15, 2005 to be considered.

CRATE only reads between Sept. 15 through Dec. 15. Winners to be announced Winter 2005. Visit CRATE’s guidelines for complete information.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Who Wants to Lick Mr. March? I Do! I Do! I Do!


Do you like poetry? Do you like looking at men? Well, take a look at
this.

Hotties abound! You'll find our dear Charles Jensen in there. He's spongeworthy! And so is William Allegrezza, Richard Blanco, and Randall Mann. And our dear Woody Loverude gives us a sexy glare in his photograph. Kissable!

Click here for buying info and for more pics.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Turkey

I'm going to be all alone on Thanksgiving. Rigo is visiting friends in California. I couldn't afford to fly home. And I don't have many friends in Urbana.

But I'm the type of guy who likes being alone. So no big deal. I just wish it would begin to snow. I need some snow.
*
Tonight I'm going to see the movie version of RENT. It's one of my favorite musicals. Most of the original Broadway cast has returned for the film. Yes!
*
You all have a great time with your family and friends. And here's to safe travels.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Three Candles Press Winner

Steve has announced that Tony Trigilio is the winner of the three candles press contest.

Congrats Tony! And Steve!

Action This


I just ordered the first three books from Action Books. You don't need a PayPal account. Their system allows you to use a credit card.
*
And don't forget: the deadline for their December Prize is fast approaching.
*
Johannes Göransson, one of the editors of Action Books, has returned to the world of blogging. His latest posts remind me of his rants at the Foxhead: cranky, articulate, and sincere.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

OMG


One of my idols has fallen!

Juan Gabriel took a spill onstage in Houston. Who? How to explain? Juan Gabriel is like Madonna, Elton John, and Elvis rolled into one. But it's wrong to compare him to these Anglo superstars. He's an original. He's huge in Mexico and Latin America. I adore him! I've seen him in concert about 6 times. I woke up today to the news of his fall.

Get well soon Juanga!

UPDATE: Here is a slide show. I love the "slow" reaction of his backup singers.

This would be a great place to plug in those famous Lana Turner lines written by FH, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I refuse to mock Juanga!

Arriba Juarez!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Bits

I had a great bowl of tomato bisque at a cafe today. So yummy!
*
Zach is offering free poetry books + postage.
*
The changing leaves. The bare branches etching themselves into the sky. The early morning frost on car windows.

Change is beautiful.
*
Czeslaw Milosz’s Song on the End of the World rendered into flash animation.
*
Nerdua: the petals fell/ until the only flower was the falling...
*
Check out the webpage of Manuel Muñoz, a rising star in the fiction biz. He just signed a two book deal with Algonquin Books. My only beef with his webpage? There's no beefcake! Manuel is hot. He should be working that angle. Manuel, do you hear me? Post some pics of you on your site.
*
I need a date.
*

UPDATE: I was wrong. There's one photo on Manuel's page. But I demand more! More! More!

Ron Mohring Needs Our Help

Mr. Mohring is searching for "some decent-quality writing that presents a multicultural perspective on AIDS and HIV" for a Worlds AIDS Day reading. If you have any suggestions, please visit his blog, and leave a comment.

Miró meets Bach

An animated music short that made me smile. It will make you smile too. Ignore the fact that it's geared toward 5 year olds. Enjoy.

Indiana Review: Latino/Latina Writers Issue

Deadline: December 31, 2005.

Contests

Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize. Deadline (postmarked): December 1st 2005.

Andres Montoya Poetry Prize. Deadline (postmarked: January 6, 2006.

Web del Sol Poetry Contest. Deadline (postmarked): January 15, 2006.

Tip of the hat to Scott Hightower for providing info on two of these contests.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sometimes It Sucks Being A Dude

I'm on the prowl for a new kick-ass scarf for MacDowell. I've done some online research, and I'm freaking pissed. It sucks being a guy! The girls get all the pretty scarves!

Just compare these two pages.

Banana Repubic's page features bland men's scarves. Soilds and stripes in wool or cashmere. Oh so boring!

Anthropologie's page features women's scarves that are works of art! These scarves are fun. These scarves say, I'm a flirt. These scarves are hot.

So let's ignore the Banana Republic page and let's concentrate on the Anthropologie page. Which scarf do you think I should buy?

I'm leaning toward these two:
Zinnia Scarf

Pompom Scarf

Which one do you like best? They're both gorgeous!

Picture this: I march into the dining room at MacDowell, and as everyone stares at me, I slowly unravel an amazing scarf from my neck. Oh, oh, oh!!!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Reservoirs

Current reading list:

Leanne Howe: Evidence of Red
Kazim Ali: The Far Mosque
A. Loudermilk: Strange Valentine
Amber Flora Thomas: Eye of Water

*
I'm not sending out my mss this fall. Something was missing. And the answer finally came to me this month. All week I've been working on a handful of poems that when read alone might come off as insubstantial, but when read as part of the whole they'll function as thematic reservoirs.

I'm also hoping these poems will lighten the tone of the collection. I'm surprised by the "darkness" in the collection. Sometimes I think I just wrote one long elegy.

*
Last night I went to a student reading. One poet read these morbid poems. I'm so sad I might off myself poems. One after another. For about 15 minutes.

*
I don't want to be that poet.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Agha Shahid Ali

I hope somebody will edit a collected or selected of Agha Shahid Ali's work in the near future. He's one of my favorite poets. I found a copy of The Half-Inch Himalayas , which I thought was out of print. This is the first time I've read one of his early books. The book itself is very uneven. But the collection does include one of my favorite poems of all time:

The Dacca Gauzes

. . . for a whole year he sought to accumulate the most exquisite Dacca gauzes.
-Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Those transparent Dacca gauzes
known as woven air, running
water, evening dew:

a dead art now, dead over
a hundred years. "No one
now knows," my grandmother says,

"what it was to wear
or touch that cloth." She wore
it once, an heirloom sari from

her mother's dowry, proved
genuine when it was pulled, all
six yards, through a ring.

Years later when it tore,
many handkerchiefs embroidered
with gold-thread paisleys

were distributed among
the nieces and. daughters-in-law.
Those too now lost.

In history we learned: the hands
of weavers were amputated,
the looms of Bengal silenced,

and the cotton shipped raw
by the British to England.
History of little use to her,

my grandmother just says
how the muslins of today
seem so coarse and that only

in autumn, should one wake up
at dawn to pray, can one
feel that same texture again.

One morning, she says, the air
was dew-starched: she pulled
it absently through her ring.

Isn't it great? The two themes that would haunt his later work are on full display in this poem: nostalgia, & history. The images are wonderful. In my mind's eye I can feel the texture of the gauzes. And the ending is perfect.

I had the honor of meeting Ali once. He came to Iowa City to read. I was amazed by his performance. He was witty, sweet, & humble. And that was just him talking in-between the poems. The poems themselves blew me away. I hope one day to write as elegantly as him. He had the whole room enthralled. Some poets capture an audience with their "fame" or "importance" but Ali captured the audience by just being himself.

After the reading I was invited to join a small dinner gathering. I was invited by OC, a fiction student writer in the program. OC had met Ali at Breadloaf. And I think it's safe to say that Ali had a crush on OC. OC is one fine looking stud of a man. When Ali saw OC in the hallway before the reading he gave him a big embrace. It was cute to watch.

I hardly spoke up during dinner. Ali held court. Everyone wanted to talk to him. Everyone wanted to be near him. As the dinner winded down, I asked him to sign a book for me. He gave me a wicked smile, & said, Of course, my dear.

Ask Not at Whom the Chimp Smirks -- He Smirks at You


I had a strange dream last night. A chimp jumped onto my bed and proceeded to strike blue-tip matches against my knees. All the matches lit up beautifully in the dark of the bedroom.

What does this dream freaking mean?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Blackbird Goodies

The latest issue of Blackbird is up.

Some of my favorite reads so far:

Dave Lucas' Still Life
Victoria Chang's Girdling
Ada Limon's Safe from Trains

Monday, November 07, 2005

Am I The New Paul Guest?

Poetry Northwest has taken one of my poems. I'm thrilled! As an undergraduate at Arizona State I spent hours in the library reading back issues of poetry journals. My two favorites were Poetry Northwest and Crazyhorse. It was 1997. I hadn't taken a workshop or worked with the poets in the English Department. I didn't have any poet friends. Journals were my teachers and my poet friends. And journals led me to new poets. After reading their work in Poetry Northwest I tracked down books by Mark Strand, Michael Harper, and Beckian Fritz Goldberg--some of my first poetry loves.

Poetry Northwest was the second journal I submitted work to. Spinning Jenny was the first. This was back in 1998. When I read the rejection slip tucked in my Poetry Northwest SASE I almost broke down in tears. Gawd, what a sissy! I so wanted to be in the pages of that slender journal. I promised myself to send again soon. But I stopped submitting to journals soon thereafter, and I just concentrated on my writing. When I felt my poems were ready for publication, I made a list of the top five journals I wanted to be published in. Poetry Northwest was at the top. But by this time, around 2001, I heard that the journal was no longer going to be produced.

Fast forward four years: I read that Poetry Northwest is again up and running. I submit. I submit only one poem. Yes, I know that might come off as arrogant to some editors. But I did send what I consider to be the best poem in my collection.

The poem is accepted. Wish fulfilled.

LA Reading Alert


The Quetzal Quill
@ Imix Bookstore
5052 Eagle Rock Blvd, LA
323.257.2512

Monday, November 21, 2005 7-9:30 pm
(free and open to the public)

Featuring:

Gabrielle Calvocoressi, author of The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart, is a former Jones Lecturer at Stanford. She has received the Rona Jaffe Women Writers' Award and the Bernard F. Cooper Prize from The Paris Review.

Reyna Grande is the author of the forthcoming novel Across A Hundred Mountains. She was born in Mexico, educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and currently lives in LA, working on her second novel.

Miguel Murphy, author of A Book Called Rats, winner of the Blue Lynx Prize, is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he received the Swarthout Award and the University Prize from the Academy of American Poets.

Daniel A. Olivas is the author of four books, most recently the story collection Devil Talk and the children's book Benjamin and the Word. He is a Los Angeles based attorney with the California Department of Justice.


Your Host: Rigoberto González

Sunday, November 06, 2005

XOCHIQUEZTAL CANDELARIA

is a fine poet I met in Iowa City. La Bloga is featuring a few of her poems today.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

fantasy basketball league

A.J. is looking for more bloggers to take part in a fantasy basketball league. He asked me to join. Alas, the only thing I know about basketball is...wait, I know nothing about basketball. Sorry. Check out his blog for more details.

Go Yankees! Wait, that's baseball? Right?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

O My Cyndi!


Oh joy of joys! You can listen to Cyndi Lauper's upcoming release The Body Acoustic on VH1's webpage.

I really love these new takes on her hits. A lot of violin and dulcimer. You have to listen to "Time after Time" which features Sarah McLachlan. Cyndi's voice is so wonderful. Sometimes I can actually see it rise from my stereo speakers, like a ribbon of foil.

Julio Galán

BPJ

Beloit Poetry Journal has revamped its webpage. And they have a full text archive spanning four decades, 1950-1990, including first or very early poems by Galway Kinnell, A. R. Ammons, Anne Sexton, Sharon Olds, Maxine Kumin, W. S. Merwin, James Dickey, Philip Larkin, Lola Haskins, Rosellen Brown, Charles Bukowski, Philip Booth, Adrienne Rich, Philip Levine, and Eleanor Wilner.

Wow!

What does Bush keep in his pockets?

This headline got me all hot and bothered this morning.

Sigh.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Nice Day!

Thanks for all the congrats! I'm blushing.

And I just got some more good news. Quarterly West has accepted two of my poems for publication.

A very nice day.

Laurel on NPR

Laurel Snyder was on NPR's All Things Considered today. Have a listen.

The first gift parents give to their children is a name. For commentator Laurel Snyder, the name her parents chose is emblematic of the way she came into the world. She's named after the Laurel Clinic, where her mother almost got an abortion. Snyder lives in Atlanta and is a podcaster for the Web site www.nextbook.org.

I'm a Colonist

I just got the news that I will be a Winter/Spring 2006 Fellow at The MacDowell Colony. I can't wait. A writing studio! Lunch baskets! Reading in the snow! The chance to interact with other fellows! Did I already mention the lunch baskets?

Thanks to Rigoberto and to Ivy for helping me to hammer out my artist statement!

UPDATE: Should I blog from MacDowell? That would be fun! I will need to buy a digital camera to post photographs to the blog. And I need to buy a new kick-ass scarf!

Monday, October 31, 2005

BJR/NYC

Barbara Jane Reyes will be in NYC this week to give a reading in celebration of her recent good news.

American Poets Awards Ceremony

Thursday, November 3, 2005, 7 p.m.
Lang Auditorium, New School University, 55 West 13th Street, New York, NY

Free

The Academy of American Poets presents the recipients of its seven major awards and prizes: Gerald Stern (Wallace Stevens Award), Claudia Rankine (Academy Fellowship), Mary Rose O'Reilley (Walt Whitman Award), Barbara Jane Reyes, and Ann Snodgrass. Reception to follow.

Sponsored by Academy of American Poets

Info: 212-274-0343
academy@poets.org

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Unbreakable:: face
  2. Have mercy:: father
  3. Do it better:: hayden
  4. Settle scores:: father
  5. Comments:: funny
  6. Craziest thing:: spinning pup
  7. Apple:: stick
  8. Halloween:: sleep
  9. Manageable:: time
  10. Trick:: give us something good to eat


go here to try it.

EUCALYPTUS

Eucalyptus, a new web zine edited by Josh Hanson, is seeking submissions. Submit. DA Powell submitted. Josh--surprise, surprise--took his work. What? Say that again. What???? Are you telling me you're better than DA Powell? How dare you!

Corn Shake Strikes Again!

Err.

Some people have too much time on their hands. Like me. And the beautiful Corn Shake.

How else to explain this video?

I Suck

Listening to: Duran Duran live on AOL radio.
Reading: Geri Doran's Resin.
*
After all the worrying. After all the mental planning. I overslept and missed Amy's Halloween party.
*
Speaking of Halloween: I deleted my post about my Halloween costume because a couple of comments suggested that something was wrong with the photograph I uploaded. I uploaded a funny photograph of a man pretending to be a baby being born. And judging from the comments, maybe a picture of a black woman was what my readers were viewing. Strange. Each time I viewed my blog I saw my photograph.
*
Matthew Shindell was IMing me yesteday, then all of sudden he left. How rude. No goodbye.
*
Oh yes, Duran Duran is starting into "Union of the Snake."
*
Did you know Depeche Mode has a new cd out? I've read real good reviews of it online. I might have to buy it.
*
Am I crazy? Isn't Patrick Fitzgerald hot?
*
Joy of joys: Duran Duran is singing "I Don't Want Your Love."

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Friday, October 28, 2005

Fall Contests

Zachary Chartkoff has compiled a great list of fall contests. Bookmark it.

You peeps better submit this fall. I won't be. I'm going to send in the spring. So your chances just improved. Ha ha ha.

Julio Galan

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Wow


Sulu is gay.

Birds Will Peck You


Richard Siken has a blog. And I have a new crush. He's cute! Very cute.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Rosa Parks


Civil Rights Icon Rosa Parks Dies

You Know You're A Queen When


you buy the complete second season of The Golden Girls on dvd.

Action Books


Action Books are now for sale. The press is offering a web deal: one book for $12, or all three of their first titles for $30.

Who are their authors?

Arielle Greenberg
Lara Glenum
Aase Berg

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Halloween!


I'm going to a Halloween party, but I still have no costume! What or who should I be? A pear? A Sperm? Lampost? Gerald Stern? A Rolled Newspaper? Stop Sign? Cabbage Patch Kid? A Rejection Letter? Tony Tost's nuts? Highlighter Pen? A Mirror? TT Boy? Anne Sexton? An Oven? A Bottle of Pills? A Parrot? A Palm Tree? A Stamp?

What????

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Norman Dubie Loves Jim Behrle

AD is having trouble getting into the work of one of my teachers, Norman Dubie. I'm not even going to pretend to be objective. Dubie allowed me to take graduate level workshops while I was an undergraduate at Arizona State. He was the first poet who told me I was a poet. In our first meeting in his office, after I told him I'd bought a copy of one of his books, he gave me copies of all his books that he had on his shelves. Needless to say, I adore Dubie's work.

As a writer of color I responded to his monologues spoken by "slight" figues in history, like peasants. And I responded to the knowledge on display in his work. Science. Religion. History. Art. Philosophy. His poems made me work! But my favorite thing about Dubie is his amazing figurative language. Only Derek Walcott can match him. I'm often stunned into silence by Dubie's metaphors and similes.

"The cancer ate her like horse piss eats deep snow"

"The girl's breasts/are large and moved separately like twins/
handed from one serf to the next/ down to a river for baptism."

"The stars,/violent at their tea,/were the last children to learn the arithmetic/
of memory."

"I wrote much later that the geese/broke from the shadows like handkerchiefs/
out of the sleeves of black dresses/at a burial."


Any poet that can write lines like those is okay in my book.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Monday, October 17, 2005

bits

Check out this wonderful essay by Michael Parker over at mipoesias.
*
Ron Silliman once again pulls a Harlod Bloom but this time he's praising a poet whose work I actually enjoy: Shanna Compton.
*
Josh Hanson has started a webzine . Check it out. Submit.
*

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Tunes

Iron & Wine and Calexico have collaborated on a seven song disk. Here's an article. There's a link in the article that allows you to hear three of the songs. Great stuff!

Friday, October 14, 2005

amy lingafelter

amy lingafelter
amy lingafelter
amy lingafelter
amy lingafelter
amy lingafelter
amy lingafelter

Each time I pronounce her name I feel like I'm saying something smutty. I love that!

Too Much

This is the funniest "blog" I've read in a long time.

Bits

Zachary Chartkoff has been added to the blogroll.
*
Reb is taking a poll over at her blog. I already voted. Holla bloggers.
*
The latest issue of mipoesias is up.
*

Lip Sync

I've being feeling blue lately. So today I forced myself to be nice to myself. No thinking about poems. No worrying about my collection. No reading.

I put on some of my favorite CDs, and I lip-synced my little heart out. A lot of Cyndi Lauper (especially her live version of Joni Mitchell's Carey.) REM. Juan Gabriel. Sufjan Stevens. Death Cab for Cutie. A-ha. Tori Amos. Coldplay. Tigres Del Norte.

I've always loved lip-syncing. I'm talking about full blown lip-syncing. I stand in the middle of my room and move and shake and dance my body as I "sing." I get a kick out of acting out the emotions tied up in the songs. If it's a sad song I beat my chest, and throw my arms around. If it's a happy song I make these quirky gestures with my hands, and shake what Buddha gave me. It releases the inner Drag Queen in me.

Once, in Iowa City, I left my window blinds up, and as I finished performing a Junga song I noticed a couple of youngish girls staring straight at me through the window! I waved at them, and they just ran off.

I should've charged them a couple of bucks for the show.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

For Matthew


Matthew Shepard was murdered today. Seven years ago. I remember crying and crying when I heard the news. The image of him tied to that fence still breaks my heart.

It could've been me.

His father's statement to the court is an amazing testment of love. Please read it.

This Auden poem is linked in my mind to Matthew.

Musee des Beaux Arts

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

Alice Fulton

Yesterday, I went to hear Alice Fulton read. I really enjoyed her reading. She writes longish poems so I had to stretch myself to keep up with the turns in her language. One of her major concerns is diction: contemporary and archaic. Her poems contain slang, techno speak, and Romantic-like phrasing. I asked her a question about felt and Joseph Beuys. I'm like that. I bought her selected so I'm looking forward to digging into her work.

After the reading I went out with three MFA students to have some din-din and beers. And to my surprise, I had a good time. I usually dread hanging out with MFA students. The look of desperation in their eyes. The "where did you go to school" questions. During dinner I found out that one of my old Iowa classmates is also living in Urbana! Tis true. Amy Lingafelter is in town! I hope to have a cup of coffee with her soon.

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTS

POETRY

"Where Shall I Wander," by John Ashbery:
"Star Dust: Poems," by Frank Bidart:
"Habitat: New and Selected Poems, 1965-2005," by Brendan Galvin
"Migration: New and Selected Poems," by W. S. Merwin:
"The Moment's Equation," by Vern Rutsala

Postal Service

Do you long for a great song takes its cues from 80s synth pop? Your search is over. The Postal Service's Such Great Heights will give you a sugar rush. I hear early New Order and early Depeche Mode.

Those Winter Sundays


Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices?

Robert Hayden

Monday, October 10, 2005

My Beloved Smurfs Get Bombed!


Cartoon characters' village bombed in anti-war TV commercial

Visit Crooks & Liars to view video--scroll down a bit.

Kiss & Tell

I made out with an older man this weekend.

He had strong hands: tense & quick.

His fingers smelled wonderful. When he ran them across my face I inhaled deeply.

Wet earth & vanilla.

He cupped my face the way you cup a flame in wind.

He pronounced my name each time his mouth brushed against my ears. His voice dense & intimate.

The syllables of my name ran down my neck, like sweat.

He smeared his breath across my torso.

I buried my hands in the small of his back.

The tip of his tongue skipped down the length of my body like a stone over water.

I threw back my head.

He plucked black petals from my open mouth.

UPDATE: I don't consider this a poem. These are lines that I wrote in my head while I made out with an older man this weekend. But thanks for the nice feedback via comment box and email. And his name was Saul.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Mortal

Ivy's first book has just been picked up for publication! Yeah! Double yeah!

Congrats Ivy!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Bacon Bit


Today I met someone who works on a hog farm. Hog farm! Welcome to the Midwest.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

miporadio

Listen HERE.

Sigh

2 arrests in attacks on Ga. immigrant workers

44 ?s

Stolen from La Lorna:

1. Alias First name?
Edwina!

2. Were you named after anyone?
My paternal grandfather.

3. Do you wish on stars?
No.

4. When did you last cry?
October 1, 2005 during my sister's wedding.

5. What is your favorite lunchmeat?
Ronald Palmer.

6. What is your birth date?
02/25/Something, something.

7. What’s your most embarrassing CD?
Where to start! The Best of Debbie Gibson?

8. If you were another person, would you be friends with you?
Of course, but I wouldn't date me.

9. Do you use sarcasm a lot?
Yes. Sarcasm is the new black.

10. What are your nicknames?
Lalo. Eddie. Beware: never call me Eddie.

11. Would you bungee jump?
No. I'm afraid of heights.

12. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
No. I just slip them off. I'm one lazy bitch.

13. Do you think that you are strong?
Not really. But I'm sure I could kick James Shea's ass.

14. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Butter Pecan. And I wonder why I have weight issues.

15. Shoe Size?
Wow. Who wrote this quiz? A size queen? I wear size 11.5 or 12 shoes.

16. Red or pink?
Pink. It reminds me of roast beef and where I came from. Okay, did I just type that?

17. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?
Weight.

18. Who do you miss most?
My family since I'm no longer living close to them.

19. What color pants and shoes are you wearing?
No pants or shoes. Right now, I'm wearing cranberry boxer briefs and a black t-shirt.

20. What are you listening to right now?
"Chicago"--Sufjan Stevens.

21. What did you eat for breakfast?
I had a late late breakfast: a ham sandwich with diet Ginger Ale.

22.If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Hmm. Blue. I'm boy.

23. What is the weather like right now?
A little overcast, and humid.

24. Last person you talked to on the phone?
My mother.

25. The first things you notice about the same-sex?
Eyes. Lips. Hands. Legs. Shoulders.

26. Do you like the person who sent this to you?
Nobody sent it to me, but I do like Lorna, the person I stole it from.

27. Favorite Drink?
Sweet tea.

28. Hair Color?
Black

29. Do you wear contacts?
Yes. I broke my left contact lense last Friday. I'm walking around with a pirate patch on. Fun times.

30. Favorite Food?
Seafood dishes.

31. Last Movie You Watched?
The Corpse Bride.

32. Favorite Day Of The Year?
Monday.

33. Scary Movies Or Happy Endings?
Scary movies.

34. Summer Or Winter?
Winter.

35. Hugs or Kisses?
Hugs.

36. What Is Your Favorite Dessert?
Tres leches cake.

37.Living Arrangements?
I live with R.

38. What Books Are You Reading?
leadbelly by tyehimba jess and natasha and other stories by david bezmozgis.

39. What’s On Your Mouse Pad?
I've got an Iowa Hawkeyes mouse pad.

40. What Did You Watch Last Night on TV?
CNN

41. Favorite Smells?
Armpits. Clean armpits. Not working out all day armpits.

42. Favorite junk food?
Anything fried.

43. Rolling Stones or Beatles?
Neither.

44. What’s the farthest you’ve been from home?
Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

Con Tinta

CON TINTA is a coalition of cultural activists (Chicano/Latino poets and writers) who believe in affirming a positive and pro-active presence in American literature. We come together in the spirit of intellectual exchange, of creating dialogue with our communities and beyond, of recognizing our literary and social histories, and of establishing alliances with other cultural and political organizations. Our mission is to create awareness through the cultivation of emerging talent, through the promotion and presentation of artistic expression, and through the collective voice of support to our members, our communities, and our allies.


In March 8-11 of 2006, Con Tinta members will participate at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Annual Conference in Austin to engage in a series of necessary discussions about politics, culture, activism and art. As part of its community outreach efforts, Con Tinta will host a celebration through an event outside of the conference grounds. Programming at a local venue will include a dedication to two beloved veteranos of Chicano letters, Rolando Hinojosa-Smith and raulsalinas; a reading by renowned authors and emerging talent; a communal meal; and a baile.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

New Crush: Ronald Palmer


Thanks to Delilah I discovered the work of Ronald Palmer. What a hottie! And I've been taken (ah!) by his work that I've read online. Did I mention he's a hottie? Look at those eyes! And smile! And those slender lips! His lips know things! His first book Logicalogics has just been published. The book was published by Soft Skull. I ordered a copy today. I hope Soft Skull sprang (oh!) for a page-size author photo. I hope, I hope, I hope.

Bits

I'm flying off to Phoenix in about five hours. My sister is getting married. I've been begging her to throw the bouquet my way. Please! Toss a dog a bone!
*
I'm still digging Sufjan Stevens. Read Sara Sower's comment a few posts down about her adventure at a Sufjan concert. Poor Dirty Girl!
*
I had a great time in Chicago this past weekend. We stayed in a hotel near Magnificent Mile so all the shops and restaurants were close. I was broke so I didn't buy much. Just a Swatch watch on credit. Okay, did I just admit to the world that I bought a Swatch watch? Wow. But my friend shopped and shopped. He was nice enough to buy me a new shirt for the wedding. He also bought flatware and dishes at Bloomingdales for the townhouse.
*
We had a fab meal at the tapas cafe. The food was amazing. Salmon served with slivers of apple in a mango-infused sauce. Spare ribs. Spanish tortillas. Stuffed mushrooms. Coconut bread pudding. We were seated next to a very loud group. The group consisted of three middle-aged couples. I usually don't mind loud folks--hey, I'm loud--but these folks just wanted attention. Sad. When they left a bachelorette party took their place. Thankfully, these ladies enjoyed themselves quietly. Though I was surprised when all of them slipped penis-shaped straws into their water glasses. Silly girls! You only use penis-shaped straws to drink milk!
*
I saw so many handsome men. Swoon.
*
Books I just ordered:

Logicalogics by Ron Palmer.
Leadbelly by Tyehimba Jess
Down Spooky by Shanna Compton
*
I entered a Neiman Marcus for the first time in Chicago. The prices were kind of shocking. Who pays 600 dollars for a Paul Smith wallet? Wow. Granted, the wallet was gorgeous. I felt uncomfortable in there. I'm more of an Old Navy kind of guy.
*

from Ana

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Lodestar Quarterly

The latest issue of Lodestar Quarterly is up. My favorite poem: Scott Hightower's Visit with an Old Model at Norwood.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Sufjan Stevens


I picked up Sufjan Steven's Illinois in Chicago this weekend. I'm in love. Yes, he's easy on the eyes. But I'm talking about the music. It's gorgeous. It's haunting. I haven't had this type of reaction to a musician since discovering Rufus Wainwright years ago. In fact, Rufus and Sufjan are very similar: lush orchestrations, intelligent lyrics. If Rufus was straight, and played the banjo instead of the piano, his work would probably sound like Sufjan's.

Gosh. This man is good. I can't stop listening to the CD. It works for me from start to finish.

Any Sufjan fans out there? Are his other CDs as good as Illinois? Tell me!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

You Got To Be Kidding

The nerve of some journals.

What would you think of a contest that offered its entrants a possible spot in the canon? Fucking crazy, no? Well, check out this contest sponsored by The National Poetry Review. I'm really stunned. And disgusted. Maybe the editors of this journal have physic powers, like Miss Cleo, and can predict what types of aesthetics the future will revere.

I really can't imagine any serious poet entering this contest. This contest will appeal to novices, to "poets" who wear all black and who brood in the corner of their local Starbucks.

POR EL AMOR DE DIOS

Chills. Down My Spine. Reading This.

Not to Brag

but I was just solicited by two journals for work. But I only have enough poems for one submission packet. What to do? I know! I will flip a coin. A quarter. Here goes..

Tails. Cool. This journal has published me before, but hey, it won the coin toss.

It's nice to be solicited. I now know how Paul Guest must feel like each and every fucking day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Chicago

I'm going to be living it up in Chicago this weekend. I will arrive early Friday-- so far I have no plans for the day. Saturday afternoon I will be trolling the corridors of this museum, and that night I will be enjoying tapas at this fine cafe. I leave late Sunday afternoon. What other things/places should I do or visit? Please email me or leave a comment.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Barbara Jane Reyes Wins James Laughlin Award


Barbara Jane Reyes has been selected as the recipient of the 2005 James Laughlin Award for her second collection of poems, Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish Press). The James Laughlin Award is given to commend and support a poet’s second book of poetry. The award was established by a gift to the Academy from the Drue Heinz Trust in honor of the poet and publisher James Laughlin (1914–1997). Ms. Reyes will receive a cash prize of $5,000, and the Academy will purchase copies of Poeta en San Francisco for distribution to its members. This year’s judges were James Longenbach, Mary Jo Bang, and Elizabeth Alexander.

Ms. Reyes was born in Manila, Philippines, and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her undergraduate education at the University of California Berkeley and her MFA in Creative Writing (poetry) at San Francisco State University. Her work was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and appears or is forthcoming in Asian Pacific American Journal, Chain, Interlope, Nocturnes (Re)view, North American Review, Tinfish, Versal, in the anthologies Babaylan (Aunt Lute, 2000), Eros Pinoy (Anvil, 2001), Going Home to a Landscape (Calyx, 2003), Not Home But Here (Anvil, 2003), Pinoy Poetics (Meritage, 2004), and forthcoming in Red Light: Superheroes, Saints and Sluts (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp, 2005), and Graphic Poetry (Hong Kong: Victionary, 2005). Her first book, Gravities of Center, was published by Arkipelago Books (San Francisco) in 2003.

From the judge’s citation for the James Laughlin Award: “If William Blake were alive and well and sitting on a eucalyptus branch in the hills above the bay, this is the poetry he would aspire to write.” —James Longenbach

*
How fuckng cool is that? I told you it was great news. Way to go Barbara!

Jason!

Jason Schneiderman is featured this week in Robert Pinsky's Washington Post column. Jason is the author of Sublimation Point .

Peter!

Three poems by Peter Pereira over at three candles.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

O No He Didn't!


Remember Roy and Silo? Two "gay" penguins who've lived for the past six years as a couple at the Central Park zoo. Well, Silo has gone straight: he now has a girlfriend named Scrappy. And Roy? He's just hanging around, like a sucker. Men are the same. Gay. Straight. Penguin. All dogs. All of you. I hope Roy at least bitch slapped Silo before he waddled off to his new hussy. I feel so bad for Roy. Do penguins cry? I would leave town if my man left me for a woman named Scrappy. How embarrassing!

Jimmy Love

That Jimmy! He's fucking cracking me up with his Such Exotic Creatures comics.

Jimmy, I only have one grandmother poem in my collection. Granted, it's an eight part sequence. But it's still just one poem. Wait, I also have a poem about my grandfather. Oh boy...


More comics
here, here, here, and here.

Black Kites: Gabriel Orozco: 1997



Graphite on Skull

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Call for Submissions: Micro-Fiction

The deadline for the second issue of Staccato is October 15th.

My Favorite Poem

Jeff B. is asking bloggers to post their own favorite work. This poem is my favorite.

The poem came to me one afternoon as I took a walk through Iowa City. I suddenly heard myself softly pronouncing the first few lines. I was startled. I rushed home, and wrote the poem in less than twenty minutes. I showed it to Mark Levine a week later. He commented that it was very different from anything else that I'd shown him. He suggested two small revisions. I agreed with him, and I haven't tinkered with this poem since.

I love the way this poem unfurls. It's seamless. I love the tension between the beauty of the images and the terror the title conjures forth. And that ending! The ending is gorgeous--if I do say so myself.

I Know These Children


More photographs by Araceli Herrera.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Call for Submissions: Churchyard

Churhyard is now accepting submissions for its second edition. Please email submissions or questions to: danjpir@yahoo.com.

I have three extra copies of the first issue of Churchyard. So if you want a copy, email me & I'll mail you one. The first issue features poems by Charles Jensen, Anthony Robinson, and Jenny Sadre-Orafai.

UPDATE: All three copies are gone. Sorry. You should read my blog before all others. All others!

The Body Acoustic


NEW YORK (Epic Records/ SONY BMG Music Entertainment) - When Cyndi Lauper emerged on the scene twenty five years ago, it was a defining moment for pop music. And since then, her contributions have never stopped - album after album, Cyndi has delivered hit songs that literally comprise the soundtrack of our lives. And this fall Cyndi prepares to release her 9th album The Body Acoustic with Daylight/Epic Records on November 8th. On The Body Acoustic Cyndi revisits songs like "Time After Time," "True Colors," "She Bop," "Shine," and more giving them a modern day extreme makeover. Adding fresh flavor, rich textures, rawness and unexpected twists and turns -- plus special guests like Sarah McLachlan, Shaggy, Kelly Osbourne, Ani DiFranco, Jeff Beck and Vivian Green -- Cyndi shows her singing, producing and writing talents at an all time high.

On "Money Changes Everything" Cyndi is joined by Adam Lazzara of Taking Back Sunday who gives the song a twangy earthy quality. "Time After Time" features the angelic voice of Sarah McLachlan, who brings a new tenderness to the gem. Reggae/pop superstar Shaggy lends his trademark voice on the newly funky "All Through The Night," while Kelly Osbourne joins in on the fun on "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." Other highlights include "Sisters of Avalon" with Ani DiFranco & Vivian Green, and "Water's Edge" (from the 2002 EP Shine) w/ Sarah McLachlan. With her unique vocals, Cyndi continues to spice things up with fresh versions of such hits as "Shine," "Fearless," "She Bop" and "True Colors." The album also contains two brand new songs co-written by Cyndi Lauper, "Above The Clouds" featuring guitar legend Jeff Beck and "I'll Be Your River" with Vivian Green. The Body Acoustic was produced by Cyndi herself along with renowned producers Rick Chertoff (She's So Unusual) and William Wittman (At Last) and the result is nothing short of spectacular.
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I can't wait. I love this woman. How much do I love her? There's a poem in my first collection dedicated to her. That much.

POETRY NORTHWEST IS BACK!

Beginning in 2006, The Attic will begin publishing the historic literary journal Poetry Northwest. Poet and critic--& Attic Director and Writer-in-Residence--David Biespiel has been named Editor in an arrangement with the University of Washington, the journal's former publisher.

Poetry Northwest was founded in 1959 by Carolyn Kizer, Richard Hugo and others, and was edited from 1966-2002 by David Wagoner. The magazine ceased circulation in 2002 because of funding difficulties. At the time, it was the longest-running poetry-only journal in the U.S.

A hallmark of the Northwest literary scene for more than four decades, Poetry Northwest attained eminence for publishing some of the best poetry by established and up-and-coming poets from around the country and abroad. Writers who have appeared in the magazine include Harold Pinter, Joyce Carol Oates, Annie Dillard, Raymond Carver, Ted Kooser, James Dickey, Robert Pinsky, Richard Wilbur, Mary Oliver, Jorie Graham, Michael Harper, Stanley Kunitz, Thom Gunn, Phillip Larkin, May Swenson, Theodore Roethke, W.S. Merwin, John Berryman, Czeslaw Milosz, Marilyn Hacker, Stanley Plumly, Anne Sexton, James Wright, William Stafford and Mark Strand.

The new series of Poetry Northwest will include poetry, essays, interviews, & reviews.

To submit work to Poetry Northwest, send no more than four (4) poems. Query first regarding prose. Send or write to: Poetry Northwest, P.O. Box 14310, Portland, Oregon, 97293.

info from this site

Friday, September 09, 2005

Dustin


Dustin always writes the craziest emails. I just spent twenty minutes trying to "read" his latest.

Here's one of his poems.

from The Onion

White Foragers Report Threat Of Black Looters

NEW ORLEANS—Throughout the Gulf Coast, Caucasian suburbanites attempting to gather food and drink in the shattered wreckage of shopping districts have reported seeing African­Americans "looting snacks and beer from damaged businesses." "I was in the abandoned Wal-Mart gathering an air mattress so I could float out the potato chips, beef jerky, and Budweiser I'd managed to find," said white survivor Lars Wrightson, who had carefully selected foodstuffs whose salt and alcohol content provide protection against contamination. "Then I look up, and I see a whole family of [African-Americans] going straight for the booze. Hell, you could see they had already looted a fortune in diapers." Radio stations still in operation are advising store owners and white people in the affected areas to locate firearms in sporting-goods stores in order to protect themselves against marauding blacks looting gun shops.

more HERE.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Congrats Laurel!


Congrats to my former classmate Laurel Snyder who just won Burnside Review's chapbook contest. Her chapbook, Daphne and Jim, will be available late this fall.

Charles B. Wheeler Prize: Ohio State University Press

The Journal, the literary magazine of The Ohio State University,
selects one full-length manuscript of poetry each year for
publication by The Ohio State University Press. In addition
to publication, the winning author receives the
Charles B. Wheeler Prize of $3,000.

Entries of at least 48 typed pages of original poetry must be
postmarked during the month of September. Entries postmarked
later than September 30 will be returned unread. Clear photocopies are
acceptable. Your name or other identification should only
appear on the cover page.

More info here.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Xmas Shopping Done!

Gay Merit Badges

Major Jackson


Major Jackson is kicking some internet butt! Check out his webpage. One of the best poet webpages I've seen.

Action Books 2005 December Prize Guidelines

The December Prize will be given annually for a first or second book of poetry written in English. Action Books editors Johannes Göransson and Joyelle McSweeney will read all manuscripts and select one for publication and a $1,000 award. We are looking for writing that shares in the spirit of our press, writing that enlarges our notion of what poetry and language can do and be.

Eligibility
Those who have published no more than one book of poetry in English are invited to submit. Close friends and those who have studied with the editors are ineligible.

Translations cannot be considered for this prize, but Action Books welcomes queries about book-length translation projects.

More info HERE.

Goodbye Little Buddy


Bob Denver, TV's 'Gilligan,' dies at 70

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A New Home

for our nerdy chic man, Charles Jensen, who sometimes poses in the nude--I'm not surprised his old blog addy has become a porn site.

Go here for all things Charles.

Donald Justice Poetry Award

Info here.

Indiana Review: Latino/a Writers Issue

Are you a Latino/a? Good for you! Now, do you write? Awesome! Then don't forget to submit to the Indiana Review's Latino/a Writers issue. Deadline: 12/31/2005. I'm going to submit a couple of book reviews. I would also like to send some poetry. I like being solicited. Hint, hint.

The Trench Coat Post


I saw the worst film yesterday: A Sound of Thunder. Don't go! Trite story. Laughable special effects. The only good thing was Ed Burns. I'd totally forgotten about him. Wasn't he an independent film darling a few years ago? When his sexy face appeared on the screen I got wet. Yeah, you read that right. He's so freaking handsome. In a couple of scenes he walks around in white boxers. If only I'd been wearing a trench coat!
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The cover of the new issue of Fence is turning heads, but don't forget to read the words inside. Like this good poem by Gina Franco.
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Er. Has the world gone totally insane? Over at Jim Behrle's blog folks are voting for Sexiest Male Poetry Blogger, and the results are stunning. So far no Daniel Nester! What the fuck! Daniel, please forgive them, they know not what they do! How do I feel about the other so-called sexiest bloggers? Let me tell you. Jordan Davis? Hell yes! I would jump his bones. I would probably crush the darling, but oh what a ride it would be! Josh Corey? Not my type, but I understand why some girls and boys would throw their panties at him. Anthony Robinson? Ditto. Aaron McCollough. Hell no.
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I've found the daddy of my babies. You might know him. His name is Ted Mathys. He's a fine poet too. Our babies will be looking good as they spell out their words. My babies' daddy's first book Forge has just been published. Here's a review. Buy a copy or two. Our babies will need to be fed and sheltered.