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

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Friday, December 29, 2006

Chapbook Competition

Brent reminds us of the 2007 Hey-Look-Isn't-That-A-Great-Looking-Dune-Buggy! Chapbook contest. Oops. I mean, the 2007 Frank O’Hara Award Chapbook contest.

Full guidelines HERE.

Two Bits of Good News

She's having another baby!

And he's a finalist for an award!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Post Xmas Bits

How sweet to learn that Jordan and Ali have just married. Wishing them all the best!
*
I've updated my blogroll.
*
My Xmas loot: a new leather satchel, a Simpsons DVD, kickass shoes, and a new wallet.
*
Currently reading Bernard Malamud's The Fixer. Malamud is my favorite short story writer. I'm eager to see how I respond to one of his novels.
*
As I type this I'm hearing on CNN that Gerald Ford has passed away.
*

The World is Amazing

Moths drink the tears of sleeping birds

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tupelo Press: Open Reading Period Results

Tupelo will be publishing these books:

Angela Shaw of Swarthmore, PA, for The Beginning of the Fields. Angela Shaw’s poetry has appeared in The Best American Poetry Anthology 1994 and 1996. She has also had poems selected for The Pushcart Prize & The Beacon Best of 2001. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Chelsea, Field, Pleiades, and elsewhere. “The Beginning of the Fields” is her first book.

Karen An-Hwei Lee of Santa Ana, CA, for two books: Ardor and Erythropoiesis. Heather McHugh selected Ms. Lee’s first book, In Medias Res, for the 2003 Katherine Morton Prize from Sarabande Books. In Medias Res also won the Norma Farber First Book Award from Poetry Society of America. She won a 2005 individual artist’s grant from the NEA.

Joshua Marie Wilkinson of Denver, Colorado, for The Book of Whispering in the Projection Booth. Joshua Marie Wilkinson’s first collection, Suspension of a Secret in Abandoned Rooms was published by Pinball Press in 2005, and Lug Your Careless Body Out of the Careful Dusk won the 2005 Iowa Poetry Prize and was published by U. Iowa Press in 2006. New Michigan Press published his chapbook, A Ghost as King of the Rabbits.

Christopher Buckley of Lompoc, CA, for Modern History—Prose Poems 1987-2007. Christopher Buckley has published fourteen books of poetry, most recently, Sky (The Sheep Meadow Press, 2004) and Star Apocrypha (Northwestern University Press, 2001). For his poetry he has received four Pushcart Prizes, two awards from the Poetry Society of America, a Fulbright Award in Creative Writing to the former Yugoslavia, and is the recipient of NEA grants in poetry for 2001 and 1984.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Work Song Bits

I spent Saturday morning helping my brother-in-law wheelbarrow cement. Damn, cement is heavy! I almost lost control of the first few wheelbarrows. He's building a back porch and I helped pour cement for the new slab. I sound so butch! My momma must be so proud.
*
I'm listening to Billy Joel. I have no idea why.
*
Work Song. This is my favorite Mark Levine poem. Though Willow from his new book is a close second.
*
Charlie Jensen is for sale. Not by the hour. And not by the inch. But you can purchase Living Things, his latest chapbook.
*
I'm feeling so much better. I can hear out of right ear again. Ah, the music of the ordinary!
*
I should've worn gloves Saturday morning. My hands are still raw.

Monday, December 18, 2006

early hours

In the high hours of the night
stars get naked
and bathe in the rivers.

Owls desire them,
the little feathers on their heads
stand up.

Humberto Ak'abal

shadowbox press Chapbook Series

shadowbox press is currently accepting manuscript submissions

Friday, December 15, 2006

North Country Institute and Retreat for Writers of Color

Sponsored by State University of New York at Plattsburgh and The Center for Black Literature

The North Country Institute and Retreat for Writers of Color invites applications for its Fourth Annual Summer Writers? Institute and Retreat, tobe held July 8-14, 2007, at the Valcour Education and Conference Center on the shores of Lake Champlain.

Residents will work with faculty mentors:

Chris Abani (fiction)
Kimiko Hahn (poetry)
Jimmy Santiago Baca (memoir)

Applicants materials must include: the application form, a cover letter expressing reasons for wanting to participate, two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with their writing, and a sample of writing. A non-refundable application fee of $25, payable to SUNY Plattsburgh, should accompany the application. Applications will be reviewed as received until allspaces have been filled.

Tuition for the North Country Institute and Retreat at Valcour is $1,000 and includes workshops, lodging and meals. Need-based scholarships available.

Send application materials by APRIL 18, 2007 to:

Dr. Jose L. Torres-Padilla
Dept. of English
SUNY Plattsburgh
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901

Or email to TorresJL@plattsburgh.edu

For application form and more information check our website:
http://www.plattsburgh.edu/offices/academic/writersofcolor

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Old Man Bits

I'm an old man. I'm taking antibiotics. I'm pumping nasal sprays into my nose. I'm coughing a lot. All I need is a walker and Anna Nicole Smith.
*
I dread opening emails from people I've "discussed" on my blog. Why? Some people can't take a joke! The other day as I opened an email from a poet (hint: his initials are A.L.) I prepared myself for some mean words. But A.L. was sweet and amused by my blog post. He gets a gold star.
*
I'm going Xmas shopping tomorrow for my niece and nephews. One of my nephews wants an ant farm!
*

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

After Shame

In a damp bar full of old men
she places my hand on her head
just on top of a bulge on her skull —
a bump really, and my stomach sours,
humbled to be across from her, drinking beer with
an abbreviated unicorn. I swirled kinks
of hair on that knob. Just so you know, she said.
Which I thought was odd, even
presumptuous, and I felt dead, drawing
my hand back in a jerk.

COMMENTARY TO THE FIRST STANZA
I don't know why she showed me her bumpy head.
She went off and became a painter,
a good one, really, who liked to show groups of kids
languid and calm after playing all afternoon.
After I looked around in her room
she never spoke to me again,
the forbidden knowledge of what deforms us
forgotten until now. It must be age.
Shame can only be given in particulars.
I tell these stories to explain why people stop liking me.

Daniel Nester

Friday, December 08, 2006

"As a mom, I'm here to support another mom."

One more reason to adore her.

The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry

I'm really looking forward to this anthology. I'm lucky enough to be in it. Here's the table of contents. See: I'm not the only blogger in the anthology. You'll find poems by Sheryl, Emmy, and Gina. It's a blogger fest!

The anthology will be out this spring.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Every Little Classroom

EVERY LITTLE CLASSROOM has its Emily. This one calls the cross “the stake.” Imagine her Lord beleaguered like that, the mythic crucifix merely vertical. She never has a thing to eat. When she finally collapses, she awakens to our worried faces. Later she’s back at her desk in her trance. She clasps her hands into a sphere. She knows the shortcuts through the fields that we don’t know.

David Keplinger

New Crush

P.F. Potvin

How Freud would have loved the violence of her seeing!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Mortal

Ivy's book is out! And you can still buy it for only ten bucks here.

Henri Cole

Embers

Poor summer, it doesn't know it's dying.
A few days are all it has. Still, the lake
is with me, its strokes of blue-violet
and the fiery sun replacing loneliness.
I feel like an animal that has found a place.
This is my burrow, my nest, my attempt
to say, I exist. A rose can't shut itself
and be a bud again. It's a malady,
wanting it. On the shore, the moon sprinkles
light over everything, like a campfire,
and in the green-black night, the tall pines
hold their arms out as God held His arms
out to say that He was lonely and that
He was making Himself a man.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Bits

C. Dale lost his copy of B.P. Kelly's To the Place of Trumpets, her first book which won the Yale. I read this book once. Well, I didn't really read it. The campus library at the University of Illinois in C/U had a copy in its special collections. I asked to see it. And since I wasn't a student the lady behind the desk had me read it in an office, with her sitting a few feet away. Needless to say, I couldn't really read the poems with her glaring at me. I just flipped through it and tried to absorb as much as I could. Too bad. But as you can see, copies of this book are rare and expensive!
*
I'm feeling better. But my ears still hurt. And there's lime-green stuff coming out of my nose.
*
Jordan, has a stalker? Really? How odd.
*
Let me take this moment and thank the people who are writing letters of rec for me. Thank you! People always ask me: why don't you have your teachers from Iowa write letters for you? Well, because I didn't really get to know any of my teachers. Except for Marvin Bell. And he's semi-retired. I wouldn't feel comfortable asking the Iowa teachers for letters. I don't think my writing impressed them. And quite frankly, their teaching didn't impress me. Except for Marvin Bell.
*
My ears just popped!
*
Should I go to AWP Atanta? I'm still thinking about.
*
Is the rumor true? Has Fence Books joined the participating list of publishers for the National Poetry Series?
*
The Cypress Trees are Talking Now: what a cool blog name.
*
In
the
pines,
the
wind
rehearses
its
vows.
You
there
too,
where
shadows
grow.

4 Interviews

Joshua Poteat
Jake Adam York
Alex Lemon
Davis McCombs

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Friday, December 01, 2006

Anthony Robin & Sons

For everyone who does not know or just has not.

Anthony Robinson's new book Brief Weather and I Guess a Sort of Vision is on sale here.

My review follows.

***

yesterday, tony's book arrived ice-white and hungry. tony's book got me thinking about Austin, sex, terrestrial pacts, roast bunny, lentils, and the Thornbirds (minus the sheep shearing scenes). tony's book shared a 40 with me, left, came back, chopped down my door, and said All night the crying & all morning sleep forgets

***

Hobble Creek Review

Justin Evan's online journal Hobble Creek Review is now accepting poems and batches of homemade brownies.

Narratives of Chaos


Question Everyone:

I'm looking for texts that narrate chaos. Meaning the subject matter, or the story being told is crazy, but because it relies on tradional storytelling tactics, the reader still follows or believes or is interested or is compelled.

Texts that do this are: In the Heart of the Heart of the Country, Gass,
The Autobiography of Red, and maybe even 100 years of Solitude, Marquez.

Can you help me and give me the names of a few that you think do this? I know of a few more, but didn't list for carpel-tunnell's sake. Poetry or Fiction, I'm looking for either.

Thanks!

P.S. I had an interesting and surprisingly happy dream last night. A handsome doctor was examining my left knee. Pushing the cartilage around (not painfully), but touching the place on your knee where the bone indents, he told me my knee was injured. As was the meat between my toe bones. The funny thing was that I left his office happy & fulfilled. Apparently, I'd been telling others about my knee and foot hurts and no one had taken my injuries seriously--except him.

Any dream definers out there?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Flu Bits

Body aches, fever, sore throat, headaches...I've got a flu. Yuck.
*
Corn Shake is blogging from the MacDowell Colony. She keeps getting lost in the dark. It does get very dark there. Like she says, the paths leading to and from the main house cut through a forest. It is scary! I ran to my studio at night. I ran right through a meadow instead of gingerly walking the curvy path that led to my studio. Once I screamed like a sissy in the dark because I thought I saw a ghost. It was just pale moonlit moss on a tree. Damn moss.
*
What You Do

when nobody's looking
in the black sites what you do
when nobody knows you
are in there what you do

when you're in the black sites
when you shackle them higher
in there what you do
when you kill by crucifixion

when you shackle them higher
are you still Christian
when you kill by crucifixion
when you ice the body
*
Mucus! My body is producing an alarming amount of mucus. It's gross.
*
I'm reading the latest issue of 32 Poems. James Arthur has a kick-ass poem in the issue. Does anyone know him? I hear he's hot.
*
Charlie is also at a residency. He's at Casa Libre in Tucson. I hope he posts more pics of his suite. And a pic of him showering.
*
One minute I'm cold; the next I'm hot.
*
I asked my students to write love poems. One young lady wrote: "He saved my life/ like an angle."
*

Poetry Northwest

Have you subscribed to Poetry Northwest? Why not? I just did. The Fall 2006/ Winter 2007 issue came out earlier this fall and the issue includes poems by Paula Bohince, Charles Wright, Kevin A. Gonzalez, Teresa Ballard, and Meghan O'Rourke.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Free Chapbook

Josh Hanson's Nightwork.

Best New Poets 2006 Giveaway

I love contests. I never win contests. But that won't stop me! I'm going to give away a copy of Best New Poets 2006 to one lucky reader of my blog! Wow! How thrilling! Amazing! But there is one restriction: other bloggers can't enter. Yeah, you read that right. No bloggers served here!

How do I win? I'm glad you asked. Hmm. Let me think about this. Give me a minute or two. How about you send me an email or leave a comment. But wait, there's more. In the email or comment tell me about the tastiest thing you ate over the Thanksgiving break. I'm a glutton. If you make me drool; you win. Don't stress, darlings. I drool easily.

This contest will be open for a couple of days. I'm guessing most of my readers are other bloggers (Hi, Sabrina!) and it'll probably take some time for non-bloggers to stumble upon my humble contest.

Make me drool!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Friday, November 24, 2006

MiPoesias Magazine Call for Chapbook Submissions

MiPOesias Magazine is now seeking submissions of chapbook manuscripts. Send manuscripts January 1st through April 1st. Manuscripts should include between 17-25 pages, a title page, a table of contents page and a page including your name, email address and mailing address.

L'Objet Petit: Diana Marie Delgado

I am about to tell a lie whether you believe it or not.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Chelsea Hotel/Leonard Cohen

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
you were talking so brave and so sweet,
giving me head on the unmade bed,
while the limousines wait in the street.
Those were the reasons and that was New York,
we were running for the money and the flesh.
And that was called love for the workers in song
probably still is for those of them left.
Ah but you got away, didn't you babe,
you just turned your back on the crowd,
you got away, I never once heard you say,
I need you, I don't need you,
I need you, I don't need you
and all of that jiving around.
I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
you were famous, your heart was a legend.
You told me again you preferred handsome men
but for me you would make an exception.
And clenching your fist for the ones like us
who are oppressed by the figures of beauty,
you fixed yourself, you said, "Well never mind,
we are ugly but we have the music."
And then you got away, didn't you babe...
I don't mean to suggest that I loved you the best,
I can't keep track of each fallen robin.
I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
that's all, I don't even think of you that often.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bottom Bits

Poetry? What you taking about, Willis?
*
Personally, I’ve never had a problem being gay in Atlanta and I can pass for a redneck if I have to when I’m beyond the city walls. Collin Kelly as redneck? Hey, if I can top once in a while, then anything is possible.
*
Norman Dubie has a page over at MySpace. Odd. I know a lot of writers have set up MySpace pages, but if you know Norman Dubie you know he's not interested in computers. Maybe that has changed. Or maybe his assistant set up the page for him. Scrolling down the page I discovered that Norman Dubie is 61 years old. That is old. And he's straight! Well, there's at least one straight male poet out there. Good to know. But most shocking of all: he doesn't smoke! WTF??? The Norman Dubie I know smokes like a smoke stack. He's built like a smoke stack. I remember meeting in his small, dark office; he always lit up a cigarette or two as we talked. Maybe he's stopped smoking. I hope so.
*
I need a kiss. From a blogger.
*
I got (I know that's not proper English, but I gotz to have my got) a copy of Best New Poets 2006 last week. I really like a lot the poems in the anthology. Especially mine! Ha! You should buy a copy. I'm hoping we can set up a reading for the anthology in Tempe soon.
*
What to make of this mess?
*
I Am Thinking Of My First Deer. Very good poem.
*
James Hall, where are you? Tell me all about the mountain folk.
*
Wait, I don't think I've ever topped. I might be wrong. There was that time at the Lilith Fair concert.
*
Peter, is asking for poems that fall under the theme "Poetry and the Body."
*
My motto: Wave Those Ankles In The Air Like You Just Don't Care.
*

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Call for Submissions: Junta: Avant-Garde Latino/a Writing

Latino/a writers have historically embraced
experimentation of form and craft as a way to explore
their culture. Even so, much of Latino/a writing,
published in the United States, has been limited to
particular approaches to subject and style that have
been validated by mainstream publishers. Rarely, if
ever, does the writing express the immense diversity
of aesthetics practiced by artists in the Latino/a
community.

In addition, the reality of a U.S. Latino/a
Avant-Garde is virtually non-existent in contemporary
literary discourse about "Latino/a Art" as well as
across the literary spectrum.

Sunstone Press, an independent publisher in Santa Fe,
NM is producing an anthology that will be edited by
poet Gabriel Gomez.
The anthology will feature Avant-Garde poetry and poetics by contemporary
Latino/a writers. The tentative publication date is
fall 2007.

The anthology will first appear at a conference in
Santa Fe, NM, scheduled for October 2007, and will be
available nationwide thereafter.

Caveat Emptor

It is not the intention, with this anthology, to
categorize and codify certain Latino/a writers as
“Avant-Garde” nor to establish any notion of a
preferred aesthetic. The objective is to interrogate
the very terms "Avant-Garde" and "Latino/a
experience" as intersecting locations of poetic
practice so as to bring forth work that bears witness
to our varying aesthetics as artists and thinkers. The
ultimate goal is to encourage both readers and
publishers to recognize the breadth of Latino/a
writing and thus deepen the public's understanding of
the Latino/a experience.

Guidelines:

Please submit up to five poems. Manuscripts should not
exceed 15 pages. Include a cover page with your name
and contact information as well as the titles of your
poems. Your name should not appear on the poems
themselves.

Writers are asked to submit only electronic versions
of the poems. Send as MS Word attachments only. Both
MAC and PC platforms are acceptable.

Submit work to junta.anthology@yahoo.com

Writers whose work is accepted for the anthology will
be asked to write a poetics statement no longer than
750 words.

Deadline

All manuscripts submitted by January 10, 2007 will be
considered. Contributors will receive two copies of
the book upon publication

Friday, November 10, 2006

Weekend Bits

I'm ordering up Becoming the Villainess. Why aren't you?
*
Am I the only writer full of self-doubt? Of course not. Self-doubt is crippling me right now. I haven't sent out poems in nearly six months. I haven't sent out my collection to the contests.
*
CUE5 is now out and ready to be bought.
*
My feet are tingling.
*
What a terrible dust jacket for a collected! C.K. Williams is no looker. He kinda looks like Ichabod Crane. Couldn't the press find a nice still life or something?
*
Gosh, I really adore this title: A Fiddle Pulled From The Throat Of A Sparrow.
*

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bits

I'm in the middle of grading students essays.
*
Rick Santorum lost his Senate seat! Yes! His daughter took it hard.
*
You can pre-order Ivy's first book here. What a great cover!
*
Rove the horse also loses. Ha!
*

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Rigoberto González: Poetry Foundation Blog

My aunt Marta, the woman who married my father’s brother, who worked most of her life sorting carrots at a packinghouse alongside my mother and grandmother, wrote a poem. My aunt Marta, who took lessons in cooking desserts, who had me read and translate recipes on the side panels of cereal boxes, wrote a poem. My aunt Marta, barely literate and always laughing, whom I’ve seen cry only once, when I came to visit her after she separated from my uncle and was run out of town by my disgruntled relatives who were furious at her for bringing the González family its first divorce, wrote a poem.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or Treat

I'm going to dress up like this guy and knock on Mary Oliver's door.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Submitting Bits

Err..is this thing on?
*
Check out the cover of Corn Shake's second book.
*
I'm preparing to send out my collection for the first time this week. Yes, you read that right. For the first time.
*
I love what Christina Davis says about publishing her first book in the latest issue of P&W: I was the real impediment to getting published. For years I kept not sending a manuscript out, thinking it had to be the End All Be All. One day, while sifting through several books I loved, I realized I only continually returned to a fraction of the poems in any given collection. It was profoundly liberating to feel that perhaps all I needed were four or five good poems. With that revelation, I sent the collection to Alice James.
*
Dave Lucas strikes again.
*
Rigoberto Gonzalez will be blogging for the Poetry Foundation starting November 6th.
*
I sending out to... Wait, I can't tell you that.

ASME's Top 40 Magazine Covers of the Last 40 Years

Isn't she beautiful?

View the rest of the covers here.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Books I Just Ordered

Two titles from Action Books: Telescope by Sandy Florian and you are a little bit happier than i am by Tao Lin.

And

Gathering Up the Scattered Leaves by Justin Evans.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

from The Echo Maker

Cranes keep landing as night falls. Ribbons of them roll down, slack against the sky. They float in from all compass points, in kettles of a dozen, dropping with the dusk. Scores of Grus canadensis settle on the thawing river. They gather on the island flats, grazing, beating their wings, trumpeting: the advance wave of a mass evacuation. More birds land by the minute, the air red with calls.

3 Bits

"Ennui," a previously unpublished poem by the late Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Sylvia Plath, will appear November 1, 2006 in Blackbird.

*
Meridian's 2007 Editors' Prize Contest

*

A list of presses with open reading periods.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Rigoberto Gonzalez Reading: Tempe, Az: October 19

7:00 p.m.

Changing Hands
6428 S. McClintock Dr.
Tempe, AZ 85283

Rigoberto will be reading from Butterfly Boy.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

James Laughlin Award 2006

Tracy K. Smith

Bits

Johannes has moved. Sneaky devil.
*
You think you know stuff. But you really don't.
*
Poems: Barbara Jane Reyes
*
I have a crush on Nick. Is that wrong?
*
Many of Luna's poems deal with the confrontation with religious belief, with search for belief and meaning, in tension with a skeptical mind and the hardness of the world. Through all of Luna's poems runs an urging to bring differing wills and desires to a meeting and joining, or at least a mutual tolerance.
*
Rigoberto Gonzalez will be reading at Changing Hands bookstore in Tempe, Arizona this Thursday at 7PM.
*
Poems: Oni Buchanan
*
I have to get my hands on Six Feet Under dvds. Each episode I watch makes me lust for more.
*
Song of the week: "Maneater" by Nelly Furtado.
*
Aaron, has a question for you.
*
Lube. Isn't that a great word?
*

Monday, October 16, 2006

Mr. Brenda Hillman: Poems

I found this via C. Dale's blog. Five poets pick their favorite Robert Hass poems. Brenda Hillman picks a Robert Hass poem I've never read--the poem is from his new book coming out next year. Yeah!

Kazim Ali Interview

One of my favorite interviews in the series so far.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Joseph Beuys: The Pack:1969


Joseph Beuys

POETRY BUS TOUR: OCTOBER 15

Rolling onto the College of Santa Fe campus on

SUNDAY, Oct. 15, 7pm, in the Forum

Readers: some our finest emerging poets, including
Dana Levin, Joshua Beckman, Matthew Zapruder, Gabe
Gomez
, and many more!

With music by RUSALKI: Balkan Vocal Ensemble,
featuring CSF’s own Nicolle Jensen, Catie and Lizzy
Friel and Kes Scudday.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Francisco Aragon Readings/ Washington DC

October 15, 2006: Sunday Kind of Love Reading series at the venue
Busboys and Poets: Francisco Aragon and Lisa Gonzales. 4 PM

October 16, 2006: Washington chapter
of the National Writers Union: Franciso Aragon will be giving
a talk called "One Reader At a Time: Small Press
and Self-Publishing." 6:30 PM

More info here.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Wish I Would Have Written This

"Men, I'm sad I must die.
These are beautiful shores."

An excerpt from Men, by Lisa Robertson 2006

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Morgan's Book

Morgan's first book has been picked up by Free Verse Editions.

April and Silence

Spring lies abandoned.
A ditch the color of dark violet
moves alongside me
giving no images back.

The only thing that shines
are some yellow flowers.

I am carried inside
my own shadow like a violin
in its black case.

The only thing I want to say
hovers just out of reach
like the family silver
at the pawnbroker's.

Tomas Tranströmer

Titles

I'm still having trouble picking a title for my collection. Sigh.

I need some help.

What's the title of your collection or book? Why did you title it so? In a paragraph or less. Please. What work does the title do for your collection? Does your title reveal the major theme/ motif in your collection? Is your title misleading? Is your title an umbrella for all the themes/ motifs in the collection?

Tell me.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Maria Melendez Reading: Tucson

OTHER VOICES WOMEN'S READING SERIES

Friday, October 13, 2006, at 7 p.m.

Antigone Books, 411 North 4th Avenue

Featured reader: Maria Melendez

Open microphone and book-signing follow featured reader.

Maria Melendez serves as Associate Editor for Momotombo Press, and as co-coordinator for Poetas y Pintores: Artists Conversing with Verse, a traveling exhibition of contemporary Latino art and poetry. Her collection of poetry, How Long She'll Last in This World, was published in 2006 by the University of Arizona Press. She has worked as writer-in-residence at the Davis Arboretum in California, where she taught environmental poetry workshops for the public, and as assistant professor of English at Saint Mary's College in Indiana, where she taught courses in eco-feminist poetry and multi-ethnic literature. Her poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in such magazines as Inter-national Quarterly, Orion Afield and Ecological Restoration. She currently lives in northern Utah.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Two Bits

The Kingdom Cage

Good title for a book of poems?
*
And check out Kristy's gorgeous cover.

Monday, October 09, 2006

80s Bits

This performance of All Through the Night takes me back. I faintly remember watching it on tv. I always loved the wild colors of her hair. And her clothes were fab. She's a pixie.
*
Somebody had a great time in the 80s: Having Some Coke with You.
*
This I Believe: Erin Bertram.
*
One wall is for funded students and the other wall is for unfunded students. Wow. That would suck.
*
My other 80s music obsession: Songs from the Big Chair. I spent hours listening to this tape. My favorite song on the tape was "The Working Hours." Still is.
*
Poems: Oliver de la Paz
*
Chicano Art Magazine.
*
I've only gotten two reviews so far, they were both very generous. I don't think it's had much influence on my writing. I've always written for an audience, even when that audience was just my best friend Trish and I was reading stuff to her in the laundry mat. Now I know my audience is a little bigger, but I still want to be writing like I'm going read it at the laundry mat and try to make it interesting enough to be heard over the machines.
*
Poem: Laurel K. Dodge.
*
I used to listen to tapes.
*
Justice’s long anticipated Collected Poems (exactly fifty years after Stevens’s) missed narrowly at being a posthumous publication, which in a rebarbative sense seems appropriate for a poet as much addicted to time warps in verse as to broad-beam architectonics. Fond of indulging himself, as one of his own personae describes it, “in rich refusals,” Justice fell into and then anorexically clung to a prosody which others in his generation seemed not to be able to divest themselves of fast enough. His muse (though his devotees would flatly deny this) was even more conservative than Stevens’s.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Koala Stance

So. These days the subway is always packed with a few peeps who are convinced a crowded NYC subway is*:

A library: where you intently read the latest Zane book and smack your lips at anyone who dares close enough to try and read what you’re reading.

A boudoir: where women apply rouge between their cleavage, pucker, and smear sky-blue eye shadow across their lids.

A snack hall: Never fails. There is always someone eating from a paper/plastic bag (with their fingers). A reoccurring favorite is a Fairway Rotisserie Chicken, seasoned “Latin Style. “

A daycare: This one’s easy. Imagine 10 rowdy kids playing musical chairs, while elder-lys with bouffants and canes look on.

A travel lodge: people straight out snoring and talking in their sleep.

But my favorite subway phenomenon is a pose I’d like to coin today: The Koala Stance. Basically the koala stance is when someone wraps their arms, and might even cross their legs around the middle subway pole, not allowing anyone else to hold the pole for safety. I’m not biased or anything but it’s mostly women that I see doing this. I have an unproven theory that these people, while in the womb, held their umbilical cord between their legs. Who knows.

***************************************************************
*Due to x I’ve only named a few scenarios I've seen on subway. I've left out about five thousand more.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Aaron Smith Interview

My interview with Aaron Smith is now live. Aaron is a great interview subject: witty and articulate.

Here are two of my favorite snippets from the interview:

"My favorite drag name is Helluva Bottom Carter."

"I didn’t study with Creeley. I met him at Vermont Studio Center in May 1998. I had just finished graduate school and had gotten a residency there. The last thing in the world I wanted to do was write, but I managed to write two poems that made it into the book (“Cher Uncensored” and “Valedictory”). Creeley was there for four days and several of us really connected with him."

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Amaud Jamaul Johnson

The Lost Sea

Red Summer

Using All the Music Out There

Interview with Rita Dove

Terrance Hayes Interview and Poem

"Surprise, I like to think, is the engine that drives me to keep writing. If the writer isn't surprised, chances are the reader won't be surprised either . . . Stephen Dobyns says something like that somewhere. But no, it doesn't always come naturally. Sometimes it's a matter of excavation. As in life, in poetry a discovery or two is usually buried beneath the first thoughts and assumptions."

__________

At Pegasus

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

LOL

Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had
also never met.

The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not
eating for a while.

He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as
if she were a garbae truck backing up.

Bits

Sigh. I'm becoming that kind of blogger.
*
Kristy's blog is one of my favorites. Why isn't it on my blogroll?
*
I watched the first episode of Six Feet Under on Bravo this weekend. I've never seen this show before. I'm already addicted.
*
Congrats, Teresa!
*

Still thinking about the Poetry Bus.
*
Sometimes when I flip through my manuscript I want to kick it in the balls. Sometimes I want to get on my knees and unzip its...
*
I have the hots for this man. Hey, at least he's a Dem.

Monday, October 02, 2006

So Nip/Tuck!

Threesome

Interview with Brenda Cardenas

ECC: You're known as a poet with a commanding stage presence. Did you refine your performance skills in poetry slams? Or are you naturally extroverted? When you're drafting a poem do you keep in mind performance?

BC:I think I am naturally extroverteda, not necessarily a character trait that I’m proud of. I have never been on a slam team; in fact, I was only part of one reading that was officially called a “slam.” It was many years ago at the Green Mill in Chicago. Marc Smith was holding a sonnet slam that night. I didn’t know this when I decided to go to the Green Mill that night, but I just happened to have a sonnet with me, so I decided to read it. Before I knew what was happening, I had won that slam and about $20. But I never slammed again. I have, of course, practiced my performance skills over the years by doing many different kinds of poetry readings in a variety of settings, as well as during the years that I worked with Sonido Ink (quieto), which was a fairly raucous Chicano/a garage rock band. Yet no matter how many performances I do, I still get nervous every time!

_________

Click on the "interviews" link to read interview. Tip of the hat to Francisco Aragon for asking me to do the interview.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Half-Finished Heaven

Cowardice breaks off on its path.
Anguish breaks off on its path.
The vulture breaks off in its flight.

The eager light runs into the open,
even the ghosts take a drink.

And our paintings see the air,
red beasts of the ice-age studios.

Everything starts to look around.
We go out in the sun by hundreds.

Every person is a half-open door
leading to a room for everyone.

The endless field under us.

Water glitters between the trees.

The lake is a window into the earth.

Tomas Transtromer

LOCUSPOINT is Here

Seattle, St. Louis, Boston

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Books!

The Love Hotel Poems by Shin Yu Pai has just been released. I'm ordering my copy tonight.
*
The Man Suit by Zachary Schomburg has been picked up by Black Ocean.

*Posting By Delgado/Song Lyrics

Well I've asked E if I can drop in again, every now and then and he said yes. I think he felt bad for me because I emailed him, manic with coffee.

The below is a song sung by Frank Sin-Atra. I recently learned about it via Devotchka. The sick thing is that while googling the correct lyrics, it seems that Robbie Williams (WTF?) and Nicole Kidman (Double WTF?) have done a duo of this song. Go figure, then puke. Kidding. I know ThisRobbieGuy is some sort of Phenom-enana in the UK...


Something Stupid


I know I stand in line, until you think you have the time
To spend an evening with me
And if we go someplace to dance, I know that theres a chance
You wont be leaving with me

And afterwards we drop into a quiet little place
And have a drink or two
And then I go and spoil it all, by saying something stupid
Like: I love you

I can see it in your eyes, that you despise the same old lies
You heard the night before
And though its just a line to you, for me its true
It never seemed so right before

I practice every day to find some clever lines to say
To make the meaning come through
But then I think Ill wait until the evening gets late
And Im alone with you

The time is right your perfume fills my head, the stars get red
And oh the nights so blue
And then I go and spoil it all, by saying something stupid
Like: I love you
(I love you, I love you,...)

Bits

Morgan has some good news.
*
I'm a little behind on email. I've been busy reading student thesis statements. Correction: I've been busying correcting student thesis statements.
*
Wanton Textiles. Get your needle on!
*
...the man with some of the most beautiful eyes on the planet..
*
Ivy, I also miss MacDowell. I'm going to apply again next year. Keeping my fingers crossed.
*
I'm trying to get in touch with something that can't be accounted for by my gender, my race, my ethnicity, my class, my historical moment. Those all figure into it. But the math isn't what we think it is. It isn't like, Oh, you're this gender, you're this race, so you should write this kind of poetry. Poems are unaccountable.
*
C. Dale, there's another poet out there with amazing eyes: Mark Conway. I think you would dig his first book.
*
How to marry Lorca and R. Hayden? I tried to force this union in my first collection. There, I said it.
*
Waiting for my copy to arrive.
*
Title of a new poem: The Kingdom-Cage.
*
I live in a world where watermelon snow exists. Praise.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Good Advice on Manuscript Ordering

Usually I try to order the poems to emphasize contrasting mood or feeling (psychological, emotional, etc.) from one poem to the next. I listen closely to how a poem ends, and to how the next poem begins, how one follows the other that way. Mood arc or feeling arc, rather than narrative arc. In this way (in theory anyway) the space in between the poems becomes part of the sequence.

Occasionally I've grouped three or four poems together because they've had some common theme or subject matter -- in a recent book, there are four poems I grouped that all came out of a visit to Oklahoma, for example.

In a couple of my books, I ordered the poems more or less in the sequence in which I wrote them, or finished them -- more or less, though I did change the original sequence in one or two places.

As I write poems, I tend to think of writing a cohesive manuscript, not just isolated poems. I normally have several manuscripts in progress at once, and when I write a poem, I'll usually have a strong sense of which of the manuscripts it belongs in. Occasionally I'll write one that doesn't seem to fit clearly, that's off on its own tangent, and that might become the beginning of a new manuscript.

A useful way I've found to practice ordering poems is to pick some poems by other poets that I like a lot -- maybe 12 or 15 poems by as many poets -- and pretend I'm editing an anthology. It's a way of practicing what to listen for, without having anything heavy invested in it emotionally (at least relatively speaking).

Lyle Daggett

Friday, September 22, 2006

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Frozen Accident: Alfred Arteaga

"Frozen Accident is a long poem and, echoing Dante, its primary section "Nezahualcoyotl in Mictlan" narrates a trip to hell. Yet, Mictlan is not quite the Inferno. For Alfred Arteaga the place of the dead is California, the last stop for Western culture, the final limit of its reach."

Here some poems by Arteaga:

THE STORY OF WATER
INSPIRACION
XOCHITEPEC
En lugar de la nada

Monday, September 18, 2006

Palabra Pura Reading: Chicago: September 20, 2006

Don't miss the fall launch of Palabra Pura

This WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
Doors open 8:00 p.m.
Reading begins 8:30 p.m.

SHERYL LUNA, LEON LEIVA GALLARDO with special guest, TATO LAVIERA, co-founder of the Nuyorican Cafe

Palabra Pura promotes literary expression in more than one tongue
through a monthly bilingual poetry reading featuring Chicano and Latino
artists. With an aim to foster dialogue through literature in Chicago
and beyond, each evening pairs a local poet with a visiting writer
along with an open mic to engage the interaction of diverse voices,
ideas and aesthetics.

CALIFORNIA CLIPPER, 1002 N. CALIFORNIA, CHICAGO
Free admission.
21 and over.

Funny. Smart.

Here and here.

Boxcar Poetry Review

The latest installment of Boxcar Poetry Review is up. My interview with Aaron Smith should be up soon. And look for an email conversation between Jason Schneiderman and Thomas Heise in an upcoming installment.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Bus This!

Thanks for all the comments to my previous post.

But I want to address a comment by John Gallaher. John, I think, is speaking for a lot of people. I'm not picking on John. Really. I don't know him. But his comment pissed me off. But I'm not transferring my anger onto him personally. We all have our opinions. Let me highlight his two key points.

"It seems to me that if you don't like this literary event, you should have your own. Get your own bus and drive across country. I'm sure libraries would be happy to have you stop."

Get your own bus! Do your own thing! Yes, let me book a bus right now. I've got the financial resources to fund a tour in my pocket. It's chump change. And "our" bus will be no ordinary bus. No way! "We" like color and fringed dashboards. "We" like Virgin de Guadalupe bumper stickers. Hell yeah! Get on board, Senorita. Get on board, Speedy Gonzalez...

The Bus is being funded by Wave Books, which I believe is funded by a well-to-do gentleman. Wave Books has the resources to fund a tour. But judging from their blog posts, the poets riding the Bus are not dining at five-star restaurants and sleeping at the W. No, they're getting by on coffee and air mattresses. Good for them. Sadly, I can think of no literary Chicano/ Latino organization in the USA that would be able to fund a tour. This speaks volumes about some of the problems within "our" community. I hope my generation will be able to create national organizations to promote and disseminate "our" art.

Get your own bus! Do your own thing! I'm calling for inclusion. I'm calling for openness. It disturbs me when people suggest "we" do our own thing because that's the easiest way out. It excuses the organizers of the Bus tour from working toward inclusion. And it excuses "us" from interacting with poets with different backgrounds. It excuses all of us from building community, from promoting poetry.

"This tour is billed as “bringing innovative poetry to big cities and small towns.” One can argue the definition of “innovative poetry,” obviously, but know that they are trying for a specific thing on this tour."

Innovative poetry! The Bus is promoting innovative poetry! People are going to have different definitions of "innovative poetry." John and I agree on that. But I want to talk about what I'm reading between the lines: Chicano/ Latino poets are not writing innovative poetry. Really? Anyone who says this has not read the emerging Chicano/ Latino poets. I'm not saying John is saying this. But I often hear people say this about the poets of my generation. And invariably, when I ask these "readers" to name the emerging Chicano/ Latino poets they've read they name the old timers. When I read the emerging poets of my generation I'm awed by their fresh approaches to the art. Not all of "us" are writing about grandmas. And even those of "us" writing about grandmas are doing it in innovative ways. Read Ada Limon, María Meléndez, Cynthia Cruz and Scott Inguito. Read!! "Our" work is in conversation with all the trends in contemporary poetry. Some of "our" work is rejecting all the trends of contemporary poetry.

Innovative poetry! The Bus is promoting innovative poetry! Really? I want to be careful here. I don't want to dismiss the work of the poets riding the Bus. I like a lot of these Bus poets. But can you really call most of them "innovative?" I'll let you make up your own mind. I will say the Bus is mostly promoting a specific branch of American poetry. What would you call this branch? But there are Chicano/ Latino poets out there whose work blooms on this branch.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I'm Taking the Train Instead

The Poetry Bus is rolling and rolling. Check out pics here and here. Notice anything curious? A lot of white/Anglo/pale/ivory faces! Oh, don't get me wrong. The Bus has invited important emerging Afro American poets like Major Jackson and Tyehimba Jess. And the Bus has also invited other writers of color of various shades and hues. Wonderful! But where are the Chicano/Latino poets? Correction: where are the emerging Chicano/Latino poets?* I say "emerging" because a great number of the poets on the Bus are young, fresh voices. Do the people behind the Bus believe there are no emerging Chicano/Latino poets worthy of a bus ride? Chale!

Oh, don't get me wrong. There are some Chicanos/Latinos scheduled to read. Ray Gonzalez and Edwin Torres. I respect the work of these two poets, but they're not emerging voices. I noticed a couple of other Spanish-sounding names but I don't know these poets. I'm glad they're on board. Are these poets the only Chicano/ Latino writers in the USA? It seems the people behind the Bus didn't search very hard to find the emerging voices.**

Look at the reading tour dates and you'll notice something even more shocking: there's no Chicano/Latino poet scheduled to read at the Southwest stops. Sufferin succotash! The people behind the Bus have some balls. Check again. Santa Fe. Phoenix. Austin (It boils my blood that the reading in Austin is taking place on a street named after Cesar Chavez.) Hard to believe, no?

The Bus is whack. I bet the Bus doesn't even stop at Taco Bell.

I'm tired of watching Chicano/ Latino poets from my generation be passed over. I was planning on attending the Poetry Bus reading in Phoenix in October. I'm no longer going to attend. Not after I noticed this salsa-free tour. Hey, I have to laugh or I might burst with anger. I would've loved to hear Joshua Clover and Richard Siken read. I like their work. Did anyone catch that? I like the work of white/ Anglo poets! I don't only read writers of color. Imagine that! But it seems the people behind the Bus don't read the emerging Chicano/ Latino poets. Or perhaps they do read them, but thought they could get away without inviting them onto the Bush?

I'm calling out the people behind the Bus. Can you tell us why emerging Chicano/ Latino poets are not on the Bus? Do you even see us?


*
Somebody please tell me my eyes are playing a trick on me! Tell me your eyes see the names of emerging Chicano/ Latino poets on the tour date schedule. Tell me!

**
And no, I don't want to be invited to read. I'm tired of being a token. I will refuse an invitation. But I'm willing to help the people behind the Bus find other emerging poets. I'm nice.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Poop Face Bits

I'm thinking of submitting to Sarabande. Why? Because the press is reading submissions during the month of September. That's why. Geez. But I'm having trouble coming up with a decent cover letter. What do I say? Do I mention prizes, schools, and publications? Or do I summarize my collection? A combination of both? Or?
*
Look: my favorite publication man-ho has some poems up at No Tell Motel.

I want to know whose idea this was,/ filling up death/ with hundreds of smaller deaths.
*
Re-reading Bless Me, Ultima for my Chicano/a literature class. I've been cutting out random passages from the text and using the words from these cut passages to compose poems.
*
My favorite new cartoon show: Squidbillies. White trash squids!
*
Listening to: The Decemberists.
*
Hey, Josh: Start blogging!
*
Another Josh gives some love to my Diva, Cyndi Lauper. Josh, I also adore that breakdown. But I don't think it's an accordion. I always thought it was a Melodica.
*
*
I just titled a poem, "Bolero." Forgive me. I don't think that comma belongs there. O well. Let it be.
*

Monday, September 11, 2006

Long Distance

Congratulations to Steven Cordova! His first book, Long Distance, has been picked up by Bilingual Press.

Some poems here and here.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Two Bits

Here's a fab poem by one of my favorite blog stalkers, Miguel Murphy.
*
I noticed Javier O. Huerta left a comment on Luna's blog. Blas not Sheryl. Javier, why haven't you left a comment on my blog? I'm hurt. I'm dying to read more of your work. The little I've read has blown me away. Congrats on winning the Chicano Literary Prize. Such a rich tradition to be part of. Email me.

Win Bent to The Earth!

Blas is offering a FREE copy of his book if you correctly guess....I'm not going to tell you! Go to his blog.

Bitch Bits

*
I'm sick of hearing about rejections. My collection was rejected again! The Kenyon Review told me to suck it! These kinds of posts tell me one thing: publication man-hos can't get enough. Wait, that might be harsh. I should remove that. But I won't. And even though a pity-me-post is beautifully written and ends with an affirmation it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
*
Does Jeffrey Levine hate me? When you google "Tupelo Press" one of the first hits is one of my posts with the header: TUPELO PRESS MUST BE STOPPED!
*
Some poets use blogs to garner sympathy. Sad.
*
Why am I in a bad mood?
*
Someone arrived at my blog by googling: "john Gallaher" + "gay." John, do you have something to tell us?
*
If you're going to whine about your rejections at least tell us which contest/ journal rejected you. That's the best part.

Open Submissions: Sarabande Books

Open submission season is during the month of September only. We ask that
writers query first with a sample of 10 poems, a single story, or a section of a
novella, or short novel postmarked in September. Response time is under three
months.
A self-addressed, stamped envelope for reply is required. After this
preliminary reading, we may invite writers to submit an entire manuscript.

Sarabande Books
2234 Dundee Road, Suite 200
Louisville, KY 40205

Monday, September 04, 2006

Robert Vasquez

is one of my favorite poets. At the Rainbow, his first and only book, blew my mind when I first read it as an undergrad. In fact, I've modeled portions of my first collection after his book. I love it that much. I still remember the day I found his book on the shelves of Hayden Library. The aisles were dim. His slim tome was next to six or seven books with black spines, gold script. When I passed these books the gold script across the black spines looked like the tunnels of a child's ant farm. Next to these books I saw a last name I could pronounce beautifully: Robert Vasquez. I picked it up. I fell in love. His lines have burned themselves into my memory. And the unsayable builds skyward. He once sent me an autographed copy of his book. It's one of my favorite objects.

Emmy mentions the importance of finding books that feed us. At the Rainbow was the book that made me want to become poet. The poems were so beautiful. The craft behind them was so exact it disappeared. I wanted to write poems like that. I still do. I haven't achieved that goal yet. And I'm not being humble. I know emerging poets who think they've "mastered" the art just because they've finished an MFA. Dumb, no? Not me. I will forever be a student. And one of my teachers is Robert Vasquez. His poems are a standard of excellence. An ideal I reach for when I write. A sustaining ideal.

Vasquez hasn't released a second book. Yet. I hear he's a perfectionist. He's been working hard on the second book for years now. Robert, come on! I need more poems. But thank goodness for the good folks over at Verse Daily. Today's poem is by Mr. Robert Vasquez.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Books I Just Ordered And a Poem By Luis Omar Salinas

Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa by Rigoberto Gonzalez

Blue Colonial by David Roderick

The Sadness of Days: New & Selected Poems by Luis Omar Salinas

Sea Gypsies

The ocean tosses like a Chopin etude.
Her green bathing top flashes
with the sun’s light like a dancing fish,
the surf around her waist – and I think
of a girl from my youth who married
young and died young. I miss her
as much as I miss the sea and
the early autumn seagulls that speak
with the silver tongues of rhetoricians.
I carry the image of her bronze body
with me, her Virgin scapular, her silver-
aqua eyes, along with a Greek hymn
that haunts the sea crags, that haunts
this beating surly mollusk of a heart
as I watch the gypsy fishermen
arrive in their ghetto boats
with princesses dressed in scarlet,
in deep blue with long black hair and
scarves, snakelike necklaces around
their pearl necks, breasts covered
by green silk and gold medallions.
It must be fun to be sad gypsies.
I tremble from their capricious kisses
and tumble on the cool beach, tossing
in the salt foam, crossed by passion
and the perilous waves that whistle
on the rock like a crazy woman.

Yeah!

Sheryl Luna's Pity the Drowned Horses has been nominated for the Colorado book award in poetry.

Congrats, Sheryl. I hope you don't forget the little people. Like me.

Josh Rathkamp

has finally started blogging. His first book, still untitled, is coming out next fall from Ausable Press. It's pronounced aw-SAY-bul. He's one lucky poet. Ausable publishes good-looking books.

Diana Marie Delgado: Audio Files

Diana Marie Delgado is fond of the color red. How do I know? I read it here. Fascinating!

You can hear Diana read some of her work, and wax eloquently on the her favorite line of poetry, and theoretical rips in the fabric of space. Fascinating!

I love the titles of her poems:
In the Romantic Longhand of the Night
The Sea Is Farther Than Thought

Enjoy!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Journal Bits

Patrick Phillips is hot. Can I get a witness??
*
I love to discover new blogs. Welcome John Gallaher. Yep, that's him in Crazyhorse. Damn! Those bastards have rejected all the poems I've ever sent them. Bastards! It's such a fine journal. I'm not sending to them 24/7! I'm not that kind of poet. Trust me. I'm not a journal stalker. Like...Oh, you know who I'm talking about. Don't be coy! You know. Wink, wink. Well, back to blog plugging. Wow, that sounds nasty. It's been forever since my blog has been...John Gallaher has a blog! Go read it. But beware! He's got a very cute author photo. I love that half-smile on his face. Did he just think of a masterful simile? Or did he just...I don't know. You'll have to ask him. He's got a blog. You can leave comments.

Hey, did you know John is co-editor of The Laurel Review? I didn't know. He has such an informative author bio! The Laurel Review published one of my poems two years ago. I don't like that poem anymore. The poem was a rip-off of Rita Dove's "Geometry." I love that poem. Don't you? Such wonderment. But I'm glad my poem was published. It allowed me to "see" it with fresh eyes. And I didn't like what I saw. Publication is funny like that. Not funny like Richard Pryor. You know what I mean.
*
I miss Sabrina Orah Mark. We used to be friends.
*
Justice!
*
I'm behind on my email. Sorry! I'll get back to you soon, GC. OMG. I just named dropped! Yeah, I know G.C. Waldrep. He emails me. I roll like that.
*
Whom? Who? ???? I still have trouble using these words correctly.
*
The Latino/a Writers Issue of the Indiana Review is out. Someone emailed me and asked why I wasn't in the issue. Why? BECAUSE THEY REJECTED MY SUBMISSION. Why do people ask stupid questions! Granted, I sent them poems with typos. Bad, bad, bad. I know. And to top it off I sent an email a week later with "revised" poems. What was I thinking? I know better than that. I can't complain, though. IR has published me twice before. They've been nice to me. Uptil now. It would've been nice to be in this issue: Jimmy Santiago Baca, Rafael Campo, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Angie Cruz, Diana Marie Delgado, Martin Espada, Suzanne Frischkorn, Richard Garcia, Kevin A. Gonzalez, Ray Gonzalez, David Hernandez, Roland Hinojosa-Smith, James Kimbrell, Joe Boo Ledoux, Alex Lemon, Sherly Luna, Sheila Maldonado, Manuel Luis Martinez, Pablo Medina,, Ricardo Pau-Llosa, Emmy Perez.

Wow. What a line up! I respect and admire so many of these names. Others I hate. Hate. Hate. Hate. I can't believe I'm not going to be published along side "Joe Boo Ledoux." Get it! Joe Boo! Baby, I'm digging the name. Any relation to Boo Radley? Was that racial? Oops. WTF? James Kimbrell is Latino? Really? How?? Did he once eat at a Mexican joint? Is his maid Cuban? I'm sorry but I'm going to need proof, James.

Sigh. I do wish I was included in this issue. Do you hear me! I want to be included! Am I not Latino enough for the poetry editors of Indiana Review? How dare they! I once was mistaken for Ricky Ricardo! I'm that Latino! And Chicano! And...

What will happen to the poems I sent to them? Oh, yeah. Post Road took them. Was that catty? I'm not saying Post Road is a better journal than Indiana Review. Everybody else is saying that. Was that catty? Granted, I sent Post Road typo-free poems. That might have made a difference. And look: G.C. Waldrep has a poem in the latest issue of Post Road. The new Virgil Suarez strikes again! Sorry, CG. LOL. Don't stop emailing me.
*
La la la la...
*
Paula: I miss your smile!
*
I'm drinking a coke. With a straw. A pink, fleshy straw.
*
I wish Robert Hass would send me an email. Or Rita Dove. Or Cyndi Lauper. Or Miles O'Brien. Not the Miles O'Brien from Star Trek: TNG. He's not real. I'm talking about the CNN anchor. He's hot.
*
How many typos can you spot in this post?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Err...Okay

Ploughshares has a blog?

In love with this poem:

The Rescue.

Need a Diana Marie Delgado Fix?

Calling all DMD fans and/or stalkers. DMD will be reading tomorrow in NYC. NYC! She's a fancy lady. Penthouse and all. Did I spell "penthouse" correctly? I'm a terrible speller. Wait, this isn't about my poor education. DMD is reading tomorrow! The reading looks interesting, no? Latino and Hispanic American poets! Hispanic American? Oh, boy. But I'm not here to judge. Really. *Snort*

Anyways, where was I? Oh yeah. DMD is reading tomorrow! Did I spell "tomorrow" correctly? I bet there's going to be a good amount of Latino hotties in the audience tomorrow. Diana, keep your eyes open for studs! Sigh. I miss Latino studs. All the studs around here call themselves Chicano. What's up with that?

Walt Whitman: South and North

An Evening of Contemporary Latino and Hispanic American Poets, plus
North Americans with connections to Latin America.

Join us as we conclude the weeklong tribute to the poetic legacy of
Walt Whitman. Thus far slated to read are Fish Vargas, Lidia Torres,
John Murillo, Tara Betts, Aracelis Girmay, Diana Marie Delgado, Diana Gitesha Hernandez and Jesus "Papoleto" Melendez. Hosted by Rich
Villar and the Acentos crew.

The Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia Street
between Bleecker and W. 4th Street (near 6th Avenue)
A, C, E, B, D, F & V trains to W. 4th Street Station
$6 (includes free drink)

Directions:
At the West 4th Street Station, exit at the West 3rd St. side. Walk
one block north on 6th Ave. to W. 4th St. Make an acute left at W.
4th St. onto Cornelia St. For a map and further directions, visit
www.corneliastreetcafe.com and click "Directions."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bits (for Jared Sterk)

Look: Lorna blogs for the Poetry Foundation all this week. She's going to talk about flarf?! Remember, Lorna: I'm the original flarfist.
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Casa Libre has now posted photographs of their fab suites. This suite is my favorite. Wait, this one is also amazing. Hold on! This suite is perfect. I can't make up my mind. Apply for a residency.
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The minds behind the Laureate Prize for Poetry are now sponsoring a book contest. Have mercy, Lord! Hey poets: win this contest and your tome will instantly join Harmonium and A Working Girl Can't Win in the canon. Immortality! I'm just kidding, of course. The minds behind this book contest aren't promising immortality. This time. Apparently, they can only pick out canon fodder a poem at a time. I would rather eat rat droppings then win this contest.
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Two interviews: Corn Shake and Justin Evans--scroll down a bit for Justin.
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Jared likes this poem.
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Monday, August 28, 2006

Xicanos Kicking Ass

"I became a closet reader at first, taking my book with me to the back of the landlord's house or into my parents' room, where I would mouth the syllables softly, creating my own muted music."

***

She is a switchblade afraid of the hint in a two-second glint that might spring you an arm's length away. I fear. She kisses close, to shut the open gate of hunger, heavy-footed as history perched on her chest. Empty spaces. She never rests. Stumbling through the clutter of language, she rummages cramped closets for her lost sounds—igriegas y erres—tumbling like marbles spilled in the attic. Spaces I fear...

January

A California of snow and the surprise
Of illness. I throned myself in the white
Noise of its silence and watched as the world
Fell away. All the silver flickerings of possibility
Going out like the sound of horse hooves
Clicking into the distance. It is almost the end
Of the World. Anesthesia of medicine and me,
Beneath its warm bell of milk. My girlhood was
Microscopic: a locked window overlooking the
Sea. An atlas of the disaster: an un-lit hall and
A shift in the waves of the field. Blue bedside
Porcelain. Michelle, my little sister, silent as
A weed. I took all the things I loved and
Smashed them one by one.

Cynthia Cruz

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Links

I've updated my blogroll. I've dropped and added blogs. I'm too nice to name the blogs I've dropped like a bad Breadloaf date, but I will tell you which blogs I've added. These: Gary McDowell, Rick Barot, Sanskritic, and Sam Rasnake.

I spend too many hours surfing poetry blogs. I should get a job. Or write poems. Or eat baked snails. In order to save you time, Dear Readers, I'm going to list some blogs of poets new to me. Enjoy. Or not. I don't care. It's Sunday. I should be eating snails.

Arlene Ang
Bryan Thao Worra
François Luong
Logan Ryan Smith
Mathias Svalina
Andrew Lundwall
christine hamm
Amy King
Ernesto Priego
Eileen R. Tabios
Jessica Smith

Thursday, August 24, 2006

What Begins Bitterly Becomes Another Love Poem

The earth has a taste for us, in its unknowing
appetite there yet resides a hunger, incompletion
that draws all life to its dark self. What, then,
shall we say of the flesh's own desire, distal
thumb-brush at evening? There is nothing to say,
the vowels cluster uncertain in the beautiful vase
the throat makes, fricatives corralled behind
ridge of gum and bone-splinter. Flesh and earth:
fire is an illusion, to which water is the antidote.
The day was a bright one, there seemed no need
to move about with mirrors, the usual circumspection
and indirect approach. The abundance of small life
argued some measure of clemency, likewise
the Jerseys lowing in the paddock breeze, tender
shoots of cress and sweetpea spiralling upward.
But fire is a cruel hoax: now you see it,
now you don't, the object of your affection
cast in carbon on the hard ground which will,
in time, receive. Roadside the irises bloomed
two or three feet max above soil's surface,
rough tongue resting lightly on each leaf, each
violet exclamation. In full sun your hand guided mine
to the wound. A small one. Water and blood,
like the nurse said: prestidigitation of the body.
We stood without shadows on asphalt at midday.
What we call patience is only fire again, compressed.
I remember: your face flushed, stray petal lodged
in the damp whorl of your dishevelled hair.

G. C. WALDREP

Prairie Fever

Stop by Mary's blog to read about her good news.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Shit List

1. Sabrina Orah Mark
2. Dumb contests.
3. Wal-mart chocolate chip cookies. Where's the chips, Sam?
4. The Yale Younger Poets Prize. Isn't this Louise Gluck's last year as Yale Younger judge? Yes, I know I left out those two tiny nipples above the "u." I hope the new judge is a writer of color. Like Rita Dove. Or Yosef Komunyakaa. Why? I think it's fucking time another writer of color won the Yale. It's criminal. Though I think Merwin probably thought he was picking an Afro American poet when he picked Sean Singer's Discography. And I don't care what some of you might say: the art matters not the skin color of the poet. Blah. Blah. Blah. Shut up.
5. That crazy John Karr guy.
6. Michael from Project Runway. He's not gay! He even thinks questions about his sexuality are out of bounds. If it quacks like a duck...
7. Ants.
8. My dream life. Yesterday, I dreamt I was kissing Richard Hugo on a park bench. And last week, I had a dream in which I was shucking corn at the feet of Fidel Castro. WTF?
9. Apple-scented candles. Yuck.
10. Err...

Friday, August 18, 2006

Adios, Julio Galan

One of my favorite artists has died.
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Here's a poem inspired by one of his paintings.

Julio Galan: Misael: Oil, Acrylic, Mixed Media on Canvas: 2001


again and again he shuffled a deck of cards/ a small accordion

in his hands/ to be a man/ to be a tree/ or even something less/ like a plank*

the wounds along his shoulder/ salmon leaping out of black water
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* line stolen from Humberto Ak'abal

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Bring Me Apples!

I will be teaching two sections of Chicano literature at South Mountain Community College in South Phoenix. I wasn't planning on teaching but a friend of mine had to drop two of her sections. She asked me to take them. Why not? I know the material. Correction: I love the material. Classes start next week.

I will be using these books:
U.S. Latino Literature Today
Bless Me, Ultima
Song of the Hummingbird
Pity the Drowned Horses
Bent to the Earth

I haven't taught since grad school. Any advice?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Bits

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Yet another Charles Wright book.
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Last month a journal sent me a contract to sign. I noticed my middle initial was missing from my name on the contract. I signed the contract but sent a nice letter asking the powers-that-be to add my middle initial. A couple of days ago the page proofs arrived; my middle initial is still missing from my name! I hate it when my full name isn't printed. I hate it! I've emailed someone I know who works at the journal. I'm hoping he will correct the situation. And yes, it is a situation.
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Dirty minds.
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You need money? Write a poem and send it here.
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Why do people whine on their blogs?
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What I told Naren last night during our IM session:

In graduate school I lived in a basement apartment. A rat's hole. A warm rat's hole. I often kept my window open to let in the cool air. Near the end of my last semester my landlord would come in and show the apartment to possible tenants. Often their eyes would bulge at the sight of my bathroom. It was gross. Words fail me. Once, after viewing my place, as they walked past my window, I heard my landlord say to a young man, He's not here to pick strawberries. He's in the Workshop."
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Nothing beautiful to say about the world...
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Friday, August 11, 2006

Monet's Waterlilies

Today as the news from Selma and Saigon
poisons the air like fallout,
I come again to see
the serene, great picture that I love.

Here space and time exist in light
the eye like the eye of faith believes.
The seen, the known
dissolve in iridescence, become
illusive flesh of light
that was not, was, forever is.

O light beheld as through refracting tears.
Here is the aura of that world
each of us has lost.
Here is the shadow of its joy.

Robert Hayden

El Encantamiento #3, 1989: Julio Galan

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Short Yellow School Bus?

The Wave Books Poetry Bus Tour

The Chapbook Review

from Neil Aitken:

A number of years ago I realized that very few publications review chapbooks, although often this is where some of the most exciting innovation in poetry is happening. Some chapbooks are miniature works of art in their own right. One of my favorites is a wire-bound landscape chapbook by Nina Simon called Science Fair which is illustrated with ink drawings from an artist friend of hers. The artwork fits perfectly — subtle, but effective in it’s approach — sufficient to create a dialogue between text and image. The poems are impressive in their own right. The combination makes for a very attractive publication. And there are many others, each providing a unique take on how to best present poetry in this most democratic of distribution models.

With such variety in both presentation and content, it seemed to me that there was room for a pubilcation devoted to the chapbook.

So I’m putting a general call out for:

1. reviews of chapbooks
2. announcements of recent chapbook releases
3. advice for poets assembling or marketing their chapbooks
4. calls for submissions for chapbook contests
5. how to… articles

The Chapbook Review is a community spot — a place for poets of all styles and levels of experience to congregate and contribute. I’ll try to also provide the occasional technology or software article as another sort of service.

And the Winners of the National Poetry Series Are...

Do you really want to know? Really? Well, okay. Click here.

The University of Arkansas Press Poetry Series

The University of Arkansas Press invites submissions of manuscripts for its
poetry series. We are committed to publishing diverse kinds of poetry by a diversity
of poets. The only criterion is excellence.

Complete info
HERE.

First Book Competition

Since 1992, the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas (NWCA), in conjunction with the Native Studies Program at the University of Oklahoma, has been conducting an annual First Book Awards competition. Judges serve each year to evaluate manuscripts in two categories, poetry and prose, before selecting the winners in each. Plans to formulate a consortium of universities and small presses are ongoing in which the winning manuscripts are to be published. The competition is open to writers of Native American background (full-blood, mixed-blood, enrolled, unenrolled, Metis, Canadian First Nations, Alaska Natives, Latin American Natives, etc.).

Complete info HERE.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Kiss, Kiss

to Naren, an Iowa bud, who IMed tonight. It was great talking to you again, Naren!!!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Recent Fave

The 10:15 to Cambridge

Maybe twin violets have reasons.

A cancelled check
flutters to the floor, a fire-singed moth...

The ticket he sent, folded
& folded again. Salt smell of his inner pocket.

They say there's a world
that keeps on coming up with Springs--can you count

the times you've seen it
on one hand?

But I wish you the swirling grace of London swans.

That the on-coming train
was a pack of the shyest white horses.

Louise Mathias, originally published in The Laurel Review.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Post-Reading Bits

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Simmons has posted photographs. And Gina has beautifully described the location. I can't add much.
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Best New Piglets.
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I had a wonderful time at the reading. It was a pleasure to read with Simmons and Gina. Simmons is funny and sincere. He's got stage presence. I guess it helps that he's over 9 feet tall. Gina's voice is very soft, but it envelops the listener. I could listen to her read for a long time.
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I sent my collection to two readers. Both of them liked the same group of poems the best. Autobiographical lyrics. Which surprised me. I've always thought those poems were the weakest. And the poems are really not autobiographical. The events they describe never happened.
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I didn't give a very good reading. For some reason I got real nervous just as I stepped up to read. I'm not going to lie to you: the older than usual audience threw me off. I don't know why. I like grandmas and grandpas. As I started to read I tried to focus on a couple of faces in the audience but all those wrinkles played tricks on my eyes. It was like Op-Art. I tried to focus on Josh or Charlie but they're the type of people who lower their heads while someone's reading. What's that all about! Really! Charlie had his head down so low he almost inhaled his penis.
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Oh Charlie! Oh Josh! Thanks so much for driving up with me to Tucson for the reading. What great company. And Josh, isn't time you actually start blogging?
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Casa Libre en la Solana is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! What a space for writers. They offer self-directed residencies. The suites are amazing. We were given a tour and my jaw hit the floor: the suites pulse with a funky 70s vibe. Each suite has a living room, a kitchen, a bedroom and a bathroom. I'm going to apply for a residency. Ricky Moody was just there. Apply. PS: Photographs of the suites will soon be posted on the Casa web site.
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Casa is fab but I do have one small complaint: there's a spotlight right above the lectern. A big boy like me is going to sweat like crazy under a spotlight. And sweat I did. Move the spotlight! Better yet: place a small lamp right on the lectern.