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

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.
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


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)

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.
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.
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.
Two interviews: Corn Shake and Justin Evans--scroll down a bit for Justin.
Jared likes this poem.

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...


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


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.


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.
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
* 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


Yet another Charles Wright book.
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.
Dirty minds.
You need money? Write a poem and send it here.
Why do people whine on their blogs?
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."
Nothing beautiful to say about the world...

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

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

Simmons has posted photographs. And Gina has beautifully described the location. I can't add much.
Best New Piglets.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.