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

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


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,...)


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:

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

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.

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
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.


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