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

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Tyre

Just how it came to rest where it rested,
miles out, miles from the last farmhouse even,
was a fair question. Dropped by hurricane
or aeroplane perhaps for some reason,
put down as a cairn or marker, then lost.
Tractor-size, six or seven feet across,
it was sloughed, unconscious, warm to the touch,
its gashed, rhinoceros, sea-lion skin
nursing a gallon of rain in its gut.
Lashed to the planet with grasses and roots,
it had to be cut. Stood up it was drunk
or slugged, wanted nothing more than to slump,
to spiral back to its circle of sleep,
dream another year in its nest of peat.
We bullied it over the moor, drove it,
pushed from the back or turned it from the side,
unspooling a thread in the shape and form
of its tread, in its length, and in its line,
rolled its weight through broken walls, felt the shock
when it met with stones, guided its sleepwalk
down to meadows, fields, onto level ground.
There and then we were one connected thing,
five of us, all hands steering a tall ship
or one hand fingering a coin or ring.

Once on the road it picked up pace, free-wheeled,
then moved up through the gears, and wouldn't give
to shoulder-charges, kicks; resisted force
until to tangle with it would have been
to test bone against engine or machine,
to be dragged in, broken, thrown out again
minus a limb. So we let the thing go,
leaning into the bends and corners,
balanced and centred, riding the camber,
carried away with its own momentum.
We pictured an incident up ahead:
life carved open, gardens in half, parted,
a man on a motorbike taken down,
a phone-box upended, children erased,
police and an ambulance in attendance,
scuff-marks and the smell of broken rubber,
the tyre itself embedded in a house
or lying in a gutter, playing dead.

But down in the village the tyre was gone,
and not just gone but unseen and unheard of,
not curled like a cat in the graveyard, not
cornered in the playground like a reptile,
or found and kept like a giant fossil.
Not there or anywhere. No trace. Thin air.

Being more in tune with the feel of things
than science and facts, we knew that the tyre
had travelled too fast for its size and mass,
and broken through some barrier of speed,
outrun the act of being driven, steered,
and at that moment gone beyond itself
towards some other sphere, and disappeared.

Simon Armitage

Via Cornshake

Rejection letters from various journals

Friday, June 23, 2006

World Cup Bits

*
Been very busy. Daily visits to the new baby. Finishing up interview questions.
*
I'm sipping a moo latte. Udder-rific!
*
I'm really enjoying watching World Cup matches. Though the advancement system is confusing. I can't make heads or tails of it.
*
He read at "the barn" and we then went to an open-mic reading for the students (where Timothy Liu snuck in with cake doughnuts)...
*
Check out the studly Gabe Gudding in the photographs posted over at Nick's blog.
*
Sean Hill called me!
*
The National Team of Iran=HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT.
*
I've finished a love poem. The Beloved is a mojado.
*
Fave new show:
Life on the D-List.
*

Thursday, June 22, 2006

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Fifteen Candles: 15 Tales of Taffeta, Hairspray, Drunk Uncles, and
other Quinceañera Stories.
HarperCollins/Rayo Anthology
Edited by Adriana Lopez
Publication date: Summer, 2007
Deadline for Pitches: June 26, 2006. Please include a 1 page story
idea, a bio note, and information on previous publications.

Description
As hard as you may have tried to forget that nightmarish Quinceañera
your parents forced you to have or perhaps you really wanted for
ambitious reasons of your own---this anthology will smack you in the
face with those white taffeta tainted memories. We're looking to
ensemble a collection of 15 kitsch-filled, humorous first person tales
about this beloved and sometimes over-the-top Latino coming-of-age
ceremony. We'd like to know if yours was a disaster, if you attended a
Quinceañera party that ruined your sense of reality or good taste, if
you deflowered the Quinceañera in the bathroom (or were yourself at
your own Quince), if your Uncle was hitting on all the Quinceañera's
friends, or if any particularly laugh-out-loud Quinceañera experience
(either your own or one you attended) has marked you for life. We want
to capture the essence of this ceremony, in all its glory-- both good
and bad, but ALWAYS funny.

Think weird--like scenes out of John Waters' Hairspray, think David
Sedaris and Dress Your Family in Denim and Corduroy, think Sofia
Coppola's "The Virgin Suicides. Think your colorful aunts, with their
ten feet high hairdos, dirty dancing with your 15- year-old guy friends
to Madonna's "Like a Virgin." You know, images from our past that make
up who we are and which make us giggle after weve all had a few
cocktails. For a sense of the voice were aiming for, please check out
Bar Mitzvah Disco (Crown, 2005).

ESSAY LENGTH: 7,000 words
EMAIL: adrifrida@yahoo.com
SUBJECT LINE: Quinceañera Pitch
PAYMENT: $1,000. Upon publication
RIGHTS: World
FINAL DEADLINE: August 7, 2006

About the editor
Adriana Lopez is a writer and editor based in New York City. She was
the founding Editor of Críticas magazine, Publishers Weeklys sister
publication on the Spanish- language publishing world and served as the
spokesperson for the Association of American Publishers (AAP) Latino
Voices for America initiative. Lopezs work has appeared in The New York
Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Time Out, Black
Book, Latina, among other publications. Her non-fiction essays have
appeared in Border-Line Personalities: A New Generation of Latinas Dish
on Sex, Sass & Cultural Shifting (HarperCollins, 2004), Colonize This!
Young Women of Color on Todays Feminism (Seal Press, 2002) and
Hopscotch: Latin American Cultural Review (Duke University Press,
2000). Her latest short story will appear in a fiction collection of
Latina writers coming in 2007 from Simon & Schuster. She is a member of
PEN America.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Some Love for

The Pet Shop Boys

Dial-Up Bits


*
It's hot in Arizona. Don't move her. Seriously. I've already burned my tender wrists.
*
The house I'm staying at only has dial-up. It blows. Like three thousand kneeling queens.
*
Why do I write so much about string instruments? My first collection is packed with tubas, trumpets, French horns, guitars, and harps. And string instruments are showing up in the new poems too. I think it's time to get over string instruments. But they're so handsome!
*
Right now I'm using my sister's computer. She's got broadband. Sigh.
*

Saturday, June 17, 2006

I'm an Uncle! Again!

My sister gave birth to her first child today. Welcome to the world, Lucas!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

$35 Bits


*
I don't really live in a town called Tumbleweed. Geez.
*
I'm still reeling from the Cyndi Lauper/Alan Cummings performance on the Tonys this past Sunday. I love that woman! I often close my eyes while she's singing and I can see her voice rising from my speakers, like curls of foil.
*
Emmy Pérez has a blog. Rejoice.
*
Is this blog gay enough?
*
Other bloggers have been dissing Tupelo Press's $35 reading fee. I don't think it's too much. Here's why:

One: I don't mind supporting the production of other books. Tupelo Press publishes some of the most beautiful books in the business. Plus, I like their commitment to diversity.

Two: the promised short critique is very inviting. Poets are hungry for any kind of attention. Any! Though I'm curious how "short" these critiques will be? A paragraph? Two sentences? A smiley face?

Three: I'm a newbie! I've never sent my full-length collection out before. My soul is free of bitterness! I wonder how long that will last? I haven't experienced the pain of writing check after check for first book contests. I haven't experienced the pain of being a finalist time after time. Oh boy, this is going to be fun!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Tumbleweed Bit

I'm here! I arrived Saturday evening. Yesterday, I ate tacos de lengua. I'm home.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Goodbye Urbana Bits

Blogger sucks.
*
Jason Bredle keeps a list of his rejections. I like his attitude.
*
I'm finally leaving Urbana tomorrow. Tomorrow: what a pretty word.
*
I want to grope one of these guys.
*
Yes, I did throw out a book written by a blogger. Not a chapbook. A book. I'm sorry.
*
Sean Nevin
*
I have a crush on Collin Kelly. Is he gay?
*
Look: Jason Bredle just won the New Issues Poetry Prize.
*
Some love for Alberto Rios.
*
Strange web site via Corn Shake. Very Strange.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Departure's Girlfriend

Loneliness leapt in the mirrors, but all week
I kept them covered like cages. Then I thought
Of a better thing.

And though it was late night in the city
There I was on my way
To my boat, feeling good to be going, hugging
This big wreath with the words like real
Silver: Bon Voyage.

The night
Was mine but everyone's, like a birthday.
Its fur touched my face in passing. I was going
Down to my boat, my boat,
To see if off, and glad at the thought.
Some leaves of the wreath were holding my hands
And the rest waved good-bye as I walked, as though
They were still alive.

And all went well till I came to the wharf, and no one.

I say no one, but I mean
There was this young man, maybe
Out of the merchant marine,
In some uniform, and I knew who he was; just the same
When he said to me where do you think you're going,
I was happy to tell him.

But he said to me, it isn't your boat,
You don't have one. I said, it's mine, I can prove it:
Look at this wreath I'm carrying to it,
Bon Voyage. He said, this is the stone wharf, lady,
You don't own anything here.
And as I
Was turning away, the injustice of it
Lit up the buildings, and there I was
In the other and hated city
Where I was born, where nothing is moored, where
The lights crawl over the stone like flies, spelling now,
Now, and the same fat chances roll
Their many eyes; and I step once more
Through a hoop of tears and walk on, holding this
Buoy of flowers in front of my beauty,
Wishing myself the good voyage.

W.S. Merwin

Action Yes

The latest installment of Action Yes is up. Some favorite reads so far:

Capítulo 2 de Septiembre para Jen
Fossilized Roadmap
Eve Speaks

Plan C

Well, I'm saved! My brother-in-law is flying in Friday afternoon to help me drive to Arizona. Whew!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Plan B: Or If I Die Please Write An Elegy Loaded With Similes


My brother flaked out on me. He didn't board his plane this morning. He's a sweet man; he's been going through some serious issues for the past eight years. He's in a bad place right now. I wish he would let us help him. But he's not even ready to admit he's got problems.

Now, I have to drive to Arizona by myself. I'm worried. This will be a challenge. I'm terrible at reading maps and locating traffic signs along the highway. I'm going to get lost for sure. I'm really worried about driving through St. Louis and Tulsa: the only "big" cities I have to drive through. All those lanes and ramps and exits really confuse me.

Oh my kingdom for a co-driver!

I'm planning on leaving Tuesday morning but that might change. I want to take some time to commit the route to memory and try to practice reading maps. Yes, you read that right. I'm going to practice my map reading skills.

Oh boy...

Moving Bits

*
My brother arrives Sunday evening and we'll drive off Monday morning. It should take a little more than two days to reach Arizona.
*
I tossed out a few old copies of Playgirl today. I didn't even know I still had them. I remember buying my first copy of Playgirl in high school. I walked into a Circle K and asked the male clerk for an issue. He looked at me for a bit, then said, Don't you mean Playboy? I blushed, like a white boy, and said, No. He reached over to the dirty magazine rack, picked one up and slipped it into a paper sack. He rang me up, and kept his gaze down as he said, Have a nice night. I did.
*
I have to clean my shower tonight!
*
Forgive me: I tossed out three poetry books today. One of the books was written by a blogger. Guess?
*
I just ate some Taco Bell.
*
I'm burning left over candle stubs. The air in my room smells like blueberries, melons and rain.
*
I have too many knick knacks.
*
Don't you hate it when your bottle of lube gets all sticky?
*
I don't want to throw out my IKEA floor lamp. I don't! I don't! But there's no room in my car for it. Boo. Hoo.
*
I hate blue pens. Why do I have twenty of them?
*
I just took a huff from my Sharpie marker. The colors. The colors.
*
She was so tranny-fabu, and with a totally appropriate power. You know she would rock the club with that funky mutant handclap. She was straight out of the mutant touring company of ‘Rent.'
*
My bath mat is in the washing machine right now.
*
Vacuuming sucks.
*

Friday, June 02, 2006

Email

AOL email is screwed up right now. Will try to respond to my email later today.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Guess Who?

A few years ago, I had phone sex with a girl and really enjoyed it.

Aku

If my time should come
I'd like no one to entice me.
Not even you.
No need for those sobs and cries.

I am but a wild animal
Cut from its kind.

Though bullets should pierce my skin
I shall still strike and march forth.
Wounds and poison shall I take aflee. Aflee
'Til the pain and pang should disappear.

And I should care even less.

I want to live
for another thousand years.

Chairil Anwar

The Vincent Chin Memorial Chapbook Prize

Congrats, Joshua!


Joshua Kryah, former classmate and would-be singer, has won
Nightboat's book prize.

Donald Revell, the judge, wrote, "After we've reaped the whirlwind, what remains to glean? This debut approaches the question and its quiet apocalypse not desperately but,against all precedent, lovingly. And such approach is amply rewarded. In the hollow places of our day,Kryah finds not emptiness, but an echoing sound of wings. In the waste spaces, he finds a spark just now coming alight--for warmth, not burning. Crazy as it may sound, in Glean we have the love poetry of a terrible aftermath we need not, thanks to Kryah, fear after all."

And look: Joshua's got a web site.

New Press/New Contest

Switchback Books, a new press run by Brandi Homan, is offering the Gatewood Prize for women poets: book publication and a thousand dollar prize.

Here are some of the guidelines (click on the link for full details):

• Poet must be a woman between the ages of 18 and 39
• Writers who have had chapbooks of less than 42 pages printed in editions of no more than 400 copies are eligible
• Entry fee of $20 must accompany each submission; make check payable to Switchback Books.