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

Friday, August 31, 2007

Rigoberto Gonzalez Blogs for the Poetry Foundation

Rigo will be blogging over at Harriet for the next six months.

Have a read. Leave a comment.


I'm not going to blog about my students or my class. It's not fair to them.
I'm thinking of attending Winter Wheat 2007. Mary swears it's a great conference.
Too cute.
I teach on Monday and Wednesday. Which leaves me with a lot of free time. How much? I'm going to be enjoying four-day weekends for nine months. Yes, it's okay to hate me.
Am I the only Mary in town?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Songs I Currently Adore

Cafe Tacuba: Puntos Cardinales
Snow Patrol: Run
The Dresden Dolls: Coin-Operated Boy
The Gossip: Standing In The Way Of Control
Muse: Starlight
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Maps
Rufus Wainwright: Rules & Regulations
Kelly Clarkson: Sober
Sufjan Stevens: Majesty Snowbird

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Poems by Javier O. Huerta

Cy Twombly's Untitled (Say Goodbye Catullus, to the shores of Asia Minor)

The Twombly Gallery-Houston, Texas

A child could not have drawn this.
Maybe something more like 67 children.
(Each with his or her own favorite ice cream.) And not just
Ordinary children. All 67 would have five arms each.
And each arm would have three hands and each hand
Would hold three brushes and two pencils.

And, in his or her own way, each child would love and hate Catullus.
Love him so much that they would crawl the streets of Rome in search of him.
Hate him so much that they would crawl the streets of Rome in search of him.

335 arms to embrace him. 1005 hands to maul him.

Catullus, give back all the beautiful words.

Two more poem here.

A Couplet Written by Christopher Hennessy at Age ?

My mom is so very nice
because she never has any lice

A Couplet Writen by John Ashbery at Age Eight

The tall haystacks are great sugar mounds/
These are the fairies' camping grounds

Untitled (Mouth/Stones): Ann Hamilton: 1993

Monday, August 27, 2007

from Poetry 365

The Cockfighter's Daughter Falls in Love
When My Father Had La Viruela
Black Ice
The Gokstadt Ship

Hamilton Bits

Ah, small town living. The fresh air, the green lawns, the white people.
I got my hair cut today.
Hamilton is a very livable village. That's right. I'm living in a villege.
There's a sushi joint downtown. And a health food store/ cafe. A coffee shop. Six pizza outfits. A deli. A nice sit-down joint. A Subway. An ice cream/ homemade chocolates outfit. Three small grocery stores. By the way, how much does a gallon of milk cost in your town? I paid four bucks for a gallon the other day. I was shocked.
There's also a movie theater downtown.
I wish there was a nice bookstore. There's the Colgate bookstore but it's not designed for browsing.
I had a seafood sensation sandwich at Subway today. It was gross. Why did I order it?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Martin Espada's Birthday Party at the Bowery Poetry Club

Thursday, August 30th @ 7pm
The Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery (between Bleecker and Houston)
F Train to 2nd Ave., 6 Train to Bleecker Street
Hosted by Rich Villar of the Acentos Bronx Poetry Showcase
and presented by the louderARTS Project, Acentos, and Salon Lucero
Suggested Donation $5 (no one will be turned away)

An evening of poetry and Latin Jazz to celebrate a dear friend,
mentor, and compañero poeta. Readings by Yusef Komunyakaa, Gerald
Stern, Kimiko Hahn, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Sandra Maria Esteves, Patricia
Smith, and many more!

With musical guests: Bobby Sanabria and Quarteto Aché

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Arrival Bits

The lovely and tenacious Alessandra Lynch drove me to the Albany train station Monday afternoon. We didn't get lost once! Though I'm sad to report that she got lost on her way back.
On the train I sat next to a very nice queen. A very cute queen. He had a movie star face. Handsome as heck. He'd just finished beauty school (no beauty school drop out here) and is in the process of applying to some acting/ dancing schools in NYC.
I got off at the Utica train station. A taxi was waiting for me. Hamilton is a 45 minute drive from Utica. My cab driver was very talky. So I asked him a bunch of questions about the area.
I had the taxi stop at a building on campus so I could get my apartment keys. Colgate is a college upon a hill: most of the buildings sit on top of several small hills.
When I entered my apartment my jaw dropped. It's an amazing space. The bones of the apartment are very plain, but the furniture and accessories are wonderful. The whole place is decorated in Island modern: dark rattan sofas and chairs with palm frond print cushions and pillows. And boy, this place is really fully furnished: new towels, bath mats, new plates, silverware, electric fan, new broom and dustpan, sleek and fancy bed linens, hallway hutch, iron and ironing horse, lamps, framed wall prints, vases, silver art objects, etc. It's overwhelming!
And the people from the English Department have been very welcoming. I'm going to love it here. No question.
Did I mention my office? It's cute as a button. Wow, that was so gay. Moving on. My office is smallish but perfect. One wall is full of book shelves. My window faces the quad area. Got a cool PC, desk and chair.
I'm one lucky poet.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Yaddo Bits

Last full day here.
I walked downtown for the last time. I sat on a park bench, and stared at the fountains, the ducks on the pond, and the lush lawns. Then I got up and kicked a duck!
Up next: Colgate University.
I went to the horse races yesterday. It was a blast. Strange though to see so many families at a gambling space. I broke even: I placed four $2 bets and won back $9 bucks on two wins.
Pinsky "does" C. Dale.
Hmm. I should do my laundry tonight. I shouldn't drag smelly clothes to Hamilton.
Listen: a bird-stir and the build
of God in your breath...

I won with horses named Holiday Trip and Facutal Contender. I also placed a bet on a horse with a gorgeous name, Symphony of Psalms, but he failed to show.
No: I didn't really kick a duck.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Liam Rector

Liam Rector killed himself yesterday.

The Remarkable Objectivity of Your Old Friends

We did right by your death and went out,
Right away, to a public place to drink,
To be with each other, to face it.

We called other friends—the ones
Your mother hadn't called—and told them
What you had decided, and some said

What you did was right; it was the thing
You wanted and we'd just have to live
With that, that your life had been one

Long misery and they could see why you
Had chosen that, no matter what any of us
Thought about it, and anyway, one said,

Most of us abandoned each other a long
Time ago and we'd have to face that
If we had any hope of getting it right.

from American Prodigal
Liam Rector, 1949-2007


from Amanda's blog:

"In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made to the Liam Rector Scholarship Fund at The Writing Seminars of Bennington College, to organizations in support of Free Speech, or to The Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP)."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Attention Bloggers: Which One Are You?

"There are a number of poet-bloggers whose entries I read everyday. Occasionally, I'm not sure why I subject myself to some of these personalities: the-oh-so-bitchiest-in-the-world poet, the me-me-me-and-did-I-mention-me poet, the-I'm-a-failure-although-I-did-just-get-5-acceptances poet, and on and on and on."

I'm going to try to guess which poet bloggers the talented Jehanne Dubrow is talking about. Fun!

1. The bitchiest poet is easy. It's Reb.

2. Hmm. The me-me-me-me poet could be a lot of folks. Aaron Smith. Anne Haines. Amanda Auchter. All lovely but self-centred poets. But my money is on this handsome but woe-is-me blogger.

3. Another easy one: Paul Guest.

Wasn't that fun? Why don't you play along?

Poets Are Funny. Poets Are Fucked Up.

from the Best New Poets 2007 blog:

Yikes! So this is going on the sixth day of Priority Mail. You have to be careful to drop it in the right slot. Priority Mail looks very similar to When We Get Around To It Mail.

"I'm almost puking my pants."

"We're all hungry for the results, and the delays reeeeaaalllllly suck. But what are you gonna do? I'm making grilled cheese."

"Oh how the nails do grow in an anonymous blog. I predict there will be no blog next year and further more I am again disappointed in my fellow humans. If we could only... who am i kidding, slap me in the face and make my mouth an ashtray. For god sakes I flew to the moon and married a mermaid."

"Roses are red,
violets are blue,
stop being such jerks
while we wait for the news."

"I like water and semantics."

"The bitching isn't because it's a new poets competition but because some of the people commenting happen to be bitchy mcbitchersons."

Yaddo Bits

I'm no longer a night person. I'm a morning person now! I used to spend all night reading and writing. But now I go to bed by 10PM and wake up at 7AM. I'm preparing for the upcoming academic year. A teacher can't sleep through his class, right?
I had a good time reading on Monday night. I was a bit nervous. (My right foot kept shaking.) A composer asked why there's a lot musical instruments in my work. My reply: Cuz musical instrument are sexy.
Alessandra Lynch's new poems are fucking great.
Have I told you about the bat that crashed into my face? No? Hmm...

First Book Interview: Collin Kelley

I know it chaps a lot of asses...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Yaddo Bits

Last week here.
Thanks for the postcards/ notes: Cornshake, Matthew T., Peter P., C. Dale, and J.H. Gailey.
Sunday I signed out of lunch, and headed off to an Indian food joint with Michelle. The roads were packed with cars so it took us some time to get to the joint. When we arrived we found out it was closed. Foul. We headed off to a fried chicken joint and found another closed sign. We ended up eating at this Thai place near the library. It was so-so.
I can't believe it's my last week here.
Alessandra Lynch and I will be reading on Monday night at West House.
I still haven't gone to the horse races. I better do it this week. The track has $2 bets. I'm going to splurge and spend $20 bucks. I roll like that.
I went swimming today for the first time. I ususally just dip my feet. But the water was so cool and silky today.
April Bernard left today. She's very nice. She has a great laugh.
After dinner I took a nap so I slept through Ron Baron's open studio. Sorry, Ron!

Friday, August 10, 2007

First Book Interview: Miguel Murphy

I stalked the Mexican painter Julio Galan, a contemporary artist, one of the thorns in my crown of favorites--the same week he gave me permission he died. I then went through his family for permission and they've been terribly gracious. I couldn't be happier than in their debt. The painting itself speaks to the ugly erotics, the sad sexual glamour, the dangerous appeal of the darker poems in the book.

"This second printing is a real gift. It's like finding out your dick isn't small. Now I'll take it anywhere, shove it in your face. Tell you it's big. Ask you if you want to touch it."

"The book is what we live for--In print, our words are remains. They're ashes. They're us, a version of us that matter. The book is what we work so hard for for so long."

"Poetry is a gun in your mouth. It can do nothing."

Thursday, August 09, 2007

First Book Interview: Steve Fellner

I got an MFA and PhD in creative writing. During all this time, I was sending out various incarnations of the book. No one wanted it. It was (and still is) an uneven book, but there were a lot of worse books out there, and I liked sending things out in the mail.

"The world is nice that way: no one holds insignificance against you."

"So I sent 40 emails (all the same night) to 40 different poets I really admired, and told them how their work influenced me, and asked if they would consider looking at my book, and if they felt moved to do so, offer me a blurb. 15 out of the 40 poets responded. Most ignored me. Two told me to Fed Ex them the manuscript and then never contacted me again. One significant gay poet read the book and told me that he didn't like it. It hurt. I'm gay. He's gay. I thought he'd say yes simply because of those two facts. But that was cool. I admire people with discriminating tastes, and also, I'm a masochist. Because he rejected me, I'm even a bigger fan."

"I'm surprised when anyone mentions my book, and I mean anyone. I had a student ask me to sign a copy and I was shocked he would have bought a copy."

"It's hard to get readings when your book comes from a small press and you're an insignificant writer."

"I think a lot about a second book. And I am sometimes embarrassed that I am creating (have created) one. Does the world need another book by me?"

"I started writing because I wanted love."

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

3 Bits

Rigoberto Gonzalez reviews Dance Dance Revolution.
Have you checked out the new titles from Action Books?
I will be reading with Cathy Park Hong and Aracelis Girmay on Saturday, September 22 at Cornelia Street Cafe.

Yaddo Bits

A bunch of us went to a horse auction on Tuesday. One horse went for 2.2 million bucks. Others for half a million. 300k. Etc.
On Monday I had the immense pleasure of listening to Josip Novakovich read a short story.
Mint Leaf! Isn't that a cool horse name?
Dinners around here have been amazing. On Saturday we had pecan-encrusted salmon. Sunday we had prime rib. Monday, chicken parmigiana. And today we had pork loin topped with mango salsa.
It rained tonight.
Eugene Ostashevsky also read on Monday. He's a fantastic performer. He rapped his first poem. His voiced boomed. At one point he even hopped!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

My First Blurb!

Momotombo Press will publish Robert Vasquez's Braille for the Heart in the fall. I was asked to write a blurb for the chapbook. You can view the cover artwork and my blurb on the back here. Diana Marie Delgado wrote the introduction.

Stayed tuned: I will be giving away a couple of chapbooks in the fall.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Yaddo Bit

Today I attended a funeral for a cellphone.


Thanks to Mr. Hennessy for the information.

A Midsummer Night's Press announces two new annual anthologies:

BEST GAY POETRY edited by Lawrence Schimel &
BEST LESBIAN POETRY edited by Linda Alvarez

For the 2008 editions of this exciting new series celebrating the best in gay/lesbian poetry, A Midsummer Night's Press invites submissions of poems published during 2007. Poems can have appeared in print or online magazines, journals, or anthologies; we are also willing to consider poems from books or chapbooks first published in 2007, even if the poem was originally published previously in periodicals, so long as the poet has the right to reprint the poem.

We are open to all styles of poetry, from formal to free verse; we are likewise open-minded in terms of content, so long as it somehow fits (even if pushing the boundaries of) what might be considered "gay poetry" or "lesbian poetry." We are willing to consider slam poetry, so long as it has been published in text form, not merely performed; the poem must also work on the page, for these anthologies. We are open to English-language poetry from all over the world, and actively look to include non-North American voices.

Submissions from individual poets or queries should be sent by email in .doc format to one of the following addresses, as appropriate: BestGayPoetry@gmail.com or BestLesbianPoetry@gmail.com.

Please title documents with the poet's surname. Please include contact information (both street and email address), bio, and previous publication history WITHIN the document, as documents will be read separately from the emails. Deadline is December 1, 2007. (We will consider submissions of work that is scheduled to appear in the latter half of the year, but which has not yet been published.)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Yaddo Bits

Some days I'm so happy to be here. Some days I want to pack my bags and run away.
The pool party was fun. I dare not repeat what I saw. Or what I said! But I'll repeat this. A poet went for a quick swim and as she twirled in the water she noticed something rippling in the deep end. She called out to us, What's that? A few of us went to investigate, and we started to freak out. It's a snake, someone shouted. My heart froze. I fucking hate snakes. The poet got out of the pool fast. Then someone said, That's not a snake! It's a scarf! OMG! It was a scarf. We all turned to look at the poet. She was standing on the deck, soaking wet, and bent over in laughter. Yep, it was her scarf.
Currently reading: Transparency: Stories by Frances Hwang.
I need to buy another handkerchief. I lost the first one I bought ten days ago.
Where are my postcards? I've received three postcards since my arrival. Only three! My heart breaks each time I check for mail.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Yaddo Bits

On Wednesday housekeeping cleans my studio so I have to leave the room for a bit. I sleepwalked to the first floor and had some breakfast. I usually sleep through the first meal of the day. But I'm glad I did go today because I got the chance to say goodbye to Dan Welcher. Such a nice man.
I walked into town in the afternoon to buy some stamps and envelopes. I was planning on cutting my hair but it slipped my mind. I'll do that tomorrow.
Tomorrow we're having a pool party. Note to self: buy some beer.
Today I started doing automatic writing exercises. I'm going to do the exercises for ten days, and then comb over the pages and try to find something to use.
Alessandra Lynch and I caught a bat tonight in the cocktail room! Seriously! We spotted it flying around the gold ceiling. Alessandra fetched a couple of nets and we took turns trying to catch the bat. She almost had it a few times. I caught it, and she placed her net over my net so it wouldn't fly out. We walked to a door and let the bat out. Cathy would be so proud of us!

Jonathan Ames was no help! He threw himself onto the floor when he spotted the bat, and covered his face and head with his arms. What a sissy!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

First Book Interview: Henrietta Goodman

One of the most pleasant surprises has been the response of a guy I didn't know who came to my launch party. Since then, he's joined my writing group, and at his first meeting I asked him who he liked to read, and he said "Richard Hugo, Philip Levine, James Wright, and you."


It’s intriguing to watch “American” names begin to dominate among my nieces and nephews and second cousins, as well as with the children of my hometown friends. I am not surprised to meet 5-year-old Brandon or Kaitlyn. Hardly anyone questions the incongruity of matching these names with last names like Trujillo or Zepeda. The English-only way of life partly explains the quiet erasure of cultural difference that assimilation has attempted to accomplish. A name like Kaitlyn Zepeda doesn’t completely obscure her ethnicity, but the half-step of her name, as a gesture, is almost understandable.

Yaddo Bits

I'm sad. Yes, I'm sad. Sometimes I'm ashamed to admit this. But not tonight. I'm sad.
The heart can only be broken once, like a window.
The heart can only be broken once, like a window.
The heart can only be broken once, like a window.
The heart can only be broken once, like a window.
The heart can only be broken once, like a window.
A poet last week asked me, Why is your work so beautiful? I gave the poet some bullshit answer. But here's the reason: I write beautiful poems to counter the ugliness inside myself.

Poet With A Day Job Strikes Again!

Does this woman ever sleep? She's Googled her fingers off and found MORE first book contests. And here is her list of fall/ spring contests.

May God have mercy on our checkbooks.