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

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Gratitude

Today my poems bought me dinner. French onion soup and a hamburger. Yesterday, they bought me a pint of milk, oranges and corn muffin mix. And my poems have been sheltering me since August.

In other words, I've received my first stipend check.

All week I've smiled like crazy while handing over my debit card to a clerk. On Thursday my poems bought me an umbrella and a Colgate t-shirt.

My poems are taking care of me this year. Each bill, each cup of coffee, each new book will be purchased by money my poems earned.

My poems even sent a check to my mom.

Thank you, O poems of mine.

Ezra Pound's Proposition

Beauty is sexual, and sexuality
Is the fertility of the earth and the fertility
Of the earth is economics. Though he is no recommendation
For poets on the subject of finance,
I thought of him in the thick heat
Of the Bangkok night. Not more than fourteen, she saunters up to you
Outside the Shangri-la Hotel
And says, in plausible English,
"How about a party, big guy?"

Here is more or less how it works:
The World Bank arranges the credit and the dam
Floods three hundred villages, and the villagers find their way
To the city where their daughters melt into the teeming streets,
And the dam's great turbines, beautifully tooled
In Lund or Dresden or Detroit, financed
By Lazeres Freres in Paris or the Morgan Bank in New York,
Enabled by judicious gifts from Bechtel of San Francisco
Or Halliburton of Houston to the local political elite,
Spun by the force of rushing water,
Have become hives of shimmering silver
And, down river, they throw that bluish throb of light
Across her cheekbones and her lovely skin.

Robert Hass
from Time and Materials

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Reading Bits (for Anne in AZ)

I will never take a bus from Hamilton to NYC again. Seven hours wasted! I always tell myself that I will use my bus time productively: read, grade, or write. But I never do. I just sit there and stare out the window.
*
Silos. I saw a lot of silos.
*
NYC is overwhelming. Duh, I know. But I now live in a nice-but-two-street town, and I don't have many dining and shopping options. NYC is brimming with shops and places to eat. Like China Fun!
*
I bought a cute green gemstone bracelet in Union Square. When I read my poems I like to flay my arms about. Seriously. And it's nice to have something shiny on a wrist.
*
I also bought a scarf. Correction: I bought a scarf that I found in the women's section. Hey, I'm not ashamed. Scarves for men are boring! This scarf is fuzzy and made from autumn-colored yarn.
*
I called Matthew Shindell while walking around Union Square. It was good talking to him again.
*
I got lost! I was supposed to meet Rigoberto on..err...I've already forgotten...but I thought I was at the right spot, but then he calls me all upset and stuff and demands to know why I'm not at the right spot. I was only like 3 or 4 long blocks away from him. I start walking toward him but I get lost. Yes, walking down from the Avenue of Americas to the Virgin Music Store, I got lost. I couldn't find Rigo. And then to make matters worse, two fire trucks pull up next to the Virgin store. People start to crowd around the store. Rubberneckers. I try to call Rigo but I can't reach him. I start to panic!
*
I walk around. I even ask a couple of people for directions but they're no help. Thank you, New Yorkers!
*
Then (to quote Merwin) I thought of a better thing: I called up Matthew Shindell again and asked him to get online so he could give me directions to the Cornelia Street Cafe.
*
Matthew guides to me very close to the reading venue. I find Bleecker but I can't find the C.S. cafe. I call Rigo again and this time he picks up. He talks me to the coffee shop where's he sitting. Needless to say, he wasn't very happy with me.
*
I admit it: I'm terrible with directions. I get lost easily. And then when I get lost, I get flustered and become more confused.
*
We arrive at the Cornelia Street Cafe. We spot Rich Villar walking up the street. Then we spot Cathy Park Hong. I haven't seen her since our Iowa days. She's still cute as a button. And then Scott Hightower and Jose show up. Then Patrick Rosal rolls up. And Steven Cordova shows up too.
*
We walk down to the basement and I sit close to the stage because I know I'm reading first. Cathy Park Hong sits opposite me. Aracelis Girmay sits next to her.
*
The reading space at the Cornelia Street Cafe is intimate: narrow and darkish. Perfect for a reading.
*
Rigo introduces me. He mostly talks about himself. Hey, it's Rigo. He mentions that I graduated from Iowa in 1894!! And then mentions that my book will soon be published as a POD book.
*
I read my poems. Mostly older stuff, but also a handful of poems I've never read out loud before.
*
I had one very embarrassing moment. Instead of saying "I sit in bed" I said "I sit in Ben!" The audience laughed. I tried to recover.
*
I usually hate my reading style, but I liked how my voice carried this time. Rigo said I should've talked more in between poems. I should've, but my throat was dry as heck that night, and there was no water on stage for the readers. We were supposed to read for 20 minutes but I only read for 15. My voice was about to give out.
*
Aracelis read next. Her poems work wonderfully on the stage and on the page. I'm very envious of that. I had her sign my book.
*
Then Cathy closed the reading.
*
After the reading I had dinner with Rigo and his MFA students from Rutgers. A smart and funny bunch of kids.

Diana Marie Delgado Reading

Reading Between A & B

7:30 pm
11th Street Bar
510 E. 11th Street
Between Avenues A & B

October 1:

Ralph Angel
Jacqueline Jones LaMon
Diana Marie Delgado

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Outer Bands


This is one of the books I bought at St. Mark's Bookstore in NYC this weekend.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sick Bits

I'm sick. Monday night I felt a tickle in the back of my throat. Tuesday I woke up with a sore throat and a headache.
*
The Autobiography of Ethel Waters
*
Don't forget: I'm reading (along with Cathy Park Hong and Aracelis Girmay) at The Cornelia Street Cafe this Saturday. The reading starts at 6PM. The $7 dollar cover charge includes one drink.
*
My voice is hoarse. I sound like this guy.
*
I really hate body chills.
*
New fall books by some heavyweights.
*
Ah, these songs take me back to my undergraduate days.
Ballerina Out Of Control
Between Something and Nothing
*
Here's a poem by Jordan Davis.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Some Nights No Cars at All


I'm really looking forward to reading Josh Rathkamp's first book, Some Nights No Cars at All. Amazing cover, no? Click on cover to see it blown up.

I met Josh at Arizona State. He's a good guy. He has a cool gravelly voice. Hmm. How did I meet him? We didn't take any courses together. I'm guessing we just met at some reading or in some hallway. Wait, now I remember: We met when he came up to me and started bragging about some prize he'd won. Tacky, no? But after reading his poems I could see why he would garner an award.

Here are some of his poems online:

Spectators Along the Interstate
What’s Wrong with Being Human and Two Other Poems

O Daedalus, Fly Away Home

Drifting night in the Georgia pines,
coonskin drum and jubilee banjo.
Pretty Malinda, dance with me.

Night is juba, night is congo.
Pretty Malinda, dance with me.

Night is an African juju man
weaving a wish and a weariness together
to make two wings.

O fly away home fly away

Do you remember Africa?

O cleave the air fly away home

My gran, he flew back to Africa,
just spread his arms and
flew away home.

Drifting night in the windy pines;
night is laughing, night is a longing.
Pretty Malinda, come to me.

Night is a mourning juju man
weaving a wish and a weariness together
to make two wings.

O fly away home fly away

Robert Hayden

Friday, September 14, 2007

Come Hear Me Read

THE QUETZAL QUILL @ THE CORNELIA STREET CAFÉ
Saturday, September 22 @ 6 pm

Readers

ARACELIS GIRMAY author of Teeth
CATHY PARK HONG author of Dance Dance Revolution
EDUARDO C. CORRAL author of I've Got No Book

Curator & Hostess

RIGOBERTO GONZÁLEZ

$6 admission (includes a free drink)
A/C/E/F/V/B/D trains to W. 4th St. Stop in the Village
29 Cornelia St. 212-989-9319
CORNELIA STREET CAFÉ

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Call for Submissions

Hayden's Ferry Review is looking for prose, poetry, and visual art that explore the humanity, beauty, and reality of the literary grotesque - the monstrous, the unusual, the abnormal.

Please send to: Hayden's Ferry Review (SS42),
Virginia G. Piper Center For Creative
Writing, Box 875002,
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-5002.

Postmark deadline: January 15, 2008


I, of course, won't be sending. I'm tired of being rejected by HFR. The nerve! I've sent twice to them and both times nothing. Not even a scribble on my rejection letter! Why the hell am I promoting their call for submissions?? I should delete this post. It's HFR! Not The Paris Review! And still they reject me! The shame. The horror. I should wear a badge at the next AWP: Rejected Twice by Hayden's Ferry Review. So the ten thousand losers from the ten thousand MFA programs in the country can gleefully mock me and whisper collectively behind my back: Even I was published in HFR!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Bits

Each time I call my mom, while waiting for her to pick up, I'm subjected to "Beautiful Liar" by Beyonce and Shakira.
*
It's been raining for two days.
*
I've ordered this book and this book.
*
Where else can we send a poetry book for review? Where else can we send a review of a poetry book we would like to spread the word about?
*
The leaves are beginning to change.
*
My first two books were apprentice books, tryings-out.
*

Friday, September 07, 2007

At Darien Bridge

The sea here used to look
As if many convicts had built it,

Standing deep in their ankle chains,
Ankle-deep in the water, to smite

The land and break it down to salt.
I was in this bog as a child

When they were all working all day
To drive the pilings down.

I thought I saw the still sun
Strike the side of a hammer in flight

And from it a sea bird be born
To take off over the marshes.

As the gray climbs the side of my head
And cuts my brain off from the world,

I walk and wish mainly for birds,
For the one bird no one has looked for

To spring again from a flash
Of metal, perhaps from the scratched

Wedding band on my ring finger.
Recalling the chains of their feet,

I stand and look out over grasses
At the bridge they built, long abandoned,

Breaking down into water at last,
And long, like them, for freedom

Or death, or to believe again
That they worked on the ocean to give it

The unchanging, hopeless look
Out of which all miracles leap.

James Dickey

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Rigo's Wednesday Shout Out


He-Goat, Beast of Secret Pleasures

I am the last
wolf in the man, the man in the storybook
wolf: fear and lust
are my two great dilemmas.
The name of my novel is The Story of a Love Wolf.
Chapter One: “The He-Hunting.”

The look of longing grows long—
my father. I am finding out how
to love a man.

I am my wolf harboring the dark
heart like a secret, posted
on the blood-dripping
green walls inside. In Chapter One
I read him—
he commits an act of murder.

Then Chapter Two—
“Love-Wolf and the Slow Meal.”

By Chapter Three, one must forget who is a wolf,
a father, a hunger, a son
hunting men. Remembering lust
one places the pen
down on his desk and reads what he has written:
“He-Goat, the Beast of Secret Pleasures.”

What will happen to us, who love now
bleating out, being ravished and torn to pieces?
Other men in the story—they do not

understand what death can be
unleashing like a mouthful of hot
neck and struggle. Best to keep it
quiet. Best to fall asleep and not write

“The Moon in the Man Wakes Up.”

Father, brother, colleague, friend,
I remember now the feeling
of wearing too much hair
on the palms of my hands. And, Yes,

if you read the last entry, “He-Goat Speaks,”
I admit to loving the wolf
in return! In the Epilogue, I admit to my nature
possessing the sadist’s heart.

from A Book Called Rats

Craig Santos Perez Reviews The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry


Although Aragón sketches a “group portrait” of the contributors, he reminds us that all the poets cross the thematic and aesthetic borders his introduction establishes for them, foregrounding the “nomadic” quality new Latino poetry.

You can buy it HERE.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Congrats, María Meléndez!

María Meléndez's How Long She'll Last in This World is a finalist for the 2007 PEN Center USA Literary Award in poetry.

Yeah!

Book Contests

I often get emails from young poets asking about book contests. I always reply by sending them these three links:

Poetry Contests
Open Reading Periods
First Book Contests

Monday, September 03, 2007

He's Listening. He's Really Listening.



Other pics from Martin Espada's b-day bash HERE. Thanks to Tayari Jones for posting the pics to her Flickr account.