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

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Out Now: Tsim Tsum: Sabrina Orah Mark

Tsim Tsum by Sabrina Orah Mark

Where Babies Come From

“Where,” asked Beatrice, “do babies come from?” Walter B. was hanging a painting in the crawl space. It was a painting of the babies. “Basically,” said Walter B., “babies come from rubbing babies together. They rub and they rub. Once, I heard them rubbing.” “Are you sure those are the babies where babies come from?” asked Beatrice. She was staring at the painting. It was a painting of the babies. Walter B. stepped back. “They seem,” said Beatrice, “to be different babies.” Walter B. tilted his head. A door slammed. They stood for a long time and examined the painting. Beatrice was right. These were not the same babies. These were different babies. Some of these babies carried twine. There were not the babies where babies came from. Some of these babies were not rubbing. Some of these babies had books about babies tucked under their arms. These were not the same babies. These babies would never be the babies where babies came from. These babies were different. And Beatrice was the first to call their bluff.

Call for Submissions

Shape of a Box, YouTube’s First Literary Magazine, will be open for submissions during the month of October 2009 for our 2nd year of publishing our video literary magazine.

We are seeking: poetry, fiction, non-fiction, stage/screen, graphic/comic work, cover art, reviews, interviews all under 5 minutes and/or 1000 words.

Complete guidelines here.

Monday, September 28, 2009


hot dang! the picture of pablo montero below is all kinds of hot. i'm melting, i'm melting...
lately, i've enjoyed verse daily way more than poetry daily. am i the only one?
imported more cds last night to my itunes library: the smiths, juan gabriel, don henley, sufjan stevens, morrissey, u2, leonard cohen, and alanis morissette.
everyday is like sunday. everyday is silent and grey...
the fear was in the northeast by g.c. waldrep.
once upon a time people left a lot of comments on my blog. now i'm lucky if i get one comment a post. i think facebook is to blame.
i did something naughty today.
contest season is here. and i'm scared! what if i'm one of those poets who spends years sending out before getting a hit? i don't want to be that poet. i mean no disrespect, but i don't want to be jennifer richter:
Her manuscript "Threshold" has been a finalist in twenty major book competitions, including the 2008 New Issues Poetry Prize and the 2008 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition.

did i just jinx myself?
look who just won the 2009 crab orchard series in poetry!
do the right thing by adrian matejka.

Hottie of the week: Pablo Montero


Like most writers, I seem to be smarter in print than in person. In fact, I am smarter when I’m writing.

rigoberto gonzalez reviews Jennine Capó Crucet

Though the Cuban-American experience has been well presented by such luminaries as Oscar Hijuelos, Cristina García and Pablo Medina, Capó Crucet's characters benefit from a second-generation, post-exile energy that moves her characters one step away from international conflict and cultural displacement, and into a position of challenging the roles and expectations shaped by the influential components of Cuban identity.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chills Down My Spine

next time i teach i'm going to use the third edition of helen vendler's poems, poets, poetry: an introduction and anthology, which comes out in october.

65 new poems make it one of the most inclusive introductory collections available. New additions include:

important canonical poets such as John Donne, Andrew Marvell, and Elizabeth Bishop;

well-known 20th century poets such as Charles Simic, Margaret Atwood, and Lucie Brock-Broido;

culturally diverse poets such as Victoria Chang, Eduardo Corral, Terrance Hayes, Srikanth Reddy;

new contemporary voices such as Shara McCallum, D.A. Powell, and Timothy Donnelly.

chills went down my spine when i found my poem in the table of contents. how cool is that?? freaking cool, i tell you!!!

Now, I just need to publish my first book. Ha.


Toward the end of my 12 years in New York, the novelty of poet misbehavior having long worn off, I attend a book party for an anthology in which one of my poems appears. I look around and see, at least to my mind, the Leading Poets of My Generation. There is the Editor of That Big Journal. There’s that Guy Who Runs the Best Small Press in Massachusetts. Those two have the run of the two Leading Poetry Organizations. There’s a Whole Group of People Who Went to Iowa; that Well-Dressed Trust Fund Poet appears in the latest Best American Poetry. There’s the Woman Who Knows the People Who Give Away That Two-Year Grant Who Got That Two-Year Grant. Those two will soon start Teaching Jobs Out West. Everyone, it seems, wears the latest clothes and glasses.

Lives of the Poets: Laura Jensen

from the Poetry Foundation:
...Jensen has been called “one of our very best living poets,” published three full-length collections of poems, and largely disappeared from the national poetry scene. She’s invited me to visit this library for a group reading from In Tahoma’s Shadow, an anthology of poetry by Tacoma poets that includes one of Jensen’s new poems, a fact that might confound the contemporary poets and bloggers who have made her into a Salinger-like cult figure. Yes, she still writes, and yes, she still publishes, just not how or where one might expect.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


the sun is out. thrilling news, no?
congrats to mark conway for winning the american poetry journal book prize. i met mark at the mcdowell colony in '06. he's the kind of person you want to meet at a colony: smart, funny, down-to-earth, full of po-biz stories.
from steve fellner's blog: The Possibility of Excessive Glibness as Romance in Eduardo Corral’s Poem “Caballero”
i want to be lady gaga.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

from the new yorker

Mother’s Quail by Paula Bohince

Alternate Take: Levon Helm by Tracy K. Smith

The Saint of the Uplands

Their prayers still swarm on me like lost bees.
I have no sweetness. I am dust
Twice over.

In the high barrens
The light loved us.
Their faces were hard crusts like their farms
And the eyes empty, where vision
Might not come otherwise
Than as water.

They were born to stones; I gave them
Nothing but what was theirs.
I taught them to gather the dew of their nights
Into mirrors. I hung them
Between heavens.

I took a single twig from the tree of my ignorance
And divined the living streams under
Their very houses. I showed them
The same tree growing in their dooryards.
You have ignorance of your own, I said.
They have ignorance of their own.

Over my feet they waste their few tears.

I taught them nothing.
The eyes are returning under the stones. And over
My dry bones they build their churches, like wells.

W.S. Merwin

Monday, September 14, 2009

Almost as Beautiful as an Immigrant Rights March down International

click here to read javier o. huerta's chapbook.

i've been living with this chapbook for the past few weeks. this work has helped me refine "variation on a theme by josé montoya," a longish code-switching sequence in my ms.

thank you, javier.

Hottie of the week: dylan ratigan

a few bits

tomas q. morin, one of my bread loaf friends, just found out he placed third in this contest. congrats, buddy!
facebook has been acting up for the last two weeks.
i keep watching crappy SyFy movies. why? why? why? did you catch the giant shark/ octopus movie starring debbie gibson? the acting and the special effects were beyond terrible. but hey, i watched the whole damn thing. the joke's on me.
thank you, daisy fried.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Call for Submissions

Currently we are accepting submissions until December 15th for the 2010 annual issue of Reverie. The theme for this issue is dedicated to Allison Joseph, the recipient of the 2009 Aquarius Press Legacy Award. Allison Joseph was born in London, England and is of Caribbean descent. She is an Associate Professor of Poetry at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Allison Joseph’s accolades include the John C. Zacharis First Book Prize, sponsored by Ploughshares; the Word Press Poetry Prize; and fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, Breadloaf, and the Sewanee Writers Conference. Her sixth full length poetry collection My Father’s Kites will be published by Steel Toe Books. She directs the MFA program at Southern Illinois University, serves as Editor and Poetry Editor of Crab Orchard Review, and maintains the CRWROPPS-B listserv, an invaluable resource for writers.

Reverie is a journal devoted to featuring good literature and is open to African Americans with “ties” or “loose ties” to the Midwest. With that said, for the upcoming issue we will consider all submissions, especially those dealing with the work for Allison Joseph. Reverie appears in print only. We are a literary journal that publishes poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. We will also accept book reviews as well.

For the upcoming issue on Allison Joseph, we will consider critical essays, personal accounts and/or testimonies as well as book reviews of Allison Joseph’s work.

Please send artwork for the cover–payment will be 2 copies.

Reverie is switching from a quarterly publication to an annual. We currently pay in two contributor copies of the journal.

Writer’s Guidelines for Reverie:

Submit in standard manuscript format, with a word count not to exceed 50 lines (poetry) and/or 3,000 words (Fiction/Essay). No more than three poems, please. No urban crime fiction or erotica, please. Publisher reserves the right to make light edits as necessary.

Email reverie.journal@gmail.comand type “Reverie” in the subject line and attach submission in Microsoft Word or Rich-text format (rtf). Reverie only accepts submissions by email. If you have any questions please email the editors at reverie.journal@gmail.com.

Call for Submissions

The Los Angeles Review is accepting submissions from September 1 to December 1 via email only.

youtube vids: poetry readings

oscar bermeo has kindly uploaded some cool videos to youtube. thanks, oscar!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

book lust

i'm with victoria! we need to step up our efforts to help out small presses. we must buy more books! i will purchase the following five books this month:

Tsim Tsum, Sabrina Orah Mark
If Birds Gather Your Hair For Nesting, Anna Journey
Collapsible Poetics Theater, Rodrigo Toscano
Odalisque in Pieces, Carmen Giménez Smith
Areas of Fog, Joseph Massey

"Northeastern University has decided to suspend its Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize because of financial difficulties."

The annual competition, run since 1983, awarded $1,000 and publication by Northeastern University for a first or second book of poems.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Call for Submissions (For Keith Montesano)

The Normal School: A Literary Magazine: Now Accepting Submissions for Spring Issue.

Manuscripts are read from September 1 to April 30. Unsolicited manuscripts received between May 1 and August 31 will be printed out, sculpted into a political effigy, and burned ceremoniously in front of an unruly mob. Please address your submissions to the appropriate editor (i.e. Nonfiction Editor, Recipe Editor, Miscellaneous Editor, etc.). Please do not include pictures of yourself unless it is an extraordinarily funny picture of you wearing ridiculous glasses or unnecessarily tight pants with a large gravy stain. Please tuck an SASE in with your submission.

The Normal School accepts submissions at this address:

The Normal School
5245 North Backer Avenue
M/S PB 98
California State University, Fresno
Fresno, CA 93740-8001

Complete guidelines here.


Alex Espinoza showed me a copy of the magazine at Bread Loaf. It's a beautiful object. And the table of contents was loaded with impressive names. I should submit! Yes, I think I will. Join me, Keith!

I am Don King!

In this corner, Keith Montesano:

As a disclaimer, if you don't want to hear when my poems are published, don't read my blog. (I could give a shit whether you do or not.) If you can't tell, that's one thing I do here. I like when others do it also, for the record, very much. There are so many writers I wish I could follow, who don't have books out, who are never able to let you know where they have work out. If anyone reads this and likes my work, that gives them an opportunity to possibly seek out work or read it online. All the Steve Fellner's of the world can call me whatever they want to for announcing such news. Again, I don't give a shit.)

In the other corner, Keith Wilson:

By the way, I found this blog, ironically, from a blog I was getting sick of reading, since all he ever did was brag about where he had been published. So today I read one of his newer blog entries, and he said he 'didn't give a shit' if anyone didn't like his bragging. It seemed very out of no where, but by the end of it, he said don't read his blog if you don't like it. So I left.

But not before clicking on the link to the blog that apparently set him off. This one.

You speak the truth. :P

Brittingham Prize in Poetry & the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

The University of Wisconsin Press awards the Brittingham Prize in Poetry and the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry. Each winning poet will receive $2,500 ($1,000 cash prize and $1,500 honorarium to cover expenses of reading in Madison). Prizes are awarded annually to the two best book-length manuscripts of original poetry submitted in an open competition. Each manuscript submitted will be considered for both prizes. There are no restrictions on the kind of poetry or subject matter, although translations are not acceptable. The winners will be announced and the prizes awarded in February of each calendar year, with publishing contracts to follow soon thereafter.

Complete guidelines here

dead duck

we took the kids to the park yesterday so they could feed the ducks. unfortunately, there were no ducks to be found. except this fellow. he was floating beak-down in the lake. one my nephews picked him up by the neck. we screamed.

do you see the little fishes eating the duck bit by bit?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009