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

Sunday, August 29, 2010

bits and bits and more bits

ouch indeed: "The Madonnas of Echo Park" is a huge step backward for Chicano literature. It appears to have been written without knowledge of a long and proud literary tradition that has moved beyond easy representations of La Raza as "illegal aliens," hustlers, gangsters and suffering mothers.
i know it's months away, but i can't wait for awp dc. i can't wait to say hi to many of you. i can't wait to run away from many of you.
hola, g.c. waldrep!
i can help other poets come up with titles for their manuscripts, but i can't help myself: I've been trying for a year to retitle my manuscript but so far...nothing, nada, double nothing. i still have the same title. sigh.
congrats, tomás q. morin!
i will be visiting nyc this upcoming winter! yes. yes. yes.
the branch will break. sometimes.
i want to kiss some of my poems. i want to kick some of my poems in the balls. is that normal?
are you cute? i think you are cute.
brian teare: torn text

Friday, August 27, 2010

YouTube: Seth Abramson: MFA Application/ Program Advice

On MFA Funding (Part I)
On Applying to MFA Programs (Part I)
On Workshopping (Part I)
On Faculty (Part I)

Seth must've been a Physical Education Teacher in a past life. Check out all those sporty t-shirts/ hoodies!

friday bits

peter campion: over greenland
here's the table of contents for the norton anthology of latino literature.
starting in september the new england review will be accepting electronic submissions.
thank you, robert vasquez. your kind words mean a lot to me.
On one of her trips back to the Mississippi Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey noticed a sign in front of a Baptist church emblazoned with this command: "Believe the report of the Lord. Face the things that confront you
i just ate an an eclair. now i feel sick.
small press spotlight: aaron michael morales.
i am willing to pay for it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

here's a headline you don't see everyday!

Award-winning poet buys Cobble Hill condo for $1.15M


i am being left behind. most of my classmates have at least one book out. most of them are teaching. and me? cue the rolling tumbleweeds!
i am placing all my eggs in one basket: my first book. this scares the sh*t out of me.
asleep at the wheel. the story of my life.
revision, revision.
talent isn't enough. not these days. talent is not enough. talent is not enough.
i have a new motto.
flashforward a year: my first book is out. and then....
the eggs in the basket are already starting to crack.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

turning a manuscript into a first book: alberto rios

1. Finding the Book
2. Organization Strategies
3. Write an Abstract
4. Finish the Book
5. Length
6. Titles
7. Epigraphs
8. Appearance and Format
9. A Book Ready to Go

one of my favorite poems


If I were called in
To construct a religion
I should make use of water.

Going to church
Would entail a fording
To dry, different clothes;

My litany would employ
Images of sousing,
A furious devout drench,

And I should raise in the east
A glass of water
Where any-angled light
Would congregate endlessly.

Philip Larkin

hottie of the week: john mayer

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

your vote matters!

help luke johnson pick an author photo!

i voted for pic #2!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


telephone: a new translation journal.
have i told you how hot it is in southern arizona these days? it hurts to walk outside.
The author should withhold some information—to protect his or her own privacy and, just as importantly, to respect the reader’s ability to fill in the blanks. Other than that, no, there are no borders. But the writing must be good. And the goal should be art for art’s sake, not shock for shock’s sake.
is it too late for me to have a quinceañera? i like high-heeled shoes.
Eight out of every 100 Chicano students will graduate from a college with a Bachelors degree, compared to 26 out of every 100 white students, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
i'm working on a quinceañera poem. a porcelain doll makes an appearance. cue the horror movie music!
i can't get enough of david trinidad these days. i so envy his poems.
kevin a. gonzález is coming to my quinceañera. don't be jealous, haters.
karla kelsey reviews christian hawkey.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

one of my favorite poems

Psalm and Lament

In memory of my mother (1897-1974)
Hialeah, Florida

The clocks are sorry, the clocks are very sad.
One stops, one goes on striking the wrong hours.

And the grass burns terribly in the sun,
The grass turns yellow secretly at the roots.

Now suddenly the yard chairs look empty, the sky looks empty,
The sky looks vast and empty.

Out on Red Road the traffic continues; everything continues.
Nor does memory sleep; it goes on.

Out spring the butterflies of recollection,
And I think that for the first time I understand

The beautiful ordinary light of this patio
And even perhaps the dark rich earth of a heart.

(The bedclothes, they say, had been pulled down.
I will not describe it. I do not want to describe it.

No, but the sheets were drenched and twisted.
They were the very handkerchiefs of grief.)

Let summer come now with its schoolboy trumpets and fountains.
But the years are gone, the years are finally over.

And there is only
This long desolation of flower-bordered sidewalks

That runs to the corner, turns, and goes on,
That disappears and goes on

Into the black oblivion of a neighborhood and a world
Without billboards or yesterdays.

Sometimes a sad moon comes and waters the roof tiles.
But the years are gone. There are no more years.

Donald Justice

Was my MFA worth it?

Lev Raphael:
I enjoyed the company of my fellow students in what was in effect a giant writers group. Were they all good writers or even good critics of each other's work? No. But the enthusiasm for writing and reading was powerful. I can still remember finding a friend at lunch who was glowing because she'd been reading Richard Wilbur's "The Mind-Reader."
Brian Spears:
But the program as a whole was worth it for a few important reasons. The first is that the Arkansas program is a long program–60 hours if you come in with a Bachelor’s degree. That’s four years, fully-supported if you want to teach. That’s a lot of time to develop as a writer, and man did I need it. I don’t think I started doing anything approaching marginal work until my third year; I exploded in my fourth.

Friday, August 06, 2010

to-do list

1. put together a chapbook manuscript for an editor who has kindly asked to see some work.
2. try the new pecan/ apple salad at wendy's.
3. order and read paul legault's the madeleine poems
4. start a new poem.
5. work up some interview questions for a boxcar interview.
6. try not to drool over paul legault's author photos.
7. wait for the academy of american poets to announce the judge for the 2010 walt whitman award.
8. send less time at starbucks.
9. kiss a fool.
10. fill out two more colony applications.
11. wait for pima road notebook to come out. gosh, i've been waiting and waiting for this book.
12. be more flamboyant.

triquarterly online

three mini-reviews:
Catie Rosemurgy, Stephen Dobyns, and Nick Lantz

poems by:
Ted Mathys (he's freaking hot!)
D.A. Powell
Neil de la Flor & Maureen Seaton
and others!

fiction by:
Thisbe Nissen
Antonya Nelson
and others!

Monday, August 02, 2010

hottie of the week: marcel duchamp

my summer soundtrack (for angela poesy)

casiokids: fot i hose
xiu xiu: this too shall pass away (for freddy)
emmanuel: tu y yo
cyndi lauper: don't cry no more
deerhunter: revival
robyn: dancing on my own
arcade fire: sprawl II (mountains beyond mountains)
judy garland: just in time
casiokids: en vill hest
the radio dept: memory loss
wild nothing: gemini
david gray: fugitive
'til tuesday: coming up close
chavela vargas: un mundo raro
casiokids: finn bikkjen

bits and bits

quiero dormir cansado...
Slated for publication via an independent press in 2011, we are seeking poems
that celebrate growing up, living in, leaving, or otherwise responding to the trailer
park for an as-yet-untitled anthology. Accepted poets will receive one copy
of the book upon publication as payment.

Send submissions to via attachment
Submit up to five poems in rtf, doc, or docx format
Include author contact information: name, address, phone number, email
Previously published poems are welcome.
Deadline for submissions is February 28th, 2011

i'm feeling good about life these days. i'm sitting here at a starbucks and i feel happy.
tu y yo...
Kweli Journal is a new online literary journal established to identify, promote and nurture emerging writers of color. We also seek to expand the audience of authors of color who already have a foothold in the industry. Our mission, as editors and publishers, is to find a broad, international audience for the artists that we publish and the work that we find engaging and uncompromising.
todo se derrumbo...
The upright caskets are violent with their exhaust.
i'm thinking about editing an anthology. i'll probably put out the call for submissions this upcoming fall.
i like green straws.