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

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

poems that i love


I watched them once, at dusk, on television, run,
in our motel room half-way through
Nebraska, quick, glittering, past beauty, past
the importance of beauty,
not even hungry, not even endangered, driving deeper and deeper
into less. They leapt up falls, ladders,
and rock, tearing and leaping, a gold river
and a blue river traveling
in opposite directions.
They would not stop, resolution of will
and helplessness, as the eye
is helpless
when the image forms itself, upside-down, backward,
driving up into
the mind, and the world
unfastens itself
from the deep oceans of the given. . . . Justice, aspen
leaves, mother attempting
suicide, the white night-flying moth
the ants dismantled bit by bit and carried in
right through the crack
in my wall. . . . How helpless
the still pool is,
awaiting the gold blade
of their hurry. Once, indoors, a child,
I watched, at noon, through slatted wooden blinds,
a man and woman, naked, eyes closed,
climb onto each other,
on the terrace floor,
and ride—two gold currents
wrapping round and round each other, fastening,
unfastening. I hardly knew
what I saw. Whatever shadow there was in that world
it was the one each cast
onto the other,
the thin black seam
they seemed to be trying to work away
between them. I held my breath.
As far as I could tell, the work they did
with sweat and light
was good. I'd say
they traveled far in opposite
directions. What is the light
at the end of the day, deep, reddish-gold, bathing the walls,
the corridors, light that is no longer light, no longer clarifies,
illuminates, antique, freed from the body of
the air that carries it. What is it
for the space of time
where it is useless, merely
beautiful? When they were done, they made a distance
one from the other
and slept, outstretched,
on the warm tile
of the terrace floor,
smiling, faces pressed against the stone.

Jorie Graham

Attention Latina/o Poets: Apply, Apply, Apply

Applications are now being accepted for the 2nd Annual CantoMundo Master Poetry Workshop, the only national, poetry-centered workshop/retreat specifically for Latina/o poets.

All applications must be received by December 17, 2010.

Complete guidelines here.

call for submissions: Arroyo

Arroyo began with an investigation. Several ambitious students sought to find a magazine that truly captured the spirit and unique voice that was prevalent in Bay Area writers. What they discovered, however, was a void. Bigger presses seemed to ignore the dynamics of California culture, while smaller presses had predicated themselves on niches. With the opportunity presenting itself, those same students built the school’s first literary magazine from the ground up, eventually releasing the premiere issue in Spring of 2009.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


hi, phyllis!
i bought my plane ticket to nyc. will be spending four days in the ciy in late janurary. then i head off to dc for awp, then off to new hampshire to spend 8 weeks at the macdowell colony. eight weeks. goodness. that's a lot of time. i'm so grateful.
"...memory believes before knowing remembers. believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders."
who said that?
you must forgive me: this blog has lately become macdowell colony central. i'm not bragging about my upcoming residency. i'm just beyond happy to be going back. i've spent the last year working as a cashier. yeah, that iowa mfa is really paying off! ha. anyways: i'm not complaining about my job. really. i could get a gig teaching 4 sections of composition a semester, but i decided long ago to put my writing first. i've spent years (repeat: YEARS) working on my first collection. granted: i've been lucky enough to get some amazing residencies and fellowships, but often i've had to get a so-so job in order to fully concentrate on my poems. once again: i'm not complaining. i know i made the right choice.
border songs.
border songs.
border singing.
This was my desk a year ago, when I spent a month at the MacDowell Colony...

Monday, November 22, 2010

quick bits

i need to buy a plane ticket to nyc tonight. i'm going to spend a few days in the city before heading off to dc for awp.
oh central park! oh bookstores! oh walking through the village! oh handsome dark-haired men!
(insert your own bit here)
sentences are not my friends.
comma this!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

bits for bits

Our poems are effigies.
MacDowell Colony vblog: Elena Passarello shows us what's inside her picnic basket. Goodness, that sounds dirty. Sorry, Elena!
Another American trait is our compulsion to separate ourselves as different (more avant garde, for example) from one another, this, and the need to name and label other poets.
MacDowell Colony vblog: Elena Passarello shows us her tombstone. Those first few seconds crack me up!
Mormonism. Homosexuality. Resolution.

Attention: Latin@ Poets: Apply! Apply! Apply!

Deadline: December 17, 2010.

Inspired by the culturally-rooted visions of Cave Canem and Kundiman, CantoMundo seeks to create a space where Latina/o poets can:

1. nurture and enhance their poetics;
2. lecture and learn about aspects of Latina/o poetics currently not being discussed by the mainstream poetry publishers and critics; and
3. network with peer poets to enrich and further disseminate Latina/o poetry.

Guidelines here.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


here's some good news that's old news to my facebook friends: i'm going back to the macdowell colony this winter/ spring.

*insert wild happiness here*

i can't tell you how much i need this. i need to leave arizona. like now. ha. it's my home, but i don't belong here.

goodbye, saguaros. hello, snow.

i've been spending a lot of time online looking up macdowell blog posts and pics. yeah, yeah: i've been there before. in fact, it was my first colony. but i still get a rush reading about the experiences of others.

i love these pics. i don't remember chickens at macdowell. i'm going to name one after a certain blogger. then demand to eat that chicken all by myself!

*insert wild happiness here*

but this will be the best part of my upcoming residency: i will sit down at my desk and work on new poems. i will not revise old poems. i will not tweak my first manuscript.

i'm ready to move on.

i have to move on.

my second project, a book-length sequence, is crying out for attention. lines and images are coming to me fast and furious. i already have a new notebook full of stuff.

at macdowell, i will enlarge the music in my poems, i will write a leaner, more muscular line.

i will break my old writing habits.

i will explore new (to me) poetic tools.

i will surprise myself.

i will become a better poet.

Thursday, November 04, 2010


november already? goodness.
molotov: cynthia cruz
i need a haircut so bad. how bad? i no longer use a pillow. my poofy hair has become my pillow.
a review of rj gibson's scavenge.
working on a new poem.
pagliacci: tomás q. morín

Dagoberto Gilb on Ai

Gossip was that she was nothing but trouble. That she did not cooperate with anyone or any group.

hottie of the week: marco rubio (hate the politics, love the face)

Monday, November 01, 2010

you got two books out? you want a job?

The Department of English and the Rutgers Newark MFA Program at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey in Newark, invite applications from distinguished Poets and from distinguished Fiction writers for an (MFA) Assistant, Associate, or Professor position (dependent upon qualifications) to begin July 1, 2011. MFA or Ph.D required. Candidates should have a strong national reputation as a novelist and/or short story writer, at least two well–received books and substantial publication record, and extensive teaching experience. Additional expertise in areas such as nonfiction or memoir preferred. We seek an excellent, committed teacher who has made and will continue to make important contributions to contemporary literature, and who shows interest in our diverse, uniquely structured program & extensive community outreach (see www.mfa.newark.rutgers.edu.) Duties include teaching fiction or poetry workshops & graduate or undergraduate lit courses, directing graduate theses, & advising graduate students in fiction, poetry and related topics. Candidates should send letter of application, writing sample (published books with SASE acceptable), C.V., and three letters of recommendation to: Jayne Anne Phillips, Co-Chair, Search Committee, Rutgers Newark MFA Program, c/o English Dept. 501 Hill Hall, Rutgers Newark University, 360 Dr. MLK. Jr. Blvd, Newark, NJ, 07102. Review of applications will begin Nov. 15, 2010. Women & minorities are encouraged to apply. EOE/AA