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

Monday, May 28, 2012

In the middle of the ocean I found a raft

Steven Cordova on Agha Shahid Ali

"...Shahid, pushing 50, was ageless in his impishness, at once world weary and wicked in his outlook. The demographics of the class made for a total of four, age-spanning queers in a group of about 15. Shahid democratically spent one evening socializing with the entire class. But he reserved one night for just the bird-boys of a feather."

Pale hands I loved beside the Shalimar —Laurence Hope
Where are you now? Who lies beneath your spell tonight
before you agonize him in farewell tonight?

Pale hands that once loved me beside the Shalimar:
Whom else from rapture's road will you expel tonight?

Those "Fabrics of Cashmere—" "to make Me beautiful—"
"Trinket"—to gem—"Me to adorn—How—tell"—tonight?

I beg for haven: Prisons, let open your gates—
A refugee from Belief seeks a cell tonight.

Executioners near the woman at the window.
Damn you, Elijah, I'll bless Jezebel tonight.

Lord, cried out the idols, Don't let us be broken,
Only we can convert the infidel tonight.

Has God's vintage loneliness turned to vinegar?
He's poured rust into the Sacred Well tonight.

In the heart's veined temple all statues have been smashed.
No priest in saffron's left to toll its knell tonight.

He's freed some fire from ice, in pity for Heaven;
he's left open—for God—the doors of Hell tonight.

And I, Shahid, only am escaped to tell thee—
God sobs in my arms. Call me Ishmael tonight.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

2012 RANE ARROYO CHAPBOOK PRIZE is now accepting submissions

I'm really proud to be one of the co-editors of the Rane Arroyo Chapbook Prize. 

This series honors the vision of poet & teacher Rane Arroyo and is open to all poets. Though Seven Kitchens publishes almost exclusively in English, we welcome manuscripts for this series that mix English and Spanish.

We are now accepting submissions.

Please submit.

I can't wait to read your work.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Michael Klein interviews me over at the Ploughshares blog.  Thanks, Michael!

Click HERE to read the interview.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


GLBT Center in NYC.  April 12.  Photograph taken by Guillermo Castro.

Spring is here and there's nothing like walking around the city as everything turns green, blooms.
That said: allergies are killing me!
I had a busy April.  Lots of readings.  I had a blast going to new cities and reading from my book.  The photograph above was taken on a special night.  I read with Rigoberto Gonzalez and James A. Hall.  Swoon.  Love.
Thank you to all who taught my book this spring.  Thank you to all who are going to teach the book this fall. 
I have two new poems.  I no longer have the urge to tinker with them, which is one way I know a poem is finished. 
In Colorado My Father Scoured and Stacked Dishes
Thank you, Mr. President.