Sunday, December 31, 2006


Someday, I'll explain how that phrase also describes Moi's poetics. Right now, off to bring in the New Year with pals -- specifically the couple who love to hunt and whose first grape harvest was decimated by 30% due to grape aficionado wild animals like turkey and deer. That's a dangerous combination -- the dude once boasted of bringing down a turkey. When we noted that it wasn't turkey hunting season, he huffed: "I shot over his head. Is it my fault the turkey died of a heart attack?"

Such is life in wine country...and wine poetix!


If I include two books coming out in 2007, I will have released 16 poetry collections in 11 years -- published by publishers based in the U.S., Philippines, Finland, Australia, and Switzerland. Add in the mix a poetry CD, a short story collection, a book of art essays, five (co-)edited books as well as several visual poetry/art exhibitions. A successful "career," one can argue. I can even bore us all with a litany of awards. So, presumably, if I do nothing else as a poet, I would have been blessed sufficiently by the poetry Muse.

But what has all this taught me? That I have mastered absolutely nothing.

Nothing. Like, I actually once believed, The day I cease burning, I cease poetry.

Oh, Bite me, Tongue.

I have barely begun and yet must start all over again.

My New Year's -- make that, New Life's -- Resolution? Rebirth.

A practical effect? Catch me here whilst you can in blogland for 2007. As of Jan. 1, 2008, the Chatelaine retires the illusion of her keys...and departs to a blog-monastery....

.....where the shadows against stone shall peel themselves away from the walls so that her eyes, too, shall become stone. Stone seeing stone. Stone be-ing stone. One is World. Which is to say, the poet becomes Pure....

.....absent such purity for failure is inherent, she, too, shall become Poetry's dust -- those motes clinging vainly to air and stone and the weakest of sunrays...

....which may not be such a bad result since Poetry, at a minimum, has been one big MASSIVE PAIN IN THE BUTT.

I would bark loud laughter if I walked away from you Poetry -- ye Mistress of the Mist. Ye betray as much as ye give and I loathe as much as I love your Fate.

This is the year I shall rip away your Veil.

Rip it. Tear it into pieces I shall swallow and expel as luminous shit.

Poetry -- I shall give you exactly what you have given me. I shall

Damn You.


Saturday, December 30, 2006


Have I mentioned the numerous wabbits that abound on Galatea's mountain? Mebbe that's why Galatea Resurrects' energy just keeps on ascending! Which is to say, I have about 72 commitments for new reviews for the next issue of Galatea Resurrects! Wooo!

Not all commitments become reviews, but that's a lovely stat, ain't it?

And Ugly Duckling Presse just sent over a big box of review copies -- check that out and other review copy additions over in Galatea's Purse!

Matter of fact, it does intrigue me as to how not that many poetry presses have taken me up on my open offer to send older poetry titles. Here at Galatea, we believe Poetry is timeless so we don't limit reviews to recent releases. Check us out, you poets and publishers who'd like your poems to get engaged...!

Anyhoot...going offline to chase the wabbits with moi dawgs. We at Galatea wish you a good New Year's weekend!

Friday, December 29, 2006


that my readership jumped this week for an annualized equivalent of 10 billion peeps. Currently battling for number one reason for my escalated readership are (1) Ron Silliman's constituency versus (1) a Google search for "Rosie O'Donnell Poem Donald Trump." As you can see when you click on the latter link, Your Chatelaine Pops up as First Reference. Highly amused...

Thursday, December 28, 2006



Dear Filipino Poet,

There's just 3 more days until the Dec. 31, 2006 deadline for this year's Holiday Poetry Contest. Email two poems (in body of email; no attachments please) to

This year's judge is Michelle Bautista.


2005: Arkaye Velasquez Kierulf (Judge: Jean Vengua)
2004: Joel H. Vega (Judge: Sarah Gambito)
2003: Luisa A. Igloria (Judge: Patrick Rosal)
2002: Naya S. Valdellon & Michella Rivera-Gravage (Judge: Oliver de la Paz)
2001: Carlomar Arcangel Daoana (Judge: Nick Carbo)

More details at:


When Ron Silliman tagged me to reveal 5 things not known about myself, I hadn't expected to share the potential child-molester incident. In fact, after that incident, I'd never told that tale to anyone...until Ron's tag (weird -- what one reveals only through the blog).

I'd never told that tale to anyone, including my parents (nor would Mom know now since she doesn't do the internet thing). I am revisiting this issue because, to my surprise, a few peeps backchanneled about it. And one of them said she, at age 7 or 8, was also faced by a child molester, and she also never told her parents.

She and I never told our parents! This is the point I want to focus on. I don't want to speak on behalf of the other person and so will only say on my own behalf that, yes, I didn't raise the issue because I didn't want to worry my parents who already had a lot on their plate (e.g. trying to figure out how best to feed and clothe and house a family of six newly-immigrated to a new country).

Thing is -- how do kids get to the point where they don't mention something like this to parents? I don't have human children and so can't speak to this issue. But I'm assuming that, if you are a parent and this occurred, you'd want to know about it...?

I don't know. I don't really know what to say on this matter. But -- and really, I mean well -- I post this because, I don't know -- maybe my fumbling about through this post on this matter will jog something in you parents )?) on raising children in what can be such a dangerous world.

To my loved ones -- and that would be all of you -- I also wish you all safety.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


I had been eye-ing this sculpture for a while (I often find "found" self-portraits and thought this might be one...of course to consider a work of art a "self-portrait" is just another way of saying the work draws you in and captivates you into empathy)...and so how lovely that the hubby chose to gift this bronze sculpture, "Following My Feet", by Roxanne Swentzell:

Here's a close-up view:

And here's what Roxanne Swentzell has to say about this particular work -- whose conclusion certainly can be one of moi many many poetics:

I made this little figure during a rough period when I wasn't feeling sure of myself. My mind felt confused and unclear about where I should be going next. I was then given a manuscript for a book to check out. It was all about this person learning how to follow her feet instead of her head or "ideas". I was intrigued as I needed this encouragement. Following my feet is about following my instincts.

Thank you, Dear One.


Moi've been tagged by Ron Silliman to reveal 5 little known things about myself, and then to tag five other bloggers. Lessee:

1) None of your business.

2) None of your beeswax.

3) None of your etcetera but oooooooh-boy was that a doozy!

4) No one gives HOTTER SEX than I do. That this is not well-known is, naturally, because I only have sex with the lucky hubby. Too bad -- as no one gives hotter sex than I do. If you dispute this No. 4 and wanna holler about it, go ahead and consider yourself TAGGED.

5) I once talked a child molester out of kidnapping me. I was about 11 years old, strolling through the neighborhood. A guy in a car had been driving around the area. He finally stopped his car a few feet from me and started to try to persuade me to get into the car. For some reason, I couldn't just run away. I was frozen on the spot, as they say, which is to say, I had to talk to him. For forty-five minutes -- though it felt like an eternity as, throughout, I was scared and confused -- I talked through the car window at him, coming up with one reason after another as to why I couldn't enter his car. At one point, a car driven by a woman drove by; I looked at her and tried to express "Help" but, again, for some reason, I couldn't just articulate it. She slowed down her car, looked at what must have been an odd tableau, but just drove on. Then the guy got out of his car and approached me as he put on a blazer. I still recall that blazer -- how it was in that atrocious '70s style fabric of yellow, brown and green stripes (no doubt, polyester). The guy made a motion as if there was a weapon -- I did think "pistol" -- was hidden within some inner pocket. But a foot or so away from me, he paused and just looked at me. I was still blathering some excuse about why I couldn't get into his car. I think he gave a slight shake of his head, before he turned around and returned to go back into his car. Looking at me, he turned on his car, preparing to move on. I blurted out, "Thank you for not hurting me." At that, he looked away. He looked away and then moved on. I don't know what I said for nearly an hour to him. What I mostly remember from that incident is a strong sense of dread....but, also, this inexplicable feeling that I'd caused him in the future to think again before he ever tried to hurt another child. That latter could be just a rationalization ...for why, inexplicably, I just couldn't run away that day from what I did recognize as a looming danger. Why I stood frozen on the sidewalk for an hour blathering at him, instead of just running away That day is also when I began believing in the concept of "guardian angels."

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I'm a lucky recipient of some custom-made holiday cards from poets and artists -- thank you Sharon Louden, Lisa Solomon, Stella Lai, Mark Lamoreaux...And Sheila Murphy who delights with this poem for the new year:

On the Threshold of the Year 2007

Any lifetime is enormous in symphonic breeze. Plurality, a learned reprise, draws love from dream of present tense spectacular, where winter is a precondition for the needed healing. Even a clipped flower that survives on empathy imposes blossom fromm a crystal vase. The laureate assigned to tether faith may improvise new midnight at the moment ashes on the willing forehead fade.

As distant soldiers bypass life support, a close-up of our breathing

Monday, December 25, 2006


Dragonfire's December 25, 2006 issue revolves around


For which Yours Truly contributed a poem on Bread.

Actually, that poem is an earlier draft of a version I like better which appears in Dredging For Atlantis. In any event...Mangia Y'all!

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Saturday, December 23, 2006


according to Jesse Glass who, reviewing Dredging For Atlantis, sez:

Just in time for your New Year’s Eve celebration for 2007, a little close-up magic from Eileen Tabios, who leaves the stage and circulates among the tables where the Muses lean on their elbows and stare dreamily into space.

Then he sez I'ma magpie.

Why not?! Check out the entire review here!

And a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 22, 2006


I've explored commodity lists as autobiography before. And now I want to thank Andrea Baker for her engagement with one of the books manifesting my exploration: POST BLING BLING. Here's an excerpt of what she says -- and what an excerpt, eh? Click on said excerpt to read the whole thing!

I do want to talk. Was glued to POST BLING BLING this morning. It's really brilliant.

But then I also just noticed that the above is the second post by Andrea. She posted on it first by citing my "outrageously successful" line breaks and so I point you to here as well. Hey, it's all complimentary to Moi so, yes, let Moi point you over to said compliments (wink).

Btw, Andrea also sez:

"This book would be a perfect pre-xmas gift for any stressed and demoralized shopper."

And so because Poetry is a Gift, Dear Peeps -- you can access this book for free courtesy of Moria Poetry here.

Giving away Poetry -- that's truly Post Bling Bling!

And thank you, Andrea! Hope the Holiday stress decreases soon....!

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Get update on this battle non-royale here.

Which is to say, as Rosie affirmed her characterization of The Donald's shaky financial past, she quoted from a Wikipedia entry on said The Donald. And then in her blog posting, she attempted the hay(na)ku and lapsed instead to what the celebrity reporter calls "haiku style":

loving the wiki
i use it
do u.

The point here -- and it does so gladdens Moi heart -- is that poetry can indeed be part of your life, in the most mundane of ways. Gladdens Moi heart, I tell you.

Okay The Donald -- next poem is up to you! You can do it!

Okay, off to celebrate this very rainy Solstice by going to Leny where I shall allow her to feed Moi! The world is a grey deluge beyond Moi window, but I insist on being in a festive mood!


What I learned from Alice Walker -- that Christmas was tied to solstice to mark Jesus Christ's birth as rebirth. But that solstice is really the day when the sun turns back from the farthest it has gone -- that the sun re-turns. Thus, solstice is the first day when Spring becomes possible, and that it was long celebrated as such even before the date was linked to coincide with Christian tradition.

Christmas, then, as the hope for Spring...due to the return of the sun, the return of Light.


is softer, for me, than a mattress filled with down feathers. By which I mean, I sometimes read books not to read them so much as just to set my brain down among words for a nap. (Relatedly, I can't go to sleep without reading myself to sleep, even if it's only a page's worth of reading.) For me, I need certain words to relax my brain by reading books that deliberately don't tax the intellect. A paradox, perhaps. But that's the way my brain is wired.

In the past, this particular need has been assuaged by reading Star Trek novels. Having dropped my Trekkie past, this need more recently is assuaged by reading from the category "romantic fiction." In these categories, the books are often interchangeable and easily drop from memory. I could read the same books over and over and never remember that I'd read them already. Because I don't read them ... I just need them -- words -- to be there. Like looking, perhaps, at some stud's abs without needing really to, ahem, converse with those abs. (Don't worry -- I'm also groaning here at myself now.) Or, perhaps it's akin to the pleasure one gets from being surrounded by books -- just to pass by and see all those book spines...? That books exist...that words exist....that people speak. Speak to each other.

Anyhoot, the last two titles in book list below are from this category of metaphorical down feathers (others may call them "fluff"). I'm not a snob (at least on this matter) -- I won't not admit I read this type of books because they have pillowed moi head (particularly in airplanes).

But, also, as one attempting to make poems, I don't want to privilege among potential raw material...matter of fact, some lines from a Nora Roberts novel even made it to a poem. See -- some poets drop Slavoj Zizek's name; I could do that, too, but like doing so in the same breath as Nora Roberts'. Just being open to the world here....[insert grin].

Relatedly, have you ever noticed how some poets are so careful about publicly sharing their reading lists? Like, they have to use reading lists to impress. One can usually tell when a poet is using a reading list to impress others. Relatedly again, there was a Poets & Writers article on Alice Notley not too long ago and I much ENJOYED learning how she's almost addicted to mysteries...

And I view wines the same way. I have drunk some of the best wines made on this planet, but I don't allow that to stop my hand for reaching for a plastic cup of Two Buck Chuck at some impoverished art gallery's opening. Context... matters.

(I know you guys are groaning over moi 2 buck chuck reference; I dont' wanna hear it...!)

Anyway, here's moi latest relished whines and wines:

one / generation to / double your consonants, poems by Marlos Unas Esguerra

BODY OF THE WORLD, poems by Sam Taylor

CARBON, poems by Michael Ford

BETTINA COFFIN, poems by Micah Ballard


AMERICAN ELEGIES, poems by Robert Hazel

EL TSUNAMI, poems by Kevin Opstedal

THE BEAUTIFUL DAYS, poems by a.b. spellman

NECESSARY STRANGER, poems by Graham Foust




IGNOBLE TRUTHS, poems by Gail White

ECONOMICS, short stories by Fanny Howe






THE SHIRLEY LETTERS, epistolary autobiography by Dame Shirley (Louise A.K.S. Clappe)

THE LAST GIFT OF TIME; LIFE BEYOND SIXTY, meditation by Carolyn G. Heilbrun

A SABBATH LIFE, meditation by Kathleen Hirsch

SUMMER MOON, novel by Jill Marie Landis

THE VINEYARD, novel by Barbara Delinsky

2000 Behrens & Hitchcock Los Amigos Vineyards merlot
2000 Behrens & Hitchcock King of the Gypsies cabernet
2000 Behrens & Hitchcock Cuvee Lola
2003 Ch. Rauzan Despague
2003 Battely Sojourn
2000 St. Joseph Cuilleron Les Serines
2003 Marquis de Calon St. Estephe
1996 Clos Clare shiraz
1993 Turley petite syrah Aida Vineyards
2001 Schrambsberg Brut sparkling wine
1997 Von Strasser Reserve
1992 Dunn Napa Howell Mountain
2001 Lodi Turley zinfandel Dogtown Vineyard

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Although I as much as anyone lapses to call Meritage Press a "publisher," it's not just that -- or never was intended to be just that. I've always envisioned Meritage Press to be a poetry performance space....whose most obvious manifestations would be poetry books. But I've done other things through Meritage Press that has nothing to do with publishing books. And now I'm just delighted that Meritage Press has engendered another poetry project....and this one without prior intention on my part! To wit,

John Bloomberg Rissman is currently using Meritage Press titles, along with other sources, to generate hay(na)ku sequences...and they are lovely! Check out this excerpt (which riffs off from Barry Schwabsky's OPERA):

Sky yet
There is plenty

Light. The
Explosion takes place

Provides its
Own faux light.

There are
Dead bodies they

Not brought
To light. “He”

“She” and
“You” becomes “he”

“We” becomes
“We” becomes “we”

About these poems, John says he plans to plaigarize every Meritage Press publication he can get his hands on....and are also semi-ekphrastic LIGHT POEMS relating to the photos of Marcos López (and, yes, John does acknowledge the Mac Low's reference in his title).

Each section must “perform an ekphrasis” on a Marcos López photo source: Marcos López: Sub-realismo criollo (U. Salamanca, 2003)), contain quotes from the OED that come from the definition of a word used in the section, quotes from a Meritage Press publication ... and quotes from Marcos López (or from elsewhere in the Salamanca volume), as well as any suggestions offered by spell-check; the quoted material is italicized.

If you're interested, you can see some López photos at

The photos are FANTASTIC -- check out that third link's male mermaid! And the first link's Artist Statement by Marcos' Lopez is worth reading; here's an excerpt:

I see Argentina rather with the discoloured façade of a disco from Patagonia . I don't use Photoshop nor Macintosh or anything like that. I'm interested in doing "real collages" and touching up manually the white of the eye and to work all over the copies with paints. In my shots I use two or three assistants with banners on the back of the characters and producing smoke with machines.

In short, this is the never ending search for identity in a country that was built with people that came off the ships. The tango we have inside. To reflect the double discourse of Modernity. All this I try to show in my photographs. Besides that, now I'm taking pictures for fun and to exorcise the pain because my girl left me.

In any event, the hay(na)ku are lovely -- the blooming results are just blooms, John! Thanks for the attention! And ... care.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Tom Beckett engages with moi newest book, Dredging For Atlantis. You can read Tom's whole review here, but I like this excerpt:

Art doesn't result from observing proprieties. Art results from learning to magnetize oneself, art results from becoming an attractive nuisance.

Thanks Tom. I'll go off now and make a nuisance out of myself elsewhere, but always in that magnetizing way of course that is the Moi way...

Saturday, December 16, 2006


So I read poetry books, thus having reason to read the blather that infects the forest of poetry book back covers. I've decided to start a new series as a service to the poetry community, to wit, if you're gonna bother to blurb, here are tips on how not to do them because you just look like an ass...and other relevant reasons.

The inaugural tip comes from reading a poet say in his blurb about a another poet's first book, "...I know of no other American poet quite like him."

Sigh. I read the same book. Three other American poets immediately came to mind as regards shared approaches.

See, when you the blurber -- the so-called poetry expert -- says something like, "I know of no other poet that does what this blurbee is doing..." you're just setting yourself up to be dissed for not reading widely enough. Kapischie? So, find a way to compliment someone that doesn't rely on dismissing others.

Oh, but wait, that would mean a more unmediated relationship with the poems themselves....! [Insert Dramatic Pause.] That would not be such a bad thing, would it be, Sailor?

Friday, December 15, 2006


Toi are not allowed to blog until you finish the essay, "DAWAC: A BABAYLAN POETICS" -- there are people just awaiting that particular gem of wisdom from your blathering fingertips, kapischkie!?!

But until then, Devoted Readers -- this for you!

Thursday, December 14, 2006


I have this open offer to trade poetry books with others. The books I have available for trade are mine and by others listed on the left-hand side of my Poetry Library Blog.

And now, I want to announce that I also am willing to trade DOG PORNO (as one recipient calls it) for poetry books of which I don't have copies. For the first three callers -- email Moi at -- you can trade me a poetry book for a faboo 2007 Dutch Henry Winery Calendar where all images are of some of the nation's most faboo dogs. Moi beloved Achilles and Gabriela are the month of MARCH!

Barking away for more poetry, this barker sez!

In other poetry news, Otoliths now has added its latest journals (Issue three, Parts one and two) to its Otolith Lulu print storefront! I was pleased when editor Mark Young included my text poems in Issue 3's "Vispo" version (Part 2). Because while my poems look like text, they were effected viz the painterly technique of scumbling. That Mark -- he understands Moi so well! Of course -- all of Otoliths' publications are stellar, so for good poetry do support your Indie publisher!


I never thought the last *list poem* I wrote would get as much exposure as it looks to get. After all, it was a two-second cutnpaste poem -- though don't scoff, Dear Ones, since its conceptualization took a lifetime. You can see the poem on my Gasping Blog as it's the last post there.

An excerpt from the poem's VisPo manifestation will be featured in FOURSQUARE (thanks much to Jessica Smith for asking). Stella Lai is currently riffing a collaboration from it. It will appear in my Fall 2007 book (and possibly in another anthology). And a mixed-media installation project based on the poem will appear in an exhibition opening in Manila this January.

I'm always uncomfortable doing visual poetry -- it's why I plan to do more of it.

Anyway, here's an excerpt below from a letter to two of the curators of the Manila exhibition entitled "CHROMATEXT RELOADED" (it will show in the Main Gallery of the Philippine Cultural Center). The curators of course are also poets: Alfred Yuson and Sid Gomez Hildawa. Moithinks the letter below offers some background which may be interesting as regards process (and if not interesting, don't tell me about it as that would absolutely crush me. yeah.):


I’m attaching a typed version of my poem “List(ing) Poem: Towards The New Filipino Society” which is a “list poem” wherein each line is a title of a book by Ferdinand Marcos. Obviously, as someone born in the Philippines in 1960, the whole Marcos legacy informs me and my family…

So enclosed are five pieces of mixed-media / drawings that comprise an installation of a visual poetry manifestation of my poem. For ease in mailing, I’m sending you the pieces and will trust that you can install them appropriately. You can frame them or not…but they should hang so that the five pieces form a cross.

Although the works can hang as they are against a wall, you also could do something more creative (from an installation standpoint, if that is possible or of interest). For instance, the pieces can be pinned--still in the cross shape--against a red lush fabric (red velvet or red silk or red satin, something that’s lushly-red), because red denotes the color of blood. You also could drop a few roses on the floor beneath the hanging and leave said roses there to dry out over time as the exhibition continues. "Rose," you see, is my middle name. Or, you could put a suckling pig--with an American red apple in its mouth--on a table in front of and beneath the drawings (this could be good if, there was an opening, say, and the visitors could then eat form the pig). These are optional ideas, as I said; the drawings also could just hang more simply on their own against a wall.

As regards the works themselves, you might want to note the following elements:

--Nos. 1 and 2 feature a print-out of the poem ripped apart to show my baby photo. Such denotes how I was part of the multitudes affected--and ripped apart--by the Marcos’ reign. You’ll also see the tsinelas stickers--well, tsinelas are ubiquitous among Pinoys, right? I also think of the “rip” as the ripping out of Filipinos into the diaspora--in No. 4, the tsinelas are supposed to be walking away from the Philippines (or from the baby as I was in the Philippines when I was a baby).

--No. 1 also features in the bottom right corner some “ascemic” poetry created by me writing out my name and then writing “Marcos” over my name so that the result is intelligible (ascemic).

--In No. 3, you see the start of the tsinelas continuing on to No. 4. The first tsinelas is aligned with the 10-11th line to reference, again, my departing from the Philippines at age 10.

--No. 3 and 4 shows me writing out the poem. There are the same number of lines as in the poem itself. But each line (in red) was hand-written as “Eileen R. Tabios.” As of the 11th line, “Marcos” is handwritten over each line of my name. That references that I grew up outside the Philippines as of age 11. As time unfolds (as of the No. 4 page), the “Marcos” becomes black to emphasize the editing out cum erasure of Eileen R. Tabios. All this, of course, references how the Marcos regime snuffed out the future of (or a certain better future for) many Filipinos.

--No. 5 shows basically a blank page and then the bottom line of “Poe[m]” melting into my name to say that the final result has yet to be written, and that the poet (or poem) not the dictator has the last word.

--the way the five pieces hang forms (or evokes the shape of) the cross. Or crucifixion--as in “Eileen R. Tabios” or Filipinos were sacrificed (crucified) for Marcos’ dictatorship

--the color red is initially used for handwriting out the ascemic text related to the poem….because red is the color of blood. When, in No. 4, the red changes to black, it’s also to reference how the life becomes a poem--I live out my poems before I write them …


In a follow-up email, the curators asked whether I placed my drawing/collages between thick cardboard types inside a manila envelope to prevent them from wrinkling.

I replied,

"They may get bent or folded but that could be fixed by you guys either temporarily framing them or just placing beneath some heavy books for a while. But, frankly, if they come wrinkled or in messed up shape, that's OKAY with me. You can hang them as is. That would fit my poetics of a poem being effective when it's "used", or engaged with by the audience -- even the blind audience of a postal system...."

Such blather from Moi! But Conceptual Art is never a two-second matter, eh? Anyway, hopefully, I'll be able to post pics from the exhibit when it comes out...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Yay! I'm very excited. I have a shot at doing something I've wanted to do for a time: help curate an art exhibition. More details later, except to say that the theme revolves around "failure."

And the funny thing -- in an attempt to come up with a one-paragraph synopsis of the exhibition, I googled "failure." The first two items to come up relate to George Bush. Sad, ain't it?

Anyway, back to failed art vs failed politics...

...which is very exciting to me because "failed art", to me, is as much a moronic oxymoron as "poetry economics."

You dream, then you do the dream, and it works like poetry: life and imagination need not create a binary.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


A different

croons from behind
an impassive
--from "Athena" (Dredging For Atlantis)

Here Moi am -- skipping through the daisies of blogland, practicing light, speaking light, capturing sunbeams and making them dance...scenting your eyes with jasmine and all...and along comes a new blogger punching right through that beaming persona to call me


I love it. Particularly to mention my name with Alice Notley, Lyn Hejinian and Shanna Compton (that Shanna is SUCH a troublemaker...). I'm also name-dropping--that was obvious, right...? I mean: I am so transparent!

This poet-foodie --welcome to blogland, Jim McCrary -- punches through this blog and sees


Don't do it too often, ya hear? I got goals where my usual misanthropy would be highly ineffective.

Now, back to ... Light!


I just turned down an opportunity to review a book for a leading print poetry review journal. The book is by a prize-winning poet hailed as among the most important in contemporary poetry. The collection, which I was asked to review, was respectable (if a bit pallid relative to the poet's national reputation). I decided not to review it as I realized I was already bored with the prospect of writing the review -- gads, it'd be one thing to be unmoved by something you read, but then you gotta what, keep diving into the boredom writing about it?

And I guess all this made me think two things:

1) It must be awful to HAVE TO REVIEW a poetry book.

2) What I like about doing Galatea Resurrects is that I only review the books that incite the required passion that specifically makes me want to spend the time publicly saying something about them. (Which is not to say I'm able to review everything I want, but that those that I bother to review are books that first compelled me to review them rather than that they were assignments.)

Anyway, there's a lot to be said about not having to hack out those poetry reviews. Come to think of it, there's a lot to be said about not having to hack out ... anything. Which is yet another reason why I am a poet.

Monday, December 11, 2006


The dawgs, by the way, are torturing me. These aren't the happy dog days of summer, as in this photo below when they begged beneath a picnic table for treats -- that's Mom between them.

So what's wrong, you ask? Well, it's getting into the second week of Gabriela's stint at boarding school. Yes, we sent her there for a three-week session to learn her manners. It's the first time she has been separated from Achilles since she arrived here on Galatea. We visited her Saturday, and she lost weight ... but is more well-behaved. But that she lost weight is eating at Mama Moi (all puns intended).

Then, speaking of eating, due to Achilles' health issues, that dawg has been hand-fed for three years. You heard it. So, today, I decided -- what with remission of his bowel syndrome ailments, as proven by fabulously firm poop nowadays (well you want to know details, don't you) -- that it's time to wean Achilles off being hand fed. Today is the first day.

Day One: Achilles has eaten nothing.

Now, I expected this. The dogs are stubborn and can apparently go for days without eating. But Mama here is killing her conscience -- she wants them to Eat, Eat, Eat!

My husband has a bet with the universe as to whether Achilles or I will cave first. I have always caved on everything to Achilles -- I got the dogs a danged Xmas tree, didn't I?

But I am determined that, at age three, Achilles no longer needs to be hand-fed. So if I can get past the mother-guilt this week, I'll be fine. Besides, it's not quite true that Achilles ate nothing. He ate a thumbnail's worth from my fingertip during his last meal when I tried to entice him to eat something.

Okay, I nearly slipped -- what was my fingertip doing near his mouth? But Mama is determined -- stay tuned! As I was saying--

Day One: a thumbnail's worth of canned trout and sweet potato dog food

(Yes, I know: trout and sweet potato. I don't want to hear it, y'all...!)


I was so excited over this order for 11 -- ELEVEN!!! -- copies of one of the poetry books I publish through Meritage Press. The check, as they say, is in the mail.

Weeks later, still no check in mail.

So I did a follow-up email. The so-called poetry lover cancelled her order, noting that she had bought, instead, cooking-related books for purpose of holiday giving....

...really shows something about the role of poetry in popular culture, eh?

Blech. So much for Holiday giving...

Ach. But we slog on, Dear Ones. The Chatelaine ain't even close to being done with you, World!

Sunday, December 10, 2006


This is Moi with Gabriela and Achilles right after we finished putting up the Xmas trees this year. Yes, we have two -- the dawgs insisted on having their own (all the ornaments on their smaller tree are animals, mostly German Shepherds of course).

No cat tree, you ask?

Hmphf. The cats, you see, believe the larger tree that was supposed to be for the humans is theirs!!


Dusie has just released Moi's limited edition wee chap involving my poem "It's Curtains" (also a collaboration with David-Baptiste Chirot) Check out imagery here and here -- you can see publisher Susana Gardner's unique bookmaking skills at work. What's faboo about these wee-nesses are how each are handmade so that the "limited edition" description underestimates the specialness of each book being unique. Order information also at the links for Dusie's latest threesome in the "wee chap" series:

Rose Window or, Prosettes by Wanda Phipps

It's Curtains, by Eileen Tabios

The Graces, by Elizabeth Treadwell

Saturday, December 09, 2006


I just updated the list of review copies available for Galatea Resurrects. Hear Ye, Hear Ye! We got poetry books and chaps awaiting your engagements!

And if you review for next issue, you get swords, windcatchers or more condoms...viz bookmarks, of course!

I am just a barker for poetry!

Friday, December 08, 2006



Marlon Unas Esguerra, splendid poet and teaching fellow over at U of Miami's Dept. of English, has created a 31-part, 186-stanza long poem comprised of hay(na)ku. As it's part of his final portfolio for a VisPo class he took with Nick Carbo, he documented it with videos from YouTube. Equally significant, the result is a means of grappling with the texting phenomenon in the Philippines. You can check out a very interesting excerpt -- and statement of process -- here!

THANKS for sharing, Marlon!

And speaking of YouTube, Ernesto sent me a link to a moving hay(na)ku, too. I couldn't access just because I'm too lame to figure out how to enter YouTube. But I think these variations are great -- keep telling me about them and, someday, I'll even see them, okay?!

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Well, you can do yourself a favor and join me this Friday night to attend the opening to what most assuredly will be a kick-ass exhibit:

At 8-11 p.m., Dec. 8, 2006
at Queen's Mail Annex

Stella Lai: "I Love My Foreigner Friends"
Jason Jagel: "Flesh Of My Skin"

There will be an after party at Argus Lounge.

The exhibition is up from Dec 8th 2006 - Jan 26th 2007 in San Francisco, before traveling to the Nathan Larramendy Gallery in Ojai.

Meanwhile, Stella's "Puchaa" sculpture (2003) just joined Galatea! Thanks Stella!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


You lose yourself in the work

Among the words you are lost

That Spring book looks to top 400 pages

It -- that it -- insistently springs

Then five pages of blood dictated

By a Dictator For January's VisPo Exhibit

All interrupted by today

Installing Stella Lai's 7-foot sculpture

As for Galatea? She left Pygmalion

Long ago.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

for kari

THE DELIRIOUS HEM has republished my engagement with kari edwards' book IDUNA. I just want to note: there is a deliberate "slippage" into the "she" pronoun in 2nd to last paragraph of review. For me, it was because -- as with Lisa Jarnot (who writes so movingly on kari here) -- kari was the first to make me think about transgender issues...and it was not an easy process for me to get past my preconceptions on gender. I've never publicly noted this "slippage" in my Moria review until now -- I guess I felt I should just note this now because I didn't want people to think that, in that review, the "typo" came from a disrespectful slackness...

When I progressed in learning about gender from kari, it also only improved my own poetry.

Meanwhile, Geoffrey Gatza has released a book that he'd been in the middle of preparing when kari died. It's now available here as a free .pdf. If people (more than one is okay) want to engage with kari's newly-released e-book from BlazeVox, I would be honored to include it in next issue of Galatea Resurrects...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

kari edwards

R.I.P, dear Friend...dear Poet


On a List, a teacher raised the possibility of Galatea Resurrects as a Creative Writing resource! Wow! Not a bad landing for an idea I got to battle insomnia some moons ago. Yes -- indeed! Resource Galatea!


Yep -- FINALLY, I got jealous of a poet.

I'm talking about just having received and read an art monograph with a poem:



It's put out for Maria Morganti's first London solo exhibition, at Barbara Behan Gallery, in collaboration with publisher Maurizio Corraini -- reproducing the layers of colour in a single painting. Accompanying that documentation is a poem by Barry Schwabsky entitled "Diary of a Poem"...on the making of that poem.

The poem is great -- but that's not what makes me jealous. To witness a great poem is cause for celebration, pure and simple. What makes me jealous is the fabulous conceptual underpinning to the monograph -- what an opportunity. I love process and this joint presentation of the process to a painting and poem -- ooomph! Of that opportunity, I am jealous -- even as I recommend that others try if possible to get a copy of it. It is just a gem!

Saturday, December 02, 2006


One of the many highlights in the current issue of Galatea Resurrects is David-Baptiste Chirot's elucidating review-discussion on Lettrism, focused around the release of Gabriel Pomerand's St. Ghetto of the Loans. It's great to read his review in GR, combined with his follow-up presentation -- including images -- at his blog here.

I couldn't post a sample image of Pomerand's rebus at GR, but David allows us to see the images -- and I'm also happy to share one here:

(Thanks as ever to Michelle for helping the luddite-Chatelaine on posting images.)

Friday, December 01, 2006


quite obviously. I've spent the last couple of days correcting some errors and typos in Galatea Resurrects' new issue. This, while, right after I released the issue, I had to dive right back into my To-Do we speak, I'm going over the proofs of my next (early 2007) book...This blasted Poetry insisting that the blind read!

Why can't I just write my effin' poems, I waaaaaaail over the mountain -- Moi standing at its edge dripping white feathers off into the void?!!!!

Ah -- but Poetry ain't words, now is it?!

What is Poetry? you ask?

As it's December, Artemis, Galatea's white cat, reminds, Poetry is MANY things but also that:



One of the Fallen Angels dropped off from the poker game beneath Moi's ceiling to masquerade as an Elf this holiday season. It just better keep scampering away whenever I see it. BECAUSE IF I CATCH YOU, YOU ELFISH ANGEL, I'MA GONNA PICK YOU UP AND KICK YOU WITH MY HIGH-HEELED FOOT AS IF YOU ARE A FOOTBALL! You hear me? Dang Poetry!