Thursday, August 31, 2006


First, I illustrate with the answer to an oft-asked question: "Who tops the Chatelaine?"

Missy Scarlet. That's right, my cat (actually, both cats; Artemis is not pictured) sleeps on top of me. {Insert wheezing sounds as certain minds roll out of the gutter...]

And now, I'm going out of town -- and offline -- early for the weekend. Until then, here are my every-so-often update of three lists of recent relishes.

WHO WHISPERED NEAR ME, poems by Killarney Clark


CONCORDANCE, poetry-art collaboration by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge and Kiki Smith; book design by Rena Rosenwasser

DICT, poems by Crag Hill


DO NOT AWAKEN THEM WITH HAMMERS, poems by Lidija Dimkovska, Trans. from the Macedonian by Ljubica Arsovksa & Peggy Reid

THE GOOD CITY, poems by Sharon Olinka


CARBON, poems by Michael Ford

SEPARATION THEORY, poems by Sheila Murphy

FULL-FIGURED RHAPSODY, poems by Sheila Murphy

SEEDPODS, poems by Glenna Luschei


SCRAWL, poems by Susana Gardner



1989 Clerico Barolo Ginestra
2004 Trefethen Pinot Noir
2004 Forman chardonnay
2004 J.J. Prum Wehlenuhr Sonnenuhr Kabinett
2004 Saxum Broken Stone Syrah
2003 Dutch Henry chardonnay
2003 Dutch Henry merlot
2000 Pride cabernet frank
2003 Pride chardonnay
2003 Pride merlot
2004 Pride cabernet
Etoile rose
2003 CNP Vieux Telegraph "La Crau"
2000 CNP Ch. La Nerthe Cuvee Cadette
1995 Clos de la Roche Domaine Dujac
1997 Marcassin Estate Sonoma Coast chardonnay
2004 Les Moutes Damnes chablis Francois Cotat
1996 Musigny Premier Cru Domaine Comte Geordes de Vogne
2001 Clos du Caillou Las Rochas Ponabs (sp)
1991 Conn Valley Vineyards cabernet
1977 Dow port

My third list is as regards this city slicker's attempt to garden. Right after my tally, I have a special for you lovely peeps: a recipe a Peep shared on how to make omelettes in a ziplock bag -- something useful for my veggies, no doubt:

45 sprigs of parsley
14 yellow squashes
1 cherry
42 sprigs of basil
2 Santa Rosa plums
18 lemon cucumbers
31 sprigs of mint
7 Japanese eggplants
2 honeydew
2 cantaloupe
10 stalks of scallions
2 squashes (white, but otherwise an unknown variety)
4 green peppers
2 chili peppers
14 tomatoes

From a peep:
Great for family get-togethers; the best part is that no one has to wait for his special omelet!
Have guests write their names on a quart-sized Ziploc freezer bag with permanent marker.
Crack 2 eggs (large or xtra large) into the bag (not more than 2), shake to combine them.  Put out a variety of ingredients such as: cheese, ham, onion, green pepper, tomato, hash browns, salsa, etc.
Each guest adds prepared ingredients of choice to their bag and shakes bag. Make sure (!) to get the air out of the bag and then zip it up.  Place the bags into rolling, boiling water for exactly 13 minutes. You can usually cook 6-8 omelets in a large pot. For more, make another pot of boiling h2o.  Open the bags with scissors--omelet will roll out easily and no clean up!
Haven't tried this yet -- you let Moi know if you do and how it comes out, please!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Susana, for the wee ones...!

Folks, if you want to get some enchantment, you should check out Dusie's Etsy site or the Atelier) , proceeds of which go to create more enchanting books!


So wicked comic and hay(na)ku writer/collagist-extraordinaire John Bloomberg-Rissman is also the humanities bibliographer for the libraries of the the University of California, Riverside. That expertise shows, moithinks, as he writes in as regards my penultimate post yesterday re Homer's feminine side:

John sez:
"Interesting post. But what bothers me about this piece, and about the other reviews of Dalby’s book I’ve seen is that there’s no mention of the fact that this thesis is not new. In the 19th century Samuel Butler (of Erewhon fame) wrote the AUTHORESS OF THE ODYSSEY: WHERE AND WHEN SHE WROTE, WHO SHE WAS AND THE USE SHE MADE OF THE ILIAD, AND HOW THE POEM GREW UNDER HER HANDS. This was reprinted in 2004 by U of Exeter Press. It posits, to quote a blurb, that the Odyssey was written by a woman who configured herself in the epic as the Phaeacian princess, Nausicaa. Oddly enough, I have the first edition at home. It came from my father’s library. At one time, it was owned by Philip Whalen, who has signed (i.e. “calligraphed” in typical Whalen style) his name on the flyleaf. I hope somebody somewhere remembers poor old Samuel Butler."

Indeed, let us remember Samuel Butler...and Robert Graves who, John notes, also elaborated on this hypothesis in his novel Homer's Daughter.

To live is to learn.


To recap, September 30 is the deadline for taking advantage of the Pre-Release Offer for Tom Beckett's long-awaited first poetry book, UNPROTECTED TEXTS: SELECTED POEMS (1978~2006).

I've been getting in orders so I should clarify that the books should arrive in moi hot leetle hands by the end of September, which means books will be mailed out in early October.

I also just learned that the printer did ship inventory to SPD so it should be available there by early October as well.

But, again, do consider taking advantage of the Pre-Release Offer. The first 30 people to order the book will receive a complimentary FETISH: a bookmark cum condom since TEXT, not SEX, should be "unprotected." Sumthin' like that...

Actually, the bookmark strip is yellow and the condom packet is bright orange at its tip. Sorta reminds me of a lollipop. LOL.

Which is also to say, in my ongoing attempts to sell poetry books, I might have hit a new low -- but remain cheerful and guilt-free about it. LOL!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


by this article (courtesy of Krip Yuson) from Discovery News -- so tickled I not only provide the link but replicate said article in full here:

Scholar: Iliad, Odyssey Penned by Woman
Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

Aug. 28, 2006 — The author of the Greek epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey was probably a woman, according to an upcoming book by a British historian and linguist.

Andrew Dalby, author of Rediscovering Homer, argues that the attribution of the poems to Homer was founded on a falsehood.

Homer’s link to the poems, Dalby writes, stems from an "ill-informed postclassical text, the anonymous Life of Homer, fraudulently ascribed to Herodotus," a respected Greek historian who lived from around 484-425 B.C.

Herodotus does mention Homer in his work Histories, but by then the legend of the mysterious, blind, male poet had already taken root, Dalby says.

Dalby explained to Discovery News that the earliest references to Homer by writers such as Herodotus and the Greek poet Pindar indicate the poet lived around 800 B.C.

But based on geographical references in the poems, Dalby believes the Iliad was composed in 650 B.C., while the Odyssey was written in 630 B.C., well after Homer’s supposed lifetime.

Aside from the poems themselves, no concrete clues exist to identify their author, but Dalby builds a case that the person probably was a woman.

"In many oral traditions, the best and most reliable creators, the ones who are used by folklore collectors, happen to be women," he said.

Dalby explained that women throughout the ancient world were "often the last and most skillful exponents of an oral tradition."

For example, the world’s first named poet was a Sumerian woman named Enheduanna, who lived from around 2285-2250 B.C. Dalby said women also saved the ancient oral poetry of the northern Japanese, many Irish traditions, and numerous English folk ballads.

Another recent book, Clever Maids: The Secret History of the Grimm Fairy Tales, claims the Brothers Grimm gathered most of their famous stories from women. Author Valerie Paradiz told Discovery News that the brothers "only gave credit to one woman by name," but then linked most other tales to male editors who also gathered stories from women.

Dalby thinks both works were composed by the same person, but that the more developed female figures in the Odyssey — particularly the heroic character Penelope — reflect change in the author's life.

"By the time she came to create her second masterpiece, the woman poet understood at last that in consigning her work to writing, she was able to address a whole new audience (including women)," he said.

While no master copy of the poems exists, many different written versions of the poems were circulating in Greece by 300 B.C.

Anthony Snodgrass, emeritus professor of classical archaeology at Cambridge University, agrees that, because of its emphasis on domesticity versus aggression, the Odyssey could have been written by a woman. But he finds it hard to believe a female could have composed the violence-infused Iliad.

If the poet was a woman, Dalby believes her name is probably lost to history.

"I would guess that Sappho (a female Greek poet) and her contemporary, the male poet Alkaios, probably knew the name, but they did not mention it in their own poetry," Dalby said.


So my New York publisher was kind enough to offer me a Fall 2007 publishing slot (2 years earlier than initially scheduled). That book will be THE LIGHT THAT LEFT HIS BODY ENTERED THINE EYES (Marsh Hawk Press, 2007).

As Marsh Hawk scheduled me earlier than I thought they would, I didn't have a manuscript ready when they made their offer. But I said Yes anyway since I'ma up for a challenge, why not? (Tho its release date is Fall 2007, it's due to my Marsh Hawk editor in January.) And because I was writing the book from scratch, I thought I'd attempt to do something unusual for me -- create a book that's the typical length of contemporary poetry books, which would be somewhere from 64 to 78 pages. I think I was interested in exploring this scale which is so often imposed as a standard on poetry books by poetry contests and publishing constraints.

Anyway, I don't know why I thought I'd even get near that range. My first poetry book Beyond Life Sentences is 140 pages. My slimmest poetry books (Menage and Reproductions) are 128 pages. ENGLISH is known as a brick for clocking in at 504 pages. And my most recent, Punctuations, is 176 pages.

Well, I just completed the first draft of THE LIGHT... Total? About 275 pages. Ah well: one's gotta go where the poem wants to go...


And given the completion of the book's first draft -- which had as much to do with figuring out the order of the contents -- a "book description" surfaces (often a precursor for what will end up being used as back cover text or for press releases, so forgive the layer of marketing-orientation in excerpt below).

I've long tinkered with "book descriptions" or summaries written AFTER a poetry collection is finished. I try to summarize the book by reading it as if I wasn't its author. The process allows me to second-guess what I thought I was writing--to see what the poems compelled me to do/write versus any intention at the time I began the project. Consistently, the book has always ended up being something other than I intended (which I believe is good). Anyway, here's an excerpt from my book description for THE LIGHT...:


On April 11, 2006, Filamore B. Tabios, Sr. died from brain cancer and its complications. In writing about her father, Eileen R. Tabios came to reconcile with the legacy of Ferdinand Marcos through deliberate empathy with the former Philippine dictator's oldest daughter Imee Marcos; pay homage to Judas Iscariot whose Gospel, discovered during her vigil by her father's deathbed, reveals him to be the most loyal disciple, instead of greatest betrayer, of Jesus Christ; meditate on the murder statistics of the 20th century's leading killers, from Idi Amin to Adolf Hitler; consider the Filipina pen pal phenomena; and engage with Dante Aleghieri's Purgatorio.

But while a once prodigal daughter's grief led her to enact Nietzsche's notion that "Punishment is the making of memory," the poet never forgets the integrity of her material -- that poetry demands form organically structured with content. In her 11th poetry book, Ms. Tabios uses commodity lists to create autobiography, practices ekphrasis by poetically translating the painterly technique of scumbling; offers variations of the hay(na)ku form (which she publicly inaugurated on June 12, 2003 to memorialize Philippine Independence Day from Spanish colonialists); and blurs the boundary between poetry and prose through texts originally written as blog posts. The book's overall trajectory also reflects her disruption of narrative linearity in favor of Dante's conception of the Trinity. For Dante, creation is simulltaneous as regards What (God) creates, How (Son) creation unfolds, and the Form (Spirit) taken by what is created.

Ultimately, however, this book's existence testifies to a poet's resolve for nothing less than Joy -- that she would cease writing this book only after she resurrected her father, which is to say, Love.


Monday, August 28, 2006


This photo captures it all: poet, book & bookmark-cum-condom designer, and kali martial arts extraordinaire Michelle Bautista at Dutch Henry Winery with Achilles next to her and Gabriela in foreground...and an antique wine press on the right:

Now, of course, I had to bring Michelle and Rhett over to Dutch Henry where I insist on being their poet laureate (Michelle and Rhett loved the 2003 merlot, in particular, and if you love wine, you will too!). And the way to get to the winery, of course, was a car ride where, as it turned out, Michelle does a pretty good imitation of how dogs breathe -- tongues hanging out and all:

And, by the way, Michelle just got her fourth-degree kali black belt! Whooooh! Michelle is also the author of Meritage Press' last book to be published in 2006: KALI BLADE. So, guess what? If you don't buy that book, I'll be siccing that author on you!


I was out shopping with Mom yesterday at the Napa outlet mall. Mom and I bought enough clothes (I was catching up since my usual wardrobe is the hubby's former shirt and frayed blue jeans and Mom was buying for northern California weather) that I opted to sign up for a Liz Claiborne credit card since such would garner an extra ten percent off the whole tab.

They rejected my credit rating.

Why? No particular explanation -- but had to do, no doubt, with the profession "poet", status of "self-employed", and therefore the implications as regards (financial) worthiness.

I was miffed, until I turned the incident into a metaphor. If poetry is a way of life, why, too would I abide by an-Other judging Moi value?

That ten percent I didn't save on the wardrobe bill? Cheap. And beneath Moi.

So there.

And I look damn good in burgundy suede.

Friday, August 25, 2006


Just to let you know, since Moi post yesterday calling for reviews for the fourth issue of Galatea Resurrects to top the third issue's number of 48 new reviews, I've received commitments totalling

34 new reviews!

Not bad for 24 hours! Sex really sells, eh?

But, please don't let such preclude you from considering, committing and delivering on reviews/engagements. For the third issue, I got commitments for 63 new reviews and it resulted in the 48 reviews featured in the third issue (delays, deferrals and change-of-minds do happen!)

So please, help me win this poker hand. Engage!


So, notwithstanding that I poke a lot of fun at poetry book blurbs, I do believe that a blurb can be well-written. And, in moi non-humble opinion, part of that well-written-ness, if you will, is its specificity as regards the poetry project under considerations.

For my amusement, I've decided to list -- and y'all know how I love to list! -- poets who sucked when they delivered certain blurbs. To wit, my latest infotainment blog:


And, oh, yes -- I don't identify the books being blurbed. For another layer of ... fun. Heee.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Okay. Work with me, People. So someone's bet me that THERE IS NO WAY I'M GONNA TOP MY NUMBER OF 48 NEW REVIEWS for the fourth issue of Galatea Resurrects. Let's look at those stats again:

Issue 1: 27 new reviews
Issue 2: 38 new reviews
Issue 3: 48 new reviews

That would seem to be a pretty vertical trajectory, yah? Well, what do you think? Can I get at least 49 new reviews for the next issue? Deadline is November 5. I tell you what -- the first 30 reviewers will get a FETISH from me that celebrates Tom Beckett's historic, long-overdue first poetry collection: UNPROTECTED TEXTS: SELECTED POEMS (1978~2006). To wit, if you're to be among the first 30 reviewers for the next issue, you get said fetish that works as a bookmark but encompasses a condom.

These are the kind of offers Moi makes when playing poker. Work with me, People. Check out the available review copies here or review some poetry project you already have and love (or not).

I've raised my hand. Shall Moi see you?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Well, I couldn't use the above photo in the newly-released issue of GALATEA RESURRECTS, #3 so I post it here. That's this issue's "Featured Poet," -- David Baptiste-Chirot. Which is all to say:


Dear All,
A gratuitously-published photo of my beloved dogs...and,

We (Moi and dawgs) are pleased to announce the latest issue of

GALATEA RESURRECTS, #3 (A Poetry Engagement)

Here's Table of Contents:



From Eileen Tabios

David Goldstein reviews SYMBIOSIS by Barbara Guest and Laurie Reid


Crag Hill reviews EYE AGAINST EYE by Forrest Gander

Abigail Licad reviews HERE, BULLET by Brian Turner

David Baptiste-Chirot reviews LYRIC POETRY AFTER AUSCHWITZ by Kent Johnson

Anna Eyre reviews CORNSTARCH FIGURINE by Elizabeth Treadwell

Eileen Tabios reviews INSECT COUNTRY (A) by Sawako Nakayasu

Allen Bramhall reviews BOXD TRANSISTOR by Jon Leon

Allen Bramhall reviews NOT EVEN DOGS by Ernesto Priego

Craig Perez reviews PACIFIC POSTMODERN by Rob Wilson

Mary Jo Malo reviews SING ME ONE SONG OF EVOLUTION by Vernon Frazer

Phil Primeau reviews PIECES OF THE SKY by Greg Fuchs

John Bloomberg-Rissman reviews EROSION'S PULL by Maureen Owen

J. Csida reviews EROSION'S PULL by Maureen Owen

Andrew McCarron reviews WHERE X MARKS THE SPOT by Bill Zavatsky

Eileen Tabios reviews SLIP by Chris Stackhouse

Ivy Alvarez reviews chaps: LEARNING THE LANGUAGE by Kate Greenstreet; GROUNDED by George Held; AMERICAN MASTER by Raymond L. Bianchi; SCENES FROM THE SARAGOSSA MANUSCRIPT by Micah Ballard; 9th & OCEAN by Kevin Opsteda; and LAST WE SPOKE by Sunnlyn Thibodeaux

Susana Gardner reviews 20/20 YIELDING by Sunnlyn Thibodeaux

Allen Bramhall reviews OPENING AND CLOSING NUMBERS by Anny Ballardini

Carlos Hiraldo reviews WATERMARK by Jacquelyn Pope

Janet Hamill reviews FEMME DU MONDE by Patricia Spears Jones

Ernesto Priego reviews THE ACHING VICINITIES by Jean Vengua

Allen Bramhall reviews FILM POEMS by Mark Lamoreaux

Ann E. Michaels reviews TEN DEGREES ABOVE ZERO by Elizabeth Raby and MORNING ON CANAL STREET by Paul Martin

Craig Perez reviews UNRAVELLING WORDS & THE WEAVING OF WATER by Cecilia Vicuna, Trans. by Eliot Winberger and Suzanne Jill Levine

Jeffrey Cyphers Wright reviews ING GRISH by John Yau and Thomas Nozkowski

Eileen Tabios reviews IN THE WEAVER’S VALLEY by William Allegrezza

Melissa Weinstein reviews AFTER THE SINEWS by Patrick Dunagan

Fionna Doney Simmonds reviews THE POET SLAVE OF CUBA (A BIOGRAPHY OF JUAN FRANCISCO MANZANO) by Margarita Engle

Julie R. Enszer reviews THE COUNTESS OF FLATBROKE by Mary Meriam

Jon Leon reviews chaps: GUITAR SMASH by Brian Howe; LYRIC POETRY AFTER AUSCHWITZ by Kent Johnson; and THRENODY by Tom Clark

Julie R. Enszer reviews BEGGARS AT THE WALL by Rochelle Ratner

Cynthia Arrieu-King reviews SECRET ASIAN MAN by Nick Carbo

Thomas Fink reviews I LOVE ARTISTS: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

Reme Grefalda reviews PUTI/WHITE by Patria Rivera

Fionna Doney Simmonds reviews RUMMY PARK by Rebecca Lu Kiernan

Allen Bramhall reviews A NATURAL HISTORY OF SUCHNESS by Stephen Ellis

Laurel Johnson reviews OFFICIAL VERSIONS by Mark Pawlak

William Allegrezza reviews KLANG by Andrew Lundwall

Laura Stamps reviews ANOTHER WOMAN WHO LOOKS LIKE ME by Lyn Lifshin

Corinne Robins reviews A PANIC THAT CAN STILL COME UPON ME by Peter Gizzi

Eileen Tabios presents David Baptiste-Chirot

Sandy McIntosh offers a memoir with reviews of LIVING IS WHAT I WANTED by David Ignatow as well as SELECTED SHORTER POEMS and THE TABLETS, both by Armand Schwerner

Mark Lamoreaux reviews STEAM by Sandra Simonds

Allen Gaborro reviews NOLI ME TANGERE by Jose Rizal

Timothy Yu reviews ANTHROPY by Ray Hsu

Dana Teen Lomax reviews A READING SPICER AND 18 SONNET by Beverly Dahlen

Steve Potter reviews OXBOW KAZOO by John Olson

Allen Gaborro reviews the 8TH WONDER poetry performance troupe

Sandy McIntosh "reviews" OTIOSE WARTS by Argol Karvarkian

An example of the Underlying Sensibility to Galatea Resurrects

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Y'all are really keeping me too busy for this heat. The next time I blog, it will be to officially announce the release of the third issue of Galatea Resurrects. Until then, check out these stats:

Issue 1: new reviews of 27 publications & other poetry projects

Issue 2: new reviews of 38 publications & other poetry projects

Issue 3: new reviews of 48 publications & other poetry projects

And then there are the features and necessary reprints of other poetry reviews previously published in print journals and not yet available online...

It's mounting -- that excitement...

Friday, August 18, 2006


Even if the getting must take yeeeeeeears! Well dang if Moi's winged busman's holiday to Santa Fe a few days back didn't work out!!!! Galatea is delighted to welcome

a clay sculpture by Roxanne Swentzell, "Holding Onto Broken Time":

Glorious, ain't she?!

Call this...Desire Poetics--Holding Onto Broken Time...


So, first, Anonymous recently noted to me how no one seems interested (to date) in picking up his/her/hir chap "identity crisis" for review in Galatea Resurrects (the first listing among review copies here). What does such state of affairs prove about how people choose which books to review? Do people choose to review books primarily based on the identity of the author...and, by implication, not on literary merit?

Then, I recall recently reading on Jessica Smith's blog her concern that she not send out her publication to places where it'll just lie amidst stacks of unread review copies. So this is just to say, too, if you send a review copy to Galatea Resurrects, it will be read by me. Not to say it will be reviewed. But it will be read. O ye, Dear Poem, I am your guaranteed Other...!

And back to Anonymous' point, reading every review copy sent to me -- because the Chatelaine plans to read every poem ever writ -- has the side effect of me reviewing only the books which compel me to review them based on their material (not authorial identity). I enjoy a lot of books, by the way, which I don't necessasrily feel compelled to review -- the choice-making need not have anything to do with literary merit but as to whether there's something I can add to the dialogue provoked by a particular book. In this sense, I can dispute Anonymous' thought that maybe reviews are made based primarily on the identity of the poet.

But Anonymous does raise a good point -- unless publication editors or reviewers read EVERY single review copy sent them, authorial identity may take precedence. It's not a secret that several publications out there just almost automatically recycle review copies to used bookstores or

Anyhoot, I hope to release the third issue of Galatea Resurrects next week. Meanwhile, here is an update on my recently relished lists:

BAPTISM OF DESIRE, poems by Louise Erdrich

IN THE WEAVER'S VALLEY, poems by William Allegrezza

THE CITY OF SATISFACTIONS, poems by Daniel Hoffman

MY BOOK, poems by Jim McCrary

HOTTER AND NOW, poems by Jim McCrary

HOLBOX, , poems by Jim McCrary

NEVER WITHOUT ONE, poems by Diane Ward


UTOPIA TV STORE, poems by Maxine Chernoff

LATE TO WORK, poems by David Tucker

TAMMY GARCIA: FORM WITHOUT BOUNDARIES, monograph on the artist with Introduction by Bruce Bernstein, Preface by John Grimes, and Text by Benjamin Rose

THANK YOU FOR NOT READING, essays by Dubravka Ugresic

AFTER HENRY, essays by Joan Didion

CHASING DREAMTIME, memoir by Neva Sullaway

ONLY IN SANTA FE, collection of newspaper columns by Denise Kusel


THE POET AND THE DONKEY, novel by May Sarton

CANNERY ROW, novel by John Steinbeck

DEADLY WILL, novel by Marianne Hill

1993 Nuit St. Georges Les Cailles, Lechenaut
2005 Blankiet Estate merlot (from barrel)
2005 Blankiet Estate cabernet (from barrel)
2002 Luce Abbey cabernet
2003 Luce Abbey cabernet
2005 Luce Abbey cabernet (from barrel, w/ just French oak & w/ combo French and Hungarian oak)
2003 Peter Michael Ma Belle Fille chardonnay
1990 Dom Pérignon
2000 Comte Lafon Meursault-Perrières
1990 Château d’Yquem
1990 Luciano Sandrone Cannubi Boschiis
1993 Bryant Family
1995 Harlan
1998 Screaming Eagle
2002 Luce Abbey cabernet
1853 Whitwhams Reserve King Pedro V
2003 Jones Family cabernet
2003 Lail cabernet
2003 Dutch Henry merlot
2003 Dutch Henry cabernet
2003 Dutch Henry chardonnay
2001 Sine Qua Non
1998 Oliver's Taranga Shiraz

35 sprigs of parsley
11 yellow squashes
1 cherry
42 sprigs of basil
2 Santa Rosa plums
13 lemon cucumbers
31 sprigs of mint
3 Japanese eggplants
2 honeydew
2 cantaloupe

Thursday, August 17, 2006



It's temporary so go see the flash display by Scott Glassman on me and Ron Silliman (up until Scott updates site)!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Felt like there were 50 big burly men crawling all over Moi today.

I guess I might say -- I mean, ... crawling all over the mountain. But the mountain is Moi. What is Galatea, non-virtually? It is Home as Poem.

And it takes a village (at least) of big burly men to craft the right way for a hammock to hang...then swing.

Then, there's the rest of the place being sculpted into a ... poetry space.

If you think it difficult to craft a poem on the page, try sculpting it from a stone mountain.

All enough to drive Moi to tipple.

Tipple...tonight, a glass of the 2003 Dutch Henry chardonnay.

Difficult, but then again, surely We didn't think the Chatelaine would do anything less than also to involve the planet, literally, in the making of a poem...?!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


While I'm busy dealing with big, burly men and formatting Galatea Resurrects, here are John Yau, Eve Aschheim, and their daughter Cerise during their visit to Galatea:

Now, the whole point of this post is of course to feature Moi's de facto goddaughter -- ain't she a sweet sprite! Moi am only a humble Chatelaine -- this is the Princess herself:


I'm swamped and behind. But this also means ye review-stragglers have until this Thursday to send me the reviews for the third issue of Galatea Resurrects. Hopefully, Galatea will resurrect for the third time sometime next week.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Catching up through piled up mail and surprised-in-a-good-way by:

1) a poet sends a note, saying he sees my POET TICS and chides me for never thinking of him (a matter just resolved, Peep!) [grin]

2) tons of pre-release orders (which expires on Sept. 30; see moi Aug. 2 post) for Tom Beckett's forthcoming and first book collection UNPROTECTED TEXTS -- but because some of the orders are from poets, they're slipping in some nifty gifts for me of their own works. WHAT A GREAT IDEA, PEEPS! HINT!!!!!

3) and latest issue of Barnard College Alumnae Magazine which features a, uh, feature on me (reprinted here) -- it's surprising how they got reference to ENGLISH wrong as my "first" poetry collection when they had more than one follow-up check on the article by various copy editors. I don't mind, but such, of course, just points to the complexity of translation -- even within the same language!


I'M BAAAAACK....And what a pain to travel within hours after discovery of the foiled London plot. When we got to the SF Airport to fly to Santa Fe, the new regulations precluding liquids in carryalls had just taken effect -- and I knew because as soon as I got out of the cab onto the sidewalk, an official came up blaring a megaphone right into my face beginning with


So I checked my bag -- except I forgot about some lotion in my purse. Fortunately (I say that tongue-in-cheek), the lines were quite long. So I just used up an entire bottle of lotion on my hands until we got to the end of the line since the alternative was just to chuck it into the nearby trash. I was terrorized into the softest hands I'd had in quite a while....yadda.

But, lookit, I didn't have a chance to hook up with any of the poets in Santa Fe (thank you and apologies to those of you who invited). This was actually a winged busman's holiday -- I had to go there this weekend because certain pots belong in Galatea and I needed to conduct a blocking tactic against the annual Indian Market that'll erupt later this week.

But whilst I was in lovely New Mexico, I visited some friends at some pueblos. And here's something that resonated poetics-wise with Moi. We were discussing Oral Tradition...and how it was only relatively recently that some Pueblo & other Indians have started to accept the use of audio recordings for oral languages and stories that, by being reliant on being verbally passed down the generations, stand the risk of becoming extinct.

I asked: Why the reluctance to record? My Pueblo Indian friend said it had to do with fatalism -- specifically, if the language was not being used, why preserve it? This resonated because it means (to me) that culture then would have to preserve something through usage -- and not *objectification/fetishization*(?) I asterisk that phrase as it's mine, not my friend's phraseology.

It's not a big leap to move to why certain poets want their works to go beyond academia -- this isn't about academic bashing; it's about making poetry part of daily life. When Santa Fe's Poet Laureate Arthur Sze visited Napa recently, one of the joys he mentioned was crafting poetry readings that would be attended by those who might not otherwise think of attending a poetry reading -- peeps from other occupations than the literary. And it's why I'll be happily wrapping up poetry books to send to some Santa Fe architects later this morning, or why I love sharing poetry books with those I meet who aren't poets (winemakers, construction workers, petsitters, lawyers....).

Daily significance as a sign of the ongoing relevance of something -- including someone's poetry -- is a goal. The practice is the goal.


Meanwhile, the new issue of Listenlight was released while I was away, featuring me with rob mclennan, amanda laughtland, matina stamatakis, phil primeau, and donna kuhn. Heartfelt thanks to editor/publisher Jesse Crockett for asking. I love to be asked; a goal in my Poetry is never to say "No."

My poems in Listenlight, btw, are from "Trance Ascent," writ partly by reading through Dante's Purgatorio -- and the italicized sections come from an existing work, Menage a Trois With the 21st Century. I sculptured in fragments from existing work to reference Dante's concept of earthly existence...and because I want to keep Menage a Trois timely -- that is, relevant. The relevance relates to how Murat Nemet-Nejat had once identified Menage a Trois as a "neglectorino" project and because, per the Pueblo discussion above, one wants to keep poetry alive by not ignoring it.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


OurOwnVoice, where I volunteer duty as Contributing Editor for the Arts, has released a new issue! Of course I'm pleased to direct you to a review of PUNCTUATIONS , but more importantly, please to check out moi discourse on Thomas Fink's paintings of the hay(na)ku! -- of which this is one:

Here's some excerpts from moi engagement with Tom's paintings that hopefully will tickle you into reading the whole thing over at OurOwnVoice, a zine with a particular focus on Filipino diasporic culture:

It's worth noting the scale of these paintings. The largest in this series is 36" x 24", though that size is an outlier. Most are smaller at 16" x 20" or 24" x 12" or 8" x 10". Such scale reflects that the inspiration is a poem and, in its pre-variations version, a short poem. The paintings, like the poems, use scale to encourage an intimate relationship with the viewer; for example, due to their size, the paintings can be held, close to the body, close to the eyes.


The backgrounds to the paintings are multilayered with imagery that can evoke handwritten scrawls to organism-drenched seabeds to cells under a microscope to flower blossoms to moon craters. The backdrop can even evoke the spreading of a virus, albeit a positive one since the matter at hand is poetry. And the backgrounds, by evoking the sea, ultimately references what connects the Philippines and U.S. together so that, notwithstanding their earlier troubled history, they can unite through something like poetry. The sea or ocean may also be seen to refer to the Philippines' diasporic history and how such created a poetic form that's deliberately intended to be transnational.


Ach. I sniffle over many of these treasured engagements coming in for the next issue of Galatea Resurrects. But, first, let me say that I leave for Santa Fe tomorrow and won't be back on Galatea until Sunday evening -- so you still have until Monday (Aug. 14) to turn in a review, if you wish (though the sooner the better, of course). Meanwhile, I unexpectedly got one today which I wish to excerpt, given the times. (Ach: "given the times" -- what a euphemism!) So, from Abigail Licad's review of Brian Hunter's Here, Bullet:

Here, Bullet is remarkable not only for the experience which compelled it, but also for the honesty and cultural sensitivity which underlies its poems. Turner, who wrote the volume while serving as a solider in Iraq, approaches his writing with no other agenda than to remain faithful to his experiences. With so many ways for war poetry to go wrong, it’s amazing what Turner accomplishes. No moralizing here. No apocalyptic prophesizing. No rants or diatribes or gratuitous descriptions. And perhaps best of all, no esoteric over-allegorizing of the postmodern, gimmicky bent. With lyric simplicity and most admirable restraint, Turner approaches each subject matter from a learner’s standpoint. In fact, two main features lend the volume with the instructive impetus of a travel narrative.

First, Turner introduces the reader to the cornerstones of the Arabic language: references from the Qu’ran and various Arabic texts emphasize structural and thematic breaks, proverbs or quotes introduce poems, and everyday words become incorporated into Turner’s language. The opening poem called “A Soldier’s Arabic” tells us that habib is the word for love and maut for death. In “What Every Soldier Should Know” the speaker instructs that Sabir el khair means “Good Morning” and Inshallah means “Allah be willing.” In “Two Stories Down,” the use of Arabic is reserved for the emotional climax of the poem, quoted in full below:

When he jumped from the balcony, Hasan swam
in the air over the Ashur Street Market,
arms and legs suspended in a blur
above palm hearts and crates of lemons,
not realizing just how hard life fights
sometimes, how an American solider
would run to his aid there on the sidewalk,
trying to make sense of Hasan’s broken legs,
with words in an awkward music
of stress and care, a soldier he’d startle
by stealing the knife from its sheath,
the two of them struggling for the blade
until the bloodgroove sunk deep
and Hasan whispered to him,
Shukran, sadiq, shukran;
Thank you, friend, thank you.

In drawing from Arabic sources to frame and punctuate his work, Turner takes the first and most essential step to cross-cultural understanding, which is, to view as much as possible from the other culture’s frameworks and assumptions rather than imposing one’s own.

Second, the recurrent tableau-like quality of each poem – the move or series of moves to focus upon a particular subject within its particular setting – gives the reader a sense of the everyday lives of people in Iraq, of their everyday habits, of their everyday sights and sounds as they are interrupted by the ongoing war. In “The Al Harishma Weapons Market,” the poem’s speaker surveys the surroundings before focusing upon Akbar, a father who comforts a son frightened by gunfire; in “Eulogy,” prisoners of war and their captors are suddenly and momentarily distracted by the sound of Private Miller’s gun as he commits suicide; in “Autopsy,” descriptions of the medical procedure being performed blends with procedures of memory.

Each time, there is a concreteness and definite sense of place to Turner’s writing, as well as a continuity between internal and external landscapes. These series of tableaus are not isolated, however, and part of the political import of Turner’s work takes effect when these tableaus interconnect and comment upon each other, reflecting ultimately the changes and transformations resulting from the war. Perhaps the most brilliant enactment of this can be found in “2000 lbs.” in which the poem’s movement along the circumference of an exploding bomb demonstrates, most likely with deliberate ironic intent, that violence is, indeed, a democratizing force, as desires and sufferings of Iraqis and Americans echo, reflect, overlap and in the end, become indistinguishable. These culminate in the description below, which rejects the us-against-them dynamic of war in favor of overwhelming oneness:

And the man who triggered the button,
who may have invoked the Prophet’s name,
or not – he is obliterated at the epicenter,
he is everywhere, he is of all things,
his touch is the air taken in, the blast
and the wave, the electricity of shock,
his is the sound the heart makes quick
in the panic’s rush, the surge of blood
searching for light and color, that sound
the martyr cries filled with the word
his soul is made of, Inshallah.


I have had hordes of big burly men all over the mountain for three weeks in a row now -- and, sadly, not for the reason for which I'd usually want big burly men all over Moi.

Nope, I'm talking 'bout construction construction construction -- from cementing patios to cutting pathways to putting up low stone walls to putting up stone oak tree holders to trimming big oaks to replacing the printer to etcetera etcera.

Which is to say, I can't exagerrate the pleasure from this conversation:

Him: what do you do?

Moi: I'm a poet....

Him: Like what kind...?

Moi: Don't know. I'll have to quote a pal; he sez I write "avant garde bullshit"...

Cut to the chase:

Moi: Here are love poems.

Him: Thank you! I know I may look [motions to his t-shirt and grungy shorts]...but I love poetry.

Yadda. Poetry -- it's all a Gift. And needless to say, Moi told Him: You look just fine....!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


AT AGE 29" is the latest working title for the novel that I envision will arise from your splendiferous blurbs. I'ma jes sayin'....

That title undoubtedly won't last -- I'd actually like to make this puppy a bestseller. But it keeps me focused for now, which is the point of working titles, right? Anyway, as I said, I'ma jes sayin'...

....and Moi must just keep scribblin' scribblin' scribblin'...!


The next book Meritage Press publishes will be Derive by poet Bruna Mori and painter Matthew Kinney. It's not likely to be released until at least October, but since I had to send this out to SPD yesterday to meet the deadline for their Fall catalogue, I'll share such with you to facilitate getting your juices juicin' for this unique publication!


poems by Bruna Mori
paintings by Matthew Kinney
ISBN-10: 0-9709179-6-1
ISBN-13:  978-0-9709179-5-9

Poetry. Creative Nonfiction. Urban Studies. Cultural Studies. Women's Studies.

Drawn by the New York cityscape and encounters found there, physical trajectories are mapped in words and sumi-ink. Poems depict a search for subjectivity in the urban sphere and are interspersed with paintings of architecture elusively dis/assembling on canvases. From Second Avenue to 207th Street, spanning mahjongg parlors and halfway houses, "the city and its inhabitants emerge as vastly various and yet inextricably bound to one another (lê thi diem thúy)." "A deft poetic journey through the fissures and ironies of city life (Norman Klein)." "Bruna Mori creates a lyrical alchemy of the debris and mythology of New Amsterdam. Dérive is an animated guidebook to the boroughs and should be required reading for travelers and residents alike (Brenda Coultas)."

Monday, August 07, 2006


Another reason I'm glad to be published by Marsh Hawk Press is that they're good company with a wide circle of more good company. To wit, David Shapiro has agreed to be the judge of the 2007 Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize -- click here for details!


of two SUBMISSION CALLS to books that Meritage Press will publish in the future:

Submissions Deadline: September 31, 2006.


“The Filamore Tabios, Sr. Memorial Poetry Prize”
open to poets around the world of full or partial Filipino descent
Submissions Deadline: November 30, 2006

More info on above two books at:

Sunday, August 06, 2006


How kewl! Karri tells me that his "Seating Arrangement" project has much affinity with my POET TICS project! It's an interesting idea -- here's Karri's take:

A word on the concept: Well, imagining that Heaven exists and that there are actual people there, with whom would you see other people conversing, and what's most intriguing, with whom would you like to sit down at table? I'm sure there would be different seating arrangements every night. There are a lot of poets and artists and other loved ones to team up with, I'd reckon. The ones that I'm making up here are not to be taken too seriously; they are not fixed, or final, constellations. Names and faces pop into my head (not unlike Eileen’s lists of poets) and I make the introductions; as to what happens after that, is up to the party and its individuals. A couple of rules, though: at every table, I try to include at least one Finn, living or dead, and somebody from the poetry community working on-line today. Enjoy!

Check his latest dinner party here. And I was also quite honored to be "seated" earlier by Karri with

tristan tzara
teemu manninen
david lynch
velimir khlebnikov
thelonius monk

Needless to say, these peeps would have had the best wines from moi cellar!


To inflict hurt on someone is *also* a failure of the imagination. And is not imagination one of an artist's basic tools? So I was tested recently in the writing of one of the poems for my 2007 book. That is, I wrote a poem but it would hurt the real-life person who inspired it....but (I thought) it was a good poem.

It took a few days of thinking about it...and then I managed to come up with a version "edited" to take away its ability to hurt the person it references, while still being a good poem.

Perhaps when I was younger, I would have just stopped at having already writ a good poem the first go-round (O, ye youthful arrogance). But now I know that art need not demand we become crappy people. Which is also to say, I sometimes (not always, but sometimes) get impatient at those who think hurting some group is a sign of an art work's effectiveness...

...War, of course, might be the greatest failure of human imagination...

Friday, August 04, 2006


I got the soils test analysis recently on Galatea's mountain which affects decision on how to move forward on developing a vineyard. Basically, it offers two choices -- to develop a number of acres of vineyard but on terrain that is unlikely to make more than average quality wine. Or to develop just 1.5 to 2 acres, but with the potential of crafting superbly-fine wine.

Well, determining the approach was an easy choice to make. The decision is akin to choosing to develop poetry that's not as likely to be widely disseminated as what are, uh, widely disseminated (wink) because....

And speaking of research and development, here's Moi list updates on books and wines recently imbibed by eyes, lips and always the tongue:


THE ANALOGY GUILD, poems by Tim Davis

THE END OF DESIRE, poems by Jill Bialosky

PICTURE OF THE BASKET, poems by Sarah Mangold

IO AT NIGHT, poems by Laurie Scheck

EROSION'S PULL, poems by Maureen Owen

CORNSTARCH FIGURINE, poems by Elizabeth Treadwell

THE GOOD CAMPAIGN, poems by Amy King

THE DIFFICULTIES: THE DAVID BROMIGE ISSUE, poems and prose, Ed. by Tom Beckett

THE ACHING VICINITIES, poems by Jean Vengua


1994 Seavey cabernet
2000 David Arthur Elevation 1147
200_ Martinelli chardonnay Woolsey Vineyard
2004 Pride chardonnay
2004 Claude Clarkson sauvignon blanc
1998 Martinelli Jack Ass Vineyard zinfandel
1992 Ravenswood Pickberry Sonoma
2003 Dutch Henry chardonnay
1995 Domaine L'Aigueliere Montpeyroux
Meadowwood house chardonnay
2003 Robert Mondavi cabernet Napa Valley
2002 Kistler chardonnay
1998 Greenock Creek Aprico6 Block Shiraz
1001 Domaine de Trevallon
1992 Bonneau du Matray Corton Charlemagne
1990 Brunello di Montalcino Livio Sassetti
1985 Luciano Sandrone Cannubie Boschiis
2001 Robert Weil Kiedrich Grafenberg Roeingau Riesling Beerenauslese
2000 William Fevre Chablis Les Clos
1990 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino
2003 Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Spatlese Nahe (magnum)
2003 Peter Michael La Carriere
1999 Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir
1999 Araujo Eisele Vineyard Syrah
1999 Chateau Rayas CNP
1999 Pride Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
1991 Del Forno Romano Amarone
1990 Domaine Zind Humbrecht Hengst Gewurztraminer Vendange Tardive
2000 Hundred Acre Kayli Morgan Vineyard Cabernet
1977 Dow's Vintage Port

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Amazing. Moi am just amazing to me. See, sometimes, I get these ideas that I think are absolutely BRILLIANT. And they go out there into this vast universe, only to get tossed aside as just so much used toilet paper.

Then, I come up with ideas that I concoct just for the hell of it...AND THEY TAKE OFFFFFFF!

Which is to say, looks like the third issue of Galatea Resurrects will feature new reviews of at least 49 poetry publications/projects (on top of other features and reprints of some print reviews). The number is based on reviews received or confirmed to be forthcoming. The number may still get higher if people who've earlier said they will write a review for this issue but haven't yet confirmed, will come through anyway.

But 49 new reviews! That's up from the second issue's 37 new reviews and first issue's 27 new reviews.

So, this is to say that if you want to join the party, the deadline of Aug. 5 has been pushed back a bit to Aug. 12 (due to my travel plans) so that it's still not too late to send me a review...or engagement, as Moi prefers to call such.

And the deadline for the fourth issue of Galatea Resurrects is November 5, 2006. Join the party, folks. That blog is read more than even this blog so engage and be read!

So authors and publishers -- keep sending review copies. And writers, please to consider engaging with these poetry projects!

And, natch, if mention that if you wish to review Tom Beckett's Unprotected Texts (see prior 2 posts), contact me!


Well, what I do for my poetry. So, I'm ordering condoms in bulk -- EXTRA LARGE, of course -- to make a limited edition fetish to celebrate Tom Beckett's UNPROTECTED TEXTS! More info on that later.

We at Meritage Press believe SAFE SEX and HOT TORRID LUSTFUL SEX do not a binary make.

Good morning.

And don't forget about our PRE-RELEASE special (see prior post).

Condom. Bulk X-LARGE. Fetish. Pre-Release. As I was saying, Gooooood Maaaawn-ing!


I should note, btw, that the fabulous cover image to Tom's book is by Robert Gober -- made in part from beeswax and human hair. Yes, Tom -- that'd be some pillow!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Well, now -- how do you like the cover for Tom Beckett's long-awaited debut poetry collection? The color is hot-ter than what may be reproduced on blog, but you get the idea. And please to avail yourself of a SPECIAL PRE-RELEASE OFFER; details below the cover:


Poems by Tom Beckett
Release Date: Fall 2006
No. of Pages: 180
Price: $19.95
Distributor: Small Press Distribution,

Meritage Press is pleased to announce the release of Tom Beckett's long overdue and much anticipated first poetry book. Unprotected Texts encompasses work from nearly three decades. To celebrate this historic release, Meritage Press is pleased to offer a PRE-RELEASE SPECIAL. Through September 30, 2006, you can acquire this book direct from the publisher for $14.00, a 30% discount, as well as receive free shipping/handling for orders sent to U.S. addresses. Send check/money order made out to "Meritage Press" to

Eileen Tabios
Meritage Press
256 North Fork Crystal Springs Road
St. Helena, CA 94574

Zombies and Wittgenstein bracket a series of autonomous zones populated by the Book, Harry Partch, 100 Questions, shadows, holograms, the Subject, the author himself, and numerous pronouns. These Unprotected Texts flood the tones of speech wrenched from the bent notes of a life lived looking for a connection to "the conversation" which takes place among musics of meaning. Sex and text are synonymous here. "Is this speech balloon a rubber?"

There is a powerfully osmotic draw to this welcome volume of Selected Poems, spanning nearly thirty years of work and concluding with a stimulating interview of the author by Tom Fink and Crag Hill. That this book is overdue, results in a level of concentration that intensifies the experience of reading. The poetry itself, the intellect and personality that exude from it, reveal a mind and heart that bring to the fore the infinite variety of life in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries. References to composer and musical theorist Harry Partch seem apt, as Beckett's Unprotected Texts reveal intervals in sound, discovering heretofore undiscovered instruments.

There is Beckett as designer who "underpaints." Beckett as builder: "Stanzas are rooms in Italian." Beckett as political and social observer: "Is the president a hologram?" "Do fingerprints have babies?" Beckett as aesthetic investigator: "At some point I turned out to be my method." "Closure affects circumference." Beckett as honest individual/ articulate creator: "It's a boy and it's a girl." "Often I am permitted to do absolutely nothing that I want to do."
--Sheila E. Murphy

For three decades now, Tom Beckett has been writing the most hard-headed, clear-eyed, unsentimental poetry in America. He has the rigor of a master & the mind of a first-rate detective. Long before the internet made it relatively easier for a poet to work from somewhere other than one of the two or three major literary centers, Beckett was writing poems from deep inside Ohio that ring as true -- and as clearly -- now as when they were first written.
--Ron Silliman

Well known for editing The Difficulties (1980-1990), a now legendary critical journal, Tom Beckett has long been associated with the Language Poets. His "The Picture Window" (included in this volume) was published in Ron Silliman's landmark anthology In the American Tree. More recently, he has become a popular figure in the world of blogs. Unprotected Texts is comprised of work taken in whole or part from broadsides, chapbooks, journals, online and other publications. It is his first, much anticipated, full-length book. He lives in Kent, Ohio.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


and Moi had a nice chat with a 2003 cabernet at the Rutherford Grill tonight, following his reading (with Antonya Nelson) as part of the Napa Valley Writers Conference which is taking place in wine country this week. Of course Arthur's reading was fabuloso, but what I really want to blather about is why Santa Fe, New Mexico is G!R!E!A!T!

To wit, apparently, Arthur became poet laureate as part of a four-part plan by the city:

1) to become a nuclear-free zone (relevant given the proximity of Los Alamos);
2) to raise the local minimum wage above national standards;
3) to have a poet laureate; and
4) to have all government buildings be "green" (no fossil fuels) by the year 2030.

I LOVE THIS -- that poetry is deemed as civic-ly relevant as the other matters noted above. Yay, Santa Fe! I shall toast you in person when, synchronistically, I visit you in a couple of weeks.

It was really nice to see Arthur, whose poem "Black Lightning" had inspired the title of my first book. And also fabulous to catch up with Forrest Gander (who thought it a hoot how I subvert blurbs in PUNCTUATIONS) (we also had fun discussing the Blurbed Book Project), and reacquaint with C.D. Wright. Catch them and Brenda Hillman if you're in Bay Area for lectures and readings open to the public at this conference schedule.