THE BLIND CHATELAINE'S KEYS
Formerly "The Blind Chatelaine's Poker Poetics". Performed from Galatea's mountain -- where nature, art, poetry and wine converge with much love -- she now goes through her keychain as if it were a rosary, unlocking doors for you. Because if Rimbaud said "I is Another," the Chatelaine shares, "Moi am all about Toi."
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
So. Moi may be the public face of Galatea, but civilization would not exist here on the mountain without its manager, Mr. J__. So, this morning, Mr. J__ approached. He knew I'm off to Europe tomorrow. He sez, "Probably be a good idea to take down the garden while you're gone..."
I just peered at him. He kinda looked away. He kinda and I kinda know...the garden has been a BUST this season. The tomatoes eked out to 56 balls, for crimeney's sake and it is a crime.
"We-e-llllll," I proposed, trying to pretend I wasn't feeling humiliated over my pathetic thumbs, "I sort of thought I'd harvest more basil. I'm making pesto and freezing them..."
Mr. J___ then peered at me. I appreciated him stifling his laughter. He said, "Oka-a-ayy. Well, we're not likely to do anything anyway until this weekend, after you're gone..."
I grunted in fakely indifferent attempt. Had I been wearing cowboy boots, I'da scuffed them in the dirt. Mr. J__ grunted right back, then turned to walk away.
Pause. He paused. He turned halfway back toward me and said, "You know -- it's not your fault. It was the wrong type of dirt for growing vegetables -- too much sand in dirt. We're going to haul it all out, and replace it with new dirt."
Then he moved on ... to the other part of the mountain where 50 big burly men were planting me some brand new lemon and lime trees.
Well! So dang if I ain't a dirtbag after all. IT WASN'T MY FAULT that the tomatoes were pallid, the onions aborted, the squash squashed, the melons tiny and the green peppers modest!!! NOT MY FAULT!
What a gift with which to start my vacation! Whooo-hoooo!
Tomorrow is another day, and so I post my very last Seasonal Harvest List below....along with my latest relishes along the wine and whine variety.
THE CITY SLICKER'S FINAL HARVEST TALLY
55 sprigs of parsley
15 yellow squashes
248 sprigs of basil
2 Santa Rosa plums
31 lemon cucumbers
31 sprigs of mint
16 Japanese eggplants
6 Crenshaw melons
10 stalks of scallions
2 squashes (white, but otherwise an unknown variety)
17 green peppers
5 jalapeno peppers
FRAGILE REPLACEMENTS (manuscript), poems by William Allegrezza
SISTE VIATOR, poems by Sarah Manguso
NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY, poems by Thomas Fink
THREE MOUTHS, poems by Tod Thilleman
THE NARROW ROAD TO THE INTERIOR, poems by Kimiko Hahn
HOODLUM BIRDS, poems by Eugene Gloria
ENDLESS STAIRCASE, poems by Sandy McIntosh
WHICH WAY TO THE EGRESS, poems by Sandy McIntosh
JANE, A MURDER, poetry by Maggie Nelson
THE PRESENT WORK, poems by Matvei Yankelevich
THE NINES, poems by Christian Peet
THE ANGER SCALE, poems by Katie Degentesh
POEMS by Philip Shelty with Images by Jim Long
READING DARWIN, poems by Kate Delany
A SLICE OF CHERRY PIECE, poetry anthology edited by Ivy Alvarez
COMBO 14/15, poetry journal edited by Michael Magee
A FAITHFUL EXISTENCE: READING, MEMORY AND TRANSCENDENCE, poetry essays by Forrest Gander
THE ACCIDENTAL MASTERPIECE: ON THE ART OF LIFE AND VICE VERSA, essays by Michael Kimmelman
A PLACE TO STAND, memoir by Jimmy Santiago Baca
A CIRCLE OF QUIET, memoir by Madeleine L'Engle
THE IRRATIONAL SEASON, memoir by Madeleine L'Engle
WINTERDANCE: THE FINE MADNESS OF RUNNING THE IDITAROD, memoir by Gary Paulsen
A CHILDHOOD IN TUSCANY, memoir by Keenta Bevor
SLEEPING WITH CATS, memoir by Madge Piercy
IT HAPPENED IN BOSTON?, novel by Russell H. Greenan
THE TRAVELER, novel by John Twelve Hawks
TRUE HONOR, novel by Dee Henderson
2000 Pindar Mythology
2003 J. Moreau @ Fils Chablis
2004 Rodney Strong Pinot Noir
2005 Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio
Laurent-Perrier, Brut Rose, Champagne NV
2001 Artadi Pagos Viejos Rioja
Chambers Fine Muscat
2002 Martine Estate Gold
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
with an accent over the first E which I don't know how to type! But still exciting! That is -- Bruna Mori's first poetry collection, with paintings by Matthew Kinney. We just nailed down printing and production details (1 more to go for Meritage Press and I'm off to hunt truffles in Alba!!!) and here's the book cover -- just finalized!
poems by Bruna Mori
paintings by Matthew Kinney
Forthcoming in November; Distributed by SPD.
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)."
MORE ADVANCE WORDS:
"In Dérive, Bruna Mori rides the New York City subway to its terminus, and in so doing reminds us that those oft forgotten souls who inhabit urban outreaches are adamant, sparkling bridges between their old world and new. Mori is not only a cogent observer of life and its environs but a magnanimous participant who shines a light on the profound beauty of no-name pizza parlors and sweaty flesh that bears green tattoos of the heart."
CHECK! TAGALOG TRANSLATIONS!
Dang I'm good. I'm good, though can't take credit -- just a day after my post on translations, I got two Tagalog translations of my poems -- hence also addressing "the obvious gap" as regards how I've been translated. Moi boy Paolo Javier put me in touch with stellar poet Paolo Manalo and here below is my first Tagalog translation!
The English poem was first published by The Onion Union #2, here. The Tagalog translation below references Imee Marcos for reasons related to why it will appear in my forthcoming book, The Light Sang As It Left Your Eyes (Marsh Hawk, 2007).
And now -- my first Tagalog translation (drum roll...). And Maraming Salamat, Paolo Manalo (now -- what does it take, really, for me to get a copy of your brilliant poetry collection, Jolography which I understand to be a must-read by English-reading poetry lovers?):
ANG UNANG TRANSPLANT NG MUKHA
Halaw kay Imee Marcos
Sinakmal siya ng
Niretoke ng mga doktor
gamit ang mukha ng iba,
Ang tsismis, nagpatiwakal
ang dating may-ari ng mukha
Matagumpay ang operasyon
Pero hindi na makanguso
...........................ng isang halik
Monday, September 25, 2006
that I just got my first commitment for the FIFTH issue of Galatea Resurrects when we're still putting the FOURTH issue together! So far, the momentum holds!
YOUR GUESS IS AS GOOD AS MINE ON TRANSLATING MOI!
I feel blessed when folks translate my work. Translations are not something I go out looking for and so I'm honored when folks offer to translate my poems. Yesterday, I received the first Italian translations of my poems! An unexpected surprise -- but what a gift!. Thank you, Rebeka!
And receiving Italian translations also made me consider this: in the order of occurence, my poems to date have been translated into Japanese, paintings, contemporary dance, Kali martial arts performance, vizpo, video art, sculpture, mixed-media collage, Spanish, and Italian.
I think this can say something about my work. As well as the reception (including lack thereof) to said work. (As regards the latter, of course, I'm just mischief-making here -- if you're attuned to Moi, you'd be attuned to the obvious gap as to where I've (not) been translated...wink.)
In any event, I'm pleased to share Rebeka Lembo's translation into Italian of "Rebirth" (you can see the poem itself on my sporadic blog "Evocations Then Resolutions"):
freddo metallo? Ci
incatena dopo la
Sunday, September 24, 2006
ALWAYS HAPPY TO CELEBRATE
another addition to my Meritage Press line-up: Tom Beckett's Author/Book Page is now up!!!!!
And the Chatelaine coos and coos....
WHAT MAKES FALLEN ANGELS GO PEE-ING
Well now -- I've just finished reviewing/editing five book manuscripts in the past three days. Isn't that speeee...e....ecial...?! I plan to begin Europe with a clear head, knowing full well that I shall end said trip with a, uh, less-than-clear head.
I also have harvested much basil and made pesto now frozen in little containers in the freezer as I won't get to my garden for a while. Garden, which is set amidst stone walls. And so that generates a lame segue towards ...this:
Un - *)(*&%(&*(*&^ - believable. As the billions of you who avidly follow Moi's life might recall, there have been 50 big burly men climbing all over me, I mean, the mountain for several weeks now. Well, yesterday was a watershed. They accomplished this series of rock walls, paths, hammock-holder (but of course), steps et al in this area of the mountain -- I'd watched them work and sweat for weeks and weeks and yesterday, they finished! And did a fabuloso job!
So the owner of the company himself was there to check over the work and compliment the men. Appropriately, the 50 big burly chests were all heaving pridefully under the sun. They truly had done an outstanding job!
And so there they were by the job-site, 50 big burly men cheerfully receiving the construction company owner's benediction when a sound began to make itself heard. Picture this now: the owner was facing one way; the 50 big burly men are facing him. The sound was stemming from something unfolding behind the owner, so the 50 big burly men first saw it happening without the owner's awareness.
And what was happening was that a large construction truck -- whose brakes for some unfathomable reason must not have been engaged -- started slowly rolling down from where it was parked. Said truck was parked at an incline, Peeps, because we are on a mountain. And the truck began slowly, then gathered speed as it rolled down down down...and I can easily imagine how the eyes of big, burly men must have started to widen in horror, causing the construction company owner to pause in puzzlement before he, too, turned around to see what was going on.
The truck gathered speed and rolled towards them, crashing through (a very expensive) deer fence, bumping against a poor oak tree, and thoroughly mangling the lemon and orange trees yours truly had been nurturing for four years.
There's a rush...there's a suddenly apopleptic owner who saw his profit margin disappear if not go into the red (since he, appropriately, promised us later to fix everything at his cost since it was his "company"'s fault)...there were 50 big burly men rushing to the truck to try to get control of it...and, today, there must be one unhappy and possibly now unemployed worker.
These words understate the horror -- I feel really bad. The guys had worked so hard for many weeks under a very hot sun, and now this! One of the saddest sights ever is to see a big, burly man, let alone 50 big burly men, on the verge of tears. Fortunately, as I write this, the Fallen Angels are out sprinkling stardust -- or peeing -- along the affected areas as negative energy is not allowed on Galatea. Benediction:
And ye big burly men shall be just fine...
Saturday, September 23, 2006
I like 'em big; I like 'em long. I'm ecstatic that Meritage Press will be the publisher of Allen Bramhall's DAYS POEM. About 800 manuscript pages -- which is to say, a book whose final page count could be in four figures. Forthcoming in 2007!
I appreciate the significance of scale. Scale is something that I feel is ignored or given short shrift by 99.9% of poetry publishing due to limited economic returns. So these long poems get printed in sections (though that's not necessarily bad -- just not part of the original intent) instead of being available at once. Sure, I might have to publish Allen's book in two volumes due to my printer's length constraints -- but they will be available concurrently. Because SCALE is part of his work and needs to be respected.
Really -- I feel poets don't pay enough attention to scale. Most contemporary poetry books tap out at the, what, 74-ish length? Is that really due to aesthetics or capitalism's objections to poetry -- e.g. no more than __ pages due to cost? (Matter of fact, one of the books Meritage Press will publish next year was first submitted in the about 80-page range. A great manuscript, but I thought the energy got truncated. I told the poet -- is there a longer version? He re-sent the book. It's a waaay better project, as a result!) This isn't intended to bash poetry publishers with limited funds, please, but really another call by Moi to suggest that poetry publishers use POD to challenge inherited constraints created by contest and economic limitations.
Speaking of scale, I have gotten more interesting review copies for Galatea Resurrects. As I'm due to be offline in five days, email me now if you wish me to send a review copy out before I leave (tho I'll be back online Oct. 10, plenty of time for next issue's Nov. 5 deadline).
Friday, September 22, 2006
I will be out of town and offline from Thursday, Sept. 28 to Monday, Oct. 9. Some of you need to get in touch with me before I leave the e-ther. Hence, this proclamation!
You nosy noses sniffing for more details need only look at Moi Next Reading Schedule info on the left-hand column of this blog. Yep -- Missy WinePoetics is about to inflict herself on Alba, Bordeaux & Paris. And of course I'll be a pig doing research for the hay(na)ku novel-in-progress.
Five days and counting, Peeps. Talk to me -- you know who youse are!
I NEVER SAY "GOOD-BYE" TO POEMS
Well, for the second time in weeks, I got an acceptance for a poem I can't remember writing and have no proof of writing. This is what happens when you write poems then do the Frank O'Hara.
The first time, it was for the respected journal FIVE FINGERS REVIEW. I said, "Thank you" for the acceptance and awaited their proof eagerly to see what I wrote. (When I got said proof, I was relieved that I liked the poem-heh).
This second time (I won't note the publication yet) is for a book anthology. But I also am awaiting proof (pun intended) of the poem.
These events should -- I know -- make me resolve to organize my files better. But, Naaaaaah. What these incidents prove to Moi is that I don't need to fetter my poems. If there's a reason for them to come back, they'll come back for my smooches.
AFTER YOUR EYES FINISH PLAYING WITH MOI WINGS
Go read Ron on Moi.
This was unexpected. But, Maraming Salamat, Ron. Thank you.
And as I write this, there are four comments on Ron's blog. Steeped as I currently am in Dante's Purgatorio, I feel like I'm on the edge of seeing a translation of purgatory beginning to play itself out there. I hope not (and thank you, Steven Fama!). But if the comment section imp-lodes, then as many of us know, 'twould be no surprise.
But enough about me (wink). I really got online to post a post entitled
"AN EYE FOR THE UNTRODDEN PATH"
If you read this new article on Eve Aschheim over at Princeton University News, you might glean why I am so happy to have had a chance to use one of her images as a book cover.
Check out this excerpt and you'll see a restlessness and striving that I admire--manifested in the latter part of the excerpt below about her collaborations with mathematician John Cowan (the result is my cover image in PUNCTUATIONS) and photographer Emmet Gowin. I like the multidisciplinary approach in the arts -- in poetry, it can result in poems that are trans-writing.
Poetic trans-writings -- What am I talking about? Moi again, obviously, when, truly-- I mean to point your attention to Eve Aschheim; here's the excerpt but do go read the entire interview--there's much here that I consider poetics:
Her work, which tends to be done on small canvases, uses abstract shapes to build complex relationships and structures. "I want to create a composition that is open, where the viewer can imagine," Aschheim said.
"The relation between her hand's irregular gestures and the blank ground upon which she chooses to make them creates an almost musical harmony, where sounds and pauses are of equal importance to the whole," wrote curator Regina Coppola in an essay accompanying an exhibition called "Eve Aschheim: Recent Work," shown in 2003 at the University Gallery at the Fine Arts Center at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. "Some works are dynamically dense with a torrent of dashes or layers of superimposed angles and lines, while others contain no more than a handful of delicate ellipses that balance each other with rhythmic undertones of stillness."
Aschheim works in a studio in Manhattan with a view of the Hudson River. Being in New York keeps her in touch with what's going on in the art world. When she's in Princeton, she relishes having "time and space to think," she said. She also cherishes contact with her colleagues at the University, both in the visual arts program and beyond it. A few years ago she paid a visit to John Conway, the John von Neumann Professor in Applied and Computational Mathematics.
"I told him I wanted to learn about mathematics," she said. "I was hoping I could learn to think in different ways about space and geometry."
Conway was eager to share his knowledge, and later came to one of Aschheim's classes to talk to her students about hyperbolic space and geometry, making sketches for the students.
Aschheim has pushed the boundaries of her work in recent years by experimenting with a new medium, thanks to a collaboration with professor of visual arts Emmet Gowin, a photographer.
"He saw my drawings and suggested we try to make photograms," Aschheim said. Working in a photography studio at 185 Nassau St., the two took several of Aschheim's drawings on mylar, laid them on photo paper, exposed them to the light and developed the photos. Marks that Aschheim had erased from her drawings during the creative process were now visible. For Aschheim, the photograms were a way to see where she's been and where she's going — and to examine how she got there.
"You can see how the drawing was made," Aschheim said. "All this hidden information comes out."
In the classroom, Aschheim helps students explore new ground and examine their own work in fresh ways. She has an "eye for untrodden paths," Ogunbiyi said.
"She pushed us to expand our art perspective, and encouraged us to explore a range of drawing mediums and discover new ways of expressing our work," said Veneka Chagwedera, who will be a sophomore this year.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
"KYO" POETICS: THE SIMULTANEITY OF LIGHT
I blogged not too long ago about how I try very hard for this blog to just be positive energy (not that I succeed all the time but it's part of the "form" of this blog -- it is an aesthetic issue for me, insofar as I consider the blog a form).
Well, it occurred to me after my trip to New York where I met with my publisher that this positive energy thingie is but an extension of something I decided years ago as I moved within the poetry world -- that I need to be open, sure, but also be very careful about exposing myself (including my Muse) to debilitating forces, including poets who would sap your energy away from the Work.
Which is a blather-ish way to say that after meeting with Marsh Hawk Press editors (okay, meeting understates the matter when you got poet-and-also-chef- extraordinaire Sandy McIntosh cooking for you--check out his menu!), I am really grateful that I ended up with this publishing organization. I think most other poetry publishers would have clipped my wings in what I'm trying to explore in poetry.
At Marsh Hawk, I'm lucky to have as my in-house editor Thomas Fink, a fabulous poet but also brilliant critic. Tom and Sandy have really created a "home" for me at the press. And because I and Tom stayed over one night at Sandy and Barbara's home, I was able to witness their morning habit of chanting -- part of their Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism practice. And an amazing thing happened (which, I believe, reflects these two gents' positive-energy affect on my poetry practice) -- while listening to their breathtaking, speedy-breath chanting of "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo", I was able to finalize what had been a rather tortuous working title to the manuscript that Marsh Hawk will publish next year.
Prior to this trip, I had been stuck on this title -- sensing it was not quite right but being unable to edit it further: THE LIGHT THAT LEFT HIS BODY ENTERED THINE EYES.
Inhaling Nam Myoho Renge Kyo and feeling it spread as a warmth through my body triggered my brain to gasp out a much better title:
THE LIGHT SANG AS IT LEFT YOUR EYES
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is the title of the Lotus Sutra that Nichiren Shoshu Buddhists practice. It is literally "Devotion to the Mystic (or Wonderful) Lotus Sutra," but that is not its true significance. "Nam" means the devotion of one's mind and body to "Myoho," the law of life/death, "Renge," is simultaneous cause and effect, through the "kyo," sound, or the sound of chanting the title of the Lotus Sutra. In any case, the main thing is that simultaneity of cause and effect is the most basic law of existence.
This simultaneity, of course, is synchronistic again since it is part of the notion I addressed in THE LIGHT.... -- that is, in terms of form, I'd addressed disruption of linear narrativity by taking my clues from Dante's notion of the Trinity in Creation: that creation is simulltaneous as regards What (God) creates, How (Son) creation unfolds, and the Form (Spirit) taken by what is created.
Well, what better editors to guide this book through out into the world next year! Between the two of them, I think they've got nearly 70 years practicing their, uh, practice -- which make them a unique audience for my home-grown notion of simultaneity. A notion that encompasses how a book can seem to "freeze" a poem in flight when, actually, as the Fallen Angels have often berated me -- the flight of a poem has no beginning or end but is just ever-continuing. Is just is. A flight both cause and effect.
CATCHING UP...WITH THANK YOU'S
It gets more and more difficult to catch up after trips away from home. So many things pile up. But one should never be too busy to say Thank you -- and I do thank poet & reading curator Scott Glassman for having invited me to Philadelphia to read with a dream reading companion, Ron Silliman. And lovely to meet various Philadelphia poets, CA Conrad, Frank Sherlock, Kate Delaney and others.
And what a lovely time spent with Ron -- he really is a Gentleman, very warm. I think it important to note that given how our blog personas get ... too much, at times. This is the second time I've seen/heard Ron read and, as with the first, it was a dynamic presentation. Dynamic to befit poems that are Oral, Aural & Not Just On, But Leaping From, The Page.
Unfortunately, I didn't do my dirty joke presenations with this reading, but Tom Beckett did indeed send a good one (if he gives me permission, I'd love to post it). Speaking of Tom, there's only a few more days to take advantage of his book's SPECIAL PRE-RELEASE OFFER (don't worry, if it's postmarked in September, that qualifies even if I get your order in October). And here's a reason to order Tom's Book -- I returned hom to discover it is currently one of SPD's Recommended Titles, to wit:
SPD RECOMMENDS: NEW TITLES for Sept 4–Sept 19, 2006
UNPROTECTED TEXTS: SELECTED POEMS (1978-2006)
by Beckett, Tom
$19.95 / Paper / pp.180
Meritage Press, 2006
Poetry. Well known for editing The Difficulties (1980-1990), a now legendary critical journal, Tom Beckett releases UNPROTECTED TEXTS, his first and much anticipated full-length book. Here, 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 amongst musics of meaning. Sex and text are synonymous here: "Is this speech balloon a rubber?" Ron Silliman says, "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." Sheila Murphy adds, "That this book is overdue, results in a level of concentration that intensifies the experience of reading."
Last but not least, returned home to my first acceptance of an excerpt from my in-progress novel-in-verse, specifically, novel-in-hay(na)ku verse. It's gratifying, as I've failed too many thousands worth of pages, to date, at attempting a novel. But it does seem increasingly synchronistic that my first success (I feel good about this particular effort), would be a novel-in-verse. Thank You, Universe.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
THERE GO MY PLANS TO SCATTER CONDOMS IN PHILADELPHIA
Dag nabbit! Makes me wanna skew a wabbit!
Which is to say, I just left Napa for San Francisco as I'm due to take an early flight tomorrow to New York. And I left, in Napa, a bag of condoms -- okay, let's be literary, I meant, condom-bookmarks -- that I'd been planning to distribute at my reading next Tuesday eve in Philadelphia!
[Pause for long-suffering sigh...]
Okay. Here's an email I just sent to a Listserve, so I might as well replicate it here; third item will explain why I may not be back online until next Wednesday:
[Feel free to forward]
The deadline for the first item is the end of this month so I thought I'd post a reminder...then since I was writing anyway, I thought I'd mention the other 2 items
Meritage Press and xPress(ed) are pleased to announce a Submissions Call for THE HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY, NO. 2, co-edited by Jean Vengua and Mark Young.
Submissions Deadline: September 31, 2006.
Info at http://meritagepress.com/babaylan/
“The Filamore Tabios, Sr. Memorial Poetry Prize”
(open to all poets from around the world of full or partial Filipino descent)
DEADLINE: November 30, 2006
Info at http://meritagepress.com/babaylan/
Inverse Reading Series invites you to
SILLIMAN / TABIOS
A Poetry Reading in Philadelphia with
Musical Guest Craig Bickhardt
September 19, 2006
At the Bubble House,
3404 Sansome Street
Starts promptly at 7:30 PM and seating is limited, so come early.
$7.00 Admission Fee
RON SILLIMAN has written and edited 26 books to date, most recently Under Albany. Between 1979 & 2004, Silliman wrote a single poem, entitled The Alphabet. In addition to Woundwood, a part of VOG, volumes published thus far from that project have included ABC, Demo to Ink, Jones, Lit, Manifest, N/O, Paradise, (R), Toner, What and Xing. He has now begun writing a new poem entitled Universe. Silliman was a 2003 Literary fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts and was a 2002 Fellow of the Pennsylvania Arts Council as well as a Pew Fellow in the Arts in 1998. He lives in Chester County, Pennsylvania, with his wife and two sons, and works as a market analyst in the computer industry. His poetics blog can be found at http://ronsilliman.blogspot.com.
EILEEN R. TABIOS recently released The Secret Lives of Punctuations, Vol. I. Forthcoming in 2006-07 are three poetry publications, It's Curtains, Dredging for Atlantis, and The Light That Left His Body Entered Thine Eyes. She also edited or co-edited five books of poetry, fiction and essays. She performs the poetics blog, "The Blind Chatelaine's Poker Poetics" and edits the journal GALATEA RESURRECTS while steering Meritage Press . She is the Poet Laureate for Dutch Henry Winery in St. Helena, CA where, as a budding vintner, she is arduously and long-sufferingly researching the poetry of wine.
NO RELISHING THE TOMATOES
which are coming out begrudgingly this season. Something to do with the nature of dirt, or so I've been advised. "Nature of dirt"? What the *()(*&)(#!!! Still, I have been blessed to finally "get" the immense satisfaction of eating something that one plants and grows. I can share that crooning over plants is a better strategy than yelling at them.
Shouldn't have yelled at the tomatoes -- but, gads, they look so pallid. "How can one screw up a tomato plant?" let alone "tomato plants?!"I can hear some of you thinking, even as I thank you for not actually asking.
All this a tedious preamble to my latest RELISHED LIST, the third being the list of my woeful harvest -- I mean, if you can actually list and count how many you eke out of a garden, then youse know you are eking:
RETRIEVED POEMS by Frank O'Hara
BALANCING ACTS, poems by Rochelle Ratner
BREAKING THE FEVER, poems by Mary Mackey
MY LIGHTWEIGHT INTENTIONS, poems by Pam Brown
PEEL ME A ZIBIBBO, poems by Pam Brown
WARRIOR FOR PEACE, poems by Steve Mason
THE MUSE OF DISTANCE, poems by Alan Williamson
GARNET LANTERNS, poems by Sally Rosen Kindred
ON THE FLY, poems by Amy King
THE MOUNTAIN IN THE SEA, poems by Victor Hernandez Cruz
METEORIC FLOWERS, poems by Elizabeth Willis
CANARBOREALKNOTWORKHELPBLACKBURNOUTOFFFREGE'S ABYSS, poems by Boyd Spahr
GATHER TOGETHER IN MY NAME, autobiography by Maya Angelou
A TUSCAN CHILDHOOD, memoir by Kinta Beevor
QUEER CULTURE: OUR HISTORY AND OUR LEGACY, essay by Julie R. Enszer
NOT ALL OF US ARE SAINTS: A DOCTOR'S JOURNEY WITH THE POOR, memoir by David Hilfiker, M.D.
ON THE ICE: AN INTIMATE PORTRAIT OF LIFE AT MCMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA, memoir by Gretchen Legler
A WIDOW, A CHIHUAHUA AND HARRY TRUMAN, memoir by Mary Beth Crain
1992 Ravenswood Pickberry
2000 Ch. Martet Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux
2002 Etienne Sauzet Puligny Montrachet
1998 Araujo Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvigno
2000 Pride Cabernet Franc Mountain Vineyards Sonoma
2003 Turley zinfandel Rancho Burro
2004 La Carraia Sangiovese Umbria
THE CITY SLICKER'S HARVEST TALLY, to date
45 sprigs of parsley
15 yellow squashes
47 sprigs of basil
2 Santa Rosa plums
22 lemon cucumbers
31 sprigs of mint
10 Japanese eggplants
10 stalks of scallions
2 squashes (white, but otherwise an unknown variety)
5 green peppers
3 jalapeno peppers
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
how Menage A Trois With the 21st Century seems, based on sales, to be my least popular book among poets-who-are-poetry-buyers. Yet, (if we exclude Reproductions whose sales benefited from textbook sales) Menage is my most popular book among those I meet who aren't poets.
I don't know if that's funny, actually, but I think it means something.
(What's really funny are some of those dirty jokes y'all are sending me. Keep on!)
GET MOI DIRTY
I'm tired of the usual rambling in between poems that I sometimes deliver at readings. To wit, if you have a dirty joke you'd like to share with me, please do so by emailing Moi at GalateaTen@aol.com
When Miles Davis turned his back to the audience, he didn't focus them on the music -- he focused them on his back. In other words, I'm not really the type to just read poems one at a time with no blather in between. I mean, I can do that for very short readings but not for reading for a decent amount of time. So, I thought that I'd just share dirty jokes in between my poems.
It's an idea anyway. Run with me if you have a dirty joke. I am great company in the gutter.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
ON POETRY LAPS
I go back to New York City, on average, about four times a year. I usually go for other reasons besides poetry, though try to insert in gigs while I'm there (or thereabouts). Well, I'm off to New York this Friday (for visual art & culinary reasons) and on the way back, I stop off in Philadelphia to do an Inverse Poetry Series reading with Ron Silliman -- okay Allen, I'll trade offers with you: you make it to this reading and you can sit on my lap while I read poems.
This Philly reading will be special. Why? Because after not knowing what to read, the idea was dropped into my lap by the universe. Of course, the Fallen Angels being what they are, the universe drops the message on my lap in a rather perverse fashion. To wit,
...a Peep out there read one of my books and emailed that he liked it...but it made him "genuinely puzzled that [Moi has] not attracted more national notice."
After snorting out a laugh over his nice compliment, I realized that his diction had a dark edge. You mean all Moi blather is not attracting national notice????
Fortunately, I snorted out another laugh since Fame, after all, ain't the point in Poetry, right? [Insert Chatty's Wink at several Peeps...]
But Philly -- you get to hear me read from the book that should have placed me in the canon but didn't! Heh.
Speaking of "canon," I got a press release with one of the review books sent for Galatea Resurrects. It's an awful press release! It touts the poet for having joined the canon (yes, it uses that word)....geezus, the total lack of self-awareness in people. If you're a poet of color, one would think you'd be the last person bragging about having become part of the "canon." If I send that book out, I'm thinking of doing that poet a favor and sending it without that press release -- particularly since the book itself is full of lovely poems...and, it occurs to me, maybe the press release was written by the publisher without the poet's input. Anyway, people invested in poetry fame ... often end up being fodder for others' amusements. There's a reason for that.
Monday, September 11, 2006
MOI VERSION OF DEAR ABBY
I can't blog much at the moment except to note the worthwhile new interview with Nick Carbo and Denise Duhamel at Tom Beckett's Interview Blog.
I can't blog much because Jonathan asked me this morning, to explain "why all men die yet behave as if they are immortal."
The Chatelaine, here to serve, will research and get back when there's a back to get to.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
MAY MOI IMMODESTLY DIRECT YOU
here: "Musical Effects"
Such includes apt nods to Jukka-Pekka Kervinen and Leny Strobel. Down with binaries, you see -- as in, politics and music need not cancel each other out. If you want to hear for yourself, here's a SPECIAL OFFER for you:
Through October 31, 2006, The Secret Lives of Punctuations, Vol. I, is available for $10.00 and free shipping throughout the U.S. (a savings off of the $14.95 retail price and $3 shipping/handling). Email Moi at GalateaTen@aol.com if you're interested. And all 2006 sales proceeds from this book, FYI, is being donated to SAVE DARFUR.
Thank you for listening....
Saturday, September 09, 2006
1,000% BATTING AVERAGE
Oh hey! I like ALL the poems I read in ListenLight's Second Issue, featuring:
Peter Jay Shippy
Kudos as well to editor Jesse Crockett.
Well, it's my birthday weekend. But guess what Mom said as I turned 46. All my life, I'd thought my birthday is September 11. Nope, it's September 10. A Clerical Error, daw, when my birth was being recorded. Or as I wrote in a journal entry to memorialize:
9-1-1: An Autobiography
(September 10, 2006)
Mom: Happy Birthday!
Eileen: Thank you!
Mom: You are 46 years old!
Mom: You know, today is not really your birthday.
Mom: You were actually born on September 10. But it happened just around 10:30 p.m., so it wasn't reported to the registrar's office until the following day. But the registrar's office marked your day of birth as the day it was reported instead of when it occurred.
Eileen: So, … I don't share a birthday with Ferdinand Marcos?! Or an anniversary with the bombing of the World Trade Center…?!
Mom [Nods. Then laughs before saying]: Happy Birthday!
So, wow: that's a true story...(Hey Leny, she SHOUTS! We don't share a birthday after all...!)
Relatedly, I respect art in all its forms. Daniel Patterson is a brilliant artist and I'm honored and grateful he gave me a superb birthday dinner this year. Thank you, Tom, for giving me/us one of the best dining experiences I've ever experienced!
And the present wasn't bad either...!
Friday, September 08, 2006
SOMETIMES, I WISH MY MUSE WOULD JUST SHUT UP
Well, not really of course. But, gads, whenever I think I'm dry -- or whenever I just finished a BIG PROJECT and hope for a respite -- the fallen angels hitch up their skirts and pee on my illusions that Moi doesn't exist except to serve them.
Which is to say, blearily over coffee this morning at the kitchen table -- which is to say, with no prior intent to do so -- I finished "Chapter One" comprised of eight hay(na)ku poems of a new project:
OUR TUSCAN STORY:
A NOVEL IN HAY(NA)KU
My version, it seems, of a novel in verse. It's inspired partly by the latest memoir I began reading this morning, A Tuscan Childhood by Kinta Beevor. And this one, unlike my earlier attempts at the novel but using conventional prose, seems to write itself effortlessly...and never mind my sleep and the growing purple under my heavy-lidded eyes. Whatever -- bring it all on.
Synchronicity -- I'm off to Alba for white truffle-hunting this October, so I'll even have a chance to do primary research. Yes, the gods are good to me ... and I hope always to deserve your sun...
We watched Fiore
then spread the
a table or
dry under the
would be hung
calico bags near
Back in London
would receive a
mushrooms. The last
the autumn of
the outbreak of war.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
CONGRATULATIONS TO TIM YU
Timothy Yu is the winner of the 2006 Vincent Chin Memorial Chapbook Prize for his collection Journey to the West, which will appear in the December 2006 issue of Barrow Street. Contest was judged by John Yau.
And congrats to Sarah Gambito, Joseph Legaspi and others at Kundiman for pulling this all together.
MORE WORDS OUT ON THE WORD!
Well now....I've been getting a lot of interesting additions to the review copy list for Galatea Resurrects! Word is getting out about that WORD! Do consider reviewing/engaging with these books, Peeps! Join the party and door prize is Tom Beckett's condom!
My "NICE PROJECT" is also honored, by the way, to have had a brief stint over at the elegantly-wise blog ANTIC VIEW. Here's an excerpt that I quote, not because it begins with my name (hee) but for its very lucid views on reviewing:
Allen Bramhall (AHB): Eileen Tabios has a nice project in Galatea Resurrects, offering space for reviews. she even will send review copies (which she has accrued) to prospective reviewers. I asked to do some, a lark. I'd bought Ernesto [Priego}'s book, Stephen [Ellis] (whose work I don't mind championing) had given me his, and the other three came from Eileen. I asked for Anny [Ballardini] and Mark [Lamoreaux], and Eileen suggested Jon [Leon], whose work I didn't previously know. my goal isn't to explain the books, nor to suggest a complete reading. I just want to note what caught my attention. I think all writers should write reviews. by this I mean formally commit to the process of evaluation. whether these are published or remain journal jottings, it seems like a good exercise. I've written on my blog that everything I write there includes a question mark. however declarative I may be, I'm still just poking at the thing. I'm not against negative reviews, but criticism (one sees it all the time) in which there's a momentum of style, the Joan Houlihan School of Snide Rebate, that's just gamesmanship. I don't mind not getting it. a publisher once told me, if he didn't understand a work, he wanted to publish it. that strikes me as an excellent basis.
Jeff Harrison (JH): I agree that all writers should write reviews, whether publicly or privately. I don't write reviews, publicly or privately. My public writings are poems and Antic View entries. My private writings are poems (which are eventually public), emails, and titles of books that I mean to hunt for at libraries or bookstores. If I see a passage I want to revisit in a book I own, I write a page number, and sometimes a keyword, in the inside of the cover. If I see a passage I want to revisit in a book I don't own, I copy the passage in a notebook I use exclusively for copied passages. I often look through this notebook, which is comprised almost entirely of passages on poetry. I particularly enjoy remarks on poetry by people who aren't poets, as I find them largely indistinguishable from remarks on poetry by poets. Perhaps I don't write reviews because I fear this blurring of identities. Does one cease to be a poet when writing of poetry? Writing prose is where poet and non-poet meet, as is reading prose. Poetry is where the non-poet cannot go except as a reader. Does one cease to be a poet when reading poetry? The only two states of a poet being writing poetry and thought unguided by an outside poem (a poem written by someone else) (does reading a poem you've written count as a poem written by someone else?)? Every poet is a compromise with the poet's weaker elements.
AHB: I think I've harped on the writers write reviews bit before, and what I really mean is that conscious evaluation is needed for the writer. this is a constant. which I'm sure you do, whether you write it down or not. I need to write it, otherwise I remain in a sort of inchoate non-verbal glow. poetry absolutely astonishes me, in a baffling way. I cannot write 'privately', not in the sense that I think you mean. always, I'm aware of the Reader, that potential. if not the id then an id. I admire your method of gleaning. I used to do similar, even putting the interesting quotes and phrases that I found into categories. Auden published a nifty commonplace book. I should go back to doing that, as I am a collector of notebooks, always ready for a reason to fill another. you are kinder, by the bye, to your books than I am. I like to annotate, underline and write poems in books (mine only, not library ones). I even kinda appreciate the underlinings in used books that I buy, tho often these are insipid indoctrinations by the teachers. your stance towards poetry is my stance towards writing. well, there is a class of writing that lacks intensity, or crystalline essence: that's prosaic. which is the prose that doesn't exult, I guess. when I write of poetry, it's like looking at a faraway star. it necessitates description, but also this ethereal wonder. poetry, in this simile, is like a closer star, an abstraction of light. so I feel that, yes, the poet still exists when writing of poetry, but it's a cooler activity. I think all I'm writing here confirms your statement that every poet is a compromise with the poet's weaker elements. reading a poem that I've written is indeed a poem written by someone else.
**end of excerpt**
Reviewing is just one of MANY topics addressed by Jeff Harrison and Allen Bramhall -- HIGHLY RECOMMENDED READING, indeedy, is moi review of ANTIC VIEWS.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
ON BEHALF OF THE FILIPINO AMERICAN LIBRARY
I sent this email out to various Peeps & Listserves; I blog it here, too, because I believe in always spreading the Word about the Word:
[Please Forward to Filipino Authors or Publishers of Filipino Authors]
The Filipino American Library in Los Angeles is having its annual benefit GALA/fundraiser. I cutnpaste information about it below. But they plan to feature at this GALA a table of books authored or edited by Filipino authors. So they are looking for donations (whether from authors or publishers) of such books; proceeds from the sales will be donated to FAL. Any unsold books during the GALA will have the equally lovely result of being then incorporated into the FAL library.
If you would like to donate books, send to
Filipino American Library
135 N. Park View St.
Los Angeles, CA 90026-5215
For questions, please email Jonathan at email@example.com
Let's teach the Black Eyed Peas, Tia Carrere, Lou Diamond Phillips, Cheryl Burke and other GALA attendees who we are (wink).
Please send your books ASAP because the GALA is on Oct. 14. Please join me in supporting this cause by sharing your books,
--INFO ON GALA FROM FILIPINO AMERICAN LIBRARY--
We are pleased to announce the Filipino American Library's 6th Annual Spirit Awards and Dinner Benefit GALA to be held on Saturday, October 14 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel (506 S. Grand Ave.) in downtown Los Angeles. This year's GALA commemorates the centennial of Filipino migration to the United States.
Among the honorees and guests at this year's GALA will be APL.DE.AP (member of the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas), actors Tia Carrere and Lou Diamond Phillips, and Cheryl Burke (from ABC's "Dancing with the Stars"). We invite you to join us for an evening that will honor outstanding members of the Filipino and Filipino American communities.
Net proceeds from the GALA will benefit FAL, which is the only community-based Filipino American library in the country. The mission of FAL is to actively promote the history, culture, and professional achievements of Filipinos and Filipino Americans through the book collection, leadership development, and cultural programming, thereby contributing to the achievement of a culturally dynamic, multiethnic America.
Founded in 1985 by Helen Agcaoili Summers Brown, FAL gathers the rich history and culture of Filipino Americans to provide access to the past and a path to the future. It is one of the largest repositories of Filipino and Filipino American materials in the United States, with a collection of more than 6,000 books, artifacts, and other items.
FAL is located at 135 N. Park View St in Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles. It is open Mondays to Fridays from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. For more information, contact Jonathan Lorenzo at 213-382-0488 or firstname.lastname@example.org. FAL's website is www.filipinoamericanlibrary.org.
HAY NAKU!! JUST AS NAKED PINK LADIES
soon will fade from Galatea's mountain -- and of course we're talking about flowers as in Amaryllis Belladonna
-- the end-of-the-month deadline soon will pass for THE HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY, NO. 2. Do click on this link for Submissions information.
Submission deadline for hay(na)ku, a poetry that will never fade: September 30, 2006.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
This blog -- though I try to make it as multidimensional as I can -- is just one tiny aspect of ME. Its revelations of ME is constrained by the primary constraint to this blog: that it attempts only to exude positive energy (which is not to say I succeed in that all the time but that is its prevailing aesthetic).
What I hadn't anticipated is how forcing positive-ness would be so ... um, healthy. And not just for me but, as it's turned out, for many among youse peeps.
I don't know -- I just felt like noting that, this morning.
And, it's good on another level -- how that writing-become-reality -ness of positivity has alchemized an optimistic POV to my 2007 book, THE LIGHT THAT LEFT HIS BODY ENTERED THINE EYES (forthcoming from Marsh Hawk Press). One would think that a book inspired by a parent's death would be darker than what this book has turned out to be.
But I'm glad THE LIGHT... is not so dark. On one level, it's just another version of making new -- I just read a poetry book inspired by the death of the poet's parent and, like many others I've read on this matter, the darkness lingers. And on a more important level, my father would not have wanted to cause me grief. And isn't that the true nature of Love...?
This post is dedicated to Thomas Fink who I know is now gearing up to receive my manuscript in his capacity as my in-house Marsh Hawk Press editor.
Speaking of Marsh Hawk, its managing editor Sandy McIntosh did also do something different than the typical poetry book dealing with parents' death in his superb The After-Death History of My Mother. Check it out!
TOM BECKETT'S CONDOM
, so to speak, travels to Switzerland -- look here.
There are at least three ways for you to be visited by said condom:
1) review for Galatea Resurrects (A Poetry Engagement) -- details for submitting reviews here;
2) order Tom Beckett's long-awaited first poetry collection UNPROTECTED TEXTS: SELECTED POEMS 1978-2006 -- details on its Pre-Release Offer here; and/or
3) participate in a poetry contest sponsored by Tom Beckett involving beds, that post-Platonic symbol of the gap between art and life -- details here. It's worth quoting from Tom about the poem(s) you might submit: "The poems should have intellectual rigor and be at least as emotionally complicated as seeing someone you love fuck somebody else."
Yadda -- isn't all that Spee - cial? But of course it all is!
Monday, September 04, 2006
NOW, THIS IS SPECIAL!!!
Mathematical poetry is an artistic expression created by performing mathematical operations on words or images as if they were numbers. One may find this baffling because it seems we are being confused about the states of quality versus quantity. But it is through the fusion of this dichotomy that mathematical metaphor is spawned. Mathematics has always been used for denotation. However, our interest is to use math as a language for connotation.
--from "Mathematical Poetry" Blog
Scott Glassman wrote a lovely hay(na)ku sequence, which is certainly special as is. But then, but then...! Kaz Maslanka created a mathematized -- and lovely vizpo -- version of Scott's poem! Check it out here! Be sure to scroll down as Kaz's statements re "the difference between mathematical poetry, mathematics poetry and mathematical visual poetry)" make for interesting reading!
As Scott sez, "[N]umbers are embedded in the underlying consciosness, the structure of the style 1-2-3 so it's a kind of echo, content-wise, another layer..." Actually, read Scott's more fullsome -- and wonderful -- reaction here, from which an excerpt:
What I think this is saying, or getting at, is the importance of letting go, of surrendering that which makes one most complete. That human beings or forces ALTHOUGH they may complement one another and co-exist in a single orbit, as do electrons of an atom-- one is not made subservient to the other, one is not made solely for the other's pleasure. Now I'm aware this is entering into the realm of the philosophical, the why-are-we-here-and-seperate question? And I suppose it speaks to the inherent integrity of nature, the particles that solid matter is made from, always particulate, having their boundaries as does the earth, moon, dewdrop, etc. Just above the unified plain, what is visible to the most powerful microscopes. Might be expressed:
myself - you = integrity / love
Now that's engagement! The poem being the doorway to such engagements.
It all counts with Moi!