Friday, March 30, 2007


I'm delighted to learn that I successfully bid for what's the latest addition to Galatea's walls: "Bangka", a work on paper by Jenifer Wofford. Yay.

I'd purchased the work through a fundraiser for Intersection for the Arts. As it turns out Jenifer is also a blogger and so an image of "Bangka" is available on her blog where she also discusses the work as being the first of a series of images stemming from photographs she took of bangkas, or Filipino boats: "I really loved the weird formal tension of the bamboo and wires lashed together on these bangkas, so I thought I’d try a slightly abstracted study of one."

In the same blog post featuring "Bangka," Jenifer also had this to say about a topic close to moi heart: "the problematics of art auction fundraisers", to wit:

There are so many worthwhile organizations in the Bay Area that deserve support: art auction fundraisers are effective (not to mention pretty fun parties), but these have to be part of a larger, more sustainable income stream. Most organizations know this, so it’s not like I’ve just come up with some phenomenal epiphany here, but until we (ie, folks in the Bay Area with the wherewithal) develop a more comprehensive culture of patronage (ie, more young white-collar types start investing in the arts instead of new Playstations), I’m a little hazy on how folks with little money donating work to organizations with little money to be bought at discount rates by other folks with little money is a sustainable solution.

I’ve been part of this system forever, and I understand it to degrees, but I confess to being unclear about some of the details. For example, I really wanna know who’s out there cultivating this new generation of patrons. I’ve been deeply ambivalent about the market aspects of the art world forever and a day, so when I say patrons, I don’t necessarily mean buyers and collectors: I mean people who will sit on the boards of nonprofs, help them stabilize, be their angels, and get them the funding and infrastructural support that they so richly deserve. It’s definitely happening, and Intersection is a great example of a worthwhile, sustainable arts organization, but with all the money and potential in the Bay Area, I’d love to see it happen more.

There is, indeed, a lot of untapped potential for local arts patronage in the Bay Area. Let me say two thingies:

1) One of the things that shocked me about the Bay Area art scene when I first moved here from New York was how the immense wealth here does not translate to a more thriving art gallery scene (and, extending the logic, a larger support of the local art scene).

2) It seems that in some nonprofit organizations -- not just visual art but poetry nonprofits -- the artists (who often serve on the Boards) are reluctant, deep down in their hearts, to court potential angels as if there'd be a finance-based takeover (puns intended) of the aesthetic curatorial activities (and so the nonprofits keep relying on grants from increasingly scarce sources).

Both of these factors are related, moithinks, as regards why the wealth ain't supporting the arts as much as they could in the Bay Area. And of course there are other reasons....

It's a shame because there is humongous local talent. When we moved to the Bay Area, we thought to dedicate part of the collection to Bay Area based artists and learned quite quickly how there's so much here that satisfies the eyes. Galatea is now blessed with the works of such locals (or intermittent locals) as Clare Rojas, Manuel Ocampo, Stella Lai, Julio Cesar Morales, Stephanie Syjuco, Lisa Solomon, Mark Mulroney, Kara Maria, Laurie Reid, Evan Ellsworth-Jourden, Michelle Weinberg, Ulrike Palmbach, Chris Oliveria, Kathryn Spence, Chester Arnold, Jessica Snow, John Patrick McKenzie, and the Mail Order Brides as a group and its individual members Reanne Estrada, Jenifer Wofford, and Eliza Barrios, among others. Which is to say, there's a wealth of fabulous contemporary art being made by Bay Area-plus denizens, many of whom blow away the stuff I saw whenever I went through Chelsea in New York during the past few years.

We also were able to help place some of Michelle Weinberg's paintings (Michelle, then a 22-year-old freshly minted art graduate) on the walls of the hubby's law firm. And, really, someone should set up or propose a program to local businesses large or small on helping their community by putting up the works of local artists on their walls instead of refried prints (and when it comes to emerging art, this may not cause that much more money than what you'd allocate for corporate interior design anyway...).

I used to think about this a lot -- at one point, I had the desire to start up a gallery or art consultancy and so had a reason to look at the playing field here. But time passed and the Muse got more onerous and I had to birth all these books and other poetry projects and yadda yadda yadda...


Thursday, March 29, 2007


I was recently asked to contribute to the second volume of POET'S BOOKSHELF: CONTEMPORARY POETS ON BOOKS THAT SHAPED THEIR ART. You can see more information about this project through its first volume whose link is HERE.

Basically, I was asked to list 5-10 books, with comments, on works that were "essential" to me as a poet -- that shaped my art, as the title put it.

The first title that came to mind was:

THE UNITED STATES OF JASPER JOHNS (an absolutely brilliant art monograph) by John Yau

It means something that the first book that comes to mind is not someone else's poetry collection but an art monograph. These were followed by:




And then I paused for a while as it was difficult to come up with a fifth author.

Obviously there are many poets whose works I love -- before I even read any of the above titles, I read and loved Odysseus Elytis, Rilke, Neruda. Then there's Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Mallarme, Lorca, Jose Garcia Villa, Gabriela Mistral and so many many others. But in terms of works that I not only love but actually affected my own way of making poems (insofar as I can assess such influence), I'm sort of startled to see how few poets I can pinpoint. (And, undoubtedly, my initial listing of Berssenbruge's, Sze's and Yau's poetry collections was caused by my first book which I wrote as an impressionable newbie poet; the book offers an immersion in certain Asian American poets and they were ones with whose works I felt the most empathy.)

After much consideration, I'd say my fifth title might be either of



some Buddhist text


PARALLEL UNIVERSE by Nicola Barker (a science text, not a novel)


a martial arts text (I believe it was Jujitsu; my yoga teacher borrowed it a long time ago but never returned it and my memory sucks)

And I'm having trouble coming up with more book titles. But if we were to widen the list to include the visual arts, then the list might be endless -- encompassing Jackson Pollock, various Abstract Expressionists, Richard Tuttle (specifically his sculptures from pencil, wall, string, nail and shadow), Picasso, the Doug Aitken video "Into the Sun", Cubism, Minimalism, Conceptual Art / Conceptualism, "The Kritios Boy", sculptures (I often say I "sculpt" versus "write" verses); theories on drawing,and so on.

On a Listserve, we're discussing multidiscilinary/multi-genre approaches. Someone opined that she'd always felt it *natural* to take such an approach...but with the advent of MFA programs where such is not the norm, it's as if the multidisciplinary POV is something different when (as I read this person's words) it actually should be considered more the norm. I'd agree -- I think that's what happens when one practices Art beyond a programmed path. It's one reason I've always considered the idea of *literary lineage* so constricting. I think of the topic, I'm sensing a reluctance to include philosophers (though Maurice Merleau-Ponty came to mind just now in a good way).

Anyway, the above isn't my final response to the POETS BOOKSHELF's survey. It's a warm-up that makes me realize the question is not as easy as I thought it would be.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Well. That was bloody exhausting. And as the Chatelaine reaches for the goblet of wine at 7:58 a.m., her ears ring from the ghastly sound of

the Dance of
Why? Listen

you nightingales! Why?
I curse

you nightingales! Why?
En compas/s!

thought it was
only a

I thought the
story was

a bird caws
from my

My mirror spits
out bloodied

Fortunately since I have zero interest in suffering, I think "La Loca" is the last of these flamenco hay(na)ku. Will now gather them up to edit into a Dusie chap. Oh you lucky nightingale lovers -- forthcoming this summer, Moi chap entitled


Sip. At 8 a.m., the great wine from Spain: Vega Sicilia...

Let me share some history as I greet the brilliantly-lit Napa morning by getting blotto: when I was invited to do a chap for Dusie (my lovely Swiss publisher -- tossing in this parenthetical since I love the notion of having a Swiss publisher), I swiftly came up with an idea which resulted from scumbling from an earlier book. Easy enough. So did the project and sat on it until it was time to put it together for Dusie.

"Easy enough," I thought and thought so smugly. Sip. And that's when the poker-playing angels got mischievous (and probably a bit mad at Moi).

"We don't think so!" said angels sez.

And they cracked the whip into having your Would-Be-Lazy-Chatelaine crack out a dozen flamenco hay(na)ku sequences.

Well blather and yadda. And I couldn't stop until my back muscles got as hard as the big rock that is Galatea's mountain.

Fortunately, at noon today, I get an hour-and-a-half deep massage from one of the greatest Russian exports to the U.S. -- strongly-muscled Zamyra. Toast to Zamyra. May Zamyra massage the flamenco out of my flesh, out of my veins. Sip.

And the angels pause the poker game, look at each other, and cackle softly: "We don't think so..."

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I placed a post with links in the Comments Section of Nicholas Manning's review of Mark Lamoreaux's Night Season, pointing readers to a follow-up discussion on the review at Mark's and Nicholas' blogs.

I've long known that, de facto, the "Comments Section" of Galatea Resurrects (GR) is not just its own Comments spaces but also the rest of poetry blogland, if not the internet. I've never alluded to those "off-site" comments in GR's comment sections before but thought to do so re the review of Mark's book because, certainly, that's one kind of discourse I hope that GR encourages.

And now I'm thinking that, in the future, maybe I'll continue linking to such off-site Comments in GR's comments fields. I mean, I won't link to those just praising or noting new issues of GR...but I think the give-and-take from and between Mark and Nicholas are worth reading. And I'm grateful as well to the others who've commented on their blogs, further extending the discourse.


Monday, March 26, 2007


The Beach House is Eileen Tabios’s recent poetry haven. Her last poems resound in me in still indecipherable ways... There is a melancholy here, a canto jondo, jondísimo, unlike anything else I have read recently. --from Never Neutral

--so says Ernesto (thank you for paying attention) regarding Moi Beach House. I don't cite Ernesto to brag (well, maybe to "preen"). I cite him because he (and some of you backchanneling Peeps -- muchas gracias) are sensing something in those poems that, ironically..., I hadn't been planning to write.

These are the poems I am writing AFTER I decided that I wanted a break, a long one, from writing new poems. I am writing these poems trans-choice...

I wanted a break because .... well, the iceberg (see prior post) needs to melt more before I continue on this icy vein.



Just looked over my first proof for my Fall book, The Light Sang As It Left Your Eyes: Our Autobiography (Marsh Hawk Press). 'Twas a moment...

This will be my last book for a while. After The Light, I'm self-imposing a moratorium on new poetry books through 2008 (and possibly beyond).

It's a decision that's the tip of a huge poetics iceberg. For the mo, I only reveal its coochie-coochie ice tip.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007


From Nottingham, England, poet-publisher Alan Baker calls PINOY POETICS -- the most undeservedly utilized poetry textbook out there, btw --

"a revelation"!!

Yay. Thanks Alan!


Saturday, March 24, 2007


the first time I ordered a copy of SILENCES: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF LOSS, my new release from Blue Lion Books. I ordered SILENCES through Blue Lion Books' Cafe Press site....and what I received was a book with the correct text inside, but covered by the cover of the prior Blue Lion Books release by Richard Kostelanetz & John M. Bennett.

It had never happened before in my, or (Blue Lion publishers) Jukka-Pekka Kervinen's or Peter Ganick's experience that a book would come covered with the wrong cover. But I suppose that's part of the possibilities now with print-on-demand systems, like Cafe Press'!

Cafe Press quickly remedied the error, sending me a new and correct copy of SILENCES. But I actually love having the erroeneously-covered version -- and not just because that's the kind of error that could be worth BIG BUCKS someday to book collectors (oh let me dream...). I love my errant copy because, synchronistically, the title of the Richard Kostelanetz & John M. Bennet book is

Furtherest Fictions/BACKWORDS

Given the nature of SILENCES as "a disruption of conventional autobiography," I think "Furtherest Fictions" and "BACKWORDS" are equally legitimate titles for my work. And the identification of the author as "Richard Kostelanetz & John M. Bennet" rather than "Eileen Tabios" also fits!

One of my epigraphs in SILENCES is an excerpt from the poem "Epipoem: Conversation" by Marne L. Kilates which goes

Who minds our journeys?
Who remembers we ever left?
In our absence are places ever less?
What do our words mean
When everything has been said?

Anyway, I love the company SILENCES keeps in Blue Lion Books. For some of the most innovative literary work out there, check out Blue Lion Books' *catalogue*, conveniently encapsulated in a recent email from Peter Ganick to Buffalo Poetics List which I share here:

Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2007 00:45:40 +0000
Reply-To: UB Poetics discussion group
From: P Ganick
Subject: revised list of BLUE LION BOOKS

someone asked me to include the author's names along with corresponding titles in the previous BLUELIONBOOKS post. at our site at
we cannot easily list authors at first view, only titles

[[from most recent then
backwards to the first book]]

SILENCES: The Autobiography of Loss
Eileen Tabios

Furtherest FIctions/BACKWORDS
Richard Kostelanetz/John M. Bennett

John Crouse

To Delite and Instruct
Catherine Daly

Post ~ Twyla
Jack Kimball

In The Weaver's Valley
William Allegrezza

Hotel di Roma [novel]
J Hayes Hurley

myesis, vol. 1, and
myesis, vol. 2
Jim Leftwich

Proletariaria (Vol.1)
Proletariaria (Vol.2)
Kevin Magee

Structure of Experience
Peter Ganick

Jukka-Pekka Kervinen

Post Empire
Scott MacLeod

why: ...1 ...2 ...3 ...4
Peter Ganick

Motion and Rest
J Hayes Hurley

Jim LEftwich

(no subject)
Jukka-Pekka Kervinen

[[available at:]]

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Hm. Writing a poem about not remembering a poem (per prior post) ended up eliciting the ex-forgotten poem. With this poetics excerpt:

...And don’t
forget to

as if the
poet truthfully

everything and everyone.

The poker-playing angels must have had a good game last night. Must have enjoyed using me as fodder for their bets. She cocks an eye towards them -- and the third eye sticks out its tongue.

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Friday, March 23, 2007


This morning, Connie backed her car into one of the planters in front of the house. She got out and ruefully noted, "My behind is bigger than I thought...."

Then we looked at each other and cracked up. "Story of my life..." she said.

And I recall how I, too, can be a much bigger ass than I concede I can be. As my allusion when I wrote this new poem at the Beach House:

...I have

for a long
time to

poets, as if
I possessed

knowledge they did
not already

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Y'all! Big, burly men found water at 300 feet instead of 400 feet! Not bad, she sez in her Jed Clampett accent. About 100 gpm -- that's gallons per minute, she adds in her Jed Clampett accent.

What this has to do with Moi's poetics? Well, the big, burly men saved me 100 feet worth of drilling expenses! Good for Meritage Press' budget!

Galatea is just replete with transparent gold! But then, we always knew Galatea is generous, didn't we!

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Thursday, March 22, 2007


Am swamped with mucho non-poetic stuff at the mo, so I don't have time to say anything except to say that someone's noticed Moi's biceps, triceps, etceteraceps.

To wit, as regards Menage a Trois..., Derek Motion says:

"really muscular stuff -- she wrestles with female historical figures (semi-mythical?) & plays their voices off against her own, in the 21st century"

Thanks Derek! Looking forward, by the way, to Derek's contribution to the next issue of Galatea Resurrects (at the moment, we have commitments for new reviews of 56 publications; check HERE if you want to get involved!) Derek is also the author of escaping over trees -- a fine collection of poems whose nerve and verve I much admired before adding to the Library!


Wednesday, March 21, 2007


are back on Galatea's mountain. Digging a well for transparent oil: H2O. In California, water has always been gold.

Down about 150 feet as I write this. Water has started to reveal itself as a creamy slurry. Before all is done, the big, burly men would have driven steel down 400 feet.

And so it goes. Got oil. Got gold. While I'm gone past China and still I'm still digging for the Poetry...

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Argel Corpus is one of the translators working to translate the entire The First Hay(na)ku Anthology into Spanish (yay!). Here's what Argel (viz Ernesto) has to say about the translation project:

today i began to translate some poems of this anthology and my first impression is that the work that i thought easy is going to be harder. to translate poetry is, in more than one sense, to write poetry: one has to re-write a poem in another language. // one of the challenges of translating hay(na)kus is its structure which seems to be easy and banal but when translating such poems one faces the same problems as if translating a sestina. In addition to this, there is the rhythm which does not only depend on accents or on the natural rhythm of any language but on the peculiar way of arranging the “stanzas”: first line, one word; second line, two words; third line, three words. this way of organizing lines and words has a deep impact on the rhythm, which must be preserved. // all in all, i have to admit that i am enjoying myself while doing it.

Speaking of hay(na)ku...I inserted extra nails on my shoe tips to write flamenco hay(na)ku. And also to say, that that dream (from prior post) becomes transparent, I realized, with my latest poem at the Beach House.

Interesting (to me) how, as a poet, I began to focus on the slippery muse through the prose poem form. It took the hay(na)ku for me to clarify my understanding of the line-break.

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Monday, March 19, 2007


I've been having this recurring dream of being at a dinner party, and the hosts' daughter comes into the dining room for some reason, recognizes me and identifies me (to the other guests who hadn't known) as a poet. And that she loves my book Reproductions...which she pulls from a shoulder bag that suddenly appears on her shoulder! And she begs me to read from it.

And the other guests are intrigued (by now the meal is mostly finished and we're just lingering over coffee) and good-naturedly ask to hear me read as well. So I tell the daughter to choose the poem she wants to hear, and she chooses one of the darker ones in Reproductions...which, anyway, is comprised of mostly "dark" poems such that John had no choice but to laugh at me (wink).

Okay, so I read the poem. The daughter's eyes fill with tears, says she wants to write poems like I do, then runs away from the room.

I look around the table and suddenly realize that most of the guests are looking at me with something like horror. And the daughter's father leans toward me and says, "You have to discourage my daughter from being a poet!"

And the mother leans towards me and adds, "Please. She's fragile..."

And I shrug and say, "Sure.

Which surprises everyone. The father says, "Just like that?"

And I say, "Sure. If you want me to say discouraging words, I will."

A surprised silence, which I then address by saying, "Look. It doesn't matter what I say. If she takes my discouragement to heart, then she might as well not be a poet. And if she ignores what I say, then she is meant to be a poet and it really won't matter what anyone else says!"

The mother collects herself, and calls her daughter to return to the room. She returns. I look at her and ask, "How old are you?"

For some reason, I can't remember what age she mentions. But I remember that I said, "Okay, you've got two more years to write angst-ridden poems. After that, get over yourself. Then you might write poems that'd matter to others outside your mirror."

That's all I remember of the dream. Now, of course I'm not positing a rule here re that angst thing (in fact, were that a rule, I'd dispute it). Just, uh, sharing a dream...Sip. Morning coffee.

Anyhooooooot, here's my latest list of relished books and wines! That's what y'all were waiting for, right?


SELAH, poems by Joshua Corey

WHAT'S THE MATTER, poems by Jordan Stempleman

IN THE MIDDLE DISTANCE, poems by Linda Gregg

2 POEMS FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL, poems by Logan Ryan Smith

WHEN HALF A BODY SINGS, poem manuscript by Addie Tsai

THE BOOK OF OCEAN, poems by Maryrose Larkin

IN DANGER, poems by Suzanne Lummis



THE FLAMENCO ACADEMY, novel by Sarah Bird

O PIONEERS!, novel by Willa Cather

ROSES FOR MAMA, novel by Janette Oke

PAGES FOR YOU, novel by Sylvia Brownrigg

BURGLARS CAN'T BE CHOOSERS, novel by Lawrence Block

1997 Behrens & Hitchcock merlot "Rudy's Cuvee" Napa Valley
1990 Rausan Segla
1996 Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz
2004 Dutch Henry chardonnay
1990 Troplong Mondot
2005 Patz and Hall chardonnay
2003 Kistler chardonnay Sonoma Valley
1993 Anne & Francois Gros Clos de Voguet
1989 Ch. La Conseillant

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Friday, March 16, 2007


Retired my Gasping Blog (though will keep Archives online).

I've decided to make the Beach House my new poem-blog.

I hadn't anticipated the sand, here, to be black...

...though I suppose that makes sense since black sand often occurs in regions of high wave energy...

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Thursday, March 15, 2007


Poetry is a verb. We must interrupt Moi's regular "positive energy" programming to ask you to sign the "Comfort Women House Resolution" put together by my Screaming Monkeys co-editor (and fictionist whose novel won the AWP fiction award 2 years back) M. Evelina Galang.

This resolution has to do with receiving an apology and war crimes reparations for the approximately 200, 000 young women who were taken hostage by Japanese soldiers to serve as military sex slaves from all of South East Asia. See info below.

Can you believe that just a few days ago -- and this is 2007, y'all! -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe insisted, “There is no evidence to prove there was coercion, nothing to support it (the coercion of WWII military sex slaves).”

This petition isn't just for those involved in the South East Asian arena. Do you, for example, believe the Holocaust existed? Or, simply, are you for justice? Then please consider signing the petition! Here's info from Evelina:

Please See or visit

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
H 232 Capitol
Washington DC 20515-6501

Dear Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi,

We the undersigned request you to support House Resolution 121-1H. We urge you to bring the House Floor to a full vote.

Historians and researchers in South Korea and Japan discovered several official war documents in the late 1980’s that established the existence and systematic abuse of WWII Comfort Women. They estimated 200, 000 young women were taken hostage by Japanese soldiers to serve as military sex slaves from all of South East Asia.

After fifty years of silence, surviving Comfort Women have broken the culture of shame to document their experiences of systematic rape and sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army. Their demands are simple -- they would like a formal apology and reparations for the war crimes they suffered, crimes that continue to affect their aging bodies in physically, mentally and sexually abusive ways. The women make their demands in order to reclaim their dignity, and ensure the safety of their own daughters, granddaughters and now, great granddaughters.

The surviving Comfort Women are mostly in their 80’s now. Many are dying. We urge Congress to act swiftly so that some may see justice before they pass away.


(Go to to sign)

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007


According to the Feminist Review, I am "offering another possibility beyond narrative and the lyric in poetry."

Well, wooot!

To wit, the Feminist Review has reviewed (to my pleased surprise!) The Secret Lives of Punctuations, Vol. I (xPress(ed). You can click HERE for the entire review which I excerpt here for your -- okay, maybe just my (heh) -- reading pleasure (and I'm punchy pleased they highlighted Jukka here!):

Some of the results are unexpected analogies, metaphors, riddles and homonyms, while others are elaborate found quatrains taken from the poet Jukka-Pekka Kervinen’s text cornucopia. While Kervinen’s text is generated by a computer’s statistical distribution from John Locke’s “The Essay of Toleration” and Antonio Gramsci’s Letters from Prison, Tabios wants the words to express their inherent sound and spirit. In a way, The Secret Lives of Punctuations represents the organic potential of a found poem removed by two degrees from its original texts.

This book becomes more intriguing when Tabios offers her insights on this process. In addition to her interaction with Kervinen’s text, she refers to
Spirits in Stone: Zimbabwe Shona Sculpture. The sculptors’ philosophy adheres to the practice of carving the spirit of what is already present in the wood, instead of trying to force what one may desire upon the wood being carved. So, these poems could also be seen as another illustration of the conflict between nature and the constraints of civilization, which her postcard art in the book intimates the impropriety of punctuations having secret trysts in a hotel.

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Once, I stepped
into a

I thought belonged
to me.
--from "Bailar o Morir"

No, nosy peeps. I don't actually have a "beach house." But what I do have is a desire for one. Combine that with a 1,000% batting average for poetic conjuration and ... I poeticize the beach house so that, someday, I will have one.

Oh, I know I will have one...

Poetry, like flamenco, is always about truth:

Flamenco contains Ten
Commandments. First,

la verdad

This is writing one's reality: "...Poetry // as a way / of flesh-and-blood / living."

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Monday, March 12, 2007


Sometimes, I'm not here. Sometimes, I'm at the Beach House.


Friday, March 09, 2007


SILENCES: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF LOSS is now officially released by Blue Lion Books (thank you Jukka-Pekka Kervinen and Peter Ganick!). You can order it from Blue Lion's Cafe Press site HERE!

This is my 15th poetry collection, and 12th print poetry collection. Part of the challenge of being so prolific is creating books that are very different from each other. I can promise you that this poetry collection is very different from others I've done in the past -- who else can present a hidden tale of eros within a 34-day list of (real-life) garbage? Moi, but of course!

My favorite section of SILENCES' nine sections is a compilation of art criticism that meld to create a de facto autobiography ... so that though each essay was written as individual assignments covering specific art exhibits, when bundled up together, they manifest the section's title of "Art Criticism: A Recovered Memoir".

This is also a 402-page book spanning genres. And it's what I consider my authentic "black book" ... for such works as "What You Don't Know About Me" which begins

Someone once called you a file cabinet. Careful not to slur his words, the stranger explained that you are too democratic: you lack discrimination about what slips into the dark recesses of your memory. As drunks often do, he belabored his point. To be "meticulously clear," the stranger proclaimed as he waved his empty glass at the bartender, he added that your body has even come to look like a filing cabinet: dusty, dented in places, and always in the corner of a room uninvolved in the activity surrounding it. Actually, the stranger--everyone is a stranger to you--was attempting a joke. But you didn't laugh and neither did I.

Or this excerpt from the poem "Samba Pa Ti (#3)":

For fire to bloom a rose
in the middle of an ocean
a boat must burn

For our pens to mate
the red velvet chair
in the dungeon must crash

For a steeple
to spiral across night sky
a man will lose a hand

Okay. That should be enough of a tease. Hopefully, you're intrigued enough to order it.

And please to contact me at if you're interested in reviewing it (though not for my Galatea Resurrects since I edit it). Oh, okay okay -- one more tease: here's an excerpt from "The Artist Looks at the Model":


"Never before," she acknowledged through a set of contexts as varied as my promiscuous judgments on the same slice of weather. Plus, I am a Grand Master at using names to create. Once, I called her a "landlady." I was riveted, watching her try to fix my plumbing. I counted as, one by one, her fingernails betrayed their French manicures.


She became the wind after she lost all misgivings about drying my feet with her hair. It was a day bequeathed by a leap year. She forgot the word she had saved secretly for a special occasion to unload on me--such a big world of meaning in what would have been spelt as a couple of letters: N-O. It would have been. Such a big world.


This time, I used both palms to shape "L"s into a frame. She was the wind, but still too gentle. "You can do it!" I egged her on with sincere irritation on my unshaven face. I molded wind into a body for nothing is risked without bacteria. I felled her to her knees. She was up to it. Once, she jutted out her lower lip. I bit it. She was up to it.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007


-EN DRAWING that is part of a broadside I and Meritage Press created in 2003 in part to commemorate one of David Hess' readings in the Bay Area (this is a reading version different from the one noted in the Meritage Press site, but still charming). So this broadside features a lovely poem by David, and a "wine drawing", newly signed in 2007.

I'ma telling ya, no one draws an ENSO like yours truly -- my ink was wine, but of course! And here's an excerpt from David's poem "Veins":

Blended stem,
take effect!
My head is a vat
crushed by grapes.

Galatea Resurrects' list of review copies (updated just yesterday by some goodies in the mail) is HERE! Talk to me, Peeps. We have poems awaiting your engagement!

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This is a CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS, so to speak.

For the next issue of Galatea Resurrects, no less than (and no more than) Sandy McIntosh has agreed to do a feature with working title of "Worst Reviews". That title be self-explanatory, yah? So if you have the guts, please send over your worst review or an excerpt from a bad review to Sandy c/o

Now, in considering "worst" review, I'd assumed we were talking about negative reviews. But actually, if you feel a positive review is bad (maybe poorly written or what have you), feel free to share that. You can feel free to review the reviewer, or you can send the review to speak for itself.

This could be fun. Let's see if enough people are self-confident enough to participate.

Sandy, btw, is well-positioned to curate this feature. Because he has this review-masquerading-as-poem from his forthcoming FORTY-NINE GUARANTEED WAYS TO ESCAPE DEATH (Marsh Hawk Press, 2007). The review is of my (presumed) book INTESTINES -- I tell ya, in the spirit of The Blurbed Book Project, this is enough to want to make me to write ... a book titled INTESTINES! If only I wouldn't have to commit hara-kiri first to gut myself open so I can first look at those entrails -- that's what "Poetry as a way of life" means, yah?

Here's the conclusion of Sandy's "review" with the boldface mine:

...Tabios' process is isomorphic with the modern physical theory of wormholes in space, through which a traveler may find an instantaneous shortcut to a destination of unimaginable distance. This is alarming. Science is only beginning to explore these things with appropriate delicacy and forbearance. TAbios, not a scientist, is creating a terribly dangerous threat by persisting in this direction. I have always been against censorship, but in this case, at the edge of the deadly unknown--the unknowable--I urge that this literary work not be published. In my considered opinion, it should not even be written.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I am deliberately leaving out the horseshit I experienced at AWP because Moi am all about positive energy. Sip. Tonight, the 1997 Behrens & Hitchcock merlot "Rudy's Cuvee" Napa Valley...

But I do want to share more blessings because, you know, it's Moi blog and anytime I'm blessed, Moi's role is to alert you all that I'm blessed. Sip.

So, I learned at AWP that the "Footnotes" section from Moi ENGLISH BRICK has been used in at least two workshops for -- and I love that we're not talking typical poetry workshop here -- the Austin Street Senior Center in Forest Hills, N.Y. and the Berkeley Rehabilitation Center in White Plains, N.Y. Basically, the BRICK's footnote section has all white pages with 1-3 line footnote poems at the bottom of the page. I'd always envisioned it as a great teaching tool, e.g. that folks might write on the mostly blank page a story or something that presumably generated the footnote.

Good idea, yah? Well, it worked at the above senior citizen and rehab centers! Perhaps you teachers should check out that section too. I don't even care if you buy the BRICK and just xeroxed the pages from the book to pass out to workshop students. When it comes to Poetry, do infringe moi copyright anytime. And of course don't tell any of my publishers I said this. Sip.

Second blessing was to meet Janet Holmes .. and she told me that she'd bought a wine bottle(s?) from the occasional "Relished W*h)ines" list that I post on this blog and, to quote Janet, "It was GOOOD!"

But of course! Sip...

Michelle also got a bottle from my last Relished Wines list and apparently it's now being considered as a reception wine for her sister's upcoming wedding. Well, yadda and Sip. But I need to let y'all know though that when you buy a wine from those relished lists, be sure to note the year because the same winery can generate good or mediocre bottles depending on the year.

My last AWP tale. I was congratulating a poet on his first book. He happens to edit a wonderful poetry journal -- or so I realized because he started soliciting submissions. My response? In so many words, "Thank you but no need to discuss my work. This is about YOU! Congratulations on your first book!"

The point? I feel blessed that that though my EGO no doubt can go D2D with the big boys, when it comes to Poetry I no longer feel desperate for its markers. Markers are for Dawgs, Achilles taught Moi, and can I tell you how it's impossible to prevent a dog from lifting his hind leg to further dominance when he pees on someone else's pee? Anyway...Sip.

And if you can't figger out what "D2D" means, well, so much the better. Sip. Dang if this wine ain't the kitty's roar...!

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So to speak -- heh! To wit, the first email I read this morning had to do with the possibility of a group of translators translating the entire The First Hay(na)ku Anthology into Spanish. Well rock moi ass on its computer seat! More details later but for now --



Gee -- this all makes me wonder what would happen if I concocted a poetic form entitled


or, hmmmmmm, in the spirit of Bino informing us that "Borat" isn't just the movie but a word that means "cunt" (heeee)



From this Ilocana:
Dakayo nga Pinoy Poet (or maybe puwet), baka maka-aramid kayo ti new poetic form nga ti nagan na ket Pilipino .... if not an actual Pilipino obscenity. Kasta a ti "subversive" no ma-usar in English-language poetry. U.S.-Americans may have taught us English, but mabalin met nga datayo ti agsuro ti Poetry...Bwahahahaha.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007


out of my, uh, volcanic ears! To wit, Tom Fink -- one of the most adept poet-critics out there -- reviews Ernesto Priego's faboo hay(na)ku/jainaku collection Not Even Dogs for the new Winter 2007 issue of Word/ForWord #11.

I appreciate how Tom concludes "Thanks to his ability to put line-breaks (and, at times, caesuras) at different points in a sentence, Priego manages to write about one hundred pages of hay(na)ku without falling into monotony. This is impressive." Yep -- click HERE to see more (it's also a nice example of review-writing), but here's an excerpt I like!

Many of Priego’s poems interrogate properties of language in ways reminiscent of Jacques Derrida’s writing. Derrida, whom Priego cites in an epigraph to one poem (23), frequently utilized the trope of “ghost” to further his elaboration of the deconstructive logic(s) of absence/ presence. The figure of the ghost surfaces in enough poems in Not Even Dogs for Priego to admit, in the opening lines of a hay(na)ku sequence, “How/ I wish/ I could write// about/ something other// than my ghosts// but/ what are/ words if not// traces/ of absence. . .” (31). While these lines may be uncomfortably close to the ur- deconstructionist’s lingo, other poems on language exhibit much less derivative discourse. Especially, note one interlingual example where non-equivalence is declared elegantly and symmetrically:

another language
is not Latin

untranslatable word
cannot be learnt

impossible experience
you simply ignore

distant madness
you once imagined

once meant
something to us

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One of the most pleasure-inducing poems I read last year was "Diary of a Poem" by Barry Schwabsky. Fortunately, you too can now be blissed by checking it out at Dan Waber's lovely ars poetica project HERE. There's this stanza in Barry's poem

the essay melted
in the blood mine
as if we had any choice

that reminds me of the "essay" I'd presented at my AWP panel -- about how, in part, I discussed the multigenre approach including that ye olde prose vs verse tension. My essay concluded with how I've proceeded to a poetics of loving language so much, that sometimes (when faced with language's expanse) that Love "just swallows that line-break."

Also special is Jordan Stempleman's LOVE for Tom Beckett's UNPROTECTED TEXTS -- you really should check out Tom's book! It gives good Love!

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Monday, March 05, 2007


I only have one thing to say: I adore people coming up to say they adore Moi.

Heh. But of course I have more to say!

So, first, check out the updated review copy list for Galatea Resurrects which I've augmented from AWP! Remember that next review deadline is May 5 so there's plenty of time for y'all to choose a book, have me send it to you, engage with it, then send me such review!

This was the third time I've attended AWP. It's also the first time I enjoyed the experience. I always knew I'd be in AWP next year because it's in New York (and I grab any excuse to visit New York to catch up on art gallery situation), but now I'm actually looking forward to the experience.

This year, at our Marsh Hawk Press table -- we sold more books than in prior AWPs (that I attended) and other publishers I spoke to say that book sales keep rising! I sold out of not just my Marsh Hawk books but those released by my other publishers -- xPress(ed) 1 , xPress(ed) 2, Otoliths, Moria -- such that I had to snatch the last copy of Dredging (an SPD pick last week!) right from under Sandy McIntosh's nose to give to someone else (but your copy, along with the (proverbial) check, is in the mail, Sandy!). Of course, it's still tough to cover costs -- I have a sense that publishers with plenty of titles to sell are more able to cover costs than small indie publishers (esp. those just starting out). But -- and I never thought I'd think this -- I, for one, am seriously considering doing a book table next year for moi Meritage Press --

...I sense something loosening with AWP. Maybe it's because I attended a few readings set up by indie publishers and they were fun! My first AWP, I attended the canonized events and that was enough to bore me into staying away for a number of years....

Which reminds me of another observation. Seeing the readings -- and the related "communities" around the indie publishers -- typically poets themselves publishing other poets -- was just such a radical juxtaposition against the poetry contest publishing scheme whose detritus also littered the conference. I can't tell you how many times younger poets who do the contest circuits have come up to discuss Marsh Hawk as a collective being a fabulous alternative...and so it seems to me yet again that maybe poets should band together to DIY rather than submitting to contests. Marsh Hawk, for one, was started by seasoned poets -- we've all been around for a while and have observed the constraints of traditional poetry publishing and decided to take things in our own hands....

Let me spend a few more paragraphs on this topic -- as I've heard it, one advantage (as considered by the majority but not by Moi) -- on contests is that the "winner" will have cultural imprimatur that would not necessarily exist if we're just talking about indie publishing -- a matter that certainly resonates when considered in the context of lousy poetry distribution (such that contest winners get an edge for being contest winners). But this is simply not true.

If you're interested in cultural imprimatur, you need not rely on contests to get it. You can get that third-party check (if so important to you) through blurbs -- a far cheaper way than an annual budget of several hundred dollars to cover submission fees. Here is a blatant example:

Otoliths (edited/published by one non-irascible person in Australia who still manages to publish U.S. authors for crissakes) just released its second round of books. Well if you check out Otoliths' list here -- some of the books got blurbs. What would be the cultural diff between Lyn Hejinian, Cole Swensen and Paul Hoover judging a contest and choosing your book versus the lovely blurbs they gave for the Otoliths publications (for Jordan Stempleman and Vernon Frazer). Nada mucho, baby.

Having said that, if you're doing contests, please do my publisher Marsh Hawk Press's contest. At least we're not corrupt. (Yes, I know ... but I'm not wiffle-waffling so much as choosing to accept that the issue -- contests vs no contests -- need not be a binary. As regards poets' desires for publication, my primary response is ... compassion)

Meanwhile, my panel on "Poetry From MultiLingual Homes" was fabulous but of course -- yes, Leny, I'm shooting over moi paper to you.

Seriously, I was delighted to meet many of you...too many to do a roll call. And that all of my meetings were wonderful also means I'm really sorry to have missed those I missed. Next year?

For now, re more catching up:

I see that while I was at AWP, Nicholas Manning did a close reading of moi edited Jose Garcia Villa's The Anchored Angel -- thanks for the attention and ... engagement!

And thanks for Tom Beckett for calling me " of the nicest people..." Nice is good, Peeps. Nice is nice! (I must be slipping; a few months ago, I would have highlighted being called "hot").

And here is my latest list of engaged-with books and wines:

COMPLICATIONS, poem manuscript by Garrett Caples

DAYS POEMS, two volume manuscript totalling a million pages of poems by Allen Bramhall

LITTLE WAR MACHINE, poems by M Sarki

BECOMING THE VILLAINESS, poems by Jeannine Hall Gailey

WARS. THREESOMES. DRAFTS. & MOTHERS, heretic text by Heriberto Yepez

THE MAN SUIT, poems by Zachary Schomburg (Congrats on your debut collection -- it is a fabulous collection and 'twas my plane reading as I headed home from Atlanta. The "Beer" poem, though, got lost in translation onto the page ... wink. Hmmm...why am I writing as if posting this on blog would get to Zachary -- maybe youse who know him can forward my Congrats for his book: a wonderful combo of sublime mundanity with utmostly deadpan cool.)

KOOL LOGIC / LA LOGICA KOOL, with accompanying performance/spoken word DVD, by Urayoán Noel (Bilingual Press)

CADENZA, poems by Charles North

PAPER CRAFT, poems by Catherine Daly

CHANTEUSE / CANTATRICE, poems by Catherine Daly

OVERNIGHT, poems by Paul Violi

REPAIR, poems by C.K. Willilams

SAINTS OF HYSTERIA: A HALF-CENTURY OF COLLABORATIVE AMERICAN POETRY edited by Denise Duhamel, Maureen Seaton and David Trinidad

VANITAS 2, edited by Vincent Katz

MAX COLE, artist monograph

RUSSIAN JOURNAL, memoir by Andrea Lee

THE BONES OF PLENTY, novel by Lois Phillips Hudson

WHERE OR WHEN, novel by Anita Shreve

UNDER COVER OF NIGHT, novel by Linda Howard

I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT, novel by Allison Pearson

1994 Mondavi Reserve cabernet
2005 Mollydooker shiraz
1990 Comte Armand Pommard Clos de Epeneaux
1999 Turley petite syrah
1987 Ravenswood Pickberry
2006 Yellow Tail chardonnay (moi AWP house white courtesy of Barbara and Sandy McIntosh)

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