Saturday, June 28, 2008



A RELEASE Special Offer for:


Poems by Mark Young
Selected and with an Introduction by Thomas Fink
ISBN: 978-0-9794119-5-3 
Price: $24.00
Release Date: Summer 2008
Distributors: and Lulu at

Meritage Press is delighted to announce the release of PELICAN DREAMING: Poems 1959-2008 by Mark Young, Selected and with an Introduction by Thomas Fink.

Mark Young was born in New Zealand, but has lived for more than half his life in Australia. First published in 1959, his work has appeared in a large number of both electronic & print journals, & he has been included in many anthologies. His publications range from the first book on modern New Zealand painting through more than a dozen collections of poetry & his co-editorship with Jean Vengua of two anthologies of hay(na)ku to a speculative novella, the allegrezza ficcione. These days he spends most of his time editing the e-zine Otoliths & nurturing the steadily-increasing catalog of its print publishing arm.

To celebrate the release of PELICAN DREAMING, Meritage Press is pleased to offer a special disounted release arrangement good through August 31, 2008.  You may order the book for $19.00 (a 21% discount from the book's $24 retail price) plus free shipping/handling for orders throughout the United States.  (For non-U.S. orders, please email us first at  Send a check made out to "Meritage Press" to

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

About this project, Mark Young shares:

"My father died when he was 93, &, even then, his death was at least partially due to complications from an amputated leg. Which means there are longevity genes in my family. So it's somewhat ironic that the earliest poem in this selection / collection, "Lizard", written when I was seventeen -- 'When one is seventeen, one isn't serious' wrote Rimbaud, in error, but he can be forgiven for he was only fifteen when he wrote the line -- stems from feelings of mortality brought on by the teenage angst that beset me at the time.

"As the subtitle of this book indicates -- Poems 1959-2008 -- those feelings were somewhat premature. But they're still around, since my vision of a neat fifty years of poetry was taken over once again by similar feelings: I wanted the book out there in order to make sure that I was around to see it.

"There is a rough chronological order to the book, based on the order of the books from which the selections were made, but that is for convenience. I have nearly always followed the maxim 'Let the poem shape itself.' So there are streams & themes that overlap across collections, across times, in a variety of concurrent styles. As Thomas Fink wites in his Introduction:

"If anyone these days is hanging onto a notion of consistent stylistic evolution as aesthetic merit, this volume will do its best to disorient them, as Young's 'many mansions' feature a variety of architectural modes. Could one predict the flights of Betabet from the unified narrative of 'Grafton Bridge,' much less 'Lizard'? 'George W.'s Language Primer' and 'Maxims for Tom Beckett' are both very funny poems, but their humor is achieved in extremely different ways. If someone didn't know who wrote either 'The Baggage Card' or 'The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even,' would s/he necessarily assume that the same author was responsible for both? Mark Young has the courage to be traditional, imagistically or narratively direct, discrete, serial, surreal, 'experimental,' and 'difficult' in the same season, year, or cluster of years. The reward is ours'."

"Tom's selection was done with total independence. All I did was give him the poems, in a variety of formats -- e-books, chapbooks, full collections, blog postings, manuscripts -- & let him have his way with me. Or, at least, my output. My gratitude for & pleasure with what he has selected & written to in his Introduction is immense. I have gained insights from his insightfulness. The reward is mine. &, I hope, yours."

For more information, please feel free to contact

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Friday, June 27, 2008


Very excited finishing the proofing of Meritage Press' next book:

PELICAN DREAMING: POEMS 1959-2008 by Mark Young
Selected and with an Introduction by Thomas Fink

Tom Fink obviously is one of the best contemporary poet-critics out there (his latest critical book effort on David Shapiro, co-edited with Joseph Lease, is reviewed by Galatea Resurrects HERE) None of which prepared me to see -- though I was highly amused by -- this excerpt from his introduction
In U.S. poetry, such intricate meta-representational poetic discourse is found in abundance. Think of the work of Wallace Stevens, John Ashbery, David Shapiro, John Yau, Charles Bernstein, and Eileen R. Tabios

Always nice to be able to feminize and brown-up a list of male poets (beloved though their poems are to me as well).

Oh, but wait. Though this is moi blog, this is about Mark Young, not Moi. So, yes, I'm very excited to release this book -- historically significant and 412 pages (it's a BRICK!!! Moi loves moi some brick!) worth of just fabulous fabulous poems! Wooot! More details to come! Until then, please to enjoy this apt sample below -- it's not representative of Mark Young's body of work (which, as Tom Fink sez, is one of "many mansions featur[ing] a variety of architectural modes"). But it is a poem quite clearly earned by its author:
So what

Miles Davis
came on "…all
purple & shit"
which is what
Amiri Baraka wrote
in When Miles Split.

so what
if, as someone else
bitchily brewed,
decrying the "lack
of creative effort",

he took pop songs
& played only
slight variations
of the melody
over & over
an electric rhythm section.

I mean
if you've spent
forty odd years
laying down
real ground-
breaking stuff

then surely
you're entitled
towards the end
as you reinvent
once again

to have a bunch
of young guys
do the moves
behind you
while you take it
a bit more easily
out front

Fuck it, that's
what life's all about,
it's what we'd all
like to be doing. &
aren't the songs
that most
of this shit
is about
Time after Time
Human Nature


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Thursday, June 26, 2008


So I, on behalf of Meritage Press, just sent in the annual check to the state of California to pay California sales tax on books I sell. This fiscal year? My 2008 bill and the state's gain is


Sadly for California, this contrasts with the 2007 tax bill of $82.00, which was a further reduction from the 2006 bill of $254.00. This doesn't necessarily reflect lower book sales, btw, but primarily how my non-California and/or internet-based customer base seem to be growing disproportionately as a percentage of total customers.

Well, may the $54.00 help ease the burden on Gov. Schwarzenneger as it contributes to easing California's state budget deficit of $30 billion. We poetry publishers, after all, exist to help you pay your bills.

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Fires appear most numerous in Northern California. The Northern region of California has experienced record low levels of rainfall this spring, leaving dry vegetation in the area. This in conjunction with windy weather has made firefighting efforts difficult."

The world is on fire. Galatea’s mountain is safe, but the skies -- no, the very air -- is grey. Northern California is grey.

Grey is not a “hot” color, which is a paradox as it’s generated by fire which is indeed … hot.

Prayers for nature, the animals, the firefighters, those who’ve lost or are in danger of losing their homes…

Once, I wrote a poem about grey-ness. From Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole:
Grey, Surreptitiously

Sometimes I am not tired. And I begin to pace the perimeter of Manhattan. I am always drawn to the East River, how the water is consistently grey and this sensibility mists over the entire East Side: it swathes the total territory in a wool suit. And it makes me recall interchangeable cities in Eastern Europe where the only spots of color are offered by tiny pastries silently waiting behind glass. Afterwards, I finish with memories of museum exhibits salvaging dusty armors from the crusades of a different century.

I am surprised that I linger in this part of the city, that the river's surface loses its drabness to enfold me like cashmere. Unexpectedly, patchouli and cinnabar begin to linger in the air though I see no one dodging my careful steps. I feel the birth of pearls in tropical ocean beds tended by boys burnt by the sun. Then I feel one pearl's inexplicable caress in the hollow between my breasts.

A woman rounds a bend and sees me. I pause by a white birch tree stripped by winter of its leaves. She smiles as she approaches. I wish to feel my fingers loosening her jeweled combs. Already, I can feel her hair curl shyly against my fingers like the breaking of surreptitious surf. No words would be spoken, but a window from an anonymous building would open to loosen the faint tinkling of piano notes. They would be plucked from the highest scale.

My fingers would turn blue in the cold. They would freeze in their fraught pose, laid against a stranger's scented cheek while her hair would continue to flutter in a faint breeze. And her lashes would trap a beginning snow. And her life-generating breaths would occur through parted lips. And her eyes, too, would be the deadening of a river: translucent and grey.

Grey eyes of she who generates life....Ah: the redemption through Love.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I'm honored and purrrr-ed to see Galatea Resurrects and Meritage Press mentioned in the "Letter from the Publisher" for a new literary/arts journal, ORANGES & SARDINES, Vol. I, Issue 1, Summer 2008:
"...publishers like Reb Livingston, Eileen Tabios, Shanna Compton and many others are forming the path to what we really need. We are moving as far as the internet will take us with as many mediums available to us to get your poetry and art represented while finding new audiences to expose it to. We are setting the stage for others to follow. Welcome to the new small press movement..."
--Didi Menendez in "The New Small Press Movement"

Isn't that lovely! It is!

Last but not least, do check out Oranges & Sardines! It's a faboo publication, in part for its Q&As with visual artists. Here are two answering the same two questions:
How does a concept for a painting come to you?

I get thought dysentery and I need to purge. I conceive of an idea. Sometimes I thumbnail it in my notebooks. Sometimes it is simply action streaming depending on what type of music I’m listening to, maybe some manic foible of day to day life. I agonize over which part of the vortext I most currently occupy…

Would you make love on a freshly painted canvas?
This is contingent on whether I’m alone or with somebody, though in the past it has never really mattered.

How does a concept for a painting come to you?

I never know what will hit me or when, but when it does, it burns a hole in my brain until I get it on canvas. I spend a lot of time in the great outrdoors getting off the beaten path. At times, my world seems a abstact arrangement of colors, texture, line and movement as I hold a rose to the light, stalk the moon or wait for sundown with a storm rolling in.

Would you make love on a freshly painted canvas?
No. Oil paints are too toxic and hard to get off!

And there's more in the journal, of course, including Poetry! The first couplet in Steffi Drewes’ poem “Meet me in Marin” made me laugh:
Dear, what have the bridges
done to your eyes? Let me drive.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008


THANKS to Gary Parrish for the shout-out re Galatea Resurrects! I love the illustration of the flying books seeming to zoom down into the eagerly-awaiting crowd!

And a reminder that the deadline for reviews is July 5, but I can probably take them for another week or so as long as you alert me ahead of time.

And the Fall deadline was recently set at Sept. 5, 2008. Do check out AVAILABLE REVIEW COPIES HERE! A slight correction to Gary's post -- books are sent to me from around the world (not just the country of U.S.) and I'm willing to send them flying around the world as well to reviewers.


Monday, June 23, 2008


So the apartment building in San Francisco was apparently burglarized last night. The hubby pulled into the building's garage to see all sorts of lights and cops and damage...apparently, the perp somehow entered through the front entryway and burglarized boxes from the foyer's mailbox section and then continued on to the garage where s/he broke into cars and committed thievery and damage.

As the hubby checked out the mess, one of the cops was asking, "Who's this Eileen Tabios in Apartment ___?"

The hubby replied, "She's my wife."

Cop sez, "Oh, cause the thief left this box behind. Thief tore it open but I guess didn't care to steal the contents...."

The hubby took the box and looked through the ripped opening. Yep: the maligned contents were a bunch of poetry books coming to me from the printer.

Ah, Ye Poetry Book. Such a pure paradox: Unwanted, Though Priceless.


Saturday, June 21, 2008


as seen during dawn from Galatea's mountain.

Yes, that's a pink swimming pool as the Big, Burly Men crafted my desire for a pool as sky mirror....Nice Big, Burly Men, the Chatelaine coos...Pink rose petals deliquescing to sky, mirror, water...


The poet must be primarily concerned with beauty. When all other explanations fail, remember this rule, and you will understand the poems contained in Eileen Tabios’s Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole.
--Barbara Jane Reyes, as quoted in the forthcoming THE BLIND CHATELAINE'S KEYS

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Thursday, June 19, 2008


Ever since Heifer’s founder, Dan West, came up with the phrase “not a cup, but a cow,” in 1944, Heifer’s approach to providing global assistance to struggling communities has been characterized by long-term development, rather than short-term relief.

As writer Cal Thomas recently stated, “One doesn't 'tackle poverty,' like a football player. One shows the way of escape and provides sufficient role models along with capital and moral and educational structures that serve as ladders so people who want to climb out of the hole can do so.” Heifer couldn’t agree more. It’s what the organization has been doing since 1944.

--click here to read MORE

From poor or devastated harvests to rising food costs to continued cruelty by dictatorial governments, the news are full of sources of hunger. One of my favorite poetry projects is Meritage Press' Tiny Books Program which supports Heifer International.

It's worth noting that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a $2.5 Million Matching Grant to Heifer, which means every dollar donated (e.g. through "Tiny Books") can be doubled! And now, Heifer has received another $1.4 million Matching Grant from its Ambassador Council members. And so Moi would like to remind her Peeps:

Meritage Press Announcement


Meritage Press (MP) is pleased to announce the first “Tiny Book” release for 2008, following on five releases in 2007. MP’s "Tiny Books" are structured to align poetry with fair trade and economic development issues. The first 2008 release is

               from “The Tradition
               by Juliana Spahr

Juliana Spahr is a poet, editor, and scholar. Her most recent book of poetry is This Connection of Everyone with Lungs (University of California, 2005), a collection of poems that she wrote from November 30, 2002 to March 30, 2003 that chronicled the buildup to the latest US invasion of Iraq. Atelos also recently published the Transformation (2007), a book of prose which tells the story of three people who move between Hawai‘i and New York in order to talk about cultural geography, ecology, anticolonialism, queer theory, language politics, the academy, and recent wars.

MP's Tiny Books utilize small books (1 3/4" x 1 3/4") made in Nepal by artisans paid fair wages, as sourced by Baksheesh, a fair trade retailer. Photos of a sample "Tiny Book" are available HERE as well as at Crg Hill's Poetry Scorecard. Another illustrated review by Geof Huth is available HERE.

All profits from book sales will be donated to Heifer International, an organization devoted to reducing world hunger by promoting sustainable sources of food and income. This project reflects MP's belief that "Poetry feeds the world" in non-metaphorical ways. The Tiny Books create demand for fair trade workers' products while also sourcing donations for easing poverty in poorer areas of the world. Note, too, that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a $2.5 Million Matching Grant to Heifer, which means every dollar donated (e.g. through "Tiny Books") can be doubled!

Each “Tiny Book” costs $10 plus $1.00 shipping/handling in the U.S. (email us first for non-U.S. orders). To purchase the “Tiny Books” and donate to Heifer International, send a check for $11.00 per book, made out to "Meritage Press" to

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

Please specify which of the “Tiny Books” you are ordering, since the following “Tiny Books” from the 2007 Series also continue to be available:

               all alone again
               by Dan Waber


               Steps: A Notebook
               by Tom Beckett

               "…And Then The Wind Did Blow..."
               Jainakú Poems
               by Ernesto Priego

               Speak which
               Hay(na)ku poems
               by Jill Jones


               some hay
               by Lars Palm

With “Tiny Books,” MP also offers a new DIY, or Do-It-Yourself Model of publishing. You've heard of POD or print-on-demand? Well, these books' print runs will be based on HOD or Handwritten-on-Demand. MP's publisher, Eileen Tabios, will handwrite all texts into the Tiny Books' pages and books will be released to meet demand for as long as MP is able to source tiny books -- or until the publisher gets arthritis or debilitative carpal tunnel syndrome.

In addition to providing livestock, Heifer International also provides trees. In, 2007, Meritage Press' Tiny Books program sold enough Tiny Books to finance the donation equivalent of at least seven sets of tree-gifts. Here's what Heifer has to say about trees:

One of Heifer International’s most important commitments is to care for the earth. We believe development must be sustainable — that projects should be long-term investments in the future of people and the planet.That’s why in addition to livestock, Heifer often provides families with trees. On a steep Tanzanian hillside, Heifer International helped a family learn to plant trees and elephant grass to keep the soil in place. Today, they have flourishing rows of leucaena trees and corn.Through training, families learn how to keep their small plots of land healthy and renew the soil for future generations by planting trees, using natural fertilizer, and limiting grazing.By helping families raise their animals in harmony with nature, you can fight poverty and hunger while ensuring a healthy, productive future for us all.

Then of course there are the chickens, goats, water buffalos, pigs, ducks, honeybees, llamas....all of which can help ease hunger around the world. Meritage Press thanks you in advance for your support and hopes you enjoy Tiny Books -- small enough to become jewelry, but with poems big enough to resonate worldwide.

Dan Waber is a visual poet, concrete poet, sound poet, performance poet, publisher, editor, playwright and multimedia artist whose work has appeared in all sorts of delicious places, from digital to print, from stage to classroom, from mailboxes to puppet theaters. He is currently working on "and everywhere in between". He makes his online home at Meritage Press tapped Mr. Waber to inaugurate the series partly for his work in minimalist poetry.

Tom Beckett is the author of Unprotected Texts: Selected Poems 1978~2006 (Meritage Press, 2006), and the curator of E-X-C-H-A-N-G-E-V-A-L-U-E-S: The First XI Interviews (Otoliths, 2007). From 1980-1990, he was the editor/publisher of the now legendary critical journal, The Difficulties. Steps: A Notebook is Tom Beckett's first hay(na)ku poetry collection. The hay(na)ku is also a form that lends itself to minimalism.

Ernesto Priego was born in Mexico City. He lives in London. He blogs at Never Neutral and is the author of the first single-author hay(na)ku poetry collection, Not Even Dogs. The "jainakú" is Mexico's version of the hay(na)ku poetic form.

Jill Jones' latest book, Broken/Open (Salt, 2005), was short-listed for The Age Book of the Year 2005 and the 2006 Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize. In 1993 she won the Mary Gilmore Award for her first book of poetry, The Mask and the Jagged Star (Hazard Press, 1992). Her third book, The Book of Possibilities (Hale & Iremonger, 1997), was shortlisted for the 1997 National Book Council 'Banjo' Awards and the 1998 Adelaide Festival Awards. Screens, Jets, Heaven: New and Selected Poems (Salt, 2002) won the 2003 Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize (NSW Premier's Literary Awards). Her work has been translated into Chinese, Dutch, Polish, French, Italian and Spanish.

Lars Palm lives in southern Sweden where he works in health care, writes (mostly smallish) silly poems, translates some Swedish poets, edits a blog zine called skicka (in english) & at times publishes the first broadside series in the country. He's the author of mindfulness (moria, 2006), on stealing lips (The Martian Press, 2006) & is beside the point (Big Game Books Tinyside 34, 2007), and death is (skin of me teeth press, 2007).

For more information:

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008


And the Big, Burly Men made excellent progress this week with Galatea's new pool! And what does this have to do with poetry? Well, not knowing how to swim -- that's right, Moi can't swim -- is no reason not to jump into the deep end:

Of course, things are always more complicated. To overcome risk is to require a dog like Achilles by your poetry, that means a lot of love. Which is to say as Moi extends the metaphor based on the Plato-Aristotle-Hegel Circle Theory due to the pool's quarter-circle shape:





Architecturally, Galatea's mountain is "where nature, art, poetry and wine converge with much love". Thus, the pool has an infinite edge, and has the ability to serve as a mirror in order to enable the sky to kiss land through the menage a trois involvement of water.


That prior paragraph further reminds me: Galatea's mountain is "where," as moi buddy Fred and other visitors have said consistently after spending time with Moi, "the bull flows ... and flows ... and flows ...". Whatever. Such, too, is moi poetics!

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Sunday, June 15, 2008


Two things related to and worth noting about this latest Relished W(h)ines List below:

1) THE WIDENING is not just poet Carol Moldaw's first novel but as someone who's read all her books so far, this is a break-through work for her. It's a pleasure to have followed someone's poetic development -- THE WIDENING is not just recommended but it's a quintessential poet's novel. And interesting to see how (I think) this work would not have been possible without whatever she worked through in her previous writings.

2) Recently, I weeded for the first time. I totally get it now about the ZEN of weeding...I am ever-widening.

49 strawberries
452 basil leaves
68 purple basil leaves
267 mint leaves
300 pinches of parsley

PELICAN DREAMING: POEMS 1959-2008 by Mark Young, Selected and with an Introduction by Thomas Fink

ORGY IN THE BEEF CLOSET, poems by Michael Koshkin (deceptively brilliant)

RAFETOWN GEORGICS, poems by Garin Cycholl (one of the most elegantly-written poetry collections I've experienced in contemporary poetry)

THE TRANSLATOR'S DIARY, poems by Jon Pineda

THIS IS WHY I HURT YOU, poems by Kate Greenstreet

THE MOVEABLE ONES, poems by John Sakkis

A CURE FOR SUICIDE, poems by Larissa Shmailo

THE EVOLUTION OF A SIGH, poems by R. Zamora Linmark

LOBSTER WITH A DIRTY BASTARD, poems by Michel Cirelli

SKINNY BUDDHA, poems by Sheila Murphy

FOR GIRLS & OTHERS, poems by Shanna Compton


GOLDFISH KISSES, poem by Paolo Javier and images by Ernest Concepcion


ORANGES & SARDINES, Summer 2008, Vol. 1 Issue 1, literary & arts journal Edited by David Krump, Andy Nicholson, Meghan Punschke and Didi Menendez



POOR PEOPLE, new journalism by William Vollman


I HOPE THEY SERVE BEER IN HELL, memoir by Tucker Max


THE WIDENING, novel by Carol Moldaw

CHEZ MOI, novel by Agnes Desarthe

THE FIRST PATIENT, novel by Michael Palmer

KILLER HEAT, novel by Linda Fairstein

SILENCE, novel by Thomas Perry

ACTS OF NATURE, novel by Jonathon King

1996 Terreus Pago De Cueva Baja
1994 Remelluri Rioja
2003 Turley zinfandel Hayne Vineyard NV
2006 c & t pinot noir
2005 Napa Valley Farms cabernet franc
2003 Muller-Catoir Riesling Baatbter-Derrenletten spatlese
2005 Larkmead sauvignon blanc
1991 Philip Togni cabernet
1970 Vega Sicilia
2005 Peter Michael "Ma Belle-Fille" Sonoma County chardonnay
2002 Bouchard Chevalier-Montrachete "La Cabotte"
1959 Canon
1992 Abreu Madrona Ranch cabernet
2003 Schloss Schonborn Beerenauslese
2004 Blankiet Merlot Paradise Hills
2004 Dutch Henry "Argos"
1990 Leroy Vosne Romanee Les Geneverries
1994 Harlan
1986 Mouton
1988 d'Yquem


Saturday, June 14, 2008


First and foremost, I thank Allen Gaborro for his (too-generous) review of The Light Sang As It Left Your Eyes in the latest issue of Philippine News. Really -- thank you. ENTIRE REVIEW HERE -- and I do suggest you read it since it's quite flattering to Moi.

The problem is that I learned of his review through a Listserve email that I first read on my Iphone, as I was seated at the dining table entertaining some out-of-town guests, Fred and Lisa, who inflicted themselves on me and Galatea this weekend. So I thought, as the conversation was flagging anyway as it often does with Fred, I'd read the review out loud to the company even as I read it for the first time. Well, the review begins:
I once had a college classmate who was so exceptional as a student that our professor exclaimed, with tongue-in-cheek, that she could submit a paper with absolutely nothing written on it and still receive the highest grade.

Okay....undoubtedly, it was the fact that I was on my fourth bottle of wine but I just couldn't understand this opening sentence. I kept reading and re-reading it out loud, even as I kept asking our friends, "But what does it mean...?"

Finally, my long-suffering hubby sighed and noted, "Eileen. The reviewer is saying, You're brilliant."

At which point, Fred or some other drunk at the table snorted -- "Yeah...she's being called brilliant but she doesn't get that this reviewer is calling her brilliant. Ironic or what?"

From there, the weekend continued -- and still continues since the New Yorkers still won't leave my house -- to deteriorate...

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008


The review copies keep flowing into Galatea Resurrects....while reviewers seem, what, wilted from the heat?

C'mon poetry lovers. Check out the list of review copies HERE and ENGAGE! You know you wanna....children, pets and poetry books should never be orphans.


Under the Dear Abby category of answering some peeps' emails, and per the prior post: Of course I didn't get a stimulus check. I'm a poetry publisher. I don't make money, but I lose it for moi buddy Art.

Having said that, if I had received such a check, what would I have spent it on? Easy. I'da spent it on:


Moi big, burly men are sulking. They are tired of playing in the dirt ...

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Monday, June 09, 2008


I've been scrolling through THIS obsessively.

So many peeps bought ... guns.

And interesting how no one used any to donate to McCain....but plenty, some after saying snarkily, THANKS GEORGE, gave it to the Obama campaign.

One used it to bail himself out of prison ... bwahahaha....

Fascinating stuff, all of it....


Thursday, June 05, 2008


Just read a really interesting -- and wise -- poetics book (tho the author don't call it a "poetics"). Thing is, I've seen some of this poet's poems...and have found the poems to, as they say, lack the urgency of necessity.

What is it that leads the most profound poetics to manifest itself in the most ... banal poems?

If the answer is that Poetry is inarticulable, well, okay. But that's been done. Poetry, it seems to me, always asks: what happens post-End?

Art is difficult ... so that, often, wisdom doesn't suffice.


Yes, the poem transcends autobiography.

Yes, the process is often what's significant.

No wonder the dreams have returned -- of turning poetry books into something else. Something else, usually in my dreams to be sculptures (for sculptures rise above the one-dimension of a page?) -- like a favorite being the planters with books stacked to look like they're trees growing out of the planters (aren't there sculptures like these framing the entryway to Beyond Baroque?). Dust to dust, ashes to ashes, trees to paper to trees...

The last couple of times I read from The Light Sang As It Left Your Eyes, I tore out pages and tossed them at the audience.

Shortly after releasing The Light... I determined no more books for a while. Yet I have two more books coming out within the next 12 months. Now I understand that, paradoxically, I'm prolific, book-wise, but for another reason than releasing books.


I have this in-progress conceptual project -- in the seeming form of a visual art exhibition -- of taking the physical bodies of poetry books and reconceptualizing it/them into something else. My thoughts aren't fully formed, but my envisioning of the exhibition space (right now) is where one enters through the gallery door to immediately face a poetry book set like a jewel within an over-the-top ornate gold frame.

But from that opening of privileging the poetry book, you move on into the gallery to see all sorts of ways in which the poetry book has been "degraded" into something else.

Because, you see, relatively few people read poetry books (not bemoaning that; such has always been the case, yah?) and yet the Poetry exists. The Poetry perseveres.

The Poetry perseveres and, sometimes, things happen and it is only later that people recognize them for the Poetry that they were.


I'm reprinting this photo below that will be on the cover of my forthcoming book, THE BLIND CHATELAINE'S KEYS because it provides Moi with much cheer. Besides, what happens when the key is not fixed?

What happens when the key is held by the blind?

What happens when the key is as solid as identity?

What happens when the chatelaine is just heavy with so many keys and yet so few doorways exist?

What happens when the chatelaine tires of always always always borrowing the power that forms identity?

How might the chatelaine write "the whole beyond the hole" again ... or for the first time?

Photo of dancer/musician Caroline Cabading of Palabuniyan Kulintang Ensemble by Rhett Pascual/Your Exquisite Photos.

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Yay! From the Netherlands, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz starts a novel in hay(na)ku form! Alternate Girl is the title for this alternate form...whose progress you can see HERE.

Rochita contributes Dutch hay(na)ku, btw, in The Hay(na)ku Anthology, Vol. II.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008


I’m not a Democrat or Republican. I’m an Independent. But we have a moment. Historic. And so I refer you back to THIS.

As the link notes, that’s one of my attempts to write a hay(na)ku a day. And the title of this blog post refers to my January 7, 2008 hay(na)ku written shortly after Obama’s Audacity of Hope hay(na)ku:

In Poetry,
Govern in prose

Text by Hillary Clinton

I have appreciated Obama’s campaign (don’t know yet about my vote, but I’ve appreciated his campaign). And if you watched Obama’s speech tonight, you saw a marked contrast with Clinton’s approach. His speech was not about himself (he didn’t even touch on the historicity of an African American candidate for the President of the U.S.)….which reminds me to also share what I wrote on January 8, 2008:

It’s not about
Me, but

--from Obama's New Hampshire speech after primary results

Of course I’m appreciative. Because as the description of this blog notes, The Chatelaine shares, “Moi am all about Toi.”

P.S. I do believe it's possible to govern in (sic) part, I see this through having visited with various folks in positions of power; when they have poetry books next to their business or political texts on their bookshelves, that indicates an ability to think outside of the box, not an unimportant talent for being effective and visionary.

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I'm forced to address a certain confluence of factors, to wit: Apparently, some folks from my past -- long-ago past -- have discovered me courtesy of internet searches. You all should keep something in mind: this blog is about "Moi", which is not exactly the same thing as "me". Don't believe everything you read about me, whether on moi blogs or elsewhere in the internet. (And for those people who talk about me, claiming they know me, just use this rule of thumb -- if they haven't seen me in a year, let alone a month, they don't know me, okay?)

And now, I must release Moi to blog about something "I" know nothing about:


I can't tell you how much I relish the news that Gura Michelle considers my harvest of 20 strawberries, to date, to be a bounty. This is Gura who has managed to harvest ... 2 strawberries! COUNT THEM!

Made my day, but it still doesn't ease moi misery. Because, you see, those 20 strawberries are also ... teeny. The majority aren't any larger than my little finger's fingernail!

Since I had big, burly men build a big, burly rock-wall garden for moi attempt to be Martha Stewart, I should note that these almost-invisible strawberries are not only ... almost-invisible but, on a per-chew basis, the most expensive strawberries I have ever relished. Even more than the individual strawberry wrapped in tissue paper that I once bought in Tokyo for $9.50 (in 1980s dollars).

I should note further that there's nearly 20 varieties of vegetables in the garden, so the fact that I'm counting only 20 strawberries to date is particularly paltry.

But I am making progress! I am purrrr-ed to announce that, yesterday, this City Slicker harvested 209 basil leaves (shut up you people who know that basil grows like a weed and the fact that I can manage to count the leaves I harvest imply something about how the bounty isn't as bountiful as normal).

Then, inspired by Leny -- who watches snails mating among her strawberries! Hm: must be viscuous -- who has tried in the past to have me rediscover the indigenous Pinay soul who can cook, I made pesto! I had a fabulous pesto pasta for dinner and it was yum yum bam bam (geez: who talks like that!)! This pesto recipe is now on moi's I-phone.

I rock.

I mean:

Moi rocks!

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