Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I've been getting some wonderful review copies for Galatea Resurrects (GR). Why don't you check them out HERE in case you can do a review by the Nov. 5, 2009 deadline?

Meanwhile, I'd like to nota bene that I've been blessed -- even before I started GR -- by frequently receiving poetry books from friends and strangers just because peeps know I love poetry and will read! So this is just to say, to avoid mix-up, if I receive a book addressed just to me without reference to "Galatea" or "Galatea Resurrects," I usually assume it's sent for my personal library.

If you've recently sent a review copy intended to GR but didn't include reference to GR, just drop me an email at GalateaTen@aol.com and I'll be sure to post it on the available review copy list. I'm not in this bidness to mooch...I'ma in this bidness to smooch!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Let’s just forget all this craven watercolor
--John Olson ("The Gob of Agog")

With much thanks to book designer and wind goddess Michelle Bautista, here is the front cover for THE THORN ROSARY: SELECTED PROSE POEMS 1998-2010 (Marsh Hawk Press, Spring 2010):

My first SELECTED is edited with an introduction by poet-painter-critic-scholar Thomas Fink, and features an Afterword by poet-scholar-activist Joi Barrios. I'm grateful for their engagements, and also appreciate Joi's role since her words eliminate all my concerns (which Tom, author of "A DIFFERENT SENSE OF POWER", wisely understands), about being solely contextualized by a white male critic.

The cover image is a photograph of New Orleans by Eric Gamalinda, himself no shirker when it comes to prolificness in poetry, fiction, essays, visual arts, film, translations, et al. 'Twas this all-around Renaissance Man who quipped about moi THORNS, "What is this: your 102nd book?"

Then Eric said other things which made me so happy that presence will adorn my book. After all, he has said this:
The act of poetry involves all the senses, the entire body, the entire mind, and to develop as a poet is to develop body, heart, and mind. Poetry is impossible without this commitment, without this total involvement. The most difficult part about writing a poem is not the writing but the process that leads to it, the process that demands belief, compassion, a sense of hope -- all virtually impossible challenges. All of this takes a lifetime. And at the end of our lifetime, what matters is not what we have written, but what we have become.
--from "+ h E . L a N 9 u A 9 E . 0 f . L / 9 h +"

And isn't Eric's photograph striking and mysterious? That effect -- complete with the unknown Other (back of my head to ya!) -- is something I hoped to achieve in many prose poems. I think I've said before -- in my dreams, my hair is frequently colored blue. I also like that this photograph was not a planned shot -- I think it was a stray street scene that Eric quickly snapped as he was walking by. Poetry is all around us; one just needs to see...

I do wish to thank all the artists who shared their works as possible front cover images to my book. There were more than one image that would have worked and I am sad that only one image could be used.

I hope you will be interested in THE THORN ROSARY. It offers poems that many haven't read before as they include poems from hard-to-find early books and as released in the past twelve years by publishers in the U.S., Philippines, and Finland (love those Radiant Finns!). Thank you Marsh Hawk Press, Anvil Publishing, Giraffe Books, Moria Books, xPress(ed), BlazeVOX [books], and Blue Lion Books.

Last but not least, deep thanks to poet and genius John Olson for some "Advance words" (given John's own poems and approaches, I'm really very grateful):
Tabios is a seamstress of the surreal, combining erudition and art historical references with flourishes of verbal color and surge. She is a generous writer whose enthusiasm for art registers brightly in her energetic conceptions. Propositions make correlative folds in a vividness of amalgamation. Ramifications at the fringe of consciousness thread brocades of textural ardor in a luster of compound interest. Her work (to borrow one of her own phrases) is "a blissful difficulty," a quest akin to threading a letter with a metaphor, a perception with a nerve.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Strictly speaking, politics is illusion. But in relation to poetry, “political” means realism.
--Tom Hibbard, Introduction to
Word For/Word

Word For/Word: A Journal of New Writing is out and it's a "Political Poetry" issue edited by Tom Hibbard.

The *realism* poem I got in it, "The American Nightmare," is a poem I writ in March while I was slogging through the nightmarish days of Bogota, awaiting the final adoption decrees for Michael. 'Twas a time when the newspapers were at high dudgeon coverage of the Great Recession. I thank Tom for pushing me to write a poem, and then presenting it in combination with a very apt painting by Joan Sloan:

(Yo, Ron: Message from this 16-percenter: Bad Link on your bloggie post today as regards the issue...)

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THANK YOU SFState Creative Writing Students for a deliriously-wonderful event last night. As your prof, Bob Gluck noted afterwards, You All Are Smart Peeps! With wonderfully-smart questions!

So, I hope you got that a poem is a Doorway Into Something Else, which means there's limited significance to publication -- hence I finished my presentation by tearing up my book! (Always creates a little frisson in the audience that makes Moi giggle...)


Partly reflecting budget cutbacks, the class was over a hundred students, the largest that Bob says he'd seen of this course. Which is wonderful if your book is an assigned text, like Nota Bene Eiswein. But I happen to think it's not a 1:1 student/book ratio -- I signed one book to two names because it was being shared by two students (I feel bad for these cramped student budgets...).

Certain of my recent books -- like the BRICK and the SON OF A BRICK -- are unlikely textbook prospects just because of their prices; Nota Bene Eiswein, at $16, is among my cheapest recent books. Just getting real here -- Nota Bene Eiswein tends to get a positive response, but it did get this textbook assignment because it was relatively affordable vs my other books (which I would have thought might have more meat as "educational" tools, the BRICK in particular...). But that's why contest books are often within a certain page count range, right? It'd also make prizewinning books more affordable for the college text market that right now has a significant share of volume poetry sales...

Anyway, this reminds me to do a side-rant on certain poetry bestsellers. There's one list in particular that used to impress me, but the choice of "bestsellers" is mostly based on which book gets picked up as a textbook (i.e., which book gets crammed down students' throats vs which book gets bought by a poetry lover). So if you're not plugged into the academic (including prize) circuit, you may write a faboo book but it's unlikely to get picked up. Which means that, yet again, attention gets skewed in terms of which books are fabulous reading as there are plenty of books out there that will never get assigned and yet, IMHO, are likely to present a better read than those being assigned. (By doing Galatea Resurrects, I hoped to circumvent that...). I say this as someone who has benefited from this poetry textbook system, but truly hope for an audience who comes to the poem ultimately for a different reason than that it was an assigned task. Which is to say, because poetry is part of their lives -- these are the most discriminating readers of poetry, btw, so that it all circles back critically (pun intended)...

(Not that my reading habits are some sort of determinant but, as someone who does read a lot of poetry books because of the ambition to read every single poem ever written, I can anecdotally share that so-called prize-winning books have not been competitive for holding my interest...)

One hope I got last night that this bankrupt distribution system won't have the last word in poetry dissemination is hearing from Bob that the COLLECTED SPICER (you go, Kevin K!) has sold over 80,000 books to date! Now that's a true bestseller -- not these lists that sometimes hype up the temporal hipster.


At literally the last minute before I left the house, Mom canceled on accompanying me. Her blood sugar levels were really down and she didn't feel up to it. It's something-that-turns-me-speechless: watching a parent weaken right in front of you, and knowing that it's not something that can be cured since aging is not something to be stopped. For Mom, she seems to focus a lot on what she discerns as my "achievements" as a poet (like getting invited to lecture at a school). It gives her much comfort, it seems, to know that people are reading my books -- if that be the case, that would certainly rank among the best *uses* of my poetry. And I then I begrudgingly throw over a Thank You to Ye Poetry Angels With Wingtips All Filthy From All Your Gambling...

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Monday, September 21, 2009


Am 15 minutes away from leaving the mountain to go blather at SFState's MFA students. Mom just decided she wants to accompany Moi.

Rather shyly, she said, "I want to see my daughter in a university setting..."

Sorta sweet. No, it is sweet.

But there goes all the obscene jokes I had labored long and hard (get it?) to prepare for tonight...


Sunday, September 20, 2009


one can see the center disc of the galaxy, and from such shimmering "cloud" a spiraling shimmery arm: a broken circle denoting the spiral. On the left side of vision, bright Jupiter. On the right, the Big Dipper. From Galatea's mountain, no night -- just a canvas of non-metaphorical stars, less than a touch away:

what happens when
air is

And now you know why blue is my favorite color -- ye music of the spheres...



Mommy-hood is ... time-consuming! And might I say that Michael did an outstanding job in soccer this weekend (his team tied 2-2), which is a better result than the prior game. Anyway, Mommy-hood takes up enough time such that rather than write up a new lecture for SF State's "Writers on Writing" series that I'll do tomorrow evening, I'm going to root my talk in my already-written "Babaylan Poetics" essay and leap it to link to Nota Bene Eiswein which students in Bob Gluck's Creative Writing course are reading. My thoughts on "Babaylan Poetics" are not yet widely-disseminated, though aspects of it have been delivered at two prior conferences, so it should be fresh enough. I mench all this because I'm excited to see a possible front cover of the forthcoming --and historic -- and unique! -- anthology RECLAIMING THE NOW: THE BABAYLAN IS US edited by Leny Strobel:

Leny is among the visionary scholars who've done work with a multiplicity of side-effects, one of which is the debunking of the notion that literary history is solely based on modernism.

I also much appreciate how my Babaylan essay will be in a, not solely a literary anthology but, life anthology. Other contributors discuss a variety of topics ranging over spirituality to family to decolonization to "re-imagining possibilities" to the diaspora to martial arts. More info on the Babaylan Project is HERE. Much thanks to Leny for contributing to scholarship by not doing it the *usual way* (that be the poet's way...).

As to other things I'm relishing, here's my latest Relished W(h)ine List -- :

14 bunches of yellow table grapes
37 bunch of red flame table grapes
22 bunches of Concord grapes
91 green figs
24 black figs
41 red cherry tomatoes
217 golden cherry tomatoes
215 red heirloom tomatoes
37 yellow heirloom tomatoes
4 peaches
5 artichokes
125 green onion stalks
14 onions/scallions
92 strawberries
43 yellow squash
30 zucchini (2 the size of infants, 2 the size of canoes, 2 the size of my arm beneath the elbow)
315 basil leaves
75 lemon cucumbers
26 cucumbers
25 pepper leaves
19 green bell peppers
32 jalapeno peppers
30 mint leaves
30 yellow squash leaves

"IN MEMORY OF REV. MARLEA J. CONRAD WABER", mail art by Dan Waber (this is the most effective piece of "mail art" -- or broadside -- I have ever seen. Really moving memorial to the poet's mother)

SITUATIONS, poems by Laura Carter

HI HIGHER HYPERBOLE, poems by Nicholas Manning (witty; had a grin throughout my reading)

WASTE, poems by Thierry Brunet (this is an excellently-wrought project! But it's likely not to get the recognition it deserves. So, out from BlazeVOX: Spread the word!)

RHAPSODY IN PLAIN YELLOW, poems by Marilyn Chin

THE LAST 4 THINGS, poems by Kate Greenstreet

SONG OF A LIVING ROOM, poems by Brigitte Byrd

MAKE IT HAPPEN, poem broadside by Jeffrey Cyphers Wright

OCTOBER CENTERFOLD, poems by Jeffrey Cyphers Wright and images by Nathaniel Hester

MARCH 18, 2003, poem by Michael Lally


THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, novel by Stieg Larsson

A RELIABLE WIFE, novel by Robert Goolrick

TURNING ANGEL, novel by Greg Iles

BLOODSTREAM, novel by Tess Gerritsen

BODY LANGUAGE, novel by James Hall

A PROMISE FOR SPRING, novel by Kim Vogel Sawyer

1999 Corullon Bierzo
2006 Ojai syrah Santa Barbara
1995 Thalgara "Show Reserve" shiraz
Chikurin Fukamari Junmai
2003 Rausan Despagne
1970 Ch. Lynch Bages
2002 Blankiet cabernet "Paradise Hills Vineyard"
2003 Clare Luce Abbey
R.L. Buller & Son Fine Muscat Solera
2006 Peter Michael charddonnay "Ma Belle Fille"

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Friday, September 18, 2009


I was working this week on the cover design for THE THORN ROSARY (forthcoming in Spring 2010)--more deets on such later. During a break and while on internet trawl, I stumbled across this photo of Cate Blanchett being castigated for what she wore on a red carpet. Actually, I thought her outfit BRILLIANT (the past made eternal...). It could have been a fitting cover image for THE THORN ROSARY -- you can see the controversial Cate Blanchett photo HERE.

I could write a hundred-page fashion treatise on why this dress is fabulous. Let me just quote from a poem I've lost but whose fragment I recall to be this:

P.S. Cate's outfit would not have worked if the shoes had not been weighty (i.e., it would have crashed and burned if worn with stiletto heels). And that's why prose can also be poetry.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Got a fly-and-sun poem (from Nota Bene Eiswein) in newly-released Issue #36 of The Journal That Advocates For Clean Hair. From its editor Del Ray Cross (who I wish to thank as well for his consistent encouragement over the years):
Dear Salon Selecteds,

I'm elated to present you with SHAMPOO issue 36!

Check it all out here: www.ShampooPoetry.com . . .

where you'll soak & steam in relevant poetries by Zhuang Yisa, Arisa White, Dana Ward, Gautam Verma, TC Tolbert, Steve Tills, Eileen Tabios, Suejin Suh, Paul Siegell, Ryan B. Richey, Daniel C. Remein, Matt Reeck, Stephen Ratcliffe, Caitlyn Paley, Anjali Khosla Mullany, Michael Montlack, rob mclennan, Ian M. McCarty, Esa Mäkijärvi, Anthony Madrid, Alana Madison, erica lewis, Caroline Klocksiem, Raud Kennedy, Alexander Jorgensen, Russell Jaffe, Luke Humphries, Alisa Heinzman, Eli Halpern, Christoph Girard, Angela Genusa, Amy Garrett-Brown, Ricky Garni, Mark Stephen Finein, Laurie Duggan, Denise Dooley, Susan Denning, Peter Davis, Aaron Crippen, Marisa Crawford, Christopher Cheney, Will Burke, Megan Breiseth, Lucas Bernhardt, Robert J. Baumann, Louis Armand, Stan Apps & Sherman Alexie, along with radiantly alive SHAMPOOArt by Angela Genusa!

SHAMPOO thanks you!

Herbal essence,

Del Ray Cross, Editor
clean hair / good poetry

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009


While Moi blather is enchanting, it's often just blather. You should also read the Gold that's out there, such as this tribute to Jim Carroll began by Tom Clark and continued by many others -- these memories reveal something about authenticity.



My first published novel, NOVEL CHATELAINE, inspires a poem by Jeff Harrison first posted on WRYTING-Listserve! Thanks Jeff! (And thanks for the heads' up, Anny!) You can see the poem HERE.

Btw, one of the most interesting online ongoing conversations about is Jeff and Allen Bramhall sharing ANTIC VIEWS-check it out!


Monday, September 14, 2009


Paper Kite Press is due to release in November the much-anticipated poem, home: An Anthology of Ars Poetica, which grew out of a popular collaborative blog, Ars Poetica, that expanded as each featured poet recommended five poets to share ars poetica poems and so on. To create this book, the editors chose from 569 poems sent in by 251 poets. Well, November ain't here but it is PRE-ORDER time! GO HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION!

It looks interesting -- the contributors listed below include many favorites so I'm looking forward to seeing again how they write poems about poetry's multiplicitous arts:
poem, home: An Anthology of Ars Poetica

The title says it all. Includes poems by: Kelli Russell Agodon, Flor Aguilera, Karren L. Alenier, Sandra Alland, C. J. Allen, Ivan Arguelles, Anny Ballardini, Gary Barwin, Annette Basalyga, Rick Benjamin, John M. Bennett, Maxianne Berger, F .J. Bergmann, Cliff Bernier, Gregory Betts, Celia Bland, Dean Blehert, Helen Boettcher, Peter Boyle, Allen Braden, Therese L. Broderick, Mary Buchinger, Ana Buigues, Mike Burwell, Mairéad Byrne, Nick Carbó, Cathy Carlisi, Wendy Taylor Carlisle, James Cervantes, Joel Chace, Ellen Cole, Ed Coletti, Jennifer Compton, Anne Coray, Alison Croggon, Del Ray Cross, Craig Czury, Yoko Danno, Lucille Lang Day, Denise Duhamel, Patrick Dunagan, Riccardo Duranti, Paul Dutton, Susanne Dyckman, Lynnell Edwards, Dan Featherston, Annie Finch, Thomas Fink, Alan Halsey, Sharon Harris, Lola Haskins, Nellie Hill, Nathan Hoks, Paul Hoover, Mikhail Horowitz, Ray Hsu, Halvard Johnson, Jill Jones, Adrianne Kalfopoulou, Bhanu Kapil, W. B. Keckler, Karl Kempton, Kit Kennedy, Tracy Koretsky, Greg Kosmicki, Gary Leising, Amy Lemmon, Lyn Lifshin, Diane Lockward, Rupert Mallin, Dr. Pamela McClure, Dr. D. H. Melhem, Hillary Mellon, Paul Mitchell, Carley Moore, Daniel Thomas Moran, Maggie Morley, Richard Newman, Angela O'Donnell, Shin Yu Pai, Helen Pavlin, Jonathan Penton, Alice Pero, Patrick Phillips, Paul Pines, Kevin Prufer, Chelsea Rathburn, Susan Rich, Cynthia Ris, Kim Roberts, Jay Rogoff, Kate Schapira, Barry Schwabsky, Derek Sheffield, Shoshauna Shy, Sue Stanford, Lucien Suel, Rod Summers, Eileen Tabios, Elaine Terranova, Heather Thomas, David Tipton, Juanita Torrence-Thompson, William Trowbridge, Priscilla Uppal, Katherine Varnes, Jeanne Wagner, Amy Watkins, Scott Watson, Melissa Weinstein, Carol Clark Williams, Jacquie Williams, Ernie Wormwood, Mark Young, and Andrena Zawinski.

Thanks to editors Jennifer Hill and Dan Waber for taking my poem "Athena" which previously appeared in The Light Sang...

Paper Kite Press is a press doing lovely work. I highly recommend another recent title: Magdeline & the Mermaids, by Elizabeth Kate Switaj.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009


So: if anyone had told me five years back I actually would be -- literally -- a "Soccer Mom", I'd have redefined my definition of a miracle dog since I'd have assumed we were discussing Achilles. Instead, I AM A SOCCER MOM! This weekend was the first game in the Napa Valley Soccer League; in the photo above, Michael is in the center of the image.

Unfortunately, to cut to the chase, we lost 2-1. Now, 2-1 might seem to be a close game. But that "1" that Michael's team got was because the other team mistakenly pushed in a ball into their own goal....Let me back up to explain:

So the hubby and I showed up with our boy in tow. We're all very very excited as this was the very first "Little League" type of game for our family. We showed up an hour ahead of the game, which gave us a chance to check out the other boys in Michael's team as well as the opposing team. And after five seconds of keen perusal, the hubby and I shared the same thought: "Uh oh."

The other team was comprised of much larger and taller boys, in better shape, more coordinated and actually running through a very disciplined pattern of practice. Michael and his teammates were sort of just clumsily whacking the ball about....have I mentioned that Michael is also the smallest boy in the team? The hubby lifted his jaw back offa the ground and groaned in a low voice, "Our team is gonna get whupped."

Then Salvation arrived! Or so we thought. That is, another team showed up. The hubby brightened up to whisper to me, "They must be the team that we're playing. Because their kids are exactly like ours: small and awkward."

Our hopes rose further when Susan, the soccer league coordinator, mused out loud about the bigger and clearly more-seasoned team, "Maybe they're the 'SELECT' team -- though I don't know what they're doing in our field..."

But after much hoo-ing and haa-ing and much rustling among the coaches of the paperwork of schedules, it was determined that the other team of "small and awkward"-looking angels got their instructions wrong and arrived at the wrong field. So to my and the hubby's consternation, they all rushed back to their cars and vans to go to their correct soccer field. Which meant, as my and the hubby's head turned slowly back to the field, our kids were INDEED going to play this bigger and more physically fit team! Now I know why Hollywood has made BILLIONS of bucks on variations of this story.

The boys in Michael's team weren't actually all that awkward -- many displayed fine skills under the pressure of a real game. But they were still outplayed. I won't do the play-by-play....except to note that the smallest kid on Michael's team allowed in one of the two scores... Here is Michael after the game, being somewhat consoled with a donut from two boxes that another Soccer Mom had the experience to bring (I'm learning) whilst guzzling down that sports fixture called Gatorade:

Then we went over to the local Big 5 Sporting Goods to buy Michael a better pair of soccer shoes because I remembered that he had complained that the sides to his pair were sort of thin and it hurt when he would kick at the ball (being a biased soccer mom, I reach for any sort of rationale to explain why my son would not be playing his David Beckham Best)...which is to say, the next team had better watch out next Saturday. Coz, Babies:

Moi Boy's Got a Brand New Pair of Soccer Shoes!

As for Poetry? Here's a haynaku:
Little League Cheer

trump losses
any ol' time!

Yes, Peeps. Y'all, too, can come over to The Chatelaine's for your, ahem, Sports Fix!

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Thursday, September 10, 2009


is a poem that had the fortune to blossom through Jean Vengua's attention, reading and engagement. Thank you, Jean, for this -- and I love the more-than-postscript presence of your Gracie The Gracious Pitbull:

I wrote this poem (which rears its nerved-up head in The Blind Chatelaine's Keys) for Andrew Lundwall who's been a supportive poet-editor presence. Thank you, Andrew!

Jean's reading works on its own, but I happened to have the YouTUBE audio playing against John William's version of "I Dreamed A Dream" from Les Miserables and -- how apt! -- it works, too!

(Last but never least, thanks to Gura Michelle for teaching me how to embed a YouTUBE-y thingie on moi luddite blog!)

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Once, in a distant land and distant time, I was dancing in Bino Realuyo's NYC apartment, in a dim room. I wasn't dancing the dance. I was being (in an action that never again will be replicated) the dance entitled
"Fairy Child Praying to the Goddess of Mercy Kuanyin Shaoling Kung-Fu Fist"

Peeps who knew me long before poetry blogland existed will also recognize the above as the ending to my poem "The Fairy Child's Prayer" (reproduced in Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole). In the same room was Bino of course; I remember him in some one-legged stance...and then the man who was the reason we were both there: Rene Navarro. I call him "Master Dragon". That's him in the photo above with which I began this post--he's formed "Snake Creeps Down" (from the Tai chi chuan 108 movement set of the Yang Family). But I suppose I should share this photo, too, which is more relevant to my poem about him--here he is in a Shaolin martial dance called "Fairy Child Praying to the Goddess of Mercy Guanyin," a Buddhist form:

I don't know where he was when he emailed me today. Perhaps Egypt where he took or was taken in this photo--'twas high noon in Giza:

Rene is Mr. Positive Energy. I am blessed to know him. And from the poem I wrote for him:
Because the sky can never be a margin against my desire, I raise my hand to you and, in so doing, compel the swoop of the falcon with jade eyes, cobalt breast and ebony feathers. I have emptied my bag of tricks, released the barbed wire from its tattooed bracelet about my left wrist. The shade recedes...

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Started reading Roberto Bolano's THE SAVAGE DETECTIVES. Sighed and shut the book on Page 19. I felt: It's too late for me to be reading this. I need to continue down the path of senility until I fall off the cliff onto my second childhood. Then, I might then be able to pick up this book and read it in totality....

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Thank you for your invitation which undoubtedly would make Moi more well-known (might even make me famous given the current tide of hip currents). But I'm not really interested in being your -- or anyone else's -- Other.

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Monday, September 07, 2009


Recently relished THE BRITTLE AGE and RETURNING UPLAND by Rene Char, Translated by Gustaf Sobin (Counterpath Press, Denver, 2009). It includes a really moving note in Sobin's Translator's Preface:
One can grow more in the light of another person's expectations, occasionally, than in that of one's own. I remember growing, assimilating, refining my own sensibilities, within the gaze--complicitous as it was paternal--of the poet Rene Char. He'd taken me under wing from my first months in Provence, and endowed me (as he would other people, other things) with exaggerated qualities. Massive in stature, he himself magnified, aggrandized, blew into luminous proportions, whatever his attention happened to light upon. And it lit, indeed, upon virtually everything. A butterfly might announce a thunderstorm just as much as a breeze, the body of his beloved. His universe was inductive, driven--alchemically--by an irrepressible will toward the transformed.

I love this story about Char. A century ago when I was young, I was lucky to have a handful of mentors with whom I once had such a relationship as Sobin did with Char. It's a nice contrast to how some other "established" poets behave. Like, I've also been approached a number of times by poets wishing to take me under hir wing (so to speak). But you can tell that -- even when s/he sincerely likes your work -- s/he is more interested in co-opting another (younger) poet into becoming part of the future positive critical voice for hir own work. (Oh I know you know what I'm talking about....let the backchannels begin!) I'm not bitter about this, btw (I think it's something to be pitied rather than to deride...we're all human), but I do try to stay away from that stuff. (I'm only sorry that such a history makes me occasionally wary/weary of meeting new poets in person...)

On to more positive stuff, here's my latest Relished W(h)ine List -- well, maybe it's to more benign stuff rather than positive stuff since, after all, check out that peach harvest (sigh):

14 bunches of yellow table grapes
37 bunch of red flame table grapes
2 bunches of Concord grapes (don't quite know how the Concords got into the garden)
32 green figs
11 black figs
41red cherry tomatoes
217 golden cherry tomatoes
194 red heirloom tomatoes
28 yellow heirloom tomatoes
4 peaches
5 artichokes (probably the most expensive artichokes on the planet)
120 green onion stalks
14 onions/scallions
92 strawberries
41 yellow squash
28 zucchini (2 the size of infants, 2 the size of canoes, 1 the size of my arm beneath the elbow)
315 basil leaves
75 lemon cucumbers
26 cucumbers
25 pepper leaves
14 green bell peppers
21 jalapeno peppers
30 mint leaves
30 yellow squash leaves

"DARK TIMES\FILLED WITH LIGHT": A TRIBUTE TO JUAN GELMAN (Special Issue of The Cafe Review), poetry/visual art/reminiscences Edited by Paul Pines (so special to have an effect on others as Juan Gelman did on many wise ones, from Pines to Claribel Alegria)

TINDERBOX LAWN, poems by Carol Guess

CANTAR DE MIO CORMAN, poems by Lars Palm

TO THE BONE, poems by Sebastian Agudelo

THE BRITTLE AGE and RETURNING UPLAND, poems by Rene Char, Trans. by Gustaf Sobin

THE RUSSIAN VERSION, poems by Elene Fanailova, Trans. by Genya Turovskaya & Stephanie Sandler

THE LOST COUNTRY OF SIGHT, poems by Neil Aitken

TEENY TINY #12, Aug. 2009, Ed. Amanda Laughtland (as always, an ever-lovely intimate space)

LONG LOST, novel by Harlan Coben

BODY DOUBLE, novel by Tess Gerritsen

GRAVITY, novel by Tess Gerritsen

LIFE SUPPORT, novel by Tess Gerritsen

LITTLE HOUSE BY BOSTON BAY, novel by Melissa Wiley

ON TIDE MILL LANE, novel by Melissa Wiley

THE ROAD FROM ROXBURY, novel by Melissa Wiley

A LANTERN IN HER HAND, novel by Bess Streeter Aldrich


1998 Dutschke St Jakobi shiraz Barossa Valley
2005 Joh. Jos Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese
2004 Claire Luce Abbey Roncalli
2005 Nicholson River Winery chardonnay
2006 Napa Cellars Zinfandel NV
1994 Ravenswood Wood Road Belloni zinfandel Russian Valley
1989 Ch. Cantemerle
1983 Dow
2001 Philip Togni cabernet
2006 Philip Togni cabernet
2006 Philip Togni "Tan Bark Hill"
2003 Philip Togni Ca Togni
2004 Dutch Henry cabernet
1970 Ch. Lynch Bages

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Sunday, September 06, 2009



I just finished reading all the submissions to Dad's Memorial Poetry Prize. You Pinoys sure know how to write that puwet-ry! Nagsamit nga maammo, You!

More later but for now jes wanted to nota bene dat!


Saturday, September 05, 2009


One of my favorite statements by La Jessica Hagedorn (from my first book BLACK LIGHTNING) is something along the lines of how

                  The Poem Shouldn't Just Sit On Its Ass Fanning Itself...!

(I paraphrase as I'm too lazy to look up the exact quote). Which is a lazy way for me to introduce another of Michael's drawings by discussing the concept of drawing action. Since a drawing is comprised of inherently static marks, being able to draw movement is a good skill to have, as in Michael's latest Thank-You-Drawing to her generous New York City relatives -- Wassup Spideyman!?

Anyway, yes, just like movement on a visual image, poems should have that energy as well. Lame-o didactic conclusion but that's the best I can do this lazy Saturday...!


Speaking of BLACK LIGHTNING, heard from stellar Marilyn Chin this week after years of having lost contact. Among other things, she says she still gets compliments about BLACK LIGHTNING even after, what, ten years since its initial publication. I'm not surprised: I've not seen anything else since in the poetry world come close to BLACK LIGHTNING's positive positive positive energy....and what a fabulous way for me to have been introduced to or initially immersed in poetry!

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Friday, September 04, 2009


As inspired by Ursprache, here's a wonderful idea for a performance/conceptual poetry project that, if I had time, I'd actually want to do:
Travel to read as much as possible at various open mikes across the country -- around the world! -- and see what happens.

I just bet unexpected things would happen -- especially if the poet goes beyond hir normal circuit/venues...

Just another way for the poet to allow for the random. But in this case, scale matters: doing tens of readings won't likely elicit the significantly unexpected. I think you gotta do a minimum of a thousand, with thousands being better...and it'd be more likely to succeed if said thousands were done in a compressed time frame....

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Thursday, September 03, 2009


I'd sent a casual offer to a Listserve recently that interested peeps can get a copy of NOTA BENE EISWEIN for a mere $3.00 if they didn't mind a dinged copy. This was because when I got the books from the printer, it included nearly a box's worth of said dinged books which make them unsaleable. Rather than pulp them (the idea of pulping books makes Moi vomit), I thought I'd offer them for the cost of shipping them to an address within the U.S.

Well, I got three left! So, if you wanna slip three bills in an envelop and send to me, this is a good deal! Email me at GalateaTen@aol.com if you want more info or wish to reserve one of the remaining three. Together, you and I can fight this recession!

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Okay, I guess it was just ALL TOO MUCH to discuss metaphorical algebraic connections in poetry and then have Michael be able to regurgitate, I mean, explain all that meta stuff to his 7th grade class -- particularly as he is just five months into learning English and mi muy malo espanol was not up to snuff. So, instead of doing a math poster on his poet-Mom viz FOOTNOTES TO ALGEBRA, he did a math poster instead on his lawyer-dad. I'm not bitter of course (even as the hubby grins): after all, the required math example of billing x number of hours and then multiplying it by a billable rate is merely multiplication (that is soooo second grade)...I was going off into algebraic horizons, y'all. Sigh. Anyway, here is Michael with his math poster absent my poetry:

And continuing on to newbie parenting, do you see how he looks like a marine? Yep, Mommy Moi screwed up. He was so handsome, but when I took my boy to the barbershop, I yelled out with my funky sense of humor: "Take it off! Take it all off!"

This is to the same barber who'd previously given Michael a stylish haircut, and which I assumed he would know to replicate. But the dude took me literally...and unfortunately, it wasn't until he had done half of Michael's head that I realized he really was taking it all off with a razor! Just picture me with my jaw dropped to the barbershop floor as I realized his/my mistake...but also knowing there was no way I could correct it as it was too late. So I had to sit there all wide-eyed as he continued to scalp my son who, by then, was mewling out, "Me no like. Me no like" about his inadvertent new hairstyle!

Afterwards, I lied like the shyster Moi am and informed Michael that this was a one-time scalping and which I did only to allow all of his new hair to grow out healthier in the future.

But, btw, the haircut occurred just in time for today's "Picture Day" (when the school takes official school pictures) so that my mistake will be memorialized in this year's school photos which also will be replicated in the future yearbook. As the hubby drily said when he saw Michael's haircut:

"Nice work, Eileen..."

Well, at least his new braces aren't my fault.


P.S. But this morning, Michael asked for a poetry book of mine....so at least maybe the earlier discussions about FOOTNOTES TO ALGEBRA were not for naught if it got him more interested in Mom's poetry. That's something, right, she asks herself as her wingtip reaches towards the computer screen to caress the almost-bald scalp of her son....her still handsome son...

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