Friday, January 30, 2009


For New Mystics, Joey Madia reviews PRAU by Jean Vengua; here's an excerpt:
Vengua’s Prau is a fascinating journey in the often stormy seas of nontraditional poetry. It takes as its overarching theme images of boats and boating, bracketing its interior selection of poems with a beginning quote by Herman Melville and an ending quote from The Dhammapada. The quotes served, for me, a navigational purpose, functioning as the start and end points on a map or as the buoys that mark a channel or inlet, calling to mind the mnemonic device of “Red, Right, Return” that I learned as a teenager living near the ocean and learning to sail. ENTIRE REVIEW HERE.

Thanks Joey! And this seems like a timely reason to publicly thank Dion Farquhar -- that be Professora Dion -- for assigning PRAU to a course she teaches at U.C. Santa Cruz. Her course assignment had an unexpected significant EFFECT, to wit:

Dion's course depleted the PRAU inventory over at our distributor, SPD. So I was packing up some boxes of PRAU for SPD and Mom happened to walk by. She asked what I was doing, and I explained.

Mom was very pleased to learn that PRAU is being used as a textbook (perhaps because Mom is also a former teacher). As a result, she said, "Let's do it again!"

"Do what again, Mom?" I replied.


You may recall that PRAU got published as a result of having won the first -- and what I thought would be an only -- Filamore Tabios, Sr. Poetry Memorial Prize (scroll down HERE to Feb. 2007 post for information). This is a poetry competition for Filipino poets worldwide.

So, what Mom wants Mom gets. Sometime next week, I hope to send out the Call for this global competition -- there apparently is much interest in a competition like this. PRAU, aptly, engenders waves. You should also let this lovely boat come to your shores!

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Wow. In a couple of weeks, my FIRST NOVEL (grin) has sold out its first printing! Uh, okay, I mean "given" out its first peeps in nine countries so far! But not to worry, publisher Amanda Laughtland of the veeeery charming TeenyTiny Press is fast-and-furiously wielding colored pencils to do a "second printing"! So, still: details for FREE NOVEL HERE!

My novel is textually encompassed by a single (8 X 11") page. But oooooh peeeps seem to love its BIG HEART!

Even though I continue to shy away from it, the NOVEL CHATELAINE has no such compunction and has showed up on FACEBOOK! I can't access its lovely face but there's apparently an oenophiliac statement that goes..."weighs significantly less than five ounces of wine. The prose, however, is robust and well-decanted (i.e., no deadwood)." Yeeee-hah! I ain't deadwood!

Then, Jesse Glass reviews my novel and, in the process, reveals my secret relationship with Jack and the Beanstalk. It begins:
Let it go down in the record books of eternity that Amanda Laughtland, of Teeny Tiny Press, has cracked the sound barrier with the aplomb of Sam Shepard in the Right Stuff, by bringing out Eileen "Bean" Tabios' first novel in a teeny Tiny edition with a hand-colored bunch of grapes on the cover! CLICK HERE FOR ENTIRE CHEERFUL REVIEW.


Then, comes this response-letter -- longer than moi novel! -- extrapolating from said novel to outline a path for my future (heh). From John Bloomberg-Rissman:
Hi Eileen—

I was away at a conference in Denver so didn’t get the mail til last night. First thing, of course, I devoured your novel, which is 1) great and 2) will require many rereadings and is 3) great. I do have a question and a thought (or, rather a fantasy …)

The question first, which I ask as a person who spend 1.5 decades immersed in the 17th century: without asking you to reveal any anything not in the novel, I just wonder what that century signifies for you? I mean, why c17 instead of c18 or c19??

And the thought, which is less a thought than an imagined trajectory your work, at least one aspect of it, seems to be taking. OK. First (maybe not first, but …) there was your Tiny Books project. Now this Teeny Tiny Book. Kind of like the Incredible Shrinking Woman’s Incredible Shrinking Works …

Here’s how I imagine your next project:

24 small bottles. 24 because that’s the number of the “books” in the Iliad, the archetypal epic. And because 24 is a hay(na)ku number (4 “stanzas”). Bottles somewhat a la Kiki Smith’s Untitled 1987-90. But in this case the bottles are clear. Inside each is a clear gelcap. Inside each gelcap is a grain of rice, engraved with a single word (I know there are plenty of people in SF with the requisite skills …).

All in all, an epic.

I mean, now that you’ve conquered the lyric, the serial poem, the essay, ekphrasis, the novel, etc what’s left but to go after the biggest game in all western literature, something that’s supposed to have become impossible: the epic?

Unless you’d prefer to tackle a gesamtkunstwerke … out-Wagnering Wagner … but why not do both at the same time, since you seem to have no problem producing “bricks” and “infinitesimals” at the same time?

Of course, if you do create a rice sized piece, then next thing you know you’ll need to get one of those things that can engrave atomic particles … but I suppose there’s plenty of room for a nuclear lab up on top of your mountain …

In any case, you can see what your novel has done to me, at least formally speaking. I’m not yet ready to address the bildungsroman embedded within, the love story, the time travel “fantasy” (which may not be a fantasy), etc.

I would be envious of your talents and charms and chutzpah if I didn’t like you so much. Instead, I’m just happy for you!


PS, please congratulate the artist/publisher for me next time you get a chance. The presentation is perfect. [INSERT, CONGRATULATIONS AMANDA!]

PPS. It occurs to me that you live with Achilles. So writing in the epic tradition should be easy. “”Sing, O goddess, the wagging tail of Achilles” or somesuch. Isn’t that how these things begin?

PPPS. Of course the usual English translation where I put the wagging tail is wrath. I was thinking after I wrote that "I sing the woof of Achilles" is much better ... right sound, right metrics, etc. And then he goes ahead and say woof!

PPPPS. Do you have Lee Harwood's Collected Poems? There's a piece in there he wrote with Ric Caddel called Wine Tales: un roman devin, and, no shit, it takes place in part in a chateau. It's about 15 pp of prose, so your novel is shorter, but ... uncanny, eh?

PPPPPS. idea of the bottle with the gelcap in it is stolen from my son’s girlfriend Rebekah May, who’s an artist currently getting her MFA at CCA. A few months ago she made something for me, which I keep by the side of the bed. My dazzling brilliance was to turn her piece into a series, a la Kiki Smith), to turn the gelcap clear, to include the grain of rice, and to see it as epic. But you should know about Becky. // Much of her work since he problems began revolves around embodiment, pain, etc., kinda like Frida Kahlo’s. // ...and I know Becky’s a fan of Damien Hirst, and Hirst’s been working with (depicting, that is, not to taking, at least not that I know of) pharmaceuticals for a while now. I’ve been to a show of that stuff with her.

John, in case you can't tell, is what I want to be: a librarian! Thanks for the gratuitous advice, John! It's an honor of course when my work elicits such names as Kiki Smith's.

As for that 17th century reference, well, it's because the Chatelaine's wine cellar door is a BIG IRON DOOR from a 17th century Loire Valley chateaux, complete with matching 17th century key. Well, yes, this of course relates to authenticity, to wit:
I may write fiction, but I never lie.

Would you expect anything less from Moi....?



Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


NOT A MUSE is out from Haven Books, and is scheduled for a March 8, 2009 Book Launch event to coincide with both International Women's Day and the opening of the Man Hong Kong International Literary Festival. Nifty, since the anthology includes some poems from NOTA BENE EISWEIN !

Publisher describes the anthology as containing "100 sensational contributors" (quote marks are the publisher's but who is Moi to disagree-grin) from 24 countries. I guess this means I have something else in common with Erica Jong besides Barnard College. Event flyer notes "other poets include Margaret Atwood * Lorna Crozier * Shirley Lim * Elizabeth Harvor * Sharon Olds * Luisa A. Igloria * Michelle Cahill * Nitoo Das * Dr. Rati Saxena * Sridala Swami * Agnes Lam * Tammy Ho * Prasana Kumari * Eileen Tabios * Pascale Petit * and more..."

Okay, I won't actually be in Hong Kong but to know Moi is to know that a Book can represent her. ORDERS may be placed online at

Labels: ,


Cogitating pleasurably here on which poetry press I should next tap with my wand to receive the next Galatea Resurrects Publisher Prize! Purrrrrrrr.

Sigh. So many deserving poetry publishers, so little...resources....The inaugural recipients were Otolith Books (Ed. Mark Young) and No Tell Books (Ed. Reb Livingston). Which poetry publisher(s) shall be next?!!

....but do also, please, consider this a reminder to look at Galatea's available review copy list to see if any might tickle out a review or engagement or two. Got some great stuff recently; CHECK 'EM OUT!



So, John Olson, who's written many fabulous books including BACKSCATTER, a Selected you should check out (though ECHO REGIME remains my personal favorite and I recommend it, too), read The Hay(na)ku Anthology, Vol. II and had this to say!!!!!
The hay(na)ku is fun to read and fun to write. I like beginning with one word. It puts everything into focus almost immediately. It's an extreme condensation that feels more natural in English (or Tagalog or French) than as an imitation of the Japanese model, if that makes sense. It's hard to write haiku without wind chimes and seasonal changes. The tradition is so infused with those things. It's nice having a new form that accomplishes the same goals but more directness, more dexterity.

is bread
making so loud?

book on
fire with flax

Roberta is making bread. Her bread making gizmo is very noisy.


That's kewl, bread and all! "Roberta" here is the equally fine poet Roberta Olson whose poems also provide delicious bread for the eyes!


Tuesday, January 27, 2009


when Achilles was still a puppy and being trained by ultra-Zen Artemis on how to live with cats:

Labels: ,


Well now. So, as a novel, I apparently extend the "Theory of the Novel", to wit:
I was gladly surprised to discover [NOVEL CHATELAINE] not only a novel, but a graphic novel. In a way it's also a kind of paper-based hyper-novel, because it very cleverly questions the boundaries between codex-based literature (to use a term I have been repeating throughout a thing I've been writing), digital information, poetry, visual art, performance art and narrative.

Thanks Ernesto. Illustrations in NOVEL CHATELAINE courtesy of the big-ly charming Amanda Laughtland! And I'ma tellin' ya, Peeps: FREE NOVEL OFFER HERE. So far, NOVEL CHATELAINE has winged its way to seven countries [UPDATE: eight countries!]....thanks for the interest!



Monday, January 26, 2009


The new Octopus Magazine is out and I am pleasantly surprised to see Katie Trostel review my book Menage a Trois With the 21st Century.

I am more-than-usual sentimentally fond of this book because -- and I don't know if many people know this -- Menage a Trois...was the first print incarnation of a poetry publication put out by genius-poet-publisher Jukka-Pekka Kervinen viz xPress(ed). Prior to this book, Jukka already was known as a poet's publisher but through e-publishing. Now, the cognoscenti of course knows of his prowess through Blue Lion Books, arrum press, and other publishers I can't immediately name off the top of my multi-tasking head but are out there.

Anyway, thanks to Katie for her review, which begins:
In Menage a Trois with the 21st Century, Eileen Tabios' poetry literally seduces: "You gladly shall fall for another poem I shall lick against your skin. Within its text shall be the occasional word necessarily bitten into the most tender parts of your flesh" (31). While the project aims to capture the inherent "instantaneousness" of the information-filled world of the 21st century, it also highlights absence: the lack of physical intimacy between increasingly isolated bodies. Entire Review HERE.

Thanks again to Jukka for publishing the book in 2004 -- Honey, a review five years after the book was released? Moithinks the book's got legs!

And Salamat as well to Bruce Covey for coconuts, poetry and more.

Labels: ,

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Are you listening to me yet? No? Okay. What about if I tell you about the way Nick Carbo and I transmuted shit into gold? Which is to say, QUARRTSILUNI's Special Issue on Collaborations now features an excerpt from a collaboration Nick and I began in 2005 involving sculptures transforming themselves into poems. It began with a found toilet regulator and ended with a couple of moi brassieres.

Intrigued? THEN GO HERE. YOU WILL HEAR MOI VOICE!!! Moi voice (scroll down to MP3 reading)?! I might even exist!

THANKS of course to Beth Adams and Dave Bonta, Managing Editors of qarrtsiluni, for the invitation...and then a most welcoming space.

Labels: , ,


I not only Relish...but, folks, I give you things to Relish, to wit these reminders:
NOTA BENE EISWEIN by Moi--Special Release Offer

NOVEL CHATELAINE by Moi -- My First Novel (grin)



And now, here's my update to my ongoing Relished W(h)ine List -- do check out the two books I blurb and which I exhort you to anticipate! And apologies, sigh, for my Gardening List...

six clumps of bok choy

two (skinny) clumps of purple kale

one clump of Red Velvet lettuce

two clumps of either lettuce or kale (Mom sautees these "winter greens" in oyster sauce so it doesn't seem to matter that I can't identify them)

54 Meyer lemons

GUARDIANES DEL SECRETO / GUARDIANS OF THE SECRET, poems by Lila Zemborain, trans. by Rosa Alcala. In manuscript form and forthcoming from Noemi Press; here's moi (unedited) blurb:
Lila Zemborain's power subverts paper: her words turn pages into films of blurred or incomplete images. The references are specific (geezus: even "Danielle Steele"!), but what is happening remains stubbornly a question, defying the definitive answer except for what a reader is moved to speculate. The technique of reader involvement is not unique, but what's special about these poems is how they seduce you into wanting to connect with them, in part by opening up to allow the entry of some sort of fever. For it's within such a heightened space where focus begins and the relationship between reader and words can unfold. If lucidity is not possible without the inner gaze (e.g. "an ancestral space"), what Zemborain reminds is that intimacy is a prerequisite, in the way -- to paraphrase her -- a partly blind person can glean what is being seen by way of touch. There indeed are secrets within this book -- but their discovery requires more than reading. The reader must allow the secrets to "enter[...] another way" than "through the eyes." If you are lucky, you will read these poems and discover something about how you were made, as well as possibilities of what you may become. These poems' secrets are within you.

QUATERNITY, poetry-collaboration by Scott Glassman and Sheila Murphy. In manuscript form and forthcoming from Otoliths; here's moi (unedited) blurb:
In Quaternity, Scott E. Glassman and Sheila Murphy ask, "...and what divination will rhetorize the oppositorum / attract the needed nightshade / counter pull assume high produce / to be revered osteo"? Do you understand the question? Whether you reply Yes or No, the point is that the excerpt can be understood to be a question. How? Through the push and pull of its music. Quaternity asks the reader to trust in words -- the word itself and not what it supposedly signifies. For the word itself can be a musical note and it can suffice (more than suffice!) that certain combinations sing. The dictionary bows to Glassman and Murphy's seductive diction: "No curve to infinity can mimic bells."



THAT TINY INSANE VOLUPTUOUSNESS, poems by Elisa Gabbert and Kathleen Rooney

THE AMPUTEE'S GUIDE TO SEX, poems by Jillian Weise

SMUDGING, poems by Diane Wakoski

THE BUTCHER'S APRON, poems by Diane Wakoski

CORPORATE GEESE, poems by Christopher William Purdom

TO AFTER THAT (TOAF), explorations by Renee Gladman

NEWCOMER CAN'T SWIM, "textual world" by Renee Gladman

FAT CHILDREN RUINED MY LIFE, art monograph by Stella Lai


DAY OF THE DEAD, novel by J.A. Jance

LONG TIME GONE, novel by J.A. Jance

BREACH OF DUTY, novel by J.A. Jance

THE DEBT COLLECTOR, novel by Lynn Hightower

DEAD AIM, novel by Iris Johansen

THE BABY GAME, novel by Randall Hicks

2001 Behrens & Hitchcock petite sirah Spring Mountain Road NV
2004 Dutch Henry chardonnay
200_ Dutch Henry pinot noir
1989 Val Sotillo Ribera del Duero Gran Reserva
2005 Aubert Sonoma chardonnay
Bollinger NV Champagne
1990 Chateauneuf des Papes Bousquet de Papes
1978 Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill
1990 Dominus
1990 Raymond Lafon

Labels: , ,

Saturday, January 24, 2009


The Eric Gamalinda is blogging! RIGHT HERE!

Go read the living poet who's my first bet for having his poems survive forever through the centuries and beyond....!


Friday, January 23, 2009


Okay. Back to our regularly-scheduled programming of Poetry..., says this novelist (grin):


Poetry by Eileen R. Tabios
Release Date: 2009
ISBN: 978-0-9808873-9-6
Price: U.S. $16.00
Distributor (forthcoming): Small Press Distribution
For more info:

Ahadada Books (Toronto & Tokyo) is pleased to announce the release of Eileen R. Tabios' 16th print poetry collection, NOTA BENE EISWEIN. In this book, Tabios applies the methodology of making "eiswein," a German sweet wine, for extracting poems from her readings of Christian Hawkey's poetry collection The Book of Funnels and Sarah Bird's novel The Flamenco Academy.

NOTA BENE EISWEIN extends Tabios' body of work that is unique for melding ekphrasis with transcolonialism. Just as she is inspired by other art forms for creating poetry, her poems have been translated into other art media -- Paintings, Video, Drawings, Visual Poetry, Mixed Media Collages, Kali Martial Arts, Modern Dance and Sculpture -- in addition to languages such as Spanish, Italian, Tagalog, Japanese, and Portuguese. Tabios blogs as the "Chatelaine" at and edits GALATEA RESURRECTS, a popular poetry review journal.

To celebrate the release of NOTA BENE EISWEIN, Ahadada Books is pleased to announce a SPECIAL RELEASE OFFER. For orders received through February 28, 2009, the book will be available at a 25% discount for $12.00. There will be free shipping as well to U.S. residents. Eileen will be processing U.S.-based orders (which means you can get a signed copy!), so you can order by sending a check made out to "Eileen Tabios" to

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

If non-U.S. residents are interested in this offer, please contact Ahadada Books through

If non-U.S. residents wish a signed copy, you can email Eileen at to confirm logistics of international shipment.

Labels: ,

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Hah! Wasn't expecting it but I'm DELIGHTED over the first review of MY NOVEL (grin) entitled NOVEL CHATELAINE. 'Tis by Poet-professor Leny Strobel over HERE. It begins (and Moi preeeeens):
Novel Chatelaine is not harmless.

Then it ends
There is a lesson here for me.
The time for being harmless is over.
No more timidity.
No more excuses.

Thank you Leny. Glad to see MY NOVEL's impact!

And, speaking of genre-subversion, now that someone's reviewed MY NOVEL, I do believe that this could be the first time where a review of a novel would be LONGER than the novel itself.

Yep. That's gotta be another first!

Preeeen....then Purrrrrr.

Labels: , ,


Hi there. This is Eileen R. Tabios, NOVELIST.

So far, my first novel (grin), NOVEL CHATELAINE, has been mailed out to five countries [Update: nine countries! Yay!]. A second mailing goes out today.

It's not too late for you. DETAILS FOR FREE NOVEL HERE.

One peep has queried whether I meant "novella" because my novel is small enough to lie prettily against an open palm. No, this ain't no novella. This is a full-pledged novel. I didn't plan it this way, but I don't mind saying: I do love the idea of making THICK BRICK poetry books and teeeeeeeeny novels!

This has been a Genre-Subverting Public Service Announcement.

You're welcome.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


The first mailing of NOVEL CHATELAINE goes out today.

Oh blessed blessed JOY!

Please indulge me as I want to see this in writing given that it took over a decade of effort to get here:


My novel -- indulge me as I repeat that: My NOVEL... -- is also enchanting. The book fits and lays prettily against one's open palm...oh that open hand!


Labels: ,

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


During the past 2 years, I saw a poem campaign: just as a reader reads significance/meaning into a poem, people projected themselves (their hopes) onto Obama.

I love that Ted Berrigan quote of a poem being a poet's best self. It's refreshing to have a President demanding the best in ourselves.

In moi household awake at 5 a.m. to begin watching T.V. coverage of the Inauguration, seems an apt time to recyle a poem written on January 3, 2008:

am a
black man named

‘Barack Obama’ and
running for

The more difficult part is after the poem is engaged by its audience. The poem is a threshold into an experience that might not have occurred without its existence, and then its audience. "Obama, The Poem" will not just depend on the President but on the country's citizens.

It will be fascinating (and no doubt something else/more) to witness -- and be part -- of this unfolding poetry experience...

Labels: ,

Monday, January 19, 2009


That's the title of a new performance project that I was going to begin this week.

But I killed it.

Because I didn't feel like freaking out certain folks...

Labels: , ,

Saturday, January 17, 2009


which is to say, the list below presents my latest purchases of poetry pubs. Before perusing said list, go HERE to listen to Reb Livingston express what I also have noticed about poetry publishing of late.

Okay, I recently bought:
GRAVITY & GRACE by Ernesto Priego (Otoliths)

FACINGS and WHAT'S THE MATTER, both by Jordan Stempleman (both published by Otoliths)

THE MYTH OF SIMPLE MACHINES by Laurel Snyder (No Tell Books)

THE BEDSIDE GUIDE TO NO TELL MOTEL SECOND FLOOR, Eds. Reb Livingston and Molly Arden (No Tell Books)

THE GODS WE WORSHIP LIVE NEXT DOOR by Bino A. Realuyo (University of Utah Press)

Six books, five of which I purchased for other people. That it's a short list and that I purchased the majority for others attests to what are currently eight tall stacks of poetry books still waiting to be read. Then there's the stacks of non-poetry books waiting to be read littered about the house....

Meanwhile, not bought but acquired recently as they were being deaccessioned by moi local public library:
THE HAWKLINE MONSTER: A GOTHIC WESTERN by Richard Brautigan (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1974)

NAKED LUNCH by William Burroughs: the restored text, eds. James Grauerholz and Barry Miles (Grove Press, New York, 1959)

Delighted as I am to get my own copy of Hawkline (which I'd read in the same Presidio library in San Francisco once patronized by Brautigan and which had helped inspired the hay(na)ku), why are these two books being deaccessioned?

Yeah, we know why....

Labels: ,

Friday, January 16, 2009



And I'm grateful that my first novel has a production and distribution structure that creates its own performance art: not only do they manifest the DIY ethos (I first typed "ethics") superbly practiced by moi novel's publisher, but what I appreciate about poetry itself: that, as Meena Alexander once told me (in my Black Lightning interview), "Poetry is an intimate art."

So, my novel is distributed gratis to whoever wishes one. But, each produced novel is also a unique edition. Amanda Laughtland, using colored pencils and rubber-stamped art, turns each copy of my novel into a unique artwork. Both of these factors, of course, entirely diss the capitalist mode of commodity-oriented publishing that's turned publishers away from any responsibility beyond publishing what they believe can be commercially viable.

P.S. I don't know why I bother to reference something here like capitalism ... for the point here is Joy. Joy-making at work. To experience Joy in what we do as artists can be a good disciplinary tool for focusing on what's worth our focus. What I've experienced (for myself and in witnessing poets/artists I admire) is that those with the capacity for much joy become most effective in what they do -- including when it comes to addressing the injustices ever present in the world.

Labels: ,

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Okay, nuff about Moi for the moment. Instead, let me speak to other peeps' books.

This week, there occurred two firsts for Galatea Resurrects. One will be the first non-English review to be posted in the next issue. I love this for many reasons, including how it reflects GR's constituency: the world as presented by the internet which is global. So GR should certainly carry other languages besides English.

The other first -- I wrote a review, without intending to do so, of a book that I read weeks and weeks earlier; said book apparently stuck in moi mental craw such that I wrote a first draft-last draft review of it without needing to open the book again (until I decided to add a part two that would include quoted excerpts). Now, how many books have you read that has that kind of power? This is a first-time effect for me so, Kudos to the generative power of
plagiarism / outsource by Tan Lin

Well, maybe there are other poetry publications that can affect you like Tan's did to me! Check out these possibilities HERE which would welcome your engagement!



I read somewhere that if you can combine two opposing emotions in a person [be it for a play, a poem or fiction], it becomes more real. That conflict, I suppose, that everyone can relate to.
--Ivy Alvarez on
Behind the Blue Canvas

Ivy is writing a love letter (or love letters) to my only published short story collection, Behind the Blue Canvas (2004).

I rarely discuss this book -- I'd written it as an homage to Dominique Aury; from the Acknowledgements. "[Aury's] lover Jean Paulhan had made the chauvinistic remark that no female was capable of writing an erotic novel. To prove him wrong, she wrote the graphic Histoire d'O (The Story of O) under the pseudonym 'Pauline Reage.' For the longest time, no one suspected that a woman--let alone the demure, intellectual and almost prudish Dominique Aury--authored the book."

Hence, I admire Ms. Aury. But, though Moi loves to blather I wasn't really comfortable promoting the book which partly explores dominant/submissive sex. After some initial P.R. (which I did for my publisher), I sorta let the book slip out of public attention (is that why its Amazon ranking exceeds 6 million?).

But Ivy's post made me pick up the book again after years of ignoring it. Reading through some of the stories now, I can still sense my conflict to the subject matter. I guess, I never did totally submit (which I consider a flaw in my attempt) to its subject matter which required me to take on the personas of submissive. (Jean Vengua's generous Introduction also reveals conflictedness; her first sentence is "My immediate reaction to the 'aesthetic affairs' in this book is both attraction and repulsion." Grin.)

With hindsight (as I read through this book now), I'm most taken by how gently I addressed the topic...

Eh, it's all hokum, this definitive categorization of "dominant" and "submissive." After all, one also can "top from the bottom."

But it's all poetry's fault: if one is delving into poetry, including the 20th century concerns on the "I", it's worth noting what a Senor Baumeister once said, "masochism is a set of techniques for helping people temporarily lose their normal identity." (There could be an interesting side topic here of poets taking (or not) risks a la Frank O'Hara allowing himself to be painted buck-nekkid...)

Okay, I'll stop this post now...which is what happens when I write before finishing the day's first cuppa coffee.

UPDATE AFTER COFFEE: I almost regret posting this originally because it's so sloppy. E.g.: "masochism" is not the same thing, but of course, as "submission"...

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I have written thousands and thousands of pages attempting the novel. I have spent years now attempting the novel. Except for the rain forests that I've decimated (sorry sorry sorry to Nature!), it's not a wasted effort as one improves with practice, and also because I've been able to recycle some of the better chapters (within failed novels) into short stories. But, still, I've spent years failing at the form of novel....until now!

So it is with much purring that I announce my first successful novel entitled, what else

It is being published by the illustrious and, more significantly, very charming Teeny Tiny Publications published by Amanda Laughtland.

Isn't it ironic that, when it comes to poetry, I blather forth BRICKS and BRICKS. But when it comes to the novel, I can only muster successfully a most tiny text (moithinks the Poetry Muse is very jealous and wishes, really, to retain most if not all of moi attention). NOVEL CHATELAINE contains seven small chapters. In fact, I'm happy to share the first chapter:
Chapter I

It began with the recollection of a blue silk pocket.

From which an iron key fell.

Which made her purr, "Well hello you 17th Century…!"

Doesn't that first chapter make you want to read more? It does?! Well, HERE'S THE KEY, I MEAN, MY GIFT! If you wish a copy of my novel, just email me ( your snailmail address and I will send one to you for FREE!

I'ma telling you! If you keep sniffing for moi perfume and reading this blog, you will get ... bonuses!


NOVEL CHATELAINE is part of a larger manuscript:

I know: I simply can't stop writing. The irony is that I don't now seek to write. I deliberately seek to do other things but the poems and stories just keep kidnapping me from days when, say, I can be learning gardening. Tsk: talk about living life slant! Deep -- very deeeeeeep -- within me lies an absolutely brilliant gardener. I just know it, y'all. I just know it....and she beats on her chest as she continues to maintain ... Faith.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


OH YES. My new book Nota Bene Eiswein (Ahadada Books, Tokyo & Toronto, 2009) is soon to arrive. Unlike other recent books (e.g. HERE and HERE), Nota Bene Eiswein is a purely a collection of verse.

Nota Bene Eiswein also continues my goal to be published by every single indie poetry press out there; if you want to have goals as a poet, it'd be ridiculous not to be ambitious, di ba? Ahadada is a first-time book publisher for Moi, and am delighted to be in its fine company.

I also just heard that I'm about to receive copies of my first published novel, NOVEL CHATELAINE. But that's a story for another day...

I will share that when I wish my cup to runneth over, I fill it with wine. To be a prolific poet mayhaps requires permanently being in some sort of delirium. Not that you Peeps can tell that about Moi, of course, since my posts are usually sober, right?

Sip. Tonight, more of the '96 Greenock from lovely Australia...

Labels: , ,


This morning, had the TV on to catch some of Hilary Clinton's speech as Senate hearings began on her Secretary of State appointment. Was intrigued by her mention that Obama's mother, S. Ann Soetoro, was a pioneer in microfinance in Indonesia.

I've been blessed as a poet -- which is why I could easily give up writing poems today for something else. Occasionally, I think about what that something else could be ... Note, btw, that I'm talking giving up *writing poems* vs giving up *poetry*. Anyway, one of the few careers I'd love to take up is to work in microfinance....I think that's partly how I came up with the Tiny Books series as a fundraiser for Heifer. Coz Heifer's impact is similar to how microfinance, for a relatively small sum, can make a huge empowering difference to impoverished people.

Poetry is not speech. Poetry is action.

Poems mostly don't interest me for their language -- mostly, they interest me for their effect.

It's an interest that paradoxically clashes with the inherent narcissism of making art -- fortunately, poetry also teaches about balancing matter and anti-matter to engender blossoms instead of annihilation....I dispute the notion that creation must always require destruction (sometimes, but not always).

This Poetics Du Jour message presented didactically but lovingly as a public service announcement.

Labels: , ,

Monday, January 12, 2009


Been living through some simply gorgeous -- gaw-geous! -- days here in Napa Valley. But I haven't been seeing the beauty so much as its costs. Poor California -- third year into your drought...and a wing-tip pokes down from the sunlit sapphire sky to pat pat the state of California.

This morning, woke to hot winds scarfing the trees. As I write this, I hear the kitchen windows bang themselves ajar. It's early January but the day is expected to get into the '70s, temperature-wise. Overhead, the clouds are radioactive pink. I might typically find them lovely. Instead, I see an impending scorching summer, the land shriveling and animals panting....

Beauty costs.

Relatedly, last night, Mickey Rourke got the Golden Globe. He-e-elllll Yeah, Baby. Too, a distinct beauty in his ravaged landscape. This brings me back to Poetry: I much prefer the Mickey Rourkes to the Tom Cruises in Poetry -- guess who represents the majority?

Labels: , ,

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Susan Schultz is blogging! And this is interesting (click on excerpt for whole post):
"I would argue that poetry needs to be read in quantity, ..."

Scale takes no short-cuts when it comes to expanse...Go, volume!

Well, that's poetry. The real big news at Galatea is that -- whew!!!! -- I finally can add something to my Winter Garden list besides the 54 Meyer lemons I snatched before winter frost blew onto Napa Valley. But, yes, you can tell by my list that my Winter Garden threatens to be as, if not more, embarassing than my Summer/Spring Garden results. Gardening -- it's as difficult as Poetry.

Here's me whining forth the latest Relished W(h)ine List:

three clumps of bok choy

two (skinny) clumps of purple kale

one clump of Red Velvet lettuce (or, I think that's the vegetable's name. Most veggies are aliens to Moi if they don't come frozen or packaged...)

54 Meyer lemons

HOUSECAT KUNG FU: STRANGE POEMS FOR WILD CHILDREN (in manuscript form) by Geoffrey Gatza and forthcoming this Spring 2009 from Meritage Press!

CHIMES (in manuscript form) by Adam Fieled and forthcoming in April 2009 from BlazeVox Books -- here's Moi (unedited) blurb:
At times so painful and lovely and fragile that Chimes made my mind's eyes weep. My body's eyes, however, refused to cry as they did not want to stop reading--Chimes paradoxically is a page-turner even as the words compel you to linger on each page. Chimes is one of the most moving autobiographies I've read--actually, language's beauty makes it irrelevant whether this is fiction or non-fiction; its authenticity is felt to be true. It is language dreaming of song and so it sings until the most tone-deaf reader can, through dream and a most gentle delirium, inhabit its world. For the reader, too, Chimes thus is "not an is but [a] being." Adam Fieled accomplishes what The Catcher in the Rye did for him and that he wished to replicate: that by "words demonstrat[ing]...potential for continuity," he "give[s] people back themselves." Quite logically, the book's ending is a beginning: the being as forever a continuance. That is, " excitement and a way of still existing.")

DESTROYED WORKS, poems by Philip Lamantia (burnt moi into holy territory!)

SWARM OF EDGES, poems by John Olson

HOLIDAY CARD POEM -- "Vierzehnten Dezember" -- by Mark Lamoreaux (thank you!)

HOLIDAY CARD POEM --"Upon the Year 2009" -- by Sheila Murphy (thank you!)

GRAVITY & GRACE, poems by Ernesto Priego (deceptively (i.e. seemingly effortlessly) ambitious -- and a truly lovely long-poem)

NARROW ROAD TO THE INTERIOR, haibun by Matsuo Basho & Translated by Sam Hamill

FROM CHANSONNIERS, poems by Patrick Dunagan

GOD'S SILENCE, poems by Franz Wright

CADAVER DOGS, poems by Rebeca Loudon (a most welcome tumult)

SONNETS FROM A GARDENER AND OTHER POEMS by Abelardo Subido (I read this book as well as that of Tarrosa Subido's below; this couple supposedly is the "Filipino Brownings". So.....dare I say this? Of course I dare: To wit -- I prefer Abelardo's poems to Tarrosa's. I'm not saying one is better than the other. I'm saying, I prefer Abelardo's poems to Tarrosa's....moithinks Abelardo, poetically, took more risks)


SORRY TREE, poems by Eileen Myles

THE ALPS, poems by Brandon Shimoda




A WOMAN NAMED SOLITUDE, novel by Andre Schwartz-Bart

EXTREME MEASURES, novel by Vince Flynn

PARTNER IN CRIME, novel by J.A. Jance

UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY, novel by J.A. Jance

INJUSTICE FOR ALL, novel by J.A. Jance

TRIAL BY FURY, novel by J.A. Jance

DYING TO PLEASE, novel by Linda Howard

ALL THE KING'S MEN, novel by Linda Howard

KISS ME WHILE I SLEEP, novel by Linda Howard

CRY NO MORE, novel by Linda Howard

OPEN SEASON, novel by Linda Howard

CROSS COUNTRY, novel by James Patterson (well, I still finished it but I gotta say, this guy's deteriorated: this latest from him is the most facile novel I've seen from him ... it seems like an outline for a novel vs a novel)

A CEDAR COVE CHRISTMAS, novel by Debbie Macomber (popcorn)

2001 Blankiet Estate Paradise Hills Vineyard Merlot NV
1975 Lafite (Xmas wine)
1999 Torbreck "Descendant" Barossa Valley
1996 Greenock Creek cabernet Barossa Valley
1991 Ravenswood Zinfandel "Old Hill Vineyard Sonoma Valley
2005 JJ Prum Wehlenuhr Sonnnenuhr Riesling Spatlese
1996 Colgin Herb Lamb
1993 Abreu Madrona Ranch
1994 Nackenheimer Rothnberg Riesling Beerenauslese
 1990 Prunotto Barolo
2005 Fess Parker Syrah Santa Barbara
1998 Ornellaia
1988 Sassetti Brunello
1988 Coutet

Labels: , ,


Had a moment replete with sniffles when a Peep emailed to note how The Blind Chatelaine's Keys resonated as regards parenthood and community (that one's work is indebted to, but also part of, others). The Blindness is a type of project that would not surprise me if it left many blind (I always thought it bore the risk of becoming my most misunderstood project). And so I'm very grateful that someone gets it. Very grateful.


Thursday, January 08, 2009


Woooot! Meritage Press certainly begins 2009 with a bang! To wit:


Housecat Kung Fu: Strange Poems For Wild Children

By Geoffrey Gatza
Release Date: 2009
ISBN: 978-0-9794119-6-0
Price: U.S. $16.00
For more info: and

Geoffrey Gatza's poetry for children has been one of the greatest secrets in contemporary poetry.  Meritage Press is delighted to share this secret by releasing Gatza's inaugural book of poetry for children (of all ages): Housecat Kung Fu

To celebrate Gatza's historic release, Meritage Press is pleased to announce a RELEASE SPECIAL. For orders received through February 28, 2009, the book will be available at a 25% discount for $12.00. There will be free shipping as well to U.S. residents (if you are based outside of the U.S., please email for the logistics). You can order by sending a check made out to "Meritage Press" to

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

Gatza is the author of seven other books of poetry; his Not So Fast Robespierre and Kenmore: Poem Unlimited are available from Menendez Publishing.  He is also the editor and publisher of BlazeVOX [books].  Gatza lives in Kenmore, New York.  More information about him is available at and

Meritage Press is pleased to share an excerpt from one of the many delightful poems in Housecat Kung Fu -- this is from "Lorikeet Landing":

Last Wednesday I overheard
a rainbow colored bird say
wouldn't you bring to me

a listening booth
and a swimming tree

a comfy ocean chair
and some sand from Waikiki

a wisdom tooth
and a cup of crystal tea

a mystical flying mare
and a large screen TV

or maybe a common pea
and a castle floating in air...

Labels: ,


if judged by a list of NON POETRY BLOGS & SITES that I read on a regular basis (not to say these sites are boring but that I'm boring for reading so narrowly):

Jenifer Wofford's Blog (visual artist)

The New York Times

The Wall Street Journal

The Wealth Report (often gets hilarious or bathetic due to its lack of irony)

How I Spent My Stimulus Check

Tales of an Unemployed Dad

Seeking Alpha

AOL Money and Finance

Personal Finance at Wallet Pop

Various Peeps on Adoption Blog Central

I may have left off one or two, but it is a short list, and deliberately so. Said list's shortness reflects (1) how notwithstanding how fascinating the Chatelaine is, I'm really boring; and (2) I fight being sucked into too many internet tentacles (hence, I'm not on Facebook notwithstanding the humongous amount of Facebook invites I got just today because Bino loves Facebook and must have told many of y'all to invite me. I appreciate the invite....but it takes a lot for this luddite just to retain the information of how to turn a computer On and Off....) and I already read a lot of poetry sites and numerous one-off reads (this list is for regularly-visited sites).

Still. I find the list useful for realizing that boring Moi could broader her horizons. Okay, I guess this Broad shall broaden even more....or, mebbe not...


Wednesday, January 07, 2009


I usually do this every December but got so swamped I dropped the ball. So I'm belatedly but cheerfully doing this now by popular request -- after all, it's ever a Holiday! on Galatea's mountain:

Dear Filipino Poets Worldwide:

You are invited to submit to a fun poetry contest. No submission fees. E-mail submissions. Details below:

Sponsor: Meritage Press
Judge: Bino A. Realuyo
Deadline: February 15, 2009

Bino A. Realuyo is the author of the poetry collection, THE GODS WE WORSHIP LIVE NEXT DOOR, the Agha Shahid Ali Prize for poetry 2005 (University of Utah Press 2006 and Anvil Press, Philippines 2008).   Prior to publication, his poetry appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Literary Review, Puerto del Sol, New Letters, Manoa, and The Nation.  He received Poetry Society of America's Lucille Medwick Memorial Award and a Van Lier Fellowship in poetry.  He is working on a second poetry collection titled, ON WHICH THE SUMMER LEANS, about the experiences of his father as a survivor of the Death March and a Japanese Concentration camp during World War 2 in the Philippines.  He is currently pursuing graduate studies in education and technology and is a fellow in social entrepreneurship at Harvard University.  He is also an accidental fictionist and suffers from a multiple literary personality/genre syndrome.  He loves facebook.

All poets are encouraged to submit by e-mailing 1 or 2 poems to (Send no more than 2 poems). Please present poems within the body of the email as we do not open attachments.) Please include your full name along with your e-mail address. However, the poems will be sent without your names to judge Bino A. Realuyo, thereby allowing the poems to be read on their own merit. All poets are welcome to submit - it doesn't matter whether you're established or emerging as the work is read on its own merit.

MORE INFORMATION about the contest is available HERE.

2007: Naya S. Valdellon & Marcel L. MiIliam (Judge: Eric Gamalinda)
2006: Joel M. Toledo (Judge: Michelle Bautista)
2005: Arkaye Velasquez Kierulf (Judge: Jean Vengua)
2004: Joel H. Vega (Judge: Sarah Gambito)
2003: Luisa A. Igloria (Judge: Patrick Rosal)
2002: Naya S. Valdellon & Michella Rivera-Gravage (Judge: Oliver de la Paz)
2001: Carlomar Arcangel Daoana (Judge: Nick Carbo)



While handwriting out the text in Jukka-Pekka Kervinen's Tiny Book, Randion screpts, I handwrite texts like
eakedide drightion.
noue. Visque Charry

mativerte oweember.
preous. hotoric. sacturia

Some might consider them nonsensical words. But what I discovered, in hand-writing them out and thus paying said texts a focused attention, is that these aren't nonsense. They are witty musical notes. And meant to be performed.

This is just one of many paradoxes that keep me ever-fascinated with Jukka's output -- how his machines can't avoid soul. Yo go, bro.

P.S. Jukka considers Randion screpts a hay(na)ku collection though the tercet word-count goes 2, 1, 3. It's all legitimate as the hay(na)ku wouldn't be what it is if it didn't inspire form-evolution; and Jill Jones, too, in her hay(na)ku Tiny Book Speak Which uses the same count.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Obododimma Oha and Anny Ballardini are pleased to announce the new Anthology on the Poets' Corner:

While the He/art Pants: Poetic Responses to the 2008 American Elections. We wish to thank all the contributors who have made it possible, and invite you to read and spread the good news.

Here's an excerpt from Co-Editor Obododimma Oha's Editorial (click on excerpt for whole thing):
the 2008 presidential election was unique because it was the first time in the history of the United States that a person of Black/African descent was contesting for the leadership of the country (which, given the global position of the US, amounted to being the major leader in the world). As the election campaigns advanced and filled, not just the country, but the whole world with a strange sense of urgency, a significant dose of creative responses also came from artists both within the US and the outside. It was as if the US elections called for a different form of imagination, a startling form of expression, a new critical energy, which the global literary community must provide to prepare our minds to watch the whole performance. It was obvious that poets (taken in a broad sense) were ready to challenge Plato’s view that poetry which does not work in tandem with the ideals of his imagined republic, be censored and poets with narratives that critique the gods be banished. No, they seemed to have a different idea of “the republic,” and, also contrary to W.H. Auden’s assertion in his poem “In Memory of W.B. Yeats” that “…poetry makes nothing happen,” were anxious to show that, as far as that republic is not just a place but also an idea, in fact, a condition of mind, they could engage discourse in ways that invite the population back to the free marketplace of ideas. Grace Cavalieri, writing in an impressive epistolary style in this anthology, puts it wittily in her advice to the world out there: “You may be selling the bottles, but the poets own the water.”

And here's an excerpt from Co-Editor Anny Ballardini's Editorial (click on excerpt for whole thing):
It was out of his own political thought that Dante created one of History’s most impressive poetic masterpieces. Ezra Pound paid with Saint Elizabeth's for his political statements. Poetry on social, economic, and political matters. Anti-war poetry. Poetry for freedom and for justice. The Internet itself as a place where poetry can be shared, a Utopian oasis. And now poetry for the elections. For some of us all human activity is political. For others politics remains just one specific choice and quite unconnected with poetry, even if (as seems likely) politics is the very substrate of any art, inasmuch as any human behavior forms itself out of the substance of our language. I would like to mention Foucault's writings and the writings of Deleuze & Guattari. Though Nietzsche had already revealed the angle from which our own contemporary criticism should observe whenever we ask ourselves who are we? and of what substance are we made?

And the anthology's Contents/Participants:

· While the He/art Pants: (Poetic Responses to the 2008 American Elections)
· Editorial: Obododimma Oha
· Editorial: Anny Ballardini
· Edward Mycue · Jared Schickling · Bill Morgan · John M. Bennett · Conrad Reeder · Tom McBride · Gerald Schwartz · Farideh Hassanzadeh-Mostafavi · Russ Golata · Evelyn Posamentier · Gina Sangster Hayman · Matt Johnson · Susan Bright · Daniel Zimmerman · Fan Ogilvie · Henry Gould · Carol Novack · Joseph Duemer · Peter Ciccariello · Spencer Selby · Eugen Galasso · Grace Cavalieri · Amy King · Halvard Johnson · Raymond Bianchi · Lars Palm · George Spencer · Bob Grumman · Wendy Taylor Carlisle · Br. Tom Murphy · Annetta L. Gomez-Jefferson · Uzor Maxim Uzoatu · Jukka-Pekka Kervinen · David Howard · Obiwu · Afam Akeh · Jim Leftwich · Charles Martin · Luc Fierens · Eileen Tabios · Donna Pecore · Francesco Levato · Tony Trigilio · Terri Moore · Barbara Crooker · Vincent Francone · David-Baptiste Chirot · Julene Tripp Weaver · Daniela Gioseffi · Obododimma Oha · Judith Laura

Labels: ,

Monday, January 05, 2009


Because I'm special, I got a "Belated Christmas Present" -- and it's another poetry book from one of Moi 9 billion peeps! Yay! When I rant, Moi gets heard! I am in the middle of it now, absolutely relishing the vibrant energy coursing through the pages of my latest poetry book: Cadaver Dogs by Rebecca Loudon. (Rebecca also has a witty blog that's addictive reading....)

Hm. I should rant about not receiving enough snailmail address here...



Sunday, January 04, 2009


It occurs to Moi that one way to determine who would be a good occasion-poet would be to look at the work put out by those poets who create holiday poem-cards. Well, based on Moi 2008 Holiday Snailmail, I raise Sheila Murphy and Mark Lamoreaux to your attention. They're another reason for Moi to regret that, despite formidable lobbying, I wasn't eligible for the Presidency -- had I won, either Sheila and Mark or both would have read at Moi inauguration! So if, in the future, there's a desire for other inauguration-poets, keep these two in mind. Got that, ye future Presidents...and other occasion-makers?!


Friday, January 02, 2009


Were I younger by a year, by a mere six months even, I would begin and headline this post with something like: THE NEW YEAR IS ABOUT MOI. Instead, Moi thought she'd try to grow up and preeen less. But then -- and this is the truth -- how do I begin the first day of 2009? By seeing Moi as "Personal Favorite" (right next to Mother Teresa!) and then this generous review by Joey Madia over at New Mystics. Maybe I shouldn't fight it. Maybe this year is about MOI!

Sip. Morning coffee. Preen.

Okay, actually, it's interesting to see this review of a book I published seven years ago. Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole was my first U.S.-published book. Sold out its first printing in something like six months. To date, I've sold more of that book than ALL OF MY SUBSEQUENT BOOKS combined. Maybe you should check it out. Joey Madia thinks so:
In an age of electronic and "disposable art," where surfing the 'Net is akin to flipping endlessly through cable TV channels in search of reconnection in an atmosphere of isolation (calling to mind Robert Pirsig's line from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance that looking at nature through the car window is just more TV…), the meditative works in Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole defy the reader to simply skim and move on. The hooks are finely barbed and grab you in the deepest places ....ENTIRE REVIEW HERE

"Barbed" is a word I welcome for moi poems. Roses exist only with thorns.

Yah -- check it out why not? I'm cheap, I mean, moi book is cheap., one of only two companies whose revenues went up this holiday season, even has it available for an effin' penny. Quite obviously, Amazon ain't makin' its profits from poetry... Anyhooooo, let Moi not be diverted from Grace by meditating on the dollar sign, or its lack thereof. To wit:

Thank you, Joey Madia and New Mystics! And thank you Karen An-hwei Lee!

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, January 01, 2009


I'm wondering whether it's time to open an art gallery. Because, with the dire economic times, I probably can get a gallery space for a really good (cheap) rate. Well, it's a thought. I'd still have to address how to represent artists effectively -- because the existing gallery-based paradigms don't work for me. Thinking, thinking....

Here's a thought, a one-question survey for visual artists:
WHAT would you look for from a gallery representing you?

You can email answers to