Friday, June 03, 2011


Deep gratitude to Anselm Berrigan for asking me for poems for Brooklyn Rail, whose poetry section he edits. Anselm's solicitation had an exponentially huge impact in that, by soliciting, he encouraged me to finally start writing poems from 147 Million Orphans, a poetry manuscript which I'd conceptualized but not yet began manifesting through poems. The first poems then from 147 Million Orphans (title is after one of the estimates of the number of orphans worldwide) are published HERE in the June issue of Brooklyn Rail, one of my favorite online journals.

I notice I'm in good company with poems this issue by Jennifer Moxley and Brenda Coultas. THANK YOU, Anselm.

147 Million Orphans is in the form of a haybun, with each section's impetus a hay(na)ku formed from one of Michael's 8th grade projects: a vocabulary notebook from having to learn 25 new English words each week during the schoolyear. Here's a photo of the first page from Michael's now quite dog-eared 900-new-word vocabulary journal:

Yes, I'm a poet and thus know words are not mine...and that poems surround us and my job is simply to discern them into existence.

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