Monday, October 31, 2011


The Masked Michael loses his guapo-ness under his Watchman fedora!

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Sunday, October 30, 2011


So far, I've received 37 new reviews for the next issue of Galatea Resurrects. Whilst that would be more than sufficient for most literary journals or poetry-review journals, that's too pequeno for Maximalist Moi. Entonces, please hie on over to Galatea's Review Copy List, pick up a book or two, and provide a review or engagement! There have been a bounty of additions to the review copy list in the past couple of weeks! REVIEW DEADLINE: Nov. 15, 2011, but am likely to extend such...

I look forward to hearing from you at!


Saturday, October 29, 2011


History is subjective. History is written by victors. History can be a lie. All these are old topics. But none of these imply (recorded) History cannot be redressed.

And it is redressable (is that a word? Nevuh mind, Moi is a Poet...) by education. And it is important that what is learned are not falsehoods. As John Bloomberg-Rissman observes in his participation in the forthcoming POETS ON THE GREAT RECESSION blog,
"The lower the level of education, the more likely a voter is to take seriously racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-science, religiously fanatical, etc etc candidates."

All this is to say, one of the tourist attractions we visited recently was the Memorial to the U.S. Marines. Here's one aspect, the famous coverage of Iwo Jima:

Now, notice the inscriptions beneath the statue. The words refer to all the wars in which Marines have participated. See the reference to the U.S.-Philippine War. They call it the "Philippine Insurrection."

No. Americans: please learn your history. The U.S.-Philippine War was not an "insurrection", which would imply that the Filipinos rebelled against the Americans. The more acccurate term would be "Invasion"--that is, invasion by the United States over the Philippines. That's right, the Philippines already had declared its independence against its prior colonial master Spain. Not only did the Philippines declare its independence, after 300-plus years of colonialism the Filipinos actually had defeated -- that's DEFEATED -- Spain. So it earned its Declaration of Independence. The Philippines was already an independent country.

Then the United States invaded (a lot of money in sugar and coconut in those islands, yah?). And that's how the ex-colony became a colonizer, too.

So. Go ahead. Read this post. And if there were justice in this world (not to mention monies left in the federal budget), that text of "Philippine Insurrection" would be edited to what it actually was and is historically true: "Invasion of the Philippines."

Listen to this Poet who, by the way, donates to the Disabled American Veterans Association (so please don't consider this an unpatriotic rant but an attempt for more Truth).

Different shit--
Same ol' dawg!

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Friday, October 28, 2011


I've always thought the hay(na)ku to be a great teaching tool for poetry. So I was delighted to learn that poet-teacher Oscar Bermeo used the hay(na)ku for Middle Schoolers from East Oakland's St. Anthony School. As samples, the students were introduced to Monica Fauble's wonderful hay(na)ku from THE FIRST HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY co-edited by Mark Young and Jean Vengua! The students have already written some wonderful verse, including:
trees shaking
leaves to ground

shaking life
is breaking down.


are people
with no soul?

the best
place but home.


hate wasabi
teriyaki is better

better than
wasabi because it’s

barbecue sauce
and banana leaf.

Oscar continues to work with the students to help them expand their writings. Their hay(na)ku will be published in a volume produced by the Center for the Art of Translation. Fabulous news! And fabulous job to Oscar!


Thursday, October 27, 2011


Blurbed Seamas Cain’s forthcoming lush novel, THE DANGEROUS ISLANDS, to wit:
Words tell the story, yes. But the words, one senses in Seamas Cain's The Dangerous Islands, were not just authored but also precipitated by immediately preceding words or phrases. This is to say, the energy flowing through this novel is so powerful it sometimes dances away from a narrative thread(s). The result is an author going beyond the limits of self, and a story that is not just "pleasure [but] is a violent pleasure."
--Eileen R. Tabios

And speaking of relishes, here's moi latest update to my Recently Relished W(h)ine List below. I think this is it for the tally of this City Slicker’s attempt to be a farmer. Yeah, there’s a few stray figs to go but, bemused to see that I continue my ineptness at engaging with Napa’s fertile earth. Hah. Anyway, meanwhile…in the Publications section, note that if you see an asterisk before the title, that means a review copy is available for Galatea Resurrects ). And I'm looking looking looking for reviewers to get books offa moi floors and to hit 100 new reviews for the next issue! Yeah! More info on that HERE.

(the last pathetic tally)
112 cherry tomatoes
159 regular tomatoes
28 red onions
2 strawberries
18 zucchini
74 summer squash
51 squash flowers
44 green beans
1 lemon cucumber
9 pumpkins
27 sprigs of basil
5 clumps of sage
1 green cucumber
4 lemon cucumbers
8 sprigs of mint
50 Concord grapes
30 figs
3 bunches of chives

* DENSITIES, APPARITIONS, poems by William Allegrezza (Fabulously ravaged poems ravage the reader right back. I feel like I left behind pieces of a broken heart in its pages once I closed the book -- so powerful it was!)

ALIENS: AN ISLAND, poems by Uljana Wolf, trans. by Monika Zobel (resonant concept and poems)

* RADIATOR, poems by NF Huth (not sure why but I responded to this with affection)

* RE-, poems by Kristi Maxwell

* NO GRAVE CAN HOLD MY BODY DOWN, poems by Aaron McCollough

UPON NOSTALGIA, poems by Caroline Crumpacker

POEMS FROM REDRESS, poems by Hannah Zeavin

WAR ON A LUNCHBREAK, poems by Ana Bozicevic

from INSTANT CLASSIC, poems by erica kaufman

908-1078, poems by Brandon Brown

THE ERRANCY, poems by Jorie Graham (hm...)

PAPER PAVILION, poems by Jennifer Kwon Dobb

WHAT IS POETRY, poems by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and images by Frederico Amat (the collaboration with painter Amat as well as wonderful book design elevates this project)

THE UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE: STORIES by rob mclennan (fabulous!)


I SOLD ANDY WARHOL (TOO SOON), memoir by Richard Polsky (highly entertaining)

MADE FOR YOU AND ME: GOING WEST, GOING BROKE, FINDING HOME, memoir by Caitlin Shetterly (I’m just starting to read books effected by the Great Recession. This is a good one with much heart and charm)

ON A DOLLAR A DAY: ONE COUPLE’S UNLIKELY ADVENTURES IN EATING IN AMERICA, memoir by Christopher Greenslate and Kerri Leonard



THE DANGEROUS ISLANDS, novel by Seamas Cain (in manuscript; see above blurb)

THE PRICE OF POWER, novel by James W. Huston

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES, novel by Sheldon Siegel

INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE, novel by Sheldon Siegel

FINAL VERDICT, novel by Sheldon Siegel

DERAILED, novel by Sheldon Siegel

THE KILL CLAUSE, novel by Gregg Hurwitz

TROUBLE SHOOTER, novel by Gregg Hurwitz

GIDEON’S WAR, novel by Howard Gordon

LETHAL, novel by Sandra Brown

THE BRASS DOLPHIN, novel by Caroline Harvey

ONE LAST LOOK, novel by Linda Lael Miller

OKLAHOMA BRIDE, novel by Carol Finch

2006 Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve cabernet Sonoma
2010 Lynmar Estate Pinot Noir Reserve
2009 Lynmar Estate Russian River Valley chardonnay
2007 Lynmar Estate Russian River Valley pinot noir
1990 Gaja Spress
2008 Nickel & Nickel syrah
2006 Pirathon Barossa Valley shiraz
Montalcino (house wine at Famous Luigi in Washington)
Shoofly Shiraz
2007 Felsina Chianti Classico Reserva Rancia (moi ultimate Washington wine)

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011


and amidst that, inaugurated the Asian American Poetry Reading series at the Library of Congress -- thank you curator Reme Grefalda, Poetry Center folks Rob Casper and Bryan Koen, as well as Asian Division chief Dr. Franklin Odo. Thanks to all who showed up, including Owen Wedum who'd recently written on Rizal and provided the above photo.

Was also nice to read with Philip Lamantia's spirit in the room -- HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Here's the LOC seal for ya!

The family and I played tourist for the weekend before the reading. Interesting to visit all the historical sites. Among other things, I was reminded of how truly GREAT some of the earliest presidents were -- George Washington, Thomas Jefferson (even though he didn't free his slaves in his Will which at least Washington did), and perhaps the greatest: Abraham Lincoln. To remember these gentlemen is to see just how ... uh, small ... some recent leaders have been/are (must be all that poll-taking...).

Anyway, am back to a crowded In-Box. Onward...!

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Monday, October 10, 2011


Always interesting to be a subject of a college student's paper (grin). To wit, Drew Butler at University of Colorado chose to cover Moi and Galatea Resurrects for one of his assignments. His excerpted paper with interview is HERE, but here's an excerpt:
I noticed that sections of the blog have a lot of references to your children and your personal life. Do you view GR as a primarily personal blog with some poetry reviewing aspects or a more professional review journal with personal sections?

My poetics reflect that I don't believe in the separation of "life" from "poetry-writing", and so I reference my personal life. This approach should be contextualized, though, in that it reflects generally my approach to blogs. I was, I believe, among the initial group of poet-bloggers who began blogging before it really took off. I appreciate the blog for its informality due in part to how its (internet) medium allows for almost-immediate publication of something one has written. That informality, of course, does not necessarily mean lack of rigor...but I think the blog-space is obviously very different from other contexts, for example, a peer-reviewed journal. Anyway, I do view GR as primarily what I reference it in its subtitle: An Engagement with Poetry (with such "engagements" often manifesting themselves as reviews).

My views on the form of the poetry review probably has bearing on this question. You may notice that when I write "reviews" for GR, I don't say I "review" but say I "engage." That's because I think there's value to the non-traditional way of reviewing poetry, including the very emotional, the very personal, the fragmented outlooks which may not be the norm in more traditional criticism. I mean, as a poet, when I receive a fumbling, at times inarticulate response to some of my own poems, I often glean some value to that type of response -- as much as the more well-written, well-wrought critical review. So I allow a space for all styles of poetry reviewing.

Which is also to say, we continue to look for engagements and reviews for Galatea Resurrects. A list of review copies -- recently updated -- is HERE!

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Sunday, October 09, 2011


I just spent Sunday morning with a manuscript by rob mclennan. I know him mostly through his very excellent blog but, wow, this dude writes glorious, magnificent stuff! At least he does so in his The Uncertainty Principle: stories,. Here are some excerpts:


He sits in the lawn chair, half-awake. The borrowed cottage, and the near-lake, just down the footpath. His second wife calls from the landing, something about their little boy, his second child. His first with this woman, this dream. Turning, he notices the boy has removed all of his clothing, diaper and all, again, and is tearing around the yard, screaming laughter, chasing at birds and the kittens. His mother encourages it, something he tries to temper, but quietly. He already knows that he worries too much, over so little. This is the future. This is a good dream.


For the whole of his life, there had been rumours. Some said he had been adopted, from foster care, and others suggested he belonged to but one of his parents. It was first through his twelve year old sister, bursting out, to his eight year old silence, stunned. They had been fighting about something, and she took it too far. Her outburst caused their mother to give her such a slap it rendered all six children mute, for three days. It was hard being the youngest. There were things that had happened before he arrived that were impossible to know for sure. And when, in his fifties, his long-widowed mother slid headlong into dementia and mistook him for his late father, he recoiled. It shook him, deep, to his core, but he began to suspect. He wasn't entirely sure of what. He suspected, too, that this mistake of her mind might be the closest he'd come to a kind of pure truth, or an answer.


Absence a weight that can easily overwhelm. Perseus knew this, but went ahead anyway, and we all know how that worked. It's the difference between knowing that most of the world is covered with igneous rock, as opposed to classic. There are the signs that divide us. I am talking about the shifting ground. There are rules, she told me. There are rules and you must follow them. I am interested in the way blame affects thought, or speech. The body staggers outside. Do you remember what it was like when you still believed? In a television interview, Salman Rushdie talks about his new novel, and about how the ancient world is so much more brutal than anything we could imagine. For all this talk of twentieth century carnage, I see no heads on pikes in the courtyard. All of this time, people have been working to revel in what makes us all different, instead of being somewhat afraid of what makes us the same.

Thank you, rob! This is great stuff!


Wednesday, October 05, 2011


I'm working on a new project involving Poetry and the Great Recession. Very excited about it. Can't wait to announce it. But no details yet, so instead I'll blog about this City Slicker's latest horrific result in that Hell known as Garden: a pumpkin Moi grew, to the dogs' horror:

I feel Halloween approach ...

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