THE BLIND CHATELAINE'S KEYS
Formerly "The Blind Chatelaine's Poker Poetics". Performed from Galatea's mountain -- where nature, art, poetry and wine converge with much love -- she now goes through her keychain as if it were a rosary, unlocking doors for you. Because if Rimbaud said "I is Another," the Chatelaine shares, "Moi am all about Toi."
Friday, March 30, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
R.I.P., ADRIENNE RICH
Among the many things I admire about you and your poetry is captured in
Rich was a hard poet to define because she went through so many phases. Or, as Rich wrote in "Delta," "If you think you can grasp me, think again."
You didn't just change poetry. You changed the world.
Labels: Poetry As A Way of Life
Sunday, March 25, 2012
THE GAME OF INCHES!
You know how we say "Baseball is a game of inches"? (I'm a baseball expert now so I know these things). Well, I think poetry publishing is also a game of inches. To wit, I am having a promising first quarter with my Amazon sales as a publisher! Yes indeedy. Check out these Amazon sales stats for the first quarter of 2012:
January: 3 books sold
February: 4 books sold
March: 5 books sold
What recession! It's about momentum, baby. And the mo is with moi!
That's the great thing about being in the dumps -- one can only go up! So, speaking of the dumps, here's my 2011 Income Statement as a Poet.
TOTAL REVENUES $1,870.62
TOTAL COSTS $2,348.52
NET LOSS ($477.90)
I lost again! But anytime that loss is less than four figures, I figure, for poetry publishing, that's a win! (Nuthin' like "Poetry Economics" to upend your perspective and make toi a moron!)
Let's wallow in this topic, shall we, by comparing that 2011 revenue stream with prior years:
2011 REVENUES $1,870.62
2010 REVENUES $6,287.86
2009 REVENUES $2,754.42
2008 REVENUES $9,117.92
2007 REVENUES $7,721.88
The severe drop from 2010 Revenues is deceptive; 2010 showed me receiving unexpected revenues from being a judge of a poetry contest, from sharing poems on the Poetry Foundation Blog (spread those beaucooo bucks around, Harriet!) and sales from two new releases (most of a poetry book's sales occurs in the first year or so after a book's release). I didn't judge, sell poems for publication, or release a new poetry book in 2011. Shame on moi -- any one of those three factors would have allowed me to overcome a loss in 2011.
This is all quite fascinating, yah? I got so fascinated writing this post that I decided to look at the first quarter results so far for 2012. OH MOI GAWD. So far, my expenses as a poetry publisher is running a thousand bucks ahead of my revenues!!! Geeez Peeeps: I publish good ones: BUY MOI POETRY BOOKS, Pleeeeze!
Inch worm, inch worm ... Glow!
Friday, March 23, 2012
Wow, it was three years ago in Bogota, Colombia where I was celebrating my son's 13th birthday. Today, we celebrate his 16th Birthday! As they say, where'd the time go! Here he is with some birthday presents:
Here he is with some opened birthday presents:
He has grown so much! Actually, I'm speechless ... let the photographs speak! Except of course for
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SON!
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
MOI NOT WANTING TO SPIT ON JV BASEBALL
You know, I'm trying my best here with baseball, excuseMoi, JV baseball. But right now, all I can think of is -- BUT SUSAN-OF-GAME-SIXES, IS THIS WHY MOI SON IS TAKING ON THE DISGUSTING HABIT OF SPITTING ALL OVER THE PLACE! What kind of sports is this! This ain't, Moi hopes, a precursor to my son chewing then spitting tobacco! Anyway, let the local paper do the wrap-up on Michael's team -- he's in the last paragraph of the article; I know it's the last paragraph but, after all, he's been playing the sport for, what, four weeks...?
Anyway, there's a lot of drama in the game. I don't know why I didn't expect that -- this afternoon, I actually was all tense then shouting (in moi delicate way) at the sidelines...! Here's another photo at the end of tonight's game when the Coach (who's the local dentist -- love small towns!) gave his wrap-up to the team:
Yes, indeed. If you want sports coverage, you come on over to this here Chatty Blog ... Not!
Sunday, March 18, 2012
FROM THE POET-EDITOR'S NOTEBOOK
As an editor of various literary projects over the years, I've often received poems containing a typo(s). In many cases, I point out said typo(s) to the author or the author catches the typo(s) during the proofing. At times, though, I see the misspelled word or missing/erroneous punctuation mark and let such remain because, inadvertently, they create something more powerful than the grammatically-correct version.
Sometimes, though, in situations where I feel the typo-ed version is more effective, the author will come back to me later to say there's a typo, and I correct the typo. I correct the typo because, for poems, I believe the poet should have the final say. In certain of these situations, I sometimes share why I feel the typo-ed version is, in my opinion, "better." Ninety-five percent of the time, the poet still will revert back to the grammatically-correct version.
Now, I've long thought about that 95% statistic. Sure, it can be that I'm wrong or too flakey as an editor. But, even so, that 95% is pretty high. To me, it smacks of poets being too conventional or conservative.
If there's one form that shouldn't be afraid of disrupting convention, shouldn't it be poetry?
Anyhoo, I was proofing some of my poems recently accepted and to be featured in the forthcoming issue of that fabulous literary project, Cerise Press. In one poem, I saw this line:
Honor the lucidity of certain objects: feather, diamond rose
In my original version, there was a comma after the word "diamond." But as I kept looking at the line, there seems something more mysterious (in a good way) about the phrase "diamond rose". It hearkens -- though it's not, I think -- a type of rose. It hearkens something but that something is not clearly obvious. It hearkens, though, and may make the receptive reader go off into some mental tangent thinking about it. This effect, to me, is more powerful than just the acceptance of "feather, diamond, rose" and so I'm going to leave the "typo" of the missing comma alone.
To me, "diamond rose" is more wondrous than, individually, "diamond" and "rose". After all, wouldn't the heightening of wonder be a probable outcome of (heightened) "lucidity"?
Friday, March 16, 2012
PENCIL MOI IN FOR NEW YORK!
You are invited! Do please pencil in -- if you're in New York at the time -- the following:
Marsh Hawk Press Spring Launch
Eileen Tabios, Meredith Cole, Harriet Zinnes and the spirit of j/j hastain
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
7-9 pm, Kray Hall
10 River Terrace
New York, NY 10282
Tel: (212) 431-7920
Map & Directions
Arrive early and check out the fabulous offerings at POETS HOUSE, which I haven't even seen yet in its resurrected venue.
Here's where I'll release my 19th print book (in collaboration with j/j hastain): the relational elations of ORPHANED ALGEBRA. More event details later, but you do know, right, that Marsh Hawk Press presents the best wine and hors d'ouevres fare for poetry readings...?
Thursday, March 15, 2012
POMO-ING THAT POMO!
Dredging for Atlantis is one of my favorites among my books because it contains my "scumbled" poems. So why am I reminding you of my 2006 book (which was so lovingly published by Otoliths--thank you Mark Young!)? Well, because for some reason I just got in today's mail some hard-copies of a review done of it in 2009 by "America's oldest literary magazine" North American Review! I can't recall, but it's possible I hadn't seen this mini-review previously ...
Anyway, you can see the review by clicking on this excerpt below whose pinoy-punning I adore:
An intelligent collection that definitely pomo's the pomo.
More reviews are referenced HERE. If you want to know what those critics are talking about, it's not too late to get your copy (least expensive copies available HERE). And have I mentioned it offers my baby photo? I was big-eyed even back then....
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
POETRY TRANSCENDS THE BOOK!
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
PITTANCES FOR POETRY
I’ve long thought poetry hardbacks to be a silly exercise in cultural capital (even though they have value for library collections and other porpoises). Silly because, I bought two recently by Margaret Atwood and Robert Hass. Most poets’ books, of course, go immediately to paperback. I assume Atwood got the hardback because she’s also a successful novelist. Hass got his … actually, Hass got his deservedly, full stop.
But lookit—these hardbacks inevitably (and swiftly) go on the remainder bins. I spent $7.00 for the Hass Book which initially retailed for $34.99. I spent $5.00 for the Atwood which initially retailed for $25.00. Who are we all fooling with these hardback issuances anyway?
Speaking of more pittances for poetry, the rest of the purchased poetry books or books by poets in my new RECENTLY BOUGHT POETRY List below came from our local library sale. I purchased the John N. McDowell (a great read, by the way) for a buck. Then I purchased the rest on the sale’s last day which is one of those *Fill A Paper Bag With As Many Books As You Can Cram* for $3! This means the other 19 titles were purchased at about five cents per book! (No wonder I trade poetry!)
Well, Dear Poetry, I know you don’t really care (and I’m just amusing moiself with following your cash equivalents) because your valuation is so, ahem, difficult … precisely because you’re priceless! Anyhoo, so Moi recently bought:
THE APPLE TREES AT OLEMA: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS by Robert Hass
THE DOOR by Margaret Atwood
CLAY FEET / WIRE WINGS, poems by John N. McDowell
MARINA TSVETAEVA: THE DOUBLE BEAT OF HEAVEN AND HELL, biography by Lily Feiler
SYLVIA PLATH: A BIOGRAPHY by Linda K. Wagner-Martin
THE RING AND THE BOOK by Robert Browning with engravings by Carl Schultheiss
PRIMER FOR NON-NATIVE SPEAKERS by Philip Metres
NATURAL HISTORIES by Leslie Ullman
THE TULIP SACRAMENT by Annah Sobelman
SAINTS OF HYSTERIA: A HALF-CENTURY OF COLLABORATIVE AMERICAN POETRY, co-edited by Denise Duhamel, Maureen Seaton and David Trinidad
SELECTED POEMS OF RUMI, Translated by Reynolds A. Nicholson
THE SEPARATE NOTEBOOKS by Czeslaw Milosz, Translated by Robert Hass and Robert Pinsky
EROS: THE BITTERSWEET by Anne Carson
JOURNAL OF A SOLITUDE by May Sarton
CAMPOCORTO by Peter Meinke with drawings by Jeanne Meinke
SELECTED POEMS IN FIVE SETS BY Laura Riding Jackson
SAPPHIC SONGS: SEVENTEEN TO SEVENTY by Elsa Gidlow
THE MOON IS ALWAYS FEMALE by Madge PIercy
JEW BOY by Alan Kaufman
WOMEN OF THE BEAT GENERATION by Brenda Knight
DEADLINE POET by Calvin Trillin
HERE AND NOWHERE ELSE by Jane Brox
What a bounty for a nickel each, yah? (That Philip Metres is a revelation! So happy to have it!) But this also reflects how these mostly-donated books don't make it into the library collection. So librarians aren't putting these books (some of which were hardback) into the library (what's wrong with this picture?). I always pick up all the poetry titles because I don't want to see them languishing and I know I may just be the only customer for poetry; at least Galatea will give them a home...
Oh, but by the way, it’s kind of cool to go to a library sale and see one of your poems in play! That is, I and Nick Carbo collaborated on a fabulous poem that ended up in SAINTS OF HYSTERIA: A HALF-CENTURY OF COLLABORATIVE AMERICAN POETRY, co-edited by Denise Duhamel, Maureen Seaton and David Trinidad. Check out this anthology from Soft Skull Press—it’s really well-done, with notes on the collaborative process. So the poems are not just wonderful but the collaborative process notes are very useful and educational!
Monday, March 12, 2012
Sunday, March 11, 2012
THE NIFTILY MODULATED MÁRTON KOPPÁNY
Here's just one of many visual poems by Marton Koppany, whose work I've been enjoying of late -- it's entitled "or" (isn't it fabulous!):
Anyway, that image was combined by this image below by John Moore Williams, a young American visual poet and typographer, for the cover of Koppany's 2010 Otoliths book:
Do check out Marton Koppany's MODULATIONS -- I promise it'll give you much pleasure!! You can check out the combined images on the link to the book which was also designed by Williams.
And so here's another update to my Recently Relished W(h)ine List below. In the Publications section, note that if you see an asterisk before the title, that means a review copy is available for Galatea Resurrects! More info on that HERE.
THIRTY-FIVE NEW PAGES, conceptual poetry by Lev Rubinstein, Trans. by Philip Metres and Tatiana Tulchinsky (note-card poems by one of the founders of Moscow Conceptualism—simply: brilliant!)
THE READER, conceptual poetry by Marton Koppany (actually, I thought of Rubinstein when I read this slim, appealing chap. Also brilliant!)
MODULATIONS, visual conceptual poetry by Marton Koppany (Marton is truly one of my favorite poets. Because his output always enchants!)
NOTES FROM IRRELEVANCE, poems by Anselm Berrigan (a lovely wash of energy)
IN WAYS IMPOSSIBLE TO FOLD, poems by Michael Rerick (sharp and smart)
SAY SO, poems by Dora Malech (includes the poem “The Station” which is so clever and emotional that I know it’ll be one of my most pleasurable poem-reads this year!)
* SHEER INDEFINITE: SELECTED POEMS 1991-2011 by Skip Fox (fabulous)
* WHEN YOU BIT, poems by Adam Fieled (as ever from this poet, quite stellar)
* PALM TO PINE, poems by Sunnylyn Thibodeaux (such a good read with nice, intimate feel!)
* MAO’S PEARS, poem by Kenny Tanemura (witty, amusing…just well done!)
From IDYLLS & RUSHES, poems by Susana Gardner (enchanting. Feyness with a steel spine)
CLAY FEET / WIRE WINGS, poems by John N. McDowell (wonderful!)
* SHE RETURNS TO THE FLOATING WORLD, poems by Jeannine Hall Gailey (charmed)
* DISPATCH, collaborative poems by Marci Nelligan and Nicole Mauro (excellent!)
PRINCESS OF THE WORLD IN LOVE, poems by Stan Apps (clever!)
* 15 CHINESE SILENCES, poems by Timothy Yu (Billy Collins should read this…)
PART: SHORT LIFE HOUSING, poems by Cris Cheek (well-wrought)
THE APPLE TREES AT OLEMA: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS by Robert Hass (While I’ve intellectually understood Hass’ earlier collections to be achievements, I never got into his poems until the newer poems in this book, which is a bow to his poetic prowess because I don’t think he could have so masterfully pulled off those poems without having learned much from living and writing poems over the years—this is one example of why I so like reading Selecteds and Collecteds, because these types of books show me something about the poet’s macro versus the micros of individual smaller collections or poems.)
ONE SLEEPS THE OTHER DOESN’T, poems by Jacqueline Waters (a pleasurable reading)
* CITY, poems by C.J. Martin (brief chap, but highly effective!)
* DRIVING MONTANA, ALONE, poems by Katie Phillips (what a wonderful project! Yes, the poems are nicely done but the publication of it is fabulous as the poems are interspersed with nice black-and-white photos)
* SARD, poems by Philip Byron Oakes (a cool book!)
* PERSONATIONSKIN, poems by Karl Parker (admirably expansive)
* PLAIN SPEAK / SWEET SPEAK, poems by G. Emil Reutter and Phil Premeau (interesting concept)
* HITLER’S MUSTACHE, poems by Peter Davis (unique)
SEDNA, poems by Michael Helsem (deceptively lyrical. At times, funny)
* GUESTBOOK, poems by Rick Snyder
* SECRET WEAPON: SELECTED LATE POEMS by Eugen Jebeleanu, Trans. by Matthew Zapruder and Radu Ioanid
PLEASURE, poems by Brian Teare
TONTO’S REVENGE, poems by Adam Aitken
* KEY BRIDGE, poems by Ken Rumble
* THE STEEL VEIL, poems by Jack Marshall
* THE GIRLS OF PECULIAR, poems by Catherine Pierce
* THE PRIMORDIAL DENSITY PERTURBATION, poem by Stephen Collis
THE SWORDFISH TOOTH, poems by Cynthia Zarin
TRAVELING IN REFLECTED LIGHT, poems by Andrena Zawinski
OBSERVE THE LARK, poems by Katie Louchheim
THE TIME OF OUR LIVES, journalism/memoir by Tom Brokaw
STRAPPED: WHY AMERICA’S 20- and 30-SOMETHINGS CAN’T GET AHEAD, study by Tamara Draut
NOTHING TO DO BUT STAY: MY PIONEER MOTHER, biography by Carrie Young
POWER DOWN, novel by Brian Coes (Thank you, Brian Coes, for your Dewey Andreas series! May there be more!)
COUP D’ETAT, novel by Brian Coes
THE LAST ASSASSIN, novel by Barry Eisler
THE GOOD SON, novel by Michael Gruber
SHUT YOUR EYES TIGHT, novel by John Verdon
THE DROP, novel by Michael Connelly
SPYCATCHER, novel by Matthew Dunn (first novel by a real ex-spy who should … write more!)
THE ACCIDENT MAN, novel by Tom Cain
NO SURVIVORS, novel by Tom Cain
LIARS & THIEVES, novel by Stephen Coonts
THE LAST JIHAD, novel by Joel C. Rosenberg
THE TWELFTH IMAM, novel by Joel C. Rosenberg
ATTRACTED TO FIRE, novel by DiAnn Mills
WONDERLAND CREEK, novel by Linn Austin
DEADLY PURSUIT, novel by Irene Hannon
Cartlidge and Brown chardonnay
2004 3Rings shiraz
2002 Hutton Vale Grenache Mataro
2010 Robert Foley semillon NV
1990 Domaine Robert Chevillon Nuits-saint-Georges Les Roncieres
Labels: Relished W(h)ines
Friday, March 09, 2012
GALATEA RESURRECTS' POSITIVE ENERGY!
As we all know since I not only blathered about it but SUPER-BLATHERED about it, the current issue of Galatea Resurrects contains 108 poetry reviews (it would have been 110 but my e-desk is so messy I omitted two which will appear nonetheless in the next issue). Anyway, with over a hundred poetry reviews, what else is next for good ol' GR? How to top that?
Big-brained John Bloomberg-Rissman actually asked me that question -- how to top it! So I shared with him an idea I've had for a long while: for one person to do a humongous amount of reviews in a compressed time period. The reason this idea excites me is that, being an experienced maximalist (cough), I know that scale matters and if one puts one's attention to something for a prolonged period of time, something else happens as a result of that concentrated focus.
Well, of course I've also accepted that my idea is not practical. Who's got the time to do such a project and especially at the munificent compensation (not!) that I dole out for GR reviews?
But synchronistically, John and I had that conversation just as he was about to retire from his super-librarian job! So he promised to do one engagement each day for February for 28 reviews! (We forgot about leap year).
Well it has been so fascinating for me to observe as he sent in his reviews because 28 reviews, too, suffice to reveal that "kick" that occurred mid-way through his reading process as a result of what I call "scale" or super-concentration. Then, amazingly to both of us, after he finished 28, he was still in the mood! So I'm about to mail him another 22 books! He wants to review 50 books total!
So in addition to its usual run-up of reviews, the next issue will present John as a single-reviewer of poems from 50 books and I believe the result will amaze and impress you as much as it has Moi! This surely is an admirable follow-up to over a hundred new reviews by a horde of reviewers!
(Not to mention how I welcome the diminishment of the ever-growing pile of review copies slipping through the doorway and asking to be read--thank you, John!)
Things are always positive-energy over at Galatea Resurrects. Another wonderful development is that I've received, so far, two reviews written by students at MacAlester College. Their intrepid teacher and fabulous poet Kristin Naca had arranged for some of her students' review assignments to be considered by GR--next issue will feature two such reviews! And, ahoy ye poet-teachers, this is an offer to you all: if any of your students writes a paper deemed good enough to be a published review, I am here to offer such a venue!
And to the rest of ye 9.5 billion Peeps of mine, more poetry books are available and longing to be reviewed. More info over HERE.
Labels: Galatea Resurrects
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
THE ANNUAL UGH
Well, hello! I'm taking a much-needed coffee break from preparing my 2011 Taxes as a Poet. Haven't finished the tally yet but it looks dismal; 2011 may end up being one of my worst years yet, Thank You Great Recession!
Which is to say, it's worth nota bene-ing my first non-author customer for 2012. Thank you, Dia Foundation, for ordering -- and paying for (as some of youse louses don't!) -- Meritage Press books! You all should too!
Sigh...mutter mutter over these bathetic poetry economics....
Sunday, March 04, 2012
Saturday, March 03, 2012
MOI HEARTS BARNARD COLLEGE!
So. What do President Obama and I have in common? We'll both be speaking in May at my beloved Barnard College!
For the President, he'll speak at the Commencement, while I'll speak at the Reunion Dinner for the Class of 1982 who'll be celebrating its 30th Reunion this year!
Here was Meryl Streep when she was Commencement Speaker in a prior year, with Barnard President Debora L. Spar and distinguished alumna and Pulitzer winner Anna Quindlen:
Here's third-time (yeah!) Oscar-winner Meryl again as I can't believe I once was as fresh-faced as those surrounding her!
Thank you, Barnard -- you were the one to introduce me to ... the world.
By the way, let's see if Barack Obama does a better job than when Adlai Stevenson delivered the Commencement at Smith College. Chuckle...
Thursday, March 01, 2012
AT YOUR SERVICE: A POETIX
What does it mean when one -- Moi -- says I don't write poems to say something but to have the words speak on their own behalf? (I was asked, and service-provider Moi now ripostes...) Well, let Moi explain by example: Here's a couplet from a poem I was editing (from the manuscript Reproductions of the Reproductions of the Empty):
I earned the moments
I made my mother cry
That couplet (partly) reflects authorial intention -- I was thinking of saying something specific that led to that couplet. In the final draft, I changed the couplet to
You earned the moments
I made my mother cry
I changed that first word because I thought the change from "I" to "You" not only brought in the reader but made the couplet more mysterious and thus, in this case, more powerful. (You may think I'm full of beans but the point here is my thinking-during-the-writing-process, okay?) So while the change to "You" didn't capture authorial intent (I certainly have no clue as to what this new couplet means), in my opinion its mystery made the poem more effective.
The approach also reflects what I mean when I say about certain poems -- I'm not writing them so much as sculpting them or collaging them together because words, like Poetry, already exists around us and my job is simply to see them into manifestation, versus imagine something into existence. (The idea of further explicating this suddenly exhausts, so I'll leave more for another day.)
Anyway, thank YOU (who know you are) for asking. I'm happy to provide this Service Announcement Du Jour.