Thursday, October 31, 2013


is this year's Halloween costume for El Hijo!


Labels: ,


Gratitude to Mark Young for putting out Otoliths, one of the most stellar poetry publications out there.

And I thank him, too, for including five poems from my forthcoming SUN STIGMATAS.

Here's his announcement--and Happy Birthday!

I turned 72 on Wednesday. Thursday/Friday, depending on where you are, out comes issue #31 of Otoliths. In twelve years time I'll be 84 but Otoliths will only be up to issue #79—if that, since I'll probably be infirm & unable to bring out more than two issues a year. It's improbable that the number of issues of Otoliths will ever catch up to my age. As the tortoise once said to the hare, "Read your Zeno, Dude, & eat my dust."

In the meantime, I'm proud to bring out another solid issue, again containing a wide-ranging spectrum of work, this time from Katrinka Moore, Andrew Topel, Philip Byron Oakes, John Hand, Bjarte Alvestad, Louis Armand, Jac Nelson, rob mclennan, Bob Marcacci, Anna Ryan-Punch, Robert Lee Brewer, J. Crouse, Jack Galmitz, John M. Bennett, John M. Bennett & Thomas M. Cassidy, John M. Bennett & Matthew Stolte, John M. Bennett & Baron, John M. Bennett & Jim Leftwich, Gary Barwin, Anny Ballardini, Bogdan Puslenghea, Ed Baker, Willie Smith, Raymond Farr, gary lundy, Caitlin Annette Johnson, Francesco Aprile, Marilyn R. Rosenberg, Travis Cebula, sean burn, Ross B. Stager, John Pursch, Marco Alexandre de Oliveira, Tom Beckett, SS Prasad, Claramarie Burns, Stephen Nelson, Daniel Morris, Lakey Comess, Stephen C. Middleton, Owen Bullock, Marcia Arrieta, Márton Koppány, Robert Okaji, Roger Williams, Norman Abjorensen, Bobbi Lurie, Richard Barrett & Rachel Sills, Jeff Harrison, Mark Roberts, Susan Gangel, Jennie Cole, Eileen R. Tabios, Steven D. Stark, Mary Cresswell, Donna Fleischer, Marty Hiatt, Emily Stewart, Stu Hatton, Bob Heman, Thomas Fink, Thomas Fink & Maya Diablo Mason, Aditya Bahl, Cherie Hunter Day, Aaron Robertson, bruno neiva, Carla Bertola, Alberto Vitacchio, Chris D'Errico, Michael Brandonisio, J. D. Nelson, & Tony Beyer.

Mark Young

Labels: ,

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I'm on my way to releasing my hundredth book so I'm no slacker when it comes to my work. But it's not art-making but parenting that I've found to be the most complicated--the hardest --task. And the most affirming -- here are some recent pictures of my blossoming child (this blog, too, is just my refrigerator door for his pics -- my real life refrigerator, by the way, is so fancy you can't stick images on it (what was I thinking?!) I love my book covers, but wouldn't trade a single one for any of these photos taken, respectively, while debuting a new suit for the Homecoming Dance, hanging with his soccer teammates (dig those soccer shoes!), and harvesting pumpkins (small this year but still cheerful!) with the dawgs:


Poetry ... as a way of Life!

Labels: , , ,

Friday, October 18, 2013


Okay. Done. With next book's new title, that is, which is (drum roll):

Coz when sun splits (stigmata) what still comes out is light. Light comes out of light. Flesh comes out of flesh, versus traditional stigmata where blood (and bloody guts) comes out of fleshy stigmata. You split and yet you remain whole.

So, for Part I, prose poem blocks rupture, but only to present new poems. For Part II which will be about a dozen prose pieces, there's darkness in the raw material but what results is still "light" -- either poetry or visual art or both.

Entonces, the cover image will be a detail from a sculpture/installation work by by Emmy Catedral, one of the subjects of the art essays: a yellow orb (sun) created from strips of yellow legal pad --

Detail from “Marginalia” (2005) by Emmy Catedral

What's a strip from a yellow pad? A sunray! What does one do on a legal pad? Why, Grasshopper, one writes! The sun splits and yet, with Poetry's (and poetic) redemption, art replaces tragedy as the result. The art of Light...

May you have a light-filled day...!

This has been a public service announcement from the headquarters of Lucidity Poetics, Inc.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Love my publisher Marsh Hawk Press! I send them pretty thick manuscripts--see BRICK and SON OF A BRICK. Their fearlessness in the face of BIG POETRY (what commercial consideration?) inspired me, too, as a publisher -- see the two-volume bricks I've put out by Allen Bramhall and John Bloomberg-Rissman, as examples. (I could go on longer here as to how the poetry contest system and academic-assignment markets have artifically determined limits on poetry book length, but why bore us all...?)

Anyway, as ever, I recently sent Marsh Hawk a relatively thick manuscript for my next book. What does my savvy in-house editor say? GO BIGGER! I'm offering a reductive summary of what was a larger, more complicated discussion -- but the effect is (partly) I'm going longer again! Technically, one could say I just switched from a verse collection to a multi-genre collection. Heart Moi the multi-genre!

And one of the side-effects is reprinting some prose I've written on the visual arts ... which leads me to a morning email from an artist who expressed thanks for having first written on her. She's 31 now. Apparently, she was only 23 when I first wrote on her work and so it was quite meaningful for her. I learn that, just 8 years later ... but who's counting the years? Not Moi. I only count my white hairs.

Speaking of white hairs, I've had this idea for a long time -- that I keep all the white hairs I pluck out of moi purty head (yes, I know I'm not supposed to do it but sometimes it's like an addictive itch, like popping pimples). Then I use the white hairs to "draw" -- to make marks against, lessee, a white page so it can join the "white on white" genre, or against colored or black paper for a more dramatic impact. I could title it "Aging" or "Mortality" et al. But that titling would be too obvious, not complicated enough ...

... which is what my beloved in-house editor (whose name is no secret but I don't want to mention here because my blog jokes don't do justice to his intellect) said about my manuscript. Great poems but I might want to deepen its context/concept, include some "dialogic relations" (he's in academia; he talks this way sincerely).

I riposted, "Y'all just want more bricks by Moi. I know it!"

Unlike my shallow, jokey responses, he continued to go at length at how I need to stop futzing around and get back to widening the margins that currently propose the limits of poetry. I don't share my initial reply of BUT I JUST WANNA SIT ON MOI BUTT AND LAZILY FEEL IT GET LARGER! I mean, isn't it enough that the poems are good? (Thank you to the poet-editors who are currently gobbling them up for their journals -- I have 22 more new poems not yet published so shoot me an email if you want some.)

I'm also trying to save the world on another continent.

But, okay, you want more blather from Moi? On that, I can deliver asleep (and have to many an unlucky recipient). So, the manuscript that I thought I'd finished and finished titling? You know, REPRODUCTIONS OF THE LOST FLAG: STIGMATA SCULPTURES ...? That is now just Part I (a thick Part I) of my next book. Which means I have to go through another rumination of a new title for the updated, THICKER version. My first cuts at the title -- which I'm not totally satisfied it but share for the blog file are:

I know. Gotta keep ruminating.

And it's the least I can do to be part of Marsh Hawk Press -- a group of savvy, experienced poets who've been around enough to know that poetry's scope is not just radiant but can irradiate. And that'd be some ineffective radiation if you don't, ambition-wise, GO BIG.

Thank you, Marsh Hawk Press.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, October 08, 2013


is a line from one of my new poems. Which is to say, I want to write about _____ but, instead, serial killers and snipers pop up in my poems. Perhaps I should overcome my addiction to that genre… Naaaahhhh (too much fun!)

And here are other relishes with moi latest update of my Recently Relished W(h)ine List below. As ever, please note that in the Publications section, if you see an asterisk before the title, that means a review copy is available for Galatea Resurrects! More info on that HERE.

1 honeydew
4 cantaloupe
3 red bellpepper
25 jalapeno peppers
102 yellow Heirloom tomatoes
50 red Heirloom tomatoes
9 orange Heirloom tomatoes
7 red tomatoes
76 cherry tomatoes
55 green figs
32 black figs
7 Meyer lemons
6 yellow onions
27 apricots
47 yellow squash
20 strawberries
17 Italian cucumbers
44 sprigs of basil

THE COLLECTED POEMS OF PHILIP LAMANTIA, edited by Garrett Caples, Andrew Joron and Nancy Joyce Peters (MAGNIFICENT EKSTASIS! LinkedIn Poetry Recommendation #83)

JOYRIDE, poems by Thomas Fink (fantabulous! Experimentation at its best, from concrete/visual poetry to exploded/imploded hay(na)kus! Highly Recommended. LP Recommendation #79)

* DRAGON LOGIC, poems by Stephanie Strickland (smartly seething and seethingly smart!)

* ORANGE ROSES, poems by Lucy Ives (a feat!)

* BRING THE THING, poems by David Berridge (as ever from the publisher ifpthenq, far-reaching and successfully so)

* FROM DELANCEY WEST, poems by Brian Jackson (a marvelous debut! Intelligent, ambitious music. LP Recommendation #84)

* MASS OF THE FORGOTTEN, poems by James Tolan (I much appreciate these poems’ diverse moves)

* FLASHES, poems by Jennifer Firestone (pleasingly deft)

* WE USED TO BE EVERYWHERE, prose poetry by Craig Foltz (grows pleasurably on you like mozzarella cheese)

* FLIRT, poems by Noah Blaustein (moving)

* MANUAL OF WOODY PLANTS, poems by Phil Cordellli (well-wrought!)

* QUESTIONS FOR ANIMALS, poems by Peggy Hamilton

* LOOK TO MOUNTAINS, LOOK TO SEA, poems by Ron Singer with illustrations by Elizabeth Yami

* LIVE MAG!, Issue 9, literary and arts journal edited by Jeffrey Cyphers Wright (wonderful!)

THE FADING SMILE: Poets in Boston from Robert Lowell to Sylvia Plath by Peter Davison (biography involving Robert Frost, Robert Lowell, Richard Wilbur, W.S. Merwin, Anne Sexton, Adrienne Rich and Sylvia Plath, among others, Norton, New York, 1994. Well-accomplished. LR Recommendation #80)

JUST KIDS, memoir of life with Robert Maplethorpe by Patti Smith (wonderful read. LR Recommendation #82)

WHAT THE STONES REMEMBER: A LIFE REDISCOVERED, memoir by Patrick Lane (moving and lyrical and powerful. LR Recommendation #81)


THE PRISONER OF HEAVEN, novel by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

THE ENGLISH ASSASSIN, novel by Daniel Silva

THE MISSING FILE, novel by D.A. Mishani

CHIMERA, novel by David Wellington

THE LAST CHILD, novel by John Hart

THE BEST REVENGE, novel by Stephen White

THE WHISPERER, novel by Donato Carrisi

VIRGIN RIVER, novel by Robyn Carr

2009 Shypoke charbono
2011 Ferrari Carano “Bella Luce” Sonoma Valley
Sandeman LBV Porto


Saturday, October 05, 2013


I've never written poems that got away from me so fast. Usually, when I begin a poem I am in the poem (or want to be in the poem) and then am in its space for a while especially if I edit the poem. But with these poems, as soon as the first drafts were written they flew away from me. Which is to say, as I edited them -- and I was surprised by how much editing they required (I've been a first draft, last draft type pf poet for the past few years) -- I was outside their space. I was looking at the poems with distance between me and the poems.

And it's all good. Because, I suppose, that's what sculptures are and I consider these poem-sculptures. That is, with (most) sculptures, you can walk around them and see them 360 degrees.

Which is also to say, these poems are their own worlds. And that's fabulous. With these poems, I got out of their way to let them have their say.

I'm getting there ... let's see what there is.

Labels: , ,


Intent matters. When a sculptor chisels out a sculpture of, say, a woman's face by listening to the lines/waves/seams of the stone block -- instead of determining at the outset to sculpt a woman's face -- the result (expression) will be different.

I've forgotten how many layers of reproductions I've been writing to come to the reproductions that will appear in REPRODUCTIONS OF THE LOST FLAG. To reproduce a memory, let alone a lost memory -- that's surely one way to lose/forget the personal "I"...

... in the same way the sculptor loses himself in stone by being stone.

Sometimes, to write poems, you need to listen to stone -- also a metaphor for silence. Listening to silence -- I wouldn't wish for this to become a lost art ...

Labels: , ,

Thursday, October 03, 2013


When I was in New York this past July, I had a brief (very brief) foray into Argentinian tango and so had my first immersion into the music of THE GOTAN PROJECT. While not the first time I heard their music, it was my first immersion and as I listened to their sounds, it felt very familiar. And I wondered at its familiarity ... but didn't ponder it much until this last couple of days while editing my forthcoming book. Immersing myself into the manuscript viz close-edits made me realize that I was attempting (hopefully achieved) in this new book a sensibility as I felt in the music of THE GOTAN PROJECT.

I guess I can suggest then, if you want a preview of my 2014 poetry collection, one way is to check out THE GOTAN PROJECT on YouTube.

My book, by the way, has a new (moithinks, finally FINAL) title:


I tangoed mucho with developing the title -- guess it had to be that way for these poems...

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 02, 2013


As I said in prior post, Achilles and I are currently editing the manuscript for MICHEL'S REPRODUCTIONS OF THE LOST FLAG: SCULPTURES. So, I thought I'd share the book's Preface:

Stigmata’s Poems

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”

What if the block of stone was a block of prose?

These poems were written-sculpted out of the poems of similar titles in the first two sections of my 1998 prose poem collection, Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole. I did not sculpt poems from Reproduction’s third and last section as those poems were previously wrought from sculptor Anne Truitt’s three ravishing and inspirational memoirs. While sculpting the poems, I was also inspired by an observation:

“Art: … The prayer that leads to stigmata …”
—Eric Gamalinda

And here are possibilities for ye olde Author's Photo below for what would be my--que horror!--25th print poetry collection:

No make-up, but still Avatared out viz Iphone. Or, nakedly transparent but "truth" only as defined by poetry.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, October 01, 2013


Achilles is helping me edit the manuscript for SUN STIGMATAS (formerly MICHEL'S REPRODUCTIONS OF THE LOST FLAG: SCULPTURES), my next book which will be released next year. The new book contains poems "sculpted" out of the prose poems in my 1998 book, REPRODUCTIONS OF THE EMPTY FLAGPOLE (lying atop manuscript). So far, Achilles has been supportive of the new poems. Woof!

Labels: , ,