Saturday, November 29, 2008


I finally finished organizing THE THORN ROSARY, the manuscript for a forthcoming book of Selected Prose Poems spanning ten years. The manuscript is nearly 300 pages, which means it's likely to have a higher page count in book pages. Because I felt in a navel-gazing mood (well, Toi ask, since when is Moi not in a navel-gazing mood...but that's a different story....), I went through the manuscript to pluck out every single epigraph that's featured. I wondered what my selection of quotes from other writers would say about Moi. But the answer, of course, is for you to say. Here are the epigraphs:
"The rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next. The power of the rosary is beyond description."
--Archbishop Fulton Sheen

What will it be like when we reach
the remnants of yesterday's weather?
I ask. This is not the time to begin
speculating. We must stick to the
sentences we assigned ourselves,
the ones fleeing the muse of
--from "Big Island Notebook 7" by John Yau

warm stones gather the rainfall
speaking a gray language
i've tried to imitate.
i read books compiled
from anonymous scrolls.
i eat their dust
hoping to trace
the steps to heaven.
--from ": Looking For Buddha" by Jaime Jacinto

She was beginning to understand
some pale bravado
in her horizontal line
--from "Pack Rat Sieve" by Mei-mei Berssenbruge

You are lost the instant you know what the result will be.
--Juan Gris

I am concerned with a thing's not being what it was, with its becoming something other than what it is, with any moment in which one identifies a thing precisely and with the slipping away at that moment, with at any moment seeing or saying and letting it go at that.
--Jasper Johns

Poetry is like painting. You say you are going to paint a portrait. You start with a blob of color and then wash, and when the lines are taking shape, you see a landscape, perhaps people. You are not quite sure what you're driving at, but it means something in the end. And the first person to be surprised is the one who made it.
--Tita Lacambra-Ayala

only raid the world of
its radiance and wonder
--from "Cezanne's Apples" by Manuel Viray

I carry the light of all countries
everywhere I go
I declare myself responsible
for the upkeep of their bridges
their poor their balconies
the fading lamps
and evanescence of dawn
I claim you as my burden
the you I will never meet
I bear your music
and your histories
and your children begging in the streets
and your mothers
counting the bullets
in the hollow nest of corpses
--from "Manifesto of Myself" by Eric Gamalinda

--Jose Garcia Villa

When a term like symmetria is used by a late antique rhetorician, one should probably not expect it to have the rigorous precision of meaning that it conveyed to a sculptor of the fifth century B.C. In general, it may be expected that the technical value of a particular term-that is, the value which is dependent upon the special knowledge and training of a particular group-will diminish as the size of the group using the term increases.
--from "The Ancient View of Greek Art" by J.J. Pollitt

"we have never really left anywhere we have been"
--Salman Rushdie

"No movement independent of time"
--Myung Mi Kim

The shifting relationship between the senses and the intelligence makes the apprehension of reality problematic, even when one repeatedly refuses, as Johns does, to succumb to the desire for asylum.
The United States of Jasper Johns by John Yau

Perhaps I could silence this firebird swelling my sails with blood winds, fevers, but even the Seine today was restless.
--from "Nearer the moon" by Anais Nin

. . . as a wave is a force and not the water of which it is composed, . . . so nobility is a force and not the manifestations of which it is composed . . . .
--Wallace Stevens

I would have to find someone who would follow me in my wanderings.
--November 10, 1890 letter from Arthur Rimbaud to his mother

To be taken up higher and higher by uneven stone stairs and to stand there with your heart beating outside the gate of the near world. To gather laurel and marble for the white architecture of your destiny.
                  And to be as you were born, the center of the world.
--Odysseus Elytis

"dissonance may abandon miserere"
--from "Dissonance Royal Traveller" by Barbara Guest

"stairs rising to platforms lower than themselves,
doors leading outside that bring you back inside"
--Clifford Geertz, on Michel Foucault

"A stake, an axis is thus driven into the earth in order to mark out the boundaries of the sacred space in many patriarchal traditions. It defines a meeting place for men that is based upon an immolation. Women will in the end be allowed to enter that space, provided that they do so as nonparticipants."
--Luce Irigaray

Lehren die Musen ihn gleich bescheiden Geheimnisse sprechen

In a global, capitalistic culture logotypes exist (Nike, McDonalds, Red Cross) which are recognizable by almost all of the planet's inhabitants. Their meanings and connotations are familiar to more people than any other proper noun of any given language. This phenomenon has caused some artists to reflect on the semiotic content of the words they use, (for example, in the names of perfumes) and isolate them, stripping them down to their pure advertising content. Words are no longer associated with a product, package or price, and go back to their original meaning or to a new one created by the artist
--from Galeria Helga de Alvear's exhibition statement for "Ads, Logos and Videotapes" (Estudio Helga de Alvear), Nov. 16-Jan. 13, 2001

I don't take English for granted. I have to fight for every word of it.
--Aleksandar Hemon

I wrestled with my bed sheets
What I was looking for was this,
Innocent and tremulous like a vineyard
Deep and unscarred like the sky's other face,
A drop of soul amidst the clay
--from "THE GENESIS" by Odysseus Elytis

"The work is treated as thesis, an antithesis is posited, and a synthesis arrived at which in turn becomes thesis."
--from "In Support of Meta-Art" by Adrian Piper

I made up rhymes in dark and scary places,
And like a lyre I plucked the tired laces
Of my worn-out shoes, one foot beneath my heart.
--from "Wandering" by Arthur Rimbaud
(trans. by Paul Schmidt)

(problem margin mad hymn optical slaying
--from "OBEYED DILEMMA" by Jukka-Pekka Kervinen

I tell myself to be open to all experience,
to take what is ugly and find something nourishing in it;
as penicillin may be found in green, moldy bread,
or as, in the morning, a child of the earth
floating in a porcelain jar full of rain water
is something astonishing.
--from "Written The Day I Was To Begin A Residency At The State Penitentiary" by Arthur Sze

The healing process is simultaneously an individual and communal effort. What is summoned from the depths of one's soul comes from the wounded collective memory of colonized peoples, but so does the healing power that comes from woundedness. The memories must be shared with others. It is the telling that makes them available to the consciousness for further critical reflection.
--from "Coming Full Circle" by Leny Mendoza Strobel

Telling a story about oneself is not the same as giving an account of oneself.
--from "Giving An Account of Oneself" by Judith Butler

Ferdinand Marcos might not be one of the all-time killers but he is certainly one of the biggest thieves in the history of the planet. Estimates of his ill-gotten gains range from US$3 to US$35 billion. Some suggest that the true amount is over US$100 billion, perhaps even trillions of dollars. // While these latter sums may be fanciful, the legacy of the Marcos dictatorship is all too real-an economy struggling just to pay the interest on its foreign debt and a seriously compromised democracy seemingly unable to shake off entrenched corruption...It took Marcos 20 years to pillage and wreck the Philippines. Unfortunately it may take far longer for the damage to be undone.
--from More or Less: Heroes & Killers of the 20th Century

In 1901, just after the Americans took over the civil administration of the Philippines, young Filipinos-in quest for a better life-went to work in the pineapple plantations in Hawaii. Thus began the Filipino Diaspora that has brought millions of Filipinos to different countries in the world today.
--Perry Diaz, a frequent internet commentator on Filipino topics

our youth is where the only gods we ever created live.
--Jonathan Carroll

To bring a poem into the world
Is to bring the world into the poem
--from "Conjurations #3" by Eileen R. Tabios

"I am called 'Balikbayan' because the girl in me is a country of rope hammocks and waling-waling orchids-a land with irresistible gravity because, in it, I forget the world's magnificent indifference."
--from "Corolla" by Eileen R. Tabios

There's one more epigraph I can cite, but which I separate out from the above:
"I do not know English"
--from "I Do Not" by Michael Palmer

In the context that I cited the Palmer quote, my intention was negating said epigraph, a different intention from how I cited the other epigraphs (usually in an honoring / affirming way rather than negation). And so, in the poem "I DO", the Palmer epigraph is swiftly followed by a second epigraph:
"Marunong akong mag-ingles" (I do know English)
--any 21st-century Filipino poet

Believe it: Moi knows English, even as English does not know Me.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


over at the brand-new Coconut Poetry (with direct link to my poems HERE). Thanks to editor Bruce Covey for asking, then accepting! Issue features new poems by David Lehman, Snezana Zabic, Denise Duhamel, Nin Andrews, William Minor, Lee Ann Roripaugh, Chad Sweeney, Brigitte Byrd, W.B. Keckler, Shira Dentz, Jared White, Eileen Tabios, Amber Nelson, Sam Pink, Molly Arden, Graeme Bezanson, John Most, Dana Guthrie Martin, Sarah Bartlett, Matt Turner, Lara Glenum, Susana Gardner, Carmen Gimenez Smith, Jackie Clark, Gale Nelson, Stephanie Berger, Rauaun Klassnik, and Jed Rasula!

By the way, my poems are part of a series of poems inspired by Christian Hawkey's fabulous book, THE BOOK OF FUNNELS. I loved the poems so much that I wrote a poem after each of the poems in Hawkey's book (the series will appear in my forthcoming collection NOTA BENE EISWEIN). I mention Hawkey not just as background but because it's, of course, rare when an artist's work can so move someone in the way that Hawkey's book did. Check out his FUNNELS book, why dontcha!

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008


There is a play in moi ENGLISH Brick entitled "But Seriously, When I Was Jasper Johns' Filipino Lover...". 'Twas a produced play featuring a naked poet, a kali martial-arts sword-wielding poet, and a poet in moi original (now vintage) wedding dress. What it all had to do with Jasper Johns is nothing and everything -- and, certainly, the title was just my homage to an artist whose works have had a profound influence on my poetry.

But things get all unstable, at times, between object and the word(s) attempting to describe said object. Which is all to say, it might also be John Yau's writings on Jasper Johns that have had a profound influence on my poetry. Which is all to say, I am looking forward to A Thing Among Things: The Art of Jasper Johns by John Yau! I have waited for this for years; never was I so sad to hit a book's last page as when I read John's book The United States of Jasper Johns! Go HERE for more information but I'm happy to replicate the publisher D.A.P.'s book description, to wit:
A Thing Among Things: The Art of Jasper Johns
By John Yau

This beautifully illustrated and profoundly original volume of essays by the New York poet and critic John Yau mounts one of the most eloquent defenses of the art and vision of Jasper Johns ever written--going well past tired and traditional Formalist readings of the artist's work to propose a completely new way of reading them: One that is intensely human. Praised by renowned American art historian and critic Jack Flam as, "a brilliantly attentive and original reading of Jasper Johns' work," this volume not only makes many aspects of the artist's work accessible for the first time, but also reveals an emotional tenor to the man whom so many critics have characterized, wrongly, according to Yau, as aloof or hermetic.

Expanding upon the ideas he laid out in The United States of Jasper Johns, published in 1996 by Zoland Books, Yau traces the ways that the artist's work conveys a connection to the common experience--a "sense of life" that encompasses thoughts, memory, consumption, excretion, life, death, time and mortality. Yau's readings of the works are broadened by statements from conversations between the poet and artist that have taken place over the course of the last 30 years. Lending to this sense of intimacy, many of the works collected in this volume come directly from the artist's studio or his private collection, and have rarely been reproduced before. According to Flam, "John Yau focuses his attention on how the artist's pioneering paintings relate to life as it is lived--and on what they tell us about what it means to be mortal and alive in time. Along the way, Yau cuts a much-needed clearing through the tangle of narrowly self-reflexive interpretations that have plagued so much critical writing on Johns' work during the past half century--providing a fresh approach and opening our eyes to Johns' accomplishment in revealing ways. This is a groundbreaking book, written with both precision and passion. It should be read by everyone who cares about modern painting."

John Yau is a poet and critic. He is the author of several books, including The Passionate Spectator: Essays on Art and Poetry, Paradiso Diaspora and Borrowed Love Poems, as well as contributions to monographs and catalogues on Joan Mitchell, Jessica Stockholder, Wifredo Lam and Hiroshi Sugimoto. Since 2004, he has been the Arts Editor of the Brooklyn Rail. He has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, Yale University and the Maryland Institute College of Art, and is currently an Associate Professor of Critical Studies at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry in 2006-2007.

PUBLISHED BY: D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers
FORMAT: Hardback, 9 x 7 in. / 208 pgs / 70 color
ISBN: 9781933045627 ISBN10: 1933045620
AVAILABILITY: Not yet published in the U.S. Retailers may backorder through D.A.P.
Bookseller Price Code: TRADE

That's right: The book is due out on December 1. Seems to me that if you're into holiday gifts, this be a good one. Particularly for yourself!

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Monday, November 24, 2008


...which is to say, due to travel and the Thanksgiving holiday, I'm behind behind behind on releasing Galatea Resurrects' next issue. Which is further to say, I can still take reviews for the rest of the week, until this Sunday, Nov. 30 -- there are plenty of y'all sitting on your review copies so if you want to squeeze out a review before and after the turkey, feel free!

But what has resurrected is my garden. A "winter garden", according to my helper Senor J. But said senor didn't ask what I wanted planted so I woke up this weekend to find that he'd already made the choices, to wit, accompanying the anticipated releases of my lemon and lime trees are:
Mei Quing Choi (huh? I thought before I realized it's Pac Chow)
Mixed Kale
Mixed Cabbage
Victoria Cherry Rhubarb
Strawberry Sequoia

and a few more things I didn't recognize and whose labels weren't planted in ground. Upon discovering this newly-planted winter garden, I ran up the mountain to la casa's kitchen to tell the hubby...and then also asked, "What's an 'upstart'?"

Said hubby rolled his eyes and said, "Eileen, that's the name of the company supplying the plants, not a vegetable."

Oh. So I decided to grumble to hide my shame over my inability to differentiate between a vegetable and a corporation. To wit, I grumbled, "Well why did Senor J. choose those veggies? I don't know how to cook most of them!"

Said hubby rolled his eyes again and said, "Eileen, name the vegetables that you can cook."

Moi shut up then.

And whilst I'm trying to resurrect something, here's the latest Relished W(h)ine List:

PHANTASMAL REPEATS, poems by Guillermo Parra (presented in the most divine retro print production format)

POETS @ KSP, poems by Mardi May, Jo Mills, Paula Jones, Gail Robinson, Agnes O'Kane, Sally Clarke

INVERSE SKY, poems by John Isles

THE HEAVEN-SENT LEAF, poems by Katy Lederer


LIVING WILL, poems by David Hilton

THE INLAND SEA, poems by Brandon Shimoda


AUNT LETTUCE: I WANT TO PEEK UNDER YOUR SKIRT, poems by Charles Simic with drawings by Howie Michele

MAKE LONELINESS, poems by J. Reuben Appelman

HUMAN CATHEDRALS, poems by John Sweet





THE WISHING YEAR, memoir by Noelle Oxenhandler


THE SILVER BEAR, novel by Derek Hass

DIGGING TO AMERICA, novel by Anne Tyler

SALVATION IN DEATH, novel by J.D. Robb

1991 Ravenswood Old Hill zinfandel Sonoma Valley
1994 Pesquera Janus
1997 Torbreck RunRig Barossa Valley
2000 Kistler Russian River Valley pinot noir
1989 Ch Cantemerle
2007 Dutch Henry syrah (from the barrel)
1995 Au Bon Climat pinot noir "Isabelle"

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Sunday, November 23, 2008


without, as my producer John Bloomberg-Rissman notes, "one single dime of payola"!

Gracias to the real artist, poet-scholar-D.J.! Ernesto Priego for the instigation. Naturally, moi poker-playing Angels are pleased-with-themselves preeeeeening!

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Friday, November 21, 2008


E.g., the confluence of seeing poetry sales figures drop while the submissions and submissions-queries to Meritage Press rise as other poetry presses disappear...

Well, one can look at the bright side. As someone who sees a lot of fabulous unpublished works, I share that your audience (if you care to do some xerox or .pdf distribution to friends) ain't that different from many who have managed to release poetry books.

I don't speak bitterly, by the way. Just....matter-of-factly.

And in the This-Just-In-Department re Barnes and Noble, go HERE. Gee -- maybe that explains why B&N is one of only three booksellers for which I refuse to give credit, i.e., I only sell them Meritage Press books if they send a prepaid check....since they consistently take forever to pay for books, and consistently behave as if one should be lucky to receive the attention of Barnes & Ignoble. Last time I dealt with them, it took months....AND MONTHS for them to send a check and all along I'd take these disbelieving phone calls that I won't take their word for it that they've sent the check...? When they finally sent payment, they sent TWO CHECKS, yet again showing how arrogance is really another form of incompetence. I was tempted to sit on returning that second check for months AND MONTHS but, hey, I'm a nice person. Sip: morning coffee...

And in recent snailmail -- a notice from the otherwise wonderful SPD on having to increase its fees to publishers. And so the world goes on....Well, on that note, I go off to continue the day....

You have a good one too, ya hear!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Barry Schwabsky (whose Meritage Press Books should be on your bookshelf) writes clearly on the "Art World" HERE (link viz Anny). There's much content, but let me focus on this excerpt:
To detach oneself from the vagaries of the taste of one's milieu is a considerable accomplishment. But to detach oneself from one's own taste is much rarer. To know one's taste and follow it represents integrity, but to know the limitations of one's taste and aspire to circumvent it is a more refined form of integrity...

Barry here is talking about art collectors. But this statement really can be applied to the poetry world. Nuff said about that since Moi ain't feeling didactic this mawnin'.

(Barry's article also is a good explanation for why I ceased being an "art collector" at about the time much collecting focus started occuring through the Art Fair. I remain, of course, an Art Lover.)

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Thank you, Jesse Glass.

And am glad to be mentioned in the company of Skip Fox whose work I really feel should get more attention. I did read Skip's For To and highly recommend it (mayhap you want to check it out through BlazeVOX's Holiday Sale -- a fabulous bargain-some way to get some good poetry books!)

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Monday, November 17, 2008


Muchas Gracias to Adam Fieled for asking, then featuring, three of my poems from forthcoming book NOTA BENE EISWEIN. HERE they are on P.F.S. Post just dying to be read by Toi!

Scroll down further to read poems by Didi Menendez, Christopher Rizzo, Paul Siegell, Laura Goldstein, Jeff Hilson, Andrew Lundwall, Jordan Stempleman, Kathleen Rooney & Elisa Gabbert, Jerome Rothenberg, Brooklyn Copeland, Leonard Gontarek, and harrykstammer. Good good company!

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Sunday, November 16, 2008


Ach. The best-laid plans and all that. To wit, due to some unexpected mid-week travel, I extend the review submission deadline again for the next issue of Galatea Resurrects. That is, I can keep taking reviews until Thursday, Nov. 20!



Jean experiments with e-videos and posts one of herself reading one of the poems from The Blind Chatelaine's Keys! I'm so honored! Thank you, Jean.

Haven't accessed it yet; I tend to have trouble accessing e-videos from the mountain. But I love Jean's description and it sure sounds worth checking out:
Sitting on the stairs at night in front of my house, reading Eileen Tabios’ “Before Attention Turned to You,” in The Blind Chatelaine’s Keys: Her Biography Through Your Poetics. The two lights in the dark are coming from the Alpaca ranch down the hill. The “third” above them is the rising moon. Gracie is the audience. The curious thing is how still she remained, like a statue, throughout the whole reading. Please note her brand new, very hip, reflective Max Escher dog collar, decorated with intertwined lizards.

Gracie has a new collar!

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Friday, November 14, 2008



The 11th Resurrection of Galatea looks to be yet another faboo read. The official deadline is today but I can keep taking reviews through Monday.

And, newly-set: the review submission deadline for Galatea Resurrects #12 is March 5, 2009. Do check HERE for review submission info as well as a list of fabulous poetry publications available as review copies!



Sandra Simonds (Yes, I want a copy of Wildlife 2, too!) doesn't know it but she's one of just a handful of poets that I would have solicited for a book manuscript. But Meritage Press is so full up with existing obligations and time just got away....which is all to say that I'm delighted to see that she has a book coming out anyway, from the prescient Bloof Books: Warsaw Bikini.

And is that a great title or what? Which is all to say -- Warsaw Bikini is among my latest additions to my llist of POETRY BOOKS RECENTLY BOUGHT. Yadda!

And, sigh, I also bought The Best American Poetry 2008: Series Editor David Lehman, Guest Editor Charles Wright. I don't normally buy BAP. But, cough, my name and the hay(na)ku is mentioned through in the Notes to Charles Bernstein's hay(na)ku sequence entitled "Ku(na)hay." Sure--drop my name and I'll buy your book, says Shallow Moi.

Then, I bought what I think is my first described "Christian literature" as a poetry book: Mountain Breezes: The Collected Poems of Amy Carmichael. It's a purchase I stumbled across when I was researching the life of Amy Carmichael, a missionary who opened an orphanage and founded a mission in Dohnavur, India. Imagine my surprise to discover she's also a poet, with a COLLECTED POEMS. Well, That has to be a sign, right?! God Showed Moi That Door, Even If Only As A Crack, And Moi Plowed Right Through It!

But, Peeps, surely you don't need get religion to buy a poetry book, do you? Do you? And the Peeps reply,

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Thursday, November 13, 2008


Apparently, some peeps are now concerned that -- que horror! -- moi blather may now become visual blather, too! Hmph! The back of my hand to you, she sez as she VERY CHEERFULLY posts the latest of Achilles and Gabriela by their respective statues:

See, many folks have pairs of Fu Dogs or lions (and various derivatives) straddling the entryway to their homes. I don't, of course, because if Poetry is a way of Life, it ain't about living out the expected. Hence, the welcoming pair of German Shepherds, both as real and unreal as ... poetry.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Sniffle. Wasn't expecting THIS. Thank you Reme Grefalda and Luisa Igloria for putting this all together.

And, of course, none of this would have been possible without Marsh Hawk Press (New York), Giraffe Books (Philippines), Otoliths Books (Australia), among others.

And, hm, couldn't help noticing how all those poetry paperbacks suddenly became HARDBACKS! I guess that's what happens when you become a Poetry Book Exhibited in the United States Library of Congress! (Do those hardback-dresses make Moi look fat?)

I should also thank Dusie (Switzerland) and Ahadada (Tokyo & Toronto, in early 2009) for chap- and book-publishing the poems that represent Moi.

Salamats y'all. Moi calorie-ridden goblets runneth over...

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008


This post is for Michelle Bautista who has had moi back in today's electronic age. For example, the few images I post on my blogs have been possible because I send Michelle the jpegs and then she gives me a Blogger link to cutnpaste. I just could not figure out how to upload images...until last night!!!! Michelle -- no more emails requesting blog links!!!!!

So, like, look Mom -- the Chatty One says jumping up and down -- lookit what I did:

Artemis the Huntress may look all zen just perched on the stairwell...but this was taken at night when cats, being nocturnal, is when Artemis and Missy Scarlet conduct their hunting within the house. This being the country, little insect critters often make the bad decision of entering through door cracks or open windows. Well, said critters never last 24 hours after they enter. During my morning strolls through the house, I often have to pick up teeeny leeetle black corpses of various critters... And to give you another image explaining why, here is Artemis' inner nature:

I am a poet's kitty: Hear Me Roar!

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During some e-house cleaning, stumbled across some old photos of my New York Pinoy Poet barkada, as with the following during the book launch of Luis Cabalquinto's Bridgeable Shores (standing, left to right: Luis Cabalquinto, Nick Carbo, Luis Francia, Bino A. Realuyo; seated, left to right: Eric Gamalinda, Moi, Paolo Javier, Merlinda Bobis):

Another version with noted playwright/publisher Bert Florentino joining the table (seated lower left) as we try to comport (hah!) ourselves:

Don Luis C. laid out a great table that night (an all-Toi-can-eat buffet at Manila Garden restaurant) -- you don't really get the flavor of a Filipino poet (& mayhap many other poets) unless you've eaten together. From that one root, can spring much poetics...

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Monday, November 10, 2008


First, the deadline for submitting reviews for the next issue of Galatea Resurrects is Nov. 15, this Friday. But I'm likely to keep taking them through the weekend if you just alert me.

Second, the deadline for the Sentence Book Award -- which is for a prose poem manuscript -- is this Friday. Note that electronic submissions are allowed. For more info on this, go HERE.


Sunday, November 09, 2008


And I truly enjoyed reading through ALL THAT, a collected chapbooks collection by Jim McCrary. First, I love the idea of *collected chaps*. And Jim's poems are wonderful; here's one that bucks to be my favorite and seems absolutely fresh in light of Obama-time:
Inspired by a Rumor that Edward Abbey
Was Spotted Last Week at a Hardware
Store in Espanola, New Mexico

The barbed wire was French
The cattle were Spanish
The rope was from Egypt
The gunpowder was from China
The natives, some say, were form Siberia
The wind was out of the north pole
And the fuckin' mesquite came up from Mexico

So what is all this shit
about saving the "American" West?

Certainly better reading than a book I won't read for its title -- The $64 Tomato -- since said title reminds of the paltry results of my summer garden this season. Who else would have four fig trees and only come up with four figs? Who else would have eight tomato plants with individual trelisses (sp?) and only come up with 590 tomatoes? Who else would harvest 2 decorative squashes from its entire season? One orange squash? Plant this New Yorker in one of the most fertile spots on earth and, what, she musters 40 persimmons from two trees! I could go on (just look at that list below). But let's move on before I write a gardening book. Anyway, this probably will be my last notation for this City Slicker's Harvest (well, until the results of the "winter garden" come in....I don't know what a "winter garden" is but will find out, and hopefully its harvest will be more than just for the blog post rant...)

Hmm. Actually, maybe I should write a gardening book from the perspective of one who is utterly inept at it....Anyhooo--

Here's my latest Relished W(h)ine List:

40 persimmons
2 orange decorative squash
4 green figs
12 Santa Rosa plums
50 apricots
86 strawberries
1,551 basil leaves
377 purple basil leaves
267 mint leaves
505 pinches of parsley
7 zucchini
7 yellow squash
1 orange squash
590 tomatoes
40 green figs
23 green onion stalks
302 green peppers
11 red peppers
8 Japanese eggplants
45 purple table grapes


IN MEDIAS RES, poems by Karen An-hwei Lee

GOD'S ONE HUNDRED PROMISES, poems by Karen An-hwei Lee

ARDOR, poems by Karen An-hwei Lee

CORNSTARCH FIGURINE, poems by Elizabeth Treadwell

HOLIDAY IDYLLING, poems by Vernon Frazer

INCESSANT SEEDS, poems by Sheila Murphy

THE ANGEL OF DULUTH, poems by Madelon Sprengnether


FOURSQUARE 2, Ed. Jessica Smith & featuring poems by Brandi Homan, Melissa Severein, Becca Klaver and Hanna Andrews

BRYAN PEARCE--A PRIVATE VIEW, art monograph/biography by Marion Whybrow

THE BOAT, short stories by Nam Le

FAIR WARNING, novel by Robert Olen Butler

DOG, novel by Michelle Herman

EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE, novel by Philip Margolin

CITY OF THE SUN, novel by David Levien

THE GENESIS CODE, novel by John Case

THE MURDER ARTIST, novel by John Case

THE KEEPSAKE, novel by Tess Gerritsen

RISING PHOENIX, novel by Kyle Mills

STORMING HEAVEN, novel by Kyle Mills

1996 Greenock Creek Barossa Valley cabernet
1986 Rausan Segla
2005 Peter Michael "Belle Cote" chardonnay
1990 Raymond Lafond
2003 Dutch Henry Los Carneros chardonnay
1990 Paolo Scavino Bric Del Fiasc
2007 Spottswood sauvignon blanc
1968 Mayacamas zinfandel
2004 Floral Springs merlot
2007 Rombauer Vineyards Carneros chardonnay
2005 Rombauer Vineyards Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon
2005 Rombauer Vineyards Joy Late Harvest chardonnay

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Friday, November 07, 2008


Continuing moi self-promotion du jour...So, my books are now being exhibited at the U.S. Library of Congress. Go HERE for info on the display taking place through November at

Asian Reading Room, LJ150
Jefferson Building
101 Independence Avenue, N.E.
Washington DC


And if you want to see some of the books which are gracing the halls of the Congressional Library, I think one of them is part of BlazeVOX's Holiday Sale Special! Poetry, the Priceless, on Sale! Yay!

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New Mystics promotes "infinite possibilities in theatre, music, poetry and prose." Most recently, they choose to promote me (grin), which is to say, I have some new poems HERE(or direct .pdf link HERE).

But I'm also struck by their recent additions to their Advisory Board, per their new Press Release below. I approve of their message: that art and poetry is not just the purview of, uh, artists and poets! (Not to mention that in these dire economic times, this may be a way for arts organizations to have counsel on how better to survive.)

So do go all mystical and Check 'em out! There's also Submissions Information below:
New Mystics is proud to announce the following news and website updates:

NEW MYSTICS THEATRE COMPANY, INC. announces recent additions to its Advisory Board:

Joy Anderson, Esq.
Attorney at Law (NJ)

Neal Bennett
Owner and Instructor, Industry Film School (NJ)

John Damm, Ed.D.
Licensed Psychologist (WV)

Vernon Frazer
Language poet, musician, retired performance artist (FL)

Patricia Swisher, MSW, LCSW
Counselor, substance abuse specialist (WV)

The Company recently held open auditions for the first time. Congratulations and welcome to our new Company members!

NEW MYSTICS FILMS has posted the second short film in the "6 Reasons" series. Starring Jeremy Madia, Rich Palmros, and Megan Sambataro, with original music by Knight Berman Jr. Written by Joey Madia, with direction/editing by Dan Cooley.

NEW MYSTICS ENTERPRISES, LLC, our new publishing imprint, announces the January 2009 publication of Joey Madia's Jester-Knight, a knights and dragons fantasy novel. More details will be available in the next few months. Many thanks to Jackson Fisher at Fisher King Press ( for all of his help and advice in getting our first book launched. is pleased to have 1 returning and 4 new contributors added our Literature section:

Vernon Frazer, longtime contributor and new addition to the theatre company Advisory Board, has offered "Past the Larval Harvest," a multipage visual poem.

We are thrilled to have Eileen Tabios, Recipient of the Philippines' National Book Award for Poetry, join the New Mystics family. Eileen has shared 7 of her poems, including several from a forthcoming book.

Oliver and Claire Smith, our new friends from England, debut with a short story and accompanying illustration and 3 poems. Oliver was recently published in the Inkermen Press ( anthology Lands End.

Meredith Kahn, Philadelphia resident (and super-psyched Phillies fan!) has shared her short story, "Cries in the Night," with accompanying illustration by her brother Tim.

Thanks to all of our contributors, past and present, and to all the hardworking, dedicated artists and technicians who have made our continuing growth possible. Thanks, too, to our readers and supporters!

Visit the Submissions section for details on having your writing, art, news, or banner included at New Mystics.

This update is dedicated to Mary Giaimo and her family. Everyone at New Mystics offers thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery and a quick return home!

The Artists and Technical Staff at New Mystics

My poems are in purty good company. Click HERE to access the poetry of Joey Madia, Claudia Beechman, Marina Boccuzzi, Ric Carfagna, Steve Dalachinsky, Vernon Frazer, Meredith Kahn, George Lennon, Tonya Madia, Nick Pendleton, Robert Pomerhn, Patrick Porter, Chuck Regan, Amanda Saile, Oliver & Claire Smith, Ryan Smith, Mark Sonnenfeld, Eileen Tabios, Joey West

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Thursday, November 06, 2008


One of Obama's most important political decisions will mark him as either dog-poop or dog-wise.

Let Moi give you a hint by waving the flag(s):

Really Mr. First Hawaiian President: is there any other choice?

Don't be fooled, Mr. First Skinny President, by those rats pretending to be dogs. We are among the smartest dogs in our genre and, surely, you recognize that you will need as much intelligence around you in the years ahead! (We may be ranked only No. 3 but surely the No. 2 ranker is too French while the No. 1 ranker doesn't do anything to bolster your foreign policy!)

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008


It was fun...and see two of my regular haunts serve as local voting precincts in St. Helena: the public library and the United Methodist Church. No long lines (behind the wine tourist trappings, St. Helena is a town of 5,000+ after all) but very nice to see small town politicking at work (and quite interesting to my still New York City mindset). The Methodists, smart activists that they are (remember this, our blog-based fundraiser?), also chose the opportunity to encourage voters to bring donations for the local food pantry which, like many food pantries across the nation, is hurting in resources even as they face rising need. So, sure, I brought a shopping bag of food over, but I also decided to do some stimulus spending as a gift to the new President who's going to have to wrestle with the detritus of his predecessor.

So here's the list of poetry books I bought below -- wouldn't it be nice if, especially if your candidate won, you address two birds with one act (weak poetry sales and the faltering economy which relies on consumer spending for two-thirds of its fuel) and you celebrate the impending change of administration with a poetry book purchase!:

BRIGHT EXISTENCE by Brenda Hillman



IN THE PINES by Alice Notley

I can hear some of you Peeps hooting at me -- let Moi just say with absolutely no apology that selling poetry books is a difficult task and if I can get said sales going by generating some coattail effect from the U.S. Presidential election, so be it....besides, I think it's apt to discuss poetry when discussing the historical event that is United States President Barack Obama...!

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Remember THIS from Jan. 3, 2008? Or:

am a
black man named

‘Barack Obama’ and
running for

So let's see what this day shall reveal...

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Monday, November 03, 2008


So I went into the precious Meritage Press Archives and graciously consented to send two more copies of the officially-out-of-print The First Hay(na)ku Anthology to SPD. I guess some lovely folks out there are still looking to order that first hay(na)ku collection, unaware that, yes, it's out of print but Moi -- who is ever here to serve Toi -- had wisely published


for future readers of the hay(na)ku. And Volume II reprints the essay "History of the Hay(na)ku" first printed in the first anthology since it's such a good teaching tool for ye teachers looking to assign it for your courses. So, be aware...and do continue the support! To paraphrase Obama often spouting out on the campaign trail to his cheering crowds: We love you right back!

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So, several weeks ago I bought a poetry book for $36. A special poetry book. Then I got a THANK YOU card this weekend from its publisher, someone I've never met but who is undoubtedly a special person (and not just for being a poetry publisher). Here's what the card partly said:
I've been carrying around your check for a month now and I have to send it back. You do such wonderful things for art and poetry. It would do much more to be in your bank account than mine...

What a moment.

Another example of Poetry not having recessions...or: Poetry is a Gift.

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Sunday, November 02, 2008


Dear generous participant-author in The Blind Chatelaine's Keys, You should have received your contributor's copy by now. But I've been alerted that there may have been some delivery problems. So if you wrote a piece in OUR Book and have not yet received your copy, please let me know and we'll resend!


Saturday, November 01, 2008


Have some poems among some stunning company in two new e-releases: Otoliths and the Showcase of 100 Filipina Poets as part of the First Annual Festival of Women's Poetry which just went live to run through all of November. Moi Otoliths poems HERE and WomFest flamenco poems HERE.

Stellar poet Luisa Igloria edited the Filipina Poets Showcase and it's worth reading her Introduction. I have to say I was amused by this excerpt:
But there is so much more to the idea and reality of being Filipina -- whether she is indeed a mail order bride who has found her way to a rural community in Kansas; or a domestic worker in Dubai or Hong Kong helping her compatriots organize to learn more about their rights as migrant workers; or the nanny somewhere in Europe, who has temporarily put aside her teaching career and her degree in physics; or the former Wall Street banker who has decided to make wine and write poetry; the poets who are mothers and the mothers who are poets, and who use writing to forge new definitions of family in defiance of distance; or the poets who have come to writing from "outside the academy" ...

Boldface Mine. Moi, ever wine-sipping and ever here to serve Toi, is often good as an outlier when defining a range, di ba? But seriously, that Introduction also serves up some useful links as regards Filipina Women's Poetry (which reminds me to, uh, remind y'all in the Philippines, I do have some representation at the referenced The Ateneo Library of Women's Writings in case you all want to go check out Moi Box first instigated by Feminist scholar/editor Edna Zapanta-Manlapaz -- I should be updating said box with some recent books in the near future).

And I gotta say -- scrolling through the Festival, I love seeing how beautiful these Pinay Poets are, as beautiful as their poems...Maganda Kayo Talaga! IF YOU WANNA KNOW ONE WHO WE BEAUTIFUL ONES ARE, GO HERE! (Obviously, this topic is close to Moi Heart.)


Thanks as well to Mark Young, editor of Otoliths; here's his announcement of the new issue:

Issue eleven, the southern autumn, 2008 issue of Otoliths, has just gone live. As usual, the contents are wide-ranging. There are text & visual poems, photographs, paintings, & a variety of prose pieces. There's even an essay on otoliths.

The contributors to this issue are Anny Ballardini, Michael Aanji Crowley, Sheila E. Murphy, Sheila E. Murphy & John M. Bennett, Eileen R. Tabios, Marcia Arrieta, dan raphael, Philip Byron Oakes, Michael S. Begnal, Halvard Johnson, Peter Ciccariello, Naomi Buck Palagi, Aaron Crippen, Raymond Farr, John Martone, Jeff Harrison, Andrew Topel, Felino Soriano, Reed Altemus, Iain Britton, Bill Drennan, Charles Freeland, J. D. Nelson, Mary Ellen Derwis, Joe Balaz & Mary Ellen Derwis, Alexander Jorgensen, Craig Rebele, Gregory Braquet, Marilyn R. Rosenberg, Michele Leggott, Martin Edmond, Angela Genusa, Bobbi Lurie, Charles Mahafee, Spencer Selby, Thomas Fink, Thomas Fink & Maya Diablo Mason, Cara Benson, harry k stammer, Samit Roy, Geof Huth, Stephen Nelson, Jaie Miller, Paul Siegell, Dorothee Lang, Stephen C. Middleton, Vernon  Frazer, Tom Beckett, John Moore Williams, Elizabeth Kate Switaj, Manas Bhattacharya, David-Baptiste Chirot, sean burn, Scott Helmes & John M. Bennett, John M. Bennett & various collaborators, John M. Bennett, Doug White, Steve Wing, Julian Jason Haladyn, Zev Jonas, & Robert Gauldie.

The two print parts of Otoliths ten should be available within the next week from The Otoliths Storefront, & the first eight parts—issues 1-4, parts one & two of each—are now also available from there as low-cost downloads.
Mark Young

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