Monday, August 30, 2010


[Please Forward]



Poems by Karen Llagas
ISBN 13: 978-0-9826493-1-2
Price: $15.00
Release Date: 2010
Distributors: Meritage Press, Amazon and Lulu

Meritage Press is pleased to announce the release of ARCHIPELAGO DUST, a first book by Karen Llagas and also the recipient of the second Filamore Tabios, Sr. Memorial Poetry Prize. Llagas has an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers and a BA in Economics from Ateneo de Manila. A recipient of a Hedgebrook residency and a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize, she lives in San Francisco where she works as a Tagalog interpreter & instructor, and a poet-teacher with the California Poets in the Schools (CPITS).

To celebrate the release of ARCHIPELAGO DUST, Meritage Press is pleased to announce a SPECIAL RELEASE OFFER: the book will be offered at $10 per book (you can order as many as you wish) through September 30, 2010. Free domestic shipping is also available within the U.S. To order, make a check out to "Meritage Press" and send to

E. Tabios
Meritage Press
256 No. Fork Crystal Springs Rd.
St. Helena, CA 94574

or ORDER THROUGH PAYPAL (an extra 50 cents is added for Paypal's transaction costs). (If the link doesn't work, email this link to yourself and then click on it within the received email: ) Or, you can also send a $10.50 PayPal payment to HERE.

Advance words for Archipelago Dust include:

Nostalgia, according to Hollis Frampton, should be translated as the "wounds of returning." Llagas's book explores the wounds—but also pleasures—of returning to a rich mixture of sensation and dialect, whether in Manila or San Francisco, news or myth. At one point, her speaker moves to "praise what refuses to be translated." But then, because wounds and words are not enough, she continues: "Praise, too, the thorax/and its steady vibrations... the lover's body still/warming my bed, his sex/mercifully relentless."
—Tung-Hui Hu, Mine

Karen Llagas' poems reveal an introspective speaker, one who reflects on the adopted "America" around her with such thoughtfulness and grace. Llagas' poems also deceive in their apparent order but surprise in their leaps. These leaps represent a speaker who longs for connection to all of her lovers, whether being the past, culture, or romantic loves, but ultimately one who cannot fully connect. In the powerful poem "Canvas," the speaker lists the mundane keys with other things that can't ever be reached or neatly filed away: "Keys, sadness, childhood, where do you put them away?"
—Victoria Chang, Circle and Salvinia Molesta

In one of her poems Karen Llagas intones, “Praise what refuses to be translated,” a statement that could serve as the directive which underwrites her poetry’s fierce inquiries. Whether writing about the dissonant intimacies of family life or of romantic attachment, the vivid textures of a homeland or the problematic home that is America, Llagas gives necessary depth to things that our present culture often translates into facile verbal commodities. Llagas’s lyricism gives back a complex and sensuous measure to the world she writes about, in poems that are haunted, tender, and ardent.
—Rick Barot, The Darker Fall and Want

For more information or questions (including international shipments), please feel free to contact


Saturday, August 28, 2010


So, this past year I judged for the Poetry Center Book Award which was awarded posthumously to THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST. So a celebration/reading is planned at SF State on Oct. 28 -- please check it out below in the Poetry Center's Fall Schedule. You are invited!

Fall 2010 Poetry Center programs:

Note: all programs are free to Poetry Center members and SFSU students; reduced low income admission; no one turned away for lack of funds

Thursday SEPT 9 • Robert Grenier, in conversation with Stephen Ratcliffe, on editing THE COLLECTED POEMS OF LARRY EIGNER • • • • 4:30 pm @ the Poetry Center, HUM 512, SFSU, free

Saturday SEPT 11 • A Celebration of the life and work of Larry Eigner • • • •
7:30 pm @ the Unitarian Center, 1187 Franklin (at Geary), $10
with Richard Eigner, Robert Grenier, Norma Cole, Steve Dickison, Stephen Farmer, Jack & Adelle Foley, Kathleen Frumkin, Tinker Greene, Lyn Hejinian, Duncan McNaughton, Laura Moriarty, Stephen Ratcliffe, Kit Robinson

Thursday SEPT 23 • poets Nathalie Stephens & Brian Teare • •
• • 4:30 pm @ the Poetry Center, HUM 512, SFSU, free

Saturday SEPT 25 • poets Ken Edwards & Myung Mi Kim
• • • • 7:30 pm @ Meridian Gallery, 535 Powell Street (above Sutter), $10

Thursday SEPT 30 • Michael Hulse, UK poet & translator of W. G. Sebald, Elfriede Jelinek, Rilke, &c. • • •
• • • 4:30 pm @ the Poetry Center, HUM 512, SFSU, free

OCT 7 • short fiction writers Lizzy Acker & Marisa Crawford • • • • •
• • • 4:30 pm @ the Poetry Center, HUM 512, SFSU, free

Saturday OCT 9 • Afzal Ahmed Syed, renowned Pakistani Urdu poet
• • • • • • 7:30 pm @ the Unitarian Center, 1187 Franklin (at Geary), $10

Thursday OCT 14 • poets Paul Vangelisti & Dennis Phillips • • • •
4:30 pm @ the Poetry Center, HUM 512, SFSU, free

Thursday OCT 28 • Poetry Center Book Award Reading • • •
Eileen Tabios (award judge) with Archives video of Barbara Guest
in celebration of The Collected Poems of Barbara Guest
• • • 4:30 pm @ the Poetry Center, HUM 512, SFSU, free

Saturday NOV 13 • • • Community Writing Itself
• • 7:30 pm @ Meridian Gallery, 535 Powell Street (above Sutter), $10
with editor Sarah Rosenthal and contributors Stephen Ratcliffe, Elizabeth Robinson, Juliana Spahr, Truong Tran

NEW DATE!! • • Wednesday NOV 17 • novelist Karen Tei Yamashita
presenting her new work, I HOTEL
• • • • 2:00 pm @ the Poetry Center, HUM 512, SFSU, free

Thursday NOV 18 • Cedar Sigo & Simon Pettet • • • •
4:30 pm @ the Poetry Center, HUM 512, SFSU, free

Saturday DEC 11 • Rob Halpern, presenting the George Oppen Memorial Lecture • • • •
7:30 pm @ the Unitarian Center, 1187 Franklin (at Geary), $10

Thursday DEC 16 • • • Nathaniel Dorsky, four films • •
Pastourelle (2010) 17 min. / Aubade (2010) 12 min. / Compline (2009) 19 min. / Winter (2008) 22 min.
• • 7:00 pm @ SFMOMA, $7/$10, co-presented with San Francisco Cinématheque, contact SFMOMA for tickets

THE POETRY CENTER’s programs are supported by San Francisco State University and College of Humanities; Grants for the Arts/Hotel Tax Fund, City of San Francisco; the Creative Work Fund; National Endowment for the Arts; and Friends of the Poetry Center. Note: all programs are free to Poetry Center members and SFSU students; reduced low income admission; no one turned away for lack of funds

More at


Friday, August 27, 2010


OurOwnVoice's newest issue is rather historic by focusing on the Babaylan.

I've got three poems innit, which isn't the most important detail but which I note for moi Blog-File ("Hay(na)ku with Ducktail for Leny", The Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon," and "Sacred Time"). Again for the Blog-File, I also have the novel "Dear Cloud" innit.

Having gotten Housekeeping out of the way, I found this essay by Cynthia Arias, "An American Babaylan: Living in One's Own Truth" quite useful. It's useful because modern-day Babaylanism is controversial in some circles as people grapple with the effect of the diaspora (and the resultant separation from "land"). Anyway, here's some excerpts from Arias' essay:
The concept that the Babaylan is defined by factors that override an individual’s direct experience of the originating land, the Philippine Islands, is vital to understanding the presence of the Babaylan in the Diaspora and the ways that sacred practices of the Babaylan have, as well, bridged the seas of consciousness that Pilipinos have traversed in their journeys around the world.


If we accept that Culture is a human construct, by which a group of individuals agree basic concepts of values, morals, mores to form a worldview, then it follows that Culture evolves as humans evolve.


While many may provide their perspectives, and assist in our discoveries, through critical analysis founded in scientific methodology, it is up to us to decide who we are and where we are headed.

Modern-day Babaylanism is empowering.

The Babaylan Conference, which seeded this issue, also empowered Mom to write her first book (which I'm reviewing now). But here is also one of her narratives, a memoir from 1939 entitled "Dawac". Good for Mom!

Also useful is the essay "Ways of the Babaylan" by Katrin de Guia. It's clear from her essay that empathizing/understanding (in my opinion, if you understand Babaylanism, understanding cannot occur without empathizing) cannot occur without that thing that many folks are scared to discuss: love. I do think Ben Okri's quote relevant: "Only those who truly love and who are truly strong can sustain their lives as a dream. You dwell in your own enchantment. Life throws stones at you, but your love and your dream change those stones into the flowers of discovery."

It takes courage to love as a Babaylan would/does. For, as de Guia puts it, "The first priority of the babaylan is the community."

I appreciate Babaylanism because it requires intelligent innocence.

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Duke's a horse I rode about ten years ago. When we were in New Hampshire, we visited the family who inexplicably adores him and he gave me a view of his better side while the hijo laughed. Well, que cullo right back atcha, Duke!

But at least he allowed Michael to ride him:

Here's Michael again playing with the family dog, Lady. What a beautiful boy!

Summer was quite eventful. Michael starts school next week. And next gig up on moi plate -- I become a carpool-Mom! Who'da ever thunk?!

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Thursday, August 26, 2010


It's a lovely idea by Amy King -- to post photos of folks reading a particular poet, in this case, Bill Knott. I love my copy as it also has a handmade cover by Bill who's also a visual artist. You can see more photos of poets (e.g. Kirsten Kaschock, Marc Weiss, Emily Lloyd) reading Bill over HERE. Anyway, I just love this concept -- it's really lovely to see your book in a reader's hands and under a reader's eyes....

Meantime, thanks to Bill Knott for making such wonderful poems!

And, yes, I'm thinking this is a legit author photo for Moi. After all, the hair is frazzled and I'm in the kitchen (as regards the latter factor, we all know how I aspire to be a domestic goddess...but often fail. Like my experience in ... Poetry?)


Wednesday, August 25, 2010


That's quite a muddled blog title, ain't it. But Poetry -- it's about that leap, as Bly and others have called it!

So, first, forgive me for wallowing, but this is my FIRST Back-To-School Shopping Experience and I must torture you with the details.

As background, it's been less than two years when Michael arrived in the U.S. and with such arrival, we had to get him a wardrobe from scratch. So I never really did Back-To-School Shopping when he entered 7th grade last year as that was all part of Entering-the-United-States Shopping. Ah--but this year! As he enters 8th grade next week, I had to engage in this wondrous Parenting Experience!

(Yes I find it wondrous. It's a first for me. Get over your jaded self.)

So, for my inaugural BTS, here's moi list with help from my poems who sold themselves (grin):

a pair of jeans
a short-sleeved shirt
three long-sleeved shirts
two sweatsuit jackets
athletic shorts
6 white t-shirts
8 pairs of white and grey athletic socks
a pair of shoes
insulated lunch bag
a ruler

I also have a new credit card -- the GAP credit card! I got it because if I signed up, I'd get 15% off the first bill and it's likely I'll buy the majority of Michael's wardrobe there in the future.

Having said that, I just learned what many, more experienced parents no doubt know. Old Navy is cheaper than the GAP and many of the items are similar if not the same. I know this because I first bought Michael a GAP sweatsuit/jacket. Then I left it behind when we went to the East Coast. So while on the road we went into this Old Navy store and got him ... what looks to be the exact same sweatsuit but less expensive! I apparently would pay a premium for the "GAP" versus "Old Navy" label. So, should I give a *)&* about the label-premium? I'll let you wonder ... though it's not like "Old Navy" means something like "SOQ", right? Chuckle....

But in case you wonder why there doesn't seem much clothes-buying on my BTS List, it's because Michael is growing a lot -- he grew nearly two inches since March! How's that for thriving! In less than two years, his shoe size has grown from size 4 to size 8, and his clothes size has grown from size 7 to nearly size 14 (which would be his apt size for his age)! So I know I'll just have to do another wardrobe shopping in the middle of the schoolyear to accommodate his growth. It's amazing what happens when you take a neglected child and move them to a loving, family environment....

.... which, actually, brings me to an unexpected bit of GREAT News. I've occasionally referenced adoption on this poetics blog. To be a poet is to observe -- and I know that the GREATEST HUMANITARIAN CATASTROPHE out there is the existence of approximately 147 million orphans worldwide. By being such a pervasive problem, it also drops off peoples' attention spans.

Well, I am so happy to learn that at least one child will have found a new family. Go HERE for the details; scroll down to the Comments section -- Best wishes to the Mason Family who met Jhonathan through the wonderful Kidsave program (also how we met Michael). And if you must know, and you should, here are some children who came to the U.S. this summer hoping for new families ... and are still looking. This is the internet -- be a Poet and pass on the Word.

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A check arrived in the mail for hundreds of bucks for my poems -- how unusual (but thank you, Ruth Lilly!). And I cheerfully accept it for Back-to-School Shopping! In exchange, the Poetry Foundation has reprinted four poems from THE THORN ROSARY:
"I DO"

"II. Homunculus"

"The Forced Departure"

"The Investment Banker"

Within the Poetry Foundation site, my poems then are categorized within such categories as "Prose Poems" (of course), "Art & Science," "Free Verse Poems," "Social Commentary Poems," "Activity Poems" and "Relationship Poems." Okay: no problem with any of that. I guess it's part of the attempt to "to challenge the perception that poetry is a marginal art by making it directly relevant to the American (sic) experience."

Anyway, I treasure all responses to or interest in my poems; nor do I privilege one type of respondent over another. I note this interest by the Poetry Foundation because the path I've chosen has been mostly the indie path -- I rarely traffic with poetry establishment venues, not because I'm dismissive but because I've found it more gratifying to expand where the poem might travel. So when such an established venue welcomes my poems, it validates what I was just telling a young poet struggling with finding publication. Basically, I suggested not just submitting to others but making your own spaces for your poems. Construct a new world (for which poetry is such a marvelous tool!) and if the content is _____ (you fill in the blank), they will come.

Essentially, after my first year or so as a poet where I innocently sent my poems to any literary journal whose existence I stumbled across, I've learned to submit to only one thing when it comes to poetry: Faith.

Relatedly, Moi recommends Sheila E. Murphy's new interview where she says: "The miracle of living and talking and writing and relating is that we control some things and do not or cannot control others. Or so it would seem. At the same time, what we MAY do is be in a position of greater strength when we are simply BEING and focusing on the many things worthy of our reverence."

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Do enjoy Michael and Achilles conspiring to present a zucchini hay(na)ku with some recent delectations from my mismanaged garden:

Okay, it also means I'm not quite getting it yet about the best zucchini being the small ones. So for more serious repast, please do go check out Allen Bramhall's thoughtful and witty engagement with THE CHAINED HAY(NA)KU PROJECT; here's an enticing expert:
Our revolutionary educational friend Paulo Freire advocated dialectic over the pressed meat into sausage casing model of education (i. e. lecture lecture lecture into sponge brain ninnies, Sponge Brain Square Bob). These collaborations ruffle appropriate feathers in the demonstrative debate for the poem’s fair creation.

Meanwhile, here's Moi latest here's my latest Recently Relished W(h)ine List, heavy on airport reading but also fortunately some blessings from East Coast friendly wine cellars:

1 stalk of "miner's weed"
110 stalks of green onion
97 strawberries
2 artichokes
2 cherries
14 zucchini
4 stalks of scallions
12 summer squash
14 cucumbers
438 tomatoes
1 fig
9 bell peppers
35 clumps of basil
3 cucumbers
9 squash blossoms
100 chives
4 red jalapenos
7 green jalapenos

THE CHAINED HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY, hay(na)ku collaborative poem anthology curated by Ivy Alvarez, John Bloomberg-Rissman, Ernesto Priego and Eileen Tabios (Very SPECIAL RELEASE OFFER here!)

FLUX, CLOT & FROTH, VOL. I (Text), book-length poem by John Bloomberg-Rissman (proofing this future release by Meritage Press. Poem is just under 800 pages -- Yep: I love ambition in poetry! And the covers are done marvelously with vizpo poet-artist Geof Huth!)

FLUX, CLOT & FROTH, VOL. 2 (Apparatus), book-length notes to poem by John Bloomberg-Rissman (Notes comprise a near-250 page book -- Yep: I love ambition in poetry!)

DIWATA, poems by Barbara Jane Reyes (GORGEOUS! I simply INHALED this book. Am so happy and proud of this achievement by Barbara. One of the most stellar achievements of this book is how it ends. The choice of the last poem elevated the all of the book into strength and power(!) -- a point worth noting because much of the words are just so lushly beautiful. To be beautiful is often to be stared at -- with the last poem, the reader suddenly realizes the reader is also being witnessed. The reader is being watched .... as in, I am watching you to make sure the wrongs of history will know: Never Again.)

BECKMANN VARIATIONS & OTHER POEMS by Michael Heller (Very Inspiring.)

SIMPLIFY ME WHEN I'M DEAD, poems by Keith Douglas (breathtaking)

LA VISTA GANCHA, poemas by John M. Bennett

OBRAS PUBLICAS: POEMS, STORIES, ESSAYS, ETC. by Halvard Johnson (enjoyable reading!)



HECATE LOCHIA, poems by Hoa Nguyen

JUAN LUNA’S REVOLVER, poems by Luisa A. Igloria

BARROW, poems by Bryan Thao Worra

SEDIMENT, poems by Sandy Tseng




BIRD EATING BIRD, poems by Kristin Naca

THE GINKGO LIGHT, poems by Arthur Sze


THIS IS A SOUL: THE MISSION OF RICK HODGES, biography by Marilyn Berger

FROM SAKHALIN TO SANTA, memoir by Don Ashley Turlington

THE REVOLUTION ACCORDING TO RAYMUNDO MATA, novel by Gina Apostol (should be required reading along with the canonical texts it references)

RECKLESS, novel by Andrew Gross

SUPREME JUSTICE, novel by Phillip Margolin

THE MEPHISTO CLUB, novel by Tess Gerritsen

TWO LITTLE GIRLS IN BLUE, novel by Mary Higgins Clark

THE ASSASSIN, novel by Rachel Butler

THE FAITHFUL SPY, novel by Alex Berenson

UNEXPECTED BLESSINGS, novel by Vickie McDonough

A CHRISTMAS CHRONICLE, novel by Pamela Griffin

2008 Chapellet chardonnay
2007 Peter Michael "Ma Belle Fille" Chardonnay
2009 Cupcake malbec
2009 Chalone pinot noir
2002 Pahlmeyer Chardonnay Sonoma Coast
1989 Clerico Barolo Bricotti Bussia
2003 Standish Barossa Valley
1986 d'Yquem
1978 Monfortino
1992 Puligny Montrachet Les Pucelles
1970 Vega Sicilia
2002 Raveneau Blanchot Chablis
1990 DRC Romanee Saint Vivent
1982 Ch Certan De May

Okay, moi other dawg insists on sequal spotlight time as with Achilles. Here's the no-doubt-soon-to-be-famous zucchini hay(na)ku featuring Gabriela with Michael:

Yep, that zucchini hay(na)ku does look to be on the verge of collapse. Which also is a poetics! Listen to Allen again:
What this means is that verses have a discrete power. The six words team up to maintain a local gravity while spinning around the idea of The Poem. I know, for myself, that the segregation of the regulated 6 words of each verse creates a separation from the larger work, even while supporting that larger work. A centripetal force occurs in tandem with the gravitational pull. I hope that’s not too much science for humanities types.

All / very kewl / and quite delish!

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Monday, August 23, 2010


You go through a To-Do List to go away.

You return to a new To-Do List, urgent because you went away.

Can not the cycle of Life be more than this?

I'm back. Sigh. And here's my latest To-Do (Literary) List, which I blog as blogging such lists seem to make me able to go through them quicker:
Review and collate Mom's manuscript -- working title: LOCAL COLORS -- for preparation for third-party copy editor.

Mail out THE CHAINED HAY(NA)KU PROJECT anthologies.

Mail out review copies for Galatea Resurrects.

Fix the computer server, thus allowing you to update your writer's Income Statement and book mailing lists.

Get new checkbook for donation to A___.

Read through the box of poetry books for a poetry contest you agreed to judge because you respect the poems of the person who asked you to judge (what an idiot Moi am!).

Write three poetry book reviews.

Photograph yourself with a poetry book gifted to you so it can be jpegged as THANKS to the author.

Type up the poem you unexpectedly wrote during the trip.

Follow up on the printing of next Meritage Press release.

Follow up on the proofing of subsequent Meritage Press releases.

Explore a new idea for a poetry project to see if there's something in it (actually, I know there's something in it but, nowadays, I also have to decide whether it's worth the time -- time versus giving attention to son, dogs, cats, husband (not necessarily in this order, of course), house construction, house construction, house construction, preparing for Michael's middle school which begins next week....Though, actually, I'm not complaining about the effect on my poem-writing time: I think the pressure will facilitate the urgency of those poems that still manage to slip through moi cracked forehead).

Here's something I did accomplish from last week's Vacation To-Do List: embed deeper into Michael's mind the idea of college by taking him to my and the hubby's schools. Up top, there he was indifferent to Columbia (stand-in for my alma mater since Barnard doesn't take men).

But, oh my, did he love Yale University! Why, I asked? Because, he said, as he walked through its campus, "It's like in Harry Potter!"

Okay, whatever entrypoint it takes to get him in the college prep mode. Not necessarily where his parents went, of course -- but just to get him thinking in that direction. Check and Done. Huzzah.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010


Off for a week through NY, Mass., Conn., Vermont and New Hampshire. Introducing Michael to his East Coast relatives. So no blog bidness for a week but wanted to post above photo so I can cheerfully check it on the road as I will miss the furry aminals!

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Friday, August 13, 2010


On the other hand, I'm always up for adding poetry titles to Galatea's Poetry Library! If you're a poet and don't see your book HERE, and are curious about THE CHAINED HAY(NA)KU PROJECT, I'd be happy to trade!

Actually, you can see other titles available for trades on the left-hand column of the site. If interested, just email Moi at

Meanwhile, THE CHAINED HAY(NA)KU has made it to London, courtesy Senor Priego!

And I love Ernesto's assessment, to wit (underlined emphases mine):
This book is the result of a collective, collaborative effort. The book reflects the open, online nature of the poetic process. The genealogy of the project is reproduced in detail on its pages: blogging, email exchanges, comments on posts, etc. As a result this is as honest as poetry can get: there is no make up here, at least no extra make up: imagine a poetry anthology with behind the camera special features. Notions of authority, centrality, language, hierarchy, genre, art forms, geography are interrogated in practice in the collective creative efforts of dozens of contributors from around the world. If you are into art, digital media, social networking, blogging, electronic writing or poetry do give this little book a try. You won’t be disappointed.

Do check it out and ENJOY!


Monday, August 09, 2010


[Please Forward]

Press Release from Meritage Press and xPress(ed)

Curated by Ivy Alvarez, John Bloomberg-Rissman, Ernesto Priego & Eileen Tabios
BOOK Link:
ISBN-13: 978-951-9198-78-1
Price: $16.95
Release Date: 2010
Distributors: Meritage Press, Amazon and Lulu

Meritage Press (San Francisco & St. Helena, CA) and xPress(ed) (Puhos, Finland) are pleased to announce the release of THE CHAINED HAY(NA)KU PROJECT, the third anthology based on the hay(na)ku poetic form and the first to focus on collaborations. About a hundred poets and artists from around the world participate in this groundbreaking anthology, with each poem involving the participation or three or more poets/artists.

The hay(na)ku is a poetic form introduced in 2003. Its swift popularity would not have been possible without internet-based communication. With the internet's capacity for engendering collaborations, it was inevitable that a collaborative hay(na)ku project such as THE CHAINED HAY(NA)KU would arise, and fitting that it began with a public invitation from a blog (on June 24, 2007, an invitation was posted on for poets to participate in hay(na)ku collaborations). Poets, artists, and even members of a company's editorial department responded, and this anthology is one result, along with friendships and much fun!

To celebrate the release of THE CHAINED HAY(NA)KU, Meritage Press is pleased to announce a SPECIAL RELEASE OFFER: the book will be offered at $10 per book (you can order as many as you wish) through September 30, 2010. Free domestic shipping is also available within the U.S. To order, make a check out to "Meritage Press" and send to

E. Tabios
Meritage Press
256 No. Fork Crystal Springs Rd.
St. Helena, CA 94574

More information about the hay(na)ku poetic form, including the participants in THE CHAINED HAY(NA)KU, are available at The Hay(na)ku Poetry Blog. More information about the two earlier hay(na)ku anthologies are available as follows:

The Hay(na)ku Anthology, Vol. 2:

The First Hay(na)ku Anthology (now sold out but with stray copies available in the internet, e.g. Amazon):


FYI, an early reaction to THE CHAINED HAY(NA)KU is available at

For more information or questions (including international shipments), please feel free to contact

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Sunday, August 08, 2010


When I and the hubby married each other last century, I was working in finance and neither of us had a clue that I someday would chuck the suit and become a poet. I always knew that the transition was tough on him (though he's been nothing but supportive). But I don't think I realized how tough it is to live with a writer until Mom discovered HER-LITERARY-SELF at age 80 and began writing a book. She has been narcissistic as all hell when it comes to demanding support for her writings (grin).

Usually, her demands are in the form of technical support as she can't figure out margins on Word. May not sound like a big thing to you but, heck, I can't figure out margins on Word! And I'm too embarrassed to keep emailing Michelle with dumb questions like, "So, how do you adjust margins on Word?"

Well, Mom finished her book this weekend. HUZZAH!!!! And she'll be taking off for the Philippines this coming weekend. HUZZAH AGAIN!!!!! Heh.

Well, except there's still one more week of hell for Moi to pay: I'll be spending this coming week editing and going over Mom's book manuscript. Have I mentioned yet that the hubby has witnessed these developments with much relish and HUZZAHs!!!? He's long felt it apt that I go through what he, uh, has gone through...

Anyway, until Mom's book comes out, here's my latest Recently Relished W(h)ine List:

1 stalk of "miner's weed"
110 stalks of green onion
97 strawberries
2 artichokes
2 cherries
11 zucchini
4 stalks of scallions
12 summer squash
8 cucumbers
275 tomatoes
1 fig
9 bell peppers
25 clumps of basil
3 cucumbers
9 squash blossoms
40 chives
3 red jalapenos
5 green jalapenos

BOUGH BREAKS, poems by Tamiko Beyer (in manuscript--a moving collection, so moving that it became Meritage Press' latest accepted poetry manuscript. Await word of this publication by a talented poet!)

THE CHAINED HAY(NA)KU PROJECT, collaborative poem anthology curated by Ivy Alvarez, John Bloomberg-Rissman, Ernesto Priego and Eileen Tabios (Very SPECIAL RELEASE OFFER with generously-discounted pricing soon to come!)

MOVING PICTURES, poems by Greg Fuchs (marvelous energy!)

POISON OAK, poetry by Jukka-Pekka Kervinen (deceptively musical with the amusing help of scratch-throughs)

SELECTED POEMS OF OCTAVIO PAZ, Translated by Muriel Rukeyser

TOXIC FLORA, poems by Kimiko Hahn

DUTIES OF AN ENGLISH FOREIGN SECRETARY, poems by Macgregor Card (deft. interesting)

RADHA SAYS: LAST POEMS by Reetika Vazirani (the all of it -- poems and biography which is impossible to separate from this project -- is just plain sad)

SPRING HAS COME: SPANISH LYRICAL POETRY FROM THE SONGBOOKS OF THE RENAISSANCE (Espanol & Ingles) by Alvaro Cardona-Hine (interestingly educational)



IGNOBLE TRUTHS, poems by Gail White

THE GODDESS OF GOODBYE, poems by James R. Whitley

SUM OF EVERY LOST SHIP, poems by Allison Titus

THE JOURNEY, poems by David H. Rosenthal

ABSOLUTE ELSEWHERE, poems by James Davies and photography by Simon Taylor (very interesting and nifty concept of poems and visuals responding to the same clues "blind" from each other)



LETTERS TO A YOUNG ARTIST, advice/memoir by Anna Deavere Smith


IN A HEARTBEAT: SHARING THE POWER OF CHEERFUL GIVING, memoir by Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy (with Sally Jenkins) (just fabulous! among many hilarious stories is how Leigh Anne ranted at the Oscars' red carpet)


RAIN, O'ER ME, fiction booklet by Rachael Goetzke

KEEPER AND KID, novel by Edward Hardy

THE BOOK OF SPIES, novel by Gayle Lynds

U IS FOR UNDERTOW, novel by Sue Grafton

WATERSIDE HOMES, interior decoration by Marcie Stuckin and Susan Abramson

DESIGNING FOR SMALL HOMES, interior decoration by Dylan Landis

SMALL SPACE LIVING by Norman Smith (no. I don't have a project ongoing. this is just vicarious reading...)

2007 Alpha OImega
Tra Vigne house red
1999 Trevor Jones Wild Witch Barossa Valley
2009 Dutch Henry sauvignon blanc Chafen Family Vineyards
2004 Trevor Jones Barossa Valley
2001 Clerico Ginestra


So, what else has Moi recently relished? This, a shot of the solar field under expansion:

To soften the hard edges of those panels, here's part of the solar field garden (I seem to do better with flowers than vegetables -- an implicit poetics by itself to you discerning ones):

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Saturday, August 07, 2010


Pleased to see Michael Leong take up the hay(na)ku for 3by3by3. 3by3by3 has an interesting "recipe" for its call to participants:
Pick 3 stories from Google News. Using only words that occur in the first 3 paragraphs of each story, make a poem with 3 stanzas, 3 lines each, no more than 60 characters per line. The 3-word title should use a word from each story.

It would seem to be an apt venue for the hay(na)ku and I'm glad such a talented poet picked up on the relationship. Here's Michael Leong's 3by3by3's offering, entitled "His Sketches Continued."

Michael, best of luck on creating a chap!


Friday, August 06, 2010


Dave Bonta posts interesting thoughts on "Economy, Memory and Inspiration" HERE.

It's timely as folks inaugurate, if not complete, projects online before they translate it to a written form like the book.

And glad that Dave found my reading of an economics poem over the price of oil to be "hilariously seductive". Hear for yourself HEAR.

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Thursday, August 05, 2010

DAD, ME ... & MY SON

I guess I'm surprised at how painful still remains the grief over my father's passing a few years back. I'm surprised. It's not like, after I graduated from college and the house I shared with my parents, that I tried to spend a lot of time with him. I'm surprised at how much I miss my father (I think of him daily when, while he was alive, months could pass without a thought of him!). I suspect now that I'll spend the rest of my life missing my father.

And so I wonder about Michael -- I wonder how in the future my son will resolve (or just address) his loss.

I think I was about Michael's age in this picture with my father (the same shot of him that would come to be replicated in the book cover of THE LIGHT SANG AS IT LEFT YOUR EYES...):

The parent-child relationship is so fragile -- there are just really too many ways for adulthood to become defined as distance...

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Woot! THE CHAINED HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY is in the house! Here's Michael holding a copy from the just-arrived boxes!

We still need a little more time to mark its public release; do await a RELEASE SPECIAL OFFER coming out to you the public!

But in the meantime, I have been mailing contributor's copies out....and it happened again: I became the laughingstock of the local post office.

What with Meritage Press, Galatea Resurrects and my own work as a writer, I have tons of those book mailers in the house...and I re-use them. I was green before the world got hip to it!

But this does mean that my packaging is more scruffy than it could be -- was it McCrary who once said my packages come with the scent of a used porn video store? Anyway, there Moi was at the post office cheerfully mailing out books and the postperson looked at one packet with multiple tapings and ... guffawed.

"Hey," Moi riposed, "I recycle them till they disintegrate!"

Chuckling, she replied, "Good for you!"

That's right: Good for Moi! Remember not to judge a book by its (mailing) cover! And that:

A hay(na)ku a day keeps the grinch away!


The striking picture in the kitchen always elicits queries. The painting behind Michael is by Victor Rodriguez.

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Tuesday, August 03, 2010


I was recently asked whether I planned to submit my 2010 book THE THORN ROSARY to a poetry contest. After replying, Naaaah (whilst thinking, Pleeeez), I was asked to judge the contest.

Which leads me to the following revelation: if you want to make money in the poetry world, don't submit your books to contests. Collect the poetry contest judging fees instead.

I am here to serve with gems of wisdom that'll even make you rich enough to fix your teeth. Huz. Zah.

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How's 'bout a new poem! To wit:

A bag of mini-Snickers chocolates
a dozen new pairs of athletic socks--

Michael proclaims


stroking bulging cheek with soft sock--

sometimes, I just love


Okay--that one's unlikely to become an anthology hit. But here's its inspiration with a make-shift vegetable stand on the kitchen counter--Michael had harvested some tomatoes, washed them, and now he's trying to sell them for $5 a pop (oh such are the roots of entrepreneurship!):

Here's a close-up of his sign -- yes, he's still mixing up his tenses. But check out those tomatoes: don't they look popping-in-mouth-worthy! Something for poems to strive for, yah?

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Monday, August 02, 2010


Sigh. I just learned that poet-artist Lory Medina died unexpectedly of cardiac arrest. She was just 59 years old and (according to a mutual friend) had just been preparing to go back to art school ... This is one of her works, "TemperednVeiled" (part of a 2007 exhibit at Gwang Gallery Seoul which featured her treebark paintings and photographs):

It just goes to show how ... things happen and we really should savor each moment and try to live it in a state of blessedness. That lesson strikes me hard today with this news, in part because Lory is the second Filipino artist I'd promised to write about, but didn't/couldn't until after her/his death (the first artist who never got to read my words about his art was V.C. Igarta).

Laurel Johnson reviewed Lory's poetry book HEADING HOME HERE in Galatea Resurrects. Lory also was inspiring and helpful to me, de facto collaborating with my Commodities: An Autobiography list project.

We never met in person, but I am grateful for your presence, Lory. R.I.P.

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As I've mentioned before, my nearly 81-year-old Mom has a first book coming out!

In celebration of such, she also had her first "salon" (oh my!) reading experience this weekend, as she read from her narrative entitled "Dawac"....GO HERE TO READ ABOUT THE WHOLE LOVELY EXPERIENCE!

Thanks Leny for inviting and hosting at your lovely home!

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