Friday, September 30, 2005


Okay. I've been found out. Poet-blogger -- but whom I didn't know was also an investigative reporter -- Mark Young has discovered the truth about Moi. There is no such thing as "Eileen Tabios". This blog and its other blog-offshoots have been nothing less than a performance project by Angelina Jolie.

As Mark determines over at THE BLURBED BOOK Project, I am

"a ficcione, the creation of much-rejected Icelandic poet Einar Beestiol -- note the anagram -- who has used a computer program to mix equal parts of the great Icelandic creation poem Voluspo with the Diaries of Golda Meir & created a far-fetched persona to clothe them in -- I mean, who really can believe in this purported author; female, attractive, member of a minority, who has given up a career in corporate banking to grow grapes & write poetry?"

Well, Moi adds wistfully: I do love all these Icelanders...

Perks up. But lookit. Just because we now know that Moi am Angelina Jolie doesn't mean we can't continue having a good time in poetry blogland, eh? So, please: please to continue to BLURB MOI!!!

p.s. Mischievous minimalist Ruth Lepson ups the difficulty threshold -- check out her blurb just prior to Mark's!


Y'all do know that Viggo Mortensen is not just an actor but a poetry supporter and poetry publisher, right?

So Jean has the good taste, not to mention good grooming, to mention Viggo Mortensen's future foreword in my BLURBED BOOK project. Said BLURBED BOOK, meanwhile, gives Veronica three orgasms.

As I noted to Ver within her blog comment section, I am disappointed in her lack of faith. Moi words most assuredly WILL be sure to give that lady waaaaaay more than three drenching experiences.

I know I'm going on and on about this project. What can I say? Besides my dogs and cats, there is absolutely nothing else of import going on in my life. Why do you think I spent months earlier on this blog talking about cutting off moi puppy Achilles' balls?


So. C'mon Peeps. BLURB MOI!


Blurbs continue flowing in to moi -- thankee and do please continue to send for THE BLURBED BOOK project! Having said that, I and my "decolonized poodles" were miffed to receive this "blurb" from Bino A. Realuyo:



are both Meritage Press authors and so it behooves Moi to spread the word on their upcoming joint reading, to wit:

Sunday, October 9 at 7 PM
as part of the Zinc Talk/Reading Series.

ZINC-TRS is at 90 West Houston between Laguardia & Thompson in New York City's Greenwich Village. Subway: ACEBDFV to west 4th street. NR to spring. 1/9 to Houston.

$5 donation goes to the poets.
If you don't have it, don't worry, come anyway.

For more information, see the website at www.lungfull.org/zinc.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


The R., he
decided, could stand
for Rose.
--Mark Young

You know: it's about Poetry. Nothing more, nothing less. So if moi blather causes a new poem -- such as this one by Mark Young -- it all would have been worth the pain to your eyes' ears to witness/hear me blather on and on about this and that.

Which is to say: Thank you, Mark.

Now, the rest of youse. Go on: BLURB MOI!

I've also integrated an INDEX to my BLURBED BOOK BLOG. The blurbs have been coming right like there's no tomorrow and so I've had to do an Index. Here are the contributors to date -- after less than 48 hours from the Call For Blurbs -- as revealed by said Index:


Del Ray Cross
Ron Silliman
Tsipi Keller
Stephen Vincent
Andrew Joron
Brian Clements
Addie Tsai
kari edwards
Tom Beckett
Aldon L. Nielsen
Michael Magee
Bob Dylan, as channeled by Chris Stroffolino
Patrick James Dunagan
Sandy McIntosh
Allen Bramhall
Irving Weiss
Kent Johnson
Martha Deed
Timothy Martin

And here's my latest idea -- I also want to go send in this data to the Guinness Book of World Records for


by a book. And the paradox is that said blurbs will have been written when no book existed!!!

C'mon, c'mon then, youse Peeps! All six-billion-plus of youse! BLURB MOI!

Distract yourself from the incompetencies of this administratin and FEMA.


I've seen the best minds of my poetic generation and they're all blurbing Eileen Tabios!!!!

Sumthin' like that! BLURB MOI!

And if you know Moi -- 'twon't be about Eileen Tabios. She's just a fragrant slice of air (fickety-fick: for all we know, she probably drinks rose!).

It's about POETRY!. So. Please to



A legal beagle, David Delbaum, attended the recent Marsh Hawk Press Fall launch in New York City. Though professing not to be a poet, David sends over a hay(na)ku sequence -- a form he chose because he thought I was talking about a "Hei(ni)kin" sequence (sigh) -- in response to my reading. To wit:

laughed at
your first poem.

you know
how I feel.

people can't
take a joke.

just don't
know what's funny.

people can't
tell a joke.)

Sigh again. Well, David was poeticizing in response to the first poem I read, a footnote poem from ENGLISH:

Footnote # 92

Once, I was so committed
to Communism, I prostituted

myself. Those who bought me
fragmented into light. The problem

with slogans is their deadening
efect, similar to sex "with hands tied."

Now, see. I personally think this poem is REEEEEEALLY FUNNY. I sure giggled for at least ten minutes after I wrote it. But for some reason, no one laughed after I read it. 'Twas met with a dead (mayhap uncertain?) silence. So I shrugged, lamely said something about giggling for at least ten minutes after writing it, then went on to continue the reading. But there's the poem above -- does no one else think it a hoot?

Okay, I'll just giggle to moiself here.

On to next missive, this from Tom Fink who writes in about POST BLING BLING: "A wild book! Because it's so innovative, I don't yet know what to make of it, of the appropriative elements, though I read it once. I have a good feeling, though, that you're on a very good track. (By the way, it was freaky reading about the hybrid car that my old college buddy and his wife, who live near Port Jeff, got last year; I have a good feeling about the car, but the ad made me doubt that.)"

Thanks Tom. I'm not clear on which car-inspired poem I wrote -- the Yukon Denali, Lexus or Ford Escape. But his point remains the general same, unconstrained by the specificity of the reference vehicle...whose gas-guzzling characteristic sure has become a timely reason for concern, hasn't it!?

Anyhoo, I repost Tom's missive here to, surprise, promote one of my publications: POST BLING BLING!!! Yadda. And it's FREE if you download! Why not check it out, along with the other fabulous Moria Books titles!


I have always been against censorship, but in this case, at the edge of the deadly unknown--the unknowable--I urge that this literary work not be published. In my considered opinion, it should not even be written.
--from "URGENT: A Cautionary Blurb" by Sandy Mcintosh

I spent the afternoon helping to put together a mosaic, a collaboration with local artist June Andersen and local hubby Tom Pollock based on my rewriting of the Greek myth of Pygmalion and Galatea.

'Twas interesting working with tangible materials -- in this case the cutting of glass tiles, arranging them against June's sketched out board, and gluing them into allocated spaces. It reminds me that the "materiality" of words is a metaphor....which, btw, is not to diss ekphrasis the way some peeps with sticks up their asses are wont to do.

The world is both illusion and reality. This is not necessarily a cause for anger but an inspiration, to me, for further stretching out imagination's field.

Like moi BLURBED BOOK PROJECT -- how it even raises Bob Dylan from the dead (check out the latest additions!).

Do keep blurbing Moi, please. And last but not least for the purpose of this post, the exercise in its very early stages has already achieved something beyond Moi blather: the creation of a new poetic form: THE BLURB POEM.

Poetry -- one doesn't need to make it up. One only needs to pay attention, and articulate it, not into existence, but into recognition.

Please to continue to blurbing Moi. Bless you.



And I love it.

So far, I'll need to conjoin -- with not a whiff of irony -- war-torn Eastern Europe with penguins, discourse from the bathroom, perform "sex majik with Alister Crowley," turn language into a jellyfish, and extol on one of my primary areas of supreme expertise: housework -- NOT! And have I mentioned the double sestina that needs to be in the midst of this long-poem-in-the making?

And that's just this morning. Yesterday elicited the constraints of entering Rilkean territory of terror and wonder along the Fibonacci path, deconstructing Napa Valley wine country, flying in a sorceress "sans culottes" (fashion statements even applicable here), revealing the sadomasochistic nature of international finance, and eroticizing airplanes.

Not a problem. Moi have infinite expanse.

So, c'mon Peeps -- I'm up for a challenge. Make my life hell: BLURB ME!

(See the prior two posts for more information! All are invited to participate!)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


and the poem I hadn't known I wanted to write ... or that you hadn't known you wanted to read!

Sumthin' like that.

Anyway, if you go to my newest blog THE BLURB PROJECT, you'll see samples of blurbs as a result of my CALL FOR BLURBS (see prior post) so that I can write what will be my first book-length poem.

As soon as my first blurber Del Ray Cross sent something, I realized that the project is not about receiving praise but gleaning particular references that I must now write about (e.g. Del Ray implies I should be writing about committing various adulteries in airplanes if not with airplanes!). Of course, Ron Silliman GOT that right away, hence giving me a blurb that, as I complained backchannel to him, "upped the difficulty threshold!" To wit:

"Bruce Sterling with a difference: Eileen Tabios has written an intense thriller that manages to expose the dangerous & erotic underside of the Northern California vineyards, international finance and the global ties that bind many nations to the U.S., not as partners, but in the manner of sadomasochism. And she has done it all in rhyme."

Geeez. Sadomasochism, let Moi tell you, is the least of it!

Well, fine, I asked for it. Please do participate. Though the blurb form partly relies on overhyped gasping hoo-haas, this is not about praising Moi. This project is about making my writing life HELL. How can you resist?

Go ahead, Peeps. All Six-Billion-Plus of you.. Make my life hell! BLURB MOI!

Send to GalateaTen@aol.com....All contributors will be acknowledged.


Hmmm. So, Nick Carbo and I were discussing a possible project recently that required him to write a few lines on my writings. Well, Nick -- with his puckish sense of humor -- wrote something so hyped up that I joked it could be a blurb, to wit:

Eileen Tabios' poems have the capacity of intellect not seen since the days of Simone de Beauvoir and her well of inspiration is as deep as Marguerite Duras. She offers important work that will inspire future generations of poets and writers.

Then I said, "All I have to do is write a book to fit it."


We paused. A wingtip rose to scratch moi head. An eyebrow rose...and Ladies and Gentlemen, a new project by Moi is born! And dear Folks, I invite you to participate!

To wit, write me a blurb. Send me a blurb. After collecting said blurbs, I'll write a new book to fit said blurbs!!!!!

Hah! Oulipo's got nuthin' on Moi!

And it doesn't even have to be a positive blurb. Make it a negative! Yah, yah -- I know a negative blurb is an oxymoron...but Moi is always about breaking the rules. So, please:


You don't know my work? It doesn't matter! I don't know moi work. So purty-pleeze to blurb me!

Blurb me.

Blur me.


Blurred me.

Clarify me.


...send to GalateaTen@aol.com

Monday, September 26, 2005


Paolo Javier flutters the lashes a-preening with a letter, to wit:

"Meritage Press' number on Sean Finney's 'The Obedient Door' has to be one of this year's revelations. i LOVE the book. in fact, i've been showing it off to people, & even brought it to obtrusive eye level while reading on the crowded subway this morning, just so passengers could see it. the cover is dope, & the large characters in the title are quite cinematic, a la the beginning & end credits of a julian schnabel & wong kar wai film. & i actually dig the interior art by ward schumaker & lori barra, as they don't feel separate from the writing in the way that most books that offer poetry & art do. in fact, i think they anticipate & complement very much sean's poetry, not in an analogous way but rather almost like an extension of it? yes, the book's design is truly off the chain!

"i like Sean's poetry even better, of course, & i think his n sarah gambito's book offer very similar disjunctions that are delightful & intriguing & dreamy & addictive & inspiring (tho not necessarily in that order). in short--'The Obedient Door' is poppin'.

"kudos to you both!"


Well isn't that special! I am particularly delighted to note Paolo's observations about the poetry/art collaborative aspect -- how one form isn't privileged over the other, something that often results from such collaborations (there's a brilliant essay by John Yau that touches on this matter in my first Meritage Press book, 100 More Jokes From the Book of the Dead by John and Archie Rand). It's a point that my press, as a multidisciplinary press, is much conscious of.

And thanks to Chris Stroffolino, btw, for noting Sean's book also is "worth checking out!"

So? Sean's book will be at SPD soon, or you can always email Moi the Happy Publisher!

Sunday, September 25, 2005



SUGGESTIONS AT EVERY TURN, poems by Elena Rivera

SERENADE, poems by Bill Berkson

PICASSO, meditation by David Hockney

AMERICA'S GREATEST UNKNOWN POET: Lorine Niedecker Reminiscences, Photographs, Letters and Her Most Memorable Poems by John Lehman

WHITHER NONSTOPPING, poems by Harriet Zinnes

ESTRELLA'S PROPHECIES 2, poems by David Baratier

ESTRELLA'S PROPHECIES III, poems by David Baratier

THE INVISIBLE GARDEN, memoir by Dorothy Sucher

THE SUMMER I DARED, (airplane reading) novel by Barbara Delinsky

Ygdrasil: A Journal of the Poetic Arts (August 2005 or Clayton Eshleman issue) at

1991 Seavey cabernet
Veuve Cliquot champagne
1989 CNP Les Cailloux
1989 Le Chapoutier Sizeranne
2003 The Dead Arm shiraz
2003 Baron Herzog Special Reserve chardonnay (Baron Herzog being one of the better labels for kosher wine)
2001 Morellino Di Scansano Le Vignacci Riserva
1996 Le Bahans Haut Brion
2002 Chassagne Montrachet Domaine Michelle Niellon Les Champagne 1st Cru
2003 Peter Michael Belle Cote
2001 Muller-Catoir Mossbacher Eselshaunt Riesling Eiswein
2001 Altaa P.S.
1990 d'Yquem
2000 Gaja Barbaresco
2000 Gaja Sori San Lorenzo Lenghe
1999 Sine Qua Non "The Marauder" sirah
2002 Penfolds Grange shiraz
1998 Grange
1989 Clerico Ginestra
1964 Haut Brion
1988 Calon Segur
1994 Beringer Cabernet Chabot Vineyard
2001 Castello Banfi Summus

And the Marsh Hawk Press Launch wines:
2004 Naia (a fruity Spanish wine)
2003 Benziger Los Carneros chardonnay
2002 Ravenswood cabernet
2003 Cartlidge Brown pinot noir

Saturday, September 24, 2005


What a lovely evening. Thanks everyone for coming to last night's Marsh Hawk Press book launch. An overflow crowd that required a constant taking out of more chairs to create new rows until, then, standing room. And an eclectic crowd! Eclectic (not clique) is what I want for the audience of a poetry reading. There were poets, of course, but also novelists, visual artists, a playwright, students, bloggers, editors, an art dealer, a business executive, one child, even lawyers (for one lawyer, ours was only his second attendance at a poetry reading!), and so on. I mention the audience make-up, to the extent I can assess it, because I hope for a poetry meaningful in a world beyond its poet-practitioners.

We -- Sandy McIntosh and Harriet Zinnes in addition to moiself -- didn't read long as we wanted to spend much time with the crowd. But Sandy was good-humored and also moving as he read poems inspired by such mentors as David Ignatow. Harriet read three brief poems with much presence -- most effective was her poem "Again" which ends with the line "Shut up Shut up Shut up." (Heee: 'twas a parrot in the poem declaiming.)

After the reading, met with artist Emmy Catedral who accepted my offer to collaborate in THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF COMMODITIES project -- she is thus officially identified as the "Installation Artist" long referenced by my Shopping Blog. She earned it (so to speak), as far as I'm concerned, with her "Variations of Resistance" project. I am the one who will be honored at the chance to work with this artist.

Met many poets who were previously just names to me! Kostelanetz! Kimmelman! Fuhrman! Olinka! Rattner! Lamoreaux! Carlton! So many more whose names escape me. 'Twas lovely, naturally, to see friends and acquaintances -- I mention poets given the nature of this blog and such included poets Javier, Weiss, Johnston, Heller, Tiger, Carlin, Fink, Miller, Keller, ____

Met a lovely lady who introduced herself as the daughter of Mariano Del Rosario. Geeeez, I exclaimed. I'm one of his biggest fans, though he doesn't know me. Lovely daughter disagreed: he knows my work, too! Well, I preened and sent her off with a book for her Daddy!

Sold books! Great since those proceeds go for Hurricane relief efforts. I am glad to have structured a launch celebration with means to help others -- poetry feeds the world in more ways than one.

I must mention the wines. We share these as good buys; inexpensive yet yummy: 2003 Benziger Los Carneros chardonnay, 2002 Ravenswood cabernet and 2003 Cartlidge Brown pinot noir. Thanks to Sandy for brillliant choices (a 4th white's identity is forthcoming); I had warned earlier that he needs to choose wines that, while being (cough) poetry reading wines must needs to befit my Missy WinePoetics rep. Great job, Sandy!

And what a very generous introduction by Jane Augustine, one of the press' founders. As I listened to her welcome and introduction, I thought again of my luck at being with a press whose love for poetry often manifests itself in a certain grace -- which seems fitting to me since since its vision promotes inclusivity while still maintaining a defined aesthetic (what I most appreciate about this press). For this launch, the grace was effortlessly evinced from Jane's comments to the lovely flowers, yummy buffet, the lovely display of books, even the beautiful ice buckets, and other small touches as a result of our administrator Barbara McIntosh. Grace is good.

Yeah. Grace is good. I didn't, couldn't, meet everyone. But I felt like every single face was beaming out such warmth. Whenever I caught a stranger's eye, s/he just smiled. Such affection was gratifying for the launch of Moi 504-page brick whose process often got bludgeoning (as bricks are wont to do) during its birth. So, it was a difficult birth but all worth it as tonight attested. THANK YOU.

Friday, September 23, 2005


Sadly, I was raised me to be one of those types: you know, to feel that the more blessings you receive, the more you need to do for others. I say "sadly" because I suspect this is also a sort of guilt syndrome -- and it actually prevents me from fully falling into enjoying any blessing that may come moi way (well, with the exception of food of which, fortunately, wine can be an example). It's gotten to be like some post-___ trauma: when I am blessed with a, uh, blessing, my mind is quickly spinning: okay, okay, what can I do for someone else? That a "thank you" from Moi must AUTOMATICALLY come with the question, "what can I do for you?" It's EXHAUSTING.

Should I even write the above paragraph? I can just imagine the jump in spams from false charities and peeps requesting donations or help with getting their bank balances out of Nigeria....

Anyway, I'm going to try to do a guilt-free relish of this day that shall inch towards this eve at Poets House -- hope to see you there! I admit that facilitating such is Rochita Ruiz over in The Netherlands who's just blog-shared some thoughts about POST BLING BLING (again, thank you Bill for your work as poet-publisher). I do love how the internet creates a global but still intimate readership -- here's Rochita in italics on moi Moria book:

There is something about the way these words are written that pushes them beyond the page. From "Welcome to the Luxury Hybrid" to "Yukon Denali's Denial" there is a vibrant power that surges through the lines, reminding of conversations that I must have recorded in my subconscious. "Luxury Hybrid" awakened memories of overheard conversations: boys comparing the merits of one car over the other, dreaming aloud of the kind of car they would like to own one day - in the Philippines, it mostly remains a daydream.

Yes, there is food for thought in the carefully selected verses/commercials listed in part one of this e-book.

In the letters written in response to Eileen's questions about the balixbayan box, I found it quite interesting to discover that eventually this question gave rise to the question of colonialism in a box. Perhaps I was sleeping when that question was put to the [Flips Listserve] list because I don't recall reading that one, but then, my appearance on the net ( in my mailbox )is quite sporadic. Eileen notes that the discussion ended on that question which somehow never got answered. She then goes on to wonder if the right questions were asked.

I really liked this ending to the work. It made me look at the entire book in a whole new light. I found myself analyzing things and wondering too about what these lists say about us, and what the implications are. In any case, leaving it open like that invites much thought on the part of this reader. So, I'm going to read it again and think about those questions.

Wanna read Eileen's book? Here's the link click on Post Bling Bling to download a pdf copy. Enjoy :)


I'm glad to see how, for Rochita, the open-ended poem facilitates extended reconsiderations of the way the world unfolds.

Thank you Rochita. For your words, not (says this exhausted one) for the extra wood into the fire that burns out smoke further fanned by Moi effin' fallen angels -- smoke into which, when you peer closely enough, you would see the face of Jesus Christ....whispering, "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you..."

Thursday, September 22, 2005


as I watch Rita approach, for many thiings including that pet owners are better able to protect their pets than many were during Katrina. I saw a NY Times photo this week of some of Achilles' and Gabriela's cousins in New Orleans -- three German shepherds -- atop rooftops drinking that murky water and hungry but also too fearful to let rescuers come near. Would-be rescuers could only toss crackers to leave behind as the scared dogs wouldn't let anyone approach...


is what I am about today. THANK YOU so muchas to Brian Clements for hosting moi and Sandy McIntosh. This semester launches Western Connecticut State University's new MFA program and since said semester opened, we were the first visiting writers to do a reading!

The school put out lovely flyers about our visit. And it was really nice to see an audience that, while including MFA students, also included students from other disciplines. The Q&A was lively. The lunch was just EXTRAVAGANT (well, it's all subjective and I enjoyed my chicken enchiladas, okay?) with fabulous company from the MFA staff. And even the president of WestConn, Dr. Schmotter attended our reading. Such lovely and warm hospitality -- thank you WestConn and best of luck to your new MFA program.

So that was enough for a good day, but what also happened? Sandy gives me a copy of the current issue of North American Review. This is the country's oldest literary journal yadda yadda on its yadda prestige and all that. I emphasize the journal's prestige as, guess what it contains?

Pause briefly to yell on over at beloved publisher JUKKA:


Cough. Anyway, this PRINT journal carried a review of my E-CHAP entitled ENHEDUANNA IN THE 21ST CENTURY published by xPress(ed). Now, this series happened to be reprinted in my book MENAGE A TROIS ETCETERA. But it's not MENAGE that got reviewed. It's the E-CHAP. (I'm pretty sure, too, that NAR got review copies of my books -- but they focused on the e-publication!)

This relates to the notion recently about in blogland about whether e-publications have a decent shot at reviews. My E-Chap was right there with poetry books from university presses and various independent poetry publishers. So I'm hoping that this means more of the long-time journals and reviewers out there are starting to recognize that there's no need to privilege (aesthetically) the print publication over e-publication.

On a related issue (recently discussed at Buffalo Poetics List) -- some reviewers apparently consider books that are older than six months from release to be "too old" for reviews. North American Review's issue is 2005, and my E-CHAP first came out in 2002. That's what I call very kewl.

P.S. Is the review positive, btw? Let's say it ends with this word: "BRAVA."

P.P.S. Wait, wait. That's not aaaaaaall, folks. TOMORROW!


to Ernesto for shouting out to his New York "agents" re tomorrow's launch and reading. Anytime you want a letter of recommendation from Moi for a raise in professorship salary, you let me know. As for rest of youse, if you listen to moi whine at Poets House tomorrow, you at least will sip some wine. HAVE AM, [T]HERE COME!


I'ma eating moi butt as wide as it can get, as my Shopping blog can't help but reveal. But I'ma also working my butt off. As in working. Working so hard I haven't even hit a single gallery yet, and don't look like I'll get to that till Friday. Coz I do have another day-job ....which is, how to put it, too exotic to talk about. I just am raising this moment here coz the royal We might have achieved a major goal as a result of all that wining and whining we've been doing all week. This paragraph is meaningless to you but not to me and given its importance and that I need to do a conjuration to close the deal, I'ma paragraphing this here and now -- wave an inept flamenco gesture -- release that conjuration for _____.....!! Dear Down Under. Make. It. So.


Thanks to Gregory Vincent Thomasino for including me in

eratio postmodern poetry issue six, fall 2005

* poetic language *

Jack Foley
Nicholas Manning
Dan Masterson
Salvatore Quasimodo, Tr. Anny Ballardini
Jorge Lucio de Campos
Todd Swift
Hugh Tribbey
Eileen Tabios
Ashok Niyogi
Dustin Hellberg
Amy J. Grier
Lorcan Ryan-Black
Graham Nunn
Phil Cordelli & Brandon Shimoda
Mark Young
Sandy Florian
Marcia Arrieta
Emily Waples
Erin McElroy
Jane Adam
Crag Hill
Jeffrey Side
C. L. Bledsoe
Timothy David Orme
José Alejandro Peña
Thomas Lowe Taylor
Al Swanson
David Chikhladze
PR Primeau

* eidetics *

Vadim Bystritski

* the eratio broadside *

Keith Tuma & jUStin!katKO
Jo Cook
Aryan Kaganof
Catherine H.

* bookshelf *

Jake Berry reads Hank Lazer

* the eratio gallery *

Jeff Crouch
Jukka-Pekka Kervinen
Márton Koppány

edited by Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


I have to say THANK YOU to Martha Schwer whose blog write-up alerted me to "'NO OTHER APPETITE': Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes and the Blood Jet of Poetry" exhibit which I was able to fit in today whilst running around like a headless chicken in Manhattan.

And Peeps -- specifically you NY-based or NY-visiting peeps -- you should definitely try to catch this intimate exhibit which runs through Nov. 19 and presents for the first time original letters, manuscripts and photographs from the Plath archive at Smith College and Hughes archive at Emory. Definite blood. A quickening in your eyes' pulse....Every object is so evocative (sorry to JM who I know doesn't like that word). Some of those resonant things:

One of Sylvia's typewriters, a ROYAL....and how did I come to be on first-name basis with her?

A typewritten list by Sylvia entitled "I have published the following poems in magazines" and then a list of poem titles and the mags. Reminds me of when I used to keep track of submissions and acceptances like this...

Handwritten Journals -- a thick one opened to a page with the excerpt: "The listening to Auden read in Drew's front living room, and vivid questioning, darting, scintillant wit. My Plato! Pedestrian I!" This makes me wince, evoking for me my more youthful tendencies, too, to heroicize other poets....

Major revelation: visual art by Sylvia -- "Study of a Woman", gouache and ink. C. 1950-1952. Basically circles and lines in burgundy, dark and lime green, purple, blue, yellow, brown, gray-blue....I mention the colors as the work shows her to be an excellent colorist, something relevant to her poetry, moithinks....

Yes, being reminded of how handwriting possesses something lost in translation when the same words are transcribed by a computer keyboard....

So many of the images, e.g. the photos, have become iconic. Interesting to see them in this context. I recommend a visit.


Anger has a unique place within the history of Filipino English-language literature. But whilst blog-jogging this morning, I thank Jordan for reminding me to pause and note: Ultimately, we do it all for love.

Relatedly, my anger is professional; my poetry is amateur.

Which is also to say, my poetics are professional. My poetry, I hope, is ever-amateur.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Read the entire interview and you'll understand the aptness of its ending, to wit:


Heeeee. Cough. Where was I? Oh yes -- the first announcement, to wit:

Re. Tom Beckett's interview blog EXCHANGE VALUES:

Eileen Tabios interviews Barbara Jane Reyes and Paolo Javier about their second poetry books, both forthcoming this Fall 2005: respectively poeta en san francisco (Tinfish) and '60 lv bo(e)mbs' (O Books). This is the first published interview of Reyes after the news that poeta en san francisco has received the Academy of American Poets' James Laughlin Award (the Academy made its announcement while the interview was being conducted). Topics addressed include how the MFA experience was supportive -- or not -- for these two Filipino poets (who attended Bard and SF State), translation, the use of footnotes, colonialism and marginalization, the "Dufusly-Disembodied-Poet from the Suny Buffalo List", the Philippine influence on American poetry, the limits as well as responsibilities of representation, and various other subversions.

The second announcement -- and HUGE CONGRATS to Barbara and Gerald Stern!:

Academy of American Poets Announces $130,000 in Prizes to Poets

September 19, 2005 — The Academy of American Poets is pleased to announce the recipients of three major awards for poetry, with a total of $130,000 bestowed upon the poets.

The winners are Gerald Stern (Wallace Stevens Award for proven mastery in the art of poetry, $100,000), Claudia Rankine (Academy Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement at mid-career, $25,000), and Barbara Jane Reyes (James Laughlin Award for a second book, $5,000).

These three awards are among the Academy of American Poets’ seven major annual book awards. The recipients will be honored at the Academy’s awards ceremony on Thursday, November 3, 2005, at Lang Auditorium, New School, 55 West 13th Street, New York City, at 7:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

Gerald Stern has been selected as the recipient of the 2005 Wallace Stevens Award. The Wallace Stevens Award is given annually to recognize outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry. Established in 1994, the award carries a stipend of $100,000. The jurors for 2005 were: Academy Chancellor Frank Bidart, Academy Chancellor Lucille Clifton, and the poets Toi Derricotte, Sharon Olds, and Kevin Young.

Mr. Stern was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1925. His books of poetry include Last Blue: Poems (W.W. Norton &Company, 2000); This Time: New and Selected Poems (1998), which won the National Book Award; Odd Mercy (1995); Bread Without Sugar (1992), winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize; Leaving Another Kingdom: Selected Poems (1990); Two Long Poems (1990); Lovesick (1987); Paradise Poems (1984); The Red Coal (1981), which received the Melville Caine Award; Lucky Life, the 1977 Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets and nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award; and Rejoicings (1973).

His honors include the Paris Review’s Bernard F. Conners Award, the Bess Hokin Award from Poetry, the Ruth Lilly Prize, four National Endowment for the Arts grants, the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize, the Academy Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. For many years a teacher at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Mr. Stern lives in Easton, Pennsylvania, and New York City.

From the judge's citation for the Wallace Stevens Award:

"Gerald Stern has made an immense contribution to American poetry. His poems are not only great poems, memorable ones, but ones that get into your heart and stay there. Their lyrical ecstasies take you up for that moment so that your vision is changed, you are changed. The voice is intimate, someone unafraid to be imperfect. Gerald Stern’s poems sing in praise of the natural world, and in outrage of whatever is antihuman." —Toi Derricotte

Claudia Rankine has been selected as the recipient of the 2005 Academy Fellowship. The Fellowship of the Academy of American Poets has the distinction of being the first award of its kind in the United States. The Academy Fellowship, given in memory of James Ingram Merrill, is awarded to a poet for distinguished poetic achievement at mid-career and provides a stipend of $25,000. Fellows are nominated and elected by the Academy’s Board of Chancellors, a body of seventeen eminent poets.

Ms. Rankine is the author of four collections of poetry, including Don’t Let Me Be Lonely (Graywolf, 2004), PLOT (2001); The End of the Alphabet (1998); and Nothing in Nature is Private (1995), which received the Cleveland State Poetry Prize. She is co-editor of American Women Poets in the Twenty-First Century (Wesleyan University Press). Her work has been published in numerous journals including Boston Review, TriQuarterly, and The Poetry Project Newsletter. Her poetry is also included in several anthologies, including Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present, Best American Poetry 2001, Giant Step: African American Writing at the Crossroads of the Century, and The Garden Thrives: Twentieth Century African-American Poetry. She teaches in the writing program at the University of Houston.

From the judge’s citation for the Academy Fellowship:

“Claudia Rankine has made of her savage and stern intelligence, her ruthlessness and her terror, great art.” —Academy Chancellor Louise Glück

Barbara Jane Reyes has been selected as the recipient of the 2005 James Laughlin Award for her second collection of poems, Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish Press). The James Laughlin Award is given to commend and support a poet’s second book of poetry. The award was established by a gift to the Academy from the Drue Heinz Trust in honor of the poet and publisher James Laughlin (1914–1997). Ms. Reyes will receive a cash prize of $5,000, and the Academy will purchase copies of Poeta en San Francisco for distribution to its members. This year’s judges were James Longenbach, Mary Jo Bang, and Elizabeth Alexander.

Ms. Reyes was born in Manila, Philippines, and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her undergraduate education at the University of California Berkeley and her MFA in Creative Writing (poetry) at San Francisco State University.

Her work was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and appears or is forthcoming in Asian Pacific American Journal, Chain, Interlope, Nocturnes (Re)view, North American Review, Tinfish, Versal, in the anthologies Babaylan (Aunt Lute, 2000), Eros Pinoy (Anvil, 2001), Going Home to a Landscape (Calyx, 2003), Not Home But Here (Anvil, 2003), Pinoy Poetics (Meritage, 2004), and forthcoming in Red Light: Superheroes, Saints and Sluts (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp, 2005), and Graphic Poetry (Hong Kong: Victionary, 2005). Her first book, Gravities of Center, was published by Arkipelago Books (San Francisco) in 2003.

From the judge’s citation for the James Laughlin Award:

“If William Blake were alive and well and sitting on a eucalyptus branch in the hills above the bay, this is the poetry he would aspire to write.” —James Longenbach

Friday, September 16, 2005


Well, New York and Connecticut. I'm off to New York and will be back in West Coast on Sept. 25. I may or may not blog. If I don't, here's where you can catch Moi -- hope to see you there!


Poetry for Lunch!

Thursday, September 22nd

The WestConn MFA in Professional Writing Presents

Eileen Tabios and Sandy McIntosh

A Q&A Session with Students and Faculty
at 11:00 am in Student Center Room 226

A Reading of their Work at 1:00 pm in Hass Library Room 508

Western Connecticut State University
181 White St.
Danbury, CT 06810




Feel free to spread the word! You are invited to:

The Marsh Hawk Press Launch for Fall Authors and Titles:




7-9 p.m.
Friday, September 23, 2005
Poets' House
72 Spring Street
New York City

Wine & cheese and other refreshments will be served.

(Thanks to Poets House for the use of the space as part of a special rental agreement)

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Thankeeeeeee so much to William Allegrezza whose Moria Books just released moi POST BLING BLING (Moria, Chicago, 2005). This is a first for me, in terms of a publisher offering both the free .pdf option as well as a for-purchase hard copy option. The flexibility was important to me as some of moi Peeps don't do the online thing, for generational or economic reasons.

I was going to do a lengthy write-up on the implications of the publishing structure, but I see that Greg Delisle beat me to it, and quite articulately as well. I encourage you all to read Greg's write-up; I respond to Greg via a post to the Suny Poetics list, which I'll repeat at the end of this blog (since my blog is also my file cabinet).

Meanwhile, this to say that POST BLING BLING incorporates two projects that stems partly from the themes explored in my Shopping blog: a series of poems poeticizing advertisements in an issue of Vanity Fair and a long epistolary poem exploring the implications to the "Balikbayan Box". For the latter, much help was provided by the folks of the Flips and Pagbabalikloob Listserves (so if you're one of those who participated -- Salamat).

The book can be downloaded for free, or purchased as a hard copy book. For more information, do go to the publisher's web site at http://moriapoetry.com/ebooks.html (Apparently, some peeps had problems yesterday trying to download; those bugs have been fixed so do feel free now to download away!)

Here's the lovely cover designed by William Allegrezza (thanks Bill!):


Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 16:45:32 EDT
Reply-To: UB Poetics discussion group
Sender: UB Poetics discussion group
From: Eileen Tabios
Subject: Re: [Lucipo] moria launches eileen tabios' new e-book.

[...]I also was alerted to a write-up about my book at Greg Delisle's blog at http://www.poetryspace.org/2005/09/14/eileen_tabios_new_e-book

While referring to my book, Greg's point is not about my book but more about the larger implications of Moria's ability to be a book publisher using technology, and thus a means to get beyond the poem-as-commodity model.

Though I (and I believe others on this List) have benefited from the equally visionary, uh, vision of Jukka-Pekka Kervinen as publisher who's also explored POD technology, Moria is the first, for me, to concurrently offer a free download option AND a hard copy for purchase model.

The structure may seem paradoxical but it actually offers maximum flexibility. Some of my readers wouldn't be able to afford the internet but can afford one book. And some of my readers (e.g. Mom) still won't go online. So I'm stepping behind the lurker-curtain for a mo to share this because I think the structure offers a means for more poets who have considered becoming publishers in the past but have been economically constrained.

Bill Allegrezza also alerts me that within a relatively few hours, over 60 people downloaded my book. Ahadada Books, by the way, is also offering an e-chap by me; in a matter of days, downloads exceeded 200. As not just a publishing poet but a publisher myself, I know how DIFFICULT it is to sell 60 let alone 200 copies of a book (unless it's being forced as an "assigned text" on a student body somewhere).

So, here's a nod to those poet-publishers who've persevered to get poetry beyond the economic model's constraint (I also speak as a former economist). It's important as I, for one, still consider Poetry a gift.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


It occurs to Moi -- some of you and that includes those who participated in the Pleasure Poetry Contest -- may want to also submit your poems to Judd's Hill Winery. They're unique among wineries (I believe) for incorporating poetry within their web site.

If they like your poems (whose themes must relate to wine somehow), they'll put on said website. I think they still run an annual contest where the winner gets a HUGE bottle of wine, as Moi did when I was honored with their 2003 prize viz my poem "Justice." Tell them I sent you!

Meanwhile, my newest link is Judd Hill's Harvest Blog that will track a year at the winery, beginning with this harvest. (Jean, fyi, too in case of relevant to our project).


And the winner is Joanna Fuhrman!!! YaY!!! But first, a sordid story:

So when it comes to poetry contests, especially given all the controversy about said of late, I do believe the more transparent the process, the better. So here are some remaining notes that might elucidate about the results of Meritage Press’ and Chatelaine Poetics’ Summer Pleasurable Contest –- thank you to all who submitted.

Note first that the judging occurred concurrent with a wine tasting. Note further that the majority of the judges don’t traffic in poetry –- which is to say, no need for anonymous submissions here as all is de facto blind judging, and not just because by the time the final choice was made, everyone was blind from the bottles they’d imbibed.

So fans of subjectivity –- this poetry contest judging is for you. Including why I caveat that the following are “remaining” notes….that is, they’re what’s on the pieces of paper that didn’t end up being eaten by some boor who shall remain nameless but who claimed he needed to “cleanse his palate” when his effin palate probably has never been clean in his whole life! Uh, where was I? Oh yes –- the notes leading to the results:

From “Judging a Pleasurable Poem Contest”:

Setting: a “cave” somewhere deep in the bowels of Napa Valley. Where a crowd of drunks, I mean, poetry critics sit around a table lined with glasses and sheafs of papers containing poems….the Chatelaine threatened to stop opening bottles if they didn’t read the poems and give responses to allow for the determination of a winner. On that threatening note, the evening further descended…

[insert missing pages]

The judging quickly deteriorated. Soon, the judges were a-chanting four lines -- immediately beloved at first reading -- from Lorna Dee Cervantes’ entry (“POEM IN PRAISE OF THE PARALLEL PLEASURES OF WHINE”):

Thrust the tip of your tongue
into the grape. Give me a date
and I'll flush you
up a hogshead of Grigio --

SHADDDUP, Moi yelled at them. Order in the cave!!! I ordered. You haven’t read all the submissions yet!

One judge could be heard to mumble underneath his breath, “Reading poetry. Sheesh. What I gotta do to get a glass of wine around here…”

HEY HEY HEY! Another judge suddenly yelled. I like, I like, this Karri Kokko fella -- and not just for that kokko name. Check this out:

to make
the sweet felicity

your cunnus
and my linctus.

Such provoked a gender split, to wit: the women groaned and the men erupted hoo-haas in glee. SHADDDUP, Moi yelled at them again. KEEP READING!

Ohhhhhh, this is lovely! Sez one on Ernesto Priego’s “Domenica”. But before she could say more, another judge hoo-haaed! Wait a minute, here’s another one by that kokko guy and it’s just as bottle-worthy as his other one!

"Fistful Thinking"

try as
I might I

really think
of anything but

good old
in and up.

“That’s a hay(na)ku you know,” I said helpfully. “I invented that.”

Crowd of judges looked at me blearily. One spoke for all with the reply, “Even we drunkards know, Eileen, you didn’t invent the haiku.”

“No, no…hay(na)ku! It’s a … “ I looked at the crowd and gave up. “Just keep reading,” I sighed.

From the bowels of the cave, a judge who’d been assumed to have fallen asleep belched and proclaimed, Hey -- I like this “Capella” one. He begins to recite (from Mark Lamoreaux’s entry):

Sees the two orbs burning when
a back heaves in front of him
as a panting steed,

But before he could continue, the cave cellar door busts open and … in comes another judge late to the party. He proclaimed without much ado:

"Fox Grapes" with its final ellipses, and "Poem in Praise of the Parallel Pleasures of Wine" with its specifics, give us the lush (no pun intended) side, the sensual side of the grape in summer. If this had been last summer, when I enjoyed naturalistic poetry, I would perhaps have voted for one or the other of these.

But this summer I'm enjoying the Poem of Form, as well as the Poem of List. Therefore, the gem of this collection of finalists for me is "Moraine For Bob." Intriguing binary texture, with petite morts of spice, and a finish that evanesces ever-so-slowly from the tongue.

What do you mean "epicene"? Well, I think that's a very poetic--and fitting--way of describing the poem. I don't give a shit what the rest of you think. Pass me that sugar cube for my absinthe.

“Heh?” The crowd replied aptly to accompany their blank looks.

He continued, ‘I didn’t know if I could make the meeting. So I was gonna email you my votes. But then, with my tennis elbow I knocked over a glass of good red wine onto my computer keyboard. No matter what letters I typed, all that printed was ‘XXX XXX XXX.’ Then the keyboard died for. Really. What do you mean ‘how much have I had?’

“In any case, I had to go out and buy a new keyboard, so I thought I’d just stop by….”

“Whatever, whatever,” another judge said. “I still think that ‘Parallel Whine’ poem the best…besides, this Lorna Dee Cervantes comes off as a lusty woman and I like my women like I like my wine: lusty!”

For his less-than-sagacious comments, the w(h)ino received a bunch of grapes tossed at his beard.

And the crowd went back and forth amidst much raising of glasses and emptying of glasses and refilling of glasses until, FINALLY, a decision was made.

Basically, it was a tie between Lorna Dee Cervantes” and Joanna Fuhrman’s entries. The crowd gave it to Fuhrman when someone said, “But until Joanna’s poem, did you ever consider using the slinky as a sex toy?”

Stumped crowd was silently stumped for a moment, then with much wrinkling of brows, they gave slow nods…

And so the packet of books and a bottle of Dutch Henry wine will be awarded to First Place Winner Joanna Fuhrman for her poem “Moraine For Bob”. We weren’t expecting to have Finalists, but there were too many pleasurable entries to ignore. So here also are the finalists:

“Capella” by Mark Lamoreaux
“Fox Grapes” by Helen Rugieri
“Mellow Pad Moraine” by Joanna Fuhrman
“Untitled (Domenica)” by Ernesto Priego
“Fistful Thinking” and “Untitled” by Karri Kokko

And the “remaining notes” from the judging process above also should explain why it’s not feasible to abide by Helen Rugieri's suggestion, to wit: “I think the losers should have gotten the wine so they could drown their losses.”

As I replied, “The judges drank more than their share and it was all I could do to preserve one bottle to send to the winner!”

So here are the winning poems below (not already reprinted in above) and THANK YOU all for participating.

Moraine for Bob
By Joanna Fuhrman

You were never a man
in the television sense of the word.

I was never a wild Slinky
in the sex-club sense of a toy.

You were never a tobacco store
in the Modernist sense of a trope.

I was never a snowdrop
in the candy store sense of a treat.

You were never Day-glow
in the fashionista sense of a scarf.

I was never withyouallthetime
in the username sense of a self.

You were never a strumpet
in the toothache sense of an insult.

I was never a tooting horn
in the childhood sense of a game.

You were never a hole-in-my-heart
in the country singer sense of a vista.

I was never a paper doll
in the pyromaniac sense of a pal.

You were never a parenthesis
in the phony secret sense of a sign.

I was never red lipstick
in the pulp novel sense of a threat.

You were never a word
in the mystic sense of an obstacle.

I was never a shaking castanet
in the midnight sense of a song.



By Mark Lamoreaux

Sees the two orbs burning when
a back heaves in front of him
as a panting steed, the bell curve
climbs & strikes the chime of spirits
in this colored sight of wet motion.

A birch & its root: burning bulb planted
in the seam of skies.
Crown of charged dendrites
tumbles through the void of purpose,
shedding letters like a blown
honeycomb. In seeking arcs the honey
spurts & blooms rise from all
flesh entered so.

Hermes grasped the reins of hair &
saw the motes of the world
swim in white light.


By Helen Ruggieri

Everything smells of Concord grapes.
Even the air is royal purple;
we breathe as if it were wine.
The air is hazy, thick,
the dregs of summer;
twilight lasts a long time.
A full moon catches us
still gathering in the fields
down the narrow rows.
Our hands are grape,
our clothes thick with it --
raisins, jelly, dago red,
we’ll have it all.
Drunk on harvest
we try to remember
where we live.


Mellow Pad Moraine
(for B)
By Joanna Fuhrman

All afternoon I feel faint, gulp diet ginger ale,
sweep the living room, hide the condom wrappers
under the yellow pillow instead of walking to the trash.
“Drinking water is a better cure for dizziness
than lovemaking, but harder to start.” This is why
I am a poet and not a data entry specialist and why
the sun hits the Carmen Miranda shaped salt and pepper
shakers only in the dream called “Sunday.” What good
is anxiety anyway except as fuel for mass holding hand
marathons, blitzed-holiday-shaggy dancing by the sink.

I am in love with you, but in the dream called “apple”
I have no memory of who you are, or where. The room
loses a wall, and so the clear wall behind it takes its place.
A basement with a fake wood-paneled wet bar is revealed,
shiny and multifaceted as a mask. Men in Fifties swim
trunks pour tiki drinks into their shorts, and I am so happy
the empty shape of a memory beside me splits in two,
each part a mirror for the other until one shifts, another blinks.
The music from yesterday is a rowboat on the mouth
of a sink. Somewhere a slanted room is already wrecked.

“The sky is pink as colored lemonade. Pink as a toenail
in the first color photograph of a baby’s foot,” I babble on.
“I am too exhausted to fall asleep tonight, so let’s just talk”
The cat, she purrs. She escalates her ass so you will stroke it
with a rubber brush. We gush about our summer goals:
a train trip to the beach, a visit to your friend in Montreal
who took my favorite snapshot of you, legs akimbo, eyes
bulging, in a parody hippy-boogie. “You know, I still
have yet to see you do that dance for real!” You roll your eyes.
My thumb and finger creep your covered arm.


By Lorna Dee Cervantes

Whiney pleasures
take no measure
of Time's forest -- that
shred of do-this,
do-that-well and
on time. This time
take it to a sip,
savor the rim of
the glass, the last
molecule exploding
on the tongue. Do me
these winey pleasures,
tokes of Tokay, riches
of richness in the silk
cloth of aging -- exquisitely --
the soft bites of autumn,
the sirens of summer
simmering sweetly on the side
of somewhere else. Go outside.
Take a drink. Glide me
in your huddle. Dissolve
me in invisible tannins, musky
aperitifs, wry wisps of oak
still clinging to the cask.
Take it in. Sweetly. Dryly
slide another mile
onto the odometer -- drive
away what drives joy
from the empty mouth.
Take this! Little Os
of bubbles pleasuring up
the shaft, the glass
going crystal, the blush
Rosé of cleaving. First time
explosions ridiculing the meal,
sublime cherries chiding
from the choir's zymurgy.
Do me like that -- over long time
and long time over. Do me
in the crush, the bust --
the declothing of the fruit --
the finishing expulsion.
Skim the form of old
lovers from my memory.
Marry me to your Merlot.
Teeth me in the taste of a
transcendent '00 Trentino.
Snuggle me in your '99 Napa
Sauvignon. Pull out your old
vin Zin -- Folie å Deux! And
wish me off with a honeymoon
of honey mead to my late
dessert Last Harvest stick.

List me on your label.
(A little-known Negrette.)
Covet me in the cellar
of your sensual dreaming. I'm lucid
as a 2002 Los Carneros Chardonnay,
piquant and racy as a sparkling Pinot
Noir. You and I, a Rotari Blanc de Noir.
Thrust the tip of your tongue
into the grape. Give me a date
and I'll flush you
up a hogshead of Grigio --
La Tunella, the apple
I keep inside -- for you, my
mineral note, my tongue-curling
Casanova: Brunello Di Mantalcino
to my barrell-aged Chardonnay.

And, afterwards, we'll toast
and drop. And rise, dry
and sec with a floral aroma,
musk-driven, blood-rushed
as a '70 Vega Sicilia: Unico,
beautiful Signore, cedar and
spice to cleanse and clear,
tobacco and the smudge
of complex leather: a lusty Mt.
Veeder Pinot Noir. Concentrated.
Seductive. A long, long finish.


By Ernesto Priego

pours herself
her second glass

the smell
of whiskey fills

rainy kitchen
like a blanket

the floor
when two bodies

left naked
after the turbulence

Sunday love
while it rains

the whiskey
tastes like folk

played sadly
and slowly, pouring

all over
like the wind

the barley
of distant places.

only listens,
holding her glass.



Joanna Fuhrman’s "Poem for Bob" was first published in
Lit and "Mellow Pad Moraine" on Daniel Nester's website Unpleasant Event Schedule.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005



THE OBEDIENT DOOR, poems by Sean Finney (re-read)

LUNAR FOLLIES, satiric art reviews by Gilbert Sorrentino


SIMPLE THEORY, poems by Allen Bramhall (For me, the prose poems are wonderful paradoxes -- they're not "blocks" of prose given an energy, a thrust that ends up making your eyes go faster than your mind recognizing words. There's a quickening as in the paragraph-become-long-line (a spin offa that poem as active field)...which is useful for me to (re-)consider in terms of, interestingly enough (to me, if not you) how certain line breaks do cause a pause when other line breaks don't...This being a note to moiself which, on its own, is an aside relative to the joy the collection gives, which I would address but I often privilege the wine over making public my critical routes...)

TAPE FOR THE TURN OF THE SCREW, long poem by A.R. Ammons

SILK, novel by Alessandro Baricco

SHELF LIFE: Romance, Mystery, Drama and Other Page-Turning Adventures From A Year In A Bookstore by Suzanne Strempek Shea


THE INTRUSIVE ACHE OF MORNING, poems by Patrick Porter



ORACLE WHIP, poems by Bradley Lastname

THE RED SHIFT, poems by P. Inman

1999 William Selyem pinot noir Precious Mountain Vineyard
2002 Dutch Henry chardonnay Los Carneros Vineyard
2003 Dutch Henry pinot noir
1999 Dutch Henry 2002 Argos (meritage blend)
1983 Graham port
1999 Turley petite sirah
2002 Noceto sangiovese
1986 Margaux

Monday, September 12, 2005


Spent much of the day doing Meritage Press bidness...including sending out review copies of Sean Finney's debut poetry collection, The Obedient Door (pallets of the book from the printer arrived on the mountain last Friday). If anyone wants a review copy, email me. And, welcome to the world

THE OBEDIENT DOOR by Sean Tumoana Finney!

Which is a way to reiterate -- since the deadline is end of this month --


Meritage Press is pleased to announce a release special on Sean Tumoana Finney's debut poetry collection. The Obedient Door, with original drawings by San Francisco illustrator Ward Schumaker, is available at a significant discount through September 31. Early orders qualify for free shipping, $3 dollars off the cover price, and a guarantee that you’ll receive a limited first edition by a writer John Ashbery calls a rule breaker who makes it work.

To receive The Obedient Door at a 20% discount plus receive free shipping & handling (normally a $3.00 value at Media Rate) if you are a U.S. resident, please send $12 per book (checks made out to "Meritage Press") to

Eileen Tabios
Publisher, Meritage Press
256 North Fork Crystal Springs Road
St. Helena, CA 94574

For more information, contact MeritagePress@aol.com


So above is the official press release. But if you say in your order that you read this offer at this blog, thus identifying yourself as a Moi Peep, you can shave a buck off the cost of the book -- to you, Dear Peep: that's a Release Special Price of $11 vs the $12 charged to those who don't read Moi! Hah!

Sunday, September 11, 2005


No, I didn't sleep my way to get my new title. We're in the West and I am badly talkin' about last night's


An evening with Dutch Henry Wines: The Good

The quirky, lustful, erotic poetry of Eileen Tabios: The Bad

Songs of life through the eyes of Gary Wm. Koehler: The Ugly.

I didn't write that ad copy. But they pegged me right (I first typed "write")!!

About 70 peeps attended my inauguration under the stars. More importantly, we raised four figures to donate to the relief efforts from Katrina.

THANK YOU very mucho to Dutch Henry Winery -- where art, wine, music, poetry ... figs, brownies, lighted candles, flowers, cowboy boots and ever-good company converge. So speaketh your Poet Laureate! Now gimme my free bottles!

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Congratulations to Lorna Dee Cervantes for a quite IMPRESSIVE feat:

The Abecedarian Hay(na)ku

suite. Totally sweet!

She's deservedly first on the comp list for the forthcoming hay(na)ku anthology!

She sez about her awesome series:

"I just finished my abecedarian hay(na)ku suite. I don't know how long I'll leave them up there. You can print them up and make your own dam book, that is, a backed up river of a long poem into some kind of reservoir: a meditation on (what else?) love, and consequent consequences. Each letter is a character which represents something; there are clues scattered throughout as they were revealed to me. Kinda like weegee board poetry, the Spirits spelling it out for me as I tell, telling me their poems."


Friday, September 09, 2005


So FEMA head whats-his-face is recalled to Washington. Didn't I say earlier that the dude should be fired? Knowing how this administration works, and despite what they may say, if they fire him it won't be for incompetence. They'll only fire him (or minimize his responsibilities) now cause TIME Magazine found out that he lied on his resume. Yay to TIME for the scoop and hiss at the administration for, shit, so many asinine things....such asinine things that on top of everything else, they don't even realize how they're insulting the populace.

Like, when the mother or wife says about the President, "He cares; I know him" or "He cares; I live with him" -- that's supposed to be a LEGITIMATE answer to the populace's apt concerns? That's some B.S. spin on that saying, "The personal is political," you know what I mean?

Anyway, due to the times, I wrote a poem I detested writing -- which doesn't diminish my gratitude to Jonathan Mayhew for publishing it in The Duplications. For more background on that poem, hear me GASP in dismay at all this stuff that is defining the times.


So I'm excited! Eve Aschheim's paintings will grace the cover as well as a page or two of my 2006 book, THE SECRET LIVES OF PUNCTUATIONS, VOL. I.

This came about because, at one point while finalizing the manuscript, the Punctuations reminded me of Eve's imagery which I've always found deceptively minimalistic. Her gestures, to me, are spare and yet lushly evocative. Then I read one of her Artist's Statements about her "lines" which made it seem fitting to heed the Punctuations' call to share her paintings' presence in the book. That is, when Eve says about her line paintings that they allow her "to explore the possibilities for creating space, implying virtual form, suggesting form, and activating the space through movement and tension", she speaks, too, to my own attempts with Punctuation Poems.

In part, I'd written the Punctuation Poems (click here for examples) in an attempt to use the smallest details (punctuations) to robustly energize. This is but another way of saying something I like to keep saying: the poem begins the poetry experience but its recipient, the reader/viewer, completes it.

So my cover image will be Eve's painting, "Conway," which was named after mathematician John Conway who developed the Game of Life. Apparently, his discussions about Riemannian geometry (the geometry of curved surfaces) inspired that painting (I certainly love living with it). Dufus Moi gets less mathematical of course and just saw, say, parentheses in those fractured curves that Eve paints so well. Anyway, I'll save sharing the image of “Conway” for much later. For now, here is an equally lovely image, from her 1995 painting "Aeon":

And synchronistically, the Sept. 9 Word of the Day over at Merriam-Webster.com's is THAUMATURGY: "the performance of miracles; specifically : magic"

Thursday, September 08, 2005


poet-editor Ian Wilson aptly notes. A lot of folks died rather than leave their animal-relatives. And as the Mama Moi to two dogs and two cats, let me tell you: I know how they feel. In an earthquake or other disaster, I won't ever leave my animal-peeps to some "natural" or "unnatural" disaster.

People bond with their pets and ... pets bond back. It's been interesting to me to observe how our way of raising the dawgs Achilles and Gabriela is affecting the process of finding pet-sitters. They clearly do better in the bosom of a family who pet-sits, versus an institutional setting that we recently tried because it's highly-recommended but whose infrastructure is one of merely glorified kennels. I don't want to imagine how those surviving Katrina-affected pets were bamboozled by the hurricane, then continue to be bamboozled by their abandonment by human parents trying to survive, and now being herded into crates to go to some shelter...Anyway, here's some links:




Meanwhile, shouldering on, blog-wise, to something less important, my latest imbibed / reads:

SCIENCE FICTION, poems by Andrew Joron

BREEZE, poems by John Latta

IN DEEP: Country Essays by Maxine Kumin

IPHIGENIA , poems by Alice Notley

ART AND FUGUE,, poems by Maria Negroni, translated by Anne Twitty

SOMETHING BRIGHT, THEN HOLES, poems by Maggie Nelson

THE CONSTRUCTOR, poems by John Koethe

MIRABAI: ECSTATIC POEMS, translated versions by Robert Bly and Jane Hirshfield

HOW TO MAKE A LIVING AS A POET, prose by Gary Mex Glazner

LIKE WIND LOVES A WINDOW, poems by Andrea Baker

UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS, poems and vizpo by Shin Yu Pai

1982 Ch. Calon Segur
2001 Jones Family Vineyard "The Sisters"
1993 Ravenswood Zinfandel Old Hill Vineyard
2002 Dutch Henry chardonnay Los Carneros Vineyard
2004 Luce Abbey cabernet sauvignon (from barrel)
1999 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard
2001 T-Vine Petite Sirah Frediani Vineyard

(*And if you're learning something from Missy WinePoetics' wine recommendations, please DONATE....the need will only escalate in the days ahead.)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


"...she told me that as an independent one-woman operation, she purposely takes on authors whom she personally believes have something important to say and need to be read; such a book will find its own audience, she assured me. A look at the list of Giraffe authors proves this."
--Leny Strobel on publisher Gloria Rodriguez

The new issue of OurOwnVoice is out! And with it, a long-overdue TRIBUTE TO GLORIA RODRIGUEZ, once the head of New Day Publishing in the Philippines and who retired to start up Giraffe Books. Click on the link to see why I'm noisily smoooching her!

Giraffe Books published three of my books, and these are three that I suspect would have been among the most difficult to place without the open-minded and open-hearted one-person staff known lovingly by many writers as "Mommy Glo." (I mean, geez, Jean: she published Behind The Blue Canvas!) So thank you, Mommy Glo. For as I said in the ending of my tribute:

"The gods, of course, have a mischievous sense of humor. With Mommy Glo comes that Giraffe Books look--a very raw book design and production relative to glossier results as a result of 21st century technology. But the joke is ultimately on these mischief-making gods. I treasure Giraffe Books for its palpable human-madeness. The physical presence of a Giraffe book with its occasional warp in the book cover, the occasionally too-thin paper, and the innocent (for lack of a better way to put it) designs all hearken to the flawed humans authoring the works—whether it’s the author’s psyche, the publisher’s aging eyesight and what I suspect is our shared technological incompetence. No gloss, but plenty of heart.

"One can say something similar about Mommy Glo: she privileges heart over style and my words could not have found a better bosom from which to peek out, occasionally flicker out a tongue, hiss, occasionally roar ... and finally sing lovingly at an increasingly style-ized world."

And, Leny, I belief "Giraffe" actually stands for a sound: a conflation of "Gloria" and "Rodriguez". I'm pretty sure that's what Mommy Glo told me. If my memory is correct, what we're saying is that "Giraffe" stands for ... song.


Okay, I need an infusion of positive energy on this blog. So, first, to just say I am awed and waiting out the completion of Lorna Dee Cervantas' abecedarian hay(na)ku! Impressive stuff, her alphabetical doings!

And, TA-DAH! A prevooo below of the book cover for the forthcoming


with gorgeous image of one of Jukka-Pekka Kervinen's vizpo imagery, as inspired by one of Mark Young's hay(na)ku!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


to donate to a fund set up by the ASPCA to help rebuild shelters and provide medical assistance, rescue services, and basic care for companion animals in Katrina-affected areas. If you want to make a donation, the APSCA has set up a website -- www.aspca.org/disaster.

Meanwhile, I propose a moratorium on any member of the Bush clan becoming president for the rest of the century. Indeed, "the apple doesn't fall far"...

And thanks to Shanna Compton for writing a "necessary" poem!

Monday, September 05, 2005


Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown -- who should be fired -- should also DONATE at least his salary for the past year to relief efforts. It's not like he earned it. Same thing goes with many other politicians and I definitely believe: NOW is also the time to try to determine how things went wrong instead of delaying such analysis. It's not like the people who fucked up aren't trying now to rewrite history about how the blame ain't theirs with photo ops and other hoo-haa.

"History" is often what's articulated instead of what actually went down. So no need to dampen the outrage and its vocalizing, is my thought. That's the same vocalization that got various government officials finally off their fat asses, ain't it? What poets should know: words are also actions. (Forgive moi "shoulds" here on poets, but if you can't tell, the Chatelaine is mucho grumpy nowadays.)

Meanwhile, so, lookit -- my modest blog offer to sell my books and then donate the proceeds has already generated some bucks. To get all banker-like for a moment, it's a nice way to lliquefy physical assets (books) into cash for financial aid. If you wanna participate in my BAKE SALE, I mean, BOOK SALE for Katrina's victims, scroll below to Sunday, Sept. 4, post.

What I wanna do, actually, is test my theory about how the ENGLISH brick can do damage if hurled against the room against dufuses. TAKE THAT from Poetry, you nincompoop politician-peeps!



THE PETS: Donations and information here.


Would that this could provide some comic relief.

Instead, it just shows how fucked up our thinking's gotten. Those boobs, says FENCE editor Rebecca Wolff, result from her so far unsatisfactory attempts to sell the magazine she publishes. Her strategy? More regressiveness. Conservatism even. Yes, it definitely ain't "innovative" marketing. And distribution.

The innovative poet-editors I know have gone, for example, online for many reasons, including the economic ones that Wolff cites. And they are doing much innovative stuff there, able to continue pushing the edges of the art and craft.

So I look at that FENCE cover and sigh over that response.

And, shit, if you're gonna claim any irony as rationale, that should have been the publisher's breast-feeding breasts herself, all plumped up and leaking milk on the cover. I mean if we wanna deal with this aesthetically (not an irrelevant concern by a journal that publishes poetry and art?), this use of Quinnie is just lamo-lame.

It's always sad to see a poet (temporarily) go brain-dead. If Poetry cannot be sold, duh, maybe it's because of the pap that's served out there as "poetry" to a population that's really smarter than many poets credit them for. So plumped up creamy cleavage is the answer? Tattoo them with an interesting image and shove up your own breasts, Ms. Feminist Wolff -- then you might transcend the ha-has and fist-pumpings to nab the few whose minds are open but not been opened yet to poetry..

But, okay, since the issues have been printed, I think Rebecca Wolff now should post the photo of her breasts on the FENCE website. I mean, have the intestinal fortitude to back up your concepts, at least. That's where art gets made, ya know?

But can you hear the trees yelling -- KEEP YOUR TITS AND LEAVE ME ALONE?

End of this attention to stupidity. Back to our regular programming:


Well yadda yadda, ain't Moi grumpy this morning!

Sunday, September 04, 2005


in helping out survivors of Hurricane Katrina, even $25 as per the Red Cross donation site . And amounts less than that would also be helpful. So it occurs to me that these sums are also reflective of the typical prices of poetry books. So, today, I was discussing with the owners of a local winery the various details for a poetry reading I'm doing there next weekend. We agreed that all sales proceeds from my poetry books will be donated to post-Katrina relief efforts. And I'm expanding that offer for any books sold during my upcoming New York City launch for my ENGLISH brick.

Then it occurs to me, what's a blog for but to further expand the offer. So, if any of you are interested in buying direct from me any of my books below, email me. I'll also donate those sales proceeds to post-Katrina relief efforts.

I Take Thee, English, For My Beloved -- $24.95

Menage A Trois With the 21st Century -- $13.95

Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole -- $12.95

I am incompetent in the kitchen otherwise I'd run a bake sale. But this much, this poet can do.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


The Asian American poetry organization Kundiman, co-founded by Sarah Gambito and Joseph Legaspi, has provided a home for one of the poems in my forthcoming The Secret Lives of Punctuations, Vol. I. (xPress(ed), 2006). Maraming Salamat to Kundiman for choosing my poem "(redux)" to be their September 2005 Feature. This is a poem that reveals one of the secret lives of parentheticals.

This reminds me that the Kundiman presentation "Kundiman: Love Songs of Asian American Poets," has been accepted for the AWP Conference in Austin, March 8-11, 2006. Should be a great feature with other readers possibly being Marilyn Chin, Patrick Rosal, Mary Chi-Whi Kim, Purvi Shah and Marlon Unas Esguerra.

I don't, to be candid, enjoy attending such things as an AWP. The first AWP I attended, I hung out primarily at the pool, bored as everyone I met seemed focus on something irrelevant to me (job-hunting within academia), and vowed never to return.

When I attended last year and this year, I went and am going primarily to help out in manning my publisher Marsh Hawk Press' table. I do believe in aiding my publishers and were it not for that purpose, I wouldn't attend something like AWP even if they offered me slots in ten panels. Nonetheless, this is to say that because I'd anticipated attending AWP next year, I easy-goingly said "Sure, Why not?" to three requests to be part of panels. Well, all three got picked for AWP 2006!

Great (maybe the key to getting a panel accepted is to include a farmer...you know: spice it up and be multiple without going into the baggage-ridden aspects of identity politics; who doesn't like farmers, after all). Except that AWP limits each panelist to two panels each. So, shitski -- there was no other (fair) way for me to do it but simply choose the two who were the first to ask me to join them in an AWP panel (it sucked telling the third panel I had to bow out of theirs -- their topic is a good one, too).

So, next year at AWP -- catch me at the Kundiman presenation (in addition to my reading I'll do a brief chat about Kundiman's role(s) or potential role(s) in the Asian American poetry landscape), and then at this panel/reading celebrating the Fifth Anniversary of RUNES. Other participants are going to be first-time AWP attendees David St. Johns and Pattiann Rogers as well as Ilya Kaminsky, Amber Flora Thomas, and Curtis Bauer.

Donation information for Katrina's victims available here....as well as for American Red Cross and Salvation Army info.


The head of FEMA should be fired.

The head of the head of FEMA should have been fired with Iraq, but certainly should be fired now with New Orleans -- it's a moot point since the President is a lame duck but it still makes me feel better to say it.

Despite his anger and tears and notwithstanding that both were appropriate, the Mayor of New Orleans needs to answer, too, as to why -- DESPITE PRIOR FORECASTS -- there was no plan for the inevitable for his below-sea-level city.

What all this shows is how one can no longer count on the "government." Let me backtrack a little, to wit:

I live on a mountain. When I first moved here about six years ago and before we were able to put up THE IRON GATE, we were visited by a trespasser (which fortunately turned out to be benign). We called the sheriff. It took over an hour for said sheriff to arrive. After the sheriff dealt with the matter, he would come to advice, "Given the manpower and the area of coverage, if you call us for help, it may take me 2 minutes or 2 hours to arrive. It's best to take care of yourself. Get guns and take care of yourself. And when we finally arrive, we'll do what it takes."

We are/were the only ones on the mountain without guns so the sheriff apparently wasn't counseling something that is out of the ordinary for our area. And "doing what it takes" apparently implied moving the body (had we taken cared of matters to result in such) across the threshold of our front door.

This is what happens with the result of government cutbacks...or deployment of resources and tax dollars away to other things.

This is in the best of times: 2 minutes or 2 hours to get help. What New Orleans has done in our household, among other things, is pushed up to the top of the priority list the getting of that gun license to legally bring in the guns into the property. Because if, in the SuperDome, people are getting raped or lawlessness thrives, it's naive for us not to learn from that: the government is not necessarily to be counted on for security.

I guess it's time for even this space to join the "Wild Wild West."

This ain't progress. It's all regressive. And a goddamn shame. But especially if you've got family to protect, naivete and especially wishful thinking are no solutions.

Here, to be a poet is to understand that "danger" is not a word.

Nor is "compassion" also a mere word. DONATIONS may be made through

The American Red Cross
1-800-HELP NOW (435-7669) English, 1-800-257-7575 Spanish

The Salvation Army

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Bloggers, The Chatelaine's Poetics Family are participating in Blog For Relief Day. Go over to Lorna Dee Cervantes' for more details....and how to help.


A $100 donation to The Salvation Army will feed a family of four for two days, provide two cases of drinking water and one household clean-up kit, containing brooms, mops, buckets, and cleaning supplies. -- SALVATION ARMY

Interesting post re New Orleans over at Chris Stroffolino's, my latest blog link.

And DONATIONS may be made through

The American Red Cross
1-800-HELP NOW (435-7669) English, 1-800-257-7575 Spanish

The Salvation Army

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