Tuesday, February 28, 2006


So why is this woman haunting my Moi?

Because one of Moi Peeps (eh -- I'll identify him for his mischievousness) sent me -- aka Missy WinePoetics -- the recent New York Times article about this porn star cum vintner (cum, get it) with the suggestion: "something to aspire to."

The article explains: "Savanna Samson — her real name is Natalie Oliveros — is a porn star, and a noted one at that. As a Vivid girl, one of the actors whose work is produced and marketed by the goliath Vivid Video, Savanna Samson is a porn celebrity. // She is the star of 25 sexually explicit films, a two-time winner of the Adult Video News Award for best actress, and her work with Jenna Jameson in "The New Devil in Miss Jones," a remake of a classic, won last year's award for the best all-girl sex scene."

Uh huh. Well, I suppose we I do have things in common: the ecstatic pose, the rose, the ever-transparent garb, the phallic bottle....

But from the article, I mostly love how Robert Parker judged her wine with one of his very typical phrasings, uttered in this context to suddenly mean something else: "really opulent and luscious and it had a personality." Which is all to say, this post is really about something integral in poetry: the impossibility of ahistoricality.


I often type the word verification phrases correctly -- I'm not that blind -- and still Blogger asks me to re-do. I suspect that this approach is also a means for testing/experimenting various fonts (and if it isn't, it's a great idea Mr. Capitalist). But then again, Blogger is just one laboratory and we're all ... rats?

Monday, February 27, 2006


With all due respect to football, I'm glad that Drew Lachey beat out NFL great Jerry Rice for the "Dancing With the Stars" championship. When Jerry had beat out Lisa Rinna in the semifinals -- and if it needs to be said, Lisa is a better dancer -- I was concerned (very concerned) that the football bloc would continue to put Jerry over the top.

But when Drew got the title -- deservedly so -- it does show that justice is possible in this world. So, Onward!

And by the way, Cheryl Burke who coached, choreographed and danced with Drew Lachey to the championship is ... Filipino. That's an achievement someone like Gloria will never match because Cheryl did it based on talent while Gloria's achievements (uh, come to think of it -- what has she ever achieved) is based on pedigree (that and rigging the votes in past election). It's an old story: talent vs family pull.

That's something I like about Poetry -- you won't ever be deemed a great poet just because of your parents (the poet-child still has to write well). In that lies a great difference between poetry and politics.

Come to think of it, in football, you won't ever be deemed a great football player either just because of your parents. Gloria should resign and resign herself to watching football.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


So this issue is sufficiently important that the Iron Gate is allowing in this bit of negative energy. And before I forget, let me say to the U.S. President George Bush -- Your father made the mistake of once traveling to Manila and toasting Ferdinand Marcos as a beacon of democracy; don't be a "junior" replicating that mistake with Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA).

It's been a difficult several months for me (vs Moi) for many reasons which don't make it to this blog. But GMA's immoral declaration of "State of Emergency" (go here for comparison between her and Ferdinand Marcos' declaration of Martial Law) compels me to discuss my father.

He's been in and out of the hospital for the past months -- first, for surgery for brain cancer, then subsequent chemotherapy. And I don't know if the treatment caused it but his personality shifted in recent weeks: he's become difficult to deal with.

I've always had a conflicted relationship with my father -- and it's a surreal take on how the *personal is political* that recent developments in the Philippines are actually making me come closer to my father -- to appreciating him. Because he did take himself and his family out of the Philippines just before Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law. He saved us from having to live under a dictator, and then -- had we stayed there -- having to live under the farces that masquerade themselves as presidents. This includes GMA who I am angered to learn has had the military arrest a journalist for an article he wrote -- I replicate that article in full below.

So -- Dad, I know you don't read my blog (thank goodness) but I love you for your sacrifices that at least brought me out from having to live under these tinpots. And I hope -- know -- you will get better soon.

Back to GMA -- State of emergency, my ugly foot. This is a dictatorship-being-birthed. Okay -- let's use the power of the internet to make your powergrabbing unfold under the clarity of e-spotlights. Here is the article for which Randy David has been arrested:

Public Lives : The day after

First posted 03:29am (Mla time) Feb 26, 2006
By Randy David
Philippine Daily Inquirer

FERDINAND Marcos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo--in their uncanny parallel ways--show that the easy part of power is seizing it. The difficult part is using it with wisdom and restraint. This is where most extra-legal takeovers falter. Their objectives remain too general; the limits of their intervention are left undefined.

The Philippines had fairly stable formal institutions until 1972. We had an independent judiciary, a professional civil service, a free press, an apolitical military, an acceptable electoral process, an autonomous and modern educational system, etc. Most of these were legacies from the American colonial period. It is not to say they were democratic in any real sense, for indeed they were very much loaded in favor of the elite. But in the sense that they were relatively insulated from politics, we can say they were formally democratic.

Marcos changed the rules of the game in 1972 when he seized upon the martial law provision of the Constitution to install one-man rule under an indefinite state of emergency. One of the objectives of the martial law proclamation was "to extirpate the roots of the insurgency"--a goal large enough to encompass a wide range of interventions. Marcos intervened in the work of an ongoing constitutional convention, jailed some of its members, and dictated its final product. Under this new Constitution, he legalized the exercise of authoritarian powers. By closing its eyes to the illegal manner by which the 1973 Constitution was ratified, the Supreme Court became one of the first institutional casualties of martial law.

As dictator, Marcos intervened in every conceivable area of the national life--in the economy, in education, in the armed forces, in the bureaucracy, in the mass media, in culture and the arts, in science and technology. Political incursion into these various spheres naturally overburdened the bureaucracy. The technocrats in the regime began to worry over this, and sought in their own ways to limit the scope of presidential intervention. One good example of this attempt was the program of the Development Academy of the Philippines under Dr. O.D. Corpuz to institute a career executive service officers (Ceso) system. The Ceso aimed to produce a generation of modern professional civil servants and public managers that could be deployed to the different agencies of government.

These initiatives, however, were not strong enough to arrest the growing dysfunctionality of an over-centralized system. The politicization of the military was perhaps one of the more dangerous outcomes of the Marcos experiment. Marcos came to depend almost exclusively on his loyalist generals to stay in power. This did not sit well with the young officer corps who became increasingly resentful, and eventually mounted a coup against the regime.

Were it not for the accident of people power, the Marcos regime would likely have been replaced by a provisional military-civilian junta. People power made it possible for Cory in 1986 to re-establish a purely civilian government based on the configurations of the pre-martial law political system. Starting out on a maximum agenda aimed at reversing the effects of 14 years of authoritarian rule, the first Edsa government unfortunately found itself retreating by the day from its original intentions. It sought to rebuild political institutions but ended up restoring an obsolete political system based on patronage and corruption. But even so, many vital institutions like the Commission on Elections and the judiciary were able to regain their autonomy and credibility during this period.

Joseph Estrada, an outsider to the Edsa constituency, ironically became the first beneficiary of a reformed electoral process. Carried on the wings of a massive populist vote, Erap came to the presidency in 1998 with all the right ideas about modern governance. But the logic of a political system run on patronage proved irresistible. He was eventually unseated in 2001.

Edsa II placed the Supreme Court once more on the spot. The Court liberally interpreted the Constitution to legitimize Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's accession to the presidency. I believe that single act compromised its autonomy. It set the parameters for its subsequent rulings on questions affecting Ms Arroyo's political standing.

The greater blame for the destruction of our institutions must, however, be laid at Ms Arroyo's door. In opting to secure a full six-year term in the 2004 presidential election, she compounded the problems of legitimacy arising from Edsa II. She found herself exploiting the weaknesses of the electoral process in the hope that the moral majority would understand and close its eyes to her "lapses." She juggled public funds and exploited the accounting system of various agencies to finance her campaign. But more than this, she abused the prerogatives of her office by enlisting the military to support her political ambitions, and then openly rewarding those who helped her. In less than five years, Ms Arroyo has wrecked the whole institutional healing process that was set in motion in 1986.

At 9 a.m., on Feb. 24, 1986, 20 years ago, Marcos went live on Channel 4, surrounded by his generals, to announce a nationwide state of emergency. How uncanny that Ms Arroyo should choose the same date to announce the same draconian measure to suppress the same perceived conspiracy supposedly between the extreme Left and the extreme Right. Marx was indeed right: "Events and personages occur at least twice in history-the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce."

Saturday, February 25, 2006


So I recommend a book I come to belatedly but better late than never -- the deservedly "National Bestseller" memoir THE LEGACY OF LUNA by Julia Butterfly Hill. Some of you may recall that she was the lady who lived in the redwood named Luna to prevent it from being cut. Until I read her book, I hadn't realized she also wrote poems -- here's one:


At moments like this
doubt creeps into the shadows of my mind
seeping through the cracks and crevices
gripping onto everything it can find
I have to listen to everything inside of me
including the doubt
Ignoring it doesn't make it go away
I must face it
peer deep within it to find what lies below
Behind all subconscious thought
there is some form of truth
twisted sometimes
manipulated possibly to mislead
but real nonetheless
I must open up to the reality
Search it for its worth
discarding the rest
These are all things that pass through my mind
at moments like this

So this is part of what interests me. "Doubting Myself" is a poem that surfaced into existence only because the poet was (at the time) a 23-year-old who had the courage and commitment necessary to end up living in a tree for nearly two years against all sorts of obstacles -- from dangerous weather to big lumber corporates to even other environmentalists -- and often risking her life. The poem, indeed, is presented in the book while she discusses Day 71 of her "tree-sit" with Luna.

When one considers the context from which this poem emerged, it becomes a poem that transcends the page. Hill's poetry is a practice of poetry as a way of life -- and we are all the luckier for it, not because she generated a poem we might enjoy but because the world literally benefits from the results of her activism. Her book, by the way, is printed "on paper made from 100% post-consumer recycled fibers and processed in a totally chlorine free process using soy-based ink." All proceeds from the book sale go to the Circle of Life Foundation.

I admire Julia Butterfly Hill -- hers is the "poetry as a way of life" I admire, a positive energy far transcending the limits of most poetic discourse.


SPD RECOMMENDS: NEW TITLES for Feb 15-Feb 28, 2006
ORDERS: 1-800-869-7553

FAX: 1-510-524-0852
Try Electronic Ordering!  SPD is on PUBNET (SAN #106-6617)
Questions?  Contact Brent Cunningham at brent@spdbooks.org

by Finney, Sean Tumoana
$14.95 / Paper / pp.80
Meritage Press, 2005
ISBN: 0-9709179-4-5

Poetry. THE OBEDIENT DOOR was written in the belief that a poem should have its hands everywhere in your life, especially in the parts that jar. Then the poem is the compromise, where what you didn't write and the knots you can't solve both exist, and the words are unstable messengers. Finney's influences include Ashbery, Beckett, Lorca, and Chinese, Japanese, and Islamic poetry. THE OBEDIENT DOOR issues from a desire to know the past and its languages, to find alternatives, new lexicons, other people's boundaries to force words between. John Ashbery suggests that readers of this book will "feast on the scraps so eloquently assembled for us, which are in fact those of life itself."

Friday, February 24, 2006


This week, I got 2 poems accepted by an international and prestigious publication. But I screwed up my recordkeeping and had to tell them that one of the two poems had been promised to another journal but they can certainly have the other one. They then rescinded their acceptance -- for both poems. This was all handled civilly and so this post ain't about me complaining about the result. I consider the incident my fault (although I wouldn't have penalized the second poem) since I'm the one who wasn't paying attention to records.

The other publication who'd been promised one of the 2 poems, by the way, is an indie online mag edited by a blogger (wink). I could have yanked the poem from that peep but if I'm going to sell out by preferring one poetry mag over another, my price is waaaaay higher than the poetry world's version of cultural capital (wink again) -- should be at least enough to add a bottle of XYZ to the wine cellar.

Anyway, what I'm surprised -- but pleased! -- about is how I feel all distanced, indifferent really, about the whole thing. I would have thought I'd be upset over the pass by that *international prestigious publication*. Instead, I yawned then made the incident blog fodder.

Hm. Yawn. Then, I also still remember my first year as a poet -- I was so hungry for publication but also so intimidated by the odds of publication that my goal back then was not to get an acceptance for a poem, but simply to get a rejection letter that was personalized by the editor.

I guess that's the difference a decade makes. Thank the Buddha.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


as Moi has a throw-away poem over here that looks like it'll be the first of a new poetic series; here's an excerpt from the first poem:

Is this really about my desire to be with an Asian Filipina
penpal, or is it about my dislike for American women?

This is a sore spot for many ladies in this country and I realize
this. Some of my closest and dearest friends are American women.


I know, the old stereotype that I need someone to push around
comes up all the time. Let’s face it, finding a lady to push

around in the USA is not that difficult. I do not need to travel
10,000 miles to find a Filipina for that.


Tired of rancor out there? Come rest a while in this space. Here, let Moi pour you a glass -- I know it's about 7 a.m. as I write this but let me pour you wine. On this blog, it's wine and whine 24/7 so that this blog consistently remains all about Love Love Love even when it doesn't look like, uh, it's about love. Something like that dot dot dot which is to say:

You're very welcome to Chris Murray who says thanks to, among other things,

"...the expansive-image-intellectability and publication generosity of Jukka Pekka Kervinen; to editors Jean Vengua, Mark Young; and to all the poets of the Meritage Press Haynaku Anthology, which poets' group, I am happy and humbly grateful to mention here includes two former students, David C. Whiteman, and Tanya Williamson, who were enrolled in my E-Po course, fall 2004, where we did delved into and worked on assignments that resulted in some good work on the haynaku form.

"Then, to top it all off: this semester *Eileen!*-- along with the supreme factor, *Jukka!* -- made sure that current students in my creative writing course each received a copy of the finely innovative
Haynaku Anthology, and: *gratis*. How very sweet and generous! The students were amazed at this, only once before having had a book for a course come to them in such gracious generousness, the above mentioned, fine chapbook, Jim McCrary's My Book (which we read last week alongside the famous essay by Lorca on the duende--yeah!!

"Well, we've had great fun thinking about and playing in the openness of experimental lyric, thanks to these gestures of generosity and love for poetry and its student-writers. Most importantly to me, we've had opportunities to share a freedom from traditional academic emphases and dominating pressure to teach formalism."

I was particularly glad to read how hay(na)ku facilitates "a freedom from traditional academic emphases and dominating pressure to teach formalism." I've got nothing against formalism. I do decry the limited minds of various academics (not Chris, obviously) who have created an tradition that makes "canon" synonymous with "reductive."

Most significantly in the above excerpt, it reminds me, too, to be thankful for some of the most loving minds and hearts in poetry that I've met or gotten to know better through the internet/blogland: Jukka, Mark and Jean. Thank YOU!


you did not bother to hide
your glance at the clock

I had pushed back its time

time cannot be pushed back
or held

radiance can be held

can be held
--from Moi's "blow job" series

So happy to hear that five poems just got accepted for a future issue of No Tell Motel. I'm pleased because that's a series that resulted partly from my attempts to poeticize the blow job -- which Moi did simply as I'd not done it prevooosly -- and I'd long thought it ideal if the poems were published together, which will be possible with No Tell Motel. Synchronistically, No Tell Motel is scheduled to publish them in April. How purrrfect -- April is National Poetry Month and we know how that whole shebang can get to be a blow job. Something to look forward to. (Sip. Tonight, the 2003 Three Sticks Durell Vineyard pinot noir.)

Until then, I thank Sam Rasnake for his review of my ENGLISH brick in the current issue of Blue Fifth Review. I'm in good company with the poetry there of Patricia Gomes, Lynne Knight, Kathryn Rantala, Dorianne Laux, Annette Marie Hyder, Leslie Marcus, Karyna McGlynn, Barbara Hendryson, Lynn Strongin, Vicki Hudspith, Marge Piercy, Paula Grenside, Meg Hamill, Eve Stern, Evie Shockley, Barbara Jane Reyes, Teresa Ballard and Cheryl Dodds.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I'm still processing my thoughts about Barbara Guest's recent death. They're fragmentary -- perhaps because I've never gotten over the shock of meeting the Her beyond the ravishing poems that she wrote so delicately even as I once imagined the graphite from her pencil (if she ever used pencil) as thin steel.

And it was Barbara's biography on Hilda Doolitle, Herself Defined, that that every so often tempts me into attempting a biography of another poet. There is a selflessness, a generosity, that I much admire and respect among certain (not all but certain) biographers -- and I sensed and marveled at that when reading H.D. I hope to find the space in my own life someday to give that to another poet.

Another thing I appreciate about Barbara's life-in-poetry is how it affirms for me how my preference for publishing with small presses is the right thing to do (no time to explicate but wanted to nota bene that).

Here are the details for Barbara's funeral -- I won't be there, but some of you may be interested: 1 PM this Friday, February 24th at Grant Miller Mortuary, located at Telegraph and 29th St.  The entrance to the mortuary is on 29th Street. The mortuary is on the border between Berkeley and Oakland.

My condolences to Barbara's daughter Hadley Haden Guest; I also honor her devotion to her Mother and her Mother's work.

For now, here's a prose poem from moi ENGLISH brick that began with a childhood memory of Baguio City but wound its way to end with a quote from Barbara's inspiring 1986 speech at St. Marks Poetry Project, NYC, entitled "Mysteriously Defining The Mysterious Byzantine Proposals of Poetry."


Rain etching down my stick-like legs. I was a girl--rain still possessed the ability to invade. "Open market"--stalls sheeted by blue plastic. Behind one film flapping insouciantly, dolls waited for me. Blonde curls, rayon dresses in aghast patterns combining red polka-dots and green military ships, stiff lace that will make me itch--I wanted them all. This morning, I sprinkled an entire can of fish food into a birdbath doomed for decimation by next week's tractors. I wanted the goldfish replete if my offering was to be their last meal. Tom noted, "But they eat until they burst." Aghast, I looked down at the roiling water ablaze with orange manna and orange fish. "At least they'll die ecstatic," I thought. The thought remained a thought instead of offering consolation. B.G. has written, "The poet slowly dies in his or her poem[,] making sure there are fragments remaining of the empire which created the poem, the empire of the poet's soul."

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


This is a reminder that the submission deadline for GALATEA RESURRECTS' inaugural issue is later this week on Feb. 25. It can slip a couple of days if you alert me ahead of time so I can still make space for it.

The submission deadline for the second issue is May 5, 2006. I am taking reviews or review commitments now for even the second issue (very exciting -- already have commitments for new reviews for five books!). Go here for more info on Guidelines and available review copies.


I wrote a poem yesterday about the mudslides that recently beset the Philippines. Information here at Bino's blog -- among other things, the landslide buried an elementary school.

I rarely write poems about disasters (and my awful anti-war poems post 9-11 don't do anything to make me reconsider this generally) but this one really crumpled something inside me -- I think it had to do with reading the account of a schoolteacher text-ing out a message to the principal--

"Ma'am, we are still under
the school. Please help us,
Ma'am. This is Edilio
Coquilla. Please Ma'am."

The news worsened today -- the almost 200 students attending classes in the elementary school when it was buried was not just any class. Apparently, those young people were considered among the most gifted and academically proficient in the area if not the entire country.

But the Philippines cannot afford to lose a generation of young people with much excellence and promise. Theirs is the generation who has the difficult job of addressing what their parents couldn't -- and hopefully improve an (impoverished) environment that, among other things, fosters such phenomena as the mail order brides, an issue now being blogged about collaboratively by Filipino poets, writers and scholars here. Interconnectedness et al.

It's all so tragic, but though many accounts attribute the landslides to deforestation, the problem is of course more complex. My poem, for one, ends the way it does because although "I" don't write on a desk made from endangered wood, "we" are all implicated:

I could not teach how
Hunger becomes a disease
when we feed ourselves
with our children.

This lesson is not about mountains
losing their trees
so people can eat.
The lesson is about a poet
writing a poem
on a desk carved
from an "endangered species"
smuggled out into a land
replete with snow
through bribes
to a mayor, a general,
a dock inspector
a paper-pushing "facilitator"
and his administrative assistant.

And how I shall be thirsty
for the rest of my life
no matter how much water
I drink and drink
trying to release the taste
of mud spewed out
in Guinsaugon, Leyte, Philippines
on February 17, 2006.

Monday, February 20, 2006


In keeping with this blog's effort to be helpful to everyone, and with the recurring series of learning from the animal kingdom, here is a MANAGEMENT LESSON brought to you by Moi with the M.B.A. and various animals that populate Galatea's mountain -- a kind of management training that also benefits those poets who would seek to turn avocations into careers:

Lesson One:

An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, "Can I also sit on my ass like you and do nothing?"

The eagle answered: "Sure, why not."

So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle, and rested. All of a sudden a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Management Lesson: To be sitting on your ass and doing nothing, you must be sitting very high up.


Lesson Two:

A turkey was chatting with a bull. "I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree," sighed the turkey, "but I haven't got the energy."

"Well, why don't you nibble on some of my manure droppings?" replied the bull. "They're packed with nutrients."

The turkey pecked at a lump of manure, found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree.  The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch.  Finally after a fourth night, he was proudly perched at the top of the tree.

Soon he was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot the turkey out of the tree.

Management Lesson: Bull Shit might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there.


Lesson Three:

A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground in a large field. While it was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on it. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, it began to realize how warm it was. The dung was actually thawing him out. He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.

A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Management Lessons:
 (1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.
 (2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.
 (3) And when you're in deep shit, it's best to keep your mouth shut!

This ends your two-minute management course. Go out there, succeed, and make us all proud!!!

from the ever beloved "Achilles, Gabriela, Artemis & Missy Scarlet series"

Once, a poet-critic called moi poems "ferocious". Hear me roar, to wit:

Artemis and Missy Scarlet are primarily indoor cats against their will. They love going outdoors but the only time they're able to do that is when the hubby is around to be responsible for them. I refuse to be the one charged with monitoring them outdoors -- not since that night when, at 2 a.m., moi ass was hanging out over Napa Valley as I screetched, I mean, crooned at Artemis to come down from the oak tree that she'd climbed. I'd had to get the tallest ladder we had and climb it and still wasn't able to grab her. It wasn't until I got the brilliant but belated idea to dangle raw bits of roast beef below her teensy twitchy nose that she finally climbed down enough so I could grab her. By then, all of Napa Valley had admired my ass thinking it to be a very full moon.

Anyhoot, this is to say that by the time the weekend arrives (and the hubby often is on the mountain only on weekends), the cats long have been primed to go outdoors and hunt through the tall grass -- during the week, they'd grow increasingly frustrated as they become bored with spiders and bugs. The house, being in the country, inevitably gets infiltrated by bugs but they don't last long in the house with these kitties. When I walk by my windowsill, they are often littered by little black corpses -- the residue from the teeth and claws of moi nocturnal hunters.

Well, this morning while the hubby was around, the cats were let out. So, this morning, Missy Scarlet caught and tortured then ate a baby mole. Artemis caught and played with and then crunched on the head of a grey mouse. All very nice. The mountain is ever replete with critters.

The dawgs, for once, just hung back and watched the kitties go at it avidly. Well, not really. Gabriela the puppy hung back for all of one second then lunged towards the cats wanting to join in the action! Missy Scarlet promptly swatted said puppy on the nose and she -- despite being five times the cats' sizes -- whimpered and slunk back to where Achilles was sitting, watching the whole bloody scene. I could sense moi cats' blood boiling -- they would have done well with gladiators just before Rome burned.

All this is to say that moi cats take after Mama Moi -- the one who is nothing less than "lethal":

You Were A Lion

You have a lethal combination of strength and energy.
You have strong family ties, and close friends are like family to you.
What Animal Were You In a Past Life?

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Books books books! Barbara's posted some pics from the DROP-DEAD GORGEOUS FILIPINAS conference this weekend. Click here to see, sniffle, THE FIRST HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY waving its perky little flag!

And speaking of hay(na)ku, I'm currently reviewing what's looks like will become the FIRST single-author poetry collection of hay(na)ku. Just teasing you now -- more details later. Except, here's a sample of this DROP-DEAD GORGEOUS collection:

heat was
impossible and then,

needed, the rain.
I hate this rain:

city responds
to it with

sadness, its
lights go off

leave us
labyrinthic streets, lonely

crying the
remains of a

day. I
hate this rain.

makes me
think: the sound

of time;
it has the

of a
voice I have

heard. I
look through the

and me
too feels death

it, under it,
wet, forgotten, homeless;

woman's name
about to be

Instead, silence,
here, and elsewhere.

And as ever, I keep reading and reading. Here's a recent list of books relished amidst moi w(h)ining:

TRANSITORY, poems by Jane Augustine

PETROLEUM HAT, poems by Drew Gardner

ACTS OF LIGHT, poems by Emily Dickinson & paintings by Nancy Ekhom Burkett


QUIPU, poems by Arthur Sze

OBEDIENCE, poems by kari edwards

THE ARGENTO SERIES, poems by Kevin Killian


CALLS FROM THE OUTSIDE WORLD, poems by Robert Hershon

OFTEN CAPITAL, poems by Jennifer Moxley

SHOT WITH EROS: New and Selected Poems by Glenna Luschei


HALF A LIFE, memoir by Jill Ciment

THE DOGS: A MODERN BESTIARY, novel by Rebecca Brown




SIMPLE LIVING, memoir by Frank Levering & Wanda Urbanska


1999 Finca Dofi Priorat
2002 Dutch Henry chardonnay
1998 Fox Creek McLaren Vale Grenache Shiraz

Saturday, February 18, 2006


I don't actually play poker much. (Nor do I count cards since I can't count.) But I know this much -- the first time I attended an artists' colony, I became a poker champ. A bunch of resident writers/artists usually played poker on evenings. The first time I played, they doled out the cards all face-down. Then the players were supposed to look at the cards and start betting. Bets were a nickel, a dime, a quarter.

I didn't bother looking at my cards while everyone else did. I immediately tossed a quarter on the table. Immediately flushed out those who thought they had crappy cards. But what's a crappy hand at that stage of the game (when you can still trade for as many new cards as you wished)? The point was that those flushed out were the peeps you knew were unlikely to take risks and that would be useful information for future games.

You know -- it's like what our Vice President never learned -- you flush out the birds first before you shoot them.

Then someone belatedly commented, Oh -- you didn't even look at your cards, though, before you placed your bet!

Diplomatically, I didn't utter out loud what I thought: Honey, it's a quarter. Get a grip: a quarter is easy.

[P.S. But I won't draw the obvious line between that wussy attitude and the kind of poems that wussy person would write. That line be too linear and I know the Muses would just as likely swoop down and cut that line I be drawing between 2 shifting points.]


Candy-ly, I find a lot of talk about "margins" -- writing from its space, behind that line, moving that line, tearing down/erasing that line -- puerile when it comes to poetry. I fell off the page -- no, make that flew off the page -- a long time ago for my poetry. To write within the purity of the void is the real challenge when your presence means introducing the impure.

How not to be marginalized in poetry? That's a question for amateurs, sez the perpetually poker-playing fallen angels.

Friday, February 17, 2006


is latest addition to linkie-ness -- here -- and she's doin' the hay(na)ku!


on this blog. The Iron Gate would have prevented me from posting here what I just posted over there but I can still direct you over there as the entire blog is worth reading as regards issues of -- to paraphrase Leny whom I usually quote when I want to seem smarter than I am -- patriarchy, racial privilege, the politics of love and race, power imbalances in penpal marriages and so on.

from the ever-beloved "Achilles and Gabriela...and Artemis and Missy Scarlet Series"

I realized today that I'm due to publish four books this year via Meritage Press. That's, uh, 3 more than what I thought MP would do when I began that press just 5 years ago. Given my time and budget constraints, I always intended MP to be a one book a year type of press (perhaps 2 books if I had a copublisher which then shared the work). Since I know what those four books are, I'm happy that this is the case -- it certainly shows the need for poetry book publishers.

But when you combine the above with, duh, my own writings, this will explain why I be blogging photos rather than more of Moi's extensive purple prose. To wit, I mean, dot dot dot a lot of action often occurs in Galatea's Library. Like, here's a conference between me, the artist June and Gabriela as regards a poetry mural project (I must say that dawg had some pretty definite opinions about her portrait embedded within the imagery):

Later that evening, an overhead shot shows Artemis and Missy Scarlet holding their own conference as to which piece of furniture they next will tear apart while the rest of the household sleeps:

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Nota bene the first draft --


When a poem is effective, it's because someone saw the poem fall, not merely because the poem fell. But. If so, what is a poem's context? Or contexts? Can such form lines within a dictionary? Probably not. Nonetheless, the flux of identity has never denied existence. The author. The(n) reader. From the page between "us" pulses beat because blood flows. Once upon a time, a poet felt this desire: the pulse underlying helpless flooding(s). The chalice raises itself for the poems scored from that beat and beating (pun intended). Poems that -- no, who -- proactively deny their own research. CONTEXT: A POET'S MEMOIR is a novel. And a search for truth that begins from fiction -- or is it the search for fictions compelled from truth? It doesn't matter. Searching for the unknown never fails, even though its path ultimately might not be articulated. If matters that it doesn't matter. As long as we feel the aliveness of living.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Today, I read Drew Gardner's PETROLEUM HAT (Roof, 2005). It quickly leapt to moi otherwise private list of memorable poetry reads. It's hilarious. It's smart. It's sly. It's smart. It even gets lyrical. To call it "anti-war" (though it be that) is to reduce it. Its narrative is quite forcefully clear in a refreshing way. And it's critical without being mean to the reader's -- rather, this reader's -- sensibilities. For me, 'twas an unexpected sensory affect -- bespeaking a balance I choose to call elegance.

And given my currently ongoing book on moi upcoming PUNCTUATIONS poetry collection, it was also nice to be reminded today of Emily Dickinson's Em-dashes. Like:

Inebriate of Air--am I--
And Debauchee of Dew--
Reeling--thro endless summer days--
From inns of Molten Blue--

When "Landlords" turn the drunken Bee
Out of the Foxglove's door--
When Butterflies--renounce their "drams"--
I shall but drink the more!

Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats--
And Saints--to windows run--
To see the Little Tippler
Leaning against--the Sun--

Yep -- that's Moi, Peeps. With a glass of chard this Little Tippler ever leans -- against the Sun!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Oy! What a relief to have that purse lightened! Which is to say, thanks for supporting moi ENGLISH BRICK. SPD's initial inventory is out and so they're "temporarily out of stock" there. But a new shipment of books is on its way so please to keep ordering from them!

Meanwhile, elsewhere in that capacious handbag, you can see a list of review copies available for review in GALATEA RESURRECTS. Basically, I set up the blog "In Galatea's Purse" just to make it more convenient to refer to that list and other matters like submissions and guideline information. It seems better to keep referring to that new blog rather than to a post on this blog that keeps moving down the computer screen and then off the screen into "archives."

What else in that purse? Whooah that'd be quite a list of contents -- a controversial list. It's a BEEEEEEG BAG that's yet another reason why this poet's got a bad back. Mayhap mayhap I'll share that list someday....

Meanwhile, less than an hour before this day ends. I celebrated this day with chocolate while the dogs tore apart their pink and red toys in, I swear, less than an hour per toy. Ah well, as David put it whilst coping with the East Coast blizzard:



I'm really enjoying working on the final phases of my 2006 book, The Secret Lives of Punctuations, Vol. I (xPress(ed). Thanks Jukka! And the enjoyment is due to others' participation -- for Moi's poetry is your poetry!

Like, why would this lovely painting by Eve Ascheim be lurking within?

Because one of the punctuations I address is the parenthesis and don't parentheticals curve to layer meanings in the same way as occur in the above image? Indeedy, here's an excerpt from Eve's "Artist Statement" which would show the empathy in my tinkering with the hidden significances of such small gestures as punctuation marks:

I have been fascinated by how subtle marks create energies and affect, sometimes dramatically, the direction or meaning of the piece. The lines may suggest the movement of particles under the influence of various forces: gravity, wind, the geometric ordering of nature and the changing structures of thinking.

With a spare vocabulary I attempt to generate maximal effect so that the paintings add up to more than the sum of their parts. When I move one line slightly, the entire composition changes. Every line is a player in a complex and subtle web of relationships. Some marks are aligned with geometric structures, others float freely, while others hover at the intersection of various compositional systems, mediating the space between them, rendering these systems compatible while holding them in conflictual opposition.

In some of the paintings, the lines seem to form all-over fields; however on prolonged viewing, one realizes that multiple structures emerge. In some paintings, small lines torque the plane of the canvas. The lines can also be seen as the edges of objects or planes, the trajectories of objects in motion, or markers of space. In the layered space of the painting, some lines float behind the picture plane, while others are clearly on the surface of the canvas, and still others seem to be floating in the view's space.

Suspension, flotation, transformation and implied motion are key. The small lines are forms that can allude to sub-atomic particles, dust, rain, or wind-blown elements. I attempt to register the forces at work in both the visible and invisible world. In some paintings, the lines paradoxically become streaks of light.


Yep -- "light" as in revelation!

Monday, February 13, 2006


Are you sure?

I think of Joyce Jenkins as one of Poetry's Angels and so was honored and delighted to read for Poetry Flash's series last night. Thank you, Joyce and Poetry Flash.

It was such a fun evening that we stayed overlong at Raleigh's afterwards over a bad bottle of shiraz -- but it was leavened by gooey nachos and elevated by the company.
I say "overlong" because when I then walked to the parking lot, I discovered I was locked out as said parking lot closed at 10 p.m.  WTF!!!  Fortunately, Michelle and Rhett had walked me there and so could have dropped me in SF....but I needed that SUV to transport the dogs back to Napa first thing this morning!  We took a chance and called the number on the ticket stub.  Guy said he'll be there in five minutes.

What luck!!!  Apparently, the two guys hovering nearby who were making Rhett nervous had been locked out, too, and had just called the same guy with the promise of a bribe. (By the way, I saw the same 2 guys and wasn't nervous as I knew Michelle could take them both with one hand.) Well, let's just say that I, too, had to basically hand over my Poetry Flash remuneration in order to get my car out.  Note to Self: maybe this post belongs under "Poetry Economics: A Moronic Oxymoron."
But, anyway, about the reading -- in addition to reading from her DaDaDa (Salt) and Locket (Tupelo) books, Catherine "launched" her brand new Ahadada collection HELLO KITTY!  Here's a sample from the aptly titled


plenty of pages
to color, to use
o         oo           o
               Love, She Comes in Colors
                o                    o                 oo

Orgasmic just in time for VDay. It's always a pleasure to read with Kasia whose work I appreciate for many reasons, such that they result in never fitting in any articulated poetry categories out there. (Her book Locket is now available as a review copy for Galatea Resurrects -- scroll below for updated list!)

I read, as promised, from my first collection and then ended with a poem from a new series in-progress WATER INTO WINE.  I'd told the audience that it was sparked partly by a decision to begin reading the Bible again after decades of not having flown through its pages.  And so I was thinking or writing poems viz a Biblical persona and thought about which -- Mary, Salome, Ruth, "Lot's Wife", Eve....and that's when the lighbulb popped as I thought, Why am I limiting myself to women? And that's when I thought, But now that I know how to turn water into wine, I should be JESUS CHRIST!

I shared this with the audience, by the way, and apparently it was at that point of my spiel that Rhett had to clamp down on his instinct to rise from his chair, open out his arms, and lovingly proclaim: "My son....!"
Thanks Rhett for not, as Richard Silberberg (nice to meetcha) said later, going "one up on me." 
Anyway, I ended the reading with a poem that may be the first or last poem of WATER INTO WINE:

are still
waiting for Me.

I returned--
faced no recognition!

introduced myself
as Gwen Araujo

Ah yes -- another poetry collection from Moi that's unlikely to receive the Pope's blessing. Obviously, as a poet, I am blasphemy incarnate -- with absolutely zero apologies. For I consider the poem's space inherently holy.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Huh. I'd forgotten Poetry Flash was pitching my reading this Sunday evening with Catherine Daly as a Valentine's Day Reading. Note to Self -- Do the metaphysical only if it's sex-ayyyy!

Anyway, Catherine and I are also among "The Dirty Dozen" at Dragonfire's Valentine's Day feature. We're in good company with Timothy Liu, Bob Hicok, Amy King, Don Riggs, Sara M. Larson, Moira Egan, Michael Steffen, George Kalamaris, Harriet Levin and Austin Hummel. Do let us talk dirty at you.

As for Moi -- there she goes inhaling dragon breath with her ziggurat tattoo, her Corona Gordas, her Chateau d’Yquem, and last but not least her "Bondage Humor."

Saturday, February 11, 2006


I had this conversation with the hubby at breakfast table (same as lunch table as dinner table as catbed table):

Hubby: What are you doing?

Moi: Working on a new poetry manuscript.

Hubby: Oh. [Reaches for a section of the newspaper]

Moi: Don't you want to know what it's about?

Hubby: [Sighs. Puts down NYTimes] What's it about?

Moi: I'm Jesus. The book's working title is WATER INTO WINE!

Hubby: [Stifles new sigh. But does said stifling very obviously so I know he's stifling a new sigh.] You know -- you're more like WINE INTO WATER.

Moi: Hah?

Hubby: You know -- you drink wine and it goes through your body and comes out there [Makes vague motion towards moi nether region].

Moi: Are you saying I'm WINE INTO PISS?!!

Hubby: [Pause.] Uh. [Another pause.] No, Dear -- you don't look fat at all.

MiPOesias Magazine -- NEW ISSUE OUT!

Thanks to publisher/editor Didi Menendez for including me in MIPoesias Magazine's new issue. It's lovely to be in the company of these fabulous poets.

Moi page features one of the shortest poems I've ever writ, thus presenting a first for me where my "bio" is longer (waaaay) longer than the poem (I'd sent a "canned" bio over and now I feel sheepish). Nonetheless, at least this also features my new favorite author photo -- my life's gone to the dawgs, youse know.

And the podcast of the issue is here: www.miporadio.com



JEAN SEZ IT BETTER THAN I CAN ARTICULATE AT THE MOMENT as regards this upcoming March 10 "Poesia y vanguardia" event that will LAUNCH The First Hay(na)ku Anthology in Mexico and it makes me so happy I could cry (okay, maybe I did). From Jean:

I was also excited to hear that the Instituto
Veracruzano de Cultura
in Xalapa, Mexico has asked Ernesto to "launch" The First Hay(na)ku Anthology there, and to give a lecture and reading, the latter of which he will do with several other poets. He writes that "the form is getting known as "jáinakú", which is the way "hay(na)ku" is read in Spanish," and he will give a talk "on the hay(na)ku as a diasporic poetic form that has found a perfect breeding ground (that has found a "tra[n]scendental home") in the internet. [Ernesto is] particularly interested in tracing back the common histories of the Philippines and Mexico, as well as the enormous poetic influence that Jack Kerouac had on Mexican poets. This could explain the "emotional and formal" popularity of the hay(na)ku in [Mexico]. Not many people are writing them, but many are reading them."


During backchannels in conceptualizing the event, Jean also said this that made my cheeks as wet as if I were in the shower with her (wink):

I was thinking, in the shower today ; )), how amazing it is that so many poets see so much possibility in such a tiny poetic form (albeit that it can expand to great lengths), this little container for words. And I realize that this is in large part because of the way [it's] generously framed it in the first place -- as a trans-national and a diasporic form. Olson's and Whitman's expansive lines are seen as intrinsically American, the haiku is seen as Japanese, the sonnet as European (I realize these examples are "form" in a very broad sense). Although the hay(na)ku -- whether you think of it as a form or a stanza -- can be viewed as "Filipino," it has from the beginning always transcended the need to pin poetic form down. And it will not stick to a binary. Amazingly open. As Mark wrote: "Any subject. No code." So, in the context of your presentation, Ernesto, the hay(na)ku is also a wonderful vehicle for discussing transnational poetic relationships, as in Mexico and the Philippines -- after all the colonial government of the Philippines was administered out of Acapulco for many years.

The Chatelaine thinks as she considerately hands a towel to Jean, Moi adores it when I seem much smarter than I am dot dot dot

Which is all to say, you Mexican and Mexico-visiting Peeps: pls to attend (there should be more details closer to the event), enjoy y muchas gracias for the interest!

Friday, February 10, 2006


Dang. Once that Galatea stepped off that pedestal she just cannot shut up about poetry! Candidly, Peeps (as if I'm ever less than candy), I would have been pleased and honored to have received 5 new reviews for


But, as of this writing, I have received reviews or commitments for reviews totalling (drum roll) 25 BRAND NEW REVIEWS! Didn't that Submission Call go out just over a couple of weeks ago? Who'da thunk?!

And that is on top of permissions to reprint at least eight other reviews which previously were in print journals but without an internet audience -- which is critical because online readership is usually more than print journals' readerships. In fact, I thought this feature was going to be the mainstay of GR but new review commitments quickly overtook! Well, we'll see how future issues go.

Meanwhile, feel free to keep sending in your reviews until Feb. 25 (and keep writing them if you can't make that deadline as I'm also now open to receiving stuff for the next issue!). This is the Internet, peeps. And the Internet's space is much like Moi's loving heart and Poetry's:


What I also like about the interest of reviewers hangin' out in my blathering space is that GR is likely to receive wide readership. Pat, pat -- and the Chatelaine pat pats the lovely poems who've been waiting for more readers to welcome them into their hearts...Cooo, poems -- ye shall fly fly flight

Here's an updated list of GR's Review Copies Available to Interested Reviewers:

Publications (books, chaps, broadsides, journals et al) eligible for review are not just recent releases; all are available as long as they're in print. So you can review, say, a book(s) from your bookshelf that you've long appreciated, or choose from below. Note, too, that e-publications are available for review. I'd love to see reviews of any publications from Moria Books, Blue Lion Books, Faux Press, xPress(ed) and all the other e-publishers out there. [If you've sent a review copy and don't see it below, it may be because I've "placed" it.]

(in author/editor's last name alphabetical order)

SHE'S NOT THE TYPE TO HOVER IN, Anonymous author (or I can't figure it out), Critical Documents 2006 with a return address of Miami University in Oxford, OH

TRANSITORY by Jane Augustine

BRIDGEABLE SHORES: SELECTED POEMS (1969-2001) by Luis Cabalquinto**



DRIVE: THE FIRST QUARTET by Lorna Dee Cervantes

LOCKET by Catherine Daly

GOSSIP by Tom Fink



RUSTLE OF BAMBOO LEAVES: Selected Haiku and Other Poems by Victor P. Gendrano

DESIRE PATH, chapbook anthology with poems by Myrna Goodman, Maxine Silverman, Meredith Trede & Jennifer Wallace

GROUNDED (poetry chap) by George Held

60 lv bo(e)mbs by Paolo Javier

SOMEHOW by Burt Kimmelman

WOMEN OF THE BEAT GENERATION: The Writers, Artists and Muses at the Heart of a Revolution, Editor Brenda Knight

typical girl by Donna Kuhn
Not Having An Idea by Donna Kuhn


HEADING HOME by Lory Medina

THE BEE FLIES IN MAY by Stephen Paul Miller
SKINNY EIGHTH AVENUE by Stephen Paul Miller

THE UNABRIDGED JOURNALS OF SYLVIA PLATH (1950-1962), Edited by Karen Kukil

POETA EN SAN FRANCISCO by Barbara Jane Reyes

ONE THOUSAND YEARS by Corinne Robins

OPERA: Poems 1981-2002 by Barry Schwabsky*
[ways] BY Barry Schwabsky*

Slip (poetry chap) by Chris Stackhouse

The First Hay(na)ku Anthology Edited by Jean Vengua & Mark Young -- ASSIGNED BUT AVAILABLE FOR MORE REVIEWS


100 More Jokes From The Book of the Dead, collaboration by John Yau & Archie Rand*


TRAFFIC, Issue 1, 2005-2006 (A Publication of Small Press Traffic), Edited by Elizabeth Treadwell

(* The titles above with asterisk on them are published by Meritage Press, which I founded/edit/publish. I thought about whether this is a conflict, but then also reconsidered to conclude: I see no reason to make the MP authors not eligible for review -- it's their words, not mine, being assessed. And, sadly -- backchannel me if you disagree -- I've generally not found the effect of good reviews to boost sales so significantly that I could be charged with benefiting as publisher from reviews.

** My books are not eligible for GR but I've decided to allow books that I've edited, to the extent they're primarily about the edited poets' works and not my poems.)

The phrase "ASSIGNED but available for more reviews" refers to how different people can read the same poem differently and so, to the extent review copies are available, I'm perfectly willing to publish more than one review of the same book.

Reviewers will get "paid" with, what else but BOOKS! But don't worry -- they'd be gifts, not "review copies".

For questions and queries, contact Moi at GalateaTen@aol.com

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Ma-tsu, an 8th century, a.d., Ch’an master, once asked a student (Pai-chang) to explain the actions of a flock of wild geese in the sky. The student replied that the geese where flying away from him – a typical human response. Correcting the student with a whack to the head, Ma-tsu’s correction emphasized that the geese weren’t flying away from anything, but were flying into their own existence. This example is quite appropriate, when considering the poetry of Eileen Tabios,...

The marvel of “Hair” – Pygmalion and Galatea, poet and poem, poem and reader – is the connection of variant sources that meet in a place beyond the page.
--Sam Rasnake

GEEEEZ. Sam Rasnake's review of moi ENGLISH brick is quite an honor! Thank you, Sam -- it's a blessing to receive such a close reading. And what a read -- glean from its title "Wholeness as Possibility: An Art of the Body". Sam makes me sound waaaay more intelligent than I am but I ain't complainin'!

Well, Bay Area peep-ers, if you want to know if Sam is right, you're invited to attend my next (and increasingly rare) readingthis Sunday eve:

Sunday, February 12, 7:30
Poetry Flash at Cody's presents
a poetry reading by
Catherine Daly &
Eileen R. Tabios
Cody's Books
2454 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley
$2 at the door

I'll definitely read from the Brick, and also from my first ever published poetry collection titled After the Egyptians Determined The Shape of the World is a Circle (1996). I've always liked that title....but also was embarassed by it almost as soon as it was released!

The lovely but now defunct publisher based in Maryland offered to publish one of my collections (I'd submitted some poems to a journal they'd also ran). Months later when they went out of business, I was relieved as I assumed that meant that that collection would not get wide distribution! (I didn't know back then that most poetry publications ain't widely distributed.) Anyhoot, I've mentioned this collection in, say, bios but it's a collector's item! Why? Because when the publisher went out of business, I made sure to buy back every single copy in their inventory and promptly relegated them to the basement -- such was my embarrassment over them.

But now I realize that I should not be dissing my early poems -- they're all necessary for the path, eh? And so I'll read some (a first for those poems to be read in public) and then when I read from ENGLISH, you can determine whether I've improved at all during the past 10 years. I'm still trying to figure that out moiself dot dot dot

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


I don't think "Shopgirl" is high among the movies receiving attention viz Oscar nominations this year. I guess that's to be expected -- among the movies I've seen (actually, I don't see much movies nowadays since I became "Soccer Mom" to 4 furry critters, but among those I've seen), "Shopgirl," based on a novella by Steve Martin (author as well of that infamous phrase that Dr. Wily Filipino subverted) is a wonderful manifestation of poetry-as-film.

Those Entertainment Tonight types who focused on Clare Danes in discussing this movie missed the boat. In his book and then his movie portrayal, Steve Martin presents a predator who's both subtly and forcefully drawn. His presence resonates far more than other movie villains in recent memory. That Martin's presentation of amorality is not overt makes the character linger in my mind, resonating MONTHS after I first saw the movie.

It's ugly.

It's also romantic. Redemption occurs through art. Literally as well as metaphorically -- the shop girl ends the movie with the accomplishment of her first exhibition.

Ugly and romantic at the same time -- I adore the toppling of those binaries.


Let him squint through a telescope
at all the tinseled planets and stars,
Orion the hunter, Auriga the charioteer,

wheeling their incandescent teams.
Don’t tell him they’re all growing fainter,
gods and heroes and winged horses
breaking up, accelerating out of the frame.

Don’t tell him he too will become
a world of refracted light and myth,
a dazzling dream of long ago, spinning,
remote, barely visible to the naked eye.
--from "The Child Astronomer" by Sygman Byrd

Marsh Hawk Press has updated its web site to show its new Spring 2006 releases. I have to say that I absolutely adore this book cover of our recent annual contest winner, Sygman Byrd's Under The Wanderer's Star:

Okay, the reproduction is fuzzy which may make lame my point, but I'll make it anyway as Moi makes many lame points on this blog:

What's interesting is how there'd been some discussion during the design phase about the eye in that compass. I was hoping for the eye to be as MANIC as possible. MHP Mng. Editor Sandy McIntosh says that in one "version, the eye of [designer] Claudia Carlson's sixteen year old daughter, had a dreamy, soft quality that nobody liked. I suggested to Claudia that she take another photo of her daughter, but this time tell her she was cutting off her allowance. The resulting eye now has just the right touch of malice." Heeeee.

Welcome to poetry book libraries, ye Wandering Star...!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


So I watched the last pre-Hollywood audition show for "American Idol." I've long been fascinated by some of the participants -- specifically the ones who know, WHO JUST KNOW WITH 1,000% CONFIDENCE, that they are Grrrrrr-reat! But when then they sing, Oh, Sweeties not even close!

That dysfunction -- that ABSOLUTE LACK OF SELF AWARENESS -- that makes them believe in themselves despite their zero lack of musical talent is just ... amazing. My initial -- and persistent -- response is just a stupefied shaking of Moi's spinning head.

And yet I don't have (usually) that response to those who believe themselves the greatest poet ever as they write the most horrific, banal, clunky, goooo-goooo gaaaa-gaaa, insomnia-curing, et al type of verse. (Please to note here how I differentiate between poet and poem.)

Others, of course, can be more critical of poets. But if those critics are also poets, sometimes, I keep a closer watch on them: I just know they're likely to do something SILLY ... and I just adore being amused.

Which is also to say, such anti-American Idol poetics is partly related to why I'm embarked on reading every single poem ever writ. Which is further to say, here's Moi RELISHED update:


NO TELL MOTEL, poetry anthology edited by Reb Livingston and Molly Arden (the most effective anthology released in at least the past 12 months)

IN THE ABSENT EVERYDAY, poems by Tsering Wangmo Dhompa

A BURNING INTERIOR, poems by David Shapiro

YESTERDAY'S NEWS, poems by Taylor Brady


TYPICAL GIRL, poems by Donna Kuhn

EVE'S RED DRESS, poems by Diane Lockward

SELECTED POEMS 1966-2006 by Carl Gottesman

GROUNDED, poems by George Held

TANGO, poems by Daniel Halpern

ZOMBIES!, poems by Tom Beckett

HENRY MILLER: FULL OF LIFE: A Memoir of America's Uninhibited Literary Genius, memoir by Kathryn Winslow

Fifty Acres and a Poodle, memoir by Jeanne marie Laskas

THE CHRISTMAS HOPE, novel by Donna Van Liere

2002 Dutch Henry chardonnay
2003 Dutch Henry chardonnay (as lovely as the '02 which is now sold out, although the winemaker prefers the '03 to the '02; the 03 is not as citrusy as the 02)
1997 Nicholson River Winery chardonnay
1990 Tarrabianca Campaccio
1997 Wild Duck Creek Estate Heathcote Springflat Shiraz
2003 Turley zinfandel Keig Vineyard
2003 Flora Springs Trilogy
2003 Flora Springs Soliloquy
2003 Flora Springs Select Cuvee Chardonnay
2002 Flora Springs Poggio Del Papa
2002 Flora Springs Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon


= SWEETNESS = learning today that a poet works as a humanities librarian. His place of employ apparently carries my books. After reading my ENGLISH brick, he bought a copy for himself.

So, he had full access to my poems at his job-place but still *bought* a copy?

Angels -- I forgive your peeing.

...which is also to say, I highly recommend you visit the lovely poems over at ZEITGEIST SPAM. For instance, this below in which I guest-star -- which of course is why I repost here (and because I just know it's gonna make Tom grow a beard so he can scratch it over the idea of "sauce bearnaise syndrome/ in relation to sex"):

As Part Of A Project

As part of a project
I kept my beard trimmings
In a clear plastic box,
I developed sauce béarnaise syndrome
In relation to sex, I
Wrote Eileen R. Tabios (no
Answer yet), I bought bread
From the bread lady, apples
From the apple man, I
Wore a pearl-button shirt
And sat in a flash,
I found Neptune Society scrawled
On a scrap, I fought
Off a scavenger, I sang
He who, seeing the abyss,
I explored ruined pyramids, I
Found twelve glass jars and
Filled one with tears, it
Must have been a long
Same day, raptors gathered, I
Sat without a head, I'm
Supposed to give birth through
That? For quietly read deafening,
I found you are all
Pratyeka buddhas scrawled on another
Scrap, the light was rectangular,
I showed you my profile,
With reference to an historical
Warlike event,
my babies, my
Babies, I wore a black
T-shirt that looked good
In front of red, I
Wanted to study the variety
Of oceans but I turned
To the bamboo forest instead,
As if I had a
Choice I let history inscribe
My flesh, so that's a
Womb, that's where I used
To live, so those were
My beautiful friends, I looked
Out across the flat, I
Climbed the sacred steps, I
Cast my guts in iron,
Fragile and filled with shit.


I just think THIS is such a great idea.

Poetry -- it's nost just for shakin' & bakin' but also most def for sharing.

Missy Nice-y


I've been updating, btw, my list of available review copies (and as they're picked up by potential reviewers) in my Feb. 3 post (scroll below). Im open to reviews of any poetry books -- like those on your bookshelves -- as long as they're in print or available to readers. But if you want to write on one of the books on the Reviewer Copy List, just email me at GalateaTen@aol.com. When I have time, I'll move up a post with updated list.


Here at Galatea, water means w(h)ine! Which is to say:

Uh oh. She's unplugged the dike. With Rochita Loenen-Ruiz's interview of Moi appearing in Munting Nayon later this month, she's just exposed the Netherlands to the flood known as Moi's Blather!

And the fact that Munting Nayon pub doesn't have a website is not preventing said bladder, either, from goldening the internet! Aren't you Peeps lucky! A new interview of Moi here!

And the blather is a torrent! Because Rochita has tagged Meme, here's more dot dot dots!

Three books I can read over and over:
None. I used to have books in this category -- not anymore since I've shoved (but lovingly) all my poet-forefathers/mothers off the pedestals I used to wash with long, wine-dampened hair.

Three Places I've lived:
1) Baguio City, Philippines
2) Gardena, California
3) Upper West Side, New York City

Three TV shows I love:
I don't "love" any but I can mention "American Idol" as it's the only one I can mention because I otherwise rarely watch T.V.

Three highly regarded and recommended TV shows I've never watched a single minute of:
I don't know if they're highly recommended but I'll say:
1) Sex in the City
2) Desperate Housewives
3) Uh, I can't think of a name for a third T.V. show

Three places I've vacationed:
Nepal -- my favorite vacation ever!
Maui -- where I can be a Hawaiian Cowgal
Barolo wine country -- Moi chosen home in Europe

Three of my favorite dishes:
1) Truffle-infused pork belly (this dish at Fifth Floor might be my favorite ever dish that I've inhaled)
2) White truffle pasta when in France or Italy in October (truffle season)
3) Third place is a tie between (i) Sevruga, (ii) kare-kare with bagoong over steaming white rice, and (iii) anything Leny makes (hint)

Three places I'd rather be right now:
Nowhere. I prefer to be where I am right now: here at Galatea surrounded by my children: Achilles, Gabriela, Artemis, Missy Scarlet...and (yawn) the hubby.

Oh, but that's not a fun answer is it -- so, I'll play with

1) French Laundry
2) On a massage table attended by Ron Bergmann (Mindful Body), the best physical therapist in the state of California
3) Anywhere I've not yet visited, which is to say: The Unknown

Monday, February 06, 2006


So, while doing moi primary day job (oh, you mean you thought all I do is drink, whine and play with dawgies when not blogging?  tsk), I often have to entertain corporate chieftains.  Recently, one of them sipping from moi wine was the Greek founder of some telecom company.  And he was also into spreading the word about Greek culture and so on, in part to make sure his kids (with a U.S.-American wife) will know about that part of their heritage. All very sweet and commendable...

So he was quite fascinated with moi Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole whose first section is titled "My Greece" -- poems writ while, years back, traversing ancient sites there with renowned Greek scholar Jerome Pollitt.  Dr. Pollit is a learned man -- I, in fact, quote from one of his texts, this epigraph that introduces not just "My Greece" but part of moi notion of poetics:

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

And can I tell you how jazzed I was, therefore, to be able to present this Greek businessman a copy of Reproductions, inscribed with the saying:

"The history of Greece is the history of the world."

My. my, my -- he loved that. (And I love introducing or re-introducing poetry to those outside of the "poetry world"!)

But then later, as I was thinking about that incident, I kept wondering about the sense of deja vu I got from the phrase.  Well, I just now remembered -- and hence turn to blog about it! -- this reference I've written more than once in a poetics essay.  The latest publication of such an essay is in The First Hay(na)ku Anthology, where I say:

"Since the initial response by Filipino poets to the hay(na)ku, many -- if not most -- hay(na)ku have been written by non-Filipinos. This is certainly a fine result since Poetry is not (or need not be) ethnic-specific. But I'm also glad that non-Filipinos have taken up this form because I consider the hay(na)ku to be both a Filipino and Diasporic Poetic....// Given that the diaspora has existed throughout Filipino history, to call something 'Filipino', in my view, is not the same as hearkening back only to so-called "indigenous" Filipino traits. I agree with Filipino poet Eric Gamalinda when he observes, 'The history of the Philippines is the history of the world.'"

And this is also why I struggle with anthropological approaches to poetry where, for me, There could be no Other ... even when there is.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Literary history is written by the literary winners. In fact, they really do not have to write it. By simply ignoring the existence of other literatures, they effectively truncate them and ultimately eradicate them. Out of sight, out of mind.
--Cirilo Bautista

The last three posts at my Goody Blog are about the Pinoy Poetics anthology. As far as I know, there’s been a total of four reviews -- of which two are in the Philippines -- of this book since it came out in 2004. And yet, as (barely) alluded to by the 3 recent posts on that blog, it is a pretty significant poetry and poetics document.

It’s also one of the best teaching texts out there for poetry -- not just for ethnic-American poetry, mind you, though I’d argue it to be critical for Filipino and Asian Am studies.

Moi am just reminding...


doesn't mean you can't blog. Take it from Moi, known by the underworld as Missy CorpsePoetics.

from the newly-inaugurated "I'MA JES SAYIN' series"

Sheesh. Make that shesh. I don't mind all these talkin' about anthologies -- it's all amusing amuse bouche for Moi. Still, it can get boring to see the dialogue lapse to supposedly a petty matter of the complainers being merely those who got left out when, really, there are LARGER -- LARGER -- implications.

I can't take up my blog-time, though, to discuss those implications. I've been saving that brilliant disquisition for when one of my poems gets picked for Best American Puwet-ry (go on: ask a Pinoy poet what "puwet" means). My strategy -- up to now -- had been to REJECT that BAP letter with said brilliant disquisition. What has been good about the recent anthology talk on blogland is that it's made me smarter about my strategy.

Now, instead of saying No to BAP, I in fact will accept that future invitation. Then, once I'm in the book and so out of the disgruntled-cause-she's-not-in position, I will launch that brilliant disquisition on the poetry world. Better strategy, no?

And if one of you is thinking out there, Yeah right -- AS IF you'd ever be invited to BAP, that is a rather obvious response, Poet. May your poems be less obvious than how your knee jerks. So. Moving on dot dot dot

Speaking of anthos, way back (waaaay back) right after my college days, I briefly (very briefly) dated a guy we shall call Big Swinging Dick (oh, wait -- that's from my Wall Street Days; well let's call him BSD anyway) dot dot dot

So I dated BSD briefly, but it was lengthy enough for the matter of poetry to come up, specifically exchanging it. Now, I didn't start paying attention to poetry until I was the more sagacious 35 years old. So, back then I didn't know what to do about poetry matters. But I thought I loved him, so sure, I was willing to engage in poetry with him.

I gave him a copy of the Norton anthology of poems that had been assigned in some college class as a *definitive* tome (I first typed "tone") re Poetry.

Shortly thereafter, we broke up.

So, I'ma jes sayin' --

is this why this country's divorce rate is at about 50%? Because these peeps know their poetry only through the Norton anthology and the like...?

I mean, surely there are others like me who read Norton and tsk tsk at a poem: Hon, You are sooooo Dead to me.

I'ma jes sayin'.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

from the ever-beloved "Achilles and Gabriela series"

This is not an atypical scene in my bed -- Gabriela asleep on one side while Artemis and Missy Scarlet share the space atop Moi. Yes, I'm there in the picture, too -- the lump under the bedcovers beneath the kitties:

What's the poetic aspect of this image, you ask? Well, I share a sense of a life, but I am not visible.

Oh, okay: the truth -- Moi four animals are the furry embodiments of the Iron Gate; e.g., see the laser-like beams from the cat sentinels spelling the guard dawg so she can sleep?

Sip. Tonight, the 1990 Terrabianca Campaccio. Yum.


is a word I learned from Sean Finney as he was replying to Allen's "sweet" criticism of his The Obedient Door. As I commented on Allen's blog:

By the bye, I shared your words with Sean and Ward -- what I do as a "publisher," after all. Sean said, "hey, that's some insightful criticism. very sweet. thanks for sharing, you curclicues." Ward added, "I like the guy's syntax , too. (That is, along with or besides Sean's)".

Curclicues -- I have to admit that upon first reading that word, I thought of curly whatsits and my eyes dropped down to look at ....

Well, let's just say I was sitting naked in front of the computer at the time.

Nakedness, after all, is a poetics and, that's right you Peeping Peeps, from hereon, whenever you read one of Moi's posts -- just assume Moi was nekkid when it was writ.

And for those of you who'd be so cruel as to reply, Eeeew! -- hey, first, I'm 45 years old, "not in my twenties" (to quote Lisa Rinna from "Dancing with the Stars").

Second, the hubby returned yesterday from a business trip to Japan. Had not seen him for a week. He said to me, "You've lost weight."

I replied, "You mean I was fat before?

He replied....rather, he did not reply.

Then, two minutes later, he blamed Achilles' irritable bowel syndrome on the way I feed the dog. Huh.

Where was I? Oh, never mind. I gotta go offline. Hit the gym (that's actually true!)

Good morning!


UPDATE: And then I thought as I was unlocking the car door, "Fat?"

So I stalked back into house. I saw the hubby feeding the dog. My dungeon rose further. I demanded then that after he fed the dogs "the right way," he make me French Toast.

(I read somewhere that it's better to exercise on a not-totally empty stomach...)

I post these snippets from my life because, as Stephanie says, this is my job:

Bring an end to the pain, Chatelaine!

I am Babaylan and I heal -- even when I am yelling (albeit always enchantingly) at your jerk-someness. With the Spirit of Water, I flood you all with Moi blather...

Friday, February 03, 2006


Well, okay! So THANKS to Allen for saying this:

I've been reading The Obedient Door by Sean Finney (Meritage 2005) for a while now. pathetically, really, but my reading focus has perforce been elsewhere, so I'm just reading mere morsels at a time. I like the work and think Ashbery's blurb "cheerfully slipshod" says something accurate and appealing about Finney's work. I don't want to prove further how critically lame-o I am, so nothing in depth here, but i want to note 2 things. 1st just to mench at least a hint (and this is not to suggest teammates or that sort of lazy critical round up) of Ashbery to the work, specifically a voice rising from what? the clutter and confusion? works for me. the 2nd thing is simply to quote a line, from the poem "Row Out": "Pupil-tired she was of my guts for ambition." it reads like 2 separate sentences deciding to merge and get along. it seems like a wistful declaration but that awkward (slipshod) word order brings a screwy poetic delight. to me, anyway. it's not exactly like folksy locutions that you might hear like throw me down the stairs my hat or throw me over the pencil, but it does bring a disaster that unsettles, but pleases too, in a humourous yet unnerving way.

Peeps, it so happens that Sean Finney's The Obedient Door is one of the titles available for review in GALATEA RESURRECTS -- see prior post for details. See prior post, too, because I've just updated the REVIEW COPY AVAILABLE listing! I've denoted books snapped up by potential reviewers and several additions to the list.

You might notice the phrase "BUT AVAILABLE FOR MORE REVIEWS". This means that the book has been taken by a reviewer, but another review copy(ies) is available. This is because I realized today:

Why, there's no reason why the same book can't be reviewed more than once! Different people will usually react differently to the same poem, so why not?! GR, after all, is about (all together now:) DISCOURSE!

Which is also to say, as you send review copies, feel free to send more than one copy! In fact 2 copies would be the ideal number, though if you can only spare 1 copy we'll take that, too.

Onward! See prior post for current list of books available to interested reviewers!


R#1 = reviewers
R#2 = reviews
R#3 = review copies

Okay, Peeps. Review copies have started to arrive for GALATEA RESURRECTS (A Poetry Review -- see Jan. 24 blog posting). I'll intermittently post on this blog a list of Titles available for GR Reviews. If you would like to review any of the titles listed below, drop me an email at GalateaTen@aol.com and I'll send a review copy. If you've sent a review copy already and don't see it listed below, it may be because I've "placed" it.

Review Deadlines for Inaugural Issue is February 25-ish. But the 2nd issue already looks to come into existence -- I had suspected but never knew there'd be such a demand for GR's services! So if you can't make Feb. 25, please to review anyway and send along dot dot dot

though you might want to make the deadline for the inaugural issue -- its release will be a HISTORIC MOMENT, you know. Sip. 2002 chardonnay from the winery of which Moi am Poet Lariat.

I had suspected, by the way, that it'd be easier to get review copies than to get reviewers. We're all busy et al. Which is to say, if you feel like contributing a review, please to let me know. And don't forget that GR also will be willing to reprint reviews previously published in print and which otherwise might not be represented in the internet. So dig up some old stuff if you think they're worth re-circulating.

Meanwhile, here below are review copies now available -- please keep sending more! Books eligible for review are not just recent releases; all poetry books are available as long as they're in print. Note, too, that e-publications are available for review. I'd love to see reviews of any publications from Moria Books, Blue Lion Books, Faux Press, xPress(ed) and all the other e-publishers out there.

(in author/editor's last name alphabetical order)

SHE'S NOT THE TYPE TO HOVER IN, Anonymous author (or I can't figure it out), Critical Documents 2006 with a return address of Miami University in Oxford, OH

THE BEDSIDE GUIDE TO NO TELL MOTEL, anthology edited by Molly Arden & Reb Livingston -- ASSIGNED

TRANSITORY by Jane Augustine

BRIDGEABLE SHORES: SELECTED POEMS (1969-2001) by Luis Cabalquinto



DRIVE: THE FIRST QUARTET by Lorna Dee Cervantes

GOSSIP by Tom Fink



MORAINE by Joanna Fuhrman -- ASSIGNED

RUSTLE OF BAMBOO LEAVES: Selected Haiku and Other Poems by Victor P. Gendrano

DESIRE PATH, chapbook anthology with poems by Myrna Goodman, Maxine Silverman, Meredith Trede & Jennifer Wallace

GROUNDED (poetry chap) by George Held


60 lv bo(e)mbs by Paolo Javier

Holiday in Tikrit by jUStkin! katKO and Keith Tuma -- ASSIGNED

WOMEN OF THE BEAT GENERATION: The Writers, Artists and Muses at the Heart of a Revolution, Editor Brenda Knight

typical girl by Donna Kuhn
Not Having An Idea by Donna Kuhn


THE BEE FLIES IN MAY by Stephen Paul Miller
SKINNY EIGHTH AVENUE by Stephen Paul Miller

THE UNABRIDGED JOURNALS OF SYLVIA PLATH (1950-1962), Edited by Karen Kukil

POETA EN SAN FRANCISCO by Barbara Jane Reyes

ONE THOUSAND YEARS by Corinne Robins

OPERA: Poems 1981-2002 by Barry Schwabsky*
[ways] BY Barry Schwabsky*

N/O by Ron Silliman -- ASSIGNED

Slip (poetry chap) by Chris Stackhouse

The First Hay(na)ku Anthology Edited by Jean Vengua & Mark Young -- ASSIGNED BUT AVAILABLE FOR MORE REVIEWS

100 More Jokes From The Book of the Dead, collaboration by John Yau & Archie Rand*

TRAFFIC, Issue 1, 2005-2006 (A Publication of Small Press Traffic), Edited by Elizabeth Treadwell

(* The titles above wtih asterisk on them are published by Meritage Press, which I founded/edit/publish. I thought about whether this is a conflict, but then also reconsidered to conclude: I see no reason to make the MP authors not eligible for review -- it's their words, not mine, being assessed. And, sadly -- backchannel me if you disagree -- I've generally not found the effect of good reviews to boost sales so significantly that I could be charged with benefiting as publisher from reviews. Which brings me full circle back to the intent of GR: facilitating more DISCOURSE venues on / for poetry. Hope you participate.)


Incidentally, some of you have asked to review my books. I'm honored by your interest. I won't print reviews of my books on GR since I'm its Managing Editor. But backchannel me if you still want to do such a review for another publication.


Reviewers will get "paid" with, what else but BOOKS! But don't worry -- they'd be gifts, not "review copies".

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