Friday, March 31, 2006


...the poems in this first volume are always acknowledging forefathers and mothers, older brothers and sisters, from Filipino/a poets and artists like Manuel Ocampo, Nick Carbo, and Eileen Tabios, to canonical masters like Rilke, Neruda, and Vallejo."
--from "the many persons of Paolo Javier" by Joyelle McSweeney, Rain Taxi

I got quite a tickle today from reading the new Rain Taxi and seeing Joyelle McSweeney's review of Paolo Javier's two books, the time at the end of this writing (Ahadada) and 60 lv bo(e)mbs (O Books). And I got all cheery, not just from seeing my name share paragraph space, per above, with the above names (Rilke? Whoooooohooooo!).

Moi primary tickle actually resulted from this paragraph when Joyelle was discussing Paolo's first book:

"On top of its gestural variety within a single poem, this volume is by turns ekphrastic, decadent, diaristic, and descriptive. It also embarks on significant experimentation with typography and the page-as-field, including one poem which breaks down and explodes a one-page lyric by Tabios into a 30-page tour de force."

Yes, please -- let's make this all about Moi! So, the "one-page lyric" that is referenced in Joyelle's review is "The Erotic Angel," one of the poems I "sculpted" for my "Poems Form/From The Six Directions" project. But I wasn't satisfied with the result -- thus precluding it from becoming part of my "Six Directions" section in moi ENGLISH Brick.

But though I wasn't satisfied with the poem, I did think it contained possibilities. So I gave it to Paolo to do with it as he will, and he ended up turning it into the force-full tour that Joyelle cites in her review. And I agree that it's quite an achievement -- I would come to end up exhibiting Paolo's poem as part of the Six Directions exhibit when it was up at the Pusod Gallery in Berkeley in 2002. On P. 224 of ENGLISH (as well as in the Six Directions link), there is a photograph of Paolo's poem hanging as 30 pages against a wall, a display I'd also appreciated for allowing me to break down the barrier between text-poem and visual art (i.e. the notion of exhibiting a poem).

Anyway, so glad to see Peeps give attention to Moi son...

But, but but. And now youuse Peeps also know just how LAZY Moi can get. When I have an unrealized poem, do I work on it and work on it, editing it, tweaking it, improving it, etc? Not necessarily. I just look to send that puppy over to another poet who can do the work for me (heh). Life is a cabaret, moi friends...

Thursday, March 30, 2006


I'm working with Michelle who's put on her book-design hat (and it is lovely!) to finish Ernesto Priego's debut poetry collection viz the hay(na)ku, entitled NOT EVEN DOGS. The book will be released this Spring, and it seems perfect timing to do so!

And the design process gives me another reason to keep reading through Ernesto's poems and, geez, this young fella is just one diamond of a poet.

So I'm going to post here an excerpt from Mark Young's Foreword to Ernesto's collection, followed by a sample of Ernesto's brilliant poetry. Reviewers -- if you like what you see here, email me for a review copy. And Poetry Lovers -- consider this notice an Advance Order Offer: a discounted price of $10 plus $3 shipping/handling (within U.S.). This will be the lowest price at which the book will be made available. If interested, email me at GalateaTen@aol.com

First, Mark Young sez in his Foreword:

We all have personal sets of these icons. Some initial thing, super-imposed upon, reworked, refined, added to. But never complete. Not only does another layer get added every time the icon / image is invoked, but there is also internal rearrangement going on, a kind of corporate sub-life-mergers, acquisitions, rebranding, restructuring.

Amongst mine is a very special one I will call
el trovador. The visual probably started with Picasso's painting of the old guitarist, but has since grown younger, much younger, has worked out, filled out, acquired tattoos. The fingers are leather at the tips, the guitar has become a Stratocaster. Behind the icon, amongst its chain of commands, is a soundtrack, the songs not formless but transcending form, Moorish or at least having a heavy non-Occidental imprint, emotive as all hell. & there is a voice-over-or voice-under-Samuel Delany's brilliant novella Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones and its concept of Singers.

"…..Singers are people who look at things, then go and tell people what they've seen. What makes them Singers is their ability to make people listen. This is the most magnificent over-simplification I can give…..The first singers were proclaimed by the people around them…..Before becoming a Singer, a person need not have been a poet, but most are either that or actors."

Two things can be guaranteed to push my el trovador button. One is hearing Joachim Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez of which I have about eight versions, on vinyl, on tape, on CD. The other is reading the work of Ernesto Priego; but where Aranjuez triggers some ancestral memory, Ernesto is in the here & now.


Here's one of Ernesto's poems from his forthcoming book -- 116 pages long so none of this skimpy contest-constrained page counts. Just, whatever it takes to sing the Song.

First City

these cities haunt

like old
kings unfairly murdered.

queens would
be the word,

they walk
magnificently and slowly

mirrored halls
and drink from

poisoned wine
of night time.

white metal
gigantic round eye

me from
the river side

the mighty
clock witnesses tea-time

the sun
sets against concrete

of impenetrably
depressing thick skies.

find refuge
in a pub

one can
write on postcards

one sips
from a pint-glass

of dark
dense bitter liquor,

sight getting
lost and lonely

passersby ignore
centuries of misery.

the skies,
the tile floors,

steel suns
below my feet.

dreams the
City inhabits me.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


The writer knows his field -- what has been done, what could be done, the limits -- the way a tennis player knows the court. And like that expert, he, too, plays the edges. That is where the exhilaration is. He hits up the line. In writing, he can push the edges. Beyond this limit, here, the reader must recoil. Reason balks, poetry snaps; some madness enters, or strain. Now, courageously and carefully, can he enlarge it, can he nudge the bounds? And enclose what wild power?
--Annie Dillard

When I used to play tennis, my favorite shot was a backhand down the line, avoiding the generous space of center court. When I made that shot, the center court was also usually well-guarded by my tennis opponent.

In poetry, I see how so much of the center is crowded (and guarded). That space doesn't interest me as a writer, though I visit it often as a reader (it's not like I have much company where I go to write). Last week, I got word of being in a Norton anthology and it didn't make me happy (or sad), it didn't move me -- projects like that always take my more conservative expulsions.

Murat Nemet-Nejat apparently mentioned my MENAGE A TROIS book as an undeserved "neglectorino" somewhere. I wonder if PUNCTUATIONS will get even the number of readers that spent time with MENAGE. Anyway, I sent PUNCTUATIONS to the printer yesterday. This morning, I woke up restless with this sense of "It's time..."

I'm referring to the book that will come out of THE BLURBED BOOK PROJECT. I'm going to spend the day clearing a space for it in a spare bedroom. I can't write it in my studio which is replete with writerly accouterments and tons of books. To write that book, I need to be in a minimalistic space. Where it's just me and the line I intend to move beyond precedent.

I assume I am coming off publicly arrogant here. It's deliberate. I want to be shameless in ambition. And if I fail, I want to be as embarrassed as I can be.

(Actually, that's not quite right -- lack of ambition is what's embarrassing in poetry...Anyway:

I had started the blurbed book -- but I had ceased its writing at 88 words because I don't think I had sufficiently cleared space for it until PUNCTUATIONS left my In-Box.

So I'll pick it up again this week -- continuing from the last line I'd written:

She's apologized several times to the sun for doubting its generosity.


Some talk recently on a Listserve about the long poem. And it occurs to me that of my last five poetry books (see prior post), the last three had been organized as book-length poems. So that I may not have written all of the poems as part of a long poem, but in order to form a book, they had to create a single long poem -- that imposed structure being most obvious in the ENGLISH Brick's Table of Contents where many poems written singly or in previously unrelated series were grouped together to be part of the "Courtship" of English before marrying English.

Which is also why, if I ever do a New & Selected Poems type of collection, my title might be REBELS FROM BIBLES. Because I am thinking that the only reason I'd do a Selected is to allow poems to stand on their own, rather than contextualized within the framework necessary to create a book-length poem (or "Bible"). Don't know how long this thought will last but I'll Nota Bene it to the blog file...

Meanwhile, here's my latest list of recently experienced books and wines, which allows me to opine: for me, Ted Berrigan's Collected Poems do fashion, on one level, a single long poem -- a very alive poem.

NOT EVEN DOGS, manuscript soon to be book of poems by Ernesto Priego

THE COLLECTED POEMS OF TED BERRIGAN, Ed. Alice Notley, Anselm Berrigan & Edmund Berrigan


FIELD GUIDE, poems by Robert Hass


LEARNING THE LANGUAGE, poems by Kate Greenstreet

WAITING FOR THE RAPTURE, poems by Kirby Olson

MILK BOWL MOON OVER ST. LOUIS, poems bu David E. Patton

J.B.: A PLAY IN VERSE by Archibald MacLeish

EROSION, poems by Jorie Graham

DRIVE: THE FIRST QUARTET by Lorna Dee Cervantes



THE SHORE, poems by David St. John

THE DEBUT, novel by Anita Brookner



HIGH TIDE: THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR CLIMATE CRISIS, part environment investigation, part travelogue by Mark Lynas

BAIT AND SWITCH: THE (FUTILE) PURSUIT OF THE AMERICAN DREAM, investigative journalism by Barbara Ehrenreich




THE DRY DIVIDE, memoir by Ralph Moody

A WINDOW OVER THE SINK, memoir by Peg Bracken


2001 Rottlan Torra Tirant (No. 562)
2003 Dutch Henry chardonnay
2002 Dutch Henry chardonnay
2003 Dutch Henry merlot
1993 Lindemans Limestone Ridge shiraz cabernet
1998 Araujo Eisele Vineyard syrah
1998 Domaine De Marcoux CNP

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I had a critic tell me recently that she had a choice between reviewing my last three (or three of last four) books, but opted to review just one. Because, she said, each of my books are very different from each other.

Yeah, I'd agree -- it's actually a result I aspire to partly from having spent years trawling through art galleries so that, over time, I've come to see numerous one-person exhibits by the same artist. And, without taking anything away from the passion (and even effectiveness) of the artists painting the monochrome for the gazillionth time in a row, I've always been more impressed (as a preference vs aesthetic judgment) with those artists whose exhibits are always different from what they've done before.

Excluding chaps, here are my poetry collections beginning with my first U.S.-published book:

Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole (Marsh Hawk Press)

Menage A Trois With the 21st Century (xPress(ed))

I Take Thee, English, For My Beloved (Marsh Hawk Press)


Each are different from each other...and the latest -- which is on my mind as I just proofed the printer's proofs -- is also different:


And since Reproductions was released just in 2002, this means that I've recently averaged about 1 book a year. (and thank you, publishers, for your receptivity to my work). Some poet-friends have actually thought I'm publishing too many books. With these recent five titles, I can answer with why I've never worried about saturating my "audience" -- each of these books may as well have been written by different people.

And, ATTENTION TEACHERS! There is something interesting (well, it's interesting to me since I thought of it) in the "Ellipses" section of PUNCTUATIONS. Each page has a couple of lines at the top of the page and at the bottom of the page. So the white space which takes up most of the page could be a section where the reader writes something (e.g. a new poem) that connects the texts at the top and bottom of the page. So that the reader defines what was not articulated but symbolized only by ellipses. Well, wouldn't that be an interesting creative writing exercise?

Which, I suppose, is the thread through all my poems: always finding an interesting way to involve the reader beyond the basic "What does it mean" type of questions.

Here's the beautiful cover -- painting by Eve Aschheim and design by Jukka-Pekka Kervinen:

Monday, March 27, 2006


Unexpectedly, I went in and out of SF yesterday evening and so managed to fit in a poetry reading. Jean reports on that reading with Barbara, Joellene and Katrina. Jean does a nice job reporting on the readings, so I'll just add that it was particularly "glorious" for me to hear Jean represent and present the hay(na)ku. She has a voice that I feel is perfectly attuned to the form -- that breathful breathlessness. And since we never really had a formal book launch for The First Hay(na)ku Anthology, I much appreciated that Jean gave a generous overview of the form in addition to reading various poets' hay(na)ku. I can attest it was well-received and at least one poet in the audience who bought the book will be planning on writing hay(na)ku herself! It just spreads and spreads!

The reading took place at a brand new Cody's in downtown SF. Last night's gig may be the first poetry reading there (?). Afterwards, I checked out their poetry section. Well-stocked. They had three of my books, which made me pause and wave a cheery Hello Babies! at them. Then I walked away to continue perusing the bookstore.

Then I walked back to the shelf where my books were patiently waiting for readers' attention (please buy them!). I looked around quickly, surreptitiously, to make sure no one was watching. Then I reshuffled the books on the shelf so that my books' covers (instead of the spines) ended up facing the passersbyes. In doing so, I, of course, had to displace another poet whose book cover had been facing outward. So guess which poet I displaced? Well -- look at the title of this post! Heh -- what Moi does to amuse moiself!

But nothing personal, JT -- it's just that our last names both begin with "T". Of moments like these are a poet's life also made...

Sunday, March 26, 2006

from the series "Poetry Economics: A Moronic Oxymoron"

Effin' taxes. So that was one of this weekend's projects: doing my 2005 taxes, specifically, that part of the tax morass that relates to my literary life.

I am pleased to report that I am back on track. In 2005, I only lost about $3,500, which is a distinct improvement, Baby, from 2004 when I lost about $14,300.

But let me back track to explain. Of course I knew that I would never make money -- and probably would not be able to cover my costs -- as a poet. By "poet," I mean, too, my roles as editor and publisher since I consider such to be inextricable parts of Moi (not necessarily Toi, but certainly Moi) being a poet. And, years back, when I determined that other aspects of my life were to subsidize my poetry costs, my goal was to keep my poetry-related annual losses to just about $3,000.

I blew that budget in 2004 when, due to the higher-than-anticipated costs of printing books -- including the mammoth PINOY POETICS, my loss for the year was about $14,300. That loss was reduced significantly this past year when I published thinner books. And I've also now determined how to manage printing costs in the future so that I keep my literary losses to a minimum: print-on-demand technology.

Very pleased myself here. It would have been a major bear for me to have to weather another year of $14,000-plus in losses.

Anyhoot, here's my 2005 Income Statement as a Poet (it truly AMUSES Moi to use "Income Statement" in this matter):

PROFIT/(LOSS): (3,536.92)

Revenues here means the munificent sums I earn from poetry reading fees (insert affectionate snort), book sales (for my books as well as the books I publish) and speaking honorariums (snort again).

Expenses here are -- well, here's the breakdown, actually:

Transportation -- $2,192.74
Supplies & Office Maintenance -- 670.49
Postage -- 956.68
Advertising/Fees/Publications -- 1,605.49
Printing Costs -- 4,507.42

The above cost tally actually excludes a $3,000 charge but it was what finance peeps call an "extraordinary" charge as it was one-time and unusual (it was for a free-lance editor's services). The above costs also exclude the approximate $100 a day in dog/cat-sitting fees that I need to shell out whenever I have to leave the mountain to do a reading.

So that, Moi Dears, is a snapshot of one 21st century poet's Income Statement when such poet has no ties to related industries (e.g. academia) which might otherwise pick up some of these costs. Such also is the reason why poets need day-jobs and/or apply for grants.

Since I'm a publisher, my Income Statement also shows why many poetry presses depend on public fundings if they don't have the kind of day-jobs that allow them to subsidize their presses.

(And for the record, since this rumor seems to spring up about Moi every so often, I didn't choose my parents well, which is to say, I don't have a trust fund. Nor am I a "retired stockbroker" -- a phrase that implies I made gazillions on Wall Street and now can spend the rest of my days just blog-blathering at y'all.)

Anyway, a Poet's Income Statement -- it's all very transparent....and very pathetic.

Poetry Economics -- the Art of Managing Loss.

Friday, March 24, 2006


Jean also writes of her own "glorious mortification" over here, in response to my prior post.

It occurs to me, a lot of us probably would enjoy reading about other poets' mortifications as we go out there to shove the gifts-of-our-poems (hah) into a cold, cruel world. If you post about it, backchannel me so I can direct my 7 billion peeps over to your blog.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Well I see that Galatea Resurrects is selling books! Cultural capital at work!

And speaking of books, this book was a page turner...and I was laughing -- laughing/weeping coz I was laughing so hard -- through, I kid you not, every single one of its pages. What's the book? 'Twas


edited by poet Robin Robertson. But of course it's hilarious! -- writers discussing the most mortifying experiences in their literary careers, from being interviewed on TV about books they never wrote to listening to introductions from people who didn't know their names, to reading poems while drunk (there was a lot of that), to having to eat with the organizer's in-laws as their "fee," so truly nonprofit was the sponsoring organization...

Let me share a tale from moi sordid background that could just as easily have been part of this book, before sharing Paul Muldoon's story. So, first -- Moi.

There I was scheduled to read in the public library on Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan's Upper West Side. I was pleased to take the gig as it was in my former neighborhood and I thought it would allow me to see some former neighbors (indeed, after I put the call out, said neighbors and I all agreed to dine afterwards in the apartment of a building where I used to live).

So I go on to the library. For once, the hubby was with me -- he doesn't actually attend much of my readings but, this time, he was there for the dinner afterwards. I was looking forward to it as I knew that I was possibly inaugurating a new reading series under consideration by this library, so that I knew they publicized it well, conscientiously asking me about where to put listings et al.

The hubby and I arrived a bit early -- the second floor auditorium-ish area was neatly set out with rows and rows of folding chairs optimistically unfolded. The librarian escorted us up there, but then apologized for not being able to stay as she had to go back to the first floor and do her librarian duties. Okay. So the hubby and I looked around, looked at each other...and waited.

Of the group of neighbors we would later dine with, one finally walked in through the door. It was ten minutes past the scheduled starting time. We all looked at each other, then all slowly sat down to continue to wait. Thirty seconds later, we all stood up with the same thought -- Hey, I could always recite my poems over dinner. If this was what the attendance was to be, just as well as we were all eager to begin cocktail hour!

Then someone stumbled through the door. A man we did not know. He stank to high heaven as he went to the back row. One of us three whispered to the other two, Look -- with all respect to the homeless population, he doesn't count; clearly, he just came up here for a nap. And forthwith, we watched the man in stained trench coat promptly fall asleep. We nodded at each other, and began to collect our respective coats.

But then another guy walked in through the door. He walked up with a High-De-Ho and outstretched hand and he grabbed my hand and enthusiastically pumped it up and down. He turned out to be an old college friend -- I hadn't seen him in over 15 years! He wasn't into poetry readings, necessarily, but he caught the notice of my event in TIME OUT magazine and so decided to stop by! Howsabout that and we'd never even slept together during those salad days!

But I also knew that I, my husband, and our former neighbor were all sharing the same thought:


Because of course, I now had to proceed with the poetry reading. He saw the gig in TIME OUT, for crissakes, and showed up! The hubby gave me a DIRTY look and walked to the back of the room. My former neighbor and college friend sat together in the front row. Between the front row and the back row where the grumpy hubby sat with the sleeping person, yawned rows and rows of empty chairs.

But I had to. So I did my thirty-minute reading, and dang if I didn't feel the empathy from the middle row.

The last 15 minutes were read to the rhythm of the sleeping man who had begun to snore.

Afterwards, my college friend -- who by then had learned to join the conspiracy of my neighbor and husband to pretend that this was not a disaster -- eagerly reached for his wallet to buy my book (I only had one poetry book out at that time). I can't remember whether it was my husband, the neighbor, or me who swiftly shoved one copy from my HIGH stack of books at the nearby desk and declaimed, "A gift for you!!!!"

And that, dear Reader, began my tortured affair with poetry readings, so that I have learned over the years that if you book a poetry reading you must try to ensure that a certain number of your friends will definitely attend. Interestingly, this reminds me to go to my address book and see what I've long suspected: I may have less friends today than when I began this glorious poetry career.


And now, Paul Muldoon's story, which he begins with an epigram from Walt:

"To have great poets,
there must be great audiences, too."
--Walt Whitman

Worst of all surely was the occasion on which I set out by train from New York City to read at a university one or two states up the track. The university should remain nameless, though if I were to mention its name you'd probably never have heard of it. It was not a university of the first water, one might say. I alighted at the station, expecting to be met, though, since the arrangements had been made a good month earlier, I began to doubt my memory of them.

I waited long enough for a little dusting of snow, then took a cab to the campus. Nondescript is too colorful a word. I was carrying a letter from my host that gave his office buildling and number. I found my way to his door. No response. At least not from him. There was, rather, the scraping of a chair from the next office. Its inhabitant appeared. Professor So-And-So? There was a glance over the shoulder, a shaking of the head. Professor So-And-So had been on a three-week-long bender. Dreadful. In a moment of lucidity, however, Professor So-And-So had been in touch with the departmental secretary and had let her know that an announcement of my reading should be made. This had happened as recently as yesterday. There hadn't, alas, been much time to run up a flyer. He rustled a khaki invitation that had already been all but obscured by an "Anxious? Depressed? Suicidal?" poster.

Not to worry. Rough with the smooth. Hang loose. Stiff upper lip. The neighbor had to rush, alas, but he pointed me in the direction of the room in which the reading was meant to take place and informed me of the location of the hotel into which I'd been booked for the night. Needless to say, no arrangements had been made for my fee. Such considerations are not uppermost in the mind of someone committed to a three-week-long bender. The check would be in the mail. No need to worry about the hotel. That would be billed directly to the department.

I agreed with the neighbor that it would probably have been better if someone had been available to give an introdution but, under the circumstances, I also had to agree with him that no introduction is better than one hastily cobbled together. I thanked him for his trouble and assured him I was perfectly happy to take things from there.

I treated myself to a pizza in the student cafeteria and made my way to the room for a quarter to seven. The reading was due to start at seven and I was gratified to discover that there was already a core of five or six audience members. There to get a good seat, one would have thought, though they were all somehow huddled at the back. The core audience turned out to be the entire audience. Okay. Still better, I always think, than that time in the Moy when Jimmy Simmons and I read to his wife, my father, and my sister.

At about five minutes past seven I got up and launched into my first poem. It was met with smiles and glances. They liked me. They really liked me. The second poem was guaranteed to knock them dead. But just before I'd got to the end, one of my fans put up her hand and asked me how long I expected to be. What? The thing was, these students were involved in a study group and had settled in this empty classroom in the hope of finding a little peace and quiet.

I made my way to the hotel. Nondescript would definitely be too colorful, though the pillowcase had a scent that, to borrow a line of MacNeice, "reminded [me] of a trip to Cannes." At about four in the morning I awoke to find myself vigorously scratching myself here, there and everywhere. Reddish lumps here, there and everywhere. Fleas. I myself hopped out of bed and took the first train back to New York City.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Sticking tongue out, offering a French Kiss, or just breathing?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Among the lovely reception being given to Galatea Resurrects (GR) are acknowledgements -- appreciations -- by various folks that the journal doesn't seem to privilege one style over another. As one put it, "Just Poetry." Yep. And this acknowledgement is also reflected in the poetry publications I'm receiving as review copies for GR.

Among recent review copies are chapbooks by independent presses, the usual perfect bounds, and also three poetry contest winners.

Moi New York publisher Marsh Hawk Press has sent review copies of its last two annual poetry contest winners: what became the debut poetry books by Sygman Byrd and Jacquelyn Pope. Among recent other titles added was another contest winner THE GREAT CANOPY by Paula Goldman, recipient of the Gival Press Poetry Award. The total list of review copies is here; please check it every so often as it is frequently updated with what the snail mail brings!

I talk all this up, not because I actually care about poetry contest winners but because it serves up another marketing angle for me to pitch Galatea Resurrects. Just plugging away here...


Since this is moi blog, I gotta support moi press. So speaking of Marsh Hawk Press' poetry contest, April 30 is the deadline for submissions this year; information is here. While not a fan of poetry contests, I nonetheless appreciate how Marsh Hawk Press is transparent in its contest processes, describing it all here.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Met this morning with hopefully our future vineyard manager to discuss a section on Galatea's mountain that we want to develop into vineyards. He didn't like certain things about the parcel -- like how the oak trees, even the old ones, are so skinny. Bodes ill for growing ability for grapes and such. We'll know more after topo tests, soil tests, wind and sun-direction assessments, water tests, etc. I don't like that bit about skinny oak trees. And the chemical-ly water. These are the type of details ultimately capable of furrowing my brow. Rarely blogland -- this terrain of artifice.


When I started Meritage Press back in 2001, I had a modest goal: to publish one book a year. Five years later, I wake up and realize -- with no planning on my part -- I am scheduled to release four poetry collections in 2006, and all will be debut books!:

NOT EVEN DOGS by Ernesto Priego

DERIVE* by Bruna Mori, with sumi-ink paintings by Matthew Kinney


KALI BLADE by Michelle Bautista

(*Bruna's title has an accent, btw, over first E -- can someone show me how to do accent?)

There might be a fifth book but I suspect it'll probably slip into 2007. Anyway, 4-5 books is, whew, a lot for someone wingin' it. But I suppose that's what wings are for!

Ernesto's NOT EVEN DOGS will be the first outta the Iron Gate. Ernesto's book is also exciting because it will be the first single-author hay(na)ku collection! So, I just finished editing it this weekend, as well as shipping the manuscript to the book designer. But here's something that came up during the copyediting. One of the poems contained this stanza:

hunger of
windowshopping and arcades;

I told Ernesto that "windowshopping" is actually two words. Since the hay(na)ku depended on that third line being only three words, I suggested changing that 3rd line to

window shopping arcades

Ernesto replied that he often combines two words into one, but that my suggested edit was fine with him, too.

Now, the thing is, I interpreted that as permission to make the change that I was suggesting. It wasn't until hours after our editing conversation that I realized, I shouldn't be changing that line -- it had been a deliberate choice on his part! I undoubtedly was sensitized to trying to avoid a situation where a reader would think the hay(na)ku got messed up because the poet didn't know that "windowshopping" is two words. Still, once the poet says the choice was deliberately made (in this case, it reflected a particular speech inclination), he should have the last word -- it's his poem!

This made me recall the literary crime Edith Sitwell performed against Jose Garcia Villa. She had helped facilitate the apperance of Villa's poem "The Anchored Angel" on the front page of the London Times Literary Supplement in 1954. This poem was among Villa's "comma poems" wherein each word was followed by a comma--it is arguably Villa's most famous poem and thus the title of the book I edited on him in 1999. Villa rationalized the commas as a means to regulate pace as well as evoke Seurat's pointillism (Villa was a visual artist in addition to being a poet). Sitwell thought the whole thing silly and deleted them all, and the non-comma-ized (so to speak) version was what appeared in TLS. An arrogant bird, that Sitwell!

When two alternatives are equally valid -- as I believe the case with the line in Ernesto's poem -- the poet's version should hold sway. This is basic, yah? But in my editor's mode, it took hours (granted, I was distracted with an afternoon wine tasting) before I realized that, really, the poet should have the last word in writing the poem ... even if authorial intention may be irrelevant to the reader.

just another
"hay naku!" tale!


So speaking of the hay(na)ku, I stumbled across this blog titled "Mooie Woorden" while avidly and nosily watching the Site Meter results for Galatea Resurrects (heh). The blog linked to GR and when I clicked on its link, I discovered that it's based in Netherlands and means "beautiful words" in Dutch. MOST IMPORTANTLY, it's written by a six-year-old. This young writer begins:

I wanted to have my own blog. I am six years old and I write stories and poetry. My first poem was published in Nederlands Dagblad during the Children's poetry day. I got a book as a prize from Popcorn Editor, Sophia Geuus.

I have many stories and I practice my words everyday. One day, I want to be published like my mom. I want people all over the world to read my stories.

I cannot type for myself, I am in the first grade, so my Mom has to type the stories I dictate. I hope you all enjoy my blog.

Huh, and I realized her Mom is Rochita. But among the entries is -- TO MY DELIGHT -- a reverse hay(na)ku sequence here!!!!

A six-year-old! Exactly! I always believed in the hay(na)ku as a nice way to introduce children to Poetry!! Spread the word, Peeps!

the lovely
Words a trois!

Sunday, March 19, 2006


See, sometimes, I write these poems and lose them. I don't have a copy of what was accepted into this anthology. So it'll be interesting to see the book when it comes out, just so I can refresh my memory of my brilliance.

My most brilliant poems are lost.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


Go on & check out Galatea Resurrects (A Poetry Review). Smart people reviewing good books.
--Jen at Horseless Press

I'm insulted. Since I announced Galatea Resurrects, the daily hits over at that site have been more than twice -- MORE THAN TWICE -- the hits on Moi Blog which currently is read by 7 billion Peeps! Okay, maybe 7.003 billion due to a silli matter. But still!

It's a good thing I'm a self-effacing sort. Otherwise, I'd hold a grudge that GR (but never Grrrrrrr) gets more attention than Moi does!

And that's not all. I busted Moi's ass begging and pleading for poetry reviews for,.. for...I forget now but it was a long time. And now, for the second issue, just 2 days after the inaugural issue comes out, I get review commitments equal -- EQUAL -- to the number of reviews already in GR's inaugural issue! Do you know how many more days there are before May 5, the deadline for GR's second issue?

Do you all think that with my commitments to making poetry, making wine, making making whine, making bones for the dogs out of Moi own ribs, making sabotage, making books with Jukka...that I really have time to have another round of sleepless nights putting together a second issue of GR?

Sip. 1998 Grenache Creek 7 Acres shiraz...

Of course I'm LOVING all this. Thank you all for paying attention.

Okay. Go on, now. Go on over to where Galatea resurrected herself from being a mere ivory statue formed by a misogynist's hands. Go on. Go on over there and see what the hoo-haa is about! And the hoo-haa, Moi Peeps, is about what it should be: Poetry!



And now, moi latest list of RELISHED whines and wines. For those first-time comers to this blog (of which there were plenty this week), note that this is a long-standing feature that appears on this blog every other week or so of books and wines I've recently enjoyed; while this is a poetics blog, my audience includes wine-lovers. If you must know, my standards for wines are waaaaay higher than for books -- I'll read anything but most def won't drink just anything (of course I won't list book titles if I didn't relish them in some way).

IN THE BUILDED PLACE, poems by Michael Heller

from SERIES MAGRITTE, poems by Mark Young

WRITING IS AN AID TO MEMORY, poem by Lyn Hejinian


LIFE IN CLOUD CITY, poems (manuscript) by Claudia Carlson

GO NOW, novel by Richard Hell


THE BEDSIDE GUIDE TO NO TELL MOTEL, Eds. by Reb Livingston & Molly Arden


THROUGH THE FISSURE, poems by Kenny Tanemura

RIVERFALL, poems by Simmons. B. Buntin

THE UNSWEPT ROOM, poems by Sharon Olds


1990 Terrabianca Campaccio
2002 Dutch Henry chardonnay
1990 Renato Ratti Marcenasco Roche Barolo
2002 Dutch Henry zinfandel
2001 Dutch Henry cabernet
2005 Dutch Henry pinot noir (from barrel)
2005 Dutch Henry cabernet franc (from barrel)
1995 Domaine Le Flaive Batard Montrachet
1995 Dominus
2002 Merseault Les Clous Bouchard Pere & Fils
1998 Grenache Creek 7 Acres shiraz
Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia: 2001, 1999, 1996, 1995, 1990
Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino: 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1990, 1971
1971 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Reserva
1900 D'Oliveira Moscatel Madeira

Friday, March 17, 2006


Mark Young says Farewell, and with much grace -- Grace as the de facto title to a Poet-Blogger-Chap which shows how po-blogging can matter.


People are so predictable -- controversy sells! My marketing tactic is working out just fine (preen)...

So, like, when you're a barker and are hawking something, you know that it's best to find a street corner where there's a lot of traffic. So, for some reason (heh), my blog traffic is up. In which case, I must proceed to HAWK now on my own good causes...Ooops -- sorry over there, didn't mean to swipe you with one of my flyers! Anyway:

So, here --

Again, GALATEA RESURRECTS or GR (that's GR, never Grrrrrrrrrr)

And here, GALATEA'S PURSE where reviewers, authors and publishers can find information on how to participate in GR

And here, here, here, and here are some of my own books -- you do want to read poetry books, right, rather than blather about them? Please support my publishers -- they are such hard-working people! Support the too-often-unloved Poetry Press!!

And here, last but not least, let Galatea not just open her purse but her wallet for you: photos of 3 of my babies. Aren't they cuuuuuuute as they share a bed together even when they're different species? Peace is good, Peeps. Peace is good.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Nice to meetcha, nice to meetcha, nice to meetcha, the Chatelaine coos at the peeps ramping up her Site Meter....

...and, yes, I know you're all HERE because of Galatea's Resurrection!!! Isn't she lovely?

Anyhoot, I also just updated the List of Available Review Copies; to see that list, go to Galatea's Purse.

Then let me know if you'd like to write a review or send a review copy. The 2nd issue (deadline May 5) looks like it's gonna be a HOTTIE, too!


THANKS so much to John Blomberg-Rissman for writing a poem entwined lovingly with two of moi poems!!

And Because I Don’t Know (Poem Beginning And Ending With Lines By Eileen R. Tabios)

And because I don’t know
What else to do, I
Flee to an alien land,

An ancient slave with stumps
For hands, big head like
A honeycomb, and even bigger
Breasts, and because I don’t
Know what else to do
I stencil on a wall
I become a philosopher, the
Truth, in case you’re curious,
Is one great sea of
Flesh, surveillance cameras everywhere, of
Course, and because I don’t
Know what else to do
I display a dog-like
Indifference, because I don’t know
What else to do I
Bend a barcode, deface a
Grid, illuminate a manuscript, show
You my profile, raise my
Right hand, ‘Art is all
About finding the paint-job
That turned the donkey into
The zebra’ an old man
On a cider farm told

Banksy, though I don’t know
What else to do that’s
Something I’d never have said,
O Theochemistry, O Pubic Beard,
Ancient of Days, you’re just
A limewood old man, a
Miniature bronze statuette, a burnt-
Out car, the law of
Soprano-land, and because I
Don’t know what else to
Do I stare at the
Ceiling, 4 a.m., I clench
My fists, I stencil on
I prophesy, I clench my
Fists, I tack up a
Warning, I embody a
Potent ideal of male beauty
I overturn a toxic vat,
I must push away the
Safety bar, stand on both
Feet / raise my face and
See in order to descend.

I post the poem in its entirety above because what I scooped for moi blog and not even available at John's are his process notes, to wit:

"I started the poem with the first line in Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole and ended it with the last couplet from Ménage à Trois with the 21st Century. I hope you don’t mind. And I’d like to share the note that accompanies with poem, in my own notebook, that is, I’m not sure how relevant it is to the poem’s reader, but I wanted you to see that there’s a method to my madness, and the images aren’t absolutely entirely random.

"The books chosen were chosen simply because I bought them in London [from where John just returned on a trip] and wanted to play with them. This “methodology” is more or less that of all the poems I’ve written this year: I create a set of images, which I then respond to in a particular order; this creates a kind of (barely) controlled chaos that takes me places I find I always wanted but never knew I wanted to go, licensing myself to toss in any hoo-ha anywhere I want, as well, of course, because what good are rules if you don’t play with them. I use p. 57, by the way, because that’s the sum of my wife’s and my birthday, and it’s kind of a magic number. Anyhow, this may be more than you want to know ...:

"Note: And because …: 1st line of 1st poem in Eileen R. Tabios, Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole (Marsh Hawk Press, 2002); images from Pat Thane, ed. The Long History of Old Age (Thames &Hudson, 2005), Nigel Spivey, How Art Made the World (BBC Books, 2005), Banksy, Wall and Piece (Century, 2005), 8 each, rotating through the volumes; With Thane and Spivey I started with p. 57, with Banksy, inexplicably, I started with p. 75; WHAT ARE …: Banksy, p.75; Art is all …: Banksy, p.79; BECAUSE I’M …: Banksy, p. 82; I embody …: Spivey, p.73; I must push …: last couplet of last poem in Eileen R. Tabios, Ménage à Trois With the 21st Century (xPress(ed), 2004)."


THANK YOU, John! What a pleasure to discuss a poem! That last line in your poem relates to how I wrote my poem that you reference partly when I was skiing the Los Alamos slopes in New Mexico. How nice to see it as it'd been snowing some in Napa Valley this week -- an unseasonal type of storm.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


One of the things that stuck in my mind about Ron Silliman's post today was his explanation of how he chooses to mediate his Comment section. He said something about how he only deletes comments that intimidate .

So anyway, re intimidation: For me Ron's statement implied that he's looking at individual comments. He's not looking at the whole tenor of the Comment Space as has been incrementally formed over time by commentary. As I comprehend it now (versus before I got involved in the fracas), there is some sort of understanding out there regarding the nature of Ron's Blog Comment section -- so that unless people are naive or clueless like I was (heh), they know better than to go there to write on certain things. Like race.

Well, if this is true, then it seems to me that the whole space then can't be based on free speech, so to speak, or some sort of openness. That it, indeed, is inherently a censored space. Censored de facto by intimidation. I can't tell you how many backchannels I've been receiving from peeps (white and non-white) who say they're glad I've commented because, you know, many in my position as a person of color discussing confluences of race, sexuality, ethnicity and representation in the poetry world, would never go there.

So, even if free speech/openness aren't relevant, it's simplistic to say that intimidation isn't embedded in that space.

So that's part of the train of thought that chugged sluggishly through my brain today. And which led me then to think, so....o, should I do the safe thing and continue not to bless that space with my beaming presence? We know the answer as I am Ron's Commenter No. 22.

I anticipated I would get shit on but I decided that I'd rather face myself cleanly in the mirror even if I have to clean the toilet ....that so quickly thereafter would be shat on again. {Note to Self: Get your mind out of the bathroom.]

And it's all okay. Because I didn't allow myself to be intimidated.

P.S. And I thought that the above then would be the end of this particular post by Moi. But in reading it over for a sanctimony check (wink), I just hadda laugh -- really, this all also takes Ron's Blog so very seriously. I mean, in Poetry, we are all small change, people.

The point is not necessarily for us pennies to try to become, uh, quarters. The point is to be, uh, shiny..yes, that's it: SHINY!

And the Chatelaine beams and beams and beams .... until the Fallen Angels yell down:



Anyway...I was sleepless for nearly 3 nights putting out Galatea Resurrects (on top of many other things going on like finalizing work on my next book that goes to the printer today -- yay!). But as regards GR, I just finished telling beloved publisher Jukka -- now I truly really appreciate what he and other beloved online journal editors do! Bow to you all.

Anyway, I'm still bleary. The site meter reveals, though, that my readership is higher than it's ever been at this particular point of the day. So you Ron Silliman Voyeurs, do go on over to Galatea Resurrects -- experience there ... the lack of hatred and MUCH POETRY AND POETICS!

I see that my lovely name is being bandied about in Ron's post today -- "retired stockbroker"? Not. Heee. I guess that'd mean I wouldn't get along with Curtis Faville, the gourmand. Btw, I've gotten several backchannels wondering about the wine aspect of the fracas. I, your Missy Winepoetics, am happy to educate as such:

In the Ron post that began this whole fracas, the discussion between me and Curtis Faville focused partly, in my opinon, on the intersection of racism and class. By that, I mean partly that "fine wine" is a symbol for someone who's clearly not among the disenfranchised hordes who are often considered the most "legitimate" presenters of protests. (This is true not just in the white but also Filipino and other "ethnic" communities).

In my last (deleted) comment, I told Curtis the issue goes beyond him and me. That certainly is proven by "Grandisima," an identified "Filipina" later coming on to offer her point of view to which she is entitled; but in the process, she swiped at me by specifically citing the "fine wine" as if I am acting like I'm some upper class white person. This type of charge obviously has a history -- "banana" (yellow on outside, white on inside) or "Oreo" (black on outside, white on side), among others. For Filipinos and other "Brown"-ies, that'd be "coconut". All this is yet another proof of the problematix of discussing race, such that such discourse needs must give fruits a bad name...

"Fine wine" is most def a symbol in this racialized class matter; as a Brown (but not Filipino) poet backchanneled, It gets so difficult for various folks to understand that "We" are not all dirty, impoverished and poor (by itself a distancing generalization). And that we don't need to be such to protest when we witness something unjust. Yep--duh. And do note that Curtis comment in that bleak, smoking landscape where he assumed all the Brown commenters were disenfranchised (i.e. poor so it's unlikely any would be able to afford this pricey bottle of his called "Screaming Eagle", to wit:

It's fun being young and disenfranchised and smart and angry and eloquent. God love'em. They'll make this country great. Some day when they own a big three story house, two BMW's and are sending their kids to Ivy League schools, we can ask them again about their debt to the old country. // We'll see what they have to gripe about then.

[I need to digress that I believe Screaming Eagle is a lovely wine. I need to insert that as I don't want the SM folks to google their name and wonder whether I like their wine at all.]

But anyway, obviously the discussion isn't about wine, my beloved wine. It's about whine.

I may or may not go back to comment over at Ron's. I am, I admit, somewhat concerned with correcting the idea that I'm a retired stockbroker. That might fuel more ire from those people who think I've never cleaned a toilet. Now, this toilet rearing its ugly head (heee) is not gratuitous. Toilet-cleaning is also a marker for class -- a la "I am poor and therefore I have more legitimacy to bring to the fray." Not to say that it doesn't unfold that way at times -- but what's insidious is when peeps, including Filipinas, insist that if I don't clean toilets (i.e. if I'm not poor), I shouldn't be protesting "on behalf" of those who do. As if those who clean toilets for a living spend their spare time reading poetry blogs, for crissakes. (Not to say some don't, but you get my point...)

And for the effin' record, I hate cleaning the toilet. And I hate it because


And wouldn't you know: for me, that is exactly the experience to go back to Ron's comment section...?

But, hey, I have a big heart. I may do that. Or maybe not. But for now -- sleep.


GALATEA RESURRECTS (GR) synthesizes some thoughts as regards poetry, the internet, poetry publishing, and cultural activism.
--from the Editor's Introduction by Moi


Inaugural issue of



From Eileen Tabios

Ernesto Priego reviews HOLIDAY IN TIKRIT by Keith Tuma and jUStin!katKO

Barry Schwabsky reviews GODLIKE by Richard Hell

Thomas Fink reviews BIRD & FOREST by Brent Cunningham

Heather Nagami reviews UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS by Shin Yu Pai

Mary Jo Malo reviews IMPROVISATIONS by Vernon Frazer

Leny M. Strobel reviews ALCHEMIES OF DISTANCE by Carolina Sinavaina-Gabbard

Yvonne Hortillo reviews THE FIRST HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY, Eds. Jean Vengua & Mark Young

Fionna Doney Simmonds reviews A SOLITARY PINE TREE IN SUSSEX by Tim Beech

Jennifer Bartlett reviews LIKE THE WIND LOVES A WINDOW by Andrea Baker


Sueyeun Julliette Lee reviews RED JUICE by Hoa Nguyen

Jesse Glass reviews 4 videos by Ralph Lichtensteiger: “Homing Crows” Ishikawa Jozan; “Sudden Shower” Ishikawa Jozan; “Dancing Ears” Ned Rorem; and “Trace of the Formless” Plotinus.

Tom Beckett reviews 3 books by Linh Dinh: FAKE HOUSE, AMERICAN TATTS and BORDERLESS BODIES

Bill Marsh reviews BABELLEBAB by Heriberto Yepez

Corinne Robins reviews MORAINE by Joanna Fuhrman

Yvonne Hortillo reviews KATIPUNERA AND OTHER POEMS by Elsa Martinez Coscolluela

Laurel Johnson reviews THE OBEDIENT DOOR by Sean Finney

Barry Dordick reviews AFTER TAXES by Thomas Fink

Eileen Tabios reviews TRANSITORY by Jane Augustine

Rochita Loenen Ruiz reviews TRILL AND MORDENT by Luisa A. Igloria

Cati Porter reviews WINTERGREEN by Charles Bennett

Michael A. Wells reviews ATLAS by Katrina Vandenberg

William Allegrezza reviews SKINNY EIGHTH AVENUE by Stephen Paul Miller

Ann E. Michael reviews SNAKESKIN STILETTOS by Moyra Donaldson

Ann E. Michael reviews OPEN FIRE by Aaren Yeatts

Guillermo Juan Parra presents Martha Kornblith

kari edwards presents Rob Halpern

Eileen Tabios presents Carl Gottesman

Rusty Morrison reviews THE AREA OF SOUND CALLED THE SUBTONE by Noah Eli Gordon

Steffie Drewes reviews THE BABIES by Sabrina Orah Mark

Laura Stamps reviews MEMPHIS JACK by Harvey Goldner

Steve Potter reviews TREMBLE & SHINE by Todd Colby

Steve Potter reviews CONCRETE MOVIES by Nico Vassilakis

Allen Gaborro reviews 60 lv bo(e)mbs by Paolo Javier

Anna Eyre reviews VERSO by Pattie McCarthy

Yvonne Hortillo reviews MUSEUM OF ABSENCES by Luis H. Francia

Allen Gaborro reviews A BOOK OF HER OWN: Words and Images to Honor the Babaylan by Leny Mendoza Strobel

Laurel Johnson reviews KIOT: SELECTED EARLY POEMS 1963-1977 by Charles Potts

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


On a coffee break while trying to finalize work on Galatea Resurrects (GR). But so, while on coffee (okay, as well as peanut butter mousse) break, Moi checked my emails. Lovely people.

But here's something I got that's a tad perplexing (for lack of a better way to put it). This peep sends over support by noting, in so many words:

"You deserve to be be more well-known and the reason you don't have more accolades by now is that you choose not to play the MFA game."

Peep -- I appreciate the support but if you're writing me, that implies you read Moi blog. And if you read Moi blog, how can you think (1) that I care about poetry fame (vs real fame, like say my overdue fame as an expert on naval military strategies -- did no one ever catch the reference to Mahan in my English brick?!); or (2) that I am interested in the poetry world's aesthetically bankrupt dichonotomy of MFA-ers vs non MFA-ers?

So, please don't think I'm not appreciative of your intended support but I do gently suggest you reconsider what you think I'm about.

Also in the mail, a Seattle poet whom I don't know sent a "poem for Eileen" -- a sequence of 19 sonnets! Purrrr. When I finish the work with GR, I'll read closely. Thank you.

Finally, in the snailmail, I've been a lucky recipient for a while now of Dan Waber's postcard visual poetry project from Kite Tail Press. Thank you Dan! I mention this because this latest is a sample I can replicate on my blog! It's great and here it is, fitting the times (and, for Dan, I also replicate Jose Garcia Villa's vizpo poem "The Shy One" at very bottom of this entry; on a printed page, it's often placed on a bottom corner):

                               ! f


Monday, March 13, 2006


So I go back online and -- Wow! Backchannel and frontchannel -- such lovely people. My faith in humanity is redeemed! Amor!

Sip. Glass of ... Now, the thing is: I happen to think Love is more difficult than Hate. And I address that...aesthetically as well which is why my poetry gets to travel around the world!


Which is to say, please to go here for how the hay(na)ku proves that "that poetry can still get people together and break all sorts of barriers and prejudices"!


From an old project, I still get daily emails of my horoscope, not that I otherwise pay attention to such but it amuses me to receive them. Today's horoscope suggests:

Others take you on verbally because you threaten a part of their self-perception. No sense going for broke and pounding on the ego wound with a hammer.

Gotta go fix my car -- which is to say for the reviewers of GALATEA RESURRECTS (A Poetry Journal) which should debut this week, last deadline is 8 a.m. tomorrow.

Y'all have great day now!

And off she goes to ... fix her car. Sigh -- so many many things to do, so little time!

Sunday, March 12, 2006


One route to more happiness is called "flow," an engrossing state that comes during creative or playful activity, psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has found. Athletes, musicians, writers, gamers, and religious adherents know the feeling. It comes less from what you're doing than from how you do it.
--from "The Keys to Happiness And Why We Don't Use Them" by Robin Lloyd

HAPPINESS can be a proactively-exercised choice, and it's an expertise that interests me far more than many other topics. What would really be unfair about the injustices rampant in this world [Note to Navel: get out from behind the lectern] is if I allowed them to take away my capacity for joy. But I also don't think HAPPINESS is a particularly easy path (which explains a report Gura recently cited about how most people apparently choose (and it is at least 50% a choice viz determination) to wallow in unhappiness).

In attempting to attain HAPPINESS, it therefore is always gratifying to receive help from one's friends or lovely strangers! So thank you to Rebeka Lembo for this report that makes me just gurgle with glee. Via Mark, here are LOVELY WORDS about the recent JAINAKÚS EN XALAPA! conference in Mexico. Here it is (note the e-related implications):

Attending the conference to present The First Hay(na)ku Anthology has been quite an honor & a pleasure. It would have been great if we had had access to Internet from the place where the conference was given to support visually our arguments. Among the audience there was a man who--despite Ernesto's explanation on the origin of Hay(na)ku--insisted that we [Hay(na)ku practitioners] were clinging to the fame of [the nearly holy] haiku to write what he considered "simple" words, & what he did not considered poetry. Ernesto explained once again what he had explained before this man arrived to the conference just in case he had missed anything important for having arrived late.
I do not blame this man's attitude for Ernesto & I believe he would have had a deeper insight if he had read Kerouac's poetry, or Eileen's proposal to utter an opinion at all. Hence our belief on the pertinence of having Internet to access blogs of those poets who have been breeding & bringing up a poetic form which impact goes far beyond from the one of other poetic forms. Unfortunately, bureaucracy prevented our desire from becoming a reality.
Anyway, from where I see it, from my own balcony, poetry--unlike novels or plays [which are explosive & collective]--pertains, in general, to an implosive realm due to its individuality. Nevertheless, hay(na)ku has broken this implosive scheme for it has emerged from the Internet which happens to be--among other things--a mass media; thus explosive; thus collective.
Were I Wilde, would I say hay(na)ku is language for language's sake. However & despite its appearance as quite simple, it is not. At least not to me. It is free in content, not in form. This feature has allowed me to play with language. A professor in the audience defined this quality as a corset which limited poets. It might be so & yet, I believe all poetic forms are linguistic corsets. It is a matter of choosing the ones with which one breathes freely, or the ones with which one enjoys suffocation.
Hay(na)ku surely started as a "1-2-3-bloggean-poetic-form" but it has developed into more complex forms.  I believe it is not a "simple" & "fortuitous" form. Had I a simple & fortuitous mind, would I create simple & fortuitous poetry. & for one's own content, one cannot blame the form.
Lastly, I believe it was, overall, an interesting experience & people who attended the conference were quite enthusiastic about hay(na)ku as an "avant-garde" poetic form.

from the ever-beloved "Achilles and Galatea Series"

because [pause to sip from the 1995 Dominus] you're all concerned about Achilles' health! That's the reason, right?

Well I am delighted to share that Achilles' tests for cancer was clear. No sign of lymphoma or any other b.s.

Here he is chasing baby sister Gabriela! My beautiful baby boy Achilles -- FLY BEYOND WIND and the macabebes will never get you!

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Cooooo....! The Chatelaine cooos over impending new poetry book....of which this is the cover sent over by moi caring poet-publisher Jukka via xPress(ed):

The image is the painting "Conway" by Eve Aschheim. Eve also titled "Conway" after genius mathematician John Conway (who I do believe will be receiving a copy -- what an honor to put my poems in his hands!). I had seen the painting in exhibit in New York, and was able to follow up so that I can now live with its beauty every day.

I like how my name in black, by being superimposed against a dark background, partly slips into the background. That's me, the poet, foregrounding the poems.

And don't you think you can fall into the image? Cooo, coooo, the poems beckon, we hope you fall in love with us...!

Thursday, March 09, 2006


The submission deadline for GALATEA RESURRECTS (A Poetry Review)'s inaugural issue is this weekend, specifically 12 noon, Sunday, March 12.

The submission deadline for the second issue is May 5, 2006. (Drop me an email if you're interested in doing a review!) For more info, please to go open Moi Purse here.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Titles are on my mind in part from having just reviewed Ernesto Priego's hay(na)ku manuscript NOT EVEN DOGS -- a historic document. Historic, I cheerfully insist, because it will be the first single-author collection of hay(na)ku poems!!!!

And it's gorgeous and breathtaking (literally)....but it's also good for me to experience these poems because they teach me something I can use in my own work. I suppose, since I am a poet, it's an occupational hazard that it can be difficult for me to read poems just for enjoyment. I often look for poems that teach me something...and Ernesto's does.

Specifically, it's made me reconsider the use of titles in poems. Of course Ernesto's poems -- most of which are untitled in NOT EVEN DOGS -- is not the first time I've come across said untitled poems. But for some reason they trigger me to reconsider the use of titles.

The last time I thought about titles in poems, it was to admire how Maureen Owens sometimes put titles in the middle or at the end of her poems.

Now, I'm thinking....due to my own interest in poems subverting (1) linearity and (2) time, why need I title poems? (An example of subverting linear narrative are the poems in Reproductions where I use the cubist method to write prose paragraphs that, were they switched in order, would still effect a "poem".)

So, I'll have to go tinker with titles -- or NOT -- in my own work. Meanwhile, here's an untitled poem by Ernesto forthcoming in NOT EVEN DOGS:

I wish
I could write

something other
than my ghosts

what are
words if not

of absence
or rare echoes

unsent postcards
and found stamps?

would I
even try to

about fictions
that are not

the ones
telling my story?

of these
letters is haunted,

you already
should know this,

that is
why you never

me, don't
you, because here,

these lines,
simple and direct,

can find
your hidden reflection,

one I
stole from you,

the mirror
where you used

face the
lines your past

under your
eyes. This is

I long
for, a recovery

what cannot
be lived again.


As I write this, I am awaiting chest x-ray results for moi Beloved Dawg Achilles. So it seems apt now to thank Annette Marie Hyder who's included Moi and Achilles in FACING FEMINISM, a project of The McKnight Foundation and Walker Art Center.

I'm actually Face #17. You can go here to see the Feminist Faces beginning with Crystall, #1.

Our faces will also appear in the May issue of Empowerment4Women: The Feminist Online Magazine. You can check out the current issue here.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


From Ernesto Priego:


Participaré en el FESTIVAL “POESÍA Y VANGUARDIA XALAPA 2006”, organizado por Rafael Toriz. El festival se realizará el 9 y 10 de marzo en la Unidad de Humanidades (UV) y el Jardín de las Esculturas, en la ciudad de Xalapa, Veracruz.

Yo participaré en dos actividades:

Jueves 9
12:00 horas
Lugar: salón azul de la Facultad de Humanidades
"Hay(na)ku: Vanguardia y diáspora poética en el Siglo XXI”.
Conferencia por Ernesto Priego
Moderador: Rafael Toriz

19:00 horas
Lugar: Jardín de las Esculturas de Xalapa
Presentación Internacional de "The First Hay(na)ku Anthology"
Lectura de poesía por Ernesto Priego, Rebeka Lembo y Noé Morales.
Moderador: Rafael Toriz.

Es la primera vez que se llevará a cabo una lectura de hay(na)ku en México. This is the first time jainakús will be read in Mexico!

from the series "Poetry Economics: A Moronic Oxymoron"

Blurbs. I've been on this blog as renouncing the use of blurbs from hereon for my future poetry books (in fact, I subvert the blurb in moi forthcoming The Secret Lives of Punctuations, Vol. I from xPress(ed) -- hi Jukka!. But that is a choice I make only for myself and I don't mean to criticize others who still take on that bit of publishing infrastructure.

And so I was in conversation recently with someone I am looking forward to publishing through Meritage Press who -- with my full support -- will utilize blurbs. And I made a comment about the significance of the choice of the blurber. When that poet asked me to explain...that's when I decided to turn the topic into a blog post (heh).

It is a chore to find blurbs . And though I have read discussions about blurbs, I don't recall ever having read one about how people choose their blurbers or end up with the blurbers they have. For the books I publish through Meritage Press -- and in the case of my own books -- the poets mostly are the ones who choose the blurbers. I, as publisher, have never rejected a blurber-candidate because, hey, we're all just grateful to get someone's attention, time and support.

But if I were to put on my publisher's hat, I would say that it'd be ideal if the choice of blurbers allowed enhancement of the marketing of the book. Let's face it -- as a publisher, I wanna sell books not just create a website or blog where I can blather about how great said books are. And isn't the purpose of blurbs to market the dang books?

So, as a case study, I offer my book Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole. Let me share why I chose the blurbers who ended up generously saying yes to my request for a blurb:

First, I thought of Forrest Gander because he is a highly respected poet by Moi and many others. I thought of Arthur Sze for basically the same reason, but wanted a mix of poetic styles and certainly Forrest and Arthur write poems differently.

I thought of Alfred A. Yuson because he writes differently as well from Forrest and Arthur and because he is one of the Phi;ippines' leading contemporary poets. As regards the latter point, books by Filipinos globally usually receive attention in the Philippines.

I thought of Barry Schwabsky because he is a well-respected art critic in addition to being a poet, and much of the poems in Reproductions are ekphrastic.

So I'd hit the poetry, Filipino and visual arts markets. The above four blurbers would have more than sufficed. But I then thought of Susan Schultz simply because she's a woman. Yes, of course she's a deservedly well-respected poet, too. But I hadn't thought of asking a female poet until after the above four sent me their blurbs and, feminist-ically (among many other reasons), I didn't feel like situating myself as a woman poet being crit by male poets.

Anyhoot, Susan's status aside, what I did was choose blurbers who, aside from whatever respected positions they offer, also addressed a facet of poetry marketing and a facet not addressed by the other blurbers.

So, the above was going to be my answer to my future Meritage Press author who wanted clarification on my opinions on blurbs besides a yawn.

But as soon as I wrote the above, I realized: Fuck it -- it don't matter.

As a publisher, and as a poet who receives "royalty statements" (a phrase that, when applied to poetry, makes me geeeegle because I'd rather laugh than weep), blurbs don't affect the sales. They simply don't.

Sure, blurbs affect cultural capital. That and a subway token, bla-di-blah. Sure, blurbs, by affecting cultural capital, affect volume of reviews. (In fact, a poet-pal once told me that many review-places aren't going to review books without blurbs.) Again, reviews and a subway token ain't going to up that revenue stream. I should clarify, amp up sales significantly -- a jump of, uh, 3 extra book sales (though gratifying) isn't enough for me to make said 3 extra book sales a raison d'etre for how I approach po biz.

Now, am I being off-base or cynical here? Mayhap -- in which case I would be delighted to hear from you and be set straight on this issue. My email is GalateaTen at aol dot com

But until I hear otherwise, because blurbs don't affect book sales significantly, I guess I'll now go back to my Meritage Press future author to say, Ignore my earlier blather. Use whoever you want.

Indeed, revert, if you wish, to just asking people whose poetry and opinions matter to you. We can at least use blurbs to CELEBRATE your new book! Yadda!

As for how to up significantly the sales of poetyr books? Dear Hearts -- there are only three -- ONLY THREE -- ways to raise your poetry book sales (of which the well-tuned blurb ain't among the paths). Btw, winning a poetry competition ain't among those three effective strategies either. But discussing the three winning stragies will have to wait for another blog post. The hour just passed 5 p.m., which is to say, cocktail hour at Galatea looms and Missy WinePoetics here must get going to go a-sipping. There is nothing more important to Moi than that Sip.

Too bad as I just know this topic would have been timely for AWP dot dot dot


conducted by Garrett Caples is here! It's funny (not funny ha-ha, but you know...) how references to Philip triggers ... so MUCH from me. That was such a special summer -- my first summer in San Francisco, having just moved to the Bay Area and I had the blessing of spending it with Philip before he got into a deep depression ...

Let me focus on something that makes me smile: his irrepressibleness, as captured so deftly by Garrett:

He spoke not in paragraphs but in volumes, with labrythine digressions which sometimes never returned to the ostensible subject at hand.

I remember once trying to say Good-bye with Philip during a phone call -- a Good-bye attempt that lasted about 2 hours. Later, when I emailed someone about it, I ended up writing an email that, printed out, was longer than 6 pages as I discussed what Philip and I discussed while saying Good-bye.

Philip is the only person ever to make me think about the role of wheat in poetry.

Here's one of the paradoxes of Philip (that may be more about me than him): this lovely man I knew as very ebullient had a calming effect on me. Why not? He had the capability to recognize this (from Garrett's interview):

“Like mysticism, poetry aims to reveal what is unknown to us, but also to make us conscious of what is already inside us. This is what Plato meant by ‘unconscious knowledge’; the ‘unconscious’ wasn’t a psychological concept for him but a matter of knowledge that had yet to be revealed. Surrealism, having thrown open the relation between the unconscious and the conscious now for me germinates the seed of the ‘surconscious.’ This is a third term in a triadic structure of thought, as articulated by Wolfgang Paalen, where unconscious and conscious cease to be contradictions. We live now in a state of idol worship of a science enslaved by technology, despite the insistence of scientists from Paracelsus to Einstein on the central role of inspiration in their work.

As with Poe and Milton, passion is qualified as the central sun of poetry—indeed, analogously, the human and suprahuman erotic, the active and creative principle, attains infinite degrees of transformational power. Poetry has yet to recover its function as a conductor/vehicle of essential knowledge (gnosis). Passionate love is the lever for the poet and saint; androgynous union: source and culmination in renewal of vital energy.

Designated ‘The Magnificent’ by André Breton, the symbolist poet, Saint-Pol-Roux, reminds us: ‘Poetry is nothing less than the renewal of God’s original activity.’ It is a traditional saying (hermetic): ‘The root of heaven is on earth.’ Saint Catherine of Siena: ‘Desire is infinite.’

Philip was supposed to introduce me to BART. He promised to put in my first BART dollar in the machine (I hadn't even known what BART cost). So I tried to set up a visit with me and him going from SF to visit Barbara Guest in Berkeley -- trip never happened, and neither did the poem I promised Philip I'd write about the experience.

Eh, I can hear Philip now: write the poem anyway. As long as the desire exists...

Monday, March 06, 2006


I edited my Sunday morning post about Achilles' illness. But I certainly want to say Thank you to Ernesto who caught that edited post and wrote a poem -- make that, prayer -- for my beloved son with currently over-reddened eyes:

by Ernesto Priego

mist covers
the hero's eyes.

poets chanted,
described protective shields,

crimson blood
before his sight.

of us
should help Achilles,"

said, "give
him great strength,

that his
heart won't flinch."

continued, on
seeing his eyes,

he'll know
the gods who

him"; so
all the immortals

down, armed
with swords, so

will not
come to harm.

I who
have suffered many

times from
cloudy reddened eyes,

gathered, Achilles,
here my armies,

prayer, burning
candle: these words.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Well now. Some of this pre-Oscar coverage is some banal shit, ain't it. So, while keeping just one ear cocked to the T.V., I'll keep both eyes on moi computer screen to alert you to something deep-er than Oscar:

Thomas Fink interviewing Sandy McIntosh over at WillToExchange Blog. Here's an excerpt:

Thomas Fink: You and I have both practiced Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism for more than three decades—in your case, at least three and a half. At times, people ask me about how my daily practice of (the invocation of) Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo has affected the subject matter of my poetry. I never quite know how to answer, because I don’t feel that I’m qualified to “expound” Nichiren Shoshu doctrine in my work, and don’t feel compelled to do so, at least consciously. But it’s still an interesting question, which I’ll modify slightly for you (by taking out the term “subject matter”): how has your daily practice of Nichiren Shoshu influenced your writing of poetry?

Sandy McIntosh: I've never felt the inclination to include anything overtly Buddhist in my work. This may be because, after more than thirty-five years of continuous Buddhist practice, my life and practice are inseparable, isomorphic, really. Or it may be because I suspect bringing in Buddhist terms would be forced and awkward. I've known poets who practice Tibetan or Zen, and some of them reference Buddhist terms in their work. I suspect that some may include esoteric material more to demonstrate that they are among the select that possess sacred knowledge. (Some of my late friend Armand Schwerner's poetry seems to reflect this.) To use Buddhism as a cudgel, I believe, is misguided.

The Buddhism we practice is meant to change one's negative karma. To that extent, I might say that the positive changes in a practitioner's life are reflected in the evolving clarity of the practitioner's work. In any case, this would be a subtle change over time and difficult to trace.


Got this notice which may be of interest to some of y'all:

The New Orleans Public Library is asking for any and all hardcover and paperback books for people of all ages in an effort to restock the shelves after Katrina.  The staff will assess which titles will be designated for its collections.  The rest will be distributed to destitute families or sold for library fundraising.  Please send your books to:

Rica A. Trigs, Public Relations
New Orleans Public Library
219 Loyola Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70112

If you tell the post office that they are for the library in New Orleans, they will give you the library rate which is slightly less than the book rate (media mail).

And speaking of books, here's moi Updated list of Drunken Reading:

CATALOGUE OF COMEDIC NOVELTIES, poems by Lev Rubinstein, translated from Russian by Philip Metres and Tatiana Tulchinsky

HOSTILE, poems by Heather Nagami


FIELD WORK, poems by Seamus Heaney

ZEITGIST SPAM, poems by John Bloomberg-Rissman

JEAN RHYS REVISITED, memoir and literary criticism by Alexis Lykiard

THE GLASS CASTLE, memoir by Jeanette Walls


AN UNFINISHED LIFE, novel by Mark Spraggs

LIVES OF THE POETS, short stories by E.L. Doctorow




THE CAT WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD, fictionalized (a la James Frey) memoir by Deric Longdon

ONE MAN AND HIS DOGS, memoir by Ian Niall

CAT STORIES, memoir by James Herriott


BAD GIRL CREEK, novel by Jo-Ann Mapson

2001 Sauzet Montrachet
1989 Alzero
1994 Nackenheimer Rottenberg Trockenbierenauslese
2001 Kistler Vine Hill chardonnay
2002 Dutch Henry chardonnay
2003 Dutch Henry chardonnay
2003 Three Sticks Durell Vineyard pinot noir
1990 Pommard Clos de Epeneaux Comte Armant
1996 William Selyem pinot noir Allen Vineyard
2002 Joseph Phelps Insignia
1990 Clerico Barolo
2002 Behrens & Hitchcock Merlot NV


So the usual issues come up in any start-up venture ... which is to say I and a few other reviewers are slightly behind on my schedule and so it looks like GALATEA RESURRECTS (A Poetry Journal) will debut next week, not this coming week. So those reviewers who haven't sent me their reviews yet -- if you can do so this week it can still be part of the inaugural issue. Thanks!

Friday, March 03, 2006


Not Even Dogs -- isn't that a great title?! And that's the title of the first single-author hay(na)ku collection, forthcoming this Spring from (drum roll) ERNESTO PRIEGO! Yay! Here's the first draft of his book cover, with the painting by his brother Rodrigo Priego.

Last but not least, thanks to Michelle who now adds book design to her many talents. (Although, Michelle -- I just caught this as I blogged the image, that's "Ernesto" not "Ernest" on the book cover -- blogging is great for catching typos!)


Speaking of hay(na)ku, Lorna's been doing some fab one-word ones ...and it's mentioned in the generally lively and useful and educational discussions going on between Allen Bramhall and Jeff Harrison at their Antic View Blog! (which, actually, should be read for many reasons and not just coz my baby reared up its lovely head over there).


How logical that in the immediate aftermath of GMA's declaration of "state of emergency" in the Philippines -- the same type of declaration that Marcos used as a precursor to his martial law dictatorship -- I almost effortlessly spewed out a new poetry manuscript entitled


Yep -- that's exactly how the title shows up, with its bracketed comma to denote play on the ending of a love letter but also an exhortation -- plea? -- to love "your" FPP. And it is "your" because we are all implicated.

It'll be off to a publisher later today. I write that statement to foretell: Be Published, Be Read, Be Effective!

Now, back to taking care of the dogs -- can you believe my dog photos caused a higher spike in traffic than the preceding porn post? I love Moi Peeps -- there are so few dickheads among y'all...


It's a small gesture, but I signed this petition --

WHEREAS, Proclamation No. 1017 issued by the Philippine President on February 24, 2006, declaring a "state of national emergency" has worsened political and public crisis, panicking the nation, curtailing the rights not only of oppositionists but also of ordinary citizens, and sending a message to other countries that the Philippines is in a state of revolt.
NOW THEREFORE WE, concerned Filipinos in the United States, Philippines and abroad, with no intent other than to help improve the deteriorating social conditions in our native country, do hereby declare that we have united as a single voice to demand integrity, accountability, credibility and transparency from the President and all elected public officials in addressing the urgent concerns of our country of origin. WE STRONGLY URGE:

1) That Proclamation 1017 be lifted and considered as counterproductive and in violation of the 1987 Philippine Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights...

And of course it's all (inter)connected to the issues raised here at Your Filipina Pen Pal, and movingly addressed by Rochita on her own blog RAINDANCER'S MAP OF MEMORIES:

...how the government and politicians have an implicated role in situations like these.// It's very hard to convince a people of their worth when they're so tired of dreaming of the sun. The economic and political vista of our nation has suffered too long under the shadow of corruption and the self-serving mentality of those in power. When it seems there's no way out, the only choice some people are left with is "kapit sa patalim".

I'm off to have a good cry ...

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?