There was an error in this gadget

Thursday, May 29, 2014

What Poem Today ATE

Followed up via email with laureate selection chairperson. I hope I get it.

Other than than, taking some days off poetry to go to Vegas. Of course, that will surely generate the traditional Vegas poem that always comes out of these trips.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What Poem Today numero siete

Started reading Alison Luterman's new manuscript. It's amazing as always. Her poetry seems easier to enter than mine. It embraces like a warm kitchen. Maybe my poetry, in general, is more like a gallery in a modern art museum: you have to go in with your own curiosity, and it's up to you to engage your attention and depth of vision. Hmm.

Big news is I interviewed for the position of Richmond Poet Laureate. I think I have a good shot at it based on my energy and ideas and on my reading. The committee said they were impressed with all the candidates so far, and I was certainly glad to meet another candidate for it: Lincoln Bergman, a politically active, KPFA, organizer gentleman with rhythmic, rhyming materials about history and current events. He read a good poem draft about Maya Angelou, who passed away today.

Talk of making the post a multi-person post, which would be nice. I'm thinking a youth laureate would be a good idea separate from the adult laureate. The office should be a team of poets. In Richmond, with its multiplicity of population, that would be ideal. I feel I'll add Richmond poetry advocacy to what I do regardless of whether or not I'm named laureate. I think the energy is building in Richmond for this.

Prepped some work to submit on Monday or Tuesday next week.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What poem today, installment the sixth

Submitted the poem from yesterday to Poetry. Ballsy, but why not? I'm pleased with it; though I also get frustrated and flustered with the gray area about what publication means to different venues. Poetry seems to feel that a poem appearing anywhere anyhow online or in print means they can't use it. So I deleted it from yesterday's post and changed the privacy settings on the post I put on Facebook to "only friends." It was the comments of friends on FB that made me feel that the poem was worth a try with Poetry Magazine. Anyway, fingers crossed...

Conversed via Facebook with Laurie Kolp about her new book Upon the Blue Couch by Winter Goose Press, Sacramento. Read the first section of the book on the way in to work, so was fired up to talk with her about it. The press looks like it could be a good choice for me--nearby, open to submissions, approachable, and sounds like they are easy to work with.

Made some small edits to "Plum Season," from yesterday, and practiced reciting to help cement it in memory. I think I will present it as one of my samples tomorrow when I have my interview.

Submitted a poem about Lady Gaga to Slurve because it seemed a good fit.

Also, my Reject a Hit column came out in Writer's Digest July "Creativity" issue. I just got it in the mail today!

Monday, May 26, 2014

What Poem Today season 5

If I could poem like this every day, oh my. I went to Kabuki Hot Springs and did three loops of sauna, steam, plunge and soak. During each loop, I wrote a stanza of a queron in my memory. I wrote the final couplet on the way back home. Not only a quietly meditated and meditative poem, but instantly memorized, too.

[poem omitted for publishing requirements]

A good soak, a good poem, and I'm satisfied.
Also posted a new prompt over at my and Marna's blog, IMUNURI. Marna wrote the prompt. I just posted it.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

What Poem Today episode 4

Brought malted milk balls to writing jam, arriving home from the grocery trip just in time, though a few minutes late picking up Natasha Dennerstein from BART. Judith Scherr and Alan Phillips arrive for writing jam.

We free write. We write bref double. We write Natasha's (Jungian) free association strings, then use that material to craft short poems or proses.

I get some material to compost and quite enjoy myself. Natasha, Judith and Alan get good material out of the session. I enter my bref double in the bref double poetic forms challenge at Poetic Asides. Because why not? I will take Natasha's comments from jam to heart and choose to believe the poem has the right balance of subtle and overt. Except who but my Bay Area compatriots will understand the reference to the bakery Ariz Mendi? (luckily "the bakery" fits both the rhyme and syllable needs).

"Long weekend to myself"

I'm framing my apology
for not checking every checkbox
on the list she left when she left
the home she makes for her weekend.

I'm freed in this fatality.
With 48 hours to go
I could surely finish it all.
This way, I don't have to pretend

to want to move the garden rocks
and transplant the wandering jew.
I'll invent my apology,
buy some treats from Ariz Mendi

and keep honey in the honey-
do while I match up her clean socks.

Also started thinking a lot about my upcoming class on July 17, and practicing my talk while driving around...

Saturday, May 24, 2014

What Poem Today #3

Scheduled writing jam for tomorrow. So, tomorrow I will have more to mention :)
Danced hard.
Played the game Dominion with its creator, Donald X. and Destry, using Donald's prototype deck with as-yet unreleased cards.

Thought about a couple of poems, and wrote a couple of lines.

Friday, May 23, 2014

What Poem Today #2

On BART, struggled to draft another poem for Like/Share II, a photography-inspiring-poetry art show and event I was invited to participate in by curator Ann Trinca. The event "happens" in June with readings/showings. (Will need to ping my list.) Walked up to Coit Tower after lunch and finished first draft of what's now called "Love poem or apology."
Submitted five poems (four from the book) to 32 poems. According to Duotrope, chances of acceptance are under 1%. So it's really going to boost my average when I get in :D

Submitted three poems to Ancient Paths, though I'm unsure about the fit of my gnostic, deistic, Jewish poems with this "Christian" journal. On the other hand, if this is Christian the way my friend and poet/photographer Ed Aust is, the fit could be perfect.

Submitted four poems to Zyzzyva, a local mag. About 2% acceptance. West Coast focus. Hand delivered it, because why not? I hand delivered a submission last year when they were up on Sutter, but now they've moved one block from my office, in one of the coolest buildings around here, the Mechanics' Institute Library, which is actually a library and has a chess room on the 5th floor. Very cool, old architecture with high halls and one of these:

In process of readying the poems for submission today, I made small improvements to about 6 poems in the manuscript. Also started to wonder about 10 or so poems that just don't feel like they want to be submitted. Do they belong in the book? Are they ready? Can they be improved--because at one point I felt they were worth including... Opening the question...

Arranged to take off or work from home on my daughter's second-to-last day of school, so I could attend the poetry slam her teacher is organizing for the kids. Mirabai's been writing some pretty good poems for her age. Her vocabulary is wide and she uses it.

Yesterday, I forgot to mention my post on IMUNURI. The poem "Δ" goes with an image from Like/Share II and is based on a ride I shared with Jillian Banks-Kong when we used to carpool. (I also left a comment or two on IMUNURI for other poets yesterday.)

I am curious to see what poeming I actually do over the long Memorial Day weekend. Hopefully a few drafts at least, and maybe some prep work for the week ahead. Big event coming May 28.

Eek! We should jam on Sunday. I'll send the email now!

Did that. So maybe Sunday will be a jam. Work's light as Memorial Day Weekend kicks off. I'm making hay while the sun shines.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

What Poem Today? #1

Thought I'd try an experiment. For my own edification and curiosity, now that I've posted mostly every poem in One Way to Ask.

The experiment: to post everyday or nearly so what I've done that day re: poetry.

Today: Found a paying poetry market to submit to:

32Poems Magazine
Valparaiso University
1320 Chapel Drive South
Valparaiso, IN 46383
 It costs $3 to submit work online, but free to do it by post.

I started my submission packet with 4 poems from One Way To Ask - made a few fine tunes alone the way to the four poems I'm sending.

Plus went through the poems I wrote in the Poem a Day challenge to pick out some of the better ones to start wrapping into submission packets.

Typed up the poem "∆" I drafted last night in the sauna for Like/Share II, a show in Oakland Ann Trinca invited me to participate in. Writing poems inspired by photos...

Started a draft for another image for that project.

Email Alison Luterman with some ideas for memorizing poetry, specifically, make a recording and listen to yourself until you can sing along. Very happy to be a colleague of Alison.

Work-work a bit light today as the afternoon wanes; thus, not bad for an arbitrary Day 1.

Also received feedback on One Way to Ask from my father's friends, a professor, who calls me an "Ari" - Lion in Hebrew. He has very nice things to say about my manuscript. Most flattering that he says he reread and revisited several poems. Compares me to John Berryman - That makes me smile. And the poems he didn't like as much, he compared to Ginsberg and the beats - which also makes me smile.


Came home to find $10 from NonBinary for my poem "Meeting the Doctor," that they are reprinting in their issue revolving around Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Making it rain!

Also inspired by seeing 36 Stories by Sam Shepard performed by Word for Word at Z Space. See it!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Aleph, with art by Henrik Drescher


    “This is a song about this.”
        —Gordon Gano

A map
of sound:

ground trill
new found
flute pipe

bird miles—
hear the

tone Word.

Art by the flabbergastingly fabulous Henrik Drescher

Friday, May 2, 2014

The fallow months with art by Daniel Ari

My hunger, love, is like an alien moon.
I know you feel its phases subtly
as tired nights pale from busy afternoons.
The strange globe with its aching liquid pull—
astronomical and inopportune—

has stirred storm clouds lately, love. It grows full
and stirs tides and winds into two hoarse cries.
In here, we’ve battened down, sorted the mail.
Do you remember the last time that eye
closed in satisfied rest in the cocoon,

turbulence muted under the duvet
of earth’s shadow? Did you know sixty-two
moons (nine of them provisional) fly by
Saturn, not to mention the rings? And do
you know how insistent my orbital

gravity winds up? Even typhoons blow!
You’re the sovereign sea, but I’m thirsty, too.

This is my crazy calligraphic treatment of my own poem.
I'm excited that this poem is recently or about to published
by Flapperhouse.