Thursday, May 28, 2009

books looking for a home

Jude Mowris ( has several hundred quality books needing a new home. Hardcover, softcover, biographies, historical novels, art books, alternative health, and much more!

She asks for our help -

"If I can't find a home for them, I have to throw them away. I am not sure I can do that so please help!"

Monday, May 25, 2009

a sestina of sorts

from Academy of American Poets, poem of the day - because it's fun

Delta Flight 659
by Denise Duhamel

—to Sean Penn

I'm writing this on a plane, Sean Penn,
with my black Pilot Razor ballpoint pen.
Ever since 9/11, I'm a nervous flyer. I leave my Pentium
Processor in Florida so TSA can't x-ray my stanzas, penetrate
my persona. Maybe this should be in iambic pentameter,
rather than this mock sestina, each line ending in a Penn

variant. I convinced myself the ticket to Baghdad was too expensive.
I contemplated going as a human shield. I read, in open-
mouthed shock, that your trip there was a $56,000 expenditure.
Is that true? I watched you on Larry King Live—his suspenders
and tie, your open collar. You saw the war's impending
mess. My husband gambled on my penumbra

of doubt. So you station yourself at a food silo in Iraq. What happens
to me if you get blown up?
He begged me to stay home, be his Penelope.
I sit alone in coach, but last night I sat with four poets, depending
on one another as readers, in a Pittsburgh café. I tried to be your pen
in 1987, not because of your pensive
bad boy looks, but because of a poem you'd penned

that appeared in an issue of Frank. I still see the poet in you, Sean Penn.
You probably think fans like me are your penance
for your popularity, your star bulging into a pentagon
filled with witchy wanna-bes and penniless
poets who waddle toward your icy peninsula
of glamour like so many menacing penguins.

But honest, I come in peace, Sean Penn,
writing on my plane ride home. I want no part of your penthouse
or the snowy slopes of your Aspen.
I won't stalk you like the swirling grime cloud over Pig Pen.
I have no script or stupendous
novel I want you to option. I even like your wife, Robin Wright Penn.

I only want to keep myself busy on this flight, to tell you of four penny-
loafered poets in Pennsylvania
who, last night, chomping on primavera penne
, pondered poetry, celebrity, Iraq, the penitentiary
of free speech. And how I reminded everyone that Sean Penn
once wrote a poem. I peer out the window, caress my lucky pendant:

Look, Sean Penn, the clouds are drawn with charcoal pencils.
The sky is opening like a child's first stab at penmanship.
The sun begins to ripen orange, then deepen.

from Ka-Ching, published by University of Pittsburgh Press. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. Read more about this book.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Press Release: 2009 PWP & Workshop

Press Release: 2009 Poets & Writers Picnic (Aug 22) and Sunflower Poetry Workshop (Aug 20-22)

The 12th Annual Poets & Writers Picnic and Sunflower Poetry Workshop will be held at the Shaffer Hotel in Mountainair, NM, during the town’s 10th Annual Sunflower Festival.

Dates: Poets & Writers Picnic, Sat. Aug. 22, noon to 5 pm outdoors in the Shaffer’s Gazebo yard; the Sunflower Poetry Workshop will run concurrently, Thurs. thru Sat. Aug. 20-22. The annual Sunflower Festival is Sat. August 22 as well.

The Poets & Writers Picnic is a long-standing, popular literary event that celebrates its 12-year anniversary this August. Held in the Gazebo garden at the Shaffer Hotel, the varied program includes invited writers and poets reading from their work; live music; an open mic for public participation; and a publications table offering books, chapbooks, newsletters, and CDs. The Picnic runs all afternoon, noon to 5 pm. Attendees bring picnic lunches and blankets, lawn chairs, and generally end up barefoot and very relaxed. People come from all over and make Mountainair their destination for this day, enjoying both the Poets & Writers Picnic and Sunflower Festival events around town.

The Manzano Mountain Arts Council has sponsored the Poets & Writers Picnic since its inception, with Dale Harris and Vanessa Vaile as the co-coordinators. The Picnic’s internet poetry blog of the same name, Poets & Writers Picnic, publicizes the event, introduces featured poets and writers, publishes regular updates on Picnic and Sunflower schedules, as well as providing interesting history and information about the Shaffer Hotel and the town of Mountainair:

This is the fifth year for the concurrent Sunflower Poetry Workshop. Participants stay at the Hotel or other local accommodations while attending. Workshop sessions are held at the Shaffer Hotel and in outdoor settings around the area. Typically, workshop activities open with a "Poets Tour of Mountainair" exercise where participants walk around town, visit local stores and generally get to know the town, collecting impressions for later writing - and maybe do some shopping too! A ‘plein air’ writing excursion to nearby Gran Quivera National Monument is also planned for this year’s workshop.

Guest faculty for the 2009 Sunflower Poetry Workshop will be Gary Mex Glazner. He is an exciting poet, humorist and teacher with a national reputation. His books include How to Make a Living as a Poet (which he says is fiction!) and How to Make a Life as a Poet (a true story). Gary currently resides in New York City where he manages the Bowery Poetry Club. When he lived in Santa Fe, Gary promoted many innovative community poetry activities including the Alzheimers Poetry Project, which went national and is still ongoing Best of all, he is a favorite son of nearby Willard where he grew up spending summers on his family’s ranch. Gary will also be a featured poet at the Poets & Writers Picnic.

For more info, contact: Dale Harris at or Vanessa Crary Vaile at

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Update: Round 1, Abq SPL

Poetry is news these days. White House poetry slam/jam. Albuquerque Slam Poet Laureate. Enjoy it while it lasts.

That slamming might slip into flyting and replace weaponry (WMI:
Words of Mass Instruction) in international conflicts: comforting to contemplate but too much to expect.

The following from report posted on NM Slam:

For slam-off round 1, media in the house: tv and newspaper crews all over the place. A 3 way tie between Damien Flores, Christian Drake and Hakim Bellamy. Each went up with one more poem and still the scores were so close it was crazy. Needless to say ALL of the poets were bringing the heat last night, but ultimately a decision had to be made.

That decision - take six poets on to finals, so....the poets going on to the finals night from Round 1 are:
Carlos Contreras
Jessica Lopez
Manuel Gonzalez
Christian Drake
Damien Flores
Hakim Bellamy

to raise money for the program next year and for the winner. Prize List:
  • A free microderm abrasion treatment to make your skin all young and shiny ($150 value)
  • A free gas card for $25
  • A Flying Star gift card worth $25
  • A free day at Stone Age Climbing Gym for 2 (or 2 free days, you pick)
  • 1 free hour of acting lessons at the Studio or 2 audition workshops
  • A free 15 minute flight for two over ABQ provided by Enchantment Helicopters

e-mail Zachary Kluckman at tigerbrighttiger@ for raffle tickets, $3 apiece or two for $5, or just pick them up at Round 2 on Friday, May 29.

Winners announced at Finals in June!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Albuquerque Slam Poet Laureate 2009

Preliminary Round # 1, Wednesday, May 20th
Preliminary Round # 2, Friday, May 29th

6:30 pm at South Broadway Cultural Center, 1025

Round 1 Poets
Erin Northern
Damien Flores
Hakim Bellamy
Kenneth P Gurney
James Altimirano
Bill Nevins
Jessica Lopez
Carlos Contreras
Sal Treppiedi
Christian Drake

Round 2 Poets
Rich Boucher
Tracey Pontani
Taryn Cuellar
Jimmy Lusero
Priscilla Baca y Candelaria
Bobbie Lurie
Adan Baca
Ryan Pace Sloan
Manuel Gonzalez
Danny Solis

more at NM Poetry Tangents

Monday, May 18, 2009

Poem: The Wrong Side of Town

It was the wrong side of town for pedestrians.

Classic motors took up every inch of kerb-space –
nifty cream models upholstered in suede,
blood-red hotrods with detachable rooftops;
a prideful display of virility in chrome.

It was the wrong side of town for poor dressers.

Unhealthy, in your hand-me-downs, you ambled
in on a traffic of bodies dressed to impress.
Cosmeticised creatures in silver and gold
slipped demurely into taxicabs. Senile codgers,
winking in the windows of The Club Elite,
flashed laser creases, snow-capped teeth.

There was no-one you knew among the retouched faces.
No-one you knew in the lava-lamp-lit doorway of The Bamboo Palace.
No-one you knew muttering prayers and salutations at the parking-meters.
No-one you knew drooling the blues into a banged-up Hohner.

It was the wrong side of town for a green, trusting boy.

From your first step over the line you were under the radar,
tracked by the heat of an eye ever-looking
for someone obtrusive like you.
Foolhardy as Christ on the wrong side of the town.

© 2008, Aidan Murphy
From: Poetry Ireland Review

Sunday, May 17, 2009

TextArc: an alternate way to view a text

encountered on current visual poetry/ poetics kick - narrative, exposition and all that wordy stuff, including musing on interconnectedness (slam, aural/visual nexus, performance, visual poetics, book art, text art & so forth & so on to follow in later post/s ...

"A TextArc is a visual representation of a text—the entire text (twice!) on a single page. A funny combination of an index, concordance, and summary; it uses the viewer's eye to help uncover meaning. Here are more detailed overviews of the interactive work and the prints."

from TextArc

Thursday, May 14, 2009

plog plaudits & passing them on

A round of plog applause please - we have an award - a Kreativ Blogger Award from Tamra Hays passing on her own award.

Following Tamra's steps (and those of her nominator, Elizabeth Enslin, Yips and Yowls), I now have the charge of identifying some things I love, identifying and passing the award onto other creative bloggers.

Do take the time to visit both Hays Travelogue & Tamra's just poetry page, Laughing Dove as well as Yips and Howls, subtitled "A Writer’s Reflections on Nature and Culture" and described as:
A writer, I look for inspiration and distractions in nature. An anthropologist, I ponder the places where nature and culture meet. A kitchen gardener, I promote biodiversity and learn from farming traditions around the world. A recovering academic, I try to do all with compassion and humor.
Those awarded should feel free to pass it on to others (or not) in any number you wish. The recommended process is to link to and leave comments on those blogs for how to pass on the award.

I would have picked both Hays Travelogue and Yips and Yowls but they were the pickers - re-picking pickers not only seems intellectually incestuous but also defeats what I imagine as the purpose & pass it on spirit ot the award. A Dark Feathered Art was on my list but was a Y&Y nominee.

Seven things I love: my children (no matter what); my friends; special places in my life; memories of those people and places; indulging my curiosity (thus covering books, ideas, learning, conversation as the sifting of ideas, surfing the internet and travel); making gumbo for people I care about; all that the fellowship of the horse entails - horses, ponies, riding...

Seven blogs (no brothers), 2 by friends, 1 by a family member only recently met on Facebook & 4 by strangers (in case anyone was thinking favoritism)
  • Notes from Straw Mountain- artist's journal by Jude Mowris, Mountainair, NM. Also a descriptive chronicle of her corner of central NM. Many photos. Bright colors.
  • Maison Celeste - Celeste Le Tard Williams, artist, teacher, foodie, in Georgia. More bright colors - Jude & Celeste never met but should have, except that they would probably be fighting over the same color crayons
  • Painting with Fire - serendipty: Leslie Sobel is never met except on Facebook kin, married to a cousin I have not seen in decades. Another artist (not to worry the poets are coming), she describes her blog as "musing on art, the environment, art-making and balance – or the lack therof"
  • Blog with a View - digital art & some poems (presumably not digital but many are "Google poems" collaged from search strings). Terry Wright describes blog as "a visual diary of my original digital art, fractal art, and illustrated poetry."
  • dbqp: visualizing poetics - kaleidoscopic review of visual poetry and related forms of art over the centuries, joined with the recollections of one contemporary visual poet. Topics: visual prose, comics art, illustrated books, minimalist poetry, and visually-enhanced textual poetry.
  • City of Dust - photos and descriptions of forgotten places, abandoned buildings, and their surroundings, historical information if known
  • ze's stuff - projects, stuff to read, stuff to watch, interactive toys, participation projects (frailty poem, collage maker), more stuff - otherwise indescribable, so go see for yourself
So many blogs... so little time (didn't we say that about books first?). I had to leave so many out - not to mention the ones that will occur to me as soon as I post this. More periodic strolls through the blogosphere are definitely in order.

Of possible interest - Are blogs literature?

Enjoy... share your favorites too... candidates perhaps for a just poetry blogs feature...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chicano/Latino Literary Prize

University of California (Irvine) Chicano/Latino Literary Prize

A prize of $1,000, publication by Arte Público Press, and travel expenses to attend the award ceremony in Irvine, California, is given annually on a rotating basis for a poetry collection, a short story collection, and a novel written in Spanish or English. A second prize of $500 is also awarded.

The 2009 prize will be given for a poetry collection by a Chicano or Latino writer who is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.

Submit three print copies and an electronic copy of a manuscript of 60 to 80 pages by June 1. There is no entry fee. Send an SASE, call, e-mail, or visit the web site,, for complete guidelines.

University of California, Chicano/Latino Literary Prize, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, 322 Humanities Hall, Irvine, CA 92697-5275. (949) 824-5443,

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


On Saturday, May 16, from 1:00-4:30 PM, a poetry and music event will be held at the Anasazi Fields Winery in Placitas to benefit WHOA, the Wild Horse Observers Association.

WHOA watches over the wild horse herd in the area, lobbies for the preservation of open spaces and the creation of more such spaces. In this same spirit, WHOA is involved with establishing the last piece of the Nature Wildlife Corridor (Wildlands Project's Spine of the Continent?) in Placitas, which will complete the corridor from the Canadian to the Mexican border.
Additionally, WHOA persuaded Governor Richardson to issue a protective order for the threatened wild horse herd of Placitas.

Wild Horses of Placitas,
Patience O'Dowd, Sandoval Signpost, July 2006

The program for this event includes poets (many familiar from Poets & Writers Picnics past) Lou Liberty, Dale Harris (with her flautist Ingrid Burg), Merimee Moffitt, Larry Goodell, Marilyn Stablein, Mitch Rayes (with guitar), Mary Oishi, E.A. "Tony" Mares, Jim Fish, Rev. Elizabeth Lowry; plus flautist Johnny Alston and John Bullock, with members of his band, Cheap & Easy. Poet Gary L. Brower, organizer and MC, will also read. The suggested donation is $10.

For the wild horses of Placitas (Gary Brower 2006)

There are artists in Placitas
who create beauty from nothing,
and there are these horses
who have nothing but beauty
of body their ancestors gave them,
creating when they run
a changing dapple of sun
on their shiny skin.

These wild ones don’t know
their existence, their freedom,
their wildness, the natural artistry
of their lives, their hoofbeats
across the open space,
the unshod pattern of hoofprints
are a nuisance to some.

When these equine phantoms
suddenly appear among people,
you hear the comments:
What are they doing here?
Why aren’t they tamed?
Where are their owners?
How did they get out?
Why aren’t they dog food?
Why should they take up land?
They’re costing us money,
costing us time, costing us
trouble, costing us something
when they are nothing to us;
homeless of the high desert,
lost out of history, even if they
are descendants of jacas
left by Spaniards centuries ago,
they are discards of society
who refuse to stop at our stoplights.
Our fears of lack of control
have taken equine form.
After all, if horses can run wild,
what about children, what about
chaos in the universe?

We know our society traps us
to keep us in check, know
we often trap ourselves, others.
How dare these creatures
run across straight lines
we fear to cross.

These last wild horses
turn their long faces to you,
their long muzzles, large eyes,
warn their death
will kill your freedom,
after they are a memory,
a small herd of historical footnotes,
a myth that once wild steeds
roamed untamed, like the
village, unincorporated.

Look again at the long faces
of these caballos desiertos,
the long muzzles, large eyes.
They have no master,
perhaps this is what bothers you?
They speak to your subconscious,
perhaps this is what frightens you?
They are not harnessed to work
as you are, perhaps this
makes you resentful?

Look again at this orphan herd,
their long faces, muzzles, large eyes.
If they run wild, remember,
they are not your children,
not from outer space
but the open space.
They didn’t cross artificial
lines in the sand
like poor immigrants
searching for survival,
they are simply here
trying to survive
in an unforgiving land.
Ask yourself: Is there no space
for them anywhere on the land,
in the mind, in our lives?

Does their equine lineage matter
more than their existence?
Bureaucrats, projecting their own nature,
say these animals must be
either “wild” or “feral,”
insist they abandon their horse trails
for a paper trail, or die.
For if they are killed,
they would at least be saved,
like Orwell’s non-persons,
from being the non-horses
they now are, on land not theirs,
with lives they shouldn’t have.

We divide, subdivide ourselves
down smaller and smaller,
drawing more and more
straight lines, artificial borders
across the horizon,
strangling on rectangles,
squaring wildness out,
fencing out free range,
cutting down old forests,
fishing out oceans,
hunting down animals
bigger than we are,
shooting down birds we don’t need,
polluting water we need,
destroying our planet-home,
with our habit of habitat destruction,
till nothing is without control unless dead,
inside or out, not even yourself,
till you have trampled everything
free and wild into the ground,
the syllables of the word “freedom”
lost like yucca blooms
in breezes over the mesas,
till these wild beings
are only gusts of wind
blowing through your mind,
whipping up the dust of Placitas,
blowing it into your eyes,
leaving you blind
in your own land.

from Sandoval Sandpost
Placitas, NM July 2006

To get to the Anasazi Fields Winery, take Exit 242 off the I-25, go east on Highway 165 toward the mountains. This will lead you to the Old Village of Placitas and as you start to enter it, turn left onto Camino de los Pueblitos (there will be a sign saying "winery"), go two stop signs, then turn left into the parking lot for the winery.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Svmer is icumen in

Svmer is icumen in
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweþ sed and bloweþ med
and springþ þe wde nu.
Sing cuccu!

Awe bleteþ after lomb,
lhouþ after calue cu,
Bulluc sterteþ, bucke uerteþ.
Murie sing cuccu!
Cuccu, cuccu,
Wel singes þu cuccu.
ne swik þu nauer nu!
Sing cuccu nu, Sing cuccu!


Summer has come in
Loudly sing, cuckoo!
Seeds grow and meadows bloom
and the woods spring anew
Sing cuckoo!

Ewe bleats after lamb,
Calf lows after cow,
Bullock leaps, billygoat farts,
Merrily sing, cuckoo!
Cuckoo, cuckoo!
Well you sing cuckoo,
Nor cease you ever now!
Sing cuckoo now, Sing, cuckoo!

Or listen to it:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sor Juana por el cinco de mayo


Este, que ves, engaño colorido,
que del arte ostentando los primores,
con falsos silogismos de colores
es cauteloso engaño del sentido:

éste, en quien la lisonja ha pretendido
excusar de los años los horrores,
y venciendo del tiempo los rigores,
triunfar de la vejez y del olvido,

es un vano artificio del cuidado,
es una flor al viento delicada,
es un resguardo inútil para el hado:

es una necia diligencia errada,
es un afán caduco y, bien mirado,
es cadáver, es polvo, es sombra, es nada.

–Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Weaving, a poem by Paul Otremba

I don't think they'll find the new weaving
anywhere finer than truth.
—Osip Mandelstam

I've tried to sift a truth finer than salt
from my mouth. It matters: I get up

or I do not. The books can wait, leaves
burn themselves these days, and the day

begins or it does not. Now wingless,
a wasp masquerading as the sun crawls—

a harmless razor—across the backlit
curtain. No city trembles on the verge

of the sea. No stupid bird threatens
to dissolve me if I forget my species

in the official questionnaire. I could
put my ten bureaucrats to their task.

The dusting and polishing. There's a point,
a mirror for me to enumerate my teeth.

Beyond these walls, there's only the snowed-in
field, an egg just opened but empty.

"Weaving" is from The Currency, published by Four Way Books. Read more about this book. Reprinted on Poem-A-Day with permission. All rights reserved. National Poetry Month is over, but there are still poems on the way.

Friday, May 1, 2009

¡It's a wrap!

Yesterday was Poem in Your Pocket Day & Last Month was National Poetry Month

Did you join celebrants across the country by carrying a poem in your pocket yesterday - literally or figuratively? Share verse with friends, family, co-workers, and even strangers? Need a poem? Download and print a selection of pocket-sized poems from, or share your pick from Poem-A-Day emails. You can also read your favorite poetry lines on your mobile device by visiting, or find events near you by visiting the National Poetry Map on

Poem in Your Pocket Day highlights include:

Flagstaff, AZ
Bookmans: Show a poem to the cashier to receive a discount on your purchase.

Waterbury, CT
Pick a Poem From Your Pocket
Naugatuck Valley Community College

Hammond, IN:
Hammond Public Library's Main Library
Poems will be handed out throughout the day, and the library staff will read their favorite poems at 10 a.m.

Lawrence, KS
Favorite Poem Reading
4 p.m.
Watson Library

South Hadley, MA
Poem in Your Pocket Day at Mount Holyoke College

Asheville, NC
Asheville Wordfest
April 30, 2009, 2 p.m. to May 3, 2009
Various locations

Carrboro, NC
Poem in Your Pocket Day at the Carrboro Cybrary
9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
100 N. Greensboro Street

Hillsdale, NJ
Hillsdale Poem in Your Pocket Day
Pascack Valley High School

Barnegat, NJ
Poem in Your Pocket Day Reading
6:30 p.m.
Barnegat Library, 112 Burr Street

Alexandria, VA

Poetry readings in Market Square at 12 p.m., and a poetry
and music celebration at the Alexandria Athenaeum at 7 p.m.

Rhode Island: Poem in Your Pocket Orgami Books
Pick up an "Itty Bitty Poem" at various locations in S. County, including Java Madness and the Courthouse Center for the Arts, and also at public libraries in: Narragansett, N. Kingstown, Peace Dale (South Kingstown), and Charlestown.

Tell how you celebrated Poem in Your Pocket Day by emailing photos, event highlights, or ideas to

About National Poetry Month
Inaugurated by the Academy in April 1996, National Poetry Month brings together publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools, and poets around the country to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. To learn more, please visit:

So what do we do this month & the next & the next?

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