Sunday, July 31, 2011

Richard Vargas, 13 angels rising

Of course I don't think there is or should be any Spanish language requirement for US Hispanic writers: I do think everyone should know another language and can't imagine a life reading poetry in just one language. My personal first choice, settled on long before moving to New Mexico, would be Spanish, also the language in which I discovered poetry. Taking Spanish poetry straight up without intermediaries, no water, no rocks, has been one of the great pleasures of my reading life.

On the other hand, the kinship here to Richard's "13 Angels" would be to that other poet of the city's poems, Baudelaire's "Le cygne" (Andromaque, je pense à vous) and "Les petites vieilles." Best though, for me as reader, is wandering through the connections, from revisiting Tableaux Parisiens to discovering Malena Mörling, Astoria and "If there is another world" (which, in turn. echoes Baudelaire's "La chambre double"), leading me back to Whitman walking the streets of Brooklyn and Lorca, "Poeta en Nueva York." 

This flânerie of reading and link following: encounter a poet, browse poetry pages, expand citylit repertoire and recognize Richard Vargas as a poet of the city. There is never just one poem but interconnected webs of them...
from The Ditch Rider's July 24 Sunday poem in the Duke City Fix

No one comments more on news of the day than Albuquerque poet Richard Vargas. He is always on duty. And the recent headlines about prostitution have not gone unnoticed. Vargas recently won the 2011 Hispanic Writers Award at the Taos Summer Writers' Conference. He also edits and publishes The Mas Tequila Review

13 angels rising (after Malena Morling’s If There is Another World)
“Starting early in February investigators recovered 13 sets of skeletal remains from a once-remote section of mesa now being developed as a residential subdivision. Four have been identified… They are among a list of 16 women reported missing between 2001 and 2006.”, 3/27/09

“According to APD, Garcia is… one of seven site moderators known as the “Hunt Club.” Moderators are in charge of bringing in new clients and prostitutes…” The Daily Lobo, 6/27/11

they say good is greater than evil
and if it is then the dead
shall rise and walk gain
right out of their Westside graves
past the tracts of generic
cardboard neighborhoods
past the cars cruising Central Ave
driven by men with bloodshot eyes
and Budweiser breath who wave
dollar bills in the air
like honey coated flypaper

and if so inclined the dead
will reinvent their renewed lives
so that closed fists open up
become soft as pillows where
dreams of violence fade away
the way a bruise heals when
kissed by a seraph’s lips

families, babies, and friends rejoice
embrace their return from
the eternal night
the cruel night
especially now as
the sun’s light
shines down and
warms the sidewalk
beneath their feet

especially now as butterfly wings
with a gossamer sheen sprout
from the satin skin stretched
over once-battered
shoulder blades
healed and whole

especially now as they
show us how to fly
and rise above the din

the nature of our sin

not a moment too soon
to come back and save
us from ourselves
inclined to walk among
the demons we all have
within and show us

how like a pebble
dropped in water
calm and still
our inhumanity
ripples outward
touching one
and all
-- Richard Vargas

Poetry submissions are welcome. Email

Saturday, July 30, 2011

New and On View: Mudlark Poster No. 94 (2011)

An Electronic Journal of Poetry & Poetics
Never in and never out of print..

Five Poems by Deborah Flanagan

Going to Hell | A Sixpence Song | How the Man is Knit
Unauthorized Autobiography | Floating Island Custard
One is for bad news: I dream that men are birds and they have something to tell me
Two is for mirth: wake to find a huge crow, pacing to and fro
Three is a wedding: drink wine in which a blackbird drowned
Four for a birth: I bake a pie full of twenty-four naughty boys
Five is for riches: serve it to the queen in the parlor with bread and honey
Six is a thief: a bird with one wing steals my nose
Seven a journey: I visit the doctor; he sews it back on
Eight is for grief: the birds refuse to fly out of the pie
Nine is a secret: why a raven is like a writing desk
Ten is for sorrow: my heart in a baby birdcage
Eleven is love: nevermore
Twelve is joy on the morrow: I open my mouth; a bird flies out
Deborah Flanagan's work has appeared in journals including The Gettysburg Review, FIELD, The Laurel Review, Hotel Amerika, and Poet Lore among others.

Spread the word. Far and wide,

William Slaughter,

Lagniappe, found while getting links for the journals above: is news, information and guides to literary magazines, independent publishers, alternative periodicals, independent bookstores, indie record labels, alternative newsweeklies and more.

Posted via email from Just Writing

Friday, July 29, 2011

East of Edith: Monday July 25

Missing events, I care more about recaps than announcements and notices for what I know I will miss, post a regrets on the RSVP page, promising to spread the word about the words though, dutifully post links and blog. Doing all that, it's nice to know how a reading, who read what. Even better would be poems, text to read, audio to listen to or video to watch as I listen... all to post and so share with others not there either. The slammers get it right with videos on YouTube. A hint? You betcha. But this works as a start...

Guest host Rich Boucher writes... my head is still a little dizzy from it. There’s still so much to think about after last night’s stellar East of Edith Open Mic at the Projects. I know that this word can easily be overused, but it was inspiring to see a full house on a Monday night for poetry; there were sixteen (yes, 16) poets on the open mic list last night, all of them reading intelligent, engaging and thought-provoking works of their own and poems by other authors, too. The flow of all the poems last night to me seemed quite remarkable; as the host, it was stunning to see how one poet’s contribution to the open mic seeming to perfectly complement the next poet’s contribution – this pattern carried out through the whole night and to me it almost seemed as if everyone was on the exact same wavelength – such a rare thing to witness and experience. And talk about range. The subjects for the poems last night were all over the map and just right. Survival of physical and emotional abuse, requiem, current and topical rhapsodies in snark, Bob Dylan, fantasy, terror, and fairy tales to name only a few of the places we were all taken to last night. There was so, so much range in the poems read last night; I have hosted hundreds of open mic nights in my time and I have to say that last night was one of the best.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Poem-A-Day: Li Po, In the Mountains on a Summer Day

I am in the Mountains; it is a summer day (fortunately less oppressive than previous ones). I subscribed for National Poetry Month to blog but mostly just read them for myself and forgot to share. My bad. Posting a poem a day or when I don't have another subject or announcements to post (trying to get away from that though) certainly would take care of daily poetry blogging.

Academy of American Poets
Academy of American Poets

July 24, 2011
Today's poem appears in More Translations From The Chinese, published by Alfred A. Knopf.

Related Poems
A Boy and His Dad
by Edgar Guest A Green Crab's Shell
by Mark Doty A Lesson for This Sunday
by Derek Walcott A Path Between Houses
by Greg Rappleye

Academy of American Poets
75 Maiden Lane
Suite 901
New York, NY 10038

In the Mountains on a Summer Day

by Li Po
translated by Arthur Waley

Gently I stir a white feather fan,
With open shirt sitting in a green wood.
I take off my cap and hang it on a jutting stone;
A wind from the pine-trees trickles on my bare head.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Shout out for Submissions: Slam Newsletter & Pedestal (Audio)

from Zachary Kluckman via NM Slam announcement list...

Hello friends,

I hope everyone is doing well today and living with the lights burning in their eyes!

Just a quick note to let you know that, as some of you may have heard, I'll be serving as the Poetry Editor for the new slam newsletter coming out through PI (Poetry International) and Faylita Hicks - and this is a call out to you all to send us your best poems to be read by thousands of PSI members and fans!

The online submission manager is almost set up, but in the meantime, if you want to send poems out for this, you can send them directly to Send up to three of your best poems, no limits on length, style or type!

If you have any questions, please let me know - and I'll be in touch soon with the link for the online submissions (as soon as we switch over, lol)

ALSO - please remember I'm always looking for audio submissions of poetry and spoken word for the magazine! We have featured everyone from Buddy Wakefield and Amiri Baraka to Jessica Lopez and Erin Northern, so please send those along to me at the same e-mail address at any time. Our next issue goes live in August and we have some weet treats planned already!

That's all for now folks! Send some poems and keep your pens busy making that paper sing in your voice!


via NM Slam,

Whether or not everybody in NM slam community knows the following or not doesn't matter because not all our readers will and even those who think they know may have forgotten a few details:

Zachary Kluckman is the Executive Director of the world's only Slam Poet Laureate Program, which made world history by appointing the first poet to this title in 2009. He is also an actor, poet, youth advocate, teacher, and performance artist whose recent anthology, Earthships: A New Mecca Poetry Collection, was a finalist in the NM Book Awards. Other national publications include the New York Quarterly, Memoir (and), Dos Passos Review, and Cutthroat among others. His first chapbook, Per-City Poems, garnered great reviews. Abroad, his work appears in print, film, and radio formats. Recently he was nominated for both Best of the Net 2009 and the 2009 Pushcart Prize in Poetry. He is the host of the Smokin’ Word Slam and the Sanjevani Poetry Circle in Albuquerque, where he also works as a youth mentor, running workshops for youth in transition and serving as Festival Coordinator for the Verse-Converse Poetry Festival in Taos, NM.

(from Pedestal Magazine)

Posted via email from Just Writing

Monday, July 18, 2011

August Poetry Postcard Fest Returns

Ted Berrigan & AG


Here’s what’s involved. Sign up here.

Get yourself at least 31 postcards. These can be found at book stores, thrift shops, online, drug stores, antique shops, museums, gift shops. (You’ll be amazed at how quickly you become a postcard addict.)

On or about July 27th, write an original poem right on a postcard and mail it to the person on the list below your name. (If you are at the very bottom, send a card to the name at the top.) And please WRITE LEGIBLY!

Starting on August 1st, ideally in response to a card YOU receive, keep writing a poem a day on a postcard and mailing it to successive folks on the list until you’ve sent out 31 postcards. Of course you can keep going and send as many as you like but we ask you to commit to at least 31 (a month’s worth).

What to write? Something that relates to your sense of “place” however you interpret that, something about how you relate to the postcard image, what you see out the window, what you’re reading, using a phrase/topic/or image from a card that you got, a dream you had that morning, or an image from it, etc. Like “real” postcards, get to something of the “here and now” when you write.

Do write original poems for the project. Taking old poems and using them is not what we have in mind. These cards are going to an eager audience of one, so there’s no need to agonize. That’s what’s unique about this experience. Rather than submitting poems for possible rejection, you are sending your words to a ready-made and excited audience awaiting your poems in their mailboxes. Every one loves getting postcards. And postcards with poems, all the better.

Once you start receiving postcard poems in the mail, you’ll be able to respond to the poems and imagery with postcard poems or your own. That will keep your poems fresh and flowing. Be sure to check postage for cards going abroad. The Postcard Graveyard is a very sad place.

That’s all there it to it. It’s that fun and that easy.

To check out what we’ve done before, visit the blog [where you'll also see we also have Perennial Poetry Postcard List of folks who try to write a postcard poem at least once a week regardless of receiving in order to keep connections flowing.], Paul Nelson’s website

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Final Hours of Federico García Lorca

via Robin Varghese in 3QuarksDaily...

Museum-dedicated-to-Feder-007 Giles Tremlett in The Guardian:

One of the great mysteries of Spain's recent history may have been solved by a local historian from the southern city of Granada, who claims to have found the real grave of the executed playwright and poet Federico García Lorca.

Miguel Caballero Pérez spent three years sifting through police and military archives to piece together the last 13 hours of the life of the author of Blood Wedding, Yerma and The House of Bernarda Alba, who was shot by a right-wing firing squad early in the Spanish civil war.

He now claims to have identified the half-dozen career policemen and volunteers who formed the firing squad that shot Lorca and three other prisoners, as well as the burial site. And he blames Lorca's death on the long-running political and business rivalry between some of Granada's wealthiest families – including his father's own García clan.

'I decided to research archive material rather than gather more oral testimony because that is where the existing confusion comes from – with so many supposed witnesses inventing things,' explained Caballero, who has published his results in a Spanish book called The Last 13 Hours of García Lorca.

Caballero said his original intention had been to verify information gathered in the 1960s by a Spanish journalist, Eduardo Molina Fajardo, who was also a member of the far-right Falange organisation that supported the dictator General Francisco Franco.

'Because of his own political stance, Molina Fajardo had access to people who were happy to tell him the truth,' said Caballero. 'The archives bear out most of what he said, so it is reasonable to suppose he was also right about the place Lorca was buried.'

The Final Hours of Federico García Lorca

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Local Poets Guild July Newsletter: Behind the scenes; Sunday + Upcoming

Hi Everyone,
July is an intense month for me healthwise, so I've been working mostly behind the scenes. Nonetheless, Local Poets Guild has lots of news.

First I wanted to let you know that Anne Valley-Fox and Don McIver will be talking craft for P(EAR): Poetics and Poems this Sunday July 17th at 3:00 at Acequia Booksellers 4019-4th St. NW. Anne Valley Fox is the author of Point of No Return and How Shadows are Bundled. While she addresses concerns of poetry on the page, Don will be addressing the spoken word. He writes:
Spoken Word--Literary Art?

Q:  What do George Carlin, Barack Obama, Patricia Smith, Sherman Alexie, Baxter Black, and Snoop Dogg have in common?  
A:  They are all practitioners of an art form, an art form called Spoken Word.   Using audio samples, I will explore  the ways we can approach and understand this form and why is it important that it is recognized as its own art form.   And is it it's own art form?   And does it matter?

East of Edith open mic  continues with a different host every Monday night at 7:00 pm at the Projects 3614 High Street NE. Thanks to D. Koy and Jennifer Krohn who've already hosted nights. Next Monday is hosted by Jules Nyquist and the following Monday by Rich Boucher. The open mic continues to thrive and grow and we invite you to come out and read and listen. Come September, we'll add a twenty-minute feature each week. I'm looking forward to that.

The Roost starts in August and runs every Sunday night all the way through September. Each creative music show is opened by a different poet. Thanks to Mark Weaver for inviting Local Poets Guild to collaborate. By Sunday, I'm going to release a broadside showcasing some of the poets we'll feature.... including Sari Krosinsky and Brendan Constantine and many more... for the music line-up see

Then, in September, Local Poets Guild is collaborating with George Anne Gregory of Ho Anumpoli to host a Celebration of Threatened Languages at Globalquerque. We've confirmed Okinawan, Hawaiian, Navajo, American Sign Language and Sesotho. Our part will take place during the free daytime Global Fiesta.

We also have collaborations forthcoming with Church of Beethoven for October as well as a micro-slam in December. And we're working with Gary Jackson and Hakim Bellamy and 516 ARTS to plan a very exciting 516 Words reading related to a forthcoming superheroes exhibit for Halloween weekend. More on all of this will be forthcoming soon on our blog .

I also want to let you know that ISEA 2012: Machine Wilderness (International Symposium of Electronic Art) which is being coordinated by 516 ARTS for Albuquerque next summer has launched its website--which includes a call for entries a residency sponsored by Local Poets Guild. In August 2012 we'll be offering a $400 stipend, a 516 Words Reading, and two-week residency for a poet working on an electronic poetry project for the internet. For more, see Apply, Special projects/Residencies, E-Poetry Residency. I believe we are the only people offering any awards for writers. Very proud of participating in this. See

I'm also hosting a panel discussion on "the Art and Practice of Resilience" for the Albuquerque Cultural Conference August 27th. Many many people are involved in this intensive weekend, including Margaret Randall, Brian Hendrickson, and Don McIver who will also lead panels. Confirmed guests also include Cherrie Moraga!!! And many more. See

In the very background, I'm plugging away on paperwork, learning the ropes of a nonprofit.

Thanks everyone for being dedicated and beautiful in the community!!! A special shout-out goes to Andrea Serrano who launched Speak, Poet! a new monthly open mic and feature last month. Looks like the next one will be August 4th... I'll announce details on the website as they come in.

Oh and let me close by thanking all my board members, but especially Susan McAllister who's helped me a ton this week!!!


Lisa Gill
Artistic Director
Local Poets Guild

The whole July newsletter just as it arrived in my mailbox. Posting ALL of it because there is too much good stuff in it to trust to haring bysnippets. Feel free to forward and otherwise share widely. Get your very own by joining Local Poets Guild Google Group. What are you waiting for?

Posted via email from Just Writing

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