Monday, June 27, 2005

Lets All Introduce Ourselves

I will start since I am the one that invited most of you here although David and Birdie also invited a few people I believe. This blog is MiPOEsias official IBPC blog/community. Our community used to be here, but there was a crash earlier this month there and a lot of poems were lost so I decided to follow the trends and move here.

For those of you that do not know me, I am the publisher of MiPOEsias Magazine. I also like to draw portraits. You can see of them here. You may recognize some of my subjects. I am planning on drawing Yoko Ono next or maybe David Lehman. I am not sure. I promised David he'd be next although in the meantime my muse took me here and there. Some of you participated in the Bettie Page challenge recently. We are currently working on this. And because I practice what I preach, you can find some of my poetry here and I will post new poems sometime later here.

Some of you are here because I have known you for a very long time. Some of you are here because I published you. Some of you are here because I visted your blog. But the main reason you are here is because I feel you are all very talented and I like surrounding myself with brilliance, beauty and genius. In other words having all of you around makes me look like if I am really cool instead of what I really am which is pretty dorky.

On a personal note, I am the mother of four children ages 8 to 17. We have three dogs (mutts) and I live in Miami.

Before I forget we are planning a cruise in 2006. I hope you can make it. We are also doing a reading in November. I am building the web page for the reading and will let you know when that is available.

Okay now it is your turn.


Rae Pater said...


I am a New Zealand poet and have posted on Mipo, or just generally hung aroud here for a long time. I pretty much just hang off everyone else's coat tails and trail around after them.

As I'm writing this I have Helm's recording playing in the background. I'm really quite daunted by the formidable talent that makes up the Mipo stable. I loiter in the hopes that some of it will rub off.

This year has been a big challenge for me. I changed jobs late last year, separated from my husband in January and moved into my own house in March. During all of the reshuffle I've been studying towards my degree and had the biggest workload I've tackled so far during this last semester.
I wouldn't want to take on that much again, but I'm very pleased with the work I've done. Despite all the other stuff going on in my life I managed to keep my marks above a B which is a good solid pass and will make me eligible to take honours if I am asked. University is structured quite differently here from the States I think. We have a more British education system. If you are majoring in English Lit. as I am, you have to keep your marks above a B average to take honours, and you have to be invited by the department.

I don't know whether I'd be able to do it or not because of my other commitments with kids etc, but I want to give myself the option at least.

There's a scholarship available which gives you an apartment and a small allowance to study in the US for six months. I'd LOVE to come over there and write and study for a while. I keep that in the back of my mind as my secret wish.

On the writing front, my sister is a primary school teacher and an artist and she and I have collaborated on a children's picture book. The text is one of my children's poems which she has illustrated. We finally have the final draft ready to submit to some publishers and it looks great so I'm very excited. Of course it's one thing to write a book, and quite another to get it published, but the illustrations are amazing and I'd love to see it published, if only to see my sister get the recognition she deserves for her talent.
I started to write a novel over christmas, but have had to put it on hold while I study, but I hope to get back to work on that when school finishes around November.
Poetrywise I continue to scribble down my bits and pieces.
I think it's ironic, and SO typical that I should turn out to love doing something that I can't make a living at, lol.

I have three boys, 19, 17 and 12. The 19 and his girlfriend, and the 12 year old live with me and my middle son lives with his father right now, but the kids pretty much come and go between us. We've tried to keep everything pretty amicable and so far it's gone as well as can be expected.
As for me, I'm happier than I have ever been. I feel free ... to be myself, whoever that turns out to be. Finally.
It's taken me so long to find the courage to step out that window, but I'm so glad I finally did.


His last glimpse was of her
straddled bare-legged
across the window-sill,

secrets of midnight knotted
in the roots of her hair,
memories crammed in her backpack,
and freedom glinting from the gold
wedding band perched between her teeth.

He remembers her mouth
an anemone seeking
in the scarlet twist of night;
remembers her breasts, white birds,
buoyant in his hands; but most of all

he remembers her voice
rolling in line after line of blue;
a song of enticement,
calling men to come drown in her.

Breaking Day

When I stepped through the window
the sheer wall behind me
bloomed pohutakawa

and the space beneath me
where I had so feared to fall
turned out to be a carpet of stars,
light beneath my feet.

I curl my toes into heaven
and watch the sun break
in golden corollary from my body.

I'm a very private person (some would say secretive), and I don't talk about my stuff much. Part of that has been because in the past my husband used to trail around behind me online reading all my posts, so I tried to keep a bit anonymous a lot of the time.
This is the most I think I've ever written about myself in public.

arewestillmarried said...

hi. my name is michael workman, 24, i'm from WV (morgantown, underneath the stinky son of a nice old columbian woman, with good roaches--wood roaches--and not bad ones). i'm going to be very honest in this intro, but i hope that my honesty does not extend beyond what is pertinent, in which case it will be uncalled-for venting on the bellies of a thousand puppies.

i don't write in caps much because i'm lazy, not because i think it's cool (although originally that was why--i was 17 and bukowski i thought no one had ever read), and because the i type with two fingers very rapidly and keeping up with what's coming--caps are just holes in my umbrella just where i don't need them. and as i believe that revision should maintain some imprint of ahaness, i keep them so. my edits are usually additions, adding code that creates right shapes, deleting that which has the wrong sort of glimmer in its i's.

for a long while i wrote very sporadically. tis was after i had shot myself in the leg for no good reason other than to break up the monotony (see if you can guess the bad pun i almost used there). later i intentionally overdosed on DXM, which resulted in the temporary damage of many of my crucial neuroreceptors--the opiate, GABA, serotonin--and if you want to know what this feels like (for two years), imagine everything good ever in your life being erased from your mind temporarily (you don't know whether temporarily or not). it was a scream, or a yell. while THERE, writing was a draining task--at the end of a poem i'd be dripping sweat--but i couldn't stop doing it. it seemed to be the key to my own resurrection; the relearning of creativity rewires the brain. a few months ago this started to work.

i write in heavy code, which is bothersome to some people (sorry?), but nothing that i write is gibberish. i try to pack as much information into one word, one line, etc., as i can, and everything mysterious can be googled anyway.

i met didi long before i died and we had a brief but passionate affair in a bungalow on the north coast of lesotho. this is why, i think, that she is the only person who will publish me.

how much of this is true is up to anyone to decide.


anders said...

Hello. My name is the-one-who-thinks-Sappho-is-fukin-awesome. I read on Silliman’s blog today they found a new Sappho poem. Here it is:

If you want the fragrant-blossomed Muses’ lovely gifts
hear zealously, girls, the clear melodious lyre --

me? Hell, my body used to be hot -- now it’s all
Droopy -- my hair’s white not black*;

my heart’s a rock, my knees arthritic,
that once skipped quick as baby deer at dances.

It makes me write elegies; but what’s to do?
Not to grow old, being human, there’s no other way.

Tithonus once, the tale was, rose-armed Dawn,
love-smitten, carried off to world’s end,

handsome and young then, yet in time grey age
caught him, dragged him into old age past the glance of his still-salacious wife.

(See Silliman's blog for link to the official translation - this translation was liberally messed with by me).

*No Clairol back then.

I am age 40, I work in an office. My wife’s name is Jenni. We have a dog named baby. It’s a mini doxie. We live in the South, not too far from several other net poets: Jim, Ken Rumble, Jim Zola. I met Didi in Florida a year or so ago, and was immediately impressed both by her fervor for poetry and by her beauty as a person. She is elegant yet down-to-earth. She has lovely children, and an impressive pedigree both genetic and cultural: her father was a Blakean-type disoriented artistic personality; her ties back to Cuba endow her with that peculiar, prescient double-view of american society we also see in Joseph Conrad and some of the recent asian-american poets, Hispanic poets. For Didi, the Mipo project is a true labor of love, and many don’t have a sense of the amount of time and, yes, heartache, that’s she’s put into it. That’s why she inspires incredible loyalty from those who really know her. She is also a wonderful poet, not just an editor (and mother and wage earner and human . . .). I put in as much time as I can for Mipo but I am sometimes severely constrained by my job which is hour-intensive. Therefore I hope that some of you others out there will also work to help Didi.

Didi is attempting to chart a brave course filled with potential risks and ambiguities. Her asserted public focus and efforts to contact multimedia and really network has led to controversy among those who doubt that such an effort can succeed uncorrupted. But what I have to say is that for god’s sake, look at what’s out there, we can do better than that. I truly believe we can be better than at least some of the exemplars of the current regime -- other media outlets either less believing in the internet or less interested in poetry. So I think this voyage is worthwhile.

I think with the internet poetry can hurtle back into the mainstream. Didi sent me an image yesterday of an ipod screen showing Issa haiku. It sent chills up my spine. Kids, the net is a free and open terrain -- let’s work together and put good poetry in it !

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I took over The Hold after Cait Collins passed on.

H. W. Alexy said...


I was born in Germany, live in Canada, near Toronto. As a child, I read my way through the local library. In one of many insane moments, I decided that I could write what I was reading.

I almost studied journalism, but settled on English only to learn that although I enjoyed the creative process, I wasn't that interested in learning about English literature.

I met my wife at university, married her within the year. Let's see, that will be 35 years ago this year. I have two children, 31 and 29 (very soon to be 30).

My interests have been many: collecting science fiction works, long-distance running, collecting records, playing the accordion, collecting local art, collecting wine. There's a pattern here. My wife calls me obsessive-compulsive.

I didn't write for quite some time, returned to it when I discovered poetry forums on the internet in '99. The turning point was my participation at the Atlantic Monthly site. I met a great group of poets. A number of us got together in Florida in 2000, then Italy (Sardinia) in 2001, Canada in 2002, New Orleans last year and hopefully Norway in 2006.

I tried retirement in 2003 and tried to take writing a bit more seriously. I don't know if it was the push with writing or the retirement, but I was very unhappy and I pulled back and went back to part-time work.

My wife retires in another year and we plan to travel. Oh, I should mention my latest interest, photography. I seem to be collecting lenses right now. Yup, there's a pattern.


Kemel Zaldivar said...

Michael, are you serious about the DXM? How much did you have?

David said...

ok, here's some thoroughly random stuff

i work for a very large (very large) insurance company.
i'm an actuary there. sortof.
i'm also a Democrat.

i was a double major in college--English and Econ.
i graduated with Honors in English (which I did not deserve!) for a very shitty paper i wrote about Tennyson's Idylls of the King. yuk, what was i thinking?

unlike math, science, etc. poetry does not come natural for me. that is probably why i like it so much.

i have three kids, ages 5, 3 1/2, and 1.
the oldest is starting to read.
it sortof makes me more cognizant of the kind of stuff i'm writing.
which is to say, yes, if i am fortunate my future readers will be 5 year olds.
i also write for the unborn.

for the past six months or so i've been de facto IBPC president.
it's a pretty good gig. i don't have to much of anything really except listen to Gina and do what she tells me.


i'm also Prose Editor for Avatar Review
we publish once a year and submissions are currently closed, but i hope y'all will keep us in mind this winter
(submit submit submit!)

that seems like enough


keros said...

Hi, this is DQ. Jack-of-all-trades, master of none.
I enjoy a bit of everything as long as I find myself challenged. This has led me down some interesting paths in life, and down some paths I've learned good lessons from. I've done Woodworking, Triathlons, Photography, I ran a Marathon, Done stained glass, paint. I've been close to dying at sea. I've been in love, I raced bicycles, I once stepped on an alligator and lived to tell about it, I've been on TV- twice.

I have a couple of Bachelors degrees, that I've managed to put together into one career...neither degree is obviously in art or poetry.

I've been writing for about 8 years. I met Didi at about the same time I started writing. Didi makes good Cuban Coffee. She's a great lady. (Although sometimes quite moody). Dido’s dog is actually moodier, bordering on what experts would define as rabid vicious, and a threat to male genitalia.

My writing is affected by my art; if I am busy with a project...I tend not to write at all. Thus, I frequent the board off and on, depending on which ear the muse is whispering. Most people either love my poetry, or flat out hate it.

Long poems bore me, so I tend to scan poetry on length, then on content. I have found a favorite poet in many of you reading this.

Regards to all- DQ

Reb said...

Hi. I haven't participated much here because I've been crunched for time -- but hope to be more participate-ish later this summer (fingers crossed).

I live in the greater Washington, D.C. area with my husband. We have a four month old son. I'm the editor of No Tell Motel and am working on a print anthology titled _The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel_ with Molly Arden (No Tell contrib editor). Also, I write a monthly poetry column at The Happy Booker.

All of my favorite TV shows have been taken off the air (Buffy, Angel, Strangers with Candy). So I'm left with Dr. Phil and Craft Corner Deathmatch. I love Bon Jovi, for real.

Michael Parker said...


I live in Utah. My wife J volunteered for the 2002 Winter Olympics, driving athletes from the Olympic Village to wherever they wanted to go in these ugly Ford Econoline 16 seat vans. I work as a technical writer for a software company in downtown Salt Lake City.

I am the father of three beautiful and quite intelligent kids--9, 5, and 7 months.

I have run 8 marathons, 14 half-marathons, and participated with the running team "Leather Lungs and Jog Bras" in 2 Hood to Coast races (198 miles) in the beautiful state of Oregon.

I am a liberal at heart, though raised Republican. I'm a Democrat and acting chair for my district.

My parents owned a one-screen theater during my youth so I was able to see most every film that was released. I'm an avid film lover. Growing up, I wanted to be an actor. I don't wish that any longer. I love to review films and have hopes of completing a few screenplays. I'd love to direct a film too.

I've been a fan of poetry since junior high school. I placed third place in my high school poetry contest--for pieces of crap poetry. I stopped writing poetry after university and only wrote a literal handful of them in a twelve year period. I started back up when I joined Mipo in March. It has been one of the best things to happen to my writing. And I treasure the friends and poets I've met and read here.

Poets I have on my book shelf: Ovid, Homer, William Yeats, John Donne, William Shakespeare, Robert Bly, Mary Oliver, W.S. Merwin, and Emily Dickenson.

Some of my favorite poets and poems belong to poets right here and on the web: Pris Campbell, Rae Pater, Laurel K. Dodge, Rex Winn, Christopher George, Helm, Ron Silliman, Didi Menendez, Miguel de Unamuno, Maya Angelou, Rita Dove, Gwendolyn Brooks, Margaret Walker, Pablo Neruda, R.M. Rilke, and Billy Collins.

You can find me at my blog "Michael Parker's Journal."

Pris said...

I live in South Florida, but was raised in South Carolina and still have that accent, though I've not lived there since I was 16.

Before Florida, I lived in the midwest (grad school mainly), Hawaii, Rhode Island, Boston, and a 22 foot sailboat (six months). In each place, except the sailboat, I worked as a Clinical Psychologist.

I'm married, but have no children and no sibs. The egg stands alone, so to speak, as far as blood family goes.

I started writing poetry in 1999, but it really sucked big time. I started publishing in 2002 or so, but the writing still was pretty bad. I can see improvement each year that I write (as defined by what I like in my own writing. I enjoy the process of changing how I write. When a poem isn't on its way, I feel restless, like I'm pregnant, but can't get it to go down the birth canal.

Oh, I have a dog, my third now. Used to be a cat person, so discovering dogs was a big thing for me. My last cat, Monster, lived with me in the Boston Commune and then on the boat before retiring in Florida until her death at the healthy age of 18. Always an interesting experience to go outside and call her when someone new was in the neighborhood:-) Yes, I like to laugh and make others laugh.

Mr. Pants said...

[tips hat] howdy. I'm writing this under the guise of working, so brevity is key. I'm 24, a batchelor [of Spanish] & a floundering Corporate American.
I have hopes of teaching when I can get my act together. I write in my free time, but struggle to keep the line between work and free time clear. The contents of my pockets this morning: 3 black pens, 1 blue pen, 6 sheets of college ruled notebook paper, a pack of Camels, a lighter, some loose keys, & a paperclip I'm trying to make into a giraffe. I look forward to reading & sharing work here.

21k said...

I live in rural Canada but was raised in NY. Got A degree in psychology at Boston Univ., then I followed Leary's advice (I guess his ashes are in space now) - from Woodstock to Mexico to Morocco to etc...
I've been rooted for a long time now though & have grown used to the solitude of nature. Well. Not every year of course!

As long as there's a cold beer and a bonfire at the end of the day.

Two grown kids, dogs, horses. Today I'm freezing spinach from the garden, shipping a full length play around, looking for a producer, getting forestry plans in place.

Anything to avoid the vacuum. (I mean as in housework, haha)

I think what I really like, is to make people laugh.



Shin Yu said...

I currently live in Dallas, TX where I am an artist in residence at the Southside on Lamar Residency Program. I work full-time in advertising and teach poetry at a local university. I maintain a blog at I am an interdisciplinary artist and involved in a number of collaborative projects such as I have lived in a number of wonderful places - the West Coast, Boston, Madrid, Boulder, and Chicago, but will always be a Californian at heart.

Ivy said...

Hello all,

Didi created the portrait you see [on the right] after one of my poems was accepted for a MiPO issue.

Sometimes my brain can't cope when I read too much poetry. I think it's because I read so hard -- it hurts!

I like reading other poet's bios.

And I think that's enough about me. :-)

Ivy is here

Ivy said...

Poets' bios, I mean.

Dammit -- that's terrible.

Amy said...

Hi Poetry People!

I grew up on the red clay of Stone Mountain, GA. My feet used to be hard as stone. I moved to Baltimore at 15 to finish growing up. My feet got softer (they wear shoes more often). I went to Buffalo for grad school. My feet grew white as snow. I kept growing through three winters. Then I had to decide between Atlanta and New York City. I thought the latter via the former (trans: NYC until Atlanta). I'm still here in Brooklyn (9 years now), still growing (no longer up but maybe mentally? emotionally?), and it's hot as Georgia ever was in Brooklyn today, with humidity to breathe against. I'm happy to be on cafe cafe among the poets of the world, gathering! Thanks for the invite, Didi~

sb said...

I am so bad at this...

From the bio for my blog:

Sharon Brogan

One-Line Bio: Poet| Feminist| Introvert

Brief Bio: I live in Western Montana, and feel an abiding connection to Southeast Alaska. I rarely send out my work, but have been published in Calyx Journal. A rejection letter from The New Yorker is pinned to my study wall.


I was a clinical social worker for many years, specializing in domestic violence/ sexual assault. I've been seriously writing since the mid-80's; ill since the mid-90's.

I belong to the PoetryEtc list, and was active for some time in the Zeugma online workshop. Since my energy level is erratic, so is my participation in any group activities, online or off.

I have been greatly appreciating Didi's efforts, and am pleased to be included.

sb said...

I really wish Blogger had categories, so that some of these posts could be easily found through sidebar links.

This one, for instance.