Friday, September 30, 2005

"Unconscious Mutterings #138 On 9/30/05"

  1. Crave:: wit, the
  2. Whole package::: me & you,
  3. Roommates:: hitch-hiking through the ganglias.
  4. 5:30:: a.m. a sunset in our eyes,
  5. Lesbian::  lovers left loving
  6. Poignant:: pouts.
  7. Hurtful:: love.
  8. You and I:: not together.
  9. Grateful:: in a winsome trip.
  10. Giggle:: free, Non-Sweetener.
< /ol >:: Oy!

Take your own trip, be subliminal at La Luna Niña.
Lorna Dee Cervantes

Hurricane Hay(na)ku - "Attics" by Lorna Dee Cervantes


Nights wasting.
Lights trickle. Gurgles!

~ Lorna Dee Cervantes

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Announcement Sent By Steven Reigns--Florida Poets' Chapbook Contest


September 19, 2005

The Creative Writing Department at Blake School ofthe Arts, Tampa,Florida, announces the Second Annual Yellow Jacket Press Chapbook Contest for Florida Poets. Deadline is December 10, 2005.~Winner, announced by March 15th, will receive $100 and 25 copies. All entrants must be permanent residents of Florida.

Chapbooks should be no longer than 24 pages, including title page and
acknowledgments. Please include a brief bio, date you became a Florida
resident, and SASE, along with $10 reading fee. Manuscripts will not be

Last year's winner was Florida Straits by Gregory Byrd of Clearwater. For copies of last year's winning book, send an additional $6.50 along with your submission.

Send submissions to:
Yellow Jacket Press Chapbook Competition
c/o Gianna Russo
Blake School of the Arts
1701 N. Blvd.
Tampa, Fl. 33607

For more information contact



I got on a chair with my hand wrapped around him,
It was easy to do,
Your boots were brown and cool.
I pretended that I was he-man–
He pretended that he was me man,
You was just you, man,
But you was always just you.
[I can’t remember the gray details.]
A mom somewhere, throw a couch under her,
And more or less of a dog.
Pine up the shiny plastic walls,
And the brown trailer carpet sleeping like a cowgirl.
Do you remember the glittery lull
Of sodium pentothal?
That sleepy sea against my cool face as the
Fentanyl waltzed my trotting heart,
(oh That dazy cat!) and
foolish treebranch bubbles, kindled on silent sparks.
Wind against me and four years,
About basement walls
We wrote in cliches,
Attics the low sky of our punctuation:
"Scratched window hooks suncloud!
Curled dust–

Memory is the floor that desperation sleeps naked on.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

My City Was Gone

adaptation of the Chrissie Hynde and
The Pretenders’ song

Henry went back to New Orleans
but his city was gone,
there was no downtown,

Canal Street was a canal,
Bourbon Street was inundated
with a dirty bourbon brown.

All of Henry’s favorite places
and all of Henry’s favorite races were gone.
Astonishing what nature erases.

Henry was stunned and amazed,
his childhood memories
were floating blocks away,

you couldn’t tell the difference
between Pancho Villa and Pontchartrain.
The wind swirled in the trees

when Henry went back to New Orleans
and his city was gone.
The government’s bloody hands

were paved-over like the remains of Jimmy Hoffa
and the President stayed on vacation
while Henry’s city faced damnation.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

"Door 11" - 11 Hay(na)ku Off A Foto by "Stranded" - Lorna Dee Cervantes

from black & white photograph posted on Stranded, "Mayar XIII"

Door 11

Arch's got
Nothin on you.


Outside the
In. Be wind.


I invite
You. Dress warmly.


Openings — feathered
Invitations. Take them.


You are
Is straight. Open!


Grown welcome
Berates the rock.


Dinner, go
Outside. Breakfast! Lunch!


Know It —
Need no door.


Long sanded.
Stand still. Gamely.


Paint, sun-split
Timber remembers. Keys!


You open
Remember to close.

11:38 PM

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Island Girl

You make love quietly, worried your teenage children
will hear us, but the music that you make
salsas all the way outside.

The ancestral island rhythm of your hips
and the tropical fire of your lips
blossom in the riptide.

The pyramids tremble, the natives
in our blood are pounding drums,
the fires are burning history

right up to our fingernails,
and then subside.
We lie there in the dark,

our glowing embers flickering orange.
The Easter Island heads are toppled over
at the foot of your bed.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Advance Notice to cafe cafe community

Poetry Submissions are opening again for MiPOesias Magazine.

Starting in March, Jenni and Didi are your editors. No special guest editors. Just Jenni and Didi.

Send up to five new poems to chinavieja at gmail dot com

Make them good because when we are editing we turn into ogres.

Thank you,
Didi Menendez & Jenni Russell

Any Beach Boys Poets Up For Another Challenge? Didi? Ideas? MiPo Radio cast?

  • Brian Wilson

  • Reyes?

    California Dreamin' - Original California Girl Supports Melinda & Brian Wilson Fund: Here's $100 - CALL ME!

    To the sound poet of The Beach Boys, Brian Wilson
    FROM BW.COM Administrator: Important Message from Melinda and Brian

    (posted by Administrator on September 24, 2005)

    Brian, Jerry and I want to thank you all for your massive support. Since yesterday, we have received 3,000.00 worth of donations from all you guys and gals. As you know, this turns in to 6,000.00 since Brian is matching your donations. He wants me to tell you to keep those donations rolling in, and he is enjoying talking with all of you. ****(ORIGINAL MESSAGE AND CHALLENGE) from Brian: I want to personally thank Iowa Jim for his post the other night challenging me to call him. Out of his post came a cool idea that my wife and I want to run by you. Jim challenged me to call him up, because he did not believe that it was me posting. He told me if I did he would make a donation to a charity for me. I didn't think I needed to prove anything other than at times I like to talk with you guys. Anyway, Melinda and I were discussing his post that night at dinner and we came up with a great idea. So here's the cool part. As most of you know Jerry Boyd has been collecting donations for the Hurricane victims who have been left homeless and in shelters. He told us at this point he has collected around $4,000. and many of you have send items too. He is grateful, but we want to make a bigger difference. Here's my challenge, for anyone who sends Jerry a donation of $100.00 or more, I will call you personally and answer a question that you may have, or just say hello or whatever. Also, my wife and I will match the donation. I know that this may not work for all of you, but anything that you can afford will help and I will match it. You can contact Jerry Boyd at and he can tell you how to proceed from there. I hope we can all have some fun with this and raise lots of money. L&M Brian P.S. Melinda is typing this for me and says hi! We will keep this challenge going until Oct. 1 and I am available to call you between 7:00 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. Pacific time."

    "I Hate Hurricanes. I love Brian Wilson! - California Girl (Chumash) Fundraising to Help Displaced NOLA Musicians & Poets

    (posted by Lorna Dee Cervantes on September 24, 2005) (sometime around 5:20 am)

    . . . and getting the word out to help kids help kids get MUSIC to displaced kids QUICK. I just judged a poetry contest, which I also donated to, to help raise $400 dollars last week for The Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund at a group poetry blog,, and donated an additional $100 on Blog for Relief Day (Week, Month. . .). I've also been rounding up poets from the affected creative writing programs, particularly NOLA. Also there is housing available, all levels: temporary to permanent no-down, low-cost just outside of Boulder, Colorado specifically for displaced New Orleans musicians. (As you know, Denver/Boulder has a vibrant music scene — you were here!) The housing is open to anyone displaced, but a local musician with ties to NOLA musicians set it up and so far no one has accepted it as, as you can imagine, these musicians are hard to find. Any Poets? Artists? Buskers? Know of any MUSICIANS who are not likely to be found behind a keyboard that wasn't hooked up to an amp or strings. Friday was the deadline, but I'm sure, in light of recent levee breaches, that deadline will be extended. just in case anyone needs help, or a group would like to rest on solid (dry) granite for a while. There are people & networks here to help. I've been up all night monitoring via NOAA-HC and local NOLA, Gulf media sites. I hate hurricanes and did a lot of connecting indigenous tribes trapped under tons of mud in Oaxacan village after the hurricane hit there south of Acapulco via my computer, little puny modem, language and research skills. I HATE HURRICANES! I think it's because I come from a Pacific tribe. Anyway, it's funny because I had "Good Vibrations" in my head as I will the dissipating and cooling of energies as I watch the live satellite loops. It's a secret compulsion. Childish. But I felt guilty because I didn't do it for Katrina -- too unscientific. Not prayer. An emptying of the mind and entering into it. (True confession.) Anyway, as I've been doing it the hurricane has lowered to a 3 from 5, and NOLA has been hit with a TS instead of a cat 3. Never under-estimate the power of the elements, or the equal power of intent. And Good Vibrations. Yes, Brian, as Carlos says, you rearrange molecules with your compositions. And, now, to click onto the source of the sound, himself. Trippy. See my poem, "A Blue Wake For New Orleans" posted below. Lots of links & info on my blog, as well as Katrina poems and a "I Hate Hurricanes" links section. Just scroll September - late aug. archives. And, I'm sure I'm not the only poet inspired into being by Brian. If you've donated to Hurricane Relief there is a link to Poets Who Support Survivors who are posting poems, and will later be editing a print anthology of the best. Sorry this is so long. I wanted to post this right away. I just found this site tonight while reading Picayune Times. Brilliant idea! I can't find the info to send donation to Jerry. My son is a budding guitarist & digeridoo player (hero SRV) and is having an 11th birthday party Saturday. I'd love to have him get a call between now and then (B-Day Thursday but I get paid on friday, kinda donated out this month.) After playing the repertoire for him, of course. THANK YOU!!! Muchísimas gracias por todo. July 26 is a Global Day of Love & Thanks to Water. A surfer gives this every day, every dawn, every wave — which is we. There ought to be more. ~ To balance. Lorna Dee Cervantes"

    Thursday, September 22, 2005


    Talk is,

    Wednesday, September 21, 2005

    September Competition Winners

    The InterBoard Poetry Community
    September Competition Winners
    Judge: Sarah Crown

    1st Place

    “The Chewer”
    By Judy Goodwin
    South Carolina Writers Workshop

    2nd Place

    By Catherine Rogers

    3rd Place

    “Two Days with my Father”
    By Ashura


    Honorable Mentions:

    by Cass Vibbert
    Pen Shells

    “Buying Flowers”
    By J. Rod Pannek

    ”A Young Womans Introduction to Color and Death”
    By Allen Weber
    Frugal Poet


    1st Place

    The Chewer

    "You deliberately eat that
    to bother me." Suddenly cruel
    I sit accused,
    one apple half gone in my hand,
    one poisonous piece
    a slug against my teeth.
    In the kitchen glass
    I can see myself perched
    gargoyl-like, I don't recognize the shadow
    of my hunch. I take the next bite
    quietly, use my tongue to press
    each macintosh cell to mush,
    suck and roll
    and push it down
    my throat half closed, unwilling.
    Stubborn tube. I give up,
    set the fruit on a plate.
    Let the fruit flies have it
    I say. Let the fruit flies
    take silent bites, land and lift
    and land. Let the plate
    be a silent tongue.

    By Judy Goodwin


    The Chewer

    As with all my favourite poems, this says little and speaks volumes. Through the poet’s painfully clear description of a single incident, I was given a picture of a whole relationship, a lesson in the depths of feeling that lie behind silence. The profound impact of the opening statement on the speaker is there in the litany of ugly adjectives with which she describes her – I decided it was ‘her’ – reaction: the apple is “poisonous” (Snow White, anyone?), the piece in her mouth is a
    “slug”, her shadow perches “gargoyle-like”, unrecognisable even to herself. The lines on her struggle to swallow the apple noiselessly are masterful, full of sticky, clogging half-rhymes – “mush”, “suck”, “push” – and the lack of punctuation makes it impossible for us
    to tell whether it is her throat that’s “half closed, unwilling”, or she herself. In contrast with the oppressive silence of the first section of the poem, the final declarative lines sing out freely, with great power. The plate and the flies may be silent but, it seems, she’s no longer going to be. Wonderful stuff. –Sarah Crown

    2nd Place


    Gather ye rosebuds while ye may. . .

    Past fifty, and all the rosebuds gathered
    that will bloom for me.
    Tied in bunches and hung from rafters
    to dry, they keep their creamy pink
    and delicate perfume. Only the leaves
    are brittle, tending to dust.

    My back aches as I tend the autumn garden.
    A sentinel crow watches from the top
    of a lone pine. Now and again he makes
    an observation, a throaty “uh-oh,”
    like an amiable warning. It is gathering time.

    Time to carry home
    the last of the flowering year:
    For healing, coltsfoot, feverfew and comfrey;
    of thyme, (which fair and tender girls
    must not let young men steal)
    enough to season winter;
    here’s lovage yet– but little rue;
    sage for longevity, and rosemary,
    queen of clear memory, both in abundance.

    That sentinel must have croaked all-clear,
    for now there are a dozen on the lawn–
    a murder of crows, wise eyes and heavy beaks
    intent as surgeons, probing the earth. One
    turns an eye to me as if to comment,
    thinks better of it, rows himself into the trees.
    The others follow, but they don’t go far.
    After I’m gone, they’ll be here.

    The house is quiet now, my darlings gone,
    forgiven for the
    ways they tore my body
    and my heart. As night wind rises, I’ll take down
    my mother’s book of poems and read aloud
    to the accompaniment of rain’s steel drums
    and autumn’s wild bassoons. I’ll go to bed
    and leave the door unlatched. We’ll see
    what the October wind blows in.

    By Catherine Rogers



    The poet quotes the first line of Robert Herrick’s To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time at the beginning of the poem, and goes on to make a subtle, intriguing response to his claim that “That age is best which is the first,/ When youth and blood are warmer;/ But being spent, the worse, and worst/ Times still succeed the former.” The speaker is a woman, “past fifty, and all the rosebuds gathered”, whose children have left home, and who is now “tending the autumn garden”. While she
    may have left off gathering rosebuds (now “hung from rafters to dry”, they nevertheless “keep their creamy pink”), we find that there are plenty of other, perhaps more useful, things than rosebuds to gather: one by one, she picks “For healing, coltsfoot, feverfew and comfrey”; “sage for longevity”, “rosemary, queen of clear memory” and “thyme … enough to season winter”. The crows which circle her garden are classic harbingers of death (and may, of course, be echoes of herself, the “crone” of the title); they leave but “don’t go far”. She, however, is
    unafraid: in the final lines (my favourites) she goes to bed and “leave[s] the door unlatched. We’ll see/ what the October wind blows in.” The poet refuses to respond to Herrick’s clichéd view of youth with her own cliché of age; instead, s/he presents it to us truthfully: nuanced, complex, neither bad nor good, but different. –Sarah Crown

    3rd Place:

    Two Days with my Father

    Remembrance is an empty home
    imbued with silent echoes that tense
    limbs and fill the head with
    the sweet salt of rhapsody
    The resultant glue of heat on candy
    and July days that swam in eternity,
    trees, glorious Oaks that swelled
    into storybook blue, and hugged,
    and drenched all sentient life in awe,
    and you, the silhouette whose

    calloused hands brushed
    away flies and fears, and the tragedy
    of adoption - I remember;
    I remember the gritty chatter of steel
    on crusted earth, the rows and miles
    of glistening green, reaching up and
    out to you and I, the cobbled hands
    who etched our spirits into a soil
    scarred with hoe and boot and sun -
    Of all the hours we shared in silence

    and self-containment, this fertile feast,
    this acre, this day of skylark notes
    and rippled breath stretched far beyond
    the tea and storms, latched doors,
    nightjars and nettle stings
    that fall into childhood’s muddled rhyme -

    How stark the days of famine and repose
    that bled you to spectre gray, took away
    your brawny breeze and plunged you
    chest-deep in the muzzle of mortality;
    In the hollow of your silenced heart
    there were no flowers, but the drear scorn
    of squall on vanquished tumult

    by Ashura


    Two Days with my Father -

    This one grew on me; the more I read it, the more I admired it. The poet tackles the subject matter – the death of a father, and the memories that evokes – with a happy combination of deep feeling and real skill. The “two days” of the title, I thought, might refer to
    types of, rather than specific, days: the early days that the poet describes at the beginning of the poem, and the days of dying that s/he mentions at the end. The elements of childhood are depicted as rich,
    colourful, almost mythical: oaks “swell into storybook blue”; “teas and storms, latched doors,/ nightjars and nettle stings” become part of “childhood’s muddled rhyme.” The present day, on the other hand, is full of “famine and repose”, the father is now “spectre gray”, and there are “no flowers”; his death gains poignance from the fact that the poet’s childhood is killed off with him. Finally, I have to mention the wonderful consonance of the “gritty chatter of steel on crusted earth” – from all of the submitted poems, this was my favourite image, the one I felt was most effectively realised. The hoeing also reminded me of Seamus Heaney’s The Follower, which is no bad thing. –Sarah Crown


    Honorable Mentions:


    My mother, when she spoke
    of Tidesworth, and how all of England
    stopped for tea at 4:00,
    allowed the sun to cradle her eyes,
    and returned to Westminster,
    Munich's summer gardens,
    and Regensberg in early May.

    A nurse's cap lined tissue near
    old cotton-wool and cutlery,
    as soldiers reappeared with sunken eyes,
    and lungs filled to capacity.
    Anonymous wounds, both British
    and American, reopened.

    My mother, living inside a white house,
    grew gladiolus and eggplant,
    braided tulip stems and pressed
    them between her palms,
    hung wash in triangular fashion.

    She waited for afternoon to smooth
    into right angles and the ring doves
    to come full circle, reached
    for bone china cups with gold skirts -
    dotted her knuckles with Jergen's lotion,
    and napped on the veranda.

    by Cass Vibbert


    Buying Flowers

    Today I watched you pick Azaleas
    from the nursery to be planted beneath
    our picture window even though,
    five years ago I thought of killing us both,
    and then you saw the snap dragons,
    but it is too late in the year
    for snap dragons.

    I selected the petunias with plenty of buds
    and few blossoms to fill the space by our front
    porch. Looking at each plant for a sign of vigor,
    just as I had once examined my own body
    to look for the signs of decay.
    I like the potential of totally green petunias,
    walking past them in the morning to pick up my paper,
    day by day, I can see them pop, one by, sometimes, one.

    The green and rusted cart is loaded down with colors
    ready to be transplanted into our nuclear family
    and home where once I took five showers a day
    and spent hours making myself vomit
    trying to ease the tightness in my belly.
    Our yard and life are lived in and comfortable.

    A soccer mom smiles at me as I taste the rosemary
    from a table filled with living herbs and I think of potting
    enough to keep our kitchen smelling used or maybe
    just so much as it takes to cover up the odor of our
    most unflattering fight when we told the kids about my
    ugly side and you said you wanted my head to explode.
    But soccer moms don't get to know you well enough
    to make educated decisions, so they smile at everyone.

    Begonias need a new name but you bought some
    for the treasure chest on the back porch where "full sun"
    is an understatement regardless of what your name is.
    I have known for years that when I died, on the front page,
    the second paragraph would have to say "history of mental illness"
    somewhere, keeping me from concentrating on the sweat that
    falls onto your lips and is wiped away by my favorite tongue.

    Unloading the car, I remembered I needed to turn the compost before it
    got too hot and burned out the nutrients that I work so hard to save
    and recycle into our yard filled with flowers and where I began to notice
    four years ago this spring that I could be a father and a husband and like
    my gardens, I needed care and you with your cotton-pink gloves covered
    with soil could look up from digging out the daffodil bed to move the hair
    sticking to your face in spring while the clouds moved in and out of our life.

    By J. Rod Pannek

    A Young Womans Introduction to Color and Death

    In the old-folks home I changed
    bed sheets for this white lady.
    She was real old, but she liked me
    anyway. Shed tell bout the days
    she was young and the things shed done.
    Said she wrote for a paper back
    when most reporters were men.
    When she was ready to sleep,
    shed reach up to hold my face
    her hands would always shake
    shed pull me down to kiss my cheek.
    [ed. note: stanza break]

    One night she said to me something
    like You know what little girl? Im going
    to die this week. Well, I didnt know
    what to say, felt like a fool standing there
    smiling at her, too young to imagine
    anyone could plan for such a thing.

    Cant usually tell with black people
    till their breath comes fast and shallow.
    But old white folks turn blue before
    they die, like their tired blood stops
    flowing along with their will
    to be the last of their kind.
    It starts at their toes
    got about two weeks to live
    with blue toes. As the color flows
    up their feet theyve got a week,
    maybe less. When its to their knees
    thats the day theyll pass away.

    Next day when I got to her room she was
    lying downId never seen her do that
    in daylight. She hadnt even pulled the covers
    back. Then I guess she didnt see the need
    to muss up the bed. She was all dressed up
    except that she wasnt wearing shoes.
    She didnt speak. That was different,
    she always spoke before. This time
    she just smiled as I came close
    enough to see that her feet were blue.

    By Allen Weber

    A Thousand Saxophones

    A Thousand Saxophones

    After Hurricane Katrina — A Poem for the Living and the Dead

    You can live by the water and still die of thirst.
    I said you can live by the water and still die of thirst
    or the worst nightmare come true:
    that body of water taking over the bodies.
    Sometime, tonight, see which echoes most—
    a whisper or a scream. Make it something beautiful,
    like, we will endure or Yes, I love you. Sometime,
    tonight, think of water—how it purifies or terrifies,
    cleanses, gives and takes away—think how fast
    some things can rise—water, fear, the intensity of a prayer.
    Officials in New Orleans said they want to save the living.
    I hope they do. But I hope they can also honor the dead.
    On Bourbon Street, there were over 3,000 musicians employed
    on any given day. Last night, before I fell asleep,
    I imagined what a thousand saxophones
    would sound like if they all played together—
    one thousand saxophones, different songs,
    different tempos, Dixieland, Miles Davis.
    Maybe it would sound like birds or bombs,
    planes or preachers praising the Word
    on a hot Sunday and the congregation saying Amen,
    some people whispering it, some people screaming it.
    Maybe it would sound like lightning tearing
    open the sky or a thousand books slammed shut after
    a horrible conclusion, or a thousand children crying for their
    mothers or fathers. Last night, I thought, how far
    would a thousand saxophones echo from New Orleans or Biloxi?
    Would we hear them in Fresno? Could we imagine the sound?
    Could Baton Rouge? Could Washington D.C.?
    I don’t know what I should tell you.
    But I feel like the saints are marching.
    They are singing a slow, deep, and beautiful song,
    waiting for us to join in.

    Lee Herrick

    The poet Sharon Olds has declined to attend

    the National Book Festival in Washington, which, coincidentally or not, takes place September 24, the day of an antiwar mobilization in the capital.

    Tuesday, September 20, 2005


    Barbara Jane Reyes has been selected as the recipient of the 2005 James Laughlin Award for her second collection of poems, Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish Press). The James Laughlin Award is given to commend and support a poet’s second book of poetry. The award was established by a gift to the Academy from the Drue Heinz Trust in honor of the poet and publisher James Laughlin (1914–1997). Ms. Reyes will receive a cash prize of $5,000, and the Academy will purchase copies of Poeta en San Francisco for distribution to its members. This year’s judges were James Longenbach, Mary Jo Bang, and Elizabeth Alexander.
    Ms. Reyes was born in Manila, Philippines, and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her undergraduate education at the University of California Berkeley and her MFA in Creative Writing (poetry) at San Francisco State University.

    Her work was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and appears or is forthcoming in Asian Pacific American Journal, Chain, Interlope, Nocturnes (Re)view, North American Review, Tinfish, Versal, in the anthologies Babaylan (Aunt Lute, 2000), Eros Pinoy (Anvil, 2001), Going Home to a Landscape (Calyx, 2003), Not Home But Here (Anvil, 2003), Pinoy Poetics (Meritage, 2004), and forthcoming in Red Light: Superheroes, Saints and Sluts (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp, 2005), and Graphic Poetry (Hong Kong: Victionary, 2005). Her first book, Gravities of Center, was published by Arkipelago Books (San Francisco) in 2003.

    Monday, September 19, 2005

    Another one

    After the "making of eve" contest a little while back, I kept thinking about the idea, finally decided to do another one, and go in a slightly different direction with it.

                     artemis calls out
         in the petaled light. through the flint-cold
    evenings passing through winter i've
    come here, where water rises
         from the ground, the rocks
    washed with shadow
    and murmer of leaf-sound,
        in leaf-soft air. memory
    plays in the breeze, tells
    another time before, when groves
        and meadows like this one
    spilled rampant over the earth,
    green plains and backbone
         of high ridges that now stretch bare.
    machinery of industrial minds, calculus
    of diminishing returns
      that could expand but not grow,
    ferment but not bare fruit, grab
    but not grasp. the grinning man
       in the picture tube shrugging
    his shoulders, the tall eminence
    whose eyes do not close or open,
     the haggard-faced man, shoulders
    slumping, who hisses
    it doesn't matter as long as i think it.
     ashes of winter, rubble of spring, here
    to this place, where the water
    gathers and deepens,
       the green boughs bend and dip
    near the lone wind-worn column
    that stands broken amid broken stone,
       in the rising evening, under tears
    of starlight. now, in the silence,
    a drop of moonlight
       touches the rippled surface,
    cool and petal-soft, nearly solid,
    almost a sound, a voice
       high and bow-curved -- alone,
    speaking no words, now
    i step toward the water's edge,
      listening to the roar and the whisper,
    the silence, the memory
    of flight and new-sprung desire,
         and step forward out into the water.


    Unprovoked, you slide - slick,
    like a wet road at midnight. You slip away
    into your distance, oblivious
    to the spectators lining the shoulder.

    Exhaust, perhaps a final breath, lingers
    in the inky absence, and the
    chemical smell of your departure is choking.

    But the gravel will resettle in your wake,
    the fumes of your passing will clear
    and the pavement has already forgotten
    your name.

    that the indicative for you has superceded the imperative for me

    that the indicative for you has superceded
    the imperative for me
    whether:as a rag, unfolding
    or:as if a fallen leaf
    unfurled, speeding up
    or could be:a branch wavering against a backdrop of anything
    e.g.:"malt dust, broken grains, ‘C’ combings, dried grains, dried yeast"
    to:a greasy window pane
    to:sluggish air
    then again perhaps: aspider’s sink line caught, its destin-
    ation a becoming a
    belonging.There I searched
    (and all similarities.)(Or
    at least most others).And
    did not find

    Saturday, September 17, 2005

    Kierkegaard’s Venus de Milo In Henry’s Words

    Das ist clever title, Fraulein Dee.
    When he saw her feet, in between the toes
    it was sweet, Lobster Lucy

    never got in the cage
    even though the perfect storm raged
    inside your brassiere at least twice,

    the nipples hard, the suburbs
    of where Henry was really going.
    The hair of a mouse on a kiss.

    Sometimes life is cold, sometimes it’s hot
    fondled by polyglot,
    day-light on the silver glue you leave

    to hold us together Henry celebrated,
    rolled over and went to sleep
    in the appearance of Greek.

    if you submitted a poem to the "fantasy challenge" submit it now here

    Friday, September 16, 2005

    how to donate

    IF you donated money please click on the Red Cross Banner to the right and send in your donation.

    Thank you all for participating. Wow. Just wow.

    Thank you,

    $400 Red Cross Benefit "Fantasy Challenge Poetry Contest" Winners

    It was a hard choice with so many wonderful poems, but in the end, the good ones float. Here they are:

    (runner-up)"I Take My Lover As My Lover Again" by Alison Stine, An Awfully Serious Girl

    FINALIST"Henry Inside the Chapel of Love" by Reyes Cardenas, a Chicano Poet Alivianate El Coco
    ~ $50 donated to the Red Cross for Hurricane Flood Relief by Diego Quiros

    THIRD PLACE"4th & Columbia" by Birdie Jaworski who writes Bird Poems
    ~ $50 donated to the Red Cross for Hurricane Flood Relief by, uh, Birdie Jaworski

    SECOND PLACE"Where Micky Meets Jacky" by AnnMarie Eldon who just is,
    ~ $50 donated to the Red Cross for Hurricane Flood Relief by Jenni & Jack Russell

    FIRST PLACE WINNING POEM"Suspension" by Ginger Rivers who also is
    ~ $225 donated to the Red Cross for Hurricane Flood Relief by Didi Menéndez, Pris Campbell, Michael Parker, Chuck Lev and James Fowler

    and, I'll kick in another $25, as I promised I would if Anthony Robinson submitted a "good poem" for it, and he wrote a great poem yesterday (posted on my blog & his) which I read in light of the tragedy; so, point being: a good poem. I'll pay up, and round out the first place award. So, that's

    $400.00 to be donated in the name of Café Café poets. Cool.
    And, just to be "'Merican" about it, I'll challenge anyone challenging the judge to put your money where your votes are: at the tips of your typing fingers. Anyone, for example, want to kick in an additional $50 for Alison's incredible poem to reach full finalist status? Any others? Another first place award? Didi will be back soon to collect the cash.

    Enjoy reading the poems. I did.


    You can post the winners. I will be gone from the computer until later tonight. Thank you again for taking care of this for us.


    Fantasy Challenge Early Morning Deadline

    Hey all, any night owls wanna get their fantasy boots on and slip in a poem — raise kudos for hurricane relief via the Red Cross — tonight, you can. I'll be checking for final submissions early tomorrow morning (MST), say 9am, after walking my kid to school. I'll be sending Didi the results soon after that. Scroll down for more info. I have 13 submissions thusfar, including "Inside/Out" by Sisyphus Walking, which I'll read as a Fantasy Poem.

    This is fun! Good poems. Nothing like unrequited L-words to inspire.

    Thursday, September 15, 2005

    The Braid (fantasy challenge)

    I offered you my braid.
    I wanted you to anchor onto my shoulders,
    enter me from the back
    like a fire horse
    on a metal rat.

    As the braid becomes undone,
    it would spread against my back
    and you could rest upon it.

    Yesterday I cut my hair like a boy.

    Like a boy who was the last offspring
    from a long line of sisters.

    Today I accept there will not be another after you.

    (This poem is dedicated to _. It does not of course qualify for the challenge)

    I Take My Lover As My Lover Again (fantasy challenge)

    Again the skin of the road has opened and they are shoveling tar back in,
    tar which did not come from the ground but is now to take the place
    of the ground. They wear orange to warn. They smile when I wave,
    and wave back again, these men who are not my men, who are not
    the famous poet, who are not my lover I take in dreams again. And again
    the road is a snapped-shut barrette. And here comes the speckle,
    the first pock of snow, the cold to crack it wide. A flat surface can rend.
    The body can horrify after the body. See, someone has propped also
    by the road: the trace of a deer, ribboned with flesh, two legs upright, two
    set on the rail, posed as if dancing, and it isn’t a bow at the headless,
    red neck, and you would know about such things. Tagged, you would call

    the deer, or call it by some other name, because you name, my lover.
    And again it is dark, and the thrash in the sweep looks almost like wings.
    It is brown like wings. It is big and leaping, then dying, then dead.
    In the headlights: the deer’s eyes like candied pits. Someone pulls out
    a knife. Someone pulls back the head. I lied when I said this. We are
    none of us known. I lied when I said I could lose you again. And again:
    the winter thinning, bark chewed through teeth, the ribs showing, the trees
    on the other side. On the other side there are the last of the golden
    raspberries. On the other side, each burst is like a fingertip, and again
    in the middle, all the middle, is the ribbon road, is the star stream, is the long
    long run. Run it again. Again. I love you. I love you. I love you. Live.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2005

    Where Micky Meets Jacky (fantasy challenge)

    ok ok - so in this fantasy I'm Kerouac on a date with Michelangelo - I wrote this a good while ago but have been waiting for a chance to come out of the closet with it

    Where Micky meets Jacky

    White swirl pastissed tracery,
    Jack’s filthy irony crafted,
    honours his friend’s stinking boots.
    Real manhands came out the night, smoke on rye,
    their imminent attack a glory smell of piss and ah

    how sweet this meeting, minds flirtspitting.
    Nuances: garlic, recent cum, pink marble hotshots.
    Possible for veins to coincide.

    2 fellas pussyfoot elbows.
    Lowell greased cheap worsted one alongside
    some chic old Rome(o) shit. Wrists.

    His guest musta just jerked off, he could smell him.
    Stories from extravagant lips, his terribliatà.
    Frowns, big rich intelligences, temporal lobes
    flying zones through speed and drink

    drinktalking paint over cocks.
    Loves them, feels them in his palm,
    sublimated brush handles rhythmying.
    Layed down for years on his back, hard.

    “Arrive, mes ti’s anges,” but…
    “I know, they won’t.”
    “Fuck you Duluoz/prick-teaser,
    give me American hope!”

    “Come, come, my little fag, have another ouzo-ouzo,
    you’re on vacation, mon cher Michelfuckingangelo.
    Here’s to my shadow side.
    Screw that before you go back te Italy.”

    “No no I have my David. Dear.
    But ‘closer, spare me your round delicious

    He smoothes Jacko’s earlobe.
    Nails a chisel slit along its edge.
    “Christ like a cicatrice.”

    Tells of his dominatrix.
    “I have her whiter than women have a right to.
    Such creases.
    He swoons across ‘er knees.
    Ooh soo sssubmissive.”

    Wet lips Ti Jean wants ta pump with bourbon.
    Mad kisses full on suck him for all to see,
    tongue doing demo inside his hot dewaring mouth.
    “My Pietà,” he slobbers tilting fall

    ing. Next morning both are uncovered inert,
    fuming absinthe-fuel vapours;
    Buanarroti stained with ejaculate,
    a pinch still wet,
    fist dreaming around his artist’s implement.

    Kerouac, having barely missed a great pancake of vomit,
    is gently persuaded out of stupor
    by some would be beat around his head.
    Tingles with sage, goodgrass and olivemusk.

    Fresh ooze correctly lines his right auricular helix.
    From its ridge, filaments run down his bluewhite cheek.
    Blood not-carrara but orobico rosso,

            back Must stick

    Tuesday, September 13, 2005

    Sleep (Fantasy Challenge)

    Softly, after love
    she will float like fragrance
    into the shadows of the fallen
    carrying traces of me
    down the pathless trail.

    A drop of my breath
    in her lungs for the thirsty.
    A taste of my skin
    on her lips for the hungry.
    I will mourn the body
    until it is reclaimed.

    She will unfold her wings
    under the sheets
    and ask me
    where I’ve been.

    D.Q. 9/13/05

    Her Husband Swims, Unplugged (Fantasy Challenge)

    In an underwater bubble your words come pell-mell, tumbling blocks of sound baffled by the unordinary, the ordained. Silence is a lisp, a watery stammer as you pull my hand and I glide along an uneven bottom. Spoils of a venom hiss drift by, an armchair and a lamp for reading anchor the ceiling. There is your mother’s rosary, a broken pitcher, the pink face of her doll. I can see the sky but I cannot reach it; the splintered camelback shotguns fold like tissue paper around our hearts. A refrigerator unspoiled becomes a moat lodged against a clock. It is your grandfather and he speaks without a voice. A fish swims by under glass, becomes a rainbow when his hand strikes distance. We float beneath oxygen and speak in tongues as drums and zydeco, a wet pull on the sax form the second line. Safety is an umbilical cord to the stars, yet your arm presses into my back, circles my waist. We surface, spit and cry.

    (Fantasy Challenge)

    under the mountains of night

    i will pretend that you are here, shadowed
    in headlights, that we are here in the greyhound station, butte
    montana, 3 a.m. rest stop, two rows
    of chairs inside, pepsi machine by the wall, its blue sign
    signalling victory, a half dozen guys
    leaning huddled against the wall out here,
    i will pretend that i am from a snowblown icebound
    city on the far inland plains, it is october,
    there are claws of ice gripping the ground
    in the bus station garage, i am shocked
    to be in a place with ice not dressed for winter climate,
    as though i had never stood anywhere cold before, i will pretend
    i feel naked here, gritting my teeth in the cold,
    not cold really but night and ice,
    glare lights in the bus station, the men
    waiting shivering by the wall blink
    at me blink at each other blink at someplace else,
    i will pretend that i have always felt this way
    around you, naked and shivering,
    you come toward me out of the shadows
    tall and cool, slow hands and quick voice, you look
    at me your eyes warm with night
    knowing more than i do, a sky of knowledge,
    you see into the wells within me,
    the water quivers in the light of your knowledge of me,
    i will pretend you come toward me,
    you say something to me and my words grow silent,
    and i move into myself and touch water,
    and i know that i know nothing of the answers
    but the questions have never been so beautiful,
    i will pretend that we are here, standing here
    in the noise and quiet of night and cold,
    the bus is going to leave soon
    and we are both quiet,
    the mountains and plains will be filled
    with night, it will be warmer tomorrow,
    i will pretend this, i will pretend,
    because it could be true,
    that one day i will see you again,
    we will speak to each other again, here
    in this world lit by ghosts and dreams.

    This Probably Will Make No Sense (Fantasy Challenge)

    This Probably Will Make No Sense (Not Even to You)

    For the sake of fantasy, we’re in New Orleans
    right before the ballerina strips, rips
    off her tutu and point shoes. I am an armless
    goddess and you are an octopus.

    Yes, there will be mottling, blots
    that can only be interpreted afterwards,
    and a mouth so hard it hurts and an unforgiving
    eye that never blinks. You’ll do tricks,

    change the color of your skin to blend
    into the sheets, the painting of a strange
    yet familiar landscape, the carpet: Urine
    or sepia, dusk or violet, ocean

    or cerulean. And squeeze your spineless
    self into amazingly tiny places, small
    as pill bottles, narrow as the neck of a sweating
    Cocoa Cola. Eventually, the black sky—

    the stars will swarm low and unreliable
    as fireflies—will be our ceiling
    and the black water—a dog will paddle past
    in search of his beloved master

    or vice versa—our floor. The bed,
    of course, our raft. We’ll be stranded; trapped.
    Only then will you wrap your flimsy limbs
    around my hard body, every suction

    cup gripping that slippery surface
    as if to say: Everything will be all right.
    But it’s my fantasy, so your gesture will be lost
    on me. All bite, all white, all sight,

    I’ll accidentally on purpose misinterpret.
    All blight, all light, all tight;
    all night. That’s when you’ll vanish
    in a cloud of ink, disgusted.


    I only want to see poems for the Fantasy Challenge posted for the next two days. We have two days left. Deadline is September 15th. I want to get our donations out the RED CROSS. If you are not sure what I am referring to, scroll down.

    Lorna see if you can give us a winner, second place and honorary mention by the 16th.

    Thank you.


    Monday, September 12, 2005

    How to get Immediate Help to Hurricane Victims

    Cash donations are needed, but in Michael Moore Speaks Out you'll also find a mailing address with a list of supplies that volunteers helping the population cope RIGHT NOW need the most. Lots of links here, too. Donations are tax deductable. Many can't wait for the cash donations to come through agencies right at this moment. Those will help more and more as time goes by.

    Pass this along to anybody you feel will send supplies. A friend of mine has a brother in Alabama. His house is uninhabitable. He's run out of clean clothes. The only contact was by short wave radio until a couple of days ago and now his cell is partially workable. No-one can get through yet to his area without authorization. He's also low on food and water. There's no gas so he gets around using his bicycle.


    hey guys miporadio gets a nice mention at Cloudy Day

    listen in.....

    Don't forget to send me audio for the show or point me to your blog.


    Sunday, September 11, 2005

    ScribeSpirit - An Unity Illuminata sponsored eZine

    ScribeSpirit - An Unity Illuminata sponsored eZine

    Recently I had the pleasure of being introduced to Jody Kuchar by way of Ron Hudson. Jody has a penchant for making me spew coffee, a perfectly pedicured parrot, and a very exciting new bi-monthly and bi-lingual eZine called ScribeSpirit.

    This is an international literary project with contributors from 4 continents whose aim is to celebrate the collaboration of writers, artists, social workers and professionals in an effort to promote art, culture, and social reform. They want to cross generation gaps, and the lines drawn by societal misconceptions. They want to promote values such as education, conservation and economics. In short, they want to promote diversity and unity. Their position is that:

    "Social reform should not be a grim struggle or constant battle; there is joy in collaborative efforts, and we believe that change should be celebratory."

    Issue one, "Inspiration" was launched on September 5th, 2005, and is currently under construction on the temporary server at ScribeSpirit [link].

    Issue two, on the theme of "Living Arrangements" is pending. Currently the contributors include L. Jody Kuchar, Paula Pedroso, Christine Lehmann, and Ron Hudson. They're also currently looking for like-minded artists, poets and authors to join in the culmination of their second edition. If you feel you have something you'd like to contribute, contact Jody at for submissions guidelines. Please add "guidelines" to the subject line.

    Saturday, September 10, 2005

    Hey are you in New Mexico?

    Sun Rising Poetry Contest

    The above link is to a poetry competition that I just found out about.
    It's run by Sun Rising Press and the prize is to have your poem published.
    The competition runs for 12 months and if you are chosen ... well read about it for yourself, but the ultimate prize is a book of your own poems published by them. Cool huh?

    "Towards A New Beginning of the Alpha bet" —hay(na)ku experiment by L. D. Cervantes

    Hey all,

    I just finished my abecedarian hay(na)ku suite. You can check it out on my blog. I don't know how long I'll leave them up there. You can print them up and make your own dam book, that is, a backed up river of a long poem into some kind of reservoir: a meditation on (what else?) love, and consequent consequences. Each letter is a character which represents something; there are clues scattered throughout as they were revealed to me. Kinda like weegee board poetry, the Spirits spelling it out for me as I tell, telling me their poems.

    Hey, it's late.

    If you print them out, you could use my Amazon pay system to throw me a few bucks, as did Eduardo Corral (thanks!) which enabled me to buy the cartridge to print them out for myself; or, send me your book. Yeah.

    This suite will most likely appear in my new book, now nearly complete, entitled Una poca de gracia/ Bit of Grace, poemas y antipoemas de amor.

    Buen provecho!

    ~ Lorna Dee Cervantes
    Abecedarian Hay(na)ku Experiment:
  • "Towards A: New Beginning of the Alpha bet"

  • "B Towards A New Beginning of the Alpha bet"

  • "C-ing Towards A New Beginning of the Alpha bet"

  • "Towards A New Beginning of the Alpha bet to D"

  • "Towards E's New Beginning of the Alpha bet"

  • "Towards An Effin' New Beginning of the Alpha bet"

  • "Towards, G, A New Beginning of the Alpha bet"

  • "Towards H's New Beginning of the Alpha bet"

  • "Towards the Alpha bet's New Beginning of I"

  • "Towards J's New Beginning of the Alpha bet Towards D"

  • "O', 'K Towards A New Beginning of the Alpha bet"

  • "Towards L: A New Beginning of the Alpha bet"

  • "Towards M's Beginning of the Alpha bet"

  • "N' Towards A New Beginning of the Alpha bet"

  • "O, Towards A New Beginning of the Alpha bet!"

  • "Towards P, A New, Beginning of the Alpha bet"

  • "The Q — Towards A New Beginning of the Alpha bet"

  • "R U Towards A New Beginning of the Alpha bet?"

  • "S According To A New Beginning of the Alpha bet"

  • "Towards A New Beginning of the Alpha bet To A T"

  • "Towards U, A New Beginning of the Alpha bet"

  • "V! Towards A New Beginning of the Alpha bet"

  • "Towards W — A New Beginning of the Alpha bet"

  • "Towards X Beginning, Anew, the Alpha bet"

  • "Y Towards A New Beginning of the Alpha bet?"

  • "Towards Z New Beginning of the Alpha bet"

  • * It was one-a-day, folks! August 15 - September 9, 2005.
    more hay(na)ku at Eileen Tabio's, inventor of hay(na)ku form (1/2/3 word tercets) & at Didi Menéndez' group blog, Café Café. Go there to read my comments to Pris regarding this suite.

    Thursday, September 08, 2005

    Dobie Gillis

    Dobie Gillis is dead. He seems to have been a nice enough man. And he could always get a giggle from televiewers.
    But an icon?

    He reminds me of Alfred Newman (of "what me worry?" fame), a perfect image of innocence -- and cultural vacuity. Gilligan's Island, along with hours and years of empty sitcoms, put America to sleep. Maynard Krebs sanitized beatniks -- when we were in deparate need of nasty, smelly poets. Michael Moore is as close as we get these days.

    Dobie Killis died just as Katrina waked up the narcolepsy-inducing media. Let's see if NBC can stuff consciousness back in the box.

    Wednesday, September 07, 2005

    they called september, after you

    became scarecrow & straw & after
    yr meeting with the fire marshall
    as you were rustled out of town,
    astonished. then they were cocktail
    get-ups to be dressed-in & since there
    were pallbearers we had ourselves
    a funeral. uncorked the firewater
    & called apologetic the neglected
    phone numbers. there were some
    with just one star & some with dark
    ballpointed anger. heard you’d gone
    desert wildfire, or were picked up
    shoplifting. somethings headstrong,
    somethings awry, however you tell.
    but still made for an interesting story.

    Send a Poem to Support New Orleans Survivors

    This is a copy of an email I received this morning. I thought some of you here would like to contribute. If I have done this right the link should be in the title.

    Hello All,

    Well, I know many of you out there are devastated by what has happened in our southern states and I want to help raise money for those affected. I will be adding poems to my web-site under the title, Poets Who Support Survivors. What I need is for anyone who has, or will, donate money to any agency that is helping with the disaster to e-mail me one poem to be added to the web-site. I would like some proof that the poet has made a contribution, a copy of a receipt, forward an e-mail receipt if you donated online, just something that lets me know you have contributed. But I will not exclude anyone that tells me they have donated to the cause, I will trust each of you to be truthful about what you have done for the survivors. The purpose of this is to get people to donate to those who need it so desperately now.

    The poems do not have to be related to the tragedy, or about the hurricane. It may be too soon at present to compose such a poem that would meet our own requirements of quality. Just send me a poem you would submit to another magazine, something that has been worked on and that you feel is worthy of being published. (Previously published work is acceptable as long as you send along the information of the first publication.) I will not exclude any poem because of quality for the PWSS page, but will exclude any poems I feel are degrading or too sexual in nature, this is for the people and I want them, when and if they are able, to come and see those poets who have contributed to their cause, and receive some sort of escape through reading poetry.

    There is also another reason to only send your best work for posting to the page dedicated to survivors: I will be picking the ten best poems, in my opinion, to be included in the first issue of Small Potatoes Magazine, and will be paying each contributor to the magazine twenty dollars. This will be my donation to the survivors. If I can get others to donate through this effort then my two hundred dollars will have been well spent. Hopefully this effort will raise more than the two hundred dollars I would have donated anyway to the relief agencies. Yes, I’ve already made a few donations, but how much is enough in this time of need? I cannot give as much as I want, but with everyone else donating then I can feel better about what I have done and what we have done as a group.

    So make that donation, dig out that poem, then submit it with your receipt to be included in the Poets Who Support Survivors, and possibly be included in the first issue of Small Potatoes Magazine. I will attempt to keep an ongoing amount of what has been donated by the poets (The amount donated is not required to be included.), but I will not be mentioning the amount each poet donated. It is the total of the group that matters, not the individual amounts.

    Thank you for your interest and your donations. Please forward your submissions and receipts to And pass along this information to others you feel may be interested in donating to the relief effort. Remember: Even if you have already made your donation in the past you can still be included.


    Sirrus Poe

    I will also include poems from those who have volunteered their time to help those in need. Please let me know where, and how, you volunteered. I know we all do not have the funds to donate money, but this is the easiest way to help those in need and what all the relief agencies are asking for instead of other items.

    Please do pass along this information along to any other poets or poetry boards where you feel they might be interested. I am also working on getting the poems selected for the Magazine issue to be published as a chapbook (don't mention that yet, it is in the process and I'll give an update when I get something finalized in that department), so there are many reasons to help those in need.

    Thank you guys and gals, I look forward to adding your poems to the website and possibly to the magazine.

    Sirrus Poe

    We are up to $225.00 for first place entry donated to Red Cross

    Okay so lets get to work and write some poems!! Go Go Go.

    Here are the details again.

    Thank you,

    Ha! Key the word FAILURE into Google

    and see what comes up!

    First-hand account from New Orleans

    In her blog California Writer, poet Julia Stein has copied and pasted an article by Jordan Flaherty, a New Orleans union organizer and editor of Left Turn. In the article gives a powerful and beautiful account of escaping from a house by boat, the conditions of chaos in an emergency camp, and of life in New Orleans as he has known it.

    The California Writer link above is to the main page of the blog -- the article, posted Sept. 4, is titled "News from Inside New Orleans."

    I like Julia Stein's poetry much, and I visit her blog often.

    Tuesday, September 06, 2005

    Katrina Displaced MFA Students Invited to Transfer to CU Boulder

    See info on my blog if you know of Creative Writing grad students displaced by Katrina interested in transferring to CU Boulder:
  • LornaDice: "Erin Bertram - Katrina Displaced Students Invited to Transfer to CU Boulder
  • Reports from New Orleans

    I have been posting reports from New Orleans that may be of interest to you.

    The pot on the Fantasy Challenge is Rising!

    Now we need more poems! Go HERE to read the original challenge.
    (You'll have to hit 'show original post'. This will start out by showing comments and I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong not to get to the post, per se. Apologies!)
    By the way, President Bush finally relented and accepted International Aid and the outpouring has been enormous! A tiny Arabic country is giving one hundred million dollars!! Read Michael Parker's blog for today, Sept 6, for a detailed list.

    4th and Columbia (Fantasy Challenge)

    If I knew I could die today
    I would hide behind the catalpa
    at 4th and Columbia,
    two-forty-three after school
    when the high school bandies
    scuff pigeon fluff
    from hiccuping bricks
    in broken snare time.

    I'd press my breasts
    against the elongated pods
    and wait for the music to pass,
    for the man tapping sticks
    behind the ragtag corps,
    a penned eagle rising
    from cutoff jean leg,
    black Einstein hair
    wired under tattered bandana.

    The troupe would turn corner,
    crisp steps out of time
    but this is a small town, man.
    They do their best.

    I would let them high step
    past my cracked stucco house
    on 4th and Columbia,
    let those belly shirt
    flute girls pretend to play,
    chubby euphonium boy
    trip random air molecules
    until Eagle Man stops
    shouting big city instruction,
    catches my thigh
    clad in fishnet hopes
    and catalpa sap.

    The band would march on, man,
    right back to podunk high
    while I demonstrate fine
    trombone technique
    to my music teacher lover,
    back against stalking tree,
    one hand keeping eagle's beak
    from calling our corner.

    Inside Out

    Today I wore my skin inside-out.
    I was big and pink
    like an old Communist whose hopes
    floated away in kremlins of smoke.

    The others weren’t Communists.
    They fought each other for crab legs.
    Then they sat around the pool
    and kicked the trapped sky with their feet.

    The heavens rioted between their toes.
    In the reluctant light, beer cans
    glimmered and shone like broken stars.
    Some of the others tried to talk to me.

    But I was in Russia a long time ago,
    standing at the fence and watching
    the others perform the dance
    of a late summer’s evening –

    splash in the pool, plate of hot-dogs,
    lighting of cigarettes, lifting of beers
    the futile kissing the magical
    like trees whose tops pucker for the sky,

    awaiting the sunset and the beginning
    of the goat’s song in the nearby field.

    Monday, September 05, 2005

    Fantasy Challenge

    Henry Inside The Chapel Of Love

    para d. secretamente

    I pause between your thighs,
    let you direct me,
    then all the way to heaven

    like the unwrinkled fruit of Dylan Thomas,
    the candle lit
    lights the way inside the chapel.

    The walls are lined with fire,
    the steeples of your nipples.
    The congregation’s me

    praying in the dark
    and all my animal desires
    are lined up in pairs inside the Ark.

    I pause between your thighs,
    look into your eyes
    to see my own reflection.

    But once I leave the chapel of your love
    I become just an ordinary man

    Lorna Dee Cervantes will be judging the Fantasy Challenge for us

    Labor Day miPOradio Show

    Sunday, September 04, 2005

    Henry’s Elegy For The Death Of The Blues

    The winds are howling
    and the rain is flying horizontal,
    the lights go out

    but I think we have survived.
    Next day water is flooding
    the neighborhood up to the rooftops.

    We make it to the attic,
    my son kicks as hard as he can
    until he breaks through

    and we climb onto the roof
    though he has trouble dragging
    my large sixty year-old body through the hole.

    We’re wet, no drinking water, no food,
    with just the clothes on our backs.
    We see the helicopters flying overhead

    but after two days nobody helps us.
    We grab an empty canoe that’s floating by.
    We hear from others

    that we should head for the Superdome.
    No food, no water there either.
    Finally my heart gives out.

    My son wraps me up in white trash bags
    and I can’t see anymore
    When The Saints Come Marching In.

    Goat's Song

    Just behind my eyeballs
    there is this enormous cave
    and everything I’ve ever seen
    is gathered together inside it.

    One time I went down
    into the cave to see what I could,
    and there was this goat
    playing Mozart on a flaming piano.

    My mother stood nearby,
    tapping her foot to the rhythm
    and adjusting the bird’s nest
    that she wore on top of her head.

    The birds were singing off key.
    The cave was dark except for the light
    given off by the flaming piano.
    The entrances had been covered.

    Soon I realized I was trapped,
    and I began to look for my father
    who, though gone for years,
    I thought might know another way out.

    When I found him, deep in the cave,
    he was nailed to this big cross.
    I pleaded with him, Save me! Save me!
    but he just looked down at me coolly and said

    You should hear that goat sing.

    Fantasy Challenge Offering

    The Center Within

    To find the center within,
    that doesn’t shift or fade with the seasons
    that isn’t swayed by the moon or night.

    To find that center,
    that can’t be lost in despair
    or forgotten in anger
    or overlooked in joy.

    To find that center,
    and to live through it, consciously
    fully aware of the touch of the earth
    the response of living things
    the gift of friends
    the miracle of love.

    Out of the Lower 9th: a Dedication

    This prose is dedicated to those who have lost their lives in the floods in New Orleans. I chose a stream of consciousness style of prose with minimal punctuation to give the sense of fluidity to it, like a flood, like a river. I have no official title for it, though I posted it on my website using the title of the location where the events of the prose occured-- in the Lower 9th Ward, Orleans Parish, New Orleans. For this post, I'll title it "Out of the Lower 9th."

    Mama I'm not scared no more hear my breath listen it is calm like a hot summer Sunday afternoon in the shade is quiet Mama I'm not scared no more of storms or deep water I can't see the bottom of cause it would always hide the gators and the water snakes looked like ripples or sticks upon the back of the lake Mama I don't want you crying no more don't want you wasting your breath calling my name over these dark waters I've learned to swim learned to see underwater you would be so proud of your baby I swam across Reynes street crossed over Forstall and Lizardi and caught a current south along Caffin street I imagined myself a great White Ibsis with their white and black-tipped wings even the angels envy stretched wide right after they've jumped into the air to hang there as if the sky and the wind have hooks and strings then I thought I might be Jesus Christ swimming off his cross arms stretched so wide he wanted to take in the whole world with all his love and save everybody but not me because I feel salvation swimming here like Jesus would swim I swam by our churches and our schools and our stores and I've heard the choirs of frogs croaking to our dark streets and silent houses singing sad hallelujahs to our people who are waiting and talking to God as they wait like you told me to talk to God tell God we've come a long way from the hard days but our days they're still hard and I reckon God didn't always hear me talkin cause the days they never got any easier Mama I am not your baby no more I've felt so much fear I'm not afraid no more seen so much dying my eyes don't blink no more Mama I've heard the cries of mamas and their babies and lost children they follow me on the flood and echo in the flood but I don't cry that I'm lost don't cry because I'm not with you because you will see Mama every hour every day my soul is feeling longer than the street longer than the day and growing longer through the New Orleans night one day soon I'll pass the bayou where the yellow-crowned heron nests and see the red-shouldered hawk master the sky and hear the haunting song of the great horned owl serenade our favorite stars one day Mama I'll make my way past all the moss-covered cypress trees whose branches try to hold me back and I will be so big then you will find me Mama you will see me one day I'll be longer than the Mississippi greater than the Pontchartrain one day I'll be the sea.

    Fantasy Poem


    A whisper against sand
    is only time shared between
    strangers, the sky witness to
    a slow swell, the pattern of your
    hands on skin, drawn breath.

    Heat rises, we have always known
    this. Stars milk the sky and I see it in your eyes,
    closed; it escapes from your open mouth.
    The boil of the sea keeps cadence, your
    ocean a blind leap, ascent into depth.

    There are places to go at times like these,
    when the present blends into memory
    and desire is a silent companion. He flips
    the index cards and I choose my poison.
    No, you say.

    Fantasy Challenge poem

    (I'm writing one since the proceeds are going to charity and to kick things off)

    Your smile slices my breastbone open
    and I bleed pink wantwords across
    the restaurant, watch while confused
    men and women pick missed you, kiss me,
    touch me
    from clean dresses and jackets.

    Your hair is graying.
    I'm twenty pounds heavier.
    You ask if my husband is good to me.
    I inquire if your children turned out smart.

    You lay your hand on mine and our feet
    dance to that room, the room where we
    wanted to be from the start of this night,
    the room with the blue shiny spread and Degas
    prints on the walls, the room where
    we urgently throw our clothes over a white
    fuzzy chair and discover that our bodies
    haven't forgotten the old rhythm between us.

    In this night when the stars sink
    close to the ground and the clouds
    step aside for the wild, rising moon,
    I'm twenty again. You're twenty five.
    Dylan and Baez sing live on the radio and
    we pledge love forevermore.

    Later, zipping your trousers, the marks
    of my lips on your face, your body, you say,
    We'll do this again.
    At that moment, that one nano-grain in the
    sands of our time, I see in your eyes that
    we won't meet again and know, too, it's fine.

    You hand me the rose you pilfered
    from our table upon leaving, pull on your jacket,
    bend for one last lingering kiss.
    A thorn from the rose pricks my finger,
    draws blood as the door closes softly behind you.

    Saturday, September 03, 2005

    special weekend edition of miPOradio

    This is a special Labor Day Weekend edition of miPOradio featuring poetry by Charles Bukowski (The Soldier, His Wife and The Bum), Charles Bernstein (Bricklayer's Arms), David Trinidad (Wedding Night), Diego Quiros (Earthly Garden) and Linh Dinh (The Most Beautiful Word).

    Music by Syd (Back Home), Peter Adams (The Disappeared), The Shins (New Slang) and Tantra (Tees).

    MiPo's cafe' cafe'

    Diego Quiros
    Charles Bernstiein
    Birdie Jaworski

    Brought to you by:
    MiPOesias Magazine

    Friday, September 02, 2005

    Katrina Aftermath/ Free housing and relocation links

    There are thousands upon thousands of the displaced and homeless and incredible offers of help pouring in, but the word is simply not getting out to those in desperate need.

    Craig's list offers free housing and relocation support for those who have lost homes in the storm. There is a need for someone to compile a national database for this kind of information; and a way found to connect those in need with those who want to help.

    Please take every opportunity to pass this information along.

    Digerati -- call for submissions

    I still need more poets for my digerati anthology, which will feature ten poems by twenty poets who publish in print and online, workshop online, and/or maintain a blog. I have a special need for more women (I have currently accepted 8 poets, 2 of which are women).

    Please send 15 poems, SASE, acknowledgements (for any previously published poems, and bio to:

    c/o three candles press
    PO Box 1817
    Burnsville MN 55337

    Thursday, September 01, 2005

    Open letter from Louisiana poet laureate

    Found this in E. Ethelbert Miller's blog, a beautiful and moving short written piece on life and finding a way back in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, by Louisiana poet laureate Brenda Marie Osbey, here. This is a link to the main page, scroll down a little, her piece (beginning "Dear Ethelbert" and then "To Whom It May Concern") is in the posts for today Sept. 1st.

    Please also see the "FANTASY CHALLENGE" post below here in Cafe Cafe today Sept. 1st, about a poem contest with prize money going as a donation to the Red Cross for hurricane disaster relief.


    Pick a person you've fantasized about being with. Write a poem (any style or length) about spending an evening with that person. The poem can be chaste. It can be weird. It can be raunchy. It can be downright lacivious.

    First place poet will have two hundred and twenty five dollars donated to the Red Cross in his/her name by Didi , Pris, Michael Parker, Chucklev and James Fowler. The number is rising, folks!!
    Second Place poet will have fifty dollars donated by Jenni and Jack
    Third Place poet will have fifty dollars donated by Birdie
    Runner-up will have fifty dollars donated by Keros

    All additional donations that come in will be added to the First Place amount.

    Put FANTASY CHALLENGE in the header of your post. Deadline September 15.

    Disaster and Missing Persons Link for Katrina

    Clicking on the title will take you to my blog. Read today's entry to get links for how to help and how to find friends or relatives in the area hit by Katrina.


    Dore - I think I goofed up your name again

    Is it I before E or E before I?

    Let me know so we can fix it.

    New miPOradio Show!

    We have a new show!

    Click here:

    Rock On with mIPOradio! What does the rock band Queen and the world of poetry have in common? You might be surprised...

    Regular mIPOradio Contributer:

    Jack McGeehin

    Special Guests:

    Daniel Nester

    E. Ethelbert Miller

    Jasper Bernes

    Plus three poets from the Cafe Cafe poetry community:

    Dierdre Dore

    Bill Allegrezza

    Ann Marie Eldon

    music credits:

    Queen and David Bowie - Pressure
    Tom Jones - What's New Pussycat
    Diana Krall - Wonderful
    Renee Olstead - Someone to Watch Over Me
    Chris Botti - Forgiven
    Queen - We Will Rock You

    Producer: Didi Menendez

    DJ/Director: Birdie Jaworski

    mIPOradio.... where poetry tunes in!