Friday, October 28, 2005


In the tower-room you
could not see your hands.
I could see them for you.

They were white.
They were not
located by your wrists.
They were not old.

Things were starting to
come open for me.
You asked if I could see
the white walls.
I could.

In the book,
the king who banned
boats from his coasts
regretted it.
No one could get in.
The people mutinied,
on both sides.

How To Put Up A Boundary

Rats run across blood-splattered gangrene,
geranium petals over detrital browns.
They have burrowed from the house
and cored into the compost,
their preference dog hair,
potato peelings,
crushed eggshells.
I pay a price for doing it correctly:
shredded utility bills, mallow prunings
in alternate layers with greens: grass clippings, banana skins, slipping
on other rotten morsels, moulding cotton buds,
their choice atop the lot
a glutinous leftover
This skittering breeds a forlorn record
like felonious bacteria murderous
within a negroid angel cake,
drawn through dry then wet.
Yet the king rat knew no rules of decay.
Left anyway for another home: meals
we ate together

as if
we all ought mourn
at the spent heart of things.
The clitoris is a hard, clean picked chicken bone
which should not have been thrown
on the heap. Falling back
to basics, irreducible
by dawn's hungry
It will take more than forgotten prayers
and a leap of faith to fend
off its gnawing.
Wire mesh.
Whatever can be put
in place, replaceable by morning.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

re Lyle's post

I'm very interested in the poetics/post avant/Chaucer discussion. So that I don't hog the entire blog here I wrote several pieces in Chaucerian style based on the Presidential debates leading up to this last Bush fiasco. See Chaucer's Ballot Box Tales etc...



This is a story, where no one can tell you their memories are pure.

A tale without limbs. A tale of words that are missing.

Where voices were once heard.


Someone said beasts roamed the land without anger.

And trees grew without being cut down, without growth being owned.

Their fruit brought forgetfulness; their fruit brought no pangs.

And wind. I recall wind at its gentlest. Always a breeze.

Bird calls at sunrise. Birds with colorful feathers.


The colors were different.

Black was absent; had been banished from our presence.

Blue, green, yellow, red? Scattered patterns return to mind.

And water filled every vista: rain, snow, ocean, river.

We drank from fingers held over our mouths.


Leaping, arms across bodies racing, screaming to the world.

In pursuit of each other, we fought for each summit.

Your hills went unnoticed; my hills were mysterious.

The hills that we traced were like carpets, and smooth.

When we found them, we left all caves unexplored.

We left them without wanting their pearls.


I can't recall sunsets. Only a brilliance that dimmed.

At the close of each day we washed ourselves, dried ourselves.

Your hands were my hands, your feet were my feet.

Touch was convergence. Touch was ecstatic.

My tongue swept your hair back; your tongue wiped my lips apart.

Smiles? Were there smiles?

And darkness was velvet, purple, stained with the stars.

There was awe (now I'm sure of it).


On the morning I left it, I left you with my scar.

You may still be there, asleep to its charms.

But the names that we gave there have eroded to dirt.

They've disappeared as I've aged.

But long ago someone said a child was foretold.

And all I remember is that she's here now.

All I remember: my child; maybe yours.

Long ago . . . is she yours?

Rosa Parks Elegy In A Rolling Stones Song

Hey, you, get off of my cloud,
you can’t buy your cigarettes
in the same place as me!

Hey, you, get off of my seat!
In walked a rebel dressed
in the Confederate flag,

I’m sick and tired
of this talk of equality,
it ain’t gonna happen to me

said the white man
to nobody in particular except you and me!
Hey, you, get off of my cloud!

But, Rosa, rode that cloud all the way to jail,
proving that you can never fail even though
the white man wails---Hey, you, get off of my cloud!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Some more on SOQ and Post Avant

The post below by Marcus (postpran) on 10/21 about The "School of Quietude" and the "Post Avant" sent me thinking. This is partly a comment on Marcus's highly interesting post, partly some random notions that may be related.

Three poets who were writing in English around the same time as Blake, Shelley, Wordsworth, Keats, etc., and who are not usually grouped with the Romantics (by people who concern themselves with such groupings) are Walter Scott, Walter Savage Landor, and George Crabbe. Thomas Hood is another. (This is in response to a specific question Marcus posed.)

The Romantics (Blake, Shelley, Wordsworth, Keats, etc.) were not necessarily the first in the history of innovative poetics. Certainly not the first in the world (consider, for instance, the Chinese poets of the Tang Dynasty, or the first Japanese tanka poets. The poetries of India, Persia, the Arabic world, have seen wave after wave of experiment and innovation for centuries, to name a few.

In English, an early innovator was Chaucer. He wrote, in English, at a time when the aristocracy of England spoke French. To write in one's own language, the language of everyday life (rather than the language of the aristocracy) -- this perhaps has relevance to the passionate work of some of the poets of today whose work might be described as avant-garde or post-avant?

Another innovator in English, later than Chaucer, earlier than the Romantics, was Shakespeare. Chaucer and Shakespeare, obviously, lived and worked among the many other poets and writers of their times, and in the world at large. They did not live or work in isolation; they were not the only ones.

The avant garde does not always "narrow the distance between life and art." Some poets usually described as avant-garde (at least during their time) created work that, in its effects, resulted in creating greater distance between art and life. Ezra P0und, for example. Even Pound's best work (and I admit here I'm not much of a fan of his poetry or other writing) -- the "translations" in Cathay, for instance -- seems to me to have a nostalgic stand-offish quality, as though one were looking at a highly mannered drama frozen in time in a painting on a wall at the far end of a large room.

I don't really agree that there is such a thing as the School of Quietude, or that there is such a thing as the Post Avant. Labels can be useful at times; it's nice to know whether a can contains peaches or green beans. I don't object to all labels as such. I disagree with the particular labels School of Quietude and Post Avant. I don't think that these labels describe things that actually exist.

The way I've seen "School of Quietude" used, I gather that it usually refers to poets who write in (mostly) standard grammatical sentences, using more or less standard syntax, usage, punctuation, and so on. I gather that some writers and critics feel that these practices tend to result in writing that evokes a mood or sensation or perception of quiet, a calm or meditative mood or state of mind. Something like that.

The way I've seen "Post Avant" used, it seems usually to refer to poets who attempt to disrupt standard grammatical sentence structure and syntax, using words without regard for (or in deliberate or ironic defiance of) standard usage or standard spectrums of usage. Poetry in which the communicational function of language breaks down, frequently to the point where the poem no longer appears to be written in a currently existing language. (I think of Marx's phrase "the anarchy of capitalist production.")

Each of the above describes a very narrow aesthetic range. I have questions about how much use either of the terms is, as any kind of category or description of actually existing poetry in the world. I agree with Marcus in his skepticism about this.

I was fascinated with Marcus's comparison with Republicans and Democrats. I'm not sure if I agree about which is which.

If we say, for the sake of discussion, that the above categories do exist, then to my thinking the majority of the poetry of the "post avant" definitely reminds me of Republicans. I'm not sure who the "school of quietude" reminds me of -- maybe John Kerry. I work in the billing department of a large corporation. A typical poem by a "language" poet (possibly one of the branches of the post avant tree) resembles, to me, the pages full of fractured disjointed data I look at on the computer screen all day long. Or, maybe, a speech by Bush.

A typical MFA program poem (maybe a branch of the school of quietude) reminds me of an office memo. Or, maybe, one of those corporate "mission statements" one finds at the front of an employee handbook.

There are many poets whose work has been important and useful to me for a long time, which speaks to me about the world I live in, and leads me to ways to speak about the world and myself in my own poems. Ultimately, the best way I know of to say what I think about poetry, about writing poetry, is to name some of the poets whose poems have reached me the most deeply and passionately.

Some of them are:

Thomas McGrath, Sharon Doubiago, Federico Garcia Lorca, Tomas Transtromer, Kenneth Rexroth, Etheridge Knight, Joy Harjo, Yosano Akiko, Tu Fu (or Du Fu), Sappho, Paul Eluard, Nancy Morejon, Dafydd ap Gwylym, Rene Depestre, Audre Lorde, Robert Bly, Anuradha Mahapatra, Ruben Medina, Anya Achtenberg, Zoe Anglesey, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Miroslav Holub, Anna Swir, Sesshu Foster, Janice Mirikitani, Adrienne Rich, Agostinho Neto, Margaret Atwood, Nazim Hikmet, Ibn Hazm, Pat Lowther, Adrian Mitchell, Andrew Salkey...

Not many of them are in either the Rothenberg or Norton anthologies.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


phased heard love-command

simply wanted too run to
of get out


my fantasy’s back(s)
scratchnote but quiet

blaze-ond so tedious
banner led pontification

had to take such walk time
womb contractions etherous

hideous understanderers
speak clearer

Menonnites by said-Lubeck waters
broke spell

rest of life could possibly not
go on quite like this

denserth’n publishts
nothing firmer than a male firm

pregnant several days
away would stand no

was my first dealer
a hushful brazen

dropped at full moon
pseudo intellectual menstraull load

threw there one spot
there left not their right

disgusted by the stink
oso so many maternal corpses

behind closed curtains

jealous witch haggerers
but quite ordinary

rose-umami musk bleach
phrase submission guide

pushing up daisies
corpses rant lines

rent boys high beach hashish
as no man can

malaria meds matter
wet already

dead squat staring his lungied butt
handhair rises

lets the steering wheel watch how
performance anxiety

slips through his fingers
my mother

designed to regorge
regorged fernfernfurniture

shall keep quiet about
arse entire suite feels

decurtains a worldfulla dead women behind
pulled spite

warns against personal and anecdotal
mayhem and how I

hoping I would never speak
is a male firm?

spats in nothing firmer than
jealous down-eyed

walking along catty marrieds
quite ordinary hands up me

would like to get his make
off to be imprisoned

put his arm around her
13 called slut

she is, leaning head
down to yesmother

did not make her complete
the act

seeds, trees birdful ready, be
grappling after high spots

disproportionate to pastorals
binding them

sucked passports into LSD-Goa
sunsets came off

literal high Everest or make me
spill knowing I would want

Tengboche monastery one day away
tourist boat-spotted waters

broke, their blow-spumes
an art to growing

old, mile after useless mile
saplings youths skin n bones

keeps quiet about spill rooks
consort afterall post-three

strapping Maine laughed off as Stephen
King novels wanting myself mayhem

old Lubeck degorged him like pushing
a safe outta

hews pastoral hues to be felled
in the afternoon unbinding them

embues blistering pretence ormolu
dropped at full

approaches deatils correctly or not we
latch onto

vertical with his tempo
used this phrase


who your nothing

rose multiple Magdalaiynas
smushes shoulders

sister friezes species undespises
prises causes shone

another // hay(na)ku sequence // this october night

renews night
after the night


smells like
an exhausted spring


away where
you feel wanted


of silver
rain white tea


due time
brand new garden

Friday, October 21, 2005

SOQ and Post Avant?

I realize this distinction is too simple and needs a lot of asides etc. But I found it very helpful to read volume one and volume two of Jerome Rothenberg's Poems for the millennium and compare it to say the latest Norton anthologies of poetry. Both the Norton and Rothenberg anthologies have some poets in common, but it seems to me the Norton is A LOT more narrow in terms of the possibilities of poetry.

The more contemporary poetry I read, the more I notice differences between SOQ and avant poetics. But I had to read a shitload of all kinds of poetry. Both wide and deep as they say. I think the poetry from these various traditions is much more than style.

Maybe those differences are challenged with the youngish poets whose work is published with Fence, Verse, Jubilat, Conduit and so on?

I am not sure, but I would lean toward saying no. But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy reading some of the poets in these mags and books from these presses. Or that their poetry is somehow not as "good" because it doesn't feel avant to me. I try to read books of poetry on their own terms. I am very familiar with a wide-range of poetry (Albert Goldbarth, Seamus Heaney, Dean Young, James Tate, Stephen Dobyns, Jorie Graham AND James Joyce, Bruce Andrews, Ron Silliman, Robert Duncan, Clark Coolidge, Zukofsky, Basil Bunting etc.

I also don't exclude a poet or poetry if it doesn't "fit" my idea of Post-Avant or SOQ. But I do think there are significant traditions behind both. I find almost all of the poetry at Barnes and Nobles uninteresting and most (not all) do seem to fit into SOQ (for lack of a better term). The Post-Avant and historical avant garde are much more diverse.

It makes me wonder a bit in terms of American politics. The common notion is the Republicans kicked ass because they managed a unified front whereas the Democrats had too many splinters and were less centralized.

In no way do I think so-called SOQ are like Republicans in terms of politics, but the structures might be similiar. I mean, the various avant and post-avants seem very decentralized and therefore less seen (small press history is essential to any study of the innovative traditions in poetry).

All in all, I think avant garde as a label sends up too many cardboard one-dimensional assumptions. Maybe innovative poetics is better? Ditto SOQ. Maybe the terms need to be more descriptive (and tentative) than evaluative?

Labels suck. They should be questioned. But no one reads poetry without all of their previous reading experiences.

I love Rennaisance English poetry and the Metaphysical poets. I also love The Canterbury Tales.

I think the assumptions of fads and "make it new" in terms of innovative/experimental poetry need constant re-evaluation.

The Romantics may be the first in the history of innovative poetics.

One big project of the historical avant garde is to narrow the distance between life and art.

As a whole, I don't think this is the case with more mainstream practices.

Even the easy-going conversational poetry needs constant tweaking (Billy Collins uses language to break down the distinctions between life and art so does that mean he is part of the innovative tradition in poetry?)

There are a lot of poets slavishly imitating the romantics with their descriptive nature poetry etc. To my mind, that is not in the spirit of the romantics.

Yet, even the Romantics are diverse. In terms of canonization, can most folks name three poets who were NOT Romantics writing around the time of Blake, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats etc.?

Anyway, for me it's about the possibilities of poetry. The sheer range of avant or post-avant practices really opens up possibilies for my life (and art).

I wanna question art constantly.

Easy Way to Listen to MiPo Radio or other Podcasts

I recall someone posting a while back that he/she couldn't get the broadcasts without downloading and , with dialup, the download time was immense. I have broadband, so could download with no problem, but if I cleared the play list in my Music Match Music Box (my player of choice) I couldn't find the shows to play them again.

Solved it all this way. First of all, I downloaded OdeoSyncr from The Odeo Site. (The link is at the very bottom of the page). By the way, I always create a system restore point before installing a new program since I never know if it'll conflict with something already on my machine.

Once that's installed, if you go to the Odeo link Didi or Birdie post, you can hit the forward arrow under the picture for the show and it'll simply play for you. No download. No wait.

If you hit 'subscribe' the music then goes onto your computer to stay there to be played later. That was my next hurdle. It wasn't in temp files. It didn't suddenly start playing in my music box. Couldn't find it. Finally did a computer search and found the programs in My Documents//Received Podcasts/Odeo. By going there and clicking, they then come up in my preferred music box. I have them on my hard drive and they aren't wiped out when I clear out temp files. For shows I esp like, this allows me to save them.

See if this works for you.

D, feel free to edit this or delete it if any information is incorrect.


Thursday, October 20, 2005


Read about the hurricane this morning and thinking of it hitting Florida makes me angry. Sending wishes for the safety of all in Florida, especially poets Didi, Pris and Keros.



Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Poetry audio online

These are some websites I visit now and then that feature online audio of poets reading their work:

Lyrikline -- (needs RealPlayer) Includes poets from all over the world in a wide range of languages: English, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Turkish, Farsi, Breton, Wayuunaiki, Icelandic, Welsh... to name a few. The site also gives the printed text of the poems, a choice of translations into various languages, and short bios of the poets (the bios aren't always translated). The site also has a good page of links. (The website itself can be viewed in a choice of five languages. Click on the language you want to view it in, and that will take you to the main page.)

Another good site features Russian poetry --the site is essentially an online anthology of Russian poems, including the original Russian and English translations, and also online audio (in various formats) of the poets reading their work (or, in the case of pre-20th century and some early 20th century poems, other people reading the poets' work). Especially stunning to me are the couple of recordings of Vladimir Mayakovsky reading his poems, an amazing revelation. The site also has bios of the poets and many links to related material. The site is hosted by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature at Northwestern University.

The Factory School website has a Digital Audio Archive which features online audio (RealPlayer) of many poets and writers (mostly of the United States, though a few from elsewhere) reading their work. The recordings cover the past century, from early wax cylinder recordings of Walt Whitman and Robert Browning up through the 21st century. Elizabeth Bishop, W. H. Auden, Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Mei Mei Berssenbrugge, Nelson Algren, Bertolt Brecht, William S. Burroughs, Wanda Coleman, H.D., Robert Duncan, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Allen Ginsberg, Myung Mi Kim, Soleida Rios, Louis Zukofsky... and many many more. * The quality of the audio in this site is highly variable -- in some cases not very good at all -- but is sometimes fine. Worth checking out.

And, last but by no means least, miPOradio is actively building an online audio library of wonderful exciting poets reading their work, many of whom are contributors to this blog. Go and listen.

And enjoy --

Ice Fishing

Seasonal shifts have all dispersed to another country.
The canoes are put away. Inventory has been taken,
and here I am, waiting for the lake to freeze.
Why? So I can cut across to take you ice fishing.
Why? Because this is how it begins. Ice fishing.
Most anglers are waiting for the lake to freeze.
Most boaters have their boats layed up till spring.
However, there is one flaw in the logic of waiting
for the lake to freeze: cold wind. Anyone knows this.
I had dozed off again and could recall in a dream
something about waiting for the lake to freeze.
Reconnaissance tells me deer are on the island,
trapped since the previous spring and waiting
for the lake to freeze. Tens to hundreds of polar bears
stand on shore for weeks, waiting for the lake to freeze.
Usually these animals travel alone. Not so in autumn,
when they all congregate on the far rim. Like them,
if I am not found fishing or praying for snow to come,
then I am here, waiting for this lake to freeze.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Maybe driveby present tense is good enough to leave off prior lollygag, or possibly the past already overtakes this lace-topped surface with earned silk. You are matching my vocabularly with your allegretto guardrail, as the keepsakes left on time have splintered into nether thought. I'll say that icicles are pretty darling when you come to learn the vegetables reminisce. Just as a dowry comes to have transposed a liltish music to the whisper left on pause. Who among us offers cryptic sylls- while watching nature take its elements on laps around the limit world? Who ceases to be stratified into a normed division interplay? Why not pertain when it is wished? And slide along the slither rock postured where weather used to field events into ingredients as slow as foster care. Astringencies emit an air of prophecy, so why don't you? I'm here, you said, when you require me. And so the practices continued bringing on each darkness that would shift the page to one more fleck of evidence that fall is nurturing this fraction of platonic silence.

Aftercare, these images scattered like seeds recalling their inversion

AWP and the IBPC

Anyone going to the AWP and would like to represent MiPoesias IBPC community, please let me know. I have invited Cherilyn from the IBPC to join our blog and she can post more information about it.

Thank you,

Monday, October 17, 2005

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Call for Subs - Avatar Review

Avatar Review is now reading for its Summer 2006 issue, Travelling. For submission guidelines see here:

Inexplicable Disappearances

Rainbows settled in silent flares
around our faded bell-bottoms and
defiant hair, igniting us.
We were the Revolution, the
torch clutched in Lady Liberty's hand.

King's dream led us to Selma,
to Washington (and oh, dear God,
when will the Dream come true)

Where did we go? We of the burnt
draft cards, the discarded bras,
we with the voices of a thousand trumpets
and aching breastbones, hoping
to turn water into wine and so transform
the multitudes.

Questions and more questions...

Maybe our dreams ran through our fingertips
until the tired fires finally died.
Perhaps disappointed tears doused them,
bright vibrant colors running down
through dead uneven grass
to the seas where even the dolphins
have grown oddly quiet.

Pris Campbell

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Tom Beckett Issue is now online

The new issue of MiPoesias Magazine is now up for your listening and reading pleasure. This is the first issue ever produced for the magazine where we have built an audio podcast version of the publication. We hope you enjoy this new concept in publishing online. I hope we are setting new goals for other publishers to follow.

Here is a link to the podcast of the show:

Here is the new issue:

Please help me share the news. I am Christopher Columbus' daughter and today is my sister's birthday. I am off to celebrate.

A special thanks to Tom Beckett and to everyone who has made this happen.

Thank you,
Didi Menendez
MiPOesias Magazine

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Poetry~At~Sea Event


If you would like to go on the cruise, please call me at work at 1-866-456-6752. Ads will be coming out in Poetry Magazine soon and when the ads hit, there may not be a lot of space left. So book early and get onboard. Hope to hear from you.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Pablito's Daughter (part two)

At funerals I am introduced
as Pablito’s daughter.

My father died a few days
before he would have turned 41.
I have already surpassed his age.

No one ever introduces me as
Dulce Maria.

You’d think there are plenty of
Pablitos in Miami and they may
confuse me for someone else's

Yet there is no need to say
my last name.

I am introduced as Pablito’s daughter.

I never correct the introducer.

I simply smile and look into the eyes
of the person being introduced
and all of a sudden they recollect
their youth, Cuba before Castro
and my father

Sunday, October 09, 2005

does anyone really understand what I am doing?

Keats, Hardy, Austen, Woolf, Trollope etc

If anyone is in the UK the poet David Caddy who runs Tears In the Fence mag is now organising literary tours/walks
I haven't yet told him the tours could include a trip to AnnMarie Eldon's house...

Saturday, October 08, 2005

a lot of work but well worth it

As you may or not know, we are building an audio library and within that audio library we are setting up individual feeds for each artist. In other words, besides miPOradio, the individual contributors will also have a feed so that our audience may subscribe to thier individual poetry if they like as well as the show. Isn't that like the most exciting news you have heard today?

Here is a link to the listing of contributors. Many of them have their feeds already and you can start subscribing to your favorites. Please share this news and if you happen to be on the list share your page on your blog/web sites.

If I am missing your bio and photo, please send it along.

Whenever you wish to update your page with audio, please follow our guidelines.

Help spread the sounds......

Thank you
Didi Menendez
Birdie Jaworski
Boris Karloff and His Marimba Band

The marimba band
was raising hell,
and accidentally

woke up the dead.
The Big Bopper
was bopping again.

Richie Valenzuela
played La Bamba
for La Donna.

Jim Croce
got out of
his time bottle,

John Lennon
was wearing
a bullet-proof vest,

Mack the Knife
did by-pass surgery
on James Darren and Elvis,

and the marimba band
kept on playing
all through the night.

Everything was fine
until somebody stepped
on Buddy Holly’s glasses,

right then and there the spell was broken
and the marimba became silent
upon a peak in Darien.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

this blog is like the most creative blog I have seen

john korn's blog

Negotiating a Book Contract

Nope, not poetry. A former colleague from my first job out of grad school teaching a year at the U Missouri and I decided to work on something that had a chance of earning some money. So....never having read romance novels before, we read a bunch and started writing. We had the writing skills. I needed a partner since I still have cognitive difficulties and this made it a whole lot easier , tho still slow. Not the great american novel, but not trite cliches and bodice ripping either. Our characters romance with style:-)

A publisher definitely wants the book. Now we're down to negotiating the terms of the contract ,which could take a few more conference calls and drafts of it before we're done.

Anyway, I wanted to share this.


a slight rant

i never found the dashboard before & i don't know how i found it now, but it appears it is somehow working. at least from the desktop -- i'll have to get it to the laptop too. strike continues. scabs today. it's beyond me how these assholes wld cross a picket line, & one iron city trucking driver likes to spit at us as he speeds by -- company has sent us 3 registered letters, trying to break the union, assuring us we can return to work & be protected, etc... -- right. amerika has spit upon the graves of all who died in the name of collective bargaining. it's a very disturbing trend. if any of you are staunch republicans, please, kiss my ass. i try to stay out of politics, & i apologize for even mentioning a political party...i respect ALL perspectives...but it doesn't come likewise, & that's what pisses me off the most, & has prompted this rant. go back to the poetry...

test test


Your Bettie Poems....

Please record them and send them to me. I want to put a show together of the poems. Here are the guidelines.

Of Things Unspoken

Silence. Like the sound of a whale asleep
in a gray slant-lit cove. Or the soft inhale
of the north wind after a storm has passed.

      my prison
            my cave
                  my haven
my coffin.

A neighbor bikes past my house.
Longings for my own cobwebbed bike
surge deep inside of me.

I imagine old lovers returning
to resurrect limp limbs with a whisper.
I dream of dead friends and relatives
gathering to sing hymns to the gods
of late awakenings.

At night I fly high over rows of rooftops
arched like a sea of tents.
My cobbled body stares back at me.

Eyes closed, my arms web into wings.
The wind rises.

Pris Campbell

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

the bullies and the breasts

my son has leapt from my womb
I wish I could push him back in
but he is twelve years old and
is slouched on the bathroom
chair punishing his cuticles
and picking the already
scaly quicks back
to their roots

I have leapt from my womb
to his fingertips and want
to suckle them so
that I may calm
his biting into
a more

but he is unsteadily staking the constant
alternate hands into the mouth
route and the chair is too
closely surrounded by
corners by towels by
chrome is shaking
crying where dry

could be. It has taken me
fifty five minutes or thereabouts
to prise names from him and how
many of them laid about him, girls
and a disproportionate number of blows. Boys
too, ten or twelve, not by age but by gang size
on the field where no one saw but everyone watched

his skin is cracked like useless grout and tiles
soak up his sobs as I should but he is
sixty minutes older than he was
and nothing warm
stirs to help us
and some-

drips makes contact breaks
the moment if I were
anyone else I would
clout them bang
their heads
fucking murderers!

but my son has leapt from my womb
and is saying please leave it
please drop it and his sister
is now yelling at me my
daughter fourteen
going on twenty
three holds him
by the hand

and gently tells
him his manhood
where he discovers
beans already spilled
the entire story broken out
of his quivering pout and somehow
the kettle is boiling and the truth

a temporary balm
and we are in the kitchen
swapping prospects trading fallout
I tout spoonfuls make tea take stock
Emma Harry Katy Daisy and anonymous
others swim before us pleading their chances in ripples
of steam and I am fifty going on seventy but even after this bad dream
shall always be able to feed from the nipples

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Announcement from Peggy Eldridge-Love

Just an FYI. My poem, All That Really Matters, from my book YOU BECKON, was selected by American Greetings as a page in its 2006 African-American Almanac Day-At-A-Time Desktop Calendar. I'm delighted. There's more detail on my blog if you'd like to know more.
Peggy Eldridge-Love

Saturday, October 01, 2005

don't forget to check and see if your poem is gonna make it to the "best of"

Jenni is picking them from now on so I can work on the magazine.

thanks jenni...


Free Associate (thanks Lorna!)

Crave occurs in capsized overdose
Whole package scrubbed of flaws grows clean
Roommates take up yardage
5:30 opens the container
Lesbian referees the pinking
Poignant notary activity yields flavor
Hurtful and you're out simple as that
You and I loan harmony to others
Grateful is the first thing in the morning
Giggle not nearly so soft as it could be