Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Idea of Legacy

I'm pleased to announce that the second of my long-forthcoming books of poems, The Idea of Legacy, is now published and available.

The publisher is somewhat low-tech: no website, unfortunately. The book is available for $8.00 by paper mail from: Musical Comedy Editions, 5136 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55419. (In spite of the name of the press, the book itself isn't a musical, and I probably wouldn't describe it as a comedy.)

Two of my other books of poems, If There Is A Song and What Is Buried Here, are currently available from Red Dragonfly Press. (The link is to the publisher's Price List page where both books are listed; click on the Contact and Ordering link in the left-hand column if you want to order.)


Wednesday, August 30, 2006


the alluvial haystack at the side of the house
is suburban rot the kid that once careered
round the culdesac now old & boring though
he still holds up the guinness book of the year
& clothes as a parting gift to raaf families & yeah
an icecream bell is something special triggering
sexual atmosphere but no sparechange cleverly
there are small squares of coloured paper shining
glued to my hands so i patch up the fence of lashed
sticks leaning tired & keeping only crabapples
patrolling rusted swingsets thinking its even harder work
to sit still an effort & a milestone & a kid in a cape supposed
to hammer a nail in effectively smiles shes done years of research
she knows the only spot the tooth fairy could have gone like me
shes come back to make her pay up

how to give up this drug called longing: the
veins are empty and unfictitious as morning

a matt unlickable feculence upon the tongue's
attempts to remember kiss: miss this and this

and this enduring emptiness the body's only
solace, falling always these dawndregs must

to misplace some other, larger, restless place:
space his trace his dermis-sheen his foreseen

absence: no grace between the face, arms but
hoping did prove a ghost-fix: slip down upon

down: warmth shall covet bloodsap till mouth
blood full is: yet each and every pore leaps at

a profitless promise: for more: for more: for

Horsefly Literary Magazine Calls for Submissions

Horsefly is currently looking for submissions for our 5th edition, to be published in the spring of 2007. Please submit here:

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Fighter Pilots

We could be
          fighter pilots

he says to me

          as we stand by the
                    chain link fence,

where we meet
          to cover the roles

                    we will play
while on recess.

          In Arabia,
                    sand erupts

into the air
          like lava

                    and ash
as bombs

          plunge from
                    paper fighter planes.

learn the moon is welcome to your pastel underline

bequeath a summer
to magi

perfect sheets
on the line

amend a recent
daylight flawed

sleep mends
unhappy creativity once

furnished with unfurnished
premises still

a bird
flew over yards

your yard, my
mecca, our

with lack
of any yearning

Monday, August 28, 2006

Writing a Hillside

You ask what things
inspire me to write -
they are like leaves of grass:

The woman who waits in her bed,
prays to the plastic Jesus on her dresser
through her treatment torture
with its symphony of pills,
for her cancer to abate.

All the drunks in bars
crying to be saved -
and how can they be saved
from themselves?

The way I scrimmage
to garner my living,
penny here, dollar there.

The fear of swallowing an apple seed
and having a tree sprout from my belly button.

The berry taste of my lover's mouth.

The white she-wolf who pads beside me.

The moon beneath her hood of night.

Every life stolen by a bullet.

Atomic mushrooms blooming
along the horizon.

The secrets of the universe
unfolding on a screen in front of me;

political prophecy on the wall
of a motorway viaduct.

Bono's face, described in 3D

Willow fingers rhinestoned with ice
wafted above the steaming July river.

Water dancing with light,

light breathing in darkness.

The need to finger your heart -
yes yours -

to roll your heart over my palm
and between my fingers -
like the blue stem of my pen.

I write so that someone may read this
and recognise me.
I write so that I may learn
to recognise myself.

I write to bind you in narrative threads
and reel you in,

and to cut through
the shadows on my sister's face.

I write the flute of wind
through blades of grass
along the hillside sheep tracks
of my homeland.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


You are waiting
for the sun,

the ways it rises
again and again.

These days, time is the matter
on your mind.

You forget too much.
I hope you’d never need

to be bravest
as memory falls away.

You leave a part
of the house empty,

every door.

miPOradio's The Goodnight Show: August CountDown

miPOradio's The Goodnight Show: August CountDown

for my father who today would have been ninety-one

yes to perfection.
yes to worth.
yes to confidence.
yes to androgyny.
yes to accomplishment.
yes to humor.
yes to choice and both.

the long living versus the short-lived
offers to disease a whisper of true north.

how is responsibility maintained apart from girth of brain
when brain is half the reason
and when the leitmotif descends upon
already fallen earth.

each sentence declarative in loneliness
each portion of the skill remaindered
books in bins along the outer doors in shops
leave hope around the fillings that they are.

my compass you still are.
the child who has uncovered
your young mind
I hold her heart.

Paper Snowflakes By Helen Losse Now Available

Copies of my chapbook, Paper Snowflakes, will be mailed to me this week. That means copies are for sale at Southern Hum Press. The editor, Jessicca Vidrine, said, “They are quite lovely.”

Saturday, August 26, 2006

miPOradio - call for audio

I am putting together a special program featuring just one writer at a time. If you have anything you can record about Frank O'Hara's poems or his life or perhaps you can read one of your favorite poems by him, please send me the audio and I may just use it on the show.

Thank you,
Didi Menendez

"Shelling the Pecans"

Shelling the Pecans

for A. A.

I knew what a woman's hand could do:
shred the husk into threads, weave lips
together at the seam. Rock to hard body,
empire to thrust into knave -- the native
touch tocando música up the spine
of the violin, some song of silk and gut.
I knew race was a matter of degree,
that inch in the face, that notice
of dismissal. How to work all day
at a posture, at a stance, at attention
paying attention to none but the awl.

I put my hole into you, this notch
between the breasts, this discovery
and treason. Hembra a macho. Fixed.
O defined in the still shell of history,
a destiny written in the charts and lost. Lost
in the unnoticed memories of you, a flicker
of change, some small scrimp
of light. Tu luz. Ahí allá -- a la ala
and the scoop. Your aguila eyes sweeping
up the dawn's desire. This night. I remember

shelling the pecans. Nothing but a bucket.
No ride exceptional. Nothing but a dream
to entertain us. I dreamed this moment --
all the sweet meats in a risen weight going
higher to the rim. The price and the pricing.
I could eat what I missed or messed. Outside,
the birds bending to it on a summer day.
The great age of my grandmother's banded
hands weighing me down. The paper
of tutelage blasting me away

at that age. Now, I still remember
how to shuck, how to fetch it, how to
step it. Stepping up to you, I ask.
The point enters the ventricle without
shattering the meat. How a woman
on a good day can rip out the heart

(in progress - 8/25/06)
Lorna Dee Cervantes

Who Killed JonBenet Ramsey?

Dan Abrams murdered JonBenet.
No, Rita Cosby murdered the little princess.
No, CourtTV murdered JonBenet.

Bill O’Reilly sexually assaulted her
and then strangled her.
Ann Coulter sexually assaulted her

and then blamed the liberals.
Nancy Grace sexually assaulted JonBenet
and then strangled her.

Anderson Cooper and Sheppard Smith
both of them took turns sexually assaulting her
and slowly strangling her.

All these bastards and bitches
are going to jail.
Who’s going to deliver the bad news now?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Christopher T. George's Blog

Christopher T. George's Blog


Ten days to go in the contest on my blog. What inspires you? Tell me in a poem of thirty lines or less, any form. Send your entries to me at by midnight on Thursday, August 31, Eastern time. Winners will be published on my blog and first prize winner also receives a copy of the CD of the Charlotte production of highlights from the musical by composer Erik Sitbon and myself, "Jack The Musical: The Ripper Pursued." Good luck!


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Art Is Mercy

Let me brush your silk and name myself a color after.
If the road were to divide, I would encompass.
Now, though, wheels seem just enough.
The only latitude I want is you.

If the road were to divide, I would encompass
Pathways not yet made, I would redeem choice from confinement
The only latitude I want is you
Beside me bringing climate to the work.

Pathways not yet made redeem choice from confinement
Any day now, when the weather holds my heart alight,
Beside me climate brings the work
To riveting displays of thinking river's pace.

Any day now, when the weather holds my heart alight,
The trebling branches sift through quiet
To the riveting displays of thinking river's pace
Mere divination of the messages from usual impatience.

Trebling branches sift through quiet
Reminscent of first moments when a picture comes to seem
Mere divination of the messages from usual impatience.
Look at where we are in blessing these surroundings.

Reminiscent of first moments when a pictures comes to seem
Wheels now just enough to
Look at where we are in blessing these surroundings
As I brush your silk and name myself a color after.



Saturday, August 19, 2006

“ Twenty American passenger planes were lost over the Atlantic Ocean within
hours of each other. American authorities confirm that it was terrorism. Rescue
planes have reported no survivors and little or no debris. The lame-duck President
is vacationing in Crawford and has not yet commented on the tragedy. It is not
known when he will address the nation.”

from the special edition of The New York Times
Dec. 23, 2008

The Unfoiled Plot

The planning took years,
I’m not at liberty to say how long.
We never used the telephone,

we never used emails,
we didn’t use the Internet.
We did not write anything

(pertaining to our plans) down on paper.
It was all word of mouth.
We were going to blow up

American planes over the Atlantic,
halfway across, over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
We were going to blow up twenty planes

to show the Great Satan his evil ways.
Twenty of us women were recruited
into the service of God.

The liquid explosives were injected
into our breast implants and triggered
by electric charges hidden in our eyeglasses.

This poem was turned over to British authorities
by family members of one of the female suicide
bombers. The poem offers the only clue as to how
the tragedy of Dec. 23 was carried out.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Entry X.5

The sky’s pastel pink and blue as the sun rises over the Sangre de Cristos.
For long moments of time, I’m calm, sitting on a tattered house rug thrown on the sand, remembering into the distance....

the aged odor of the nursing home as I would walk through to that room....
the stab of a glass shard in my foot, the sharp slide out....
how, as a child, I would always dig large holes in the woods behind our house, and lie in them....

At night, I watch the red car lights along the distant mountain ridge like slow-linear UFO’s,
and try to decipher coyotes hunting in the thick darkness.


Sometimes I catch
and call a language
that isn’t mine,
stepping behind
a dream, raking
burning leaves,
or entering backdoors
one after another
after another drops off
the edge.

That can be freedom
but sometimes it flies
toward an open window
suddenly caught
without strange recourse
or the clarity of glass,
the way it can only see
so far.

Where the Heart Isn't

Where the Heart Isn’t

Day ends with the cicada’s (ceaseless) rattle.
Dusk begins, signaled by the flap of moths

(up from the blades) and bats. Three crows
fly and caw across the sky, staggered.

(I do not think about death.) A white kitten
(almost cat) stalks daddy long legs, centipedes

and gnats. (I do not wonder if I could live
with one less leg or wing.) A male cardinal

sits at the top of the cherry and sings his tiny
heart out. (Mine! Mine! Mine! Or: Night

is coming! perhaps.) A contrail drifts lows
like a tornado chopped in half. (Where

did you fly to? Why did you go? I never
asked.) Night comes on so suddenly,

(all green goes black) that I find myself
sitting in the starless dark, the house glowering

unlit behind me like a stranger who wants
to buy me a drink. (Home; where the heart isn’t.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Hitting for the cycle

Hitting for the cycle
"It is designed to break your heart."--A. Bartlett Giamatti

That makes it easier to shrug, to close the book
on some tragic character falling ill, so irrevocably ill
while the leaves dance down in their long bright autumn.
It's meant that way. It's meant to be. Six months
and you're out. Sixty years and you're out. A quick
signing of a sixty day lease and then, by god, you're out
with a Costco bag clutched sweaty and all of your regrets
poking out the sides.

This is how we shove new petunias into the ground,
deadhead with a flick, tearing petals with their old meat
smell thick on your fingernails, and purple. Nurse them
along, but as callous as an orderly with the demented,
oh they were better dead. It is designed, these gardens
blooming brief and hot, every year, every page turned
and something somewhere ends.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Just yourself thinking about me

Look at your formatting.
Demeter is not appalled by this.
Demeter knows.

                                   I talked to her in the car
                             about her sister. I sat in the car
                                   at the top of the hill

in the police cruiser.       I said       (her daughter)

                                   I said that we were lucky
                             to be thinking about the same thing--
                                   that was rare.

And the moon the same moon.
I asked, whether she had parted ways
with her garden, or not.


I sat in her garden.
I said, I know.

                                   the picture will hold you up
                                   the picture will arrest you
                                   you will not be able to forget
                                   the picture
                                   the picture will argue with you
                                   from the wall


She had no talent for miracles
she said
(just for the mirror)

                               I said       that was a lie

I was a musician
I said


try music.

now Two things:

in the New American Gothic
have a tight grip on the handle

and the woman, she
isn’t smiling.


What do the others know about me?



The wind arrests the plain in chilly light:
what place is this, that marks each silent name?
In blaring grand triumphal march we came
to stand this ground, the broken field of night.
Beneath the marble blessings heroes lie
in sullen wrath, a bone of discontent
on scattered ash. A letter never sent:
come find me here, for here I come to die.
This is the rusting church where speech grows numb,
if we could speak, with tongues of smoke and lead
felling each fragile hand and gaping head
at rasp of dawn where dreams gasp and succumb.
Bought and paid for, we rose to do your will,
and will no more. The stars rise bright, and still.



Yet I was born of hope

Und sie ist geboren aus dem Glauben

beyond dream incessant

in die Tatsche der Verzeitlichung

of any sentence I could create.

in einen Horizont ferner Bewegung.

-- Alfred Arteaga, from "Poem for Two Voices"

To be a small presence: your
burst of air, a molecule of blood
becoming mountains, veins of hair,
the black thread descending, all
the secrets of light gracing the waves;

Come and let me be nubbin,
nebulous and cloven, the wheat
covering the chaffed waves (Yes, sea!),
a coming to senses, to salt,
converting the moment into pages,
into the entire desire of the tide;

To know the mollusk of woman,
the taking in, I leave it to you;
I take in the perfect breath;
Alive; in the juncture of you,
a new north, the southern past, the sultry
beginning in a forest of seed;

entre una cara marcando horizontes de ojos
oscuros -- la oscuridad del futuro,
manos de la cosecha, the silk thread
of connections revealing time in its gory
details: a flag letting go, bunches
of onions in a single stall; The still

and stall of my life becoming this moment,
this dive of your eyes; This breath,
this burst of red, letting me be
this small presence, descending.


Monday, August 14, 2006


bettie & the poets arrived via mailman this morning - wow this is a quality production. thanks didi.
(perhaps now i shall read something by each poet each month...)

- derek

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I've set up a blog for the videos

Here --

I am adding another one in a few minutes...

Who will it be?
Are you ready for some football?
The Dallas Cowboys

You were changing your tampon in the stands
as the Wave was going by us.
Dallas Cowboys kicking Redskin asses.

The Goodyear Blimp flew overhead
like the rail-splitter,
a bullet in his stove pipe hat.

Walt was trying to live up to his reputation.
Leaf after leaf after leaf,
ad nauseam.

The runningback broke away,
the cheerleaders opened wide,
binoculars focusing on the cracks.

Cheering and yelling
I looked over at you,
you had blood on your hands.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

my first victim

I am looking for a victim....

I mean a poet who will allow me to take one of their poems and convert it to a picture- video-thing-a-magigy-thing.

No questions asked though from the victim...I mean poet.

There is one exception to this, the poem I select must also be available in audio.

If you are open to my request, please respond back.

Thank you,

take the lover's words at their most adroit
for this is the lathering welcome soft
as liquorice froth on a bed of fished
rice where no manplan followed
the dead harridan's line

for this also where the massive daddy longlegs
memory crawls contemporaneously
with one mind you only massive rose thorn
made dreg-veined legs
could not yet crawled

curled up nurserybed-wise and sleep tested
against the cutting point her birther's hands
and shouting mouth how they were hacking
the hedge down and failed to notice no sand
notice no

come sea time there are whoosh angels
in scampering tides clithering backwards along
the shoreline so gets us to find ourselves and words
they have slanted somewhat from the cruel pagewise the

trail stockings dirt as journey in nylony
as dredge shimmying pathfinders led his coming
tomorrow the where this fits on over the carbonated granite
clevvages the oily rain washes sense into
to ravage the thought ravage to

find ourselves holds like a huge holding pattern over
their circling the planes the hedgepicky blackbird scrawbling
his very very very nice to see you how the worm earth provides

to have the cleaning taken from her not her sister
who sat at feet who smoothes tears who taught
with precious perfume offering
whose five languid are
carefully unhook

from the scripts now life is in
the sand
the leaf
the fingercrusting because

they ache for a skin surface not the antiskin
teachings after all not anything fallen but glossy
as if kedgeree became constituents again
and mad mother actually died no scratch-trench

most: to rest is to believe it can be given
to believe is to was not reborn in the genes
is to found not self but demiocean simply was
washed was peacesalt held was real-laid not churned

Friday, August 11, 2006

"The liquid weapon subterfuge"     [sonnet]

Mace might seem a no-brainer
but nitroglycerine's handy
in an Oil of Olay container
for a shot of explosive brandy
the Evian water ain't water
the shampoo won't do for your coif
if the plotline's wayward daughter
had been covertly cogent enough...
but the liquid weapon subterfuge
lands with premature renown
now be wary applying the rouge
to the face of the naive clown
hello! let's go? one surmises
a future of fluid surprises


vide e.g.: New York Times (August 11, 2006)
Liquid as Weapon? For Many, a Scary Thought

What happens when you google yourself

I found a critique of one of my older poems at Poets.Org's board.

I wrote it after a poetry reading at Amy Serrano's home when I met a poet/novelist who had been invited to read and also who just so happened to have been a Political prisoner in Cuba for many years.

It is amazing how many different ways they find to write poems while being held in a Cuban prison. One of the tortures they do to them is strip them naked and leave them in a cold marble room among other monstrosities.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Aha...I found out how to post

There's no little rectangle anymore. For anyone else confused, scroll all the way to the bottom and just hit the line link 'powered by blogger'.

I'll be back.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

miPOradio's The Goodnight Show: Would you like to subscribe to our blogroll?

miPOradio's The Goodnight Show: Would you like to subscribe to our blogroll?

If you have time, I can use your feedback

This web site gathers information about responses for submissions. If you have submitted to MiPOesias or OCHO and have time to enter the information, I would appreciate it. You can do this for other magazines you have submitted to as well. Just pull down the menu.

Thank you,
Didi Menendez

Tuesday, August 08, 2006



when the rains came, you sailed away.
the sky extended pale and gray
toward a vacant unspoken place,
the knowing shadows of your face
fallen long across the day.

the wind and water in their play
built up a house beside the bay,
an open room of calm and grace,
when the rains came.

here on the empty shore i stay,
here where the palm leaves knock and sway
in the pale dawn light fine as lace.
and you are gone without a trace,
a breath flown on the blowing spray
when the rains came.

Monday, August 07, 2006

never come back

scraping sway
of drunken

it hurts

flies gather
tiny circles
create a sphere

there's something
that i wish to contain
there's some thing
that i often wander around
never successfully capture

eating carpet
midnight left
an hour ago
and her words there
against the window

come back'

Sunday, August 06, 2006


A Musical Exercise: In Which the Kids Die and a Star Cooks the Meat

This mystical frolic amid my sad dreams:
The moon glowing rabid deep in the night.

The children of starry day are gone—

slipping beyond blue, pausing briefly,
growing cold. Eye of rib roasting

upon a velvet star.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Poetry At Sea 2006

Walking Beside Lamp Posts

I climb up
these steps
thinking of where
I fail to follow.

The second I move
out of sight,
you come into view.

Is it like this,
the way love leads to
some place nearer,
some deeper delight
yet hidden from us?

These lights
turn on the beauty
that's already here
that makes us reach to it.

Michelle Buchanan has a portrait of me as a baby up on ebay

And Now A Word From
One Of Our Sponsors

Cesar Vallejo was pulling Sylvia Plath
out of the oven by her hips,
words widespread,

the Eiffel Tower making a land-bridge
between France and England.
He helped her to the sofa,

she was still in a daze
as you can well imagine.
Her eyes a distant star, maybe Antares,

her frock (which we are not
about to mock) gave her the air
of so many housewives up and down the street.

Cesar got her a cup of coffee
and they talked late into the night
except for interruptions by her children,

who still had a mother
and us, who still had a poet,
but we, of course, dared not intrude.

We stood against a wall
and marveled at their art,
our eyes stuck to theirs with Elmer’s Glue.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Poems of World War III

After long absence, Chuck Levenstein announces his new book

Poems of World War Three

published with Lulu and available now!

First reviews: "Almost brilliant!" "Poignant and angry"

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

swollen stars stumbling
cease features in parade

the luminous nipples of trees
spectatored rotating nuisances

that elfin clowns jumble up
and jump
should come as no surprise
to my wet nurse

It was but moments ago I died.
I heard the planes overhead
and now silence crushes my bleeding ears.

Just this morning I played games
in the rubble of the bombed-out buildings,
hungry and thirsty,

but being a child, one has to play
even in time of war.
I dreamt of a day

with empty skies
or harmless clouds, playmates,
like the one lying next to me.

I know it’s her
but I don’t recognize her face
and I know she doesn’t recognize mine.

In the pressurized cabin
the triumphant pilot can almost reach out
and touch the face … of evil.