Friday, December 23, 2011

Two Shot: War Medal and Fat Chance by Hosho McCreesh

Hosho McCreesh strikes again with stories that crawl inside your head and stay there.
In the first of two short stories available at http://www.smashwords.com , War Medal, a young boy named Henry spends his day with Buck, a man that was best friends with his father in the armed forces. Buck gets around by using a wheel-chair and Henry gladly spends time pushing him around town on his birthday which happens to be the 4th of July. Buck is out-spoken and bitter, cracking unseemly jokes and causing “scenes” wherever they go. Buck is a vet with a drinking problem, Henry is a boy of 12 trying to understand the jokes Buck spouts and the emotional reactions Buck has to the world around him. Buck spouts off about losing his legs, about a bottle of booze breaking on the sidewalk, and to Henry’s delight, reminisces about Henry’s Dad. For those who know someone like Buck, this story will make your skin crawl. For those who don’t, your skin may crawl anyway as we read about a grown man dealing with the loss of his legs, his best friend, and his attempts to befriend the son of his dead best friend. Told from Henry’s perspective you get a sense of Henry’s innocence, his desire to hear all he can about his Dad, and his longing to make sense of someone like Buck. The ending to this story is disturbing, it has the makings for tragedy of the worst kind and then leaves us hanging. So many lives never tie up neatly and the ending leaves us believing the same thing for both Henry and Buck—how their lives will continue on with loose ends dangling.

The second story, Fat Chance, is about Patrick, a working class man in a working class neighborhood who gets a call from a woman he knows and she asks if she can crash at his place and catch some sleep while he goes to work. He says it’s fine and spends his day thinking about her, forgetting about the hardships of his working shift, dreaming of the things they’ll do together after work, such as heading to the bar Fat Chance. Patrick is the underdog, a man who endears himself to you as you champion his dreams for the night. Does he get the girl or not? To find out how it ends, you’ll have to read it for yourself.

Hosho McCreesh’s stories are always dead-pan and startling, taking the hard-working and turning life on its ear. I highly recommend reading these two stories,War Medal and Fat Chance, are available as a “double shot” for a mere .99 cents at:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/106823


To learn more about Hosho McCreesh and see what other poetry and stories he has published, visit his web-site at:

www.hoshomccreesh.com
Thanks always for reading, please drop in January 2nd when I have returned from spending time with family and friends for the holidays. I wish you and yours Happy Holidays and Happy New Year…

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Nerve Cowboy Open Submissions

If you are a poet looking to break in, this is a great place to do so, they were my first acceptance and I am proud to be part of their journal. They also publish great work by seasoned veterans along with artwork and short stories, it’s a well-rounded journal that’s been around for a long time—they like attitude and you need to visit their web-site and/or order a journal to see what I mean.

Having said all of that, they are open to snail-mail submissions year round: Send up to five pages of poems with your contact information on each page along with a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope to:

Joseph Shields and Jerry Hagins, Editors
Nerve Cowboy
P.O. Box 4973
Austin, TX 78765

For more details, go to:

http://www.jwhagins.com/submission.html

and

http://www.jwhagins.com/nervecowboy.html

Good luck to all who submit, please stop in tomorrow for a review of two short stories…

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Poems Found by Poet Hound

http://juked.com/2011/12/breakfastinslidell.asp
“Stopping for Breakfast in Slidell” by Ann Barngrover

http://www.sundresspublications.com/wickedalice/young.htm
“Little Red Riding Hood” by Jessica Young


Thanks for clicking in, please drop by tomorrow for more open submissions…

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Accidental Navigator by Henry Denander

Henry Denander’s latest collection of poems and one short story, The Accidental Navigator, is published by Lummox Press and has a conversational, close-friend tone that is familiar and comforting. The poems themselves describe Mr. Denander’s amazing life (amazing compared to mine, anyway) of his time working for a record company and meeting such famous people as Leonard Cohen, Miles Davis, Chet Baker and Keith Jarrett. In addition, living on an island in Greece affords him wonderful tales to tell in poetic form as well. From poetry to music to every day life, Mr. Denander covers it all in a natural way that has you reading page to page before realizing the stories are coming to an end. I look forward to more poems and more stories from Mr. Denander and I’m happy to share a few of them with you:


Beauty Sleep

I am sleeping with a CPAP,
it’s a device that blows
air into my nose.

For years I’ve been snoring heavily and
suffered from sleep apnea.

With this tube attached to my nose
I no longer snore and I have a
good sleep.

But when I strap the mask on at night
my wife realizes I no longer look like
the handsome young man
she married

but more like Hannibal Lecter.

But I think she prefers
the Silence of the Lambs
to the Thunder in the Night.

This poem made me laugh. If you don’t know or remember who Hannibal Lecter is he is a character in the movie Silence of the Lambs and is known as a murdering psychopath. I love that this poem is conversational in tone, as though the poet is leaning into you and telling you this story.



The revenge of the couch potato

Zapping through the TV-channels
I stopped at Jeopardy, when I
Recognized a familiar face from
35 years ago.

It was an old teacher I remembered
for his beard and his clogs.

He was a besserwisser and here he
Was on prime time and I was sitting
on my couch watching him miss
almost every question.

At last he got what was coming to
him, Mr. Know-It-All.

I wish I could’ve been there in the
studio to tell him to do his lessons
better next time.

Mr. Denander’s story of sweet-sweet revenge watching a teacher who harassed him as a kid failing at Jeopardy is another one that makes me laugh aloud. We all know this type of person and we all feel grateful when they are put in their place, another great poem.



Accept your name

Henry Chesney Baker
and Henry Charles Bukowski;

if I had known about these guys when
I was young perhaps I would have liked
my own name better.

My name is OK now but I was never very
pleased with it when I was a kid.

At that time no one here in
Sweden knew about Chet or Buk
but now it’s god to be able to
tell people that both of them were
named Henry.

And no one needs to know that
Buk never liked Henry
but used Charles instead.

This poem is one I can relate to, I hated my name as a kid. My grandmother still doesn’t like her own name. This poem’s title is simple and true, accept your name, and then discover other people you admire with the same. A lovely poem that gets you thinking.



The SASE

On eBay I bought a self-addressed and
stamped envelope that the poet Charles Bukowski
sent to Chiron Review in the 80’s.

This is the system, you send poems to a
magazine or a publisher and if they like them
they will use the SASE to reply to you.

More likely they will not use your poems and
return them in the SASE with a brief standard note
telling so.

Many poets have written about how they received
their first rejection letter or how they have their
drawers full of rejection slips.

Even Bukowski got rejection slips. In the early days.

I have framed the Bukowski envelope and
it looks nice on my wall.

It’s a nice conversation piece; when someone asks
about it I tell them the story of how it works and also,
sort of by the way,
I tell them that the Chiron Review is
actually the magazine where I had my
first poem published.

And I don’t mention any of my
rejection letters.

This poem is a tribute to all writers, in my opinion. All of us pine for a personal piece of a writer we admire, we all have those rejection letters saved (some of us shred them or delete them from our e-mails but we always have one or two saved). This poem is a guilty pleasure of mine to share with you all, simple as that.


If you enjoyed this review I urge you to Lummox Press for a copy of your very own. There are so many poems I would like to share but feel it better for you to indulge yourselves by finding a copy for yourself. To purchase a copy of The Accidental Navigator by Henry Denander for $15.00 (not including S/H), visit Lummox Press at:

http://www.lummoxpress.com/

To learn more about Henry Denander go to:

www.henrydenander.com



Thanks always for reading, please click in tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, December 19, 2011

Press Press Press Blog

Every year around this time I make sure to include a link to this blog because they showcase the latest published chapbooks by the small presses and this is yet another great way to find that perfect gift for the poet, writer, or reader in your life:

http://presspresspress.blogspot.com/

Thanks for clicking in, please stop in tomorrow for another featured poet…

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Indiana Review Open Submissions

While IR only accepts about 1% of manuscripts submitted I still say it’s worth sending your best work to them, especially since they offer $5.00 per page upon publication in addition to two contributor’s copies which is a rare and happy find. You may use their on-line submission manager or snail mail 3-6 poems. The link to the on-line submission manager is on the submissions page linked below. You will need to include a brief bio and a cover letter with any previous publications included.


Be sure to read the guidelines at the link below, if you do snail mail your poems be sure to include your contact information at the top of each page and enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope for your poems to be returned. The mailing address is:

Poetry Editor
Indiana Review
Ballantine Hall 465
1020 E. Kirkwood Ave.
Bloomington, IN 47405


See the guidelines and on-line submission manager at:

http://indianareview.org/submit/

Good luck to all who submit, please drop in again next week…

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Poems Found by Poet Hound

https://sites.google.com/site/46arhpcitiesi/doug-mathewson
“Amherst, Massachussetts” by Doug Mathewson

https://sites.google.com/site/46arhpcitiesi/tina-barry
“Hackensack” by Tina Barry


Thanks for clicking in, please stop by tomorrow for more Open Submissions…

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Allen Ginsberg Project

For all things Allen Ginsberg, visit this intellectual and tantalizing blog:

http://ginsbergblog.blogspot.com/

Please drop in again on Wednesday as I still have not had time to finish reading various books for reviews. The holiday season is in full swing so I apologize again for having less time to get the reviews out weekly but there are more posts the rest of the week so please check in starting Wednesday…

Friday, December 9, 2011

Maybe Next Week...

Hello and apologies again for not having a book review up for this Friday. Please drop in again Monday and I’ll try to finish my book before next Friday…

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Blue Mesa Review Poetry Contest

Co-poetry editor Nora Hickey passed along the details for the contest below:

2012 poetry contest guidelines:
 All unpublished poetry manuscripts of 5 poems maximum will be considered.
 The winner will receive $750 and publication in Blue Mesa Review Issue 25, and two copies of issue 25.
 Please submit and pay $17 online to our new online submission manager
 ENTRY DEADLINE: BY DECEMBER 31st, 2011
 Submit here: http://bluemesareview.submishmash.com/submit

*Also, Dana Levin is judging the contest

To visit the main website go to:

http://www.unm.edu/~bluemesa/


Good luck to all who submit, please stop by again soon…

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Poems Found by Poet Hound

http://www.calamaripress.com/3rdBed/3rd_bed-issue%204.pdf
Jason Nelson’s “Pathology and Pathologic Anatomy” (page 13)

http://www.poolpoetry.com/poetthirteen.html
Ronnie Yates’ “Cigarette Smoke”

Thanks for clicking in, please check in tomorrow for more Open Submissions…

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Measure of Small Gratitudes by Ann Menebroker

Ann Menebroker’s The Measure of Small Gratitudes is published by Kamini Press and is a smart collection of poems encompassing the every-day yet memorable moments of life in a gentle and grand-sweeping gesture. Reading these poems makes me feel like I am being shown a photo album and being told the stories behind the photos. Ann Menebroker has published over twenty collections of poems and has appeared in numerous anthologies, including The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry and she is part of a documentary based on poets in Sacramento tilted I Began To Speak. Ms. Minebroker’s most recent collection from Kamini Press is a pleasure to read, so much so that I think I’d like to share each and every poem but cannot so here are a few for you to savor:

For Joe DiMaggio

for a long time baseball has been a boy’s
dream and spring, his time to be kissed awake
because the grass smells good, is tall enough
to cut down, his mitt oiled and fits him
like a pattern of his leanest need
something he starves for, but the regulators
for a busy life tell him the game’s too slow
the heroes are no longer on the mound, at bases
or in the field. you could build a small village
by the top of the ninth inning, and extra
innings are torture. but he still believes
in the game. he still believes in the pitcher’s
magic, the hitter’s power, the catcher’s technique.
the umpire’s call. in his dream it’s the seventh
inning and the crowd knows all the words to the song.
the bat boy is so full of joy he trips over home plate.

I love poems about baseball, I love the game even though I don’t follow it closely, it just reminds me of summer and good times with friends and family. In this poem, I love that Ms. Menebroker reveals the nostalgia of a young man’s heart despite the changing times and pace of the world around him. The game is so loved that even the bat boy trips for joy over the home plate at the end of the poem, lovely.



What Doesn’t Fit Here

i’m old style, honey
wax paper wrapped sandwiches
and odd smelling lunch boxes
with handles, a thermos
with o.j. and gin, a banged-up
old portable radio once belonging
to an aunt of mine, playing songs
from the thirties and me, lighting
a cigarette from the matchbox
my mom got from “windows on the world”
when she flew to new york, alone
telling her children we didn’t spend
much time with her, had dinner
at the world trade center and got
a little drunk at age seventy-nine.

This poem tugs at my own nostalgia for old lunch boxes and my own love of old-fashioned songs. At the end of the poem you realize that the world trade center has been brought up as something to have nostalgia for, that the poem encompasses not only the personal memories of the poet but now we also pine for the old days when the world trade center was still standing. How lucky her mother was to visit it and bring back the small memento with which our poet lights her cigarette. This small moment shared with us and in turn, shared with the world.



The Quiet House

east of the city, the off-street parking
of my apartment is my
scenic view, and pole lines and trees –
even one filled with oranges, planted
in the backyard of a two-story white
wooden house whose owners
have a lighting system
that goes on at night, as if
someone is there.
but as much as i look, no one
is home. the kitchen is neat
and untouched, like my future.
the stove is never on, and if the
refrigerator hums, i’ve never heard it.

This is another poem which tugs at me in a personal way. I am obsessed with houses and always have been, every shape and size, curious about the people who live inside. I love driving in neighborhoods where children are riding bicycles, couples walk hand-in-hand down the street, where neighbors tend their front lawns full of flowers and that seems to be disappearing quickly these days. This poem brings that idea to life, this perfect little house in which nothing appears to be happening, no sign of life, no sign that the house is actually a home. The lines: “the kitchen is neat/and untouched, like my future” further builds the stark contrast between activity versus the hope of impending activity. I love that the ending line is about never hearing the refrigerator hum because we never hear our neighbor’s refrigerators hum but the house is so quiet that the poet believe she should be able to hear it. I love this poem, it paints the picture I fear most: Perfect little houses with no life in them.


As I said, this collection of poems is filled with wonderful gems and I have had a very hard time selecting just a few to share. To order a copy of The Measure of Small Gratitudes from Kamini Press there are signed editions for $10.00 and limited editions with artwork for $25.00 (both include shipping and handling) at:

www.kaminipress.com


You may also e-mail Henry Denander for an alternative way to pay besides Pay Pal by e-mailing him at:
editorATkaminipressDOTcom

Thanks always for reading, please click in tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Fiddler Crab Review

I know I have featured them before but I like sharing them again because it IS the holiday season and they have reviewed a wonderful variety of chapbooks and I think you ought to check out their web-site. I also urge you to support the small presses and buy poetry books/chapbooks/broadsides as Christmas presents for those who can appreciate the written word, so to find some good reviews of good poetry in addition to what you find here, please visit:

http://fiddlercrabreview.blogspot.com/

Thanks always for clicking in, please stop by tomorrow for another featured poet…

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Joni Cole’s Contest Winner IS…

Sarah Jane from the blog: the rain in my purse
http://theraininmypurse.blogspot.com/

Congratulations!

Sarah Jane, please e-mail me your mailing address to forward to Ms. Cole so you may receive your prize, the wonderful collection of short stories Another Bad Dog Book!


Thanks to all who entered! Please drop in again soon...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Joni Cole’s Another Bad Dog Book and Give-Away Contest

If you want a book that is funny, heart-warming, with moment of poignant reflection, this is the book for you! I would also say it will make a great Christmas gift for anyone in your family who enjoys stories about children, parents, and feeling like a fish-out-of-water. Joni Cole has been featured on Poet Hound before with her funny and helpful book Toxic Feedback, and is back with her equally funny book Another Bad Dog Book Tales of Life, Love, and Neurotic Human Behavior. Not only that, but she suggested giving a copy away! The rules are simple, just leave a comment or send me an e-mail that you would like to be entered into the contest and names will be drawn at random out of a hat and the winner announced on December 4th, Sunday, 2011.

There are a number of reasons I enjoy this collection: She talks about the trials and tribulations of being a writer, of being an outsider to Vermont and trying to fit in, of visiting her father in a nursing home, of jealousy when her daughters favor hanging out with a friend of hers instead of their own mother. There is a story in here for everyone, from reminiscing about that first crush in the teenage years and the disappointment of discovering who they are as adults to missing a friend who has passed away.

One of the many stories I loved was one in which she visits a friend of hers and complains about trying to fit in to the “Vermont” way of life. I have moved many times in my life and I completely understand her point of view. Even though her friend has also moved into Vermont from somewhere else, the friend displays all the characteristics of typical Vermonters such as growing and producing one’s own food from vegetables to chickens, making your own herbal tea, and skiing. The way Mrs. Cole describes the whole scenario is hilarious as she jealously watches her friend brewing a cup of home-made herbal tea and setting out fresh hand-picked strawberries. As a woman, it is endearing and hilarious to find someone like her who thinks those same jealous thoughts I have when trying to fit in somewhere new.

Another story I enjoyed was one about her mother who is described as saying “Bullshit” and being fiercely determined to keep a clean house. Joni’s mother would vacuum every morning before going to her first-grade class to teach and prompt her children about housekeeping rules such as making them finish sentences like “Shoes off…” with Joni finishing “in the house,” and dutifully remove her shoes. While my mother was not so extreme I have met many like her and to see it from the perspective of a kid who lived it is enlightening and entertaining all at once.

All of Mrs. Cole’s stories are entertaining, even when they have the potential to break your heart such as when she describes her father’s aging process and his former vigor. No matter what your background I truly believe you’ll enjoy the stories in this book which reads like a well-thought out collection of short memoirs.


If you enjoyed this review, I urge you to purchase a copy of Another Bad Dog Book by Joni Cole for yourself and even as a gift for a friend by going to your local book-store or on-line at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1935557165/?tag=pageturners0c&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=1935557165&creative=373489&camp=211189


To WIN a copy of this book: Simply leave a comment in the comments section or send me an e-mail titled “I Want To Win.” The winner will be announced Sunday, December 4th, 2011. Please leave a contact e-mail address so I am able to send an e-mail and request a mailing address, thank you.

Good luck to all who enter the contest, please drop in again on December 4th, I’ll be taking a week off as I prepare for the holidays at my new job as an Activities Director of a long-term-care facility (you would call it a Nursing Home). I’ll be creating a monthly newsletter, helping my staff change out the calendars and decorating for the holidays so I’ll see you the following week and in the meantime I hope you’ll enter the contest and enjoy reading Ms. Cole’s review and secure a copy for yourself…

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Cafe Review Open Submissions

Open year round, always a plus! They do require snail mail, a $1.00 reading fee which I think is worth it for the site is great and the issue is sure to be better and a stamped return envelope so please see the guidelines copy-and-pasted below:

Poetry
Submissions to The Café Review should not exceed three poems (any length) and should arrive with a self addressed stamped envelope. All submissions should be accompanied by one dollar ($1.00), our reading fee, which we put directly back into the production of our publication. Manuscripts will not be returned unless requested by the author and a self-address envelope with correct postage is included with the submission.
Send submissions to:
The Café Review
c/o Yes Books
589 Congress St
Portland, ME 04101
No on-line submissions please

To learn more, go to the link below:

http://www.thecafereview.com/?page_id=26



Good luck to all who submit and Happy Thanksgiving to all of you as well!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Poems Found by Poet Hound

https://sites.google.com/site/scotsiegel/scot-siegel
Scot Seigel’s “California Travelogue”

http://www.thecafereview.com/?page_id=38
Edward Sanders’ “Saying Goodbye”

Thanks for clicking in, please drop by tomorrow for more Open Submissions…

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Apologies Again...

Hello everyone, I am going to be sparse for now on reviewing poetry since I have none left on hand and have not been to the library yet. If you’d like me to review your collection please e-mail me or message me on Facebook, otherwise I will try to get to the library as soon as I can, thanks for your patience.

Please click in tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound

Monday, November 21, 2011

Paige Ryan's Blog

Paige Ryan’s blog contains poetry and amusing musings, be sure to check it out at:


http://jpaigeryan.blogspot.com/

Thanks for clicking in, please drop in again tomorrow for another featured poet…

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sorry Again...

Sorry folks, I have been transitioning into a new job and refreshing a former career so I ran out of time to post a book review for today although I have several excellent books I have been reading for the Friday review. Please stay tuned and please continue to click in throughout the coming days…

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Arsenic Lobster Open Submissions

Arsenic Lobster publishes issues in December, April, and August. The open submssions run from Sept. 1st to April 30th and I have copy-and-pasted the guidelines below:

All submissions must conform to the following guidelines,
• Poems should be timeless, rich in imagery, and edgy. That is, no political rants or Hallmark poetry.
• Must be submitted electronically in the body of an email. Please, no attachments.
• All works must be previously unpublished.
• Each email may include 3-5 poems, any length. Please keep all poems in one email.
• Simultaneous submissions are OK, but please let us know if work is accepted elsewhere.
• Include a short, lively bio.
• Please write your first initial, last name, date and what you are submitting in the SUBJECT LINE.
Example: D. Carson 3/06/07 Poetry.
• Please limit your submissions to one per issue.
• Send your email to LOBSTER@MAGERE.COM .
• We will take submissions from September 1 through April 30.
For more details go to:

http://arseniclobster.magere.com/1submission.html

Good luck to all who submit, please drop in again…

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Poems Found by Poet Hound

http://www.blossombones.com/winter_spring2011/martin_ws2011.html
“Michael” by Dana Guthrie Martin


http://arseniclobster.magere.com/260401.html
“To the girl who made the leaves fall” by Megan Tutolo


Thanks for clicking in, please stop by tomorrow for more Open Submissions…

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Seth Steinzor’s To Join The Lost

First, let me just say that this is the first poet whose modern take on a poet of the past has inspired me not only from beginning to end in this modern take of Dante’s Inferno but has also inspired me to seek out the original collection for reference and insight. Seth Steinzor’s To Join The Lost is a modern take on Dante Alighieri’s collection Dante’s Inferno. Seth Steinzor was born to a Jewish family in California in 1952 and has been writing poetry since his teen years. After studying at Middlebury college he then studied Law at the University of Maine School of Law and his knowledge of law comes into play in this collection in a most refreshing way. Steinzor’s version is modern, smart, at times humorous and at times grotesque in the best possible ways. With Dante as his guide to the underworld we journey through Hell and experience Hell alongside Steinzor and Dante. The poems themselves are long and while I cannot include them in their entirety I can certainly share sections of them with you and if I could, I’d urge you to read both versions in their entirety. They are illuminating, frightening, and inspiring.


Excerpt from Canto XIV:

They were so grimy they seemed to be clothed. Perhaps
that hid from me what was untoward.
“Who are these?” I asked. “Ssh! Listen and watch.”
At Dante’s words a bulky man
straightened his back and turned from the group, and my stomach
flipped when I saw what his shoulders carried
over to our feet. What do you see
when I say faceless? Maybe a smooth
ovoid, perhaps with a cute potato-ish bump where the
nose should be, and dimples for eyes, and a

lipless, toothless hole, of course, for a mouth.
Focus on that hole. Surround it with
bruised, swollen, pulped and ragged tissue.
Some of the blood is congealed, some runs.
It’s said that Serbs would beat their Bosnian captives
beyond individual recognition
until they were brokenly, broadly, barely human.
Like this. Words frothed from him. The voice
was like a wind among rocks. He spoke at length,
and when at last my comprehension

stumbled into action, my horror eroded
to astonishment to hear
the two of us berated for our “errors”
by this pitiful wreck, who offered
“correction” and with each correction raised
a quivering arm and smashed his fist
into what uncorrected had been his face,
exclaiming “nono!” with each punch.
Once, I had to step back to escape the spatter.
Of what he said, I remember little.

The blows with which he destroyed his person also
drove from my mind the ideas that drove them.
“Who is this?” I repeated, sidled behind my
guide for protection. “Pius the Ninth,”
Dante answered, “and in his circle, those who
presumed to rise above fallible mankind
and speak for god. Here’s Jim Jones, a gaggle
of Southern Baptists, the ayatollah
who lowered the fatwah on Salmon Rushdie, Hindu
fanatics, a gang from the Thirty Years War.”


In this excerpt I have to say I think it’s clever that the religious zealots appear in Hell as I have often thought that those who loudly condemned others for not believing in their particular take on religion could not possibly be speaking for God. The fact that Pius punches himself into unrecognizable flesh in Hell is also something that makes sense as those that preach the loudest are often the biggest sinners from what I’ve seen in life. I have to say, I really enjoy Mr. Steinzor’s take on the religious zealots.


Excerpt from Canto XXI:

Remember that package of pork ribs you brought home
the day it was marked for expiration?
You slid it onto the shelf beneath the drawer
in which you keep the cheeses and cold
cuts, meaning to grill tomorrow, but it rained.
It rained the next two days, and then you
forgot the ribs for a few days more. Remember what
blossomed forth when you pierced the shrink wrap?
That scent, blended with undertones of urine
and diarrhea’s rounded sourness,

filled the ditch we came to now, and greeted
us before we reached its lip.
Within, the sources of the stench sat slumped
in rows of wheelchairs facing outwards
to the iron-colored walls, much like the
residents of a nursing home I’d
visited several decades ago, who’d lined both
sides of a windowed hallway. But they’d been
positioned so that the things before their eyes
were each other, to whom their indifference

equaled that of those in the recreation
room to the snowy imbecility
of the ceiling-mounted television
they were parked beneath. These,
unlike those still awaiting death at L.A.’s
Veterans’ Administration, reposed in
pools of their own filth and – even from our
perch so many feet above – the
oozing pressure sores that cratered legs and
buttocks sometimes to the bone…

…”Not even you, my
heavenly wop, are going to spring
one of my wards from here.” At that I almost
gave up hope, but faith in Dante
kept me on my knees. “Ah, Malacoda,
lording it over these fraudsters so long has
robbed you of any sense of the truth, not even
if it bit you on that musical
ass of yours,” my leader said, “though even when
fewer scam artists clogged this sewer,

you were dim enough. So I will put it in
terms of the kind that you are used to.
Do you know Winston Crawfield? He is yet a
countryman of my companion’s.”


In this scene, Dante is trying to hid our poet, Mr. Steinzor, as he speaks to the keeper of the “residents” in the Nursing Home from Hell where it turns out the damned are former scam artists. I share this passage because I have been and will be working in long-term care and it has always been disheartening to hear people refer to such places as a living hell. In this, Steinzor notes that “unlike L.A.’s Veterans Administration” the damned sit in pools of their own filth so while he is not saying that nursing homes are hell he does take the collective populace’s imagination and pushes it to the extreme in this scene which I thought was interesting. Especially since it is reserved for scam artists who frequently target the physically vulnerable and the elderly.


I will end the excerpts here as there are so many sections that I would love to feature in great length but do not have the ability to choose among them. I can only say that Seth Steinzor personalizes his own experience traveling through Hell with Dante as his guide and it is a page turner to the end. I really am jealous of his modern take on Dante’s Inferno and my father-in-law bought the original by Alighieri for me with uncharacteristic enthusiasm since I was so enamored with Steinzor’s version. I urge you again to read both versions, it is well worth it.

I hope you enjoyed this review, this book inspired me to dive into the original Dante’s Inferno by Dante Alighieri and that is rare for me. To be honest, I don’t think I can possibly do this collection of poems justice and I promise you that it is worth every penny if you decide to purchase a copy of Seth Steinzor’s To Join The Lost for $23.00 at the link below or at least seek it out at your local library:

http://antrimhousebooks.com/steinzor.html

Seth Steinzor is part of the TLC Book Tour which I am proud to be a part of, to learn more go to:

http://tlcbooktours.com/2011/08/seth-steinzor-author-of-to-join-the-lost-on-tour-november-2011/


Thanks always for reading, please click in again tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, November 14, 2011

Book Forum Site

This site has all things literary, poetry, reviews, interviews, stories, video and so much more! Check it out at:


http://www.bookforum.com/


Thanks for clicking in, please drop by tomorrow for another featured poet…

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Longevity Project by Howard S. Friedman Ph.D. and Leslie R. Martin Ph.D.

I know that certain words fail to hold the weight they once did: Amazing, fantastic, awesome, fascinating. However these are all words that bear weight in describing this book, The Longevity Project by Howard S. Friedman, Ph.D. and Leslie R. Martin, Ph.D. In the early 1920s Dr. Terman began studying young children from middle class families and the data collected over those ensuing decades provided astounding findings. The data collected in Dr. Terman’s lifetime has been analyzed in various ways by the authors to provide answers to how and why certain people live to a ripe old age up into their late 90s and early 100s and how and why others fail to reach 65.

I picked up this book because the women on both sides of my family live to be in their 90s while the men pass away around their mid 60s and I have learned a tremendous amount about aging and what lifestyle choices lead to ones longevity. I also learned about something that makes me feel so much better about myself: Awful hand-writing is a sign of intelligence and many of the Terman participants who lived long lives never overcame their terrible hand-writing despite accomplishing so many other things in life. You should thank your lucky stars you’ve only seen the typed version of my writing, not the hand-written version or else you would not even bother reading this blog, I promise you.

Other very interesting and noteworthy lessons learned: Many of the ideas trotted out by the media and health experts to the rest of us are not necessarily true. Happy-go-lucky people and having a less stressful life does not prolong longevity. If you are a worrier you may live a long time provided you act productively on those worries to improve your health. Also, taking on challenging jobs or tasks and being proud of them is another key to longevity. However, taking on challenging jobs and tasks and feeling like a failure ought to signal to you to change your path because it may shorten your life after all.

Despite the fact that women did not typically hold jobs or careers in the time period of these subjects Dr. Terman did follow women who found careers anyway and uncovered that women (and men) in socially interactive careers lived the longest. Women who did not work but were involved in their community lived long lives. There is even a subject of whether having more feminine characteristics lends itself to longevity and I think the chapter is fascinating and illuminating in so many ways.

For men, the proud over-achievers who had stable relationships with their wives lived longest. They did not necessarily have to be active in their community or have socially interactive jobs so long as they had a supportive spouse to live a very long life just as women are prone to do.

All aspects of these subjects’ lives were studied: How well they did in school and with friends, their home life, their hobbies. As they aged, Dr. Terman asked about their satisfaction with their career, their romantic partners, and how physically active they were and what hobbies they maintained or discovered.

I cannot possibly capture all there is to learn in this book but I urge all of you to read it as it is fascinating, amazing, and illuminating. You will learn that you do not have to change your life drastically to prolong life, simply adopt some healthier habits without having to visit the gym regularly or giving up your challenging career. If you enjoyed this review, please check out a copy of The Longevity Project by Howard S. Friedman Ph.D. and Leslie R. Martin Ph.D. at your local library, purchase a copy at your local book-store or go on-line to purchase a copy at:

http://www.amazon.com/Longevity-Project-Surprising-Discoveries-Eight-Decade/dp/1594630755


Thanks always for reading, please stop in again next week…

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rattle Open Submissions

Open year-round, send 3-5 poems of any length through e-mail or snail mail to this fine journal. Be sure to include your contact information (Name, Mailing Address, Phone Number, E-mail address) and including a bio is optional but if you are accepted you will be asked to provide one. I say go ahead and submit a bio.

While Rattle accepts all kinds of poetry they also have tribute issues and are looking for poets who are in Law Enforcement to submit poems for the Summer 2012 issue.

To send poems via snail mail (enclose a stamped, self-addressed return envelope):

Rattle
12411 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604

To send poems via e-mail(write Poetry Submission/Last Name in the subject line, I’d say):
submissions@rattle.com


To learn more details go to:

http://www.rattle.com/submissions.htm

Good luck to all who submit! Please drop in again tomorrow for another Read A Good Book feature…

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Poems Found by Poet Hound

http://www.juked.com/2011/10/thefuneral.asp
“The Funeral” by Donavon Davidson

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/242234
“A Low Bank of Cloud” by Ed Roberson


Thanks for clicking in, please drop in tomorrow for more Open Submissions…

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Out of Time

I ran out of time to review a book of poetry for this week but I do have one for next week that is worth waiting for. In the meantime, the rest of the week’s posts are ready to go along with an amazing book I am featuring this Friday so please stop in again…

Monday, November 7, 2011

Brave Men Press

Beautiful chapbooks and accordion-style books of poetry to be found along with information on the poets published through their press and news about the press itself, check them out at:

http://bravemenpress.blogspot.com/


http://www.bravemenpress.com/

Thanks for clicking in, please stop by tomorrow for another featured poet…

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sorry Folks...

I really do want to provide a post today but I have not finished the book that I want to feature. What with spending quality time with relatives in town and interviewing and then accepting a new job offer all in the same week/weekend it has been difficult to squeeze in time to read for Friday’s feature. I apologize but it wouldn’t do the book the justice it deserves, trust me.

Thanks always for dropping in, definitely drop in again next week as I’ll be back on schedule…

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Left Hand Waving Open Submissions

There are new guidelines for the kinds of poems to be featured at Left Hand Waving: In the spirit of Occupy Wall Street, the editors ask that you send poems that relate to the hard times and our economy. Poems will need to be 20 lines or less and as fresh as you can make them. No simultaneous submissions and please use their on-line submissions link to submit your poems on-line. Definitely read the guidelines using the link below:

https://sites.google.com/site/lefthandwaving/

Good luck to all who submit, please drop in again….

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Poems Found by Poet Hound

http://www.zygoteinmycoffee.com/100s/issue135weallhunger.html
“We all hunger for a legacy” by Aleathia Drehmer


http://www.swinkmag.com/index.php?page=home&artID=159
“Divining” by Charlotte Pence


Thanks for clicking in, please drop by tomorrow for more Open Submissions…

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Andrew Demcak's Night Chant

Andrew Demcak’s collection of poems, Night Chant, published by Lethe Press in 2011, are erotic, dark, and viewer discretion is advised for its adult content. Mr. Demcak has published three books of poetry such as Catching Tigers in Red Weather (Three Candles Press, 2007), Zero Summer (BlazeVox Books, 2009) and A Single Hurt Color (GOSS 183::Casa Menendez 2010). His work has appeared in numerous literary journals, magazines, blogs and more. Night Chant is a collection that is not for the faint of heart or for those who are uncomfortable with erotica in all of its forms. There are poems that extend outwards into nature, into childhood, into dreams. Below I am happy to share a sample of poems:


Blush

The bottle-flies flock to taste the blackberries lavished on fingers.
Buzzing protest, cacophonous, from the hairy cane-nest.

Big and blue-green, plump bodies soar abreast,
coming one by one for the juice.

Swollen bellies flush against my wrist,
lush beneath the lit panes of their wings’ whisk.

A pond collected in my palm’s basin,
guests to accommodate, and the heaving blush of sweet.

I love that Mr. Demcak can take what most of us would consider a nuisance and turn into a visual and sensual experience. These are not just flies interrupting the poet’s ability to enjoy blackberries, it is a lustful gathering of blue-green flies at the feast of summer’s ripened fruits. I find the poem eloquent and beautiful.



Primavera

Corn flowers, incandescent, mouth the air.
Lemon colored against a Seurat hillside,
window-eyed houses wake up.

My lover’s hands alight, twin swallowtails.
There is no old Japanese man sweeping an afternoon path.
Not even the hopeful dust.

I use a teapot to water the seedlings:
trills of basil, catnip, and rosemary.
This moment waits pregnant for planting.

I picture a couple who have been together for a long time working together in a garden. I picture a subdued neighborhood, quiet hours, with the mention that “no old Japanese man sweeping an afternoon path.” The quiet moment building to the planting of a garden that will burst with activity in the future, this poem is a wonderful build to the anticipation of an ever-pleasant future.



Font

It is merciless desert here, this page.
The nouns wince, jot by jot.

Swathed with ink, charcoaled serifs,
the glint of one sage sun.

Between watching words held in a link,
or riding spry type, the salamander proof.

Significance fancies right inside its spelling.
From white landscapes, burnt letters emerge,

from snowcaps dully cardboard.
Poem unrolled, a disposable map.

Yes, I cannot help myself. I love poems about writing, what can I say? I love the “merciless desert, this page” and “burnt letters emerge.” The last line is my favorite line of the poem, I picture a long scroll of handwritten poems being carefully considered for keeping or disposing of by the poet. I wish I had a long roll of beige paper to create such a scroll, don’t you?


If you enjoyed this review, you may purchase a copy of Night Chant by Andrew Demcak for $15.00 for at:

http://www.amazon.com/Night-Chant-Andrew-Demcak/dp/1590213718

*Please note that the collection does contain adult erotica so please make sure that if you decide to give this as a gift that the recipient is old enough to receive such a gift.



To learn more about Mr. Demcak and his work, check out his web-site at:

http://www.andrewdemcak.com/


Thanks always for reading, please drop in again for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, October 31, 2011

Spooky Poetry Presses

Flying Guillotine Press: I swear, one of these days I’ll have the money to spare to order some good stuff from them! Check it out at:

http://flyingguillotinepress.blogspot.com/



Blossom Bones Journal: More than a few poets and their poems have appeared on the Wednesday feature, check it all out for yourself at:

http://www.blossombones.com/index.html



Blood Pudding Press: Always fun to read and another one where I hope to have money to spare to order some good stuff from! Check it out at:

http://www.bloodyooze.blogspot.com/



Happy Halloween everyone! Please drop in tomorrow for another featured poet…

Friday, October 28, 2011

Read A Good Book: Something That’s True by Hosho McCreesh

Hosho McCreesh has been featured many times on Poet Hound for his poetry but he also writes short stories all of which can be found at www.smashwords.com. His latest short story, Something That’s True, intertwines the lives of a stripper, an auto mechanic and the mechanic’s waitress girlfriend who happens to be cheating on him. Although the auto mechanic is sitting at a strip club he is the one who behaves himself and the story showcases the fascinating personalities of the moral and the immoral.

The small moments between characters are captured vividly, the way Brooklyn at the strip club tries to encourage Gil, the mechanic, to spring for a dance as he sips his beer to the moment Gil’s loneliness compels him to encourage Brooklyn to stay by offering her a drink. The unlikely pair begin a conversation about life in the club before she goes onstage and works the crowd. Gil’s mixed feelings as he watches her lead us to realize he’s a moralistic man, especially when he beckons her to return to continue talking. When we meet Cathy, the waitress dating Gil, we learn about her sarcasm and wit, her morals versus Gil’s. Cathy mouths off to her boss while working her shift, her friend and fellow waitress eating up every moment of it. When the Sherriff’s SUV pulls up we get to meet the man Cathy’s seeing on the side, we also get to see what happens when Gil arrives. I can’t give you the ending, you’ll have to read it for yourself as this whirlwind of love gone awry continues. You will be entertained to the last, your heart lurching with Gil’s every move.

Something That’s True by Hosho McCreesh can be downloaded for a mere .99 at the following link:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/96350

I also urge you to download his two-shot books for FREE at

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/50960
*The Taco Fairy/Vidal Sassoon stories have lines that stick in your mind, my husband and I quote them just about daily so I’d say definitely read these stories, too.


Thanks always for reading, please drop in again next week…

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Blossombones Open Submissions

The deadline is November 1st! I know this is short notice, I do apologize, here are the guidelines: You may send 3-6 poems or 1-3 prose pieces as an MS Word attachment or .doc attachment. You will need a brief bio and cover letter as well. Simultaneous submissions are accepted and if your work is accepted elsewhere please notify the editor right away!
When sending your submission place your last name and the word “submission” in the subject line. Example: Cary Submission

Send your work to:
susan.blossombonesATgmailDOTcom

You should definitely read the guidelines as they are detailed more thoroughly here:

http://www.blossombones.com/submit.html


Please also peruse the site and get a feel for the kind of work they accept at:

http://www.blossombones.com/current.html


Good luck to all who submit, please drop by tomorrow for another Read A Good Book feature…

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Poems Found by Poet Hound

http://www.beardofbees.com/pubs/Experiments_with_N_plus_7.pdf
An entire chapbook of poems titled The Great Archivist’s Cloudy Quotient: Experiments with N + 7 by Michael Leong. All the poems are good reads, check it out.

http://www.octopusmagazine.com/Issue14/html/main.html
“Length of Fetch” by Jesse Lichtenstein, it is long and it is worth reading its entire length


Thanks for clicking in, please drop by tomorrow for more Open Submissions…

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An Interview with Kristina Marie Darling: The Body Is A Little Gilded Cage: A Story In Letters & Fragments

Kristina Marie Darling’s latest collection of poems, The Body Is A Little Gilded Cage: A Story In Letters & Fragments, published by Gold Wake Press, is wondrous, indulgent, and lush. The poems paint vivid, grand pictures in my mind and I wanted to dig in deeper.

Kristina Marie Darling has also published two other full-length poetry collections: Night Songs (Gold Wake Press 2010) and Compendium (Cow Heavy Books, 2011). She has received grants from the Vermont Studio Center and the Elizabeth George Foundation, has been awarded several fellowships, and has a collection of critical essays forthcoming from Cambridge Scholars Press. In short, she is one busy lady if you ask me. Luckily, she is taking the time to allow me to pick her brain over her latest collection which has me eager to read more of her work:


1) Your collection creates a vision of an elegant couple and their lives together between the mention of soirees and the journal-like entries regarding bird keeping and psychoanalysis. What was your vision for putting this collection together? How did it come about?

The book started as an exploration of the Modernist writer H.D.'s correspondence. She's someone who's always fascinated me. A prolific poet, fiction writer, essayist, and translator, she led a remarkable life, producing films and even undergoing psychoanalysis with Sigmund Freud. Many of the images in The Body is a Little Gilded Cage were inspired by objects, artifacts, and works of art that appeared in her letters.

With that said, it didn't take very long for my autobiographical impulses to take over the project. I had experienced some disappointments in my personal life when I started writing the book. And H.D.'s biographical material and correspondence became a vehicle for me to say things I would never have otherwise been able to articulate. Once I understood the project as being both biography and autobiography, I let myself take liberties with the material, and the book began to take shape.



2) I notice recurring words or phrases in your poems. The word “groan” appears several times and creates a sensation of pleasure or perhaps pain? Groaning floors with the weight of dancers, corridors groaning with footsteps, the word groan captivates me. Can you explain the presence of this particular word among others you might have chosen?

As I was writing, the collection as a whole seemed to oscillate between pleasure and pain, luxury and excess, desire and attainment. For me, the word "groan" encapsulated these tensions that lurk beneath the surface of the book.



3) The word “feather” also appears often in the poems. Feathers are light, exotic, and are sometimes in poems that talk about birds, other times about events where people gather. Can you talk more about the presence of feathers among your poems? Are they to portray lightness or pageantry?

I like to think of birds and feathers as a metaphor for the style of the collection. In this sense, they definitely could be seen as representing lightness. After all, the book is filled with white space, and the words themselves seem delicate and ethereal. But you're absolutely right that they suggest pageantry as well. I see the style of the collection as parading various literary conventions of the past, at times with great earnestness and at other moments with a wink.


4) In the poem City Works III (which I’ll post below), I picture a woman recalling images of her lover as she walks the streets and how she wishes to capture her emotions in a letter to him. Can you tell us more about this prose piece and its inspiration?

City Walk (III)

Your letter arrives & I take a walk through Vienna in my pale blue dress. The chapel groans with its nightly organ recital & I remember us listening among the rows of wooden pews. A chorus rising as you counted the buttons on my stiff white sleeves. Now the city darkens with nostalgia & every streetlamp seems to smolder. Your green shutters fly open & still the problem of expressing these things—


I'm currently a PhD student in the Poetics Program at SUNY-Buffalo, and my research usually involves Modernist women poets, feminism, and psychoanalysis. With that in mind, I was fascinated by H.D.'s descriptions of the city of Vienna in the letters she sent during her psychoanalysis. I wanted to write piece that allowed the cityscape to become a metaphor for my own experiences. When working with autobiographical material, I find that literature of the past can be a great source of inspiration. For me, gaining entry into a poem is always a challenge.


5) Your section titled Appendix A: Notes & Other Misc. is an intriguing section that I enjoy quite thoroughly. You have footnotes and journal-like entries about bird keeping, the history of the corsage, the history of psychoanalysis. Why these subjects and why these little notes? I love the idea for these in your collection and these notes formed my vision for an elegant and well-educated couple. How did you come up with the idea and what was your vision for these notes and footnotes?
Below, some samples of the notes:

(From Footnotes To A History Of Psychoanalysis)

9. To reconcile the disparity between her mind and the external world, the analyst prompted her to maintain a record of these perceptions.

10. Upon examination, her small red notebook contained the most elaborate diagrams. Even the mountainous vistas were depicted as intricate machines.


(From Footnotes To A History Of The Phonograph)

7. Because of the constant emanation of forgotten arias from her window, residents of the city believed her to be an intense, if not insatiable, audiophile.

10. The next morning, they found sheet music rustling beneath the white piano. An empty space where the apparatus had been.


I like to think of the footnotes and notes as an invitation to the reader to participate in the work of the poet. I hope that those who encounter the poems will imagine their own texts to accompany these fragments. Sigmund Freud once said that there's something inherently satisfying about incompleteness, since the individual can construct something that conforms to his or her wishes. Thus the reader takes on a more active role, and is rewarded for it. This is the type of experience that I tried to provide for those who enage with The Body is a Little Gilded Cage: A Story in Letters & Fragments.




6.) In Appendix B: Correspondence, a series of letters is titled Dearest , with no person to be addressed. The letters themselves are short like a telegram with memory-like thoughts written down and sent to the unknown. What were your inspirations for these? I’ll provide a sample below for readers, too:

Dearest ,

one never hears anything from you &

think of it as fragility


I’ll do anything





Dearest ,

in the dance hall

with its noise & shattered glass

one would have never known



you were like an exotic red lily


These poems started as erasures of H.D.'s letters to her (at one point in time) husband, Richard Aldington. But I don't like to think of the poems as being "about" H.D., since I wouldn't want their meaning to be limited in such a way. Although the poems began as erasures, I became much more interested in the poetic image as a means to evoke subjective interpretations, which will inevitably be different for every reader of the book.


7) Where can we find more of your work? Do you have a website or blog to share with readers? What projects are you working on now?

I'm currently working on a fourth full-length manuscript, which is called Melancholia (An Essay). The book explores the literary conventions associated with melancholy during the Romantic period. Poems from the collection are forthcoming in RHINO, Indefinite Space, Rufous City Review, Prick of the Spindle, and Blossombones. I hope you'll stop by my website (http://kristinamariedarling.com/) for updates.


8) Which writers, artists, people do you turn to for inspiration? Whose books do you enjoy reading?

My favorite poets to read are Melissa Range, Sam Taylor, Kristy Bowen, Brandi Homan, Susan Slaviero, Joshua Clover, Kent Shaw, Kyle McCord, Kara Candito, Richard Siken, Joe Hall, Kristen Prevallet, and Jill Magi.

For me, reading is the most important part of the writing process. Poets could never exist without a literary community in which to exchange ideas. With that in mind, the people I've mentioned are a huge inspiration.


9) Any advice for writers out there? You have several full-length collections and are quite accomplished with awards and grants. Many writers dream of such things, what advice can you give them?

The best advice I can give is don't be afraid to start small. I got eighty rejection letters before I had one poem accepted by a magazine. And that journal was Xeroxed on copy paper and stapled crooked. But when you're looking to build an audience for your work, small things can be very important. Every bit of exposure helps.

Kristina Marie Darling thank you for taking the time to do an interview and I wish you continued success in all of your creative endeavors.



Readers, if you enjoyed this interview and sample of poems as much as I do you may purchase a copy for yourself at Amazon or Barnes and Noble for $12.95 at:
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Body-Is-a-Little-Gilded-Cage/Kristina-Marie-Darling/e/9780983700104?cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-TnL5HPStwNw-_-10:1

http://www.amazon.com/Body-Little-Gilded-Cage-Fragments/dp/0983700109

Be sure to visit her website, I’ve perused it myself and it’s easy to navigate and wonderful to browse through at:
http://kristinamariedarling.com



You can also visit Gold Wake Press to learn more at:http://goldwakepress.org/print-series/


Thanks always for reading, please click in tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, October 24, 2011

Michael Leong's Site

I read his on-line chapbook (which you will see a link for on Wednesday) and had to check out his web-site. You will find interesting projects, notes on poetry, and what Mr. Leong is up to, check it out at:

http://michaelleong.wordpress.com/

Thanks for clicking in, please stop by tomorrow for an interview with Kristina Marie Darling…

Friday, October 21, 2011

Read A Good Book: With Love Artists’ Letters and Illustrated Notes by Liza Kirwin and Joan Lord





Liza Kirwin and Joan Lord have produced a beautiful book showcasing the love letters and affectionate exchanges of lovers, artists, and long-time friends. Inside you will be inspired by the postcards, letters, and illustrations that the authors have carefully collected and exposed to the world at large. Letters from Frida Kahlo, Nancy Douglas, Moses Sawyer, Walter Gray and many more. Letters from parents to their children, from lovers to their beloved, and from friendships spanning grand distances are all included here.

The romance of letter-writing is captured at its best and I cannot put this book down. Every morning I crack it open and every evening I pore over details I hadn’t noticed before. The illustrations capture my imagination the most. There are drawings of men in love, of the family cat, of cows romping in the field, so many interesting illustrations it is hard to name them all here! The hand-writing is varied and beautiful, the collages from artists are entertaining, the photographs and the stories behind each couple is endearing. It has also inspired me to tuck sweet hand-written notes into my husband’s lunches and send packages to friends I rarely get to see. I can tell you that if this book doesn’t inspire you to create your own lovely letters to old friends that you must not be the type who loves old-fashioned mail. If I had the time and money I’d be buying old fashioned wax seals to stamp onto my old-fashioned letters and packages, that’s for sure.


If you enjoyed this review, I urge you to pick up a copy for yourself. It may be found at your local library or book-store, I found mine in an adorable boutique in a small town here in Florida so I’m sure other boutiques would carry it, too.

To purchase a copy of With Love Artists’ Letters and Illustrated Notes by Liza Kirwin and Joan Lord for yourself on-line, visit the link at Harper Collins to lead you to several venues available for purchase at:

http://www.harpercollins.com/books/With-Love/?isbn=9780061441509

Thanks always for reading, please drop by again next week…

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lilliput Review Open Submissions

Open year-round, Don Wentworth accepts up to 3 poems that are 10 lines or less via old-fashioned snail mail, please include your contact information on each page and include a Self-Addresses, Stamped Envelope.

*About that return envelope: Simply by submitting your poems you will receive a free issue of Lilliput Review in return regardless of whether your poems are accepted. It’s a beautiful thing, so I urge you to go for it!

Please send your poems to:

Lilliput Review
Don Wentworth, Editor
282 Main Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15201


For more details go to:

http://sites.google.com/site/lilliputreview/home

To visit the Lilliput Review blog, please visit:

http://lilliputreview.blogspot.com/


Good luck to all who submit, please drop in again tomorrow for another Read A Good Book Feature…

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Poems Found by Poet Hound

https://sites.google.com/site/rhpissue45/the-note
The introduction to Issue 45 by Mr. Wisely is dedicated to his mother. This is not a poem, it’s a story about love. It’s a story you should read because it is a beautiful story.


https://sites.google.com/site/rhpissue45/robert-s-2
“Elsewhere” by Robert Scotellaro


https://sites.google.com/site/rhpissue45/luis-cuauhtemoc-berriozabal
“In the Clear Silence” by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal


Thanks for clicking in, please drop in tomorrow for more Open Submissions…

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Excuse me while I wring this long swim out of my hair by Sarah J. Sloat

Ms. Sloat’s poetry has appeared in Barn Owl Review, The Dirty Napkin, Opium, and many others. Her collection published by Dancing Girl Press in 2011 is titled Excuse me while I wring this swim out of my hair and is filled with ethereal poems. I feel like I’m taking a walk down the lane in Autumn next to Ms. Sloat as she shares her thoughts and I am happy to share a few tantalizing poems:

Training

I’m thinking of living forever.
I think that way I might finally
get my gig straight and solve the crosswords.
I’m considering outlasting everyone
although I know I’d have a hard time
explaining not having read Ulysses
past the first chapter.
I don’t care if death smells like nutmeg.
I don’t buy the plotline on eternal rest.
By staying alive someday
I might manage to hail a taxi,
and fulfill my father’s wish
of reaching town without a red light.
I couldn’t expect to avoid anger or brooding
or to make the journey with my beasts appeased.
But I might walk vast expanses
of earth and always be beginning
and I love beginning
or could learn
to love it.

I love that living forever means conquering the small things: crosswords, no red lights at a single stretch, walking large expanses. We forget it is the little things that matter and what would living forever mean if not for the little things? I also love that despite living forever Ms. Sloat never gets past the first chapter of Ulysses, she is honest with herself and therefore endearing. This poem makes me grin ear to ear.



On Stopping to Smell Perfume on the Way Home from Work

Do you remember Ecuador?

How our luggage burst like bulbs
from the underground cave
of the baggage claim?

A wrist circled in jade.

Have you ever licked rain from your fingers?
Imagine the drops falling faster.

Biofuel. Bioether. Bioephemeral.

Have you ever peeled moss off a stone,
then pressed it against you, inside out?

Dew, nutmeg and suede.

I’ve promised to stop on the way home
to feed the neighbor’s rabbits.
They are quiet, and have such cold noses.

This poem strikes me because of its sensuality. The scent of the perfume draws memories of a foreign country, the taste of rain, the feel of moss. Even an errand at the end of the day turns into an experience of the senses that may otherwise be overlooked, that rabbits have cold noses and are quiet, an absence of a sense. This poem makes me want to hike in the woods and smell the pines, feel the needles crunching under my feet.



My Money is on Fire

Whenever I read the newspaper
I learn my money is going to hell.
It’s lubricating a chute to the furnace
every time I eat meat or sip whiskey.
Every time I wear green or live
my secret life, no matter what
innocence I’m up to,
I’m sponsoring a disease
somewhere, making
souvenirs of the populace.

My money is minted a clean
but the moment I open my purse
to buy a popsicle, it trickles out
as acid rain. I sit sunning myself
in the park while my money
is felling the redwoods, adding rage
to hurricanes. I’ll have to tell
the drunk approaching my bench
I can’t give him a red cent. Look
at us. My money has done enough.

I’m posting this poem out of self-indulgence, really. I am a finance junkie, thanks to my father. So a poem about money is always exciting to me and this one excites me. The idea that the media constantly portrays is that money to be the source of all evil, disease, and catastrophe. I love that the poet displays her guilt as she takes money out to eat meat (killing innocent wildlife), sipping whiskey (sponsoring alcoholism perhaps?) and perhaps accidentally sponsoring disease. The popsicle as acid rain is fantastic and fascinating to me, I’ll never look at a popsicle the same again. This is my favorite poem of the collection, personally.



If you enjoyed this sample of poems you may purchase a copy of Excuse me while I wring this long swim out of my hair by Sarah J. Sloat for a mere $7.00 from Dancing Girl Press at:

http://dulcetshop.ecrater.com/p/12011922/sarah-j-sloat-excuse-me-while-i


You can also visit Sarah J. Sloat’s wonderful blog at:

http://theraininmypurse.blogspot.com/


Thanks always for reading, please click in tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, October 17, 2011

Blue Collar Blog

Find out what’s going on in the world of Blue Collar Review where you’ll hear about poetry, the economy, and the postal service. Good stuff to be read, check it out at:

http://bluecollarholler.blogspot.com/

Thanks for dropping in, please drop by again tomorrow for another featured poet…

Friday, October 14, 2011

After Dark by Haruki Murakami

Published in 2007 by Vintage International, Haruki Murakami’s novel, translated by Jay Rubin, is mysterious, dark, and pleasing. When you read this story, centered on two sisters Eri and Mari Asai, it is easy to understand why it has been translated into forty languages.

The story takes place in a city humming with life over the course of a long night as Eri sits out the hours in a Denny’s and is pulled unexpectedly into events outside of her typical lifestyle. As Eri encounters a world of prostitution and “love-ho’s” (hotels for couples meeting to make love) her sister Mari slumbers deep and sound in her room at home, a beautiful Sleeping Beauty who is unaware of the strange things happening around her in her bedroom.

Eri helps the “love-ho” hotel manager by translating Chinese into Japanese for a prostitute who has been attacked and learns more about the world than she bargained for. Meanwhile, Mari is mysteriously transported in her sleep into a room we first see appear on her television screen. The night’s twists and turns sprawl out from there forming a cobweb of strange happenings that will have you gripped to each page. The novel does not tie up neatly at the end as so many stories do, yet the story satisfies in a way that you cannot explain. Haruki Murakami is a master at providing strange and magical experiences without giving neat and tidy endings and that is why I enjoy reading his books.


If you enjoyed this review you will enjoy the book even more. You can purchase a copy of After Dark by Haruki Murakami at your local book-stores, or visit your local library, or purchase on-line at:

http://www.amazon.com/After-Vintage-International-Haruki-Murakami/dp/0307278735

Thanks always for reading, please drop in again next week…

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Adirondack Review Open Submissions

You may send 2-5 single-spaced poems in the body of your e-mail in addition to a biography. Be sure to include your last name, date of submission and “POETRY” in the subject line when sending it to:

editors@theadirondackreview.com

For more details, go to:

http://adirondackreview.homestead.com/submissions.html

Thanks for dropping in, please stop by tomorrow for another book review…

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Poems Found by Poet Hound

http://www.swinkmag.com/index.php?page=home&artID=143
“Eleven Stories Up” by Noel Capozzalo


http://adirondackreview.homestead.com/TryfonTolides.html
“All of Us Listening to the Silence” by Tryfon Tolides

Thanks for clicking in, please drop by tomorrow for more Open Submissions…

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

He Took A Cab by Mather Schneider

Mather Schneider was born in Peoria, Illinois and currently lives in Tucson, Arizona where the inspiration for this collection was born. The city of Tucson contracts and expands with every breath as Mr. Schneider navigates the streets and outskirts delivering a colorful array of characters to their varied destinations. I happy to share a sample of poems with you:


Service

A purple El Dorado nearly runs
me off the road
then gives me the horn and the
finger.
Fuck you, I whisper.
I’m driving my taxi
and there’s an old woman in my back seat.
I’m taking her to church
on St. Patrick’s Day morning.
She will sit in the front pew
and she will sing “Danny Boy”
at the end of the service.
I will sit in the parking lot of the church
in my taxi
and listen to her sing
out the open church doors
in the morning sun.
It’s the most important thing
in the world:
I’m driving a little old woman
in a green hat
to Our Mother of Sorrows,
and I’ve got to get her there safe.

I like the juxtaposition of the cab driver silently swearing and the old woman in a green hat going to St. Patrick’s Day service at her church. The cab driver is being respectful and the old woman is unaware as she prepares to enter the church. It’s a wonderful snapshot poem of daily life.



My Very Good Friend

He had a red plastic cup of something
in one hand and
a half sandwich in the other
and he came running up to my cab
while I was supposed to be stopped at the red light.

Shit, I said, get in.

He climbed in and spilled some of his drink
on the gray vinyl.
He looked like he was from India.

My friend, he said, good day to you.

He was slightly out of breath.

How ya doing? I said.

Can you please take me to university? he said.

Sure, I said.

I only have one problem, he said.

What’s that?

I don’t have any money, he said.

What’s that?

I don’t have any money, he said.

Get out.

Wait, he said, I have
a little money.

How much?

I have 10 dollars.

It’s 25 to the university.

Wait, he said, I think I
Might have 15 dollars.

25 to the university, I said
and pulled over on a side street to
let him out.

Tell you what, he said,
because I am tired and
because I am already here, I will
pay you 17 dollars.

Get out.

He got out and stood there.

Ok, he said through the window,
for you my friend
I think I have 20 dollars.

Jesus Christ, I said,
let’s go.

He got in again.

I’m gonna need that 20 now.

Of course my friend,
he said,
my very good friend,
of course,
I have it right here.

Can you break a hundred?

This poem made me laugh aloud, I have met more than my fair share of people like this one no matter age or race. There’s one of these guys in every crowd if you ask me and I love reading the conversation between the driver and the guy who thinks he’s slick at negotiating price only to reveal his hand at the end.



The Measly Subtraction

Cab drivers will lie about anything,
especially money.
“I made two grand last
week.”
As if this explains
the holes in their
shoes,
the fact that they can’t afford
a razor
and have breath like
a maggoty rhinoceros.
I always wonder why it is so important
to impress the rest,
when we all have
to go home alone
and count our greasy bills
and do the measly subtraction
of rent and electricity
and food and beer.
They lie and lie and the
world goes round
like godless miles through
the city
only to end up back
in the same hole.
We all want to be respected
even by those we no not respect
and even those who nobody respects
want the same thing and
feel the same pull,
the same question
of the self:
what will
my brother
think?

I like that this poem brings up that common truth of wanting to be acknowledged, respected, and the typical human nature of trying to impress others even if there is nothing to impress with. It takes the human struggle and places it in the cab driver’s perspective yet anyone can relate to this poem, everyone knows someone who tries so hard to impress others and fails. The truth is in the details here, the holes in the shoes, the unshaven faces, the same cluster of people all going home to struggle on their own yet still wanting to outshine each other in some way, even a small way. I like this poem.



If you enjoyed this sample of poems, you can snag a copy of this book you can pick up a copy of He Took A Cab by Mather Schneider yourself for $14.95 at:

http://www.spdbooks.org/Producte/9781935520214/he-took-a-cab.aspx?rf=1

or at:

http://www.amazon.com/He-Took-Cab-Mather-Schneider/dp/1935520210/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1315780135&sr=1-3


To learn more about Mr. Schneider, you can visit his blog a:

http://matherschneider.blogspot.com/


Thanks always for reading, please click in again tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, October 10, 2011

Small Fires Press

While I haven’t had the opportunity to purchase and read books at the site, the samples of what they produce are beautiful! I urge you to check out the matchbook sized poetry collections and beautiful chapbooks at:

http://smallfirespress.com/

Thanks for clicking in, please stop by tomorrow for another featured poet…

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ran out of time

Hello everyone, I had an unusually busy weekend so I ran out of time for today’s post. However, we will be back to our regular schedule next week so please stop by again…

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Blue Collar Review Open Submissions

Open year-round to submissions, which is a wonderful thing if you ask me, you can submit up to five poems via snail mail. Include a cover letter with your biographical information and make sure each page/poem has your contact information included. Send your poems along with a Self-Addressed-Stamped Envelope to:

Blue Collar Review
P.O. Box 11417
Norfolk, VA 23517

Make sure to check out some sample poems, and a sample issue if possible, before sending poems their way. You can learn more about the poems they accept and their guidelines by going to:

http://www.angelfire.com/va/bcr/

Good luck to all who submit, please drop in again…

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Poems Found by Poet Hound

http://steeltoereview.com/2011/09/12/intolerable-end-by-john-douglas/
“Intolerable End” by John Douglas

http://www.poolpoetry.com/poetone.html
“What The Director Said” by Jeanne Marie Beaumont

Thanks for clicking in, please drop by tomorrow for more Open Submissions…

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Light Sweet Crude by Cynthia Barouinis and Claire Leeds

Published by Dancing Girl Press, Cynthia Bourinis and Claire Leeds come together to bounce poems off of one another on the subject of oil, creating a collection titled Light Sweet Crude. The result is an enlightening and scientific take on oil and its dwindling sources. Ms. Barouinis is working on her PhD in English at the University of Illinois at Chicago and her work has appeared in Poetry, Salzburg Review and in a future anthology from Partner Dance Press. Ms. Leeds lives and works on a farm in southern Wisconsin and holds a BA degree in Creative Writing while currently working towards a BS in Nursing.

While you may initially think a subject about oil might be boring or come off as boring or preachy, these poets make the subject dynamic, appealing, and intellectually gratifying. Below I am happy to share some sample poems to pique your interest:



Nesting

I have seen the collapse
of a rabbit’s nest in the short lawn grass.
There. The dog is tied to a stake
driven, invisible, into the ground.
She’s on a long line with a far reach.

I heard the past in a newscast—pirates
commandeer an oil tanker. Before
she was seized, her intrepid captian
peered through his telescope backwards—
thought the horizon held a distant threat.

I have found harbor in haunting:
a bell curve, the end of our plateau.
So, bar-prophet, business-man, a friend
of a friend of a friend—show me the peak
over the slick rim of your drink.
I’d like to meet our geology of decline.

I like that this poem takes every-day tragedy such as a rabbit’s nest in the grass in danger by the dog on the leash and expands it outwards to the oil tanker held by pirates. The poets even mention “thought the horizon held a distant threat.” In other words, what may seem a far and distant disaster is actually closer than you can imagine and at the end, the poet asks for more detail, more information. The poems in this collection continue on with more detail, just enough to make you want to look up even more information for yourself.



Because the Poem is a Limited Resource

I’ll ration stanzas like canned
meat during wartime; exhaust

verse to vapor, fume enough to keep
this engine plotting A to B, B to C,
C to D, origin to peak; nothing

metaphoric about our destination
but what propels us toward it
is the chemistry of conversion:

a stake drilled into the lawn distills
into the anchor of a compass;

leashed dog orbits like graphite,
carves with her body the edge
of a perfect circle,

a flattened globe, the rounded lip
of a glass from above;
the memory of scotch on my breath;

when this fuel runs out, I won’t drive
home, but bury my keys in the earth
and wait to see what grows there.

First of all, who wouldn’t want to read the poem after reading its title? Second, they are able to relate rationing stanzas to rationing oil, very clever yes? Since these poets are bouncing ideas off of each other we see the repetition of the dog on the long leash tied to the orbits of graphite which is part of the rock broken up to get to the oil. I love the idea of burying keys in the earth after the oil needed to drive is gone and to see what grows instead. I picture roads grown over with grass and tree roots breaking up the asphalt, what do you see?


If you enjoyed this short sample of poems as much as I have enjoyed the entire collection you can snag a copy of Light Sweet Crude by Cynthia Bourinis and Claire Leeds for a mere $7.00 from Dancing Girl Press at:

http://dulcetshop.ecrater.com/p/11547989/cynthia-barounis-claire-leeds-light

Thanks always for reading, please click in again tomorrow…

Monday, October 3, 2011

Smartish Pace Site

Wonderful place to find poetry news, read interviews with poets, book reviews, and so on! Check it out at:

http://www.smartishpace.com/

Thanks for clicking in, please drop by again tomorrow for a featured poetry collection…

Friday, September 30, 2011

Read A Good Book: Bike Snob by Eben Weiss

Bike Snob: Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling by Eben Weiss and illustrated by Christopher Koelle is a laugh-out-loud book. Let me just say that I am not a cycling enthusiast by any means. My husband loves bicycles and used to work in a bicycle shop so he spotted this book, bought it, and then proceeded to laugh hysterically to the point he could hardly read it out loud to me.

So, my curiosity piqued, I eagerly awaited my turn to read it and it was just as funny to me as it was to him. Eben Weiss is dead-pan funny with similes and metaphors that will crawl inside your head and make you snort and giggle when you’re trying to be a normal human being at your desk or while making dinner or doing life’s mundane chores. When your mind wanders you will envision Weiss’ descriptions of various cyclists such as The Lone Wolf who dresses and rides to the beat of his own drum or the girls who flout all bicycle laws while wearing their pretty dresses and sailing through busy intersections emerging miraculously unscathed. The illustrations of these people are just as funny as the words used to describe them thanks to the illustrator Christopher Koelle’s skilled hands.

From beginning to end you will learn, laugh, and be inspired to take your bike out for a ride. Eben Weiss even devotes a section to riding bikes amongst cars and why you shouldn’t be afraid of them (I am). Practical advice, tales of the impractical, and have I mentioned the similes and metaphors that will burn into your brain and make you snort while sitting at your desk? This book is worth reading even if you’ve never ridden a bicycle in your entire life. If you need a good laugh by a smart and witty writer, Eben Weiss is your guy! To top it off, he has his own blog where this book stemmed from to begin with so check him out at:

http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/


To purchase or read a laugh-out-loud copy of Bike Snob by Eben Weiss for yourself, you can visit your local library, book-store, or please go to:

http://www.amazon.com/Bike-Snob-Systematically-Mercilessly-Realigning/dp/0811869989


Thanks always for reading, please drop in again next week…

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Right Hand Pointing Open Submissions

Themed Issue coming up is about cities and towns! All poems must have a city or town in their title and when you use the on-line submissions system at Right Hand Pointing be sure to indicate that you are submitting to Issue #46 which is due out in December.

Make sure to look over their website to see if your poems fit the aesthetic and pay very close attention to how to submit your poems, they prefer short to long.

For more details go to:

http://sites.google.com/site/rhpissue99/issue-46-cities-dec-2011

Good luck to all who submit, please stop in tomorrow for another featured book…

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Poems Found by Poet Hound

https://sites.google.com/site/44righthandpointing/alec-hershman
“Coming Home” by Alec Hershman

https://sites.google.com/site/44righthandpointing/scot-siegel
“Meth Labs In The Rain” by Scott Siegel

Thanks for clicking in, please drop by tomorrow for more Open Submissions…

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Plath Poems by Nava Fader

Published in 2009 by Dancing Girl Press, Nava Fader’s collection The Plath Poems takes the first lines of Sylvia Plath’s poems and turns them into her own. Ranging from abstract to fanciful the poems deserve to be read a second and third time. Below I am happy to share a couple of my favorites:

It is no night to drown in

tunnels are tokens if you could run
slippery sides echoes
murmuring rock demurs
rumbling volcanic gut ash
whispers whippers whippoorwhill
small singing caught
corner of your eye. Soot marked
and steamy. Bottom dwellers have
stones for pockets. Their mouth
an eternal stone. All guesswork gypsy girl
done.

This poem has me envisioning the entrance to a cave and the exploration of its dark and cavernous mouth. I could be wrong about what this poem is about but the tunnels, the soot, and the mention of bottom dwellers paints such a picture for me. I can hear the eerie sounds “murmuring rock demurs/rumbling volcanic gut ash” described in the lines above. It’s a poem that makes me want to go out into the woods and find such a place.



One match scratch makes you real

sprites are not
ghosts are not harpies
or changelings You are just
as I left you The flower in your throat
furry velvet fills
the space of howls.
Can I get there
By candlelight? yes
And back again The black bag
opens and shuts like an eye
come too soon
to light Sit
and stew steaming crock
held in my knees groans
from time to time burns
and blooms your cheeks Mercury
irises rises the metal
stays hot

In this poem I picture the poet brining fairies out of the darkness by striking a match to light a fire. Again, I could be wrong as to what the poem is truly about but this is the interpretation that comes to mind with the first line/title tying to “sprites” and the mention of candlelight. I wonder what is in the steaming crock and what is in the black bag that “opens and shuts like an eye.” I picture magical things happening in the night in this poem.



In this collection there are also words that are used throughout the poems such as “tooth” and “tongue” so I wonder about Nava Fader's mind-set through the collection, if things are taken from a visceral feeling of taste, touch, and sound and then abstracted outwards when using the first lines of the poems. The collection is, as I said, fanciful and abstract and altogether enjoyable.



If you enjoyed this review you can purchase a copy of The Plath Poems by Nava Fader from Dancing Girl Press for $7.00 at:
http://www.dancinggirlpress.com/plath.html

Thanks always for reading, please click in tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, September 26, 2011

Jingle Monster Site

Rebecca from Jingle Monster sent me a link for the Jingle Monster site’s poetry section which is pretty groovy because it takes current news events and turns them into rhyming jingles, check it out at:

http://jinglemonster.com.au/category/the-times-in-rhymes/


To learn more about creating a jingle through their web-site, visit:
http://jinglemonster.com.au/

Thanks for clicking in, please stop by tomorrow for another featured poet…

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Winner of Poet Hound's First Give-Away IS:

Samuel Snoek-Brown is our contest winner!
Congratulations, I'll be e-mailing you so you can receive your prize.

Thank you to all who entered! There will be another give-away in the future so please be on the look-out for it, please drop by again this week...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Read A Good Book: Out of the Woods into the Sun by Guy R. Beining

Guy R. Beining was born in 1938 in London and arrived in New York City in the spring of 1940. He currently resides in Great Barrington, Massachusetts and has published thousands of poems along with hundreds of collages and drawings. His most recent exhibition was at the Hudson Opera House in Hudson, New York in 2010 and his collection of art paired with beautifully worded lines to accompany them has been published by Kamini Press in this collection titled Out of the Woods into the Sun.

The collection of paintings are carefully and vividly reflected throughout the pages of this small book in my hands:






Inside, the people are abstract and interacting with one another while the words beneath link humanity to nature with lines such as “the lake on the sun was unwrinkled” and “between you & me the sea is us.” I’ll admit that I do not always understand how the words beneath each painting relate to the painting but it is inspiring and beautiful nonetheless. Through the entire collection I gather a sense of excitement and mystery and I am happy to share with you a couple of pictures of the contents:








The pictures do not do this collection justice but I hope that you enjoy the art and the words together. Mr. Beining has dedicated this book “To all poets & artists that have stayed on track,” which I find a wonderful dedication and hope that all of you out there continue to pursue what inspires you.

If you enjoyed this review and would like a copy for yourself, there are signed copies available from editor Henry Denander at Kamini Press for $10.00 and those that include limited edition artwork are available for $25.00.
You may visit Kamini Press for details and use PayPal to purchase a copy at:
http://kaminipress.com

Thanks always or reading, please stop by again next week…

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Juked Open Submissions

Open year round, if you believe your work fits their aesthetic you may send them an e-mail with subject line reading “Poetry by Your Name” and attach an .rtf or .doc with your contact information included to the editors. The poetry editor’s name is Vincent Guerra and they do accept simultaneous submissions so long as you notify them immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere. Send your submission (maximum of 5 poems) to:
submissionsATjukedDOTcom

For more details go to:
http://juked.com/info/index.asp

Good luck to all who submit, please drop in again tomorrow for another book review, and many thanks to the positive responses given so far for the new Friday Feature…

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Poems Found by Poet Hound

http://juked.com/2011/09/onmeetingrobertcreeley.asp
“On Meeting Robert Creeley: by Scott Keeney


http://steeltoereview.com/2011/09/15/the-black-house-by-kenny-fame/
“The Black House” by Kenny Fame


Thanks for clicking in, please stop by tomorrow for more Open Submissions…

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An Interview: Dear Minimum Wage Employee, You Are Priceless

Published by Dancing Girl Press in 2010, Emilie Lindemann’s collection of poems is funny and devastating at the same time. I enjoyed the introductory poem, the dedication, and each poem to the very last so I felt compelled to pick her brain for details and Ms. Lindemann kindly obliged:

1.) Emilie Lindemann, thank you so much for allowing me to interview you. The title alone is priceless. It is the entire reason I picked up your collection, can you tell us how you decided to come up with this title?


I was working at Kohl’s as a cashier for $7.25 an hour (minimum wage in Wisconsin) while I also worked as an adjunct instructor. I’d worked as a cashier at a farm supply store in high school and college, but this was different. I had my master’s degree and now the supervisor was reprimanding me for saying “Have a good weekend,” instead of “Have a great day.” During the first two weeks back in the service sector I wrote a note to myself in one of the notebooks I’m always writing in: “Dear Minimum Wage Employee, You Are Priceless.” I realized the note was also addressed to low wage workers everywhere. I am a person. You and I are people.




2.) The dedication page is funny and disturbing at the same time. For our readers, a sample of it reads as follows:
“For every man and woman who has ever worn a polo shirt, apron or nametag… For barcode wrists and inflamed pelvises. For bruised egos and unused Master’s degrees… For strutting out the doors and into the parking lot and never looking back.”
It goes on but the readers must pick up a copy and read it for themselves. In the meantime, how did you come up with your dedication? It could easily have been short and sweet and I am glad you made it as long as you did, it is fun to read.


I was frustrated with the way low-wage workers are treated by customers and the corporations, but I was also inspired by the way service sector employees can and do band together to resist corporate scripts. The women I worked with at Kohl’s and at my previous service sector jobs laughed together and turned the underpaid shifts into something else—maybe social calls, maybe games, or maybe occasions to appreciate and encourage one another. When we had to stay until one in the morning folding t-shirts and juniors’ jeans, we would take our shoes off and laugh. These poems are for those gutsy women (and men too).



3.) Your poems detail the trials and tribulations of working in retail, of the corporate guidelines are portrayed in such a way as to make the reader feel as diminished as the employee must feel when being told the guidelines. Your poem, Corporate Macaroni Code, is a good example which I will post below. Can you tell us more about the inspiration for such a poem as this one?

Corporate Macaroni Code

What is acceptable: black slacks,
especially when paired with a fuck-me voice
and a meek smile.

Avoid thrusting your elbows outward,
talking with your hands.

(This is only
for your own good. We wouldn’t want you
to look anything but professional.

We wouldn’t want you
to be mistaken for a woman shopping freely,
schlucking her boots against the linoleum,
sniffing blouse pits or rubbing discount dresses
between stubby fingers.)

On days when the weather
is especially conducive to Capri pants,

we want you to give us your shiniest apples,
your macaroni necklaces, the last rasp of your voice,
even if it’s higher or purpler than you feel.
Even if you go home to peanut butter.

Many jobs in the service sector have dress codes for employees that are quite entertaining to read. Sometimes the dress codes seem like a way to take power away from employees, to show workers that management and the corporation have power over them. Yet, the corporation spins it as a way to “protect” the worker, to make sure she is being professional. Of course, it makes sense at a grocery store or department store where you are issued a polo shirt. But it becomes a bizarre document at department stores where one wears her own clothes. The language and tone of the corporate dress code for one particular store seemed to imply that the retail employee does not have a sense of professional dress—or taste for that matter. For example, I remember that overalls and mesh tops were strictly forbidden. As if! Yet, the title and final stanza of my poem are important. The employee must not only give her best dress pants to the company but also herself. She must give her real smile, her real humanity for the sake of the corporation making a profit and reeling in store credit card customers.




4.) I love your poem, On Your Day Off, which describes exactly what the poem title says. I am curious about the paper pulp mentioned in the poem: Do you make your own? Also, can you tell us the inspiration behind this poem and give us some more details about things mentioned such as “the sound acrylic nails make/drumming on your countertop”? Here is the poem below:

On Your Day Off

You slide into traffic.

For a few tree-lined blocks
you could be
a business woman
or healthcare professional.

Later, at home—dipping your hands into
Inches of paper pulp you almost see the
blues, pinks, and mauves
of the updated misses department.
You stir pulp
until it purples, until no one
calls you ma’am or asks you to check prices.

And still later, when fibers collide,
when the paper flaps on the clothesline,
you forget barcodes, the sound acrylic nails make
drumming on your countertop. Instead you hear
geese honking beyond boxers
and solitary socks.


I haven’t made my own paper in a while, but that summer I did! I made the pulp in a kitchen blender and dumped it into a big old Rubbermaid container and it just felt so good to use my hands to make something that was for me. I was experimenting at the time with book art. It was such a joy to make something that involved colors and textures. This reminded me of the colors and textures that become tired and mundane and so separate from the worker at a store like Kohl’s where for several months everything is the same burgundy and mustard yellow and purple that you beep and bag. That particular day off it was such a pleasure to be left on my own and to hear outdoor sounds (I was making the paper outside) instead of hearing the sounds of middle-aged women drumming acrylic fingernails on my countertop when I scanned and folded their items as quickly as I could. The drumming of fingernails was intended to tell me that their time was valuable—more valuable than mine.



5.) You had mentioned that working at Kohl’s had inspired these poems when I sent you an e-mail to ask if I could interview you. Can you tell us what it was about the work there that inspired you to write about it? Was it to relieve yourself of frustration or a way to vindicate yourself about the work? What kind of work do you do now and do you write about it in poems, too?

Well, cashiers and other pink-collar workers like waitresses are expected to adhere to these scripts that consist of saying “Hello, welcome to Kohl’s” and apologizing for things that aren’t our fault and pretending that the customer is always right. These poems are my way of talking back, of making an alternate script where I voice my feelings and assert my “person-hood.”

When I wrote these poems I was also an adjunct instructor. And for anyone who doesn’t know, it’s like being a professor but without an office and without health insurance and with much, much lower pay. Now I teach writing full time at a liberal arts college. And I certainly do write about being a writing teacher. I think it’s interesting to explore things from the teacher’s point of view. I have this poem that talks about not grading essays because I ate a Twix bar in the grocery store parking lot. I wrote a poem called “How to Wear a Pencil Skirt” that explores the teacher’s sexuality.

I admit that there was this uneasiness when I was finishing my collection of poems (Pink-Collar Brides)—some of them speaking to the cashier’s experience—when I accepted a full-time teaching job. Could I still write about being a cashier? About being an adjunct?




6.) The closing poem is directed at brides and begins with a quote from a Bridal Guide. The quote has advice that I, personally, think sounds silly. This poem is directed at the bride who is now faced with real life now that the big event is over.

I am very curious to know how this poem came about? I, myself, have always dreaded weddings and their brides and wonder about your thoughts on the whole thing? Even for my own wedding, which turned out lovely, I still wish I had eloped and skipped the whole beauty-pageant-feeling of being a bride. I always looked forward to the marriage part, not the wedding. This poem paints a rather grainy and sober picture of what happens after the wedding. The poem is below, please enlighten us to the creative process for this poem:


A Ghazal for the Bride with Post-Wedding Blues

Some brides feel disappointed after their big day. Try to keep up with friends, establish a work-out routine with your hubby, anything to keep you moving and out of your papasan chair. –Bridal Guide

The wedding is over, the bride may now begin her spinning.
Bring out the bacon, the frying pans, and soiled sheets.

The wedding is over, the bride may have her gown professionally cleaned.
May all your nights involve Sudoku puzzles.

The wedding is over, the bride can roll up clean underwear
and ball socks together to create onions for his steak.

The wedding is over, the bride may now take down her knot.com profile.
And retreat to cellars for heads of lettuce and shriveled grapes.

The wedding is over, the bride can stop dieting, and let her skin go pale.
Piece together rye bread, sauer kraut, and smoked turkey with swiss.

The wedding is over, the bride can unveil her sweatpants.
She can trace long snakes of stretch marks to spell out “boredom” and “loneliness.”

The wedding is over, the bride can cut off her hair and paint her fingernails purple.
Tell the groom to strip off his cummerbund so she can catch her clippings and drippings.

The wedding is over, the bride can climb out of her papasan chair
And rollerblade down hills and into a deep valley.


Well, I rarely ever write formal verse. And my professor at the time, Brenda Cardenas, who has been a huge inspiration as a teacher and poet, challenged us to try several forms. I became intrigued with the ghazal form, how the couplets stand alone as individual poems, and how the rhyming word and refrain work like chimes. I cheated. I changed the form so that instead of a repeating word at the end of each couplet there is this refrain at the beginning: “the wedding is over.” But, anyways, I was preparing for my own wedding which ended up being an old fashioned Wisconsin wedding with chicken and potatoes and beer and a big white dress with red roses on it. And I was so conflicted because I hated the idea of registering for gifts and making my sisters and best friend wear matching shiny dresses and wearing a veil (which I didn’t). I thought the advice from a wedding magazine in the epigraph was kooky and demeaning, so I imagined the relief (rather than the anxiety) after a wedding. I imagined a bride letting her gut hang out. But I also imagined the disappointment that might happen after one has gone from being the Bride to being a Wife---especially in a culture where the Husband or Hubby (a word I refuse to use) is supposed to “complete” her.



7.) Where else can we find your poems or collections? Do you have a blog or web-site we can visit that you could include a link to? Are there any creative projects you are working on that we might see in the future? What kinds of events and happenings are inspiring your poems today?

I have a collection, Pink-Collar Brides, that I’m still submitting to a few presses that I admire—trying to find a good home for it. I have some recent poems up at Prime Number and Melusine.

http://www.melusine21cent.com/mag/node/262

http://www.primenumbermagazine.com/Issue7_Poetry_EmilieLindeman.html



8.) Which writers, poets, artists do you enjoy reading or seek inspiration from?

My favorite poets are Jan Beatty, Karen Brodine, and Chris Llewellyn---Carol Tarlen too. These women explore the world of work in their poetry. I always loved Lucille Clifton for her humor and gutsiness in her work. And, of course, I admire fellow Wisconsin poet Lorine Niedecker for the fun she has with language and sounds in her poetry. I made my husband come with me to Blackhawk Island (where Niedecker lived) last year as a kind of pilgrimage.
Plus, I’ve been inspired by the poets and writers who have been my writing teachers: Karl Elder, James Liddy, Maurice Kilwein Guevara, Kimberly Blaeser, Liam Callanan, and of course Brenda Cardenas as I mentioned earlier.



9.) Any advice for aspiring poets and writers out there?

Never underestimate the possibilities of a writing exercise or an experiment. Once I made a whole series of prose poems because I had this idea that I was going to force myself to use the word “panty” somehow in each one. When an experiment looks limiting it’s really freeing.

Write stuff down constantly. Doodle. Observe.

And I think exercise helps too—it lets you think and create without the pressure. I walk past corn fields and cows or I go to a Zumba class and I just relax and think.



Emilie Lindemann, thanks so much for agreeing to be interviewed. I wish you continued success in your writing and creative endeavors, please keep in touch.


If you would like a copy of Emilie Lindemann’s collection: Dear Minimum Wage Employee, You are Priceless, please visit the link to Dancing Girl Press below to purchase a copy for $7.00 at:

http://dulcetshop.ecrater.com/p/11548447/emilie-lindemann-dear-minimum-wage

Thanks always for reading, please drop in again for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…