Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Poems Found by Poet Hound
Emily Dickinson’s “The Soul selects her own society”
Bill Manhire “The Little Match Girl”

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

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Slice of Life by Kevin Hibshman

The press, Alternating Current, has a series of chapbooks called the Pocket Protector series that are just as small as you can imagine, about the size of a business card. They cost a mere $3.00 each (not including $1.00 postage).

Mr. Kevin Hibshman whose chapbook is titled Slice of Life is a collection of short poems that capture daily life events pared down to their essential frame.

One of the poems I enjoyed is as follows:

My Vacation?

No sea.
No beach.
Phone still rings and rings.
Two weeks of staying up late.
Running Nina to the vet’s where she
was put to sleep.
Smoking tearfully in the bathroom.
Smoking between CD’s.
Waiting for pizza.
Waiting for poems.
Settling for thunderstorm.
I lie under the skylight, my connection
to the outside.

I like this poem mostly because I can relate. How often have you taken a vacation only to realize you can’t escape what you were hoping to get away from and then an unexpected tragedy (as with the pet in the poem) occurs? It’s a poem that is pared down to the letdowns where the thoughts punctuate the page, simple, clear, and sober.

Another poem I enjoy is:

Until you Spoke

Heaven quietly fermented on moist,
dutiful sheets.
Sleep finally overtook assailing need
until we, like tired children,
surrendered to dream.

Serene until the sun rose, morning
broke, until you spoke and
ruined everything.

I’d like to know what was said that ruined everything, but imagining what could have been said lends the quality of mystery to the poem. I especially like the first two lines, indicating intimacy and love between the couple before it all changes the next morning.

The final poem I would like to share with you is:

Bone Grinder

In ultimate irony, I once lived to the
rear of a funeral parlor.
In a time when death seems to pervade
my waking life,
I am forced to chuckle at my own

These years have served to siphon the
romance right out of suffering.
I’ve been blowing on dice while
throwing up blood.
I think I may have broken someone’s
heart but I am sure I killed
somebody’s plans.

I’ve been hiding behind buildings,
behind alibis, behind cigarettes
and nighttime.
Behind a past so transparent that it’s
hard to find.

Here I sit numb, the hollow taste of
time on my tongue.
Stung by the act of saying one too
many goodbyes.

This is my favorite poem in the collection, I love the ways Mr. Hibshin explains his life in lines such as “I think I may have broken someone’s/heart but I am sure I killed/somebody’s plans” that ties to the funeral parlor mentioned in the beginning. I’m always happy when a poet can keep a common thread running through a poem and this one references facing ones own mortality and then leaving it open ended since he has not passed away but has been “Stung by the act of saying one too/many goodbyes.” Words such as “throwing up blood” bring a sense of violence to this poem, it keeps the reader from feeling comfortable and safe while reading it, and I am the type to find morbidity intriguing.

If you enjoyed these poems and you’d like to purchase a copy for yourself, Ms. Leah Angstman (the owner of the press) has included the following information for the Pocket Protector Series:

“they are $3.00 each, plus $1 US postage, $2 out-of-US postage. they can be purchased by cash, check, money order made out to Alternating Current, PO Box 398058, Cambridge MA 02139 USA, or via Paypal directly to the email address, or online at, where postage is done by weight. the direct links to them online are here: all authors receive royalties on our press, and each purchase comes with a free random chapbook from the archives.”

I am a huge fan of poets making money for their work when so often they can only be rewarded with extra copies of their publication. Please support small presses such as this one and I’ll be reviewing more books from Alternating Current in the future and thanks always for reading!

Please drop in tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, December 29, 2008

Center for Book Arts

Check out the beautiful selection of books from artists and poets at this site! They also teach classes about the art of book-making and they also have contests for publication. It is a wonderful place to peruse so I hope you’ll visit by clicking the link below:

Thanks for visiting, please stop by tomorrow for another featured poet...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

M. Kei's Bridge of Bones

Now for today’s officially featured poet, Bridge of Bones by M. Kei
This gem of a collection is pure zen for me. There is a focus on mother nature’s small treasures and I will share a few of the poems below:

creamy white petals
the first briar rose
beside my boot.

I love the imagery of a small rose being noticed as you look down from your full height, don’t you? That’s the image I had when I read this poem the first time.

a line of
lavender wisteria along
the highway;
for a moment I forget
his death.

This poem has an unexpected ending that brings bittersweet emotion to an underappreciated lovely sight. Now whenever I see small flowers growing along the highways I’ll be thinking of this little poem.

sifting through
the window screen
this evening,
the yellow scent of
wild vines blooming.

“yellow scent” caught my imagination immediately. I think of honeysuckle blooms in my old backyard in Indiana and of the morning glory vines here in Florida. This poem describes the briefest moment in time and ties it to smell which is one of the most powerful ways to remember something, anything, of importance.

in a dream
if a coyote calls
answer with another’s voice.

This is the last poem in the collection and I love it. I have no words to explain or describe this one other than it reminds me of the desert in El Paso where I spent my youth and I do miss hearing the coyotes call and our family howling back into the darkness from our backyard. This one is simply for me and I’m sharing it with you.

Remember that each issue from Lilliput Review is only $1.00 and each chapbook is $3.00 so if you enjoyed these little gems then I suggest you purchase M. Kei’s collection by going to Lilliput Review:

Thanks for reading as always! I’ll be taking the next few days off for the holidays to spend with my family on the Suwannee River here in Florida. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and we will meet again on Monday, December 29th…

Monday, December 22, 2008

42 Opus

Check out this fabulous on-line magazine that publishes poetry, fiction, and non-fiction with new poems, etc. regularly every few days. Their site is easy to navigate and well worth exploring, please visit them by clicking the link below:

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

Friday, December 19, 2008

Poetry Tips: Spin-off Titles

This idea came to me very simply. One of the titles of the poems in my weekly “Poems Found by Poet Hound” grabbed my attention and I spun off a poem as a result. Sometimes a title can do that for you. So I urge you to look at the titles of books, poems, articles, anything that grabs your attention as a headliner and spin off a poem as a result. Have fun and good luck!

Thanks for dropping in, please stop by again on Monday for another featured site…

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rattle Open Submissions

I apologize for the delays in posts lately. For some reason when I get up in the morning the internet connection isn't working. Then when I get home my computer acts up in other ways so we'll see how long it takes me to break down and call the Geek Squad. In the meantime, back to our scheduled program:

Yes, they’re open year round and they feature a new poem every day at 5am according to their home page. Isn’t that wonderful? Be sure your contact information is on each page you send. You may send up to 6 poems, but no simultaneous submissions, to: submissionsATrattleDOTcom
or to:
RATTLE12411 Ventura Blvd.Studio City, CA 91604

For further details go to the submissions link below and explore their site to see what kinds of poems they publish and any applicable tributes that are related to your kind of poetry:

Good luck to all who submit, please drop in tomorrow for more Poetry Tips…

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Poems Found by Poet Hound
“Poetry Is A Destructive Force” by Wallace Stevens
“Inland Among Stones” by Sean Patrick Hill

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lilliput Review Issue 165

I received my new issues #165 and #166 from Lilliput Review. Issue #165’s collection is the regular Lilliput Review issue and #166 is a mini chapbook by M. Kei. So I asked Mr. Wentworth if I could review both featuring several poems from each and he was kind enough to oblige. So today will be issue #165 and next week will be M. Kei’s collection…

Let’s start with #165’s collection of poets. This collection has wonderful poems regarding the five senses and some strange and intriguing descriptions within the lines of the various poems included. Here are some of the poems I enjoyed immensely:

Indelicate clank of the radiator
and the hesitant tapping
of autumn rain. Add one small voice
and you’ve got a symphony.

--Greg Watson of St. Paul, MN

I love this little gem because it involves the senses as I mentioned above and I can easily hear the symphony for myself through the imagination brought out in Mr. Watson’s lines.

Canyon Grass

A rag of wind catches
in January’s grass
where a deer has checked
its slow descent to water
with a mountain the size of a snowflake
reflected in each eye.

--David Chorlton, Phoenix, AZ

I love the words in the first line because I’ve never heard of “A rag of wind” and I think the entire poem is simply beautiful. Can you imagine being so close to a deer as to see the reflection in its eyes and for the reflection to be so beautiful?

all you’ve
brought with you

--John Martone, Charleston, IL

Another simple and beautiful poem that has no need for further explanation that I can see.

There are many more poems just as insightful and beautiful as these so I hope you’ll spring at the chance to buy a copy or a subscription if you have a chance. You can also check out Issa's Untidy Hut which features poems from back issues of Lilliput Review.

Thanks for reading, next week will feature M. Kei’s collection titled Bridge of Bones. Please drop in tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, December 15, 2008

One Thousand Journals

Now this is an awesome project that I hope you will definitely check out. There are 1000 journals in circulation being passed hand to hand and being filled by whoever stumbles across them. Then the entries are posted on the web-site linked below. You can go through the pages and see some rhymes and insightful words and blessings. Wouldn’t this be a great poetry project? Who’s with me?

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

Friday, December 12, 2008

Poetry Tips: Blind Perspective

If you are able to read this then you are not blind, so for this week’s idea for poetry it is to write a poem as though you really are blind. What kind of poem would you dictate if you couldn’t see? How would it change the poems you typically write and could you recreate an existing poem from the “viewpoint” of being blind? I wish you luck to those of you who are up to the challenge.

Thanks for dropping in and please stop by Monday for another featured site…

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gloom Cupboard Open Submissions

“Our guidelines are deliberately vague because we have nothing worthwhile to say. It’s up to you to take us beyond what has gone poetry/flashfiction/shortstories/articles to are now required for #70. Our last call of 2008”

Take a look at their site, so you can get a better idea of what kind of work is published and good luck to all who submit!

Thanks for dropping in, please stop by tomorrow for more Poetry Tips…

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Poems Found by Poet Hound
Craig Arnolds’ “from A Place of First Permission”
Erin Malone’s “Spoke”

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

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Frank O'Hara's Meditations In An Emergency

I picked up Frank O’Hara’s book, Meditations In An Emergency at my local library and was very happy to read through it. Born June 27th, 1926 in Baltimore, Maryland, Frank O’Hara would move to Boston, Massachusetts to study piano and become a sonarman in World War II. Frank O’Hara’s first passion was music, which he majored in Harvard, but also began writing poetry for which he has become well-known, as well as his friendship with John Ashberry. He also became associated with painters such as Jackson Pollack and Jasper Johns to which he worked with collaboratively with his poetry.

In this collection of poems, published originally in 1957, it is obvious that he has a sense of rhythm in his lines without a need for rhyme and the structure of the lines can vary within a poem. There are countless enjoyable poems within the pages and of course I will only select two to mention.

The first one is very simple and almost childlike, but when you read it in context with all of his other poems the very reason I enjoy this one is because it has been stripped down to its childlike wonder. This poem is titled “Les Etiquettes juanes.” The poem is simply Frank O’Hara picking up a leaf and observing it. “Leaf! You are so big!/How can you change your/color, then just fall!” This stanza sounds exactly like how I thought as a child when playing in the leaves, and he accuses the leaf of being “too relaxed/to answer me.” I love the idea he places on personifying the leaf, another trait children have. He ends his poem with the lines “Leaf! don’t be neurotic/like the small chameleon.” Again, the personification of the leaf and the childlike view of it makes this poem just pure and simple pleasure to read. Also, it is a great poem for this time of year, since leaves are falling in beautiful showers of red, orange, and gold in different parts of the country.

Another poem I quite enjoyed is titled “On Rachmaninoff’s Birthday.” This poem showcases his passion for music as well as his admiration of Rachmaninoff, the composer. “Blue windows, blue rooftops/and the blue light of rain,/these contiguous phrases of Rachmaninoff/pouring into my enormous ears…” I like to think the word “blue” is used to explain O’Hara’s thoughts on the music and how it affects O’Hara’s view of his surroundings. Blue often can be used for seeming sad or somber but in this poem seems to connote more the idea of crisp and cool like water which is often described as blue in color. “…for without him I do not play, especially in the afternoon/on the day of his birthday.” O’Hara’s admiration being so great that he does not attempt to play Rachmaninoff’s music is a glimpse of O’Hara’s sentimental side and of his view of the importance of paying tribute to his favorite composer. “Only my eyes would be blue as I played/and you rapped my knuckles,/dearest father of all the Russias…” Again, O’Hara uses the word blue to explain his feelings toward his favorite composer, the desire to have been his pupil in the mention of rapped knuckles, and how their relationship would have been as well as the love mixed in with the pain of discipline when he says “dearest father,” all succinctly said in just a few lines. This is what I find remarkable about Frank O’Hara because he says so much with so few words and lines, even when it comes to his longer poems. His poetry is an ideal model for all poets.

I hope that you will find Frank O’Hara’s poems as beautiful and amazing as I do, and I hope you will pick up a copy of any of his collections and relish them all.

To find out more and to read poems by Frank O’Hara, visit the links below:

Thanks for reading, please drop by tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, December 8, 2008

Adirondack Review Book Sale

I received this via e-mail and hope some of you may find it interesting and perhaps useful for next year since it has come and gone already, but definitely check out the link:

“Dear Friends, Celebrate publishing's independent spirit with over 100 indie publishers from around the world, all under one roof, selling books you can't get at your big box bookstore. The Indie and Small Press Book is one of New York City's favorite annual literary events. It's free, open to all, and packed with an exciting line-up of public events. You can find more information here:
Where: 20 West 44th Street, New YorkWhen: December 6th and 7th (This weekend!)If you can make it, be sure to visit your friends at Black Lawrence Press and The Adirondack Review. We'll have a table on the third floor. Happy Holidays!Diane Goettel”

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

Friday, December 5, 2008

Poetry Tips: The Poetry Journal

Most of us keep poems on our computer nowadays but I used to keep them in a spiral notebook—at least the “final” versions once they were finished. Why not find a beautiful journal or notebook to carefully hand-write your favorites in as they come along so that you can easily find poetic inspiration all in one place when you have your stumbling block moments? My mother-in-law bought me the most beautiful journal last year and I am slowly filling it with my favorite poems and treasure it immensely.

Thanks for stopping by, please visit again on Monday for another featured site…

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Arsenic Lobster Open Submissions

The editors read year round so please make a note of that for future reference when most other publishers close their reading periods. You may e-mail 3 to 5 previously unpublished poems to lobster(at)magere(dot)com. In the subject heading of the e-mail be sure to title it using your “first initial, last name, date, and what you are submitting” for example: P. Hound 12/04/08 Poetry. Also note that they will take simultaneous submissions but be sure to notify them if your work is accepted elsewhere. Take a look at the link below to find out more:

Good luck to all of you who submit, thanks for dropping in and please stop by tomorrow…

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Poems Found by Poet Hound
“White Christmas” by Nick Benca
“Stop Motion Lamb Figurine” by Juliet Cook

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

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lynda Hull's Collected Poems

Lynda Hull was born December 5th, in 1954 in Newark, New Jersey. Although she passed away early in 1994 in a car accident, she has quite a collection of published poems that you can find in her collected volume, Lynda Hull Collected Poems as I have or in her smaller collections still available today. She has won several prizes for her poetry which were often influenced by her love of Jazz. You can learn more about her using the link below, there are many featured poems for you to peruse there as well.

One of the poems I enjoyed is titled “Night Waitress.” It is, quite simply, about a waitress taking in the scene before her while reminiscing about her own personal life and I am often fond of the simpler poems with clear meanings. As Lynda thinks of her mother, she writes “She washed the floor on hands and knees/below the Black Madonna, praying/…who’s not here tonight when I lay out the plates,/small planets, the cups and moons of saucers.” What I like about these lines is the imagery, you can picture a woman scrubbing the floor of a church under a Black Madonna, or a world of plates and cups. I love the insert of the words “small planets” because you could almost overlook them within the poem but instead they bring out so much more interest in an otherwise mundane idea or task. As Ms. Hull moves onto the description of the customers she admits she is invisible to them although “There’s the man/who leans over the jukebox nightly/pressing the combinations/of numbers. I would not stop him/if he touched me,…” The customers are factory workers who “grip lunch box handles,/belt buckles gleam,” while she prepares to go home after another night of work. “I think of my room as a calm arrival/each book and lamp in its place.” The poem is very simple, describing a single typical night of waitressing but the lines make it enjoyable to read and easy to take in and picture as is. Lynda Hull does write more complex poems and ideas but there are times I’m in the mood for simplicity and ease which is perfectly executed in this poem.

Another poem I enjoy is “The Floating Wedding” where the bride is awake on her wedding night next to her exhausted new husband while looking about the cabin on the lake and out the window at the nightlife. For the aftermath of the party, “artifacts of marriage remain, heavy knives,/ the wedding cake sodden and littered/with the confetti of good cheer./She watches on shore a single headlamp./It’s the drunk. She knows him, has seen him…” The bride contemplates this man who “Nightly/he struggles with the bicycle through the sand/past floating piers and houses with their freight/of sleep.” I love the words “freight of sleep.” She finds another way of saying heavy eyelids, which is a wonderful way to change up the wording of a typical analogy. As the husband sleeps through all of this, “she lowers her veil to the sea,/its crown of flowers floating/like a doll’s small funeral barge.” This is an unexpected comparison to me, flowers from a wedding and then the mention of a funeral barge. It takes a joyous occasion and turns it to a somber event. Juxtaposition is another favorite idea of mine. “When she wraps her arms around herself/she is wrapped in blue fire. She touches/her husband’s whitening shoulder.” To me, these lines indicate that she is alive with passion in her wakeful state while her husband is sleeping, pale through the chill night air during the events taking place in their surroundings. I think this poem is beautiful and I cannot do it justice by presenting some lines in this paragraph. You will have to read it yourself if you can find a copy of her collected poems.

In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about Lynda Hull, please click the link below and be sure to read some of her poems that are linked:

Thanks for reading, please drop by tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Songs To A Midnight Sky Blog

This blog is by a woman living in Florida, much like myself, who blogs about her poetic finds and endeavors along with many other interesting tidbits and information. I find her blog very interesting and hope you will too, please check out the link below:

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

Friday, November 28, 2008

Poetry Tips: Commercialized Poems

Many people think the holidays bring out the worst in business through crass commercialism and overdone decorations in the stores, not to mention the never ending holiday music streaming through every speaker. Why not use the words you find in commercials, ads, and in holiday songs to create the ultimate commercialized poem? See if you can even shape it to look like a holiday symbol such as an ornament, candle, tree, wreath, Chanukah star, anything that comes to mind. Good luck to those of you who try it, and let me know how it turns out!

Thanks always for reading, please drop by on Monday for another featured site…

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Crazy Horse Open Submissions

Happy Thanksgiving! If you’ve got some time over your holiday weekend, try submitting poems to Crazy Horse.

This is one of the few places that accepts simultaneous submissions so I suggest you take advantage of this if you’ve got several gems out there already. You may submit 3 to 5 poems with a cover letter before January 2009 and mail to:
CrazyhorseDepartment of EnglishCollege of Charleston66 George St.Charleston, SC 29424

Or you can use the link below to submit your poems on-line instead and save yourself the postage while finding out more about Crazy Horse.

Good luck to all of you and have a wonderful weekend, please drop in again on Monday…

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Poems Found by Poet Hound
“Bad Toothbrushes” by Sarah Sloat
“Our Lady of Peace High School” by Carol Muske-Dukes

Thanks for clicking in, please stop by tomorrow for another Open Submissions..

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lemon Hound Featured Site

When I first started blogging, this was one of the sites I stumbled on. Here you can find guest bloggers, full length featured poems, information on poetry, really all kinds of wonderful things. Please check it out at the link below:

Please drop in on Wednesday, I promise I will get the Tuesday’s Featured Poet back up and running once all the craziness in my life calms down a little more, just need one more week or two…

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Indiana Review Open Submissions

You may send 3 to 6 poems (translations welcome) with a short bio (with pertinent info. including name, address, etc.) to:
Indiana ReviewBallantine Hall 465Indiana UniversityBloomington, IN 47405-7103
Don’t forget a Self-Address Stamped Envelope and check out the link below for further information. Please note that Indiana Review publishes twice a year in November and May so your submission will be considered for the May issue.

Good luck to all of you who submit and thanks for dropping in, please stop by Monday…

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Poems Found By Poet Hound
“Dr. Drink” by J.V. Cunningham
“Emily Dickinson’s Birds” by Phillip A. Ellis

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

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday Blues

Sorry folks, yet another week where I ran out of time. I took my final exam for my on-line course and passed! Hopefully this upcoming weekend I can devote time for all five regular posts. Otherwise, it is back to just Wednesday and Thursday’s posts.

See you soon, thanks for dropping in…

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Konundrum's Open Submissions

Check out the link below to find what type of poems they publish and then you may send two to three poems via e-mail (including your biographical information) to:

Thanks for checking in, please stop by next Monday when I have more time for getting posts together (on-line college course has been more time consuming than I planned for)…

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Poems Found by Poet Hound
“Star-Nosed Mole” by Melinda Wilson
“Noah’s Leap: by Sarah Vap

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

Monday, November 10, 2008


I’ve bitten off more than I can chew for this week so I only have blog posts for Wednesday and Thursday until next week. I am taking an on-line class for work, I have paperwork to fill out for some volunteer work I do, and plenty of other things going on. You’ll see the rest of the regular posts soon.

Thanks to those who answered the poll, six people voted their top features as:
Poems Found by Poet Hound
Open Submissions

I’m always looking for constructive feedback, so please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts.
Thanks always for dropping in and for your participation…

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Belated Friday's Poetry Tips: What If?

This week I want you to try writing a poem that encompasses some version of “What if?” You could create a poem that starts out by asking the question or write a different version of a poem you already have to see how it turns out. What if you tried a different ending to an existing fairy tale for a poem? What if your life ended sooner rather than later? What if you live much longer than you anticipate, what might you see in the future? The possibilities are endless, good luck to those of you who try it out!

Thanks for dropping in, please stop by Monday for another featured site…

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Poetry Magazine Open Submissions

Now you can submit poems on-line to Poetry magazine and they have it set up so you can keep track of your submissions. Poetry has always had the credo of accepting any kind of poetry in hopes of the discovery of something revolutionary and/or spectacular. Just be sure that any poems you submit are previously unpublished, you may send 4 poems or less, and if any of your poems are accepted they pay $10.00 per line with a minimum payment of $300.00 per poem or $150.00 per page of prose. Good luck and please click the link below to see the full guidelines and to submit on-line.

Thanks for stopping by, please stop by tomorrow for more Poetry Tips…

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Poems Found by Poet Hound
“Pharmacy” by Jay Snodgrass
“Heavenly” by Jon Woodward

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

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Poetry's November Issue

This month I was lucky enough that the majority of the poems I marked are also available on-line at the Poetry Magazine web-site. Here are a couple of my favorites:
On Wanting to Tell [ ] about a Girl Eating Fish Eyes by Mary Szybist caught my attention because the title alone is unusual. So is the poem, which I thought would send shivers of disgust down my spine but left me with a small smile instead. It describes the loss of a loved one and the wistfulness of a sentimental moment. “You died just hours ago./Not suddenly, no. You’d been dying so long/nothing looked like itself:” While I don’t know which parent specifically passed, the parent is honored by the voice in the poem who is watching her own daughter. “I refill the glasses/and we raise a toast to you/as so and so’s daughter…” Then there is the sentimental yet strange (to me) moment of “slides into another lap/to eat another pair of slippery eyes/with her soft fingers, fingers rosier each time,” While the youngest daughter/granddaughter is eating fish eyes her parent wishes for the return of her own mother or father: “If only I could go to you, revive you./You must be a little alive still.” I love that line of “a little alive still” because most of us still feel our loved one’s presence long after they pass. You think of something they would have laughed at and realize you can’t call them up and tell them, you can’t show them a video or pictures of the event because they have passed. For those who believe in heaven, there is comfort in their being alive in spirit, perhaps looking down upon you. In the poem, the youngest daughter delights in eating fish eyes “She is placing one on her tongue,/bright as a polished coin—“ and when asked what they taste like the child simply replies “They taste like eyes.” This is how the poem ends, with a very simple remark from the child while her mother watches in wonder while thinking of how her own parent who has passed on would marvel at this child, also. It’s a strange and beautiful poem that I have trouble explaining but wanted to share with you nonetheless.

The next poem is Murray Dreaming by Stephan Edgar which can also be read by clicking:
A trip to the aquarium brings about wonder and stillness in a boy named Murray as he watches the stillness of the cod amidst all the activity going on at the aquarium whether it be people passing through or sharks swimming in their tank. Stephen Edgar describes Murray taking in all that he sees: “Out in the day/Again, he saw the famous streets expound/Their theories about speed, the cars obey,/Racing to catch the sun….and thought it odd/That in the multitudes not everyone/Should understand as he did the profound/Profession of the cod,/That held time, motionless, unknown to sound.” The words “Profession of the cod” is a wonderful line because it is so unexpected a revelation that cod might have work to do, even if it is to remain still amidst everything else. Murray dreams at night of the fish remaining still while above in the daylight everything zips along. I really enjoy the perspective of the child which brings about the wonder that many of us as adults forget.

Also very interesting in this issue is the section on Visual Poetry which you can read more about by clicking here and seeing/reading for yourself:

Thanks for dropping in, please stop by for more Open Submissions…

Monday, November 3, 2008

Mitzvah Chaps

Check out this publishing blog full of interesting chapbooks that you can also find on the Press Press Press blog. Based out of Lawrence, Kansas, you can find out about poetic events to attend and you can buy the chapbooks on-line thanks to their handy-dandy Pay Pal buttons. Click below to find out more:

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

Friday, October 31, 2008

Poetry Tips: Happy Halloween

Instead of trying to write poems, I dare you to read some. Find all the poets you know who write about spooky events, ghosts, etc. such as Poe and Dickinson and see if you can sneak in lines while you’re out at Halloween parties or trick-or-treating with the kids. Give yourself 5 points every time someone recognizes who you are quoting and see how many points you can win yourself at the end of Halloween night. Think classic words or lines such as “Nevermore” or “Because I could not stop for death…”

Have a Happy Halloween and see you Monday after you’ve recovered from your sugary hang-overs…

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Nerve Cowboy Chapbook Open Submissions

If you haven’t read Nerve Cowboy then please be sure to check out their site and read some sample poems. If you have a batch of straight-talking, sharp-shooting poems then this is the place to submit your chapbook. Submit 24-40 pages of poetry with an Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope to:
Nerve Cowboy Chapbook Contest
PO Box 4973
Austin, TX 78765

Check it out at:

Thanks for dropping in, please stop by tomorrow for more Poetry Tips…

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Poems Found by Poet Hound
“Chinese Box” by Carmen Germaine
“Among the Freuds” by Diana Bridge

PS: Jim Murdoch has a wonderful two part interview with Claire Askew and here are the links below:
Claire explains her reasoning behind creating One Night Stanzas, how she grew as a poet, and so on. It’s very educational and entertaining so please take a look!

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

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Christopher Cunningham's In Gambler's Blood

Christopher Cunningham’s chapbook, In Gambler’s Blood is available from Kendra Steiner Editions and is about the different perspectives of the gamblers at the gambling table. Think of it as a story unfolding through the eyes of the characters that brings to light their backgrounds as well as their emotions brimming through every turn of the card.

There are two poems I particularly enjoyed in the collection and the first one is:

the calculation of risk

the one with the difficult job
watches the cards as they slip from the
dealer’s fingers onto the dark burgundy felt.

four of diamonds
ace of diamonds
eight of spades.

he sees the gambler on his right move a stack of chips
in his direction. he takes a breath, very shallow.
he looks at the dealer.
he thinks about
the different kinds of luck
a man can have.

and not have.

the air is heavy with rent money and pain.
he reaches down and lifts the corners
of his cards
with rough fingers
to make sure his ace and his eight are still there.

he counts the chips in the pot.
there are two cards to come.
he calls.

life moves strangely.

he scratches his face and looks out over the
edge of his world
into the unknown.

My favorite line is “the air is heavy with rent money and pain” because it places the emphasis on what’s at stake to lose and win. It also indicates the place where the gambler is coming from, his need for the money, the pain that comes with addiction in needing to play. You can also find yourself holding your breath waiting for the outcome just as the player is deciding his move. The ending leaves you hanging in suspense which furthers your desire to read the other poems hoping the answer will be found.

The second poem I enjoyed immensely is:

a matter of reward

the one with the family doesn’t like
what he sees.
he rolls the gold band around his finger
with his thumb while he thinks.

at home his wife
is putting the kids
to bed. the television is on
but the sound is down.
she turns out the light
on the children
and has a glass of wine
in the silence.
her mind is quiet.

the gold is cold under his thumb.

he looks at the four again.
the one with the difficult job
is sitting very still,
staring at a spot
atmospherically removed from the game.

when does a man
ever truly know
for certain?

he pitches his cards in the muck
along with the money
that will not be his.

This poem not only encompasses the player but also his family and their activities while he is playing cards. The line “her mind is quiet” piques my interest because I cannot imagine a woman whose mind is quiet if her husband is out gambling and she knows it. However, she may not know what he’s up to and that could be why her mind is quiet. Chris, when you read this review, would you be so kind as to which is it?
Also, when the player is lined up with the stanza “when does a man/every truly know/anything/for certain” it makes a great setup for the letdown. It’s as if the player lost confidence and threw his cards and money into the fray regardless, recklessly. Again, this brings me back to the wife whose “mind is quiet.” What do you make of all that?

Please visit the Kendra Steiner Edition site and please note there is a 3 for $10.00 special for purchases which is well worth your while. Also, with the purchase of Cunningham’s book comes a special surprise inside hand-made by Mr. Cunningham himself that represents the entirety of the chapbook.
You can also visit Christopher Cunningham’s wonderful blog at the link below:

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

Monday, October 27, 2008

Catapult to Mars

Check out this interesting blog written in several languages by Gordon Mason who has the same goal as most of us: Increasing readership of poetry (hence writing in several languages such as English, Scots, and Spanish). Poems galore from around the world, please check it out at:

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

Friday, October 24, 2008

Poetry Tips: Magnetic Poetry

Remember when magnetic poetry was all the rage? Well, this is a slight twist on the idea. I have friends and family who have all kinds of assorted magnets with clever or funny sayings on them, or advertisements for places they enjoy going to. See if you can make a poem using only words found on those refrigerator magnets. You may end up with a very strange or very clever poem but it will be sure to bring a smile to your face.
Good luck to those who try it!

Thanks for stopping by, please visit on Monday for another featured site…

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Erbacce Open Submissions

Richard at Gloom Cupboard forwarded this e-mail flyer to me so I am sharing it with all of you:
great erbacce-press 2009 Poetry Competition

...erbacce press, the unique writers co-operative, are proud to announce full details of
a poetry competition with THE most fantastic prize which will be:

1) A writing contract with erbacce-press paying exceptionally generous royalties
2) Publication of a full length, perfect bound, collection of the winning poet's work
3) 20 free copies of the publication sent to the winner post-free
4) A dedicated sales-page featuring the winning poet

We'll be looking for an initial submission of ten pages of poetry sent as a single MS attachment plus a commitment
to have enough poetry to fill at least a 100 page collection (but up to 150 pages)... we'll be looking for poetry that is
innovative and radical in form and/or content.

Judges will be Alan Corkish and Andrew Taylor plus other eminent writers to be announced.

Entry is FREE to anyone, anywhere in the world
We'll also be awarding a runners-up prize of a spot as the featured poet in an edition of the poetry journal erbacce

Send your MS attachment to BOTH of these emails: and
and you must include in the MS Document a declaration that the work is your own plus a snail-mail address.

The competition will run until mid 2009 and the winner will be notified then full publication will
commence with the winning book being published prior to Christmas 2009


Good Luck to all those who submit, thanks for dropping in! Please stop by tomorrow for more Poetry Tips….

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Poems Found by Poet Hound
Anne Fitzgerald’s “Tuscany”
Vivienne Glance’s “Spectrum”

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

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October's Poetry Magazine

This time the poems I liked best weren’t selected to be links on the Poetry magazine site but the contents of the magazine were wonderful all around and I urge you to check out the site, read what is linked, and listen to the podcast.

In the meantime, I’ll mention a couple of poems I enjoyed immensely in case you happen to stumble upon a copy if you don’t already have one:

The first poem that really grabbed my eye is titled “Uncouplings” by Craig Arnold. He uses quite a bit of clever wordplay and while we all know “there is no I in teamwork” he also adds “but there is a two maker.” I really like what he comes up with for each word or phrase and they all flow together despite being seemingly unrelated. “the I in relationship/is the heart I slip on/a lithe prison,” and the lines “our listening skills/ are silent killings.” These are much more clever the more you take the time to read them. He turns trite phrases into insightful musings which is a skill I admire. I hope you are able to find it as amusing as I did.

The second poem is “Sad and Alone” by Maurice Manning. He starts out by addressing the reader that the idea of reminiscing is nothing new, but his memories are laid out so beautifully as he travels down memory lane and then brings us back to his present. “…I remember the time I laid/my homemade banjo in the fire/and let it burn. There was nothing else/to burn and the house was cold;…” he goes on to say “I could hear the raindrops plopping up/the buckets and kettles, scattered out/like little ponds around the room.” He describes the sound as music which he will never forget and always love. He explains that “I loved the helpless people I loved./That’s what a little boy will do,/but a grown man will turn it all/to sadness and let it soak his heart…” Those lines would have made a great ending but he proceeds a little further and turns the lines in another direction which also make it a fantastic ending. He brings you back to his beginning and brings about an emotion you nearly forgot about in the course of this relatively short poem. If you get a chance to read it I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Thanks always for reading, you may visit the current issue and read or listen by clicking on the link below.

Please stop by tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, October 20, 2008

Graying Ghost Press

Not only do they have the Corduroy Mountain Journal as mentioned on Thursday’s Open Submissions, they also publish books which can be found at Press Press Press in addition to their web-site. Check them out at the link below:

Thanks for visiting, please stop by tomorrow for another featured poet…

Friday, October 17, 2008

Poetry Tips: Poetic Hazards

The idea of superstition crosses my mind with Halloween approaching and the ever-popular black cat winding its way across lawns, over door-steps, and pumpkins smashed without provocation in nearby neighborhoods. This week I dare you to write a superstitious poem or a poem about the hazards in your life to date. Perhaps there’s a construction site in which you fear an I-beam will be dropped on unsuspecting victims, or maybe that a black cat will bring you bad luck. Whatever the case may be, this week’s idea is about the hazards and superstitions a poet or his friends and family may have.
Good luck and have fun to all those who try it.

Thanks for checking in, please stop by Monday for another poetry site…

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Curdoroy Mountain Open Submissions...

This is a division of Graying Ghost Press which has it’s own journal in which you can submit your prose poetry via e-mail using the link provided below. Check out details on the guidelines and include the world’s shortest bio requirement I’ve ever seen: One sentence. Good luck to all those who submit!

Thanks for dropping in, please stop by tomorrow for more Poetry Tips…

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Poems Found by Poet Hound
“Election Year” by Donald Revell
“Ysleta Texas” by Emmy Perez

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

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mary Oliver's Thirst

I picked up Mary Oliver’s book of poems, Thirst, from my local library. I have been coveting this book since it was published in 2006 and when I finally see it at the book-store it is always when I am broke and only browsing. I was thrilled to finally see it on my library’s shelves so that I could finally set down and read this book which is dedicated to the love of her life who passed away in 2005, Molly Malone Cook.

For those of you unfamiliar with Mary Oliver, she is well known for her poems about nature, essays, and prose. She was born September 10th in 1935 and lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She has won the Pulitzer Prize (in 1984) and the National Book Award in 1992. She even sold out an entire auditorium for one of her readings yet she is known to be a recluse in that she is very quiet and shy about her private life. Mary Oliver is well respected in the literary community and I hope that if you are not already familiar with her writing that you will pick up any volume of her work you find among the shelves in your own local library or book-store.

For Thirst, this volume focuses on her reflections about her loved one’s absence and how she copes with it. The poems are as beautiful as always in regards to poems from her other volumes. We are greeted by a poem titled “Messenger” in which she writes the line “My work is loving the world.” She goes on to explain her focus in life: “Let me/keep my mind on what matters,/…which is mostly standing still and learning to be/astonished.” She goes on to describe the joys found in nature, and while this may seem typical of her usual volume of poems this collection gives way to grief and her prayers to God as a way to cope with her loss.

In her poem, “Those Days” she describes Ms. Cook simply and lovingly. “When I think of her I think of the long summer days/she lay in the sun,/ we/spread our blanket, and friends came/” and when Ms. Oliver grew restless she would go for walks in the woods and return to their home where she waited, “my glorious welcoming, tan and hungry and ready to tell/the hurtless gossips of the day…” She describes them as a pair in the ending line which I think is the most beautiful line in the poem: “until our lives they trembled and shimmered/everywhere.” This poem is a glimpse into Oliver’s personal life we rarely see and so this is a poem I treasure in the collection.

Though there are poems that address God directly, I enjoyed her poem titled “Praying” that is a little more generalized simply because it seems to address the collective need of humankind to appeal to a power greater than themselves in times of need. The point of the poem is to say that prayer does not need to be fancy or difficult, “a few words together and don’t try/to make them elaborate, this isn’t/a contest…” She ends with a simple idea that prayer is another way to say “thank you” and allow the greater power a chance to enlighten us. Out of all the poems that reference God this one is my favorite. I hope you will enjoy it, too, when you see it.

Poems on audio also provided along with biographical information at Poetry Foundation link below: also has biographical information and links to her poems at the link below:

Thanks always for dropping by and reading, please stop by tomorrow for more Poems
Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, October 13, 2008

Outlaw Poetry

I don’t exactly know what it is, but it’s wonderful. Poke around, find out about poetry projects and web pages, and there are several languages posted so it’s very accessible as a site to many readers. Check it out at:

Thanks for dropping in, please stop by for another featured poet…

Friday, October 10, 2008

Poetry Tips: Inspired by the Arts

Often poets are inspired by other artists whether they be musicians, photographers, or painters. Today’s idea is simple, find a piece of art you think is inspiring and write a poem for it. You can also create a poem for a piece of music you enjoy and see if you can use the music as a background when you read it aloud. You could write a poem about a photograph and then pair them together for all to see. Either way, you get to mix up your typical style a little bit.

Thanks for dropping in, please stop by Monday for another featured site…

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Blossombones Open Submissions

You have until November 1st to submit up to five poems with “Last Name/Poetry Submission” in the e-mail heading to susan.blossombones (AT) mail (DOT)com and be sure to attach a cover letter that includes the titles of your submitted poems. For in-depth detail and to explore their site to see if your work fits with their style, click on the link below:

Good luck to all those who submit, please stop by tomorrow for more poetry tips!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Poems Found by Poet Hound
“The Dance of Curb Chickens” by Jacob Olschner
“Girl in Porn” Athena Nillsen

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

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Justin Barrett's [Untitled]

Justin Barrett’s new chapbook [Untitled] from Alternating Current through their Propaganda Press is quite an interesting mix with poems that range from mournful to funny, witty to sentimental, and you can expect that Justin has maintained the not-for-the-faint-of-heart spirit that I and many of his regular readers enjoy.

A quick note for those of you who purchase books from Alternating Current in the future: Authors receive royalties. As many of you know, I am a huge advocate of poets being paid for their work. In addition, Alternating Current also throws in free chapbooks from their back catalog with every purchase of a new chapbook. Think of it as the ultimate prize in your proverbial cereal box.

Now back to [Untitled]:

With permission from the editors and the poet, I am able to post and discuss several poems from this collection, the first of which is titled:

broken spoon

there’s also the
time when i was six
and i was digging
in the dirt in
front of our apartment
with a broken
and i found one
of the
red horns of

i believe it was
his left horn.

i ran into the building
fast, and
knocked on
my friend’s door.

his mother
answered, her hair
tangled and her
eyes three
shades of bloodshot.

she yelled at me
for waking her up.
i ran back outside,

even then i knew
you stood a
better chance
with the devil
than with
most people.

I think of this as a tongue-in-cheek poem. We can relate to digging in the dirt as kids and making a discovery of something we aren’t sure of, but our imaginations lead us to a fantastical idea and when we run off to report this it often is not met with the same excitement by the adults in our lives. Not only that, but this poem exposes the dysfunctions of adulthood and how a child interprets it which in the last stanza is a rather alarming and funny insight: “you stood a/better chance/with the devil/than with/most people.” The ending stanza slams the door on the whole experience for the reader in the way Justin Barrett words it, just as the child’s discovery is slammed to his face by his friend’s mother. The poem’s trajectory is unexpected yet comical the more you think about it because you can immediately think of so many times something similar happened to yourself as a child.

The second poem is:

double helix

two scientists recently decoded
the entire Human Genome
and have made bold
that this breakthrough
will revolutionize
the way humans are diagnosed
with, and treated for,

it appears it will be theoretically
possible for doctors
to take a sample of your
DNA, genotype it
and figure out the probabilities
of you acquiring certain
deadly diseases and other genetic disorders.

this is, allegedly, a good thing
as it will equip all of us
with the knowledge
of our potential deaths,
which we can then,
supposedly, prevent
through diet, exercise and,
in drastic cases,
gene-manipulation therapy.

the one prediction i will make is
this foreknowledge of
every disease that
has the potential of
ravaging our bodies and,
eventually, killing
us will only spawn an
especially virulent,
and vastly more
strain of


At then end of this poem the first word to come to mind was “Amen!” This poem reads as though a friend were going on a rant and as you are listening, engaged, the conclusion becomes inevitable and agreeable. This poem distracts the reader from the fact that it’s a poem, at least it does for me, because it sounds like any day’s conversation which I think makes this poem all the more interesting. Sometimes you want a poem to say what it means to say without inflating it with fanciful language and this poem does just that.

I think this third poem is hilarious:


my mother used to tell
me that i could
be anything i wanted
to be when i grew up,
yet here i am
working a menial job
for minimum wage,
thousands of dollars in
debt with the drink
as my only escape.

i don’t ever recall
wanting to be
my Uncle Jimmy.

I find it hilarious because the first stanza seems logical enough, the second one seems hopeless, then the third stanza sounds like a punch-line. You can almost picture this poem becoming a commercial if used in the right vein. Also, coming from family stock that reminds me of “Uncle Jimmy” makes it all the more humorous for me. Perhaps you can relate as well.

This final poem featured is also funny:

at the Sunshine Laundromat

while staring
at the swirl of colors
spilling around and around
one of the industrial-
sized dryers
i noticed a placard
riveted to
the dryer with a list
of instructions on
how to use
the machine.

#1 is:
Check inside of machine for children, pets and foreign objects before loading or starting cycle.

i paused for a second
and opened the dryer
door to quickly
look into the mess
because i didn’t check
before i loaded or started the dryer
and i wanted to
be sure there wasn’t
a Doberman or a
small child trapped in
my underwear

or a foreign object
lodged in one of
my socks.

Really, this poem is just plain entertaining and funny to me. In the words of Forest Gump “That’s all I have to say about that.”

I hope you enjoyed these poems and that you will visit Alternating Current and check out their site and perhaps buy a copy of Mr. Barrett’s collection. There is a wide range of poems and I selected the ones I thought of as funny since it is hard to write poems that make people smile, grin, and/or laugh.

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

Monday, October 6, 2008

One Night Stanzas Site

Thanks to Jim Murdoch who alerted me to this site a couple weeks ago, I wanted to check it out and then share it with all of you as well. It’s a great resource for poetry with helpful tips of all kinds and please visit by clicking on the link below:

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

Friday, October 3, 2008

Poetry Tips: Think Outside the Box for the Holidays

Now that it is officially October, people are gathering decorations for Halloween and Thanksgiving because some of those items coincide such as pumpkins. After that is December in which there are multiple holidays for various religions, and then we have New Year’s. So what about poetry amidst the shopping, baking, and decorating?

This year why not think outside the box with your poems? You could cut out construction paper in the shapes of your holiday sugar cookies and write poems that are yours or another poet’s on there and use them as decorations. Another idea is to use your piped frosting to make short one to three line poems on your cakes, brownies, or line up sugar cookies on a tray. (That would be a great way to eat your words, wouldn’t it?)
You could even embroider a poem into a blanket.

If you think of any other ideas please share with all of us by typing it in the comments section. In the meantime, have fun thinking outside the box this Holiday Season!

Thanks for dropping in, please stop by Monday for another featured site…

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Propaganda Press Open Submissions

Thanks to leah angstman and Mike Litos for e-mailing me about their Open Submissions:
”Propaganda Press currently has open submissions for consideration for the poetry journal "Poiesis." Issue number 2 will be out in January 2009, and we are accepting submissions currently. Send your one favorite or two favorite pieces, no more. Poetry only. Any length, any subject, any genre, any format. No blatant unnecessary hate speech, otherwise not censored. Only one poem per person per issue will be accepted, but you are welcome to send two. Please do not inundate us with tons of poems, just one or two. Save some trees: no cover letter required, no resumes, no bios, no photos. Just poems with your name and full contact info on them [please include an email address, if you have one], legible, with titles clearly marked. Please proofread; it saves everyone some time. Free submission; you will receive one free copy if your work appears in the issue. Mail to: Alternating Current, PO Box 398058, Cambridge MA 02139 USA or email to here is a link to our last issue, if you would like something to link to:”-- leah angstman & Mike Litos, coordinatorsAlternating CurrentPO Box 398058Cambridge MA 02139

PS Deadline for the 2009 issue is December 1st, 2008.
Good luck to all who submit, and thanks for dropping in! Please stop by tomorrow for more Poetry Tips…

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Poems Found By Poet Hound,%20Accordion.pdf
“Accordian” by Larissa Szporluk
Kevin Young’s “I shall be released”

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

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lost Data

Sorry everyone, looks like my computer turned off and I lost unsaved data for today's post. Everything will be back up tomorrow.

Thanks for dropping in! Please stop by tomorrow when I figure out what happened...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Swink Site

Swink magazine has a site worth exploring for poetry and fiction with an on-line edition and print edition along with contests for publication. There are various links to check out and they all offer something interesting. Check it out at:

Thanks for dropping by, please stop by tomorrow for another featured poet…

Friday, September 26, 2008

Poetry Tips: Catch Phrase Poems

We all know catch-phrases and clichés so why not use them in poems much like Andy Warhol made use of pop culture in his art? You could do an Ode to Erkel with a repeating line of “Did I do that?” Perhaps old commercials like the one that said “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” You could even try to pile in all the catch-phrases and clichés that you know and see if you can line all of them up into a poem that makes sense once it is all put together. Good luck and have fun!

Thanks for checking in, please drop by again Monday…

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Knockout Open Submissions and news regarding Reginal Shepherd

Knockout Literary Magazine Open Submissions

You may e-mail 4-6 previously unpublished poems to Brett at knockoutpoetry(AT)gmail(DOT)com via Microsoft Word attachment and be sure to check out the site for further details and there are sample poems you can check out to get a feel for their magazine’s style preferences. They even have a printer-friendly submission guidelines link, so check them out at:

Good luck to all of those who submit…
My condolences and prayers go to Robert, and all of Reginald Shepherd’s friends and family. For those of you who are unaware, Mr. Shepherd passed away September 10th. I will be keeping Shepherd’s blog linked on the side so that anyone who drops in may have a chance to read this man’s wonderful thoughts and essays during his lifetime.

Thanks always for dropping in, please stop by tomorrow…

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Poems Found by Poet Hound
Talia Reed’s “Package Deal”
Ash Bowen’s “All My Vendettas I’ve Given Your Name”

Thanks for reading, please stop in tomorrow for more Open Submissions..

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Interview with Simone Muench and her Chapbook Orange Girl

1. Thank you for letting me ask you some questions about your book, Orange Girl from Dancing Girl Press. What was the inspiration behind this collection?

The poet Kristy Odelius and I were trading 20-lines a day via email in a writing project (ala Harry Mathews). Once I became aware of the re-occurring elements and image patterns in my writings, they become the vertebrae for the collection. The motifs arose from my interest with Buffy, film noir, and a recollection of reading True Detective when I was kid with these disturbing images of women in bondage, as well as an ongoing dialogue in my head with the archetype of the dead girl.

As a culture, we are obsessed with images of dead girls but I think women experience the concept of “dead girl” less as a fascination object, and more as a subjective residue. In a world that still devalues women at birth, regrets us, or in worst cases even expects/wants us dead, we retain a connective ghost tissue of dead girls in our psyches. And not just in the figurative sense of being silenced, violated, and erased, but the real accounts of girlfriends, sisters, mothers who’ve been preyed upon in some way: beaten, raped, murdered. As my friend the poet Lauren Levato says, “I lived through that violence and I was the walking dead. And it sucked. And there will always be these girls in me - the girl who was raped, the girl who was abused 6 ways to Sunday before that, the girl who _____________”.

2. The title Orange Girl and every subsequent poem, refers to “orange” in some way. What does the orange represent in context of this collection?

I recently finished a manuscript that was originally called The 29th Bather, but is now titled Orange Crush, which pays tribute to the figure of the “orange girl”. The term “orange girl” historically refers to girls during England’s Restoration period who sold oranges at the theatre. Selling oranges was often a euphemism for prostitution. The orange girl, and the word “orange” (which, for me, connotes illumination), become a device, a type of familiar, in which to view the various binds that women find themselves in, even as the poems shift quickly from Elizabethan England “Which girl hath the merriest eye?” to the present, so that history is observed as a loop instead of a line.

Within the same manuscript is a sequence of prose poems, called “The Orange Girl Cast,” which are about actual contemporary women, all living poets, whose language is gathered and re-considered and finally re-configured into homages, language portraits if you will, of women who through language, through the act of unsilencing in their decision to be writers, are re-inventing the “orange girl” so that she becomes, as the final poem in the orange girl sequence suggests, "Like riddles and diseases we are a multiplying sigh. . . blazing through doors of sugarwater and fire”.

3. I loved the first stanza of poem #2 and it led me right through to the end with intense interest. May I post the entirety of poem #2 and could you explain what this poem is about?

Yes, of course. Einstein says, “The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious,” so for me, the explanation of the poem is the poem. I can’t paraphrase it, but I can tell you some of the materials that were spinning in my head at the time I wrote it: film noirs, specifically Double Indemnity; a painting of a tree by Gabert Farrar; Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep; Nick Cave’s song “Lime Tree Arbor.”

The poem is as follows:

[The orange-girl is generally allowed to enter an auction-store, for auctioneers are mortal, and sometimes eat oranges]

I’m stone and pulp, like policemen’s wives.
you’re an emerald, buried in dark clothes.
your eyes leaf, bone.

your fingers so many songs

out of tune

I have fallen out of trees singing your name; I have
fallen into foliation

into your moth-mouth, plum-
thick tongue.

wherever you are, I’ll be white teeth,
an abandoned town, a wrapped parcel.

I’ll be a blonde in a black smock with sex
appeal, smelling of apiaries.

I’ll be a cold sea in an old war film.
I’ll be insubordinate

and seville sweet.

you’ll be long gone
though you said you’d never leave
“those poor crippled orange trees”

4. Is the entire collection a reflection of a particular group of women or are they separate lives? Sometimes I get the sense that this revolves around a group of women who sell themselves to make a living, other times I wonder if they are individual girls in their individual tragedies?

Both, and all of the above. See answers to 1, 2 and 6.

5. Poem #16 is tragic but you don’t know what happened, specifically. May I post this poem and could you tell me what happened to this woman or how this poem came about?

The poem is essentially an ekphrastic poem in response to a 1926 painting by Yves Tanguy that’s located in the Met. It is also an acknowledgment of the surrealist painter Kay Sage who married Tanguy and committed suicide after his death, as well as Virginia Woolf, thus the reference to the lighthouse. But, hopefully, the poem is more than just tragic. It is a salutation to creation, not waste; and the belief that even after death, we continue to transmit our stories.

The poem is as follows:

[Till all the crimson changed, and past into deep orange o’er the sea]

The water owns her, wears her
like a blue ball gown embossed

with froth. Cypress swoon
from white light. Leaves fall

into goldfish. Beneath a boat,
a girl. Beneath the girl, a poppy

spilling into fire-tangles into
a balefire wheeling in the water.

In one version, she folds up

like a hand fan, her songs
pleated gills panting underwater.

In another, she fashions
the wires of her earrings

into antennae, transmitting
her story across the harbor,

her taffeta dress sliding
toward the lighthouse without her.

6 The perspectives of your poems change between “I”, “we,” “you,” and so on. How did you decide which poems had a sense of ownership from your perspective as opposed to an outsider’s?

In my latest manuscript I have several epigraphs: one is by Lisa Robertson, “Dear Reader—a lady speaking to humans from the motion of her own mind is always multiple;” the other is by Dara Weir, “(we hadn’t been cursed or blessed) (we’d been syncopated)”. For me the “I” is vertiginous, a constantly revolving pronoun, inhabiting the roles of confession, personae and community, sometimes functioning separately from one another, and sometimes simultaneously. In most of my work, although the “I” seems confessional, it is often times a persona; but the familiarity and intimacy the “I” helps to create is central to the material at hand. The “I” and “we” become umbrella pronouns that create a connective empathy. The alternation between first, second, and third person in the manuscript goes to both quotes’ sense of syncopation and identity as a multiple entity (which nods to Whitman as well). The quick-stepping between points of view also has to do with the previous response about the circularity of history.

7. Which poem are you particularly fond of and may I post it if it isn’t already mentioned?

Probably #11, which has been re-titled “Psalm”.

[An orange a day keeps the doctor away]

Fever-damaged girls
light up in a row. Spells
and vixens and dead calico kittens.
The convent said fire. The fire
said kindness. Kindness
took a victim. Bone
bonnets for the little girls
sleeping, and blue
beds for their snapped
necks. A kiss is a bite
is a bit. Slit in the clouds
above a slit throat. A black
coat and a black glove
went missing.


One girl was fallen
in cold golden light. Girl
was killed by frost, a man’s
hand on her starched
white collar, undone and
saturated with woodburn
while snow descended
like laudanum.


Doctor, come quick, the little girls
are sick, their voices muffled
by smoke and wool,
hands and psalms.

Hurry, hurry, it’s the eclipse,
the girls aren’t breathing
and the chapel is breaking.

Doctor, come quick,
someone’s a heretic someone’s a witch.

8. How often do you write around a theme like you have with Orange Girl and where does the inspiration for the theme(s) come from?

Even though Orange Girl is definitely spun around a theme and historical figure, I don’t customarily think of my work as being theme-oriented; however, I do have obsessions: ambivalence, drowning, the uncanny, dead girls, estrangement, subterranean southern landscapes, crime scenes, the colors orange and blue, clothing as an articulation of self, violence and the silencing of women, the mouth as a window with its capacity for two types of language, both kiss and tell. These fixations resurface even when I’m not consciously attending to them.

9. Your collection is very tight and each poem can be more stunning than the last, which is difficult for a poet to do with any sized collection. Any advice for poets who want to round out or complete a collection based on an idea or theme without losing its intensity or integrity as they add more poems?

The only advice is to read people who do it well. . . Off the top of my head, I’m thinking of Gwendolyn Brooks’ “A Street in Bronzeville” and her sonnet series “Gay Chaps at the Bar”; Lucie Brock-Broido’s The Master Letters, Marilyn Krysl’s Soulskin, John Berryman’s “Op. posth.” series, John Yau’s “Russian Letter” series, Ed Roberson’s “Beauty’s Standing” sequence. . . Also, it doesn’t’ hurt to be passionate about the material at hand. It is the obsession that propels you forward and helps sustain the recursivity of a particular theme.

Thank you again for answering my questions Ms. Muench! Please let me and Poet Hound readers know where and when there are more collections available from you.

Courtesy of Ms. Muench:

Lampblack & Ash (Sarabande, 2005)
The Air Lost in Breathing (Helicon Nine, 2000) Muench/e/9781884235306/?itm=1

Thanks to all the readers for dropping in, please visit the links included in the interview and please stop by tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bulletin and Alternating Currents Blog

If you are a small press devoted to poets and are looking for more readers/subscribers/submitters, please e-mail me at poethoundblogspot[AT]yahoo(DOT)com if you would like to be featured!

I am also looking for anyone who has current Open Submissions, as well as anyone who publishes poets and just wants to get their name spread out there a little farther. You can title your subject line “Monday Site Feature” or “Thursday Open Submissions.”

Now back to our regularly scheduled program:

Today’s site is a publishing blog called Alternating Current that features poetry, arts, indie, and more! You’ll see mentions of poets that have been interviewed here such as Justin Barrett and Chris Cunningham, along with many other delightful items. Check it out at:

As always, thanks for clicking in, and please don’t be shy about recommending a site or Open Submissions, I’m always happy to receive tip-offs. Please stop by tomorrow for an interview with Simone Muench about her chapbook Orange Girl from Dancing Girl Press…

Friday, September 19, 2008

Poetry Tips: The Frequent Word

For those of you who write poems frequently you may have noticed that a particular word, or words, sneaks in to the majority of your poems. For me, it is the word “surely” and it is so frequent that I hardly notice it when I’m writing or typing up a new poem and when I go back to read it I become angry with myself and think “there it is again!” It also brings to mind the standard joke from the Naked Gun movies in which Leslie Nielsen replies “And don’t call me Shirley” to anyone who uses “surely” in a sentence. So for those of you in the same dilemma I propose that you write a poem which revolves around your frequent word choice. It can be a tribute to the word, a whine about the word, or you can make your word become a living, breathing entity. Have fun, and surely you have a more fascinating word to work with than I do.

Thanks for dropping in, please stop by on Monday for another featured site…

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Up the Staircase Open Submissions

You have until September 25th deadline to three to five poems via e-mail to upthestaircaseATgmailDOTcom with “Poetry Submission” in the subject line, please explore the site to get a feel for the poems they publish and to learn more about their guidelines please click the link below:

Good luck to all who submit, please stop by tomorrow for more Poetry Tips…

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Poems Found by Poet Hound
Arlene Ang’s poems “flashlight solo” and “The Model Particular”
Mercedes Dawson’s “Ink Stained”

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

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Poetry's September Issue

This issue has a wonderful gift for all poetry readers: A section devoted to Philip Larkin—not his poems—but his drawings. My absolute favorite is one he titled “Tea Time” that he had made for his mother. I am often jealous of poets who can paint, but I am also jealous of poets who can draw. Larkin is no exception. While some of the depictions are more like doodles, the one mentioned above is well done and full of detail, right down to the shadows of a toast on a toasting stick. I hope you get a chance to take a look at it because it is so endearing. You can sample one of his drawings at the following link:

Interestingly, every single poem I “ear-marked” is available on the The first one, "Ten Moons" by Sasha Dugdale is a beautiful poem dedicated to night-time as opposed to garish day-time sun.

The second is "Rest Before You Sleep" by Dionisio D. Martinez which grabbed the attention of a non-poetry reader in my household. What strikes me about this poem besides the smoothness of the language and the romanticism of weary feet is the way the lines are broken up in each stanza yet they don’t deter from the rhythm of the poem. The spaces seem to take the place of regular punctuation. Instead of periods, commas or semi-colons you encounter the spaces which provide just the right amount of pause for each point. It may not be a new idea but it is done so well that it seems novel anyway. The poem itself is easy enough to understand, so I thought I would share my thoughts on its structure this time around.

Finally, the third poem I ear-marked is "Dressing Down, 1962" by Lesley Wheeler. Really, the attitude is what I enjoy most in the poem. Ms. Wheeler sounds tired and irritable on an international flight, perhaps with a head-ache, and it is endlessly entertaining as a result. The poem leaves you wondering why she left England to come to America, the clues few in all of three lines:“I would do what I said and leave/England. I would ride that El Al jet, mystery/novel in hand and never grieve.” Regardless of her reasons, her first impression of Americans is humorous and will hopefully leave you grinning as it did for me.

Thanks always for reading, please drop in tomorrow for more found poems…

Monday, September 15, 2008

C & R Press Site

This looks like a relatively young press looking to publish emerging poets. They have one published book so far, as I said, a young press, so check in to see when their next Open Submissions are and to learn more about the creators at:

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

Friday, September 12, 2008

Poetry Tips: Did You Get the Memo?

September doesn’t have much to look forward to, Labor Day is at the beginning of the month and therefore all you have left to think about is work related items since all the holidays also seem far away, even Halloween. So why not pay tribute to your office by creating a poetic memo? Format the poem to look like a standard memo and create a poem about any topic you want, so long as it looks like it was supposed to be received in everyone’s in-boxes or office e-mail. Have fun fighting the work-a-day doldrums!

Thanks for stopping by, please visit again Monday for another featured site…

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Haiku Competition Open Submissions

Did you notice Don Wentworth’s call for Haiku Poems at…

I have copy and pasted from his blog about the contest here (There’s a prize!):

“So, here's the deal: for the next four weeks, send along up to 5 haiku to lilliput review at gmail dot com (spelled out to fend off pesky bots) and the best haiku wins the review copy of Basho: The Complete Haiku. Minimally, I will need your name and email to contact you with the results. In the subject line of your email, please put "Basho Haiku Challenge" so I can easily differentiate it from the scads of other things that come my way. The final date for submissions will be October 2nd and the winner will be announced in either the October 9th or October 16th posting. My definition of haiku is about as liberal as you can get: I follow no one particular method, school or theory and there is no seasonal requirement. Your haiku can be 1, 2, or 3 lines (over 5 would be a bit much, folks, but I will keep an open mind for experimenters). The one restriction would be that it be in the spirit of haiku (I've always liked the definition of English haiku as lasting the length of one breath, in and out and pause, but that's just me - and, oh yeah, I'm the judge, but, again, it's the spirit of the thing that counts) and that the haiku be previously unpublished in either paper or electronic form (ok, that's two requirements).If I get only one haiku, we have a winner, so, what the hell, give it a go. I reserve the right to publish the haiku on the blog (or not), with possible publication in Lilliput Review.And, oh, yeah, spread the word ...To entice you a bit further here's a little something about Basho: The Complete Haiku. Like it says in the title, it's complete, which is significant in itself as all previous translations are just selections (according to the press release, this is the first complete Basho translation in English). That's 1012 haiku by the master. There are 164 pages of notes, one for each poem, which variously treat a haiku's origin, allusions, variations, and grammatical anomalies, the later being quite important and virtually untranslatable. Reichhold has provided an introduction and a short biography, with appendices on "Haiku Techniques", "A Selected Chronology", "A Glossary of Literary Terms", and a bibliography. I've just begun it and it is formidable; I'll be looking at it in more depth in a future post, probably sometime after the contest is over.”

Good luck to all of you who submit, and thanks for dropping by, please stop by tomorrow for more Poetry Tips….

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Poems Found by Poet Hound
“The Legend of Good John Henry” by Dorothea Lasky
“Following An Electric Arc Between Two Luminous Points” by Alexis Orgera

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

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Kristy Odelius' Bee Spit

I found Kristy Odelius’ chapbook Bee Spit at Dancing Girl Press and thoroughly enjoyed the read. This was published in 2007 and Kristy Odelius has her own web-site that conveniently features one of the poems I had “dog-eared.” Ms. Odelius is an Assistant Professor of English at North Park University in Chicago, Illinois and will soon have published a full length collection of poems at Shearsman Books titled Strange Trades in addition to being nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her poem “Vertigo to Eros.”

Now before I begin reviewing her poem “Third Grade,” please take a moment to read it using the link below:
I love this poem because it takes quite a few ideas that were still voiced when I was a small child, such as “sit stare drop/(don’t talk) your eyes/under the table” and pieces it all together into a girl’s life. Then of course, I love the odds and ends Ms. Odelius pulls together for the way girls play: “Learn to mix paint/from spit and berries, write/your name on the sidewalk…” for these are things most kids do growing up. What is interesting is that she goes from a sense of innocence and moves towards the end to darker notions for women’s lives and uses contradictory comparisons. In the beginning there is the vague comparison of “birthday parties and funerals” which piques your interest but is easily passed over to the next few lines. Then it becomes more abrupt, especially in the third stanza “Acquaint yourself with death’s low/whistle, know it better than the rules/of Chinese jump rope.” That line had me thinking for quite a while and I’m still not sure what to make of it. I love that the title of the poem increases the discomfort of the final ending. How can a girl in the third grade have a life described in such a way? From starting out young and told to be quiet, listen, observe, to experimenting with odds and ends in a girl’s while growing up and then finally ending with a sinister sound. The very last line concludes with a somber tone but also hopeful with the words “glory, glory.” What do you think of a poem like this? I think of a girl who loses her innocence but it is hard to pinpoint exactly how. This poem got me thinking, and I hope it does the same for you.

Another poem I enjoyed was “I Called You Darling 7 Ways.” It is the winding down of a relationship told from the perspective of the woman who doesn’t want to let go. I love the odd imagery used for describing the relationship in lines like “You bent the lost skyscraper over my knee./With a lap of glass, I called you darling.” I especially love the lines “I called you, on the phone./I called you darling./The phone warned me.” How many people in relationships that you know who regret the phone calls they make as a relationship is ending? I know I’m in that boat, along with many others who have made the mistake of calling the one they love and realizing that the one they love may not feel that way anymore. There are lots of snapshot-like images in this poem that bring about the feel of the relationship without many words based on human emotion. “I harbored paint-smudge behind my knee./You called me “sad.”/” The word “sad” is one of the only words that names an emotion. The rest of the poem focuses on moments between the two people. At the end, the woman tries to hold on and earns the response of “baby, don’t make it harder than it is.” A trite remark. To which she responds with “I mocked you a little.” Then finally it ends with the man leaving for good, and her last line ends with “I called you darling.” The ending line clinches the whole poem for me because break-ups often feel one-side. One person is done and leaves, the other is still holding on, holding out hope and still in love. This poem is a refreshing change to the majority of break-up poems out there and if you have a chance to read it in this chapbook then you absolutely should find a copy or buy one.

As always, there are many fine poems in the collection, I am only providing a small taste. I hope you enjoy Kristy Odelius’ poems at her web-site (just poke around using the link above) and will pick up a collection of her poems when you stumble upon them.

Thanks for reading, please stop by tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dream Horse Press

Find full-length poetry collections and even their guidelines and open submissions dates at the site below:

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

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday Edition 4 Answers

4th Edition answers:

1. Emily Dickinson
2. Rudyard Kipling
3. Li-Young Lee
4. Jubilat
5. Laurel Snyder

I’m not sure how many people were participating in the Sunday Search puzzles but I am going to call an end to it for now since I still have rather busy weekends. If you did enjoy it, let me know, and in the future I may try it again.

Thanks for dropping in, please stop by tomorrow for another featured site.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Non-Holiday Poetry Card

This idea stems from Disney’s Alice In Wonderland in which they sing the “Very Merry Un-Birthday” song. My best friend and I will occasionally belt out this song to each other on the phone for fun and why not create a poem based on a Very Merry Un-Birthday theme or any non-holiday? You could create a poem based on the holiday-void month of August, you could wish someone a Merry Tax Season, Fiscal Year, something others would find strange or perhaps they think you are strange already? Or create a nonsensical holiday as they so often have on Activity Calendars for children or in nursing homes such as Happy Ice Cream Day, Happy Bingo Day, etc. May the creative muse and goddess of humor be with you for those who give it a try.

Thanks for dropping in, please stop by Sunday for the answers to Sunday Search Edition 4, I am canceling this feature to afford myself more free time on weekends…

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Albatross Open Submissions

Hallelujah, you can submit via e-mail! Save some postage and send 3-5 poems (less than 200 lines each) to Copy and paste poems into the body of the e-mail, include your personal contact information and a brief biographical note. To get an idea of what they publish and any other details, use the link provided below and good luck on your submissions!

PS If you plan to mail the poems, be sure to include your Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope and send to:
Albatross Richard Smyth, Editor 2 South New Street Bradford, MA 01835

Thanks for reading, please stop by tomorrow for more Poetry Tips…

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Poems Found by Poet Hound
“Advertisement” by Wislawa Szymborska
“Hickory Street Breakfast Blues” by Albert Huffstickler

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

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mark Doty's Fire to Fire

Mark Doty was born in 1953 and has received numerous awards for his work including the Ambassador Book Award, Whiting Writers Award, and National Book Critics Award. He also has published several collections and nonfiction—Dog Years was a New York Times bestseller, and he is also a professor at the University of Houston, Texas and lives in New York City.

As always, I picked up his most recent volume Fire to Fire new and selected poems in my local library, published 2008 by way of HarperCollins Publishers. It is a thick volume of poems in which I will stick to my usual mention of just a couple of poems but let me assure you that it is a worthwhile volume to read. The newest poems are towards the front of the book and these are the ones I’ll focus on.

“Citizens” is a poem about a near-miss with a demolition truck as Mr. Doty is about to cross the street and jumps back and finds himself stewing over the whole scenario. How often do we find ourselves doing the same exact thing daily? How often have any of us turned the scenario into a poem? Mark Doty describes the incident in detail and I just love his vengeful lines: “If I carried a sharp instrument/I could scrape a long howl on his flaming paint job/(just under the gold and looming log: DEMOLITION)” after noticing that the driver seemed to enjoy nearly running him over. As Mr. Doty carries his burden of wrath he thinks of how he just needs to let go of the incident, but cannot. “and I’m carrying the devil/in his carbon chariot all the way to 23rd,…” until finally Mr. Doty gets to the bottom of why he is so upset: “but because he’s made me erasable,/a slip of a self, subject to.” Isn’t that the entirety of an experience such as this one? To know you came so very close to losing life and limb but no one seemed to notice or care? Finally, Mr. Doty rationalizes the experience with words we all use “I don’t care./If he’s one of those people miserable for lack/of what is found in poetry, fine.” I know we all use “I don’t care” once we finally get over an incident such as this one. I like the fact that Mr. Doty decides he is one of those “miserable” people and must be lacking something in life, and he names it poetry. Isn’t that just like a poet? Of course I present this poem to you because it’s a universal experience to have a near-miss accident but also because he goes through all the emotions you can go through when you are frightened. You have fear, vengeance, anger, rationalizing, then finally you feel calmer and can move on. These emotions are lived every day in various intensities and I am glad that I found a poem like this one which touches them all in a fleeting moment on a crosswalk. I hope you enjoy it, too, when you find this book on the shelf.

Then there is the poem “Theory of Multiplicity” which is about the idea of noticing someone else’s life. It starts out in a Laundromat in which Mark Doty does his laundry and he is recalling a garden someone had started. “look into the garden someone made next door/on the edge of the sidewalk, spilling onto the pavement,/surprisingly wild, with prairie grasses, a shrubby coneflower, strapping and frowsy black-eyed Susan, even a few bees” Mr. Doty describes sitting outside observing the passerby and the idea of others who may have noticed the same garden “What was/the garden but the sum of all that, studied or casual?/Perception carried, loved, considered, dis- or regarded.” I love that last line because there are so many ways to perceive something and think of all the passerby on the street who may have noticed the garden but either didn’t think much of it, or enjoyed seeing it every day on their way about their business. I think this is a romantic idea, something simple and possibly overlooked being seen daily the a large amount of people and who knows if the person who tended this garden even knew or cared what the passerby thought of it. “it took all of us/to make the garden known./No one could assemble/the entire vantage we made together.” These lines bring out a wonderful sense of community out of something so ordinary and doesn’t that make daily living extraordinary when you think about it? “The next summer the garden would be sparse,/not well tended, and offer no consolation…” Then we hear Mr. Doty’s lament of that magical garden not having the same quality the next year and remarks “though even its diminishment might be said/to be one of its nearly endless dimensions.” So even though we may lament change in our daily lives, even in something simple, it is still just another way of looking at the world, not the end of it. That’s what I take away from this poem, the idea that no matter how small, someone notices and that when something changes it is noticed and altered in our perception. Think of your neighbor letting their grass grow a little longer as they age and don’t have the ability to mow as often, or a child tending a wild garden of her own then making it cleaner and neater as she grows up. Or how about when a neighbor paints their house after a long period of time and how wonderful it looks. Think of the things you do in your daily life that you wonder if anyone notices and realize that someone might actually notice it after all. Maybe your co-workers know you’re the one washing up everyone’s coffee mugs or straightening up the conference room but haven’t thought to say “thank you.” Just imagine all the little things you and your neighbors, co-workers do daily that are noticed after all.

To find out more about Mark Doty and to read some of his poems available on-line, please click the link below:

As always, thanks for reading, and please stop by tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…