Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Under the el by David Stone

David Stone’s chapbook, Under the el, is produced by Alternating Current and is filled with all things Chicago and city life moving through its pages. It is a smart, gritty, just like Chicago. Whether you’ve ever been to Chicago or are a native, you’ll enjoy this collection of poems—and I urge you to read it twice in a row because you’ll pick up more insight on your second round. Here are a few that caught my eye:

The Fire Engine

The fire engine
skidded through
the intersection
& crushed
a compact car.

Earth whisked
wizardous rants.

Breathers reiterated
the aroma of death.

The cell counters
in Socrates’ tank.

While the first stanza tells you the story, it’s the following stanzas that bring you the depth of the experience watching it happen. I find the lines “Earth whisked/wizardous rants” intriguing and wonder how Mr. Stone wants us to imagine what he means. I imagine the awed gasps of onlookers. The “Breathers,” which I take to mean onlookers again, can smell the wreckage and so can I as the reader. The whole poem is tragic and wondrous thanks to the lines Mr. Stone provides.

The Morning Pace

The Commuter
counted five bills,
placed money
on the counter,
left the diner fed,
passed a taxicab,
dreamed at a stop light,
pushed the pedal
past the legal limit,
heard a nearby scream
but pedaled on
ahead of schedule.

I like the idea of an “everyman” in Chicago going through these exact motions. Seeing as my husband is from this grand city, I can tell you he can relate to this poem exactly. The fast pace, the dreams and tragedies flowing through in the background, the Commuter going about his day despite the flow around him.

Dedicated to James Liddy, 1934-200

In the observatory,
a yell,
the plink
of foreign

in rotation
the land.

In prison,
and thirst
crack rock.

I like how David Stone streamlines this poem so that each word takes on added meaning. What I gather from it is the sad plight of the prisoner, the constant in and out of jail and the experience of jail. It is brief but powerful. I also looked up James Liddy and found out he is an Irish Poet, I’d like to learn a little more about how David Stone created and dedicated this poem to James Liddy, wouldn’t you?

If you enjoyed this sample of poems, you can purchase a copy for $5.00 + $2 US or $3 out-of-US shipping by mailing a check or money order to Alternating Current, PO Box 398058, Cambridge MA 02139. You can also e-mail for information at alt.current@gmail.com. Remember, Alternating Current is one of the few small press publishers that is able to pay their poets so be sure to learn more about them at:

Thanks always for reading!
We will meet again January 4th, I’ll be inundated with family and festivities for the next couple of weeks and won’t have time to put up posts or carry my computer with me while visiting family. I wish you all safe and happy holidays, please drop in again on Monday, January 4th…

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lit Kicks

This blog talks about reviews, conducts reviews, and talks about shocking news regarding books and other reviews. I found it interesting and entertaining, lots of good links that had me traveling down the deep literary rabbit hole. I urge you to check it out at:

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

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Blue Pencil Open Submissions

Accepts both free and measured verse in any length, either three poems, or one prose piece with a reading period of October through May, simultaneous submissions ARE accepted, please have all your poems in one text attachment via e-mail sent to: thebluepencilATwalnuthillarts.org
For more details go to:

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

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Poems Found by Poet Hound

Floating World by Jennifer Manion

Hair by Kelly L. Morckel

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

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Catching Cold

Sorry folks, I’ve caught the chest cold that’s going around the office so there are two posts I wasn’t able to get to, the Tuesday Featured Poet and Friday’s Poetry Tips. The rest of these I got made up before I caught the cold so please stop in Wed. and Thursday and try me again next week. I’ll hopefully be less fuzzy headed by next week, until then, take care of yourselves and keep checking back in!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Five Branch Tree Blog

A creative blog by Brian of Grand Rapids, Michigan in which he speaks of things literary and poetry—thought you might enjoy reading it, too:

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

Friday, December 11, 2009

Poetry Tips: "Oh, excuse me, very sorry..."

Or another title: What I wish I hadn’t stumbled on. This week I dare you to write a poem dedicated to an awkward moment in which you stumbled into someone’s business that you had no intention of stumbling into. Think office affairs, scandals, or even barging in on someone in the bathroom—public toilet or otherwise.
Good luck to all who try it, I can think of countless moments myself, how about you?

Thanks for stopping in, please click in next week for another featured site…

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Right Hand Pointing Open Submissions

A Call To Humor

“This year I asked for submissions for a humor issue and, unfortunately, it
didn't come together. We've done a couple of others with good results, but I
just didn't get enough submissions to feel good about it. We have a couple of
pieces we've accepted but haven't yet published and I ran a couple of others in
regular issues after the humor issue fell apart. Time to give it another shot.
So, we're opening up for submissions of humorous poems, fiction, and art.
Length requirements for poems and fiction are the same as for regular issues.
<500 words for poems. Not more than 16 lines for humor although we'll go up to
20 lines if the poem is <75 words.

Target date for publication is April 15th and the deadline is March 15th.

Get writing. And get funny.


For more details check out the site below:


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

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Poems Found by Poet Hound

Birches by Robert Frost

Artifact by Mark DeCarteret

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

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Never Trust A Man Wearing Purple Shoes by J.J. Campbell

J. J. Campbell lives in Brookville, Ohio and has been published widely in the small press. In his recent collection of poems, Never Trust A Man Wearing Purple Shoes, published by Propaganda Press by Alternating Current, Mr. Campbell explores life’s yearnings and uncertainties. Here are several that caught my attention:

forever a romantic

carrying a flame
for a love that
quit me many
years ago

and the lips of
that angel haven’t
graced me this century

yet i hold onto
hope like a
fucking fool.

Many of us know the memories of an old flame, I especially love how he ends it since the last two words are a surprise to the relatively tame lines in the beginning.

the spark of my youth

i keep listening to the
music of my teenage
years hoping to find
the spark of my youth

but as i wake each
morning and am
greeted at the mirror
with disappointment

i sadly realize those
old tunes are out of

This is another poem for memory lane, greeting the past with the hope of being inspired by it only to realize that which once inspired no longer does so. Mr. Campbell leaves us with a feeling of sadness with minimal use of drama and a simplicity of language.


finally, the comfort
of my own bed after
five days of a hospital

the first comfortable

the first soft sheet

the first tears of
knowing i’m
cheating death

soon i’ll know if i
have some rare blood
disorder or some
genetic defect that
gave me blood clots
at age 32

regardless, i got a
funny feeling death
just became my next
door neighbor.

The title leaves me wondering if this is an address or hospital room number? For me, the poem brings a sense of relief as the poet slips into familiar life back into a place where he is truly comfortable after such a daunting experience. However, the poet leaves us hanging in suspense at the end, as we never learn the results and that he feels death is next door.

If you enjoyed this sample of poems by J.J. Campbell, you can purchase a copy of Never Trust A Man Wearing Purple Shoes, which is Number Eleven in the Pocket Protector Series of Alternating Currnet’s Press for $3.00 plus Shipping&Handling at:

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

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Haiku Foundation

A wealth of wonderful resources, informational posts, and more at a very easy to use site:


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

Friday, December 4, 2009

Poetry Tips: Baby It's Cold Outside

Think of all the words used to describe cold weather: cool, chilly, freezing, icy, etc. While the Florida weather here has thus far been mild, there are some chilly mornings that have inspired me to write about the first big chill that swept into my bones. I urge you to try your hand in writing about cold weather and its accomplices such as frost, ice, sleet, slush, snow, anything and everything that comes to mind. Honor the winter season with a poem about its temperature!

Good luck to all who try it, please stop in next week for another featured site…

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Anti Open Submissions

Send 3 to 7 unpublished contemporary poems as a single attachment (Word .doc or RTF) via e-mail to anti-poetryATanti-poetryDOTcom along with “a cover letter with your name, contact information, a contributor-note biography of 50 words or less, and a statement of 50 words or less on what you’re against in poetry.” They are open to submissions year round and they do accept simultaneous submissions as long as you let them know immediately if your poems are accepted elsewhere.

For more details, use the link below:

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

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Poems Found by Poet Hound

Lynn Xu’s Our Love Is Pure

Rane Arroyo’s Even Tricksters Get The Blues

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

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Luci Tapahonso's A Breeze Swept Through

Luci Tapahonso was born in Shiprock, New Mexico, and her first language was Navajo, her second language, English. Her collection of poems, A Breeze Swept Through, incorporates Navajo words throughout and is an absolutely beautiful collection full of wistful memories, tender laughs, and family history and its traditions. Ms. Tapahonso is also a professor of English, Women Studies, and American Indian Studies at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Thanks to the internet, I am able to share some of her wonderful poems with you:

I copy and pasted the poem (which I cannot format the way it shows on-line so please use the link to see the correct format) from the following link:

Hills Brothers Coffee

My uncle is a small man.
In Navajo, we call him, "shidá'í,"
my mother's brother.
He doesn't know English,
but his name in the white way is Tom Jim.
He lives about a mile or so
down the road from our house.
One morning he sat in the kitchen,
drinking coffee.
I just came over, he said,
The store is where I'm going to.
He tells me about how my mother seems to be gone
every time he comes over.
Maybe she sees me coming
then runs and jumps in her car
and speeds away!
he says smiling.
We both laugh - just to think of my mother
jumping in her car and speeding.
I pour him more coffee
and he spoons in sugar and cream
until it looks almost like a chocolate shake.
Then he sees the coffee can.
Oh, that's that coffee with the man in a dress,
like a church man.
Ah-h, that's the one that does it for me.
Very good coffee.
I sit down again and he tells me,
Some coffee has no kick.
But this one is the one.
It does it good for me.
I pour us both a cup
and while we wait for my mother,
his eyes crinkle with the smile and he says,
Yes, ah yes. This is the very one
(putting in more sugar and cream).
So I usually buy Hills Brothers Coffee.
Once or sometimes twice a day,
I drink a hot coffee and
it sure does it for me.

I love this little picture of every day life between and the poet and her Uncle. She includes a Navajo word with which I wish I knew how to pronounce and leaves me thirsting for more such glimpses into the native language. It’s a sweet little anecdote about something most would find trivial that obviously means a lot to Ms. Tapahonso and reminds me of my own family’s small preferences that make me smile. I’m sure you have your own little preferences in your family that make you smile also.

This poem is also copy-and-pasted from a link, please use the link to see how the poem should actually look in the correct format:

They Are Together Now

they were returning from Gallup late at night
singing with the radio and laughing
he was driving too fast too fast
he missed the curve
the crash the immediate silence
they whimpered as
the warm blood spread into the cold asphalt cracks
amidst the glass and tangled metal their bodies writhed
moaning and crying until they rose above
they left then watching in silence
oh the soothing silence
the incredible serenity
they rose leaving the steaming blood
ticking of metal settling down
the tinkle of glass slipping
the tin whine of a dying radio
they gather with others now
in the thin darkness
airy, light ghosts sometimes they talk laughing
standing in little groups
waiting to befriend anyone
who might happen along
they are happy
on the flat plateau of that other world: death
that quiet pleasure
they are all together now.

While the poem depicts the violence and nightmarish details of death, Luci Tapahonso also captures the surreal idea of a happy afterlife turning this into a poem with a happy ending. The most moving part for me is when they couple rises above the scene: “crying until they rose above/they left then watching in silence/the incredible serenity/…leaving the steaming blood/ticking of metal...” She turns the noise down with her words, the wreck fading into silence and peace. To capture the noise, silence, the pain, then peace, all in a relatively short poem is admirable and well executed by Ms. Tapahonso.

There are countless poems in this collection that are not found on-line. “Yes, It Was My Grandmother” speaks of her Grandmother’s ability to tame wild horses, “skirts flying, hair tied securely in the wind and dust./She rode those animals hard and was thrown,…She worked until they were meek/and wanting to please.” As Luci continues to describe her mother in admiration she also thanks her, as her Grandmother hated to cook (much like myself in fact) with the lines: “Oh Grandmother/who freed me from cooking./Grandmother, you must have made sure/I met a man who would not share the kitchen.” I adore this poem and urge you to flip straight to it when you get your hands on a copy of this book either by library or on-line, or in a book-store.

There are more and more poems I could introduce you to but I urge you to use the internet links I provide here, peruse your local library, book-store, or on-line and get your hands on a copy yourself. My husband found this book in Santa Fe, New Mexico at one of the local book-stores while we were on vacation and it is now one of my favorite books of poetry on my shelf.

If you enjoyed these poems as much as I have, then you will be happy to find more poems and learn more about Luci Tapahonso by using the link below:


Thanks always for reading, as a result of the Thanksgiving Festivities, the posts will resume next Wednesday so please drop in next week and I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving Holiday!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Julie Andrews and her love of poetry

My husband heard Julie Andrews and her daughter talk about their love of poetry and the poems they loved and the poems they have written over the generations and knew I would absolutely love it. I know you’ll absolutely love listening, too, so please click the link below and be prepared to be tickled pink!

Julie Andrews in an interview with Diane Rehm:


Thanks for checking in, please drop in tomorrow for another featured poet…

Friday, November 20, 2009

Poetry Tips: The Dead Poets Society

I cannot believe it has taken me this many years to finally see the movie, Dead Poets Society, but it has and it was excellent! So this week I urge you to check it out either at your local library or video store because it is a wonderful movie with passion for life and poetry.

May you be inspired those of you who watch the movie and please drop in next week for another poetry site…

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bitter Oleander Open Submissions

Send your imaginative and brilliant poems via snail mail to Bitter Oleander Press along with self-addressed stamped envelope enclosed to:

The Bitter Oleander Press
4983 Tall Oaks Drive
Fayetteville, New York 13066-9776
Email: info@bitteroleander.com

Be sure to check out their web-site and guidelines in further detail at:


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

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Poems Found by Poet Hound

Wedding Pinata by James Hoch

After a Fight, Necelle Davis

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Julian Gallo's Divertimiento

Julian Gallo’s chapbook, Divertimiento, is book ten in Alternating Current’s Propaganda Press’ Pocket Protector Book series. Julian Gallo hails from New York and is a writer/painter/musician with quite a few publications under his belt including A Symphony of Olives that was also featured previously on this blog. His current collection of poems published by Alternating Current is a biting and despondent view of the world. Below I will feature several poems that caught my eye:


I may be eaten by butterflies when the
revolution begins.
How cold is the touch of the female
when it’s apparent that she doesn’t
want you?
It might feel like freezer burn, but the
revolution is circular
and constant; kicking up clumps of dirt
into your face.
I hear Russians outside, arguing. Over
what, I don’t know?
But the revolution didn’t work for
them either and, like myself,
sometimes feel as though I’ve been
cast into a spiritual gulag…
waiting…always waiting…

I may be kissed by mollusks when the
revolution begins.
How cold is the touch of humanity
when it’s apparent that its nothing of
the kind.
Better wake up and look out the
window again;
there’s nothing out there but bare trees
and broken spirits…
waiting…always waiting…

What grabbed my attention are the strange things that eat away at the poet, such as butterflies and mollusks, how even the small things may get to him before “the revolution begins.” Although I am not sure what sort of revolution the poet is anticipating, the here and now is depicted as cold and heartless, by touch of woman, by touch of humanity. I’m curious to know what kind of revolution Mr. Gallo is searching for?

Bound For Glory

Never have
I felt
so strange,
tired, lost.
The wheels
of change
spin –
Bound for
glory but
lost without
a map.

I enjoy this poem because I think it can be applied personally and universally to any who read it. Whether an individual, a society, or a country strives for “Glory” there are many confusing obstacles that can make one or all lose their way and there is never a set of step-by-step rules for achieving the goal of “Glory.”


Words come off like bombs –
blind, blind, so blind…
The answers are always easy
and nothing is beyond the narrow
parameters in which you see life
in all its black and white glory…
Opening up is beyond comprehension;
after all, you know all.
I want to drop to my knees
and partake in your infinite
passed on like a missile with no
and into the heart of empty space
only to be lost, without direction;
an education wasted and strewn about
like confetti.
But the only thing that I know for
is that you really know nothing at all.

This poem could easily have been titled “Know-It-All” because that’s what leaps to my mind immediately. This type of person being described is one we are all too familiar with. Someone whose “words come off like bombs” is a great way to describe the unwanted and unexpected advice or repartee of a person who thinks they always have the answers no matter how limited their life experience. I like that the ending points out that the “education” is “wasted” and that the person really knows nothing at all. This type of poem is always fun to read and write, to use defiance through the written word.

If you enjoyed this sample you can purchase a copy Diveritimiento for yourself at Alternating Current for $3.00 (+2$ US shipping or $3 out-of-US shipping) at:


or you may mail a check made out to Alternating Current along with a note specifying which chapbook to:

Alternating Current
PO Box 398058
Cambridge, MA 02139 USA

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

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dagosan's Haiku Diary

Wonderful haiku poems by David A Giacalone, I urge you to check them out at:


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

Friday, November 13, 2009

Poetry Tips: Thanksgiving

Yes, it is the time of year for family gatherings and good cheer, so why not create a Thanksgiving poem counting your blessings and thanking loved ones at the dinner table this season? It doesn’t have to be long, just heartfelt. You can also go to poetryfoundation.org for holiday poems for inspiration!

Good luck to all who try it, please drop in next week for another features site…

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Juked Open Submissions

“There are no limits on word count for prose submissions—we like stories of all sizes, so long as the colors fit. (These days, though, we tend to favor stories running longer than so-called "flash fiction.") Send us just one piece at a time, regardless of length. For poetry, send a maximum of five poems.

In all instances we prefer Rich Text Format files (.rtf), but won't begrudge old Word (.doc) documents. Do not use new Word documents (.docx), as many of us are still living in the 1997-2003 years.

We encourage simultaneous submissions, but let us know immediately if your work has been accepted elsewhere. Previously published material, we are sorry to say, will not be considered.

Your work will always remain yours—we ask only for first- and one-time and archival rights. That means we use your work once, and then we place it lovingly into our archive.

If you don't hear back within four months write us with Query in the subject line and we'll see if it was misplaced.

We do not yet pay our contributors with hard currency, but are hopeful that will change sometime in the future.

Visit the Print page for information regarding print submissions.”

Send submissions to: submissionsATjukedDOTcom

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

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Poems Found by Poet Hound

"Nest" by Marianne Boruch

"Sha-Zam" by Luke Degnan

Linda Smith sent me her link for writers looking for a home for their words and I hope you’ll check it out, too, by using the link above!

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

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tim Scannell’s Eden, Over

Tim Scannell’s collection of poems in “Eden, Over…” was produced by Cedar Hill Publications in 1998. This collection is elegant and eloquent, Mr. Scannell has a wonderful gift for rhyme and I am happy to share some of his poems with you:


I have decided, this November
to let each loss not longer linger.
Maples, naked, gray against snow
stripped of flutter, yet still show
their growth of limb & farthest bud
of thunderstorm & August drought.

Since it is November I couldn’t help including this poem, especially since it has a wonderful rhythm and rhyme to it. I really enjoy the lines “Maples, naked, gray against snow/stripped of flutter” to signify the absence of its leaves. It also makes a wonderful visual.


Tread, then, a while. Observe the swell
whose undulation flows, at its pace,
toward the place. Stop for breath, to feel
each foot-leg, hand-arm separately,
unionsoned a moment in the crossing
of palm-pulled water, sequenced kick.
So, all is well.
Tread a measure
- dance where you are –
up, up to each crest (all there),
there beautiful, even down each long,
gently-sloped trough which is
the obvious way of tidal water.
There, as eye shuts going under with
each stroke. Rest and be thankful: the coast
afloat, horizon to horizon.

The visual of the swimmer through the waves is executed perfectly in Mr. Scannell’s lines. I really like the words “palm-pulled water” as it creates a sense of feeling the water, not just picturing a swimmer moving through the waves. The poem also creates a sense of peacefulness through words such as “gently-sloped trough” and “Rest and be thankful: the coast/ afloat…”

Close Call

Down the ravine
- long talus, scree –
Slipped butt-hot skid
cedar branch gripped
wrenching shoulder happily
- stars tonight –
yet down, slower
for another thousand feet
(aching ankles, fried soles)
Triumphant kneeling in
an eddy, finally hearing the
roar, and spray cooling salt
dripping from my eyes.

Tim Scannell creates a disjointed lined poem that coincides perfectly with the subject of the close-call car crash down the ravine and the racing thoughts of the driver. The sounds, the sights, the terrifying “wrenching shoulder” versus the serene “stars tonight”, the sounds of “boulder-water-deafening/roar” while landing with “spray cooling salt/dripping from my eyes” give this poem exciting motion with words.

If you enjoyed this sample, note that Mr. Scannell has recently been featured in Alternating Current’s Poeisis in a previous post and you can find him at bigcitylit.com to find out more about his writing style.

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

Monday, November 9, 2009


This site is anything but! Thanks to my fellow dance studio member, Kristin, I have now discovered this site for poets and poems of all varieties. I loved the Halloween Contest poems, the first place winning poem is so charming! Please check it all out at:


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

Friday, November 6, 2009

Poetry Tips: Poetry Calendar

Some people give out calendars for Christmas Gifts using family pictures, etc. Why not create your own gift calendar only with poems? Whether they are poems you find inspiring by other writers or your own, you could pick one poem per month, by week, or if you have more time on your hands than I do, a poem each day! I would pick Edgar Allen Poe for October, Robert Frost in December, just for an example. Or I may take my own poems, or create a mix of both. Either way, you can print the calendar pages using the web and then pair them up with poems, then find a way to fasten them together in a binder or get them bound at a copy shop so they can be hung up for display.

Good luck to any who try it, please stop in next Monday for another featured site…

Thursday, November 5, 2009

95 Notes Open Submissions

Accepts Poetry year-round and publishes twice a year! I would recommend sending 3 poems with your contact information included in the e-mail and titling your submission “Poetry/last name”

“Editorial Focus
95Notes is a platform designed to showcase higher quality creative writing and artwork. 95Notes is an independent literary magazine started by Chicago State University writers to represent creative writers within the literary community. All creative minds are encouraged to submit their work to 95Notes@gmail.com.
Tips from the Editor
Please send all submissions as attachments. “

Shaunwell Posley
9501 South King Drive
Chicago, IL 60628

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

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Poems Found by Poet Hound

Cypresses by Davide Trame

In England Away by Lois Williams

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

Monday, November 2, 2009

Giggle Poetry

Whether you are a parent, a teacher, or someone who enjoys good clean fun, this is a wonderful site for children sure to bring a smile to their face as well as to yours:


Thanks for clicking in, please excuse me for not having had enough time over the weekend to prepare a post for tomorrow’s usual featured poet, please stop in on Wednesday for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Friday, October 30, 2009

Poetry Tips: Seek Advice

Never be afraid to seek advice from other writers, especially if you enjoy their work. While small press poets seem to be more easily accessible, it never hurts to write the ones in “the big leagues” who have a major publisher behind them. Some writers have a web-site with an e-mail address and it is a convenient way to get in touch with them, just be sure to be sincere and do not feel letdown if you do not receive a response. Sometimes e-mails get lost, or there may be so many e-mails the author or poet cannot respond quickly. Otherwise, you can always write to the publisher with the request that your letter be sent directly to the writer—I have done that and I received a response from the writer. Then of course there are plenty of blogs by writers where leaving comments is another way to connect and seek advice. If you are afraid of coming across as naïve or uneducated, do not let that stop you. When I first started trying to figure out how to publish I naively sent out letters to publishers asking for advice and a publisher directed me to one poet who finally responded kindly with some basic books to check out. It never hurts to ask, right?

Good luck to all who seek advice from those they admire, please drop in next week for another featured site…

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Etched Press Open Submissions

“Query for full-length poetry collections, novels, or non-fiction titles. Do not send complete unsolicited manuscripts. Submissions may either be e-mailed to submit@etchedpress.com or sent by postal mail to
Etched Press
P.O. Box 3063
Wilmington, NC 28406
Include a SASE if you wish to have your manuscript returned.
Submissions by postal mail must be on letter-sized paper with one-inch margins on all sides, stapled in the top left corner, and have your name and contact information listed on the first sheet along with the title of your work. All individual poems must also have titles in bold and each poem must be on a separate page.

We invite you to submit twelve to eighteen pages of poetry to our chapbook series. We read submissions all year. Selected submissions will have their chapbook set, printed, bound, and the poet will receive 25 copies of the chapbook and further copies are sold in the online bookstore. Authors receive substantial royalties on all copies sold and can obtain their own copies at a discount. We will work directly with the author throughout the entire process. The layout, binding, and cover of the chapbook will be a few of the things the author will help decide.

We are equipped to publish short stories, novellas, short memoirs, and how-to guides. Any prose we publish must be exceptional or extremely informative. Submit five to twenty pages of a complete prose piece or collection of shorter work with the title in bold at the top of the first page.”


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

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Poems Found by Poet Hound

Among The Rocks by Robert Browning

Spirits of the Dead by Edgar Allen Poe

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

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Charles Baudelaire's Flowers of Evil

Charles Baudelaire was born April 21st in 1821 and was a fan of one of my favorite poets, Edgar Allen Poe. Mr. Baudelaire’s collection of poems, The Flowers of Evil, became infamous and banned by mainstream society when it was published in 1861 because his poems were thought to be gruesome and immoral in its depictions of humanity’s lesser, baser sides. I thought his poems would be a wonderful way to close out the month of October and a perfect accompaniment to all things related to Halloween so here are a few poems:

The Temptation

The Demon, in my chamber high,
This morning came to visit me,
And, thinking he would find some fault,
He whispered: “I would know of thee

Among the many lovely things
That make the magic of her face,
Among the beauties, black and rose,
That make her body’s charm and grace,

Which is most fair?” Thou didst reply
To the Abhorred, O soul of mine:
“No single beauty is the best
When she is all one flower divine.

When all things charm me I ignore
Which one brings most delight;
She shines before me like the dawn,
And she consoles me like the night.

The harmony is far too great,
That governs all her body fair.
For impotence to analyse
And say which note is sweetest there.

O mystic metamorphosis!
My sense into one sense flow—
Her voice makes perfume when she speaks,
Her breath is music faint and low!”


Angel of gaiety, have you tasted grief?
Shame and remorse and sobs and weary spite,
And the vague terrors of the fearful night
That crush the heart up like a crumpled leaf?
Angel of gaiety, have you tasted grief?

Angel of kindness, have you tasted hate?
With hands clenched in the shade and tears of gall,
When Vengeance beats her hellish battle-call,
And makes herself the captain of our fate,
Angel of kindness, have you tasted hate?

Angel of health, did ever you know pain,
Which like an exile trails his tired footfalls
The cold length of the white infirmary walls,
With lips compressed, seeking the sun in vain?
Angel of health, did ever you know pain?

Angel of beauty, do you wrinkles know?
Know you the fear of age, the torment vile
Of reading secret horror in the smile
Of eyes your eyes have loved since long ago?
Angel of beauty, do you wrinkles know?

Angel of happiness, and joy, and light,
Old David would have asked for youth afresh
From the pure touch of your enchanted flesh;
I but implore your prayers to aid my plight,
Angel of happiness, and joy, and light.

The Corpse

Remember, my Beloved, what thing we met
By the roadside on that sweet summer day;
There on a grassy couch with pebbles set,
A loathsome body lay.

The wanton limbs stiff-stretched into the air,
Steaming with exhalations vile and dank,
In ruthless cynic fashion had laid bare
The swollen side and flank.

On this decay the sun shone hot from heaven
As though with chemic heat to broil and burn,
And unto Nature all that she had given
A hundredfold return.

The sky smiled down upon the horror there
As on a flower that opens to the day;
So awful an infection smote the air,
Almost you swooned away.

The swarming flies hummed on the putrid side,
Whence poured the maggots in a darkling stream,
That ran along these tatters of life’s pride
With a liquescent gleam.

And like a wave the maggots rose and fell,
The murmuring flies swirled round in busy strife:
It seemed as though a vague breath came to swell
And multiply with life

The hideous corpse. From all his living world
A music as of wind and water ran,
Or as of grain in rhythmic motion swirled
By the swift winnower’s fan.

And then the vague forms like a dream died out,
Or like some distant scene that slowly falls
Upon the artist’s canvas, that with doubt
He only half recalls.

A homeless dog behind the boulders lay
And watched us both with angry eyes forlorn,
Waiting a chance to come and take away
The morsel she had torn.

And you, even you, will be like this drear thing,
A vile infection man may not endure;
Star that I yearn to! Sun that lights my spring!
O passionate and pure!

Yes, such will be you, Queen of every grace!
When the last sacramental words are said;
And beneath grass and flowers that lovely face
Moulders among the dead.

Then, O Beloved, whisper to the worm
That crawls up to devour you with a kiss,
That I still guard in memory the dear form
Of love that comes to this!

If you would like to devour the whole collection yourself, you can easily find Charles Baudelaire’s collection of poems in libraries, universities, book-stores, and on-line book-stores. For an on-line resource that is educational and thorough, I urge you to check out:


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

Monday, October 26, 2009

Poetry Translation Site

This is an incredible site with featured poems on the home page. You can also find live events, learn the process of translation, read poems from over 20 countries, and more at:

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

Friday, October 23, 2009

Poetry Tips: The Supply Closet of Bad Poetry

This tip is thanks to a literal event in which I was cleaning out my office’s supply closet and found a box titled “Joey’s.” I looked inside to find all manner of crumpled up pieces of paper, various colors, and on a plain white piece was a carefully hand-written poem of love turned sour and bitter. I described my find to my father and he said “It’s like the Supply Closet of Bad Poetry!” Which, if you ask me, would be a fantastic titled to a collection of poems but I also loved the title so much I thought I would turn it into a poetry tip. I urge you to dig out your own bad poems, the poems you can’t bear to throw away but you also cannot bear the thought of others reading and face them in the light. I’ve dragged out some of my own, wincing or laughing, and I may actually get around to cleaning them up and dressing them anew with better flow, better words. I urge you to do the same.

Have fun, thanks for stopping by and please drop in next week for another featured site…

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blue Collar Review Open Submissions

You may mail up to five poems (no simultaneous submissions) in a regular #10 envelope with a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope enclosed (cover letter optional) to:
Blue Collar Review
PO Box 11417
Norfolk, VA 23157

For more details please visit:

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Poems Found by Poet Hound

Philip Larkin, Days

Sid Miller, Around Killingsworth and Albina

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

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Poeisis Number Three

Alternating Current presents a new collection of poems by various poets in a wave of enlightening, brazen, and lyrical forms. Below are some of my favorites of the collection:

By Tim Scannell

Sent a bushel of
Autumn leaves to her
(UPS: $10.50);
A box of wooden matches
(Safeway $1.19), and
Enclosed the best love note
Ever penned:

“Ignore the city ordinance!”

What a fun and mischievous little poem, don’t you think? This is a perfect opening poem for the journal, and I love that instead of a bouquet of roses, as the title presents, it is a bushel of autumn leaves. Beautiful!

Dancing With Words
By A.D. Winans

There are poets who like
To dance with words
But dancing for an audience
Isn’t like moving to the
Music on your own
Stirring the notes of the soul

Fame kills
Billie Holiday’s ghost attests
To this
Money pigeonholes
Power corrupts
The spiritual truth
The scriptures tell us this

The true poet knows this
Stands tall above the
Dancing with word poets
Who are little more than
Instruments of a poem greater
Than themselves

Be like Li Po and sail your poems
On streams and puddles written on leaves
Be like the anonymous poets of Poland
During the height of martial law
Dropping their poems into the public square
For the people to read
Giving them hope courage and peace
Risk your life your literary life
Especially for the people who need
Something to cling to in desperate times

Telling people how cruel
Their tormentors are won’t inspire them
To go on living and to overcome oppression
Loving them becoming one with them
Standing fearless in their midst
This is the mark of the true poet

Walt Whitman was the John Wayne of poetry
Standing tall and fearless against the enemy
Which is never really man but the
Poison in his soul, pride envy and lust
How can those afflicted with the disease of egomania
Jealousy and desire for fame and fortune
Write about and from the heart?
Gone is the fire of Keats Shelley Byron
Whitman and Baudelaire
One column of media praise is of less value
Than a single teardrop on a poem
From a waitress in a greasy spoon diner
These people know nothing of genius
How can cockroaches evaluate eagles?
The true poet’s topic is people
Not the poet

Well said, Mr. Winans. I find this poem inspiring in its speech to call poets to write about hope instead of cruelty, about others instead of themselves. I can’t say it any better than he can.

By Stephanie Hiteshew

They all
call me ugly
I tell them,
“If that’s true,
I hope it’s contagious.”
And they scatter
like the days
I wasn’t this smart.

Where was Ms. Hiteshew when I was an awkward teenager? This is a perfect little poem with sass and wit, don’t you think?

The End
By Michael Kriesel

The man
who is writing
the end of the world
began like this

he sat down
in a chair
beside a window
closed his eyes
& waited for the steam
to finish rising from
a cup of coffee

pen & paper resting
on the windowsill

darkness spreading
from behind some trees
outside the window

the trees are an aquamarine

what kind of trees they are is unimportant

what’s important
is the way already it’s begun

how every night
behind his eyes
a few less stars come out.

Mr. Kriesel lends this unknown man, who is writing the end of the world, an air of the supernatural with the “closing his eyes” and while pen and paper rests on the windowsill darkness spreads until “every night/behind his eyes/a few less stars come out.” As though the unknown man in the poem is controlling the end of the world. I also like the seemingly random reference to what color the trees are, as though the darkness that spreads is swallowing color before the poet has time to notice them fully. It is a surreal and enjoyable poem.

If you enjoyed this sample of poems, you may purchase a copy for a mere $4 (plus $2 US or $3 out-of-US shipping) at alt-current.com, or address payment to Alternating Current with a check, well-concealed cash, or money order (and indicate that you’d like a copy of Poiesis 3) to:

Alternating Current
PO Box 398058
Cambridge, MA 02139 USA

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

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Juked Open Submissions

Juked is a quirky journal that accepts poetry and non-fiction, I’m a fan of what they publish on their web-site as I’m sure you’ve noticed by now in the Poems Found by Poet Hound features.
While they accept on-line e-mailed submissions they do ask that it be as a .rtf or .doc and to address your e-mail heading according to genre (Poetry). The Poetry Editor is Lindsay Walker, you may send up to five poems, simultaneous submissions are acceptable as long as you notify the editor if your poems are accepted elsewhere so you may e-mail your submissions and include a brief bio to:

For more details, go to:

Good luck to all who submit!

I will be out of town Friday and Monday attending a family reunion in Santa Fe, New Mexico so please drop by again next Tuesday when I return!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Poems Found by Poet Hound

The Rule of Three by Nissa Lee

Sha-Zam by Luke Deegan

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

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Adrian Manning's All This I See Before Me, All This I Cannot Resist

Adrian Manning’s chapbook, All This I See Before Me, All This I Cannot Resist, is published by Alternating Current’s press. Adrian Manning is on my list of poets I always enjoy reading for being straightforward and visually appealing in his imagery. His poems can be lively or melancholy in this collection which provides an ebb and flow in its intensity. Below I will share a few poems:

Night music

On the rooftop
rain drums wildly
like some crazy
ornette coleman
freeform rhythm
dark shadows
dance like mad
jazz women
around tiny cigarette
flashes of light
trying to break
the dense darkness
it is a murderous and
suicidal night
a cop car wails its
someone has gone
with the flow
let loose their mind
danced to the beat
of a wild abandoned score
written in
rain soaked streets
bringing it all to an
eventual climactic

Don’t you love the visuals of “tiny cigarette/flashes of light/trying to break/the dense darkness” and “suicidal night/a cop car wails its/saxophone?” The reference to jazz and the words “jazz women,” “cop car wails” and “danced to the beat” lend me to believe he is either reminiscing the roaring 1920’s jazz movement or a wild city night. If only he could include which city he is referring to, New York comes to my mind right away. I like the short lines that lend the air of quick movements of dancing women in a smoky bar.

Sunlight in motion

sunlight is your motif
you pour it over m
you are sunlight in motion

you are so good for me
you don’t know how this feels
you kick away my darkness
make me shine again

I breathe in your black hair
the raven’s splintered wings
my fingers run through
your voracious rivers

you move around me
engulfing and swallowing
my being

you have moved from the edges
into the center of me
become the very core
the beating heart
of me

that once was stilled
and closed down to a
bloodless drip.

This poem is a nice contrast to the one above, the poet refers himself as being lifeless and finds someone who pours life back into him. The stanza of “I breathe in your black hair/the raven’s splintered wings” are lovely in their lines. We can all relate to finding someone whose energy picks us up out of our “funk” and Manning does a wonderful job of portraying happiness and hope without ever using the actual words.

This beautiful line

many years ago
I read a book of
leonard cohen poems,
and I have been
fascinated ever since
by the line
‘let us compare mythologies’

I’ve wanted to drop
this beautiful line
into many a conversation

just as it gets
or dull

I long to say
“let us compare mythologies”
and watch the response

I know it would work
like a stun gun
stemming the flow

I would get many strange looks
an uncomfortable silence
and confusion would reign

they may assume
I am crazy
they may not understand
what I mean
and I may not, either,
for we have nothing to

but at least
despite the rest of it
the end of the conversation
would be memorable
and that would be something
worth holding onto

This is one of my favorite poems simply because I think all of us want to write at least one great line to be remembered by and Manning has found one in Leonard Cohen’s poems and expounded on what it means to him. I love that he would like to use the line as a way to “stun gun” conversations that have turned drab. What more could a poet ask like Leonard Cohen ask for as a compliment in his work? What does a great line in a poem do for you?

If you enjoyed this short sample of poems, you may purchase a copy of All This I See Before Me, All This I Cannot Resist for your very own for $6.00 (plus $2 US or $3 out-of-US shipping) at:
and you may also e-mail for more details at:

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

Monday, October 12, 2009

Instant Books

I found this linked on Ron Silliman’s blog and while it isn’t a poetry site I thought it was interesting, so I urge you to take a look if you haven’t already:


My crafty side wishes I had one of my very own to make up all kinds of weird instant books that no one could possibly be interested in except me, this could be a dangerous machine for certain people. What do you think?

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

Friday, October 9, 2009

Poetry Tips: Memorization

Memorize a new poem. Find a poem you enjoy by a poet that is new to you and memorize it until you can recite it with ease, even if it is a short haiku. This will give you practice in reading poetry aloud as well as practicing rhythm and perhaps even influencing your own writing technique if you are a writer.

Good luck to all who try it, please drop in next week for another featured site…

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lilliput Review's Basho Haiku Challenge

I have copy-and-pasted and linked the guidelines below:

Basho Haiku Challenge

“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 a copy of
Bashō and His Interpreters: Selected Hokku with
Commentary, edited by Makoto Ueda. Minimally, I will
need your name and email to contact you with the
results. In the subject line of your email, please put
"2nd Annual Bashō 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 31st and
the winner will be announced in either November 18th or
December 2nd postings. 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).

In addition, the winning poet will receive a 15 issue
subscription to Lilliput Review (or have their current
subscription extended by 15 issues), plus two copies of
the 2nd Annual chapbook, to be published sometime in
2010. Other poets whose work is selected for inclusion
will receive 2 copies of the chapbook plus a 6 issue

You have until the end of October! Good luck to all who submit and please drop in tomorrow for more Poetry Tips…

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Poems Found by Poet Hound

“Just Think!” by Robert Service

“A Tiger Lurks in the Night Forest” byLouis Daniel Brodsky

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

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Howie Good's Still Life With Firearms


Right Hand Pointing Press has e-chapbooks and I have provided the link above for quick and easy access to Howie Good’s collection of poems in Still Life With Firearms. You are greeted immediately with pictures of soldiers in uniform in training with firearms provided by Dale Wisely, then taken to the table of contents where the titles of the poems are interesting and enticing to the reader while clicking through. The poems themselves are snapshots of tragedy, the absurd, tender moments, and the luck-of-the-draw in life. I will happily share a sample of the poems with you and hope that you will use the link above to read for yourself:

The Doctrine of Insufficient Adulation

I stop looking up
words I don't know.
You stop sympathizing
with the televised apologies
of disgraced celebrities.
The small white dog
we named for John Dewey
sleeps between us.

I like that this poem brings to light the indifference taking over the couple in the poem in regards to their surroundings. Have you also stopped “sympathizing/with the televised apologies/of disgraced celebrities?”


The evening light always
seems to me peculiarly sad.
My heart holds its hands
out toward the fire.
I visit the doctor,
afraid to upset the silence
following upon the collapse
of the great newspapers.
He decides to give me a shot.
He says it’s to numb me.
It doesn’t. Although spring,
I can see the system of roads
built to carry away the days.

You wonder what sort of ailment or wound requires a shot that doesn’t numb the feelings of the poet. You also feel the sad dreariness of life, particularly in the ending lines: “Although spring,/I can see the system of roads/built to carry away the days.,” as though the concrete of the roads annihilates the ability of natural, green growth to show through to prove the season. The whole poem leaves me with the feeling of being weighed down, which gives light to the title, Heartsick.

That Summer
The roof burned continuously.
I passed long hours learning

the names of various shades of blue –
Air Force Blue, cornflower blue,

Persian blue, periwinkle.
Night came early where I lived

with my mother and three brothers
and no one to read me to sleep,

though the herd of clouds grazing
at the end of the street would always

lift their big, shaggy heads to listen.

I love the imagery in this poem. I think of the roof burning blue in the summer heat, and I especially love the idea of clouds grazing at the end of the street in various animal shapes, lifting their heads to listen to a young boy. Very imaginative and whimsical.

This is just a small sample of the poems in the chapbook by Howie Good.
Be sure to visit Right Hand Pointing to learn more about Mr. Good and to read his entire chapbook of poems available on-line at:

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

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Gettysburg Review

Find poetry links, current issues, submissions criteria and more at:


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

Friday, October 2, 2009

Poetry Tips: Decorative Poems

While most people are busy putting up decorations in their houses for upcoming holidays why not add poems into the mix? What spooky poems can you find and disperse among your house for your children or guests to find? You could cut shapes of haunted houses or pumpkins and post the poems on them. How about a poetic menu for the next holiday feast? Or, instead of a jarful of ingredients to make cookies, you could enclose a bundle of poems whether hand-written by you or copied down/printed out neatly from other poets? Robert Frost’s poems would make an excellent bundle tied in ribbon and placed in a jar or vase to give as a present when the winter snows bear down. Gifts can take many forms for poems as well: you could place a tied bundle of poems in a giant mug with some hot cocoa packets and ta-da! Any way you try it, you are bound to have some fun mixing poetry and decorating with plenty of holidays marching in over the next few months. Good luck to all who try the mix!

Thanks always for dropping in, please stop by next Monday for more Poetry Sites….

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rattle Open Submissions

You may send up to five poems including your contact information and a short and interesting biography either by e-mail or mail. E-mail submissions to: submissions AT rattle DOT com or you can mail with an enclosed, stamped return envelope to:

12411 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604

For further details check out their guidelines at:

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

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Poems Found by Poet Hound

“We Try Self-Portraiture” by Nicole Cartwright Denison

“After Apple Picking” by Robert Frost

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

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fragile Arts Quarterly


I am beginning with a link because you can download the entire issue for yourself for free and please do so because there is bold art and photography woven among the poems for an enlightening mix. I will happily share a small sample of poems with you:

by Wendy Parkin

You don’t care about wearing socks and shoes,
whether the soles of your feet turn black as asphalt.
Grass glued to your sticky fingers doesn’t keep you
from holding up sagging pants falling off your skinny waist.
It doesn’t matter to you
your mom is burning the spaghetti on the stove
because she drank too many Budweiser’s,
the neighbors are sitting on front porches
talking about how dirty you are,
and there isn’t enough money
to buy cigarettes and your first grade class pictures.
It doesn’t matter to you
the school nurse constantly sends you home
because you have head lice, and your clothes stink.
It doesn’t matter to you
adults don’t understand why
you spit on kids at recess for saying you have fleas
and calling you retarded because you don’t talk right.
Right now, happiness to you
is running your little brother over with your bike
in the middle of the street
until you make him scream and cry.
It’s good you’re too young to realize
a little boy should have sheets and pillows on his bed,
a bubble bath every night, and wake to prepared
breakfast every morning; some hot cereal and apple juice.
You don’t realize chocolate ice-cream sandwiches
and flat cans of generic Cola-Bubba for dinner
will rot your teeth until they all go missing.
It’s good you’re too young to realize
what missing is.
It’s good
youth feeds and covers you.

The editors describe Wendy Parkin’s poetry is described as “stark” and that is exactly the term I’d come up with for her poems. She brings to light what is often not spoken of in some neighborhoods but thought about behind closed doors. There is no evidence that anyone will involve themselves in “Sammy’s” life but you can feel the undercurrent of helplessness in watching his life unfold in the poem. Stark, and haunting.

maybe even devils get depressed
by David McLean

maybe even devils get depressed
when screams get quieter
and we seem to be enjoying it,
when anxiety becomes an infinity
of self-congratulation for sensitivity
and self-pity, when people don't really
suffer easily, maybe even devils
get depressed then. after all,
they're only human

I like this one because it’s an unusual take on how devils are portrayed—as human—and as being able to feel sadness/depression. A topsy-turvy turn of events that I find intriguing in that when humanity isn’t suffering so much collectively anymore that devils may become depressed and finally, with a surprise ending of perhaps humans being the devils and angels they create for themselves.

Melinda’s Two Cats
By: Mikki Mous

Melinda's two cats
loiter upon the sidewalk
flipping matchsticks into the street
making catly comments, sleeping in the sun
and generally lending a disreptuable air
to the neighborhood of pristine lawns
and carefully sheared shrubs of no character

I’m including this one because I experienced this sight myself the other day, only at a restaurant crowded with noisy people, the cats were eating anything tossed their way, then sleeping peacefully amidst the noise. I like Mous’s line of “flipping matchsticks into the street” which lends a quirky visual and the words “disreputable air/to the neighborhood of pristine lawns” furthers it along. Among human existence, other worlds continue despite our best efforts, that is what I take away from it.

I hope you enjoyed this small sample and that you’ll check out the journal for yourself, there really are some amazing photos and art alongside the poems, a visual treat in all respects. Please use the link below if you haven’t already done so at the beginning of this post:

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

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Practicing Writer

Countless resources for all levels of writers at this web-site by Erika Dreifus. You can find e-book resources, newsletters, links to writing programs, If you are interested in improving your writing or embarking on a writing career, check it out at:


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

Friday, September 25, 2009

Poetry Tips: The Fan Letter

We are all fans of someone or of something, such as sports. Why not try writing a fan letter by way of a poem? You can be as fanatical or as reserved as you like, it can be addressed to anyone or anything. Perhaps you are the world’s biggest fan of Reese’s Cups or perhaps you are a Dallas Cowboys Fan. Are you a die-hard fan of a particular film maker or actor? Dedicate your poem to them and fill it with as many admirations or absurdities as you wish. At worst, you’ll have some fun, at best, you may actually try sending it out and may even receive a response.

Good luck to all who try and please stop by on Monday for a featured poetry site…

Thursday, September 24, 2009

580 Split Open Submissions

I have copied-and-pasted the submission guidelines below:
Email submissions are preferred. Please send:
- prose submissions to: 580prose@gmail.com
- poetry submissions to: 580poetry@gmail.com
- art submissions to: five80split@gmail.com
Mail submissions may be sent to:
580 Split
Mills College
P.O. Box 9982
Oakland, CA 94613-0982
These must include a cover letter with your name, submission title(s) and contact information. Mail submissions must also include a SASE. All written submissions must be typed. Simultaneous submissions are permitted, as long as the editors are notified if work is accepted elsewhere
Please see the links below to learn more about 580 Split which is based out of Mills College. You may submit up to 2 prose pieces or 4 poems.

According to Poets and Writers (link below) the dead-line is October 15th, and the journal accepts up to 10 prose pieces and 20 poems.


Good luck to all who submit! Please drop in tomorrow for more Poetry Tips…

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Poems Found by Poet Hound

“A Song For El Cerrito” by Tess Taylor

“Beekeeping” by Molly Sutton Kiefer

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

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Braided Creek by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser

Braided Creek, A Conversation in Poetry contains the correspondence in poems between Ted Kooser and Jim Harrison during Ted Kooser’s diagnosis and treatment of cancer. This book was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2003 and while it does not stipulate who, specifically, wrote the poems, you can find plenty of insightful moments alongside basic every-day moments. You can also use a link provided below to listen to Ted Kooser’s interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air that includes his experiences with cancer, how he sent his poems on postcards to Mr. Harrison, and how he came to be a Poet Laureate. This collection was sent to me by my father-in-law but you can find it at your local library, book-store, and of course, on-line.

There are hundreds of short poems that range in their poignancy and immediacy of the surroundings and lifestyle of the poets. I think one of the first poems you encounter is descriptive of how a man dealing with his mortality might speak to a friend: “Old friend,/perhaps we work too hard/at being remembered.” I think this is true of writers in general but there is an added layer to its meaning when someone is diagnosed with cancer.

What I also find interesting as a reader is that depending on my own mood I am drawn to different poems. Certainly there are other collections of poems that do the same but this collection stands out more so than any others I’ve read. Some poems strike you in their simplicity: “Under the storyteller’s hat/are many heads, all troubled.” Others, for their open-ended ability to let you decide what it’s true meaning may be: “Old white soup bowl/chipped like a tooth,/one of us is always empty.”

Then there are the poems that make you smile or laugh, always wonderful to see mixed in with a collection such as this: “So what if women/no longer smile to see me?/I smile to see them!” or “Strange world indeed:/a poet keeping himself awake/to write about insomnia.”

Finally, there are poems that let your mind wander to your own memories: “At the tip of memory’s/great funnel-cloud/is the nib of a pen.” “Winter knows/when a man’s pockets/are empty.” And finally “An empty boat/will volunteer for anything.”

As I mentioned earlier, there are hundreds of poems and all of them worth pouring over. If you enjoyed this feature you can use the links below to learn more about Ted Kooser in his interview at National Public Radio or you may purchase the book yourself with the link to Amazon:

An Interview with Ted Kooser on NPR’s Fresh Air is linked below:

To purchase a copy of this book, please go to:

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

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lit Up Magazine

There is much more than poetry to be found, but excellent poems abound and I urge you to peruse the site at your leisure by using the link below:


Thanks for clicking in, please drop in tomorrow for more featured poets…

Friday, September 18, 2009

Poetry Tips: Rhyme For Rhythm

Sometimes I have trouble getting a poem to flow, I’m sure you do, too. However, I have found that creating rhyming poems provides fantastic practice for rhythm and timing. So this week I want you to come up with rhyming versions of any poem you are wanting to write and see if you don’t find a way to create better flow, timing, and rhythm in the process. Also, challenge yourself to rhyme unusual words just for the fun of it!


Orange – Stone Henge
Austere – Mere
Meter -- Cedar

You may just find that rhyme isn’t passé after all and find some new insights while writing. Good luck to all who try it!

Thanks for stopping in, please drop by Monday for another featured site…

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Swink Open Submissions

Let me just say that I had a good laugh reading their submission guidelines, they are the epitome of “cheeky.” So please, please, read their submission guidelines in detail while I give you the bare bones version: You may send between “three longish” or “five shortish” poems using their special submissions link which allows you to enter all kinds of information on-line including which genre you are submitting to and gives you the ability to track your submission throughout its entire process of being read, accepted, rejected, etc. Please only submit to one genre (poetry, fiction, etc) at one time, simultaneous submissions are accepted as long as you immediately notify Swink if your submission is accepted elsewhere. Please note they also read year round which is always a plus! Be sure to explore their site to see what their style is in regards to publication and I insist you read the submission guidelines in their entirety.

Check out the full submission guidelines here:


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

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Poems Found by Poet Hound

John Most’s “Star to Galaxy is a Speechless Participant”

Sarah J. Sloat’s “Shady” (scroll down just a little)

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

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

An Interview With Nerve Cowboy

An Interview with Joseph Shields of Nerve Cowboy. Joseph Shields and Jerry Hagins co-edit the magazine. Joseph Shields took on the task of answering for both himself and Jerry.

Joseph Shields, thank you for being kind enough to consent to being interviewed about your journal, Nerve Cowboy, and your press, Liquid Paper Press.

1. One of the things I love about your web-site is your introduction to which I’ll quote here: “Nerve Cowboy is a biannual journal of poems and short fiction sensitive enough to make the hardest hard-ass cry, funny enough to make the most hopeless brooder laugh, and disturbing enough to make us all glad we're not the author of the piece.” How did you decide to create a journal based on the above-described attitude and can you explain the conception of the name, Nerve Cowboy?

Interesting question—the term “Nerve Cowboy” was actually coined by a two of my wife’s New York friend while visiting us in Jamaica where we served as Peace Corps volunteers. One of our visitors had a lazy, slackjaw boyfriend “Fat Dave” who just sat on the couch and watched TV and never wanted to do anything and drove her crazy. She referred to him as a nerve cowboy because no matter what she did, he had the ability to find her last raw nerve and ride it. Hence, the birth of Nerve Cowboy. Five years later I adopted it as the name of my new magazine.

The description on our web site really just represents the type of poems we want to see. Poems people can understand and poems that create some type of emotional reaction in the reader. Those are the poems I have always enjoyed reading in other journals and wanted to see in Nerve Cowboy.

2. Another thing I love about your journal is the fact that you take the time to hand-write notes to all of your subscribers saying you hope they like the issue and you also hand-write notes to everyone who submits poems to your magazine. Where do you find the time and why choose hand-written correspondence as opposed to typed letters or form letters?

We do that out of courtesy to our subscribers, contributors, and the larger community of writers interested enough in our magazine to send their work to us for review. I think it helps build a small poetry community and a connection to the hundreds of writers that make Nerve Cowboy possible. After all, I can’t pull these amazing poems out of my ass, somebody has got to write them and we need to connect with those people.

It is time consuming but as I just said, it is really part of what Nerve Cowboy is. As a writer, I never really liked the impersonal rejection or acceptance letters computer printed and unsigned. There are people behind the magazine and people sending poems—they should be corresponding in some genuine way.

3. I can’t resist asking this, so forgive me in advance: Having been around for more than ten years, how have you maintained success and continued readership through the ups and downs of the economy?

Sometimes I can’t believe we have been at this so long, going on 12 years with our fall 2009 issue. For one thing, Jerry and I keep doing the magazine because it never gets boring. We are truly excited about each and every issue that is produced, and are pumped when a new writer comes along that just kicks our asses with a fantastic batch of poems. We love to hear new voices.

In terms of the economics of it all, we have always believed that if produce an interesting and eclectic collection of poetry 2 times per year, the readers will be there. By and large, subscriptions remain stable (or grow or shrink a bit over time), but we try to keep the price of subscription reasonable and think it is a still a pretty good value in the scheme of things.

4. Your aesthetic for this journal differs from most in that it focuses so much on the nitty-gritty sides of life, including the artistic works on the cover and throughout the pages. What is the inspiration for the focus on life’s sometimes darker, dirtier, or more uncertain sides?

I have never really thought about it that way, but I guess you are right about the darker content. Simply put, I think that is just a stylistic preference, or it might just mean that the more engaging poems tend to be from that genre of writing. In any event, we are open to anything, but it has to have meaning for us in some way.

5. As editors, how do you vote on each piece? Do you both approve of each other’s picks or do you split up the number or type of items accepted into the journal?

We both read all of the submissions and tend to split up first and second reads. We usually only accept pieces that we both agree on. Sometimes we will go back and forth of some poems and discuss the merits of the poems or the writer and make a decision after that discussion. It is very collaborative and hopefully results in the best poems getting into the magazine, which is our end goal.

6. What is the process of putting this journal together and how long does it take to produce and then distribute? Are there more staff than just the two of you who help put it all together?

Once we have accepted enough poems and artwork for an issue (it usually takes about 6 months to collect and accept these poems and stories), I will order the poems and figure out which selections work best together, determine who we want to use as openers and closers for the issue, and see if there is a natural selection for the center of the magazine. Next, Jerry scans the poems to capture the text and lays out the issue on the computer, where he makes any page adjustments or poem ordering changes that need to be made due to spacing. Then, I select which pieces of art will go with which poems, Jerry scans the art in and reduces or enlarges them to fit spaces. Lastly there is a final proofing process (and we always miss something) before it goes to print. From the time the issue is full to the time it comes back from the printer probably takes about six weeks.

7. In addition to your journal you also produce chapbooks published under the name of Liquid Paper Press. Which do you enjoy more, sifting through poems for the journal or manuscripts for the press and why?

Currently, we are only publishing chapbooks which place in either first or second place in our annual contest, which has a January 31 deadline for submissions each year. We enjoy both the contest and the magazine in different ways. It is very satisfying being able to support an exceptional writer through the publication of their book. It is hard to get books published. But, I would say the magazine is our focus and I probably enjoy that work more because of the unexpected gems you can find in the thousands of manuscripts we receive each year. Sometimes five poems won’t work for us, but there is one in the envelope that totally rocks. It’s fun and never boring.

8. No doubt you have your hands full with your journal and press but do you both have regular jobs outside of this and may I ask what they are?
We both have day jobs. For years I have worked as a public policy researcher for the state of Texas and for private firms. Jerry is a public information officer for a large state agency in Texas. Our career paths have crossed a couple of different times and that is how we connected to start Nerve Cowboy.

9. Do either of you have time for other hobbies outside of poetry and what are they?

My hobbies are not all that interesting, but I used fly hang gliders in my reckless youth. I am a huge music fan and regularly see bands at clubs in Austin. Right now, I think Deer Tick is the best band on the planet. My wife and I end up spending a lot of weekend time on the soccer fields with our daughters who play on teams here in Austin. Being from Wisconsin, I am also a lifelong Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers fan

Jerry is a musician and played in the Pistol Love Family Band with his cousin, who has since moved on to bigger and better things at the guitarist for Okkervil River. He plays banjo and fiddle in various Austin bands and gives lessons to aspiring musicians in the area.

10. Who or what do you read for fun outside of what you read for the press? Do those writers influence the course of your decision-making with Nerve Cowboy and Liquid Paper Press?

Right now I am reading Ben Mezrich’s book “Accidental Billionaires” about the kids that started Facebook. His other books (e.g., Rigging, Bringing Down the House, Ugly Americans) are great too. Mike Manguson’s books are great (e.g., the Lummox, Fire Gospels, Heft on Wheels).

I also love many of the classics from Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment is top 5 all-time for me), Celine, Fante., and others The poets I love reading are too many to mention, and alot of them are the writers that appear in the pages of Nerve Cowboy, Pearl, Slipstream, and other small press magazines. The late, great Albert Huffsticker (who once lived in my neighborhood and with whom I shared many early mornings out in front of the old Hyde Park Bakery) is among my favorite poets ever. He was instrumental in me starting Nerve Cowboy in the first place, and here we are 12 years later.

11. Do you have any particular goals for the future in regards to Nerve Cowboy and Liquid Paper Press that you haven’t reached yet or are currently working on?

We just want to keep the thing going and continue finding interesting new writers to publish.

Joseph Shields and Jerry Hagins, thank you for letting me interview you about your hard-core journal and press. I wish you continued success for the future and can hopefully send some new subscribers and exciting poets your way.

If you are interested in finding out more about Nerve Cowboy or subscribing to them ($20 gets you a two year subscription, four issues total), you can visit their website at:


You will find links to poems they’ve published, the chapbooks page, and how to subscribe. I am renewing my own subscription with them and hope you will join me! I have always found it pleasing that they have an uncanny ability to pair artwork submissions that matches up with poem submissions in a way that always makes me say “Genius!”

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

Monday, September 14, 2009

Poetry Super Highway

Wow! This is a pretty extensive site with all kinds of interesting “nooks and crannies” to click on and explore. From featured poets to interesting titles of poems, you’ll find all kinds of great things here. You’ll also find resource links, an e-book Free-For-All, and so much more. It really is an amazing place so check it out at:


Thanks for clicking in, please stop in tomorrow for an interview with the editors, Jerry Hagins and Joseph Shields of Nerve Cowboy…

Friday, September 11, 2009

Poetry Tips: Back to School Prep

Yes, this is the season where everyone is getting back to learning, for colleges to get back to reading submissions, for students to sharpen their pencils and their minds. Now is the best time to sharpen your own pencils, freshen up on some poetry reading and create new poems or polish up existing ones. Be on the lookout for colleges accepting submissions for their literary journals (you can also utilize Poet Hound’s Thursday Open Submissions) and open your mind by reading poems by writers you haven’t seen or heard of before. Prepare yourself for renewed dedication to your craft and try to set aside some time each week to write, read, and contemplate poetry now that summer vacation is over. Before you know it, poems will come naturally to your mind, you will find places that will accept your style of poetry, and everything will hopefully fall into place with grace.

Good luck to all of you on your newfound poetic dedication, please check in Monday for more poetry related web-sites…

*Sept 15th will feature an interview with the editors of the poetry and art journal, Nerve Cowboy, so be sure to stop in next Tuesday as well…

Thursday, September 10, 2009

2River Open Submissions

You may send up to 5 poems via e-mail to submissionsAT2riverDOTorg. Be sure to look through their archives and find out what style of poems they publish, also be sure to include your contact information in your e-mail when submitting. Luckily, they read year round so you have plenty of time to polish any potential gems for publication.

Check out the guidelines at:

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

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Poems Found by Poet Hound

Poems Found by Poet Hound

Rose Woodson’s “Old Speak”

Paisley Rekdal’s “Bats”

I just now realized I had treated Tuesday of this week as though it were Monday and have thrown off my regular blog posting! So apologies to my regular readers, I'm posting the typical Wednesday fare in addition to McCreesh's and Cunningham's interview posted earlier today and we'll be back on schedule tomorrow!

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

Sunlight at Midnight, Darkness at Noon, and Interview with McCreesh and Cunningham

Chris Cunningham and Hosho McCreesh are poets and friends who expose their creativity and souls to one another through their collected letters in their book titled Sunlight at Midnight, Darkness At Noon, published by Orange Alert Press. Their letters touch on a broad range of topics from writing poetry to their political views and the political climate they find themselves in. I could not put this book down and found my own mind wandering on the many issues brought up in their letters and poems and was compelled to interview them about their book.

1. Your book is comprised of the excerpts of letters you have written to each other during 2002, how did you go from writing letters to the idea of creating a book from them? Did you feel any fear or hesitation in the words that would be exposed to your readers?

CC: Jason at Orange Alert Press had posted excerpts from both Hosho’s and my letters in the past at his blog http://orangealert.net/ and when he started the press, we discussed the massive volume of correspondence that was sitting in boxes at our houses with Jason and he was intrigued. We sent him a batch and he decided we had something there, something different from anything thus far in the Indy Press, a collection of words that detailed the work and life of poets in the twenty first century struggling to carve some meaning out of an apparently meaningless world. As for “fear,” no, no fear at all; I stand by everything I write, and if I put it down on paper, I’ve got no problem with it being published as widely as possible.
In addition, I think Hosh and I both really felt like these letters could give any reader a glimpse into the minutiae of the creative process, into the “why” behind making art, into the desperate need for communication and connection between artists and those who derive support and sustenance from what they produce. We think the letters have a universal quality in their laying bare the human spirit as it strives to find a voice in the wilderness.

HM: I absolutely felt over-exposed & reluctant in terms of taking the letters & making a manuscript. I feel shy about half the time, so that was an obstacle for me. But the thing I just kept coming back to was how powerful the letters were, for me, as a reader. I've always been a fan of letters--& have read lots of famous writer's letters...it's always been a window into their work for me. So when Chris & I started writing, I'd read one of his letters & think "this is just, hands down, some amazing writing." So I just believed in the strength of the letters--as something both literary & as a kind of non-fiction snapshot of 2002 & of the lives of 2 nobody poets at the dawn of another ugly century...which was a book I'd never read. & the idea of letters between nobodies appealed to me--it meant that "who said what" was no longer important & that the reader could focus, instead, on what was being said. That's about as untethered & free as writing could ever get. Chris had already been talking about publishing a book with Orange Alert--& Jason mentioned that maybe he & I could do something as well...so we talked about it & Jason decided we'd try it. It was a hell of a gamble--putting out this book as the 2nd offering from Orange Alert Press--& I respect the hell out of him for it.

2. There are several details I would like to touch on that you mention frequently about your writing process to each other. You expound on the rare art of letter writing and the even rarer art of using a typewriter. Could you explain your feelings on these two in conjunction and how you feel about electronic mail’s increasing role in society?

CC: For me, the typewriter is a musical instrument, as important to the process of my creation as a good guitar or the perfect horn. It allows me to feel and hear the keys cutting into the paper as I work. I am an improviser when it comes to writing and there is a tactile, concrete quality to the making of esoteric ethereal poetry when I lean over the humming keys of an old typewriter under the pale sixty watt light at five a.m. that is sorely lacking staring into a glowing screen, pecking at plastic air.
As for the computer and email, they are merely tools, allowing for the instant transmission of information, and while it is surely possible to convey the same emotions, the same intent, there is nothing like holding a real live fucking letter in your hand after a long day at work, peeling back the gummed flap of the envelope, unfolding the paper, feeling its heft, its weight, the bond under your fingers, and then scanning over the black ink and words cut deeply into the flesh of the paper by metal keys driven by the need to communicate something often beyond the words themselves. They aren't bad as long as their proper role is understood, though email and text messaging and the like do surely limit the thought and reflection and deeper exploration of circumstances present in a letter writ over a period of hours, days, nights.

HM: I've always felt that a typewriter had more in common with a musical instrument than it does a computer...it's hefty, it's metal, & when you get going, it bounces & jumps around...it's got it's own kind of rhythm--especially the non-electric typers I use. It's a more immediate connection than writing on a computer--which I've never had much luck with. As to writing a letter--the first thing you need is time--to just sit & gather your thoughts, & the will to simply respond as honestly, in each moment, as you can. If I was angry, or tired, or brash, or sick of the goddamned world--I wanted that all to be there, in the letters--I wanted it to be a true & accurate moment captured in time. You have to give yourself to the writing--be as fearless as you can. The friendship, as it developed, made it easier & easier to do...as I felt a real kinship with Chris, & we share a similar outlook on the joys & ravages of life. I wish I was a purist--& that I only wrote on a typer...but these days, I admit it, email is easy & quick. But there's not much art in an email--because it is so easy & quick...or at least I don't feel they are too artful when I write them. I still prefer typed letters. & I absolutely love getting stuff in the actual mailbox...Technology's role in society is prominent--too much so, for me. I don't have a cell phone, I don't have Facebook or Twitter or MySpace or any of that...I've never been too terribly interested in those sorts of things--I march begrudgingly into the future.

3. You both also write about being a true artist with the idea being that you create because you must and that you must also reveal the truth. Given the media and the academic world’s constantly changing view of the arts, what do you hold to be the universal truths in “art” as a word and all it encompasses?

CC: Art is the pure expression of our deeper humanity, and in its perfect form it takes small personal experiences, often arising from suffering, and transmutes them into universal depictions of the human condition: what it means to face death with full awareness of its inevitability and still endure the daily ups and downs of existence. Art helps us go on, it is a song that makes us smile, a poem that makes us think, a painting that transports us out of the ordinary and into the sublime. It forges bonds and illuminates darkness. It cries and it dances and it burns. It shows us that truth is the silhouette of a stray dog walking down a wet alley at dawn.

HM: I don't see truth as a rigid or unchanging thing...but I see MY truth as fairly consistent--as do most people, I'd say. As writers, I think it's our job to be as fearlessly honest about our own truths as we can...that you're supposed to put things down as clearly as you can, as honestly as you can, and--no matter what--keep searching for understanding, meaning, keep trying to make sense of the world. I have had the amazing good fortune to work with some of the very best bookmakers in the small press--& it completes a kind of cycle when the work reaches new readers & the people who've been there with you from the start get another beautiful little book for the shelves. But the truth of any art is the constant, dogged pursuit of it--of somehow reaching that higher ground, & then going further, pushing ourselves beyond. If your work is true to your spirit then, regardless of what comes of it, it won't be pandering to some popular themes of an era & will, instead, verge on our shared humanity. It might not mean anything to anyone but you--but--hell, that alone is enough, if you ask me. & chances are, someone somewhere will understand it, or recognize something familiar in it. & that's as good as it gets. If you aren't honest in your work, you'll look back on it years later & see nothing but cheap little parlor games dressed up for doomsday.

4. With your poems you reveal the world around you as it happens and the political climate of the times that are included in this book. May I ask you to share one or two of your favorite poems and the explanations behind how they came to be written?

CC: One of my favorite poems isn't in SUNLIGHT but the story that inspired it is, written immediately after it happened, and mailed off to Hosh; it's the poem "last meal of the night" from my chapbook of the same name by Blue Monk Press back in 2002.
last meal of the night
he looks at me with red eyes
thru thick round glasses,
heavy black frames slipping forward
on his human nose.
it is two minutes until closing.
I tell him,
“go ahead man, what do you need?”
the kitchen grumbles, I can feel
anger washing against my neck
in hot tired waves.
he mercifully orders the
easiest thing on the menu.
his will be our last meal of the night.
the cook is fast, throws it
to me and I bag it up.
he reaches out to take it
and asks me my name.
I tell him.
he then reaches out to shake my hand.
“I know you are trying to close
but I really needed this food.
my brother is up the street at the university
and he is probably
going to die
he is still holding my hand and I can see his eyes,
the space beyond his eyes, shielded sort of by
the thick lenses,
grow wider, but not very much.
“thank you for your kindness.”
he drops my hand and is gone.
the hunger we cannot stand to bear alone
but must.

HM: I've picked 2 poems from the era of the letters, my time in Europe. I have some wonderful friends in Switzerland, & while in Europe, they let me stay with them--&, from mid November to mid December, in their family chalet. It was amazing--the kind of thing I'd always dreamed of being able to do--wake when rested, eat when hungry, drink when thirsty, sleep when tired, and otherwise just listen to music, read, write, and paint...for a month! It was an amazing gift...one I can't ever repay. & the 2nd poem I include below came from reading liner notes on the back of an old Rachmaninov album in the chalet. I'd basically paint during the day & write at night...& I kept that record player going the whole time.

On Why I Came Here To Live Alone
In A Chalet In The Swiss Alps
For An Entire Month...

I came here to
write, draw, paint.
I came here to learn more French.
I came here to be alone,
completely alone,
just to do it.
I came here to get the hell away
from the buzzing of a world
gone to rot with its
joyous ignorance,
a world stammering,
trying to think up ways
to be rich, to be beautiful,
to be happy,
I came here to shiver occasionally.
I came here to starve a bit.
I came here to struggle,
to be stuck here
& have to do everything
for myself,
rely on nothing
but myself.
I came here to survive the frozen dark,
to recapture
a simple joy,
to see what



(Published by Bottle of Smoke Press)

In 1897 Rachmaninov Fled The Theater Before
The End Of The First Public Performance
Of His First Symphony &, At Age 26, Decided
His Career As A Composer Was Through; Devastated
He Nearly Gave Up Writing Music & Spent The Next
3 Years Racked With Self-Doubt & Anxiety, Depressed,
Frustrated & Wandering Amid The Lavish Parties Of
Moscow’s Upperclass—

& From All That Came His 2nd Piano Concerto...

Which is to say this:

What we all
need most
is to find our own

(Published in FIRE)

5. Your affinity for each other and the support you provide each other is evident throughout. My favorite phrase from Chris as he waits for Hosho’s response is “you better not be dead you motherfucker.” How did you find each other and how often do you continue to write letters? Are they still as lengthy and intense as the ones we get to read as your audience? Can you explain what the support and camaraderie mean for each of you in regards to the other?

CC: I read one of Hosh's poems in some mag back in 2000 when I was first starting to send out work, first starting to explore the world of the small/indy presses. It floored me ("8 Nights & Their Subsequent Sunrises..." was the poem) and I asked an editor for his email address. I wrote him a short note asking if he had any books I could buy and his answer began a correspondence that filled up literally thousands of pages of paper over the ensuing years.
Our physical letters have waned somewhat since about 2006, but our level of communication remains very high, and now we can actually talk via chat in real time which wasn't even possible for us Luddites back when we first met. We still believe strongly in the necessity of letter writing and we do manage to get off a doozy from time to time, and I value Hosh's friendship and support more than I can say. Those letters and all the words we trade between us shore me up and help me go on, make it possible to believe that humanity has a chance as long as there is one more person out there burning to live.

HM: To me, I've always felt the basis for most enduring human relationships is one of student & teacher. By that I mean you can both learn from & teach to the people you become fast, & enduring friends with. Of the many great friends I've been lucky enough to have over the years--there's always been things I could learn from them, & things I could teach them as well. So, to me, that's been at the core of the letters from the beginning. As I said, I saw in Chris a real kindred spirit--& the letters happened pretty quick. We've trudged along the alleys of the small press for years now, and in a way it's like working together--punching in every day at the job. It's been very rewarding to have someone to bounce ideas off of, someone will tell you what works, what doesn't. I think we understand what the other wants to accomplish in their work, & we can tell each other--"that sucks," or "this one's there." Even without the letters, I'd be a fan of Chris' writing. I suppose we were insane to think that the pace could continue--in 2002 alone I think we traded about 500 pages of single-spaced, typewritten letters--but, yes, the letter writing has slowed. But not for lack of wanting. Our immediate daily demands, life, seems to sap all our energy...but we both look to an easier day when we can get back to the letters. I really miss getting a letter every few days.

6. Some artists delve into politics and other artists steer clear of it. During your letters you speak frequently of the Bush administration and your views on what it means to be American. Can you explain how these shaped your poems at the time and what beliefs you expressed in regards to politics and Americanism?

CC: All my poems are informed by my experience as a human being living in America right now and by all the political and social winds extant buffeting my little corner of the universe. I tend to not write strictly "politcal" poetry (or didactic screeds, etc.) but rather fill the background of my poems with the realities of modern life and let the metaphors do the work for me. The letters however are a place where artless rants and wild tangents are allowed, and I run around screaming sometimes in that arena, for good or ill.

HM: In much the same way you'd talk with a new person you meet at a party or whatever--there was a certain amount of "figuring out where the other guy is coming from" in our letters. Our similar views, politically, organically grew from our frustrations with both what America as a society valued, and the Bush Administration as the figurehead for it. The blind, unquestioning support; the refusal to ask questions, or demand evidence to make informed decisions; the knee-jerk reactionary approach to the very complex, and difficult questions America faced...this was not what America was ever supposed to be. To sacrifice any moral standing we had in the world for paltry, temporary economic gain...the tireless march to war...this was antithetical to the America I imagined. But America is still a young nation, & we still have a lot to learn. I love what I imagine we can someday be...but getting there will take a lot of difficult work. & the way it all came to bear in my work was anger, frustration, rage, exasperation. The pains of that administration are still very fresh both in our country & across the world. It's been the death of actual & meaningful debate...as people make up their minds & then dismiss any evidence that doesn't support their world view. & debate is the cornerstone of America & of actual freedom. I don't know how we can get back there (if we ever were there)--short of a non-judgmental, mutual respect & listening to each other. The punditry on all sides clouds the true & necessary debate, &--despite pretending to be unbiased--serves only to further divide. For the love of god, people--fact check your shit through non-partisan, non-profit organizations--the more the better!

7. The Obama administration is now in place and I’d be interested to know if his being in office has shaped any new poems and ideas on being an American. How has the new administration and their actions affected your beliefs and opinions you have set forth in your book?

CC: As for shaping new poems, no. My poems are born of small moments rendered in intense detail and the "meta" of the political world lacks the necessary conflict between hope and suffering that informs my work; politics is an equation designed to result in the transfer of money and power from the average American citizen to the vested interests of the Corporate Oligarchy which rules us, and that, in many ways, precludes any sort of real hope or change because it's all about the money and what that illusory construct represents. Obama is a politician and as such is a certain type of animal built to survive by skating over the surface of the truth and bending perception towards his handlers interests, in reality not much different in action and intent from the other animals lowing and shitting in the corrals of Congress. While he is a whole lot better than Bush or McCain or Palin or any of those motherfuckers, he remains a functionary of the interests who paid to get him elected and will, in the end, do their bidding, no matter the glowing rhetoric to the contrary.
Having said all that, I still believe in the founding documents of this country, the rights they elucidate and the tenets they lay out, and I still have hope that given enough shit to eat, Americans will get tired of the taste and demand something more delicious for supper.

HM: I have tremendous hope...& was both delighted & amazed that America elected Obama. I think the administration has tremendous ideas...& I sincerely hope that they pursue them. Thus far, they've had one shit sandwich after another & simply keeping us above board has been a challenge. I hope that the sacrifices made to get things done thus far will prove to be worth it...that remains to be seen. But how refreshing to have leadership that will look at facts, will own their mistakes, & one that refuses to make limp-brained, unilateral decisions based on some sort of wizardry or mystical incantations. I remain hopeful...

8. At some point, Hosho leaves the country and spends quite a bit of time alone with his creative process.

8.a. For Chris: Have you had the chance to do anything similar and what were the results if you did? If not, do you hope to find a place to retreat to and do the same thing?

CC: I've spent some time running around the country trailing after various hippie bands and during that time I worked on finding my poetic voice, discovering how I wanted to say the things I had in my head (though I confess I am but an antennae for the muse, a receiver, a cosmic radio tuned to the Poetry Channel), but I've not ventured very far out of the country. A couple jaunts to Canada and Mexico but that's really it.
I've found a place to retreat, though, and it's called Asheville, NC; me and the woman and the dogs roam around twenty acres with a stream and well and a huge garden and plenty of room between us and humanity at large. Fuck you, Atlanta.

8.b. For Hosho: How did that affect or contribute to your creative abilities? What did you notice about the reactions of the local population during your travels when you told them you were a poet or artist in comparison with our country?
HM: The reactions of folks in Europe were much, much different than in the US. When introduced as a "writer" or "painter" overseas, I often had beers bought for me, dinners, & people were both thankful & encouraging--something that was shocking. There is a powerful sense that art is still something important in life. More often than not, when people in America find out I write and paint, they want to know what my "real job" is. It's easy to see why so many people "become their job" in America...it's the first thing anyone at a party wants to know about you, & it's the first thing most people want to tell you about themselves. I am sure that's also true in Europe--but my personal experience has them much more intrigued by the art and less by work. "Work" in Europe is just something that you have to do so you can live your life. In America, it is your life. As to the effect it had on my work--I think I finally saw the real world value of a life lived in pursuit of art & truth & meaning...art is a language that goes beyond man-made borders...& connects people through the shared human experience. We recognize the joys & struggles in work that speaks to us (& don't "get it" in work that doesn't--but still others might, hence it belongs). It was a tremendous experience.

9. The cover of your book is beautiful and encompasses so much of what you both enjoy. The typewriters and hands mirror each other and the hands have nuts and bolts either tattooed or transposed on them. Can you explain the process of creation of the cover designed by Chris Roberts?

CC: Chris Roberts somehow captured the fucking essence of the book in his first attempt. Jason asked him to come up with something and sent him the text, and in a blisteringly short amount of time Chris handed in a Just Exactly Perfect Cover. The typewriters are our actual typewriters, my IBM and Hosh's beloved and now long-lost Remington Rand (read "The Ballad of the Remy Rand," the next section of our letters from January to March of 2003, in the forthcoming BUK SCENE 2, which you can find out about in the forum over at http://bukowski.net), and the texture and feeling of the artwork really sing. I love it.

HM: Chris Roberts literally blew us away with the cover. Jason knows & has worked with Chris in the past & Jason brought Chris to the project. If you're familiar with Chris' other work, you know he's usually using a much more vibrant, lively, and sometimes even chaotic color palette. But he & Jason talked about the book, sent Chris the manuscript--and Chris just inherently understood the book & what we wanted to accomplish. He laid out some ideas in an email & they all sounded great...but I still couldn't visualize where he was headed. But he knew exactly what he wanted, & I think what we wanted to see--which is always a good thing. & when I opened the pic file the first time, I was floored...just amazed. It was absolutely perfect. I couldn't be more pleased with the entire production, start to finish: from our manuscript to Sean Lynch's work on the guts, to Bill Roberts' hardbacks & clamshells--every step along the way was both really professional &, beyond that, the work of true artisans who cared about the project. They all took our words and made a really terrific book.

10. What kind of guidance did you receive from Jason Behrends, the editor, of your book? Did he help you choose what to include of the letters for the book?

CC: We worked closely with Jason in choosing what to include, and Jason was instrumental as a catalyst for the team that ended up producing the variations of SUNLIGHT; the layout by Sean Lynch of Ireland's Ten Point Design, the cover art by Chris Roberts, the handmade hardback editions by Bill Roberts of Bottle of Smoke Press, the music on the cd by Atlanta's Noot d'Noot, and releasing it upon the unsuspecting world. Jason really believed in the book and worked tirelessly to make it a reality and I think he has done OA Press proud. Thanks again, Jason.

HM: Jason was terrific--& he really saw the potential in the book from the beginning. He really involved us in the entire process, & we talked a lot about all the things we wanted the book to be. The letters themselves are fairly unwieldy--& so we decided to organize the manuscript around a few thematic threads: art, politics, the role of the artist in society & specifically America (as that's our experience)--as these were the real meat of our conversations. So that was where we did the bulk of the editing, in a way--up front & nailing down the approach/vision. After we had the blueprint in mind, it all pretty much fell into place. In my mind, Jason showed some real guts gambling on this kind of a book for the 2nd book from his Orange Alert Press...and something vastly different from the first book (Ben Tanzer's retro-cool, twentysomething couples novel). Jason believes in his books, & supports them...& I expect the press to continue to put out a wide variety of books, and--if our book is any indication--take some more big chances on some really unique projects.

11. In addition to poetry you both have other artistic interests. Would you mind sharing those other interests and do the interests combine to influence each other? As in, do your poems inspire painting or writing short stories and vice versa?

CC: I write short stories and paint, and I'm working on a novel (and have plans for one or two more if the world doesn't dissolve into warring mobs of idiots flinging their shit and firing their pistols at one another). I'd say the overarching ARTFORM, the seeking after meaning inherent in its pursuit, inspires all of it for me, and its genesis is being alert, aware and alive in America and paying attention to the world around me.

HM: We both paint, and write other things as well...short stories, someday maybe novellas or novels. I've written a few short films, & want to work on longer screenplays as well--as we've talked about trying something with film. I am always curious, always want to learn more, try new things, etc. I'd love to learn to sculpt, & I've just started dabbling in photography...I just enjoy the artistic process--it's strangely calming for me, I always sleep better when I'm doing something creative. It's hard with a 9 to 5 to ever feel like you accomplish enough...but that's not a new song. I can't say that my own paintings inspire my own writing, but I do find inspiration in other people's work...from everywhere--masters to people in the small press snapping photos.

12. Your book has been out for a little while now, what has been the response so far from the readers that you know of? What have been the positives and negatives of releasing a book of personal letters?

CC: The response has been overwhelmingly positive. A recent review can be found at http://www.deckfight.com/2009/08/review-sunlight-at-midnight-darkness-at_12.html. ; Seems like most folks think it reads like a good novel rather than a collection of letters between two idiot poets. I'd say the best part about it is the format; there is nothing like it anywhere these days.

HM: So far the response has been really terrific. It's always a relief when people see, in a book, the things you'd intended to be there! It's been well received by readers even beyond the small press--artists, for instance, see something familiar in the struggles of 2 nobody poets! There have been handfuls of people I really respect that have showered the book with kind words...so it's been really rewarding. The down side is this notion of being more exposed than usual--but, it's been worth it...definitely.

13. Would you have done anything differently if you started it over? Are you working on anything collaboratively for the future that we should be on the look-out for?

CC: I would change nothing; the hardbacks are really fucking majestic, pure bookmaking works of art, and every aspect of the project fell into place so perfectly that it was a bit scary.
There is the BUK SCENE segment of our correspondence forthcoming, and at the first of 2010, Oh, and we also appear together in an anthology edited by William Taylor, Jr. for Lummox Press called DOWN THIS CROOKED ROAD due out in a few weeks.

HM: I wouldn't change a single thing. This book has been a dream--start to finish.

As to the future, for the 26 lettered hardback editions we each wrote 26 poems, & typed them up on our respective machines--made what we called double-manuscript broadsides. For the clamshell editions, we each did 7 paintings...and Bottle of Smoke Press will put all 52 poems & 14 paintings into a book at some point...Bill is doing some amazing things these days--hardbacks, clamshells...the guy is amazing.

Another small patch of letters is slated to appear via Purple Glow Press (a Dutch & Canadian outfit) in their magazine Buk Scene #2--it's about a month's worth of letters, picking up where SUNLIGHT ends.

Thanks so much for allowing me to interview you about your book of letters. Please keep us up-dated on future artistic endeavors and congratulations on an excellent read.

If you enjoyed the interview and want to read the book for yourself you can get a copy for $16.00 + Shipping at Orange Alert Press!
Please visit their site using the link below:

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