Friday, May 7, 2010

Poetry Tips: Western Style

This week I want you to think about the Wild West and write a poem. Even if all you can think of is the Western Omelette at Denny’s, give it a try! Tumbleweeds, cowboys, deserts, slick shooters, anything that comes to mind.

Good luck to all who try, please drop in next week for more…

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Nerve Cowboy Open Submissions

Straight from the source:

We do not take submissions through e-mail.
We respond quickly--within 8-12 weeks--so please no simultaneous submissions.
Previously published work is OK to send if you tell us where it has appeared, so we can properly acknowledge those good folks.
Pays one copy upon publication.
IMPORTANT! If you're new to Nerve Cowboy (and that's great), we exhort you to get ahold of a copy first to see what we're up to. (For example, our name notwithstanding, we're not a cowboy-themed magazine.) An easy and fun way to do this is to send a mere $6 bucks to the address above, along with your mailing address, and we'll zip a sample copy right out to you.

Mail your submissions to:
Joseph Shields and Jerry Hagins, Editors
Nerve Cowboy
PO Box 4973
Austin, Texas 78765

For more details go to:

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

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Poems Found by Poet Hound
“Population Oxygen” by Samuel Amadon
“William James, Henry James” by Sarah Gridley

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

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Thousand Ghosts by Leah Angstman

Published in 2002, A Thousand Ghosts is a collection of revelations about life as poet Leah Angstman travels to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and learns about the hardships of the people there while providing assistance in building everything from bunk beds to unloading mattresses to kids in need at the reservation. A Thousand Ghosts is published by Alternating Current’s Propaganda Press and I am happy to share a few poems below:

wounded knee

death softness but black pitch
white crosses of children dying
far too young—
car crashes
so scared in love with life
and all the people who have lost their lives
before the age of my heart.
bury my heart at wounded knee –
that’s the battle cry here.
no sign, no tourist trap
no campy souvenirs,
only honesty (so hard to find)
and mass graves and ill-marked
no names only 43 of 150-odd something
not named not found not honored
in any way other than a white stone grave marker.
white –
white like the men who put it there,
placed there years later
saying they “died here innocent”
and oh, how i hate my fellow countryman
of white from years ago
for making me feel his guilt
for forcing me into their history textbooks—
i cannot stop the tears
the salt drops,
i can taste them running through my mouth
down along my taste buds.
i wish that i could
fly from here.

Leah Angstman’s recurring use of the word “white” fits well here, it captures the stark contrast of life and death through unmarked graves, tying in both the present and the past of tragedies at the reservation, whether through alcoholism or persecution. While the vision of the graves makes her cry, it is also a place to be respected and reflected upon through the lines “no campy souvenirs/only honesty…” Instead of passing through or near the reservation as so many of us experience, Ms. Angstman brings us to the inner world of the reservation and their tragedies in this poem.

sun is setting

pink orange skyline stretches out
as far as eye can see.
I am the loner of the herd,
more among the wild horses
than the humans,
watching the cultured ones
soak it in
and the drones sing songs about commercials.
this sunset is the most beautiful thing i have
ever seen.
it saddens me.
sunsets always mean the end
of another day.
the end of another day
of my life.
i am now one day closer to dying
and one sunset richer of life.

I love the description of the sunset and that she notices its beauty while the others in her group are busy talking about things that aren’t as poignant, such as songs in commercials. The poet soaks in the scene and realizes the meaning of life through an every day occurrence, knowing that the sunset is the close of another day and that life is enriched by such beauty.


thirty cents to another state
a get-away—
proof that you can pick up roots
and run at any minute
without reservation
oh, how i love freedom of america
only toll roads
to block my passage
from running too far from me.

I like this poem because there are days when we feel trapped where we are, that there is no escape, and Leah Angstman points out clearly that it is just a matter of escaping down the road with pocket change from where she is. Thirty cents to the next state, a way out, but that there are limitations in that escape: “only toll roads/to block my passage/from running too far from me” so that in reality she cannot really escape herself and that each stop at the toll will remind her what she is escaping, thereby she is not really escaping at all.

If you enjoyed this small sample of poems from A Thousand Ghosts and would like to learn more about the reservation and read more poems, you may purchase a copy for yourself for a mere .25 cents (not including Shipping and Handling) at:

To learn more about Alternating Current, please visit:

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

Monday, May 3, 2010

Catapult To Mars

What a well-rounded and awesome blog! Gordon Mason champions poets and their poetry in three languages—English, Spanish, and Scots. You have to check it out at:

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