Thursday, November 25, 2010

Blue Mesa Review Open Submissions...

You may send up to five poems via their on-line submissions system if you use the link below or you may mail your poems with your contact information and a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

Poetry Editor
Blue Mesa Review
Department of English
MCS 03-2170
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Please see the link below for more details:

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

Also, Happy Thanksgiving to all of you celebrating out there, may you have some downtime to be creative and please drop in again next week...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Poems Found by Poet Hound
“Something That Happened in Brooklyn” by Andrew James Weatherhead
“Cherry Blossom Storm” by Henri Cole

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

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kimiko Hahn's Toxic Flora

Kimiko Hahn is a poet who was born in 1955 in Mount Kisco, New York, to a Japanese American mother and a German American Father, both of whom were artists. Ms. Hahn received her undergrad English degree from the University of Iowa and her Master’s in Japanese literature in Columbia University. She has several collections of poetry including “The Unbearable Heart” which received an American Book Award. I found her book Toxic Flora in my local library and the poems are elegant, fierce, and complex while beautiful and thought provoking. She mixes real life with scientific forays into plants and insects and often connects the discoveries to revelations about her own family. Here I will share a few excerpts from a few poems below:

Yellow Jackets

protect through venom and candor

While timing their own dinners
to mother’s tray, father’s tongs,

they can sting any intruder repeatedly
unlike the honeybee’s suicidal sortie.

through simple narration:
your mouth never stops moving.

Or, you eat off other plates as if they’re your own.

A startling attribute I wish I could emulate
if only my sting possessed such integrity.

I could not include the poem in its entirety since I do not have permission from the poet or publisher to do so however I hope I’ve included enough to do the poem justice. Ms. Hahn incorporates the stinging activities of the yellow jacket with the stinging words in italics of people which makes a great pairing in the poem to get its point across. The poet wishes she had the ability to sting with words the way a yellow jacket is able to sting repeatedly its enemy. Don’t we all wish we had that ability at times?

On Butterflies

Only the rare butterfly eats
live things:

the Hyposmacoma’s caterpillar
weaves silk around a mollusk

fastening the shell to a leaf
then sticks its head inside,

eating the snal alive.

to a wolf that dives for clams.

I see it as a little girl
who tears apart a little friend

Or a mother who rips open her own infant

to release the demon inside.
This hunger is less rare

than a butterfly with sharp teeth.
My mother is from Maui.

I really hope both publisher and poet forgive me for including nearly the entire poem but it is hard to portray the meaning without including most of the lines. In any case, what I love is that the poet first finds a rare phenomenon among a particular species and then pairs it with the destructive behaviors (not always so rare) among humans who tear each other apart either physically, mentally, or emotionally. The ending line “My mother is from Maui” is the most startling of the entire poem. Is Ms. Hahn’s mother cruel? Or is she simply from the same location as this particular species of butterfly? Either way I enjoy being left to ponder the idea as it lends itself towards re-reading the poem and taking in more details. Children who hurt their friends, mothers who try to release the demons in an infant and what kind of demons would an infant possess? Finally, what about her mother? The ultimate curiosity with which we’re left on our own to ponder.

For W

I don’t understand space—the emptiness

Take the protostar: I can’t grasp
how clouds of dust and gas can collapse

then suck up more stuff and expand

where did Mother disappear
after the car crash? Where

is my daughters’ grandmother
since they’ve learned there is no heaven—

except for rose, hedge, and pine?

a thing breaks down
yet shows no sign of ceasing?

And what now is the nature of her form?

Existential, yes, but poetry is about life, death, the living in between. Ms. Hahn questions what happens to the soul after death, the energy that space takes up despite constant collapse and destruction, death and rebirth. Who among us doesn’t wonder the same thing when a loved one passes away? Ms. Hahn’s version is elegant, spare, and beautiful which is what we need to read sometimes in order to find solace.

I hope that you enjoyed the excerpts of these poems, I can only hope I did them justice. There are countless poems I would like to share and many are too short for me to pull excerpts from so I urge you to find a copy for yourself.

To learn more about Kimiko Hahn, see the link below:

To obtain a copy of Toxic Flora for yourself you may find one in your own local library or at:

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

Monday, November 22, 2010

Press Press Press

This blog has been a longtime feature on the sidebar and considering that the gift-giving holidays are rapidly approaching I feel that this would be a wonderful site to look over the latest poetry chapbooks available for the lover-of-poetry in your lives. You can also jot down titles and the website for your own Christmas list, check it out at:

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