Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Six Gallery Press Reading

Last Saturday's Six Gallery Press reading at Modern Formations went very well. As with last August's reading, I read a mix of past Lilliput poems and some of my own work. Here are the poems from Lillie:

National Poetry Day
This being that fine occasion
to honor appreciative friends
with a wisdomy verse
pulled from one's hip
I am telling myself to first
keep straight my pockets
so as not to go
blow my nose into
William Carlos Williams
Richard Swanson

only one flower
is needed to answer
your question
Stanford Forrester

winter haiku
here, we have five or six
words for snow
and they all start with fuck
Mark DeCarteret

You are tired, because I thirst for
salt, we turn to each other.
You are barefoot. It is winter.
This is going to be a difficult story.
Gayle Elen Harvey

an echo
The grassy grassy grassy
reaches out across across the road
--the road
cutting man's lifeline in two two
trying trying to reclaim for mother
--nature nature
what is by all rights
hers and hers and hers
Michael Estabrook

How Frightening to be the Male
a pair of cardinals on my neighbor's
fence: the male--so bright, so eye-
catching, so out-there, so
Kelley Jean White

When you've rent the flesh and sinew
from my supple skeleton and you've
sucked the last sweet drop of marrow
leaving lonely, brittle bones
will you save the jagged splinters
to adorn your chieftain's chest
or scatter them like toothpicks
over yesterday's dung.
Sue De Kelver

Each step into simplicity :: undoes the weave
Grant Hackett

We forget we're mostly water
till the rain falls
and every atom
in our body
starts to go home
Albert Huffstickler

¶blue thorn gallop rose
why does language have to be so perfect?
Charlie Mehrhoff

Ray Skjelbred

In addition to the Lilliput poems, I opened with a quote from Jim Carroll, and a dedication to his memory. The quote:

"It's too late
-to fall in love with Sharon Tate.
-And it's too soon
-to trace the path of the bullet
-in the brain of Reverend Moon."
Jim Carroll

I followed the Lilliput reading with 7 poems of my own, with only one that I'd read in August. Though I practiced "an echo" by Michael Estabrook, it was difficult to get the right aural effect and I'm afraid I didn't do it justice. Otherwise, I think it went over pretty well. Not too shabby for an old man decidedly out of practice. Overall, it was a solid reading by all. Che Elias from Six Gallery did a great job picking readers and so my personal thanks to him. I was particularly taken with the work of M. Callen, Scott Silsbe, Karen Lillis and Bill Hughes but, again, all the readers impressed.


Since this is a week folks are likely on the road for the holiday, I'll keep it brief. I'm in the process of combing through all the poems for the Bashô Haiku Challenge again. Though I've made a large preliminary selection, I'm going through every poem once more to make sure I didn't miss anything and that what I previously set aside is actually up to snuff. Editing the mag all these years has taught me to space out multiple readings of particular items since mood, attention, and physical condition can actually effect how one approaches work. I read most work first thing in the morning while I'm fresh and rested and save the mundane stuff of replying, printing, collating etc. for later in the day. I'm hoping to make an announcement of the winners by December 2nd, December 9th at the latest.


This week's featured issue is #150, a broadside of 11 poems by powerful tanka poet, Pamela Miller Ness. Enjoy.

Autumn again
in the Japanese garden;
of last year's euonymus
burn still in my journal.

A bud
of the red anemone
ready to burst . . .
the child
she never bore.

after her passing
on the path
I greet my neighbor
in Mother's voice.
Pamela Miller Ness

a wind-blown boat
a skylark
crossing paths
translated by David G. Lanoue

And thanks to Jessica Fenlon for sending along the photo of me cawing "Crow" from the reading.



Charles Gramlich said...

Really like the Winter haiku. My wife is from Canada and will apprecaite that sentiment.

Greg Schwartz said...

i agree with Charles... "winter haiku" is a good one. glad the reading went well! have a good thanksgiving.

Ed Baker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Charles and Greg ... glad you liked the haiku - it was a highlight from the reading as the f-bomb always jolts folks out of a stupor (poet induced, of course).