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:
Photo by Jessica Fenlon
Photo by Jessica Fenlon
National Poetry DayThis 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
only one flower
is needed to answer
here, we have five or six
words for snow
and they all start with fuck
BecauseYou 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.
The grassy grassy grassy
reaches out across across the road
cutting man's lifeline in two two
trying trying to reclaim for mother
what is by all rights
hers and hers and hers
How Frightening to be the Malea pair of cardinals on my neighbor's
fence: the male--so bright, so eye-
catching, so out-there, so
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.
Each step into simplicity :: undoes the weave
We forget we're mostly water
till the rain falls
and every atom
in our body
starts to go home
¶blue thorn gallop rose
why does language have to be so perfect?
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.
in the Japanese garden;
of last year's euonymus
burn still in my journal.
of the red anemone
ready to burst . . .
she never bore.
after her passing
on the path
I greet my neighbor
in Mother's voice.Pamela Miller Ness
a wind-blown boat
translated by David G. Lanoue
And thanks to Jessica Fenlon for sending along the photo of me cawing "Crow" from the reading.