Sunday, June 28, 2009

Issa's Sunday Service, #10

This week's LitRock number on Issa's Sunday Service is the Beatles's I Am the Walrus, which takes the title character from Lewis Carroll's "The Walrus and the Carpenter" poem from the Alice book Through The Looking Glass. There is also the reference to Poe and the infamous fadeout ending with a recitation of King Lear courtesy of a BBC broadcast that happened to be on sometime during the recording sessions . Lennon was hitting all the stops on this one. Here's the lyrics.

This week's featured poem on the count up from Lilliput Review #1 comes from issue #16, October 1990. Enjoy.

A Short Poem
A short poem
should reach
at least
the left hand of God.

Daniel McCaffrey

from this year on
in my left hand, umbrella-hat
in the right, knapsack

translated by David Lanoue


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"A Single, Singular Vibratory Surface"

Cover by Bobo

Ran across an interesting quote from Rene Char on the Counterpoint Press page for his book, Brittle Age and Returning Upland:

When Gustaf Sobin arrived in France at the age of twenty-seven in 1963, he befriended the poet René Char, who, as Sobin writes, "taught me my trade." "René Char taught me, first, to read particulars: that the meticulously observed detail, drawn from nature, could provide the key to the deepest reaches of the imaginary. One and the other, the visible and the invisible, were but the interface of a single, singular, vibratory surface: that of the poem itself."

This, it seems to me, touches the heart of things.

Equipped with this most essential of truths, here's a couple of places you might want to try out your own new work. First. a call for submissions for Simply Haiku:

Simply Haiku-call for submissions:

Submissions are now being accepted for the Autumn issue
of SimplyHaiku. Each member of our editorial staff accepts
submissions forhis or her own genre/section of the journal
which includes haiku,senryu, tanka, haibun, renku,
traditional and modern haiga. Please read the detailed
submission guidelines and selection criteria in our current

and on Facebook at:

Next, a revised schedule, for the tanka journal, Atlas Poetica:


17 June 2009, Perryville, MD, USA

Atlas Poetica : A Journal of Poetry of Place in Modern
English Tanka will be going to a 3x a year publication
schedule in 2010. For the first two years of its existence
it was published 2x a year, but continued growth in
popularity with readers and poets has justified the
increase. ATPO publishes tanka, tanka sequences, tanka
prose, book reviews, announcements, and resources of
interest to tanka poetry of place readers under the
editorship of M. Kei.

ATPO will continue to feature fine art covers drawn
from the galleries of 'Earth as Art', 'Visible Earth,' and
other satellite image galleries produced by NASA, the
USGS, and other US governmental agencies. Each of
these high quality satellite photographs was originally
taken as part of scientific surveys of the Earth but was
deemed to have significant artistic merit in addition to
scientific value. Previous covers have featured the Anti-
Atlas Mountains of Morocco, the Dasht-e Kevir of Iran,
Gosses Bluff, Australia, and the Taz and Yenisey Rivers,

ATPO will continue to publish in an 8.5 " x 11" format
and in order to present as much tanka and related
material as possible in 72 pages. The new publication
schedule takes effect for the 2010 year, and full and
updated guidelines are published at the website.
Potential contributors should be aware that ATPO
normally seeks first world English-language rights,
and publishes in a triple format of printed journal,
e-book, and free online version.

The new publication schedule is:

#5, Spring 2010 – Submit Nov 15, 2009 - Jan 31, 2010.
Publishes March 15, 2010.
#6, Summer 2010 – Submit March 15 - May 31, 2010.
Publishes July 15, 2010.
#7, Autumn 2010 – Submit July 15 - Oct. 31, 2010.
Publishes Nov.15, 2010.

Non-fiction contributors of reviews, articles,
announcements, resources, and other materials
may contribute at any time.

Atlas Poetica : A Journal of Poetry of Place in Modern
English Tanka is published by Modern English Tanka
Press of Baltimore, Maryland.

Modern English Tanka Press
P O Box 437171
Baltimore, MD 21236 USA
Telephone: 443-802-1249

M. Kei
Editor, Atlas Poetica
A Journal of Poetry of Place in Modern English Tanka
Published by Modern English Tanka Press, Baltimore, MD

A note for Brautigan fans out there (and you are legion - ok, so maybe there is 2 or 3 that read this blog): the talented young British novelist, Sarah Hall, has selected Revenge of the Lawn as a Book of a Lifetime in the ongoing UK Independent series. Running across the book in her youth, she describes herself as "a troubled reader, full of north-west rain and rural loneliness." Her article perfectly captures what arrested her in the work then. More importantly, she absolutely nails why this often derided poet and writer is important and why he is still with us today:

What appealed to me then appeals to me now. Brautigan is a folk-artist, a master storyteller, and a master rule-breaker. He isn't coy or transparent. He is enormously ambitious and because of this, occasionally falls off the wire – with exuberant, random metaphors that don't quite work and sentences employed simply to justify a previous whimsy.

But I don't care. I like heart and imperfection. And because of it, the stories never loose their freshness. Revenge of the Lawn remains vibrant, radical and generous: 25 years after his death, Brautigan is still, like his poverty-stricken Oregon typist, "pounding at the gates of American literature".

Thanks, Sarah. It seems there is still hope in "a world gone sad," to quote an old friend and Chicago poet, Steven Doering.

Finally, in the news and info department, troutswirl has pointed us to a fine site of modern haiku, Gendai Haiku. There is much excellent work here to be dipped into. Here's a couple of poems from Ônishi Yasuyo:

Within a pillar of fire
---my station

My bones and cherry blossoms
--reach full bloom

And two from Saitô Sanki:

---at Kohan Tei
scattering hairpins
-fragrant lightning

-embracing, making it
there in the soil
--a sweet potato swells

And one by Hashi Kageo

-------a tendril of
morning glory completes
--the circle of gluttony

Gendai Haiku is a fine site for contemporary haiku and it is well worth a look-see.

There have been some discussions about putting together a 20th anniversary anthology of Lilliput Review and so that, along with two other projects, have put a great deal of strain on the time I devote to, well, everything else. Working on the manuscript has given me a long view of what has gone on here over the years. That, along with the weekly archive postings, daily Twitter tweets (approximately 100 poems posted already since beginning in April), and Issa's Sunday Service selections has really forced me to look very hard at the arc of publications since 1989. I've said in interviews in the past that, in some ways, the mag itself has served as something of a personal journey, almost a personal journal; I believe it has chronicled my own growth as an editor and person, mapping a transition in taste and an overall maturation. The further back I go, the less I find that "holds up," if you will. The core is still there and was, right from the beginning; a poem or two with that certain flash (see Monsieur Char, above), a certain something, but also lots of groping in the dark (which, as we all know, isn't a bad thing per se). This, of course, is no reflection on any of the poets, it is simply a question of a novice editor finding his feet. As a result, I find occasionally only a single poem or two or, in some cases, none at all in any given issue and all this certainly would impact any collection from the first 20 years. Still, I feel I've found an approach to take to the anthology which combines the thematic strength of individual issues with a chronological veracity, giving a solid overall feel and resulting in, hopefully, an enjoyable reading experience.

Translation: I'm going to divide the full run into roughly four chronological periods (i.e. issues 1 to 50, issues 51 to 100 etc.) and edit each chronological section thematically, as I would an issue. It gives me a chance to approach the work anew, re-segueing things to bring out tones and highlights I might have missed previously.

All this is a long, windy (as opposed to winding) way to introducing this week's archive selection from #23, July 1991. Enjoy.

Don and Jean "true love forever" over
sodas at some long ago five and dime,

quiet years quickly passing, evenings
an aging ritual of brown bottle fever,

like the hopelessness of a spider trying
to sting itself in mirror on moonless
t. k. splake

Nature Poem
As a mountain,
I must stand forever.

As a river,
you must wear me down.
Daniel McCaffrey


--the root
--of all prophecy
Charlie Mehrhoff

blown to the big river
floating away...
cherry blossoms
translated by David Lanoue


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Issa's Sunday Service, #9

This week's Issa's Sunday Service is conducted by the always amazing David Bromberg. This song was a big favorite of mine over 20 years ago and I'd completely forgotten about it until I started thinking about songs for this feature. The song is "Kaatskill Seranade" and I'm gonna guess that most folks aren't overly familiar with this old chestnut. The lit connection is subtle enough that some folks miss it; Mr. B. refuses to name it and I love him for it. But, here you go; the poster above and the passing of 20 years are a couple of big hints.


Last week, I got so carried away with posting the Anne Sexton song that I completely forgot that I've been posting poems from the archive, ascending from #1. So, to make up for that goof, I'll post two today, with Issa closing up shop as usual. The first is from #12, in April 1990, he second from #14, June 1990:

Gullied Lives
Raw ravines
by wind and rain
and time.

Hearts don't break.
They weather.
Albert Huffstickler

Dean Martin Sings Otello
When the moon hits your eye
like a big pizza pie
Edmund Conti

over my midday nap
the scent of lotuses
translated by David Lanoue


PS One interesting aside about "Kaatskill Serenade:" it is one of the songs that surfaces now and again from the famous lost Dylan session of the early 90's that was produced by Bromberg.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Issa's Birthday Song

Well, David Giacalone and Rebecca Bush sent along notes to remind me that Monday, June 15th, is the day Issa's Birthday is celebrated so I can't let that pass unnoticed.

at my dinner tray
a sparrow chirps...
spring rain

paying no heed
to Buddha's birthday...

deutzia blossoms, too
on Buddha's birthday
report for duty

translations by David Lanoue

Whenever I think of Issa, inevitably my thoughts move to sparrows, a bird that he just adored and I have to say his is an admiration I share. The house sparrows in our maple tree in the back yard have been raising holy hell of late and I just love it. We planted the tree not long after moving into the house 10 years or so ago and now I realize how very easy it is, indeed, to change the world.

This is Issa's birthday song ...

A few days ago, I was trying to help someone find a poem s/he couldn't remember the author or title of, all s/he could remember was some sensory impressions and that it was either by William Carlos Williams or Richard Brautigan (specifically The Pill Versus the Springhill Mining Disaster). Here's her/his description:

the only thing I remember is that it may have had something to do with a storm or disaster, and it tasted red and ashy. It was rather short as well and the final line was rather final.

Also, s/he remembered that it had been on the left hand page side. I felt from the last line that it was more likely to be Brautigan than Williams, so I went off to look through the Brautigan. I skimmed through the left sided poems but nothing. Than I realized that s/he had read it in one of those Brautigan omnibus editions and I thought the pagination might be different, so I skimmed the right sided poems. Nothing.

Well, not really nothing, because, though I didn't find the poem, I got totally rejazzed on Mr. B. I had reread The Pill last year and though I'd enjoyed it, it hadn't quite been the overwhelming experience I expected. Seems I must have been in some kind of funky snit because this time round I was delighted, cajoled, appalled, and all choked up in a fine mix of emotional falderol.

He had me at one, as the au currant saying goes.

Here's one by Mr. B. that grabbed me and that you don't see all over the net everyday:

To England

There are no postage stamps that send letters
back to England three centuries ago,
no postage stamps that make letters
travel back until the grave hasn't been dug yet,
and John Donne stands looking out the window,
it is just beginning to rain this April morning,
and the birds are falling into the trees
like chess pieces into an unplayed game,
and John Donne sees the postman coming up the street,
the postman walks very carefully because his cane
is made of glass.
Richard Brautigan

For those who might be interested, here's a link to a post I did for the library about how I became a reader. It explains a couple of my, er, eccentricities.

Lilliput Review #24, today's selection from the archives, comes from the distant land of September 1991, and is a broadside issue by one of today's best small press poets, Charlie Mehrhoff. He brings it big-time in a way today's household names rarely even dream of. Here's a taste:

with the dawn of fire

with the music
of the stone hammer

with the birth
of the ancient drum
hear now
hear now


prophet of the godless landscape
he sends his voice
into the cold stones
at the river's bottom
there to awaken
in the springtime
of broken ice

The Raven

said to her
are you into scarification

will you wear the leather mask
will you make me forget
the day of my birth
the eyes of the idol
the child of god
of rain

the impact of the poet:
one soul falling

& she wants the whole world
delivered in a second

i give her bells,
tell her to wait.

Charlie Mehrhoff

the Buddha pretends
to be born...
bells and drums

translated by David Lanoue

One final note: did you Stravinsky today? I did.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Issa's Sunday Service, #8

I've been reading the complete works of Anne Sexton for a second time, the first being over 20 years ago. It is every bit as powerful, if not more so, than the last time, but in a different way. I'm not ready to articulate that difference; I haven't put it together yet, so I thought I'd let Peter Gabriel do the talking for me in this 8th segment of Issa's Sunday Service. This week's LitRock song is "Mercy Street" by Peter Gabriel, his paean to Anne Sexton.

While poking around in YouTube I found a video that has Sexton reading the poem "All My Pretty Ones" over the instrumental intro and breaks (and some of the performance near the end) in the Gabriel song. Despite the static "video" presentation, or perhaps because of it, the juxtaposition works and both performances are enhanced.

bird hunter--
even for a fox
no mercy
translated by David Lanoue


Friday, June 12, 2009

"Routines of the Heart"

I've acquired, seemingly by accretion, a number of large projects that have been drawing my time and attention away from some of what I love best: reading, of all things (fiction particularly, but even a diminishment in poetry) and writing for this blog. One directly affects the other; the less I do outside reading, the less grist for posting. What I may do is scale back to 2 posts a week for awhile: the regular Wednesday archive post and Issa's Sunday Service (and the clever among you will know that really is scaling it back to one post a week or, say, 1½). I will continue to post as I get material that needs to be shared. Just thought I'd give you a head's up.

Two of the projects I'm caught up in are, I think, pretty exciting. They certainly are for me and, so, I'll be sharing info on them in a future post (see, I'm already thinking future posts).

Today, I ran across this fine little number via the Poem-A-Day project and thought its clarity, subtly, and resonance might just grab a reader or two. So here you go:

Mercury Dressing
To steal a glance and, anxious, see
Him slipping into transparency—
The feathered helmet already in place,
Its shadow fallen across his face
(His hooded sex its counterpart)—
Unsteadies the routines of the heart.
If I reach out and touch his wing,
What harm, what help might he then bring?

But suddenly he disappears,
As so much else has down the years...
Until I feel him deep inside
The emptiness, preoccupied.
His nerve electrifies the air.
His message is his being there.
J. D. McClatchy

This Sunday is the anniversary of the birth of W. B. Yeats. Perhaps I'll have more about that later. For now, I'll keep it brief (see above). Meantime, Sunday is also the anniversary of the birth AND death of Sidney Bechet. So, here's "St. Louis Blues" for a toe-tapping Friday afternoon.

the perfect thing
for an old-time evening...
thatch of irises
translated by David Lanoue


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Forthcoming Issues and Joanne Kyger

Click image to enlarge

I'm currently working on, among other things, the new issues of Lilliput Review, #'s 169 and 170. Above is a sneak preview of the covers, by regulars Guy Beining, on the left, and Wayne Hogan, on the right. In a one person operation, the process can be quite drawn out. I hope to begin to get the contributor copies out first, in about two weeks or so, followed by the regular subscriber issues, coming out in waves beginning around the first of July. These days it takes me about 6 or so weeks to get the full run in the mail.

Why, you may ask? I often ask myself the same question.

The reason is I generally am replying to correspondence, poems and letters and all, and I always try to communicate in some normal, human way, as opposed to speaking editorese. I'm not always successful, in these as in many things in life, but I keep on trying. Simultaneously, I'm replying to the poetry batches I received, otherwise my 90 day turnaround would balloon to unconscionable lengths. And then there is that pesky full-time job.

Just so ya know.

My proofer remarked how this time round there was lots that grabbed her attention, going beyond her normal dispassionate demeanor (and the usual by-the-way-there's-about-a-thousand-typos-this-time, bonehead ... I added the bonehead, she's too discrete for that, but it is how I feel). So, hopefully, there's lots of good stuff to look forward to.

Ed Baker, always on the prowl for new, interesting items, passed along a link to new, free online poetry publications from ungovernable press: specifically, to Joanne Kyger's new poem, Permission by the Horns (this is a .pdf file). For those of you unfamiliar with Kyger, her work has been associated with the Beats and the general San Francisco poetry revival, strongly reflecting her Buddhist predelictions. Here is a photo of Kyger with Gary Snyder and Peter Orlovsky from a pilgrimage to India in the early 60's (photograph by Allen Ginsberg).

In addition to Permission by the Horns, which shows her unique balance, both literally and stylistically, of the personal, the political, and the natural, you may also read 10 (More) Lovely New Poems by Kyger at Michael Mcclure and Ray Manzarek's website (yes, that, Michael McClure and that Ray Manzarek).

This week's featured back issue of Lilliput Review is #26, from November 1991. It was a themed issue in that it had no theme; titled Poems Without Segues 1, it was a larger than usual issue (8.5 x 4", 8 pages total, jam packed with 45 poems), in a somewhat desperate attempt to deal with a back log. The "without segues" part was me throwing my hands in the air and just fitting everything in I could with a crowbar. Here's some samples, beginning with what may be may favorite Lilliput poem of the 1st 20 years, followed by one of Steve Richmond's demon haunted "gagaku" poems:

in a fold
of Balzac's coat
spider eggs

William Hart

-------accused of
---------------self indulgent narcissism
------------------admit it

demons clap
they like me honest
Steve Richmond

fall from grace

long way
to the bottom
I'll hold
your hand
Michael R. Battram

after the demons
have all gone...
bright moon
translated by David Lanoue


Monday, June 8, 2009

Two Jacks or Better

A handful of new poetry books by California poet Jack Crimmins have come across my desk and there is some solid work to pass along. Two I've had the chance to look at are very good, indeed: Blue Cat Buddha and Summer / War / Haiku.

Blue Cat Buddha consists of 5 poems in memory of Beat great Jack Micheline. The lengthiest, "Poem With Blues Harp" (key of A), is one of those few modern pieces that actually bridges the gap between poem and song. Even rarer is a poet who tries to capture the "simple" rhythm of blues, though many have tried. Crimmins has done it in this fine piece which is worth the price of admission. Here's the poem that finishes off the collection:

I Speak of The Jazz Poets
---------------after a Micheline painting

you call me brother
and I say truth is our song
no more waiting in shadows
religion is crisp fire
and it is not religion we seek

oak trees in the hills
the hills themselves
your hands covered with paint

cats all around
the horses are spiritual beings-- you said
no one believed you

it's not about belief------------ you said
you said water and paint and luck and her eyes
and all our friends scattered

bring them together---- you said
write them a poem of madness
write them a poem of winter rain
write them a poem of horns beyond thunder
write them a poem and tell them

I was right
poetry and painting and the life of the spirit

and her eyes
in the music
of everything
Jack Crimmins

The second chapbook by Crimmins, Summer / War / Haiku, contains numerous haiku about art and war in the universal sense, not so much apolitical as beyond political, returning to the human in all things. Here's one that tugged deep at my heart strings:

San Francisco Haiku #7
Wind grips the wet coast.
Seven hills teach us about

gull sorrow and air.
Jack Crimmins

And one that returns us to his ongoing interest in Micheline:

Jack Micheline Painting Early At Susie's Ranch
That one will cost you
more because there's three things there.

Dog. Sun. Piano
Jack Crimmins

Seems to me, since poets are so notoriously under-compensated, that Micheline has come up with a sliding pay scale for poets as well as artists: payment by the number of things you stuff into a poem. Seems fair; the poor poet can try to catch up on back rent knowing what's needed.

Might even encourage some moderns to put something in their poems.

Just saying.

Dog. Sun. Piano.

I'm not sure where these chapbooks might be obtained (N. B. abebooks sounds like a good bet, plus see Jack's comment to this post) or what the prices might be. Blue Cat Buddha is 12 pages and Summer / War / Haiku is 20 pages. Both are published by Low Tech Press (P.O. Box 191 Kenwood, CA 95452), so that would be the logical place to start. And don't be fooled by the name: the chaps are simple but functional in design and execution, a very nice addition to anyone's shelves.

the dog stops barking...
lotus blossoms!
translated by David Lanoue


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Issa's Sunday Service, #7.5

This one is by request (see previous comments)

And since there is supposed to be some kind of LitRock connection on Issa's Sunday Service, I'm stretching the rules and counting Popa Chubby's version of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen, because he's a poet, plain and simple:

the goddess of spring
missed a few spots...
mottled mountain

translated by David Lanoue


Issa's Sunday Service, #7

This week's LitRock tune on Issa's Sunday Service goes all the way back to the early days of the renowned Greek bard, Homer. Notably, this was a song not replicated in Cream's recent dinosaur reunion. Here's Wikipedia's take on the song's inception:

The lyrics were written by Martin Sharp on the back of a beer mat, which he gave to Eric Clapton after a chance meeting. These lyrics were put to a melody inspired by Judy Collins' version of Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne" and chords inspired by The Lovin' Spoonful's "Summer in the City".

This is all news to me and I will let a sharper ear than mine ferret out the veracity or lack thereof here. I had always assumed the lyrics were by Peter Brown who, along with Keith Reid and Robert Hunter (who co-wrote all but one of the songs on the new Dylan album, Together Through Life, which I'm listening to as I type), are among rock's premier, if relatively unrecognized, classic lyricists. Sharp, who was Clapton's artist flatmate at the time, also designed the renowned cover for the album, Disraeli Gears, on which "Tales of Brave Ulysses" appeared.

The featured poem this week, as we count up from issue #1, is from Lilliput Review #10, in February 1990. Who knew a toad and a bucket of salt was so limiting? Enjoy.

Do you ask for mercy?

You will be given a toad
and a bucket of salt,
and nothing more.

Do not ask for more.
There is none.
David Castleman

evening cool--
the toad who comes out
I call "Lucky"
translated by David Lanoue


Friday, June 5, 2009

Dancing With the Wind

Well, according to the website Bashō's Road, Friday is bragging time around Lilliput Review: I'll let them do the honors and say thank you very much for a wonderful layout and a nice selection of work.

And, if you'll pardon the lack of humility for just a tad longer, Poet Hound has also posted some kind words and a great selection of recent work from a recent issue of Lillie: check it out.

You know, sometimes you need a little lift and that was just the ticket.

On to other, equally celebratory things. The week has almost passed without the acknowledgment of the birthday of one of greatest of 20th century poets, Allen Ginsberg, so it's time to correct that. Here's a couple of short ditties from the rareish chapbook Sad Dust Glories, from Workingmans Press:

Walking uphill woolen
------bag of letters on right
garbage pail left hand


Talking about fairies–
-----dragon fly
-----wings buzzing
-----------against the wall


Acorn people
------in kerosine lamplight
-----------reading newspapers

For the persnickety, kerosine is the poet's spelling, bless him.

And since all this puts me in a dancing kind of mood, let's remember the anniversary of the passing of Bo Diddley like so:

the tea smoke
and the willow
dance partners
translated by David Lanoue


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Delicateness of Mr. Snake

Cover by Bobo

A couple of links of interest, plus a call for poems this week. I tried to get permission to reprint a review of the Basho Haiku Challenge Chapbook over at Hellium but wasn't able to, so I've provided a link. The winning haiku by Roberta Beary was reprinted with some squirrelly alignment (and on odd, floating e), so here it is correctly aligned:

on the church steps
a mourning dove
with mother's eyes
Roberta Beary

A very nice review by Greg, in which he supplies a generous selection of work from the chapbook, which is a available for the paltry sum of $3, postage paid. Like the poet dreaming of a butterfly dreaming of a poet, I've already begun thinking about The 2nd Annual Bashô Haiku Challenge; I've tentatively scheduled the month of September to be the period of open submissions, but keep an eye peeled here for updates as the time approaches.

The new edition of Roadrunner published and there is a wonderful set of haiga by Shodo for the work of Santoka as translated by Scott Watson. Some really beautiful work, all around.

I received notice that there has been a change of editor over at Pudding Magazine and they anxiously wish to test the wherewithal of said Andy Roberts, hence the nigh breathless call for poems that follows (please also note: this is a paying gig guys, so get on it):

Pudding House Announcement

from the desk of
Jennifer Bosveld, president of
Pudding House Publications. . .

Poets, feel free to eavesdrop on this letter to the Pudding
HouseTeam, and take it personally as I value you as well.
This isprobably the most gigantic announcement out of
Pudding Househeadquarters in its history of 30 years,
and we've had some mighty big moments. If you love
something, set it free. And I love Pudding Magazine.

Andy Roberts accepts permanent appointment as new
Editor and Chief of Pudding Magazine: The Journal of
Applied Poetry


same focus and priorities--
Get Ready for a surge
in Pudding's
flight across and into
the attention of
America's poets

Andy Roberts about to capture the limelight--
taking over the post held by Jennifer Bosveld for 30 years.

Andy Roberts
has been on the radar at Pudding House for the past year
especially--and since first being published in our journal.
He has a wide publication history including but not limited
to: Ambergris, Rhino, Sulphur River, Albatross, Atlanta
Review, Atom Mind, Bellowing Art, Black Bear Review,
Blue Collar Review, Bogg, The Cathartic, Chiron Review,
Cider Press Review, Coal City, Cokefish, Crazyquilt,
Fulcrum, Gargoyle, Hanging Loose, Hiram Poetry Review,
Home Planet News, Miller's Pond, Modern Haiku and
many other haiku publications, Nerve Cowboy, Plainsongs,
Poetry Motel, Rag Mag, Roanoke Review, San Fernando
Poetry Journal, Slipstream, Third Lung, Voices
International, Windless Orchard, and many many more.
He has published mainly poetry but fiction as well. Andy
Roberts came along just in time to be included in The
Pudding House Gang this year--our full-length "sampler"
on our editorial taste and those working for you, the
American Poet. Now he's a venue manager and emcee for
Pudding House, literary representative, and all-around
executive assistant learning the ropes by wrapping his
mind and energies around the broad array of products
and events for Pudding House Publications, the largest
literary small press in America. Andy lives on Clime
Road in Columbus Ohio. Get to know him. He doesn't
have a website yet, but he will, I'm sure.

Let's blast Andy with work! What do ya say?

copy of the issue you are in. Featured poet gets 4 copies
and $10.

Send only your best poems by U.S. Mail (he wants the
thrill of getting real mail in his mailbox at the street,
you know? You must include email address, all contact
information, and the good old SASE. Jen says Andy will
probably be tougher than she was so don't send your also
-rans. Andy Roberts, Pudding Magazine Editor, 3070
Clime Road, Columbus Ohio 43223
Or send through email attachment: phone only if
you have something crucial to talk about with Andy and
email and mail cannot work for you:
614-607-6937 cell: 614-306-8814


This week's selection of poems from the archive comes from issue #27, November 1991. Chameleons, coyotes, snakes, fawns, crows, and toads had their way. Here's a taste:

My animal face grimaces
----and flees again into darkness
because I've come too close
------to remembering
David Richard

stands outside,
twists his face
in the window,
sticks his tongue out,
makes all of the boys and girls
in the classroom laugh.
Charlie Mehrhoff

crow on a rooftop
canoeist without a canoe
choking on dusk
and jukebox sentimentality
sawdust on the floor
coyote seemingly disappearing
in its own shadow
M. Kettner

Untitled Wednesday Poem
Can snake misbehave
in Jungle? Can cougar
error by mountain cedar?
My sad old knees ache in bed
in dream before dawn, but
know their job is to bring
my body to its resting place,
like full bloomed rose
in August, like cherry tree
its trunk absorbing moon's heat.
Pat Andrus

And, the traditional last word goes to the master:

what delicateness!
a snake too sheds
his worldly robe
translated by David Lanoue


Monday, June 1, 2009

Noelle Kocot and Ed Baker

Like all projects of this sort, "Poem-A-Day," from the Academy of American Poets, is rather scattershot, though I have run across a few gems I enjoyed quite a bit. Today, congratulations go out to Noelle Kocot, whose poem, "The Peace That So Lovingly Descends," is featured at "Poem-A-Day." I get the poems via email, though you can see them in a bunch at the archive link above. All the poems have been selected from new books published this spring. Noelle has been published a number of times in Lillie and her work has a personal uniqueness that is hard to cultivate in so few words. Here's today's poem:

The Peace That So Lovingly Descends
"You" have transformed into "my loss."
The nettles in your vanished hair
Restore the absolute truth
Of warring animals without a haven.
I know, I'm as pathetic as a railroad
Without tracks. In June, I eat
The lonesome berries from the branches.
What can I say, except the forecast
Never changes. I sleep without you,
And the letters that you sent
Are now faded into failed lessons
Of an animal that's found a home. This.
Noelle Kocot

Also, the magnificent Ed Baker's "Points / Counterpoints" has been published by Fact-Simile Editions via Issuu free for all to enjoy. Did I say free? Issuu is a great way to publish this work, a blend of the written word, art, and unique topography. The book is challenging stylistically, from an earlier period of Ed's work (copyright states 1970, 1973), yet contains his trademark serious/playfulness that has evolved into the holy fool feel many cherish up to this day. There is a cut and paste element, accompanied by swirling typography, that may surprise those familiar with his current work. The execution might be a bit different but the philosophy is all Ed. This is a return to print of some poetic history and, since it is on Issuu and may be downloaded, printed, shared, or embedded, here you go:

spring begins--
more foolishness
for this fool
translated by David Lanoue