Saturday, June 21, 2014

When you have nervous energy, and cherries...

...the thing to do is to bake a cherry pie, from scratch, with sweet butter in the crust, and fresh pitted cherries. My reading is tomorrow, I've got everything ready, and I'd rather have my jitters in the kitchen where I will have something to show for it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

This Sunday, June 22 2014, at 2 pm, I read in the Fourth Sundays series at the Claremont Public Library

What it says. I'll be reading with the illustrious B.H. ("Pete") Fairchild, recipient of many awards, collaborator with many other illustrious writers. The H stands for "Harold", and is that not truly one of the best writers' names you have ever heard?? Herald (or Fair-haired, perhaps) Fair Child. I am merely Purified Green Tree. I am very pleased to have this gig so soon after the publication of Eggs Satori; it's a friendly bit of timing. Shout-out to Sammy Greenspan of Kattywompus Press. But back to Pete. My first thought was to pick out poems of mine that are in his style--I have a few. My swiftly-following second thought was that mine were likely not to measure to up his. My tentative but dawning third thought was that I might be better off not competing with Pete, as it were. There are poems and styles and modes I write that he does not. Why not play up my own strengths, rather than invite comparison to his? I mean, the guy's a master. He's been doing this since his teens. Seriously, I think his first collection was published when he was in his 20s. I've been writing all that time also, but not solely and steadily. My doctorate is not in Litt. I have not been apprentice of nor been mentored by sundry Great Twentieth Century Poets. As Martha Graham said, if I do not speak in my own voice, what I have to say will never be expressed in any other medium, and will be lost.

An example, soon to appear in Goreyesque:

Because of his hairline’s retreating,
old Ovid declaimed, Life is fleeting,
            but Art, she lasts long.
            This he put in a song,
and found it improved with repeating.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bloomsday 2014

— I —    
Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him on the mild morning air.

He held the bowl aloft and intoned:
Introibo ad altare Dei.

Halted, he peered down the dark winding stairs and called out coarsely:

—Come up, Kinch! Come up, you fearful jesuit!

* * *

. . .and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes
when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red
yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall
and I thought well as well him as another
and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes
and then he asked me would I yes to say yes
my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes
and drew him down to me
so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes
and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will

--courtesy of The Project Gutenberg EBook of Ulysses, by James Joyce

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Eggs Satori, my second poetry collection, is here.


Eggs Satori is finally published. The collection originally took an Honorable Mention (or was it Special Merit?) in Pudding House's 2010 chapbook contest. The publisher had a severe health crisis, and brought in her son to take on the chapbook end of things--and then he died, suddenly and unexpectedly. Pretty awful. After a few years, I sent my second collection, Burrowing Song, to Sammy Greenspan of Kattywompus Press. She picked it up and last year printed up a very handsome chapbook. Somewhere in correspondence I mentioned to her that I had another collection, though in limbo. "Let me take a look," she wrote graciously. I sent her the file, and she picked up that one too. Naturally, in the four intervening years, I had written more poems, and had stronger work to include, mealier work to delete. Sammy has brought this one into existence, featuring my photo below as cover art. In this regard (and no other) I am like Beethoven, whose First Symphony (first published and performed) was composed after his Second.

I would be charmed as hell to send you a copy. Like all Kattywompus publications, it is priced at $12. If you want a copy of Burrowing Song as well, you get a discount, two chapbooks for $20, such a deal. Just email me at with your address. I'll tell you how to go from there. I'll absorb shipping costs in the name of art. And eggs.

Below, one of the poems in this collection:

Exchange student’s ghazal

A Jewish girl, in love with old things German.
Opera, poetry, quartets for strings in German.

Streets of concrete cubes, all closed and locked.
What Kafka meant:  nothing mingles in German.

With tea or coffee, elaborate torte must be served.
For birthdays, flowers you must bring in German.

In the first warmth, all go outside bare-armed.
Shed boots and heavy coats. Spring in German.

We walked at dawn in North’s mild light.
Our little private summer fling in German.

We couldn’t understand what each one wanted.
We gave each other hurts and stings in German.

Oktoberfest.  Rivers of beer, brewery tents, ponds of piss.
Barmaids heft liter-steins and everybody sings in German.

Change your job?  Only for misfits.
No one has new wings in German.

I love you, care in vain.  Go where you are headed anyhow.
You need to live where you were born, to cling to German.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Verses and Flow, part 5: Tonya S. Ingram


Tonya S. Ingram gave her poem, "Unsolicited Advice to Skinny Girls Who Bite Their Fingernails," and she was fantastic. Excellent flow, sure, also great rhythm and emphasis and timing. And judicious use of repetition. She had the audience laughing, gasping, and nodding in recognition. I've invited her to read for Fourth Sundays at the Claremont Library sometime in 2015. Still waiting for you to settle on a month, Tonya. HINT.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Lexus Verses and Flow, part 4: the seating of the beautiful people

First of all:  Beautiful People. There were plenty of them. I wish I had been better advised about the more-or-less dress code, because I actually do have a Little Black Dress and black suede heels, and I would have loved to have been in them. It wasn't only the outfits, although there was plenty of style and flair, and a great deal of self-expression. No; these were exceptionally pretty people (youth helps, of course).

Second: the beautiful people got seated first, at the front. We, being friends/guests of the show-runner, got fine seats in the center towards the back. Thus, I was in a good position to watch the stage manager (who looked pretty swank herself, in a sort of 40s slinky dress and up-do) arrange the BPs the way I might arrange flowers in a bouquet. You, over there, take this table in front; you, no, you're too tall, change places with the girl behind you; you two with the great headdresses, you make a good accent right here. The woman in front got admonished not to set her purse on the table--it would have interfered with the candlelight, would have made the table look fussy instead of very very cool.

Third, they were taking no chances at all that the poets themselves might spoil the image. Here, unawares, some tech person is applying make-up to the next performer. Naturally, everyone is watching.

I had so much fun!