Sunday, October 31, 2010

Poem: Samhain Prayer

Here is my Samhain Prayer from last year, edited a bit.

Have a magical meaningful night.



Samhain Prayer

Let us hope the humanosphere moves swiftly to break from its vector of nuclear doom.

Let us hope war is recognized for what it is: a black hole sucking us all down.

Let us hope mutual care trumps greed, and soon nary a person shall hoard money and ignore a starving child’s ribs.

Let us hope that wagging tongues yield to wide ears, and that the soft-spoken are honored rather than circumvented.

Let us hope fanatics lose their grip, and that all gods are validated except those that seek to be the only one.

Let us hope our leaders stop spitting terror out of angry mouths; and that misled flocks stop kneeling before them in collars of fear.

Let us hope all cultures mingle and mate in spiritual companionship. Should not we all be lovers in this sense?

Let us hope the light of education burns through webs of ignorance, freeing untold numbers of wings.

Let us hope denial and discord melt into delight, and that we see as children, with tears in our eyes because each color or scent or taste or touch or song is rare.

Let us fall down and beg the Fates to guide us away from our planet-killing path, the one we take when we buy poisons in the name of a shallow shine.

Let us pray we can be more than fussy ants, led by the pheromone of purse strings, rushing into Discount Hives where nothing was manufactured with love.

Let us take a deep breath, and realize what a treasure that one breath is, more so than any ingot or jewel.

Are we not all winners in the most important lottery of all: the journey of Life.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thirteen Rejections for Halloween

I don’t usually post my rejections. I get a lot of them all the time, and it isn’t fun to wallow in the NO. However, there was an intriguing synchronicity in getting thirteen “take a hike”’s in October. It seemed somehow an appropriate preface to the fearsome fun of Halloween.

Some of the rejections are actually kind and even good for my morale. Yes, it’s true. If I struggle hard, do my research, and treat the editors with the respect they deserve, sometimes they take the extra time to send a personal word or two my way.

I like a lot of these rejections!

So, without further delay, here are my Thirteen Rejections of Halloween. I actually feel a little giddy reading over them.



PS: These are all wonderful journals. Submit!


First rejection, Poemeleon

Thank for you allowing us to read your poems. Unfortunately they were not selected for inclusion in this issue, but we wish you the best in placing the work elsewhere.

Cati Porter, editor

Second rejection, Hobo Camp Review


Thank you very much for allowing me to read your work. While I am going to pass on this bindle this go 'round, please know that this is no reflection on your talent, and I hope it does not discourage you from submitting again for future issues.

Take care, and thanks again!

James H Duncan


Third rejection, Emprise Review

Dear [OWL],

Thank you for sending us "Five Poem Submission." We appreciate the opportunity to read your work, but unfortunately the piece is not what we are looking for at this time. I did, however, like "Truman."


The Editors
Emprise Review


Fourth rejection, Eclectica

Thank you so much for your continued support of Eclectica. I am always happy to read your work. I enjoyed all of the poems that you sent, "On the Couch," in particular. Thank you so much for your kind words about the summer issue.

All best wishes,

Jennifer Finstrom
Poetry Editor, Eclectica Magazine

Fifth rejection, Sixers Review


We appreciate your submission and want you to know it made it to the final rounds but unfortunately we will not be including your submission in the next issue.

We would like you to resubmit in the near future and wish you the best in finding a home for these particular poems elsewhere.

Very Best,

Sixth Rejection, Pedestal Magazine

Hi [OWL],

Thanks for your fine submission to Pedestal Magazine. While the editors enjoyed reading your work, it was not ultimately selected for inclusion in the upcoming October issue. Of course, please do submit again. We're always open to receiving work from you.


Brenda Miller

Seventh Rejection, Kenyon Review

Thank you for submitting your poetry. We regret that we are unable to use "Five Poems."

Your work has received careful consideration, which sometimes means a response less prompt than we would wish. Unfortunately, the large number of submissions prevents us from commenting on many worthy manuscripts.

[Personal note: We enjoyed the rich palette, esp. in "Crow in a Gale." But there were too many abstract/vague turns that detracted from the overall gesture, poem by poem. Good luck, and keep writing, KT]

We do appreciate your interest in The Kenyon Review.

The Editors


Eighth Rejection, The Minnesota Review

Dear [Owl Who Laughs]:

Thank you for sending "five poem submission" to the minnesota review.
Unfortunately, we are not able to accept your submission for the upcoming


Ninth Rejection, Cider Press Review

"Ominous" came close; may we suggest you consider giving it a more specific title?


Tenth Rejection, LA Review

Dear [OWL],

Thank you for submitting to The Los Angeles Review. While we have read your work with interest, it does not meet our editorial needs at this time. We appreciate your efforts, and wish you all the best in placing this work elsewhere.


Eleventh Rejection, No Tell Motel


Thank you for submitting your poems to No Tell Motel. We're honored
you considered us as an outlet for your work. However, we are unable
to use them.

Discreetly Yours,

Reb Livingston & Molly Arden


Twelfth Rejection, Off the Coast

Dear [OWL],

We regret to inform you that your poems have not been selected for inclusion in the fall issue of Off the Coast. Be assured that although over 500 poems were submitted, your poems have been read by at least three members of our editorial board.

Valerie Lawson and Michael Brown,

Editors and Publishers


Thirteenth Rejection, Iron Horse Lit Review

Dear [Owl Who Laughs]:

Thank you for submitting your work entitled Five Poem Submission to Iron Horse Literary Review. We appreciate the time and talent that goes into every submission we receive.

Unfortunately, we can only accept a small percentage, and this particular submission does not meet our current needs. The lack of capitalization is distracting, especially since the poems have mostly standard punctuation.

Thank you again for considering our journal, and we wish you success placing this submission elsewhere.

The Editors
Iron Horse Literary Review


Happy Halloween Everybody!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Release: EDGE 2010 Volume 4

The Lake Tahoe region is known for its majestic natural wonders, and once you look over this literary collection, you’ll be tempted to conclude that the artists and writers have been magically infused by the area’s beauty. EDGE 2010 contains a marvelous and stunning array of writing, photography and art. Even the texture of the paper and the smooth glossy cover are aesthetic, making this journal highly professional not only in content but also in the medium through which it is delivered.

Photographs and artworks are presented in full color. The definition is so smooth it seems you engage the originals themselves. Sprinkled among the visual treasures are superbly taut poems and devastatingly good short stories. The cumulative effect is empyreal in pleasure.

A few examples:

Navigations, an oil on panel by Shelly Hocknell Zentner, a luscious depiction of fruit slices, somewhat reminiscent of Van Gogh, appears next to “I was destroyed by God,” an existential examination by Dave Murcar.

Rain Dance
, an acrylic on canvas by Reds Regan, which combines a delightful mosaic of multihued cubes and the curvy lines of an alluring diva, rests between two great poems. One is “The Fern Seed Addict” by DeAnna Stephens Vaugh, winner of the 1st Annual EDGE Poetry Award.

The second is “God’s Bicycle” by Joel Peckham, which entices the reader with a manic theological cadence, ending with “I love you all I love / you I love you I love you all I / love you.”

Right after that is Fairy Peaking, a colored pencil of a cute sprite with purple eyes by Kristen Schwartz. This is paired with “The Sunflower At Dusk” by Naoko Awa (translated by Toshiya Kamei).

Finally, I just have to mention that my poem “Bug Meets Juice,” a comical excursion into the hazards of being a fly, gets the honor of settling in next to a delicious-looking hot fudge sundae. (Harlequin Romance, oil on wood by Kit Night). Yay, Kit!

The whole issue reads this way: packed with juxtapositions between disparate forms to encourage dialectic. There are twenty eight gems of visual art, sixteen poems and nine works of fiction, not to mention an interview with translator Toshiya Kamei. A true tour de force.

A meteor shower of kudos goes out to the team behind the scenes, a group that calls themselves Tahoe Writers Works. They are correct to say in their preface, “We don’t take the easy route with EDGE.” I concur with Bruce Rettig, Publisher and Editor when he says in his letter to contributors, “This is EDGE’s strongest issue.”

One final and unique aspect of this multi-part masterpiece: The business owners of Lake Tahoe have stepped up with fantastic sponsorship. I’ve never seen so many local ads in a lit journal. It demonstrates a special esprit. The Lake Tahoe region proudly stands behind the creative nucleus of their community.

Something healthy and cooperative is going on around Lake Tahoe. It makes me want to visit!

Here are some of the local businesses that love art. Their names make me want to visit, too:

Valhalla Arts, Music & Theatre Festival 2010
Blue Water Bistro
Red Rooster Retreat
Tahoe Arts And Mountain Culture
Charter Advertising/Design Inc.
Café Girasole
Aprés Wine Company
Sundance Bookstore & Music
Tahoe Mountain News
Keynote Used Records and Books
Bike Habitat
Eddy Street Book Exchange
Iron Horse Cantina
Bona Fide Books

(Bona Fide Books is run by Kim Wyatt, Managing Editor of EDGE. I’ve had some dealings with her before, and she’s very kind, smart and supportive. She has even posted one of my poems at her site, complete with audio!: )

If you want a rich journal of multiple media in a beautifully perfect bound edition, look no further. EDGE will transport you to realms both cerebral and emotional. Not only that, you will feel like you’ve taken a trip to Lake Tahoe and met some most stimulating folks.

OWL out.

PS: Staff at EDGE

Editor and Publisher: Bruce Rettig
Managing Editor: Kim Wyatt
Fiction Editor: David Anderson
Poetry Editor: Andrea Wexelblatt
Editorial Intern: Hannah Elder


Sunday, October 24, 2010

America's Evil Wars

Two important blasts of truth just erupted through the haze of obstruction around the United States' current wars. One is the wiki-leak posting of hundreds of thousands of documents from inside the military command. These documents expose an environment of depravity that gives full force to William Tecumseh Sherman’s claim “War is hell.”

The wiki-leaks papers show that the Iraq Army tortured prisoners on a wide scale with the knowledge of the US military. This torture was just as bad as that inflicted under the previous regime of Saddam Hussein.

In other words, the claim that we are fighting for human rights has gone down the toilet along with the rest of our leaders’ excuses and deceptions. Iraq is currently a vicious place to live, where the people still have no reliable electricity after seven years, despite the disappearance of billions of dollars into Dick Cheney’s corporate buddy Halliburton, which was given no-bid contracts.

I still remember how George W. Bush and his lackeys told us that the war in Iraq would be over in a matter of months. HAH!

The sleaze and torture and sick twisted violence are utterly disgusting. It is amazing and sad that the population of the US is so brainwashed and shallow that they cannot own up to the evil that their Empire is inflicting.

This brings me to the second important moral message: Bob Herbert’s excellent and incisive piece in the New York Times titled “The Way We Treat Our Troops”:

It is easy to sum up this brilliant article: we treat our youths in uniform like shit and we don’t even seem to care. The vast bulk of the US population plods through its day without even a second of wonder about how much pain and fear these young men and women are immersed in.

Our collective karma as a nation is going straight into darkness. Herbert damns us with stinging insights about our denial and immaturity:

We can get fired up about Lady Gaga and the Tea Party crackpots. We’re into fantasy football, the baseball playoffs and our obsessively narcissistic tweets. But American soldiers fighting and dying in a foreign land? That is such a yawn.

Herbert also makes it clear that the two wars we are now fighting are ridiculous and abominable. They have no definite goal, they have been horribly bungled, and they are utterly compromised by sin. He calls both the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts “world-class fiascos.”

Regarding the Afghan nightmare, he is particularly hard-hitting:

The war in Afghanistan, the longest in our history, began on Oct. 7, 2001. It’s now in its 10th year. After all this time and all the blood shed and lives lost, it’s still not clear what we’re doing. Osama bin Laden hasn’t been found. The Afghan Army can’t stand on its own. Our ally in Pakistan can’t be trusted, and our man in Kabul is, at best, flaky. A good and humane society would not keep sending its young people into that caldron.

Herbert is right. We are no longer a “good and humane society.” We need to WAKE UP now. Otherwise, if there is a God in heaven we are all going to the fiery pits. Branded across our naked chests, in small yet agonizing font, will be the same statement of divine judgement:


What is wrong with us?


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Case Study: A seventy-year-old human lies on his deathbed complaining about the unfairness of life. Somehow he has forgotten the sixty-nine years before, full of opportunities to participate in miracles. He lived in a wealthy country and possessed material comfort. Compared to most people on the planet, he enjoyed privilege and luxury. His family stands near him. And yet he whines. What is the lesson in this?

Aya RavenSpeak

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What would time be without seconds or minutes? Or even hours? What would it be like to live where beauty, not numbers, guided the day?

Aya RavenSpeak

Monday, October 18, 2010

Poem: Manic

This poem was originally published in MiPoesias, a wonderful journal that was run, at the time, by Didi Menendez (who is one of the great movers and doers in the poetry world).

This might be the best representation of my crazed tempestuous side.

Thank you for reading!




egg-laden heart,
each pump breaks a shell,
my body raucous
with the vim of fledglings--
i can’t fathom or organize
their bleats; they puke out phrases
crude and scattershot;
they frenchkiss like amoebas,
copulating, birthing a slurry
of prattle, churning
in gabby veins.

nothing can slake
the fluid jabberwocky;
my brain twitches
like a crushed sitar’s strings--
the allegro headlong, tinnier,
rising to aggravate;
does anyone see the bedlam
in my jugular?
are my pupils spasming
like vibrios?

my headache can’t fatten
quick enough, like a petri dish
hellbent to balloon--
zillions of tadpoles, chicks and midges
paint an image of god
i don’t want to see--
someone rip it out,
this frantic canvas of dots
before it uncouples my mind.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My Chapbooks Go On Sale Online at Northern Tides!

In Lubec, my tiny coastal hometown, we have a wonderful art gallery called Northern Tides, run by Deb and Jerry Kasunic. I was very pleased that they recently asked me if they could distribute my books through their website:

To go directly to my bio, photo and poetry, you can go to the link at the very top of this post; but I recommend spending some time on the website, taking in the pictures of our town, and learning a bit about its history. You’ll find that Northern Tides is a critical nexus in Lubec’s burgeoning arts community.

Deb and Jerry deserve a big cheer for taking leadership roles in promoting the arts. They’ve been in business since 2007 and in that time, I’ve seen the local esprit grow tremendously.

Keep in mind, Lubec is not an enclave of wealth. We are situated in one of the poorest counties in the entire United States. Last year, our high school was shut down, one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen around here.

If you buy one of my chapbooks through the website, it will do a great deal to advance my poetry. Why? Because only three of my chapbooks are currently for sale at Northern Tides, but any purchase will result in all six of my current chapbooks being put on web display. You can make this Owl do a back flip of delight!

So please consider supporting me and also Lubec’s cadre of creative thinkers. I work many hours each day to perfect my word spells. Behind my toil is an obsessive quest to heal the Earth by stimulating an enduring and salubrious empathy.

Thank again to Deb and Jerry.

And a big thank you to anyone who reads this.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bread And Circuses

Panem et circenses or “bread and circuses” was the lament of the Roman poet Juvenal as he watched the citizens lose their moral depth to trivial sideshows, including the gruesome spectacle of the Circus and the Arena. This pathetic failure of the people foreshadowed the decline of the Roman Empire.

Sadly, the accusation of panem et circenses applies with little qualification to the populace of the United States today. The multitudes feast on lowbrow theater, including crime drama of the most horrific sort. Stories about serial killers, complete with very graphic scenes, are constant. You can find at least a few on television every night.

Last night, for instance, on a show called NCIS Los Angeles, the mission of the federal agents was to stop someone who was burying 14-year-old girls alive. The episode included mock video clips of these girls bound and gagged in their makeshift caskets. It looked very real.

Alfred Hitchcock’s’ 1960’s classic Psycho is incredibly scary, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the sadistic and demonic gore of the typical serial killer seen every night on the airwaves. These monsters routinely bondage and butcher sexy women, many of them underage teens. The viewer gets a lewd prolonged view, not just a hint.

Hitchcock’s genius was to use suspense to maximize impact. Today, there is no genius in the dark tale, only an attempt to shock and arouse through disturbing leaps in sexual perversion.

Even worse are the blood flicks, such as the Saw movies, which basically present a couple hours of eroticized torture, crafted to be as absorbing and “spine-tingling” as possible. In one Saw sequel, a young woman is chained naked with her hands above her head as she slowly freezes to death.

This is presented for minutes. We don’t get merely a hint of her fate, or watch a few seconds of the aftermath. Her whole body is shown freezing up close. The camera lingers a long while so the audience can ‘enjoy’.

Teenagers and children, once taboo in the entertainment industry as the focus of rape and sadomasochism, are now constantly defiled. Shows like Law and Order: Special Victims Unit specialize in kiddie atrocity. Graphic shots of the infernal despoilment of children are common.

Another show that specializes in serial killers, including close-ups and raw sadism is Criminal Minds. Every episode has another Satan-worthy fiend.

To deviate for a moment from this parade of evil, there is another genre that is utterly inane: the reality TV romance. In this puerile kind of drama, horny youths are exposed in ‘real life’ acting in psychologically pathetic ways. The point is to titillate the viewer with the obsessions of immature and selfish people, whose main goal, it seems, is to jump someone's pants by whatever vulgar means possible. The result is a spectacle of buffoonish behavior worthy of drunken dogs.

Even musical shows with positive elements, like Glee, contain a vast dose of escapism. Take the sexiest teenagers, combine them with the most perfect voices, the best possible choreography, and put them in a lip-sync world which is more like Broadway stage than the complexity of life, and you get Glee.

Watching Glee, or serial killers, or reality romance will get you a good dose of libidinous rush, pandering mostly to the dark side (though in the case of Glee you get some great art and positive messages about equality, merged in with the underage rut).

There's emphasis on how selfish and competitive people are; how much evil is ‘out there’ to harm you; and how you are secondary, because beautiful young people are the most desirable and important of us all, not for their intelligence but rather because the have youthful appeal and physical flexibility, which apparently are prerequisites for the ability to stimulate.

What you won’t get is any way out of this Matrix. The shallow mentality of the US citizen is sick with mirrors and locked doors. Until the people wake up--realize that their Empire has done horrible things, and that their myopic greed is the fuel of their downfall and degeneration--they will cling to their escapist dramas, which prophetically are full of sights worthy of the pits of hell.

Their politicians will continue to pander to the lowest elements in the human spirit, stoking racism and the specter of evil; denigrating the importance of books and education in favor of the fear-inducing violence of war.

Indeed, our politicians, the Republicans mostly, don’t really want people to become educated. Education is the enemy of their idiotic appeals, their attempts to leash their followers to terror and insecurity. The more intelligent you sound, the more Un-American you are.

Like Juvenal, I am forced to cry out:



Monday, October 11, 2010

Release: The Toucan Issue 8

Readers have been anticipating the latest release of The Toucan and Issue 8 is finally squawking the squawk. Editrices Liz and Laura apologize quite generously for the delay, in two posts no less. One is titled “We’re Falling Asleep, But It’s Up!” and the other is that venerable refrain: “Stress and Coffee.”

If you were curious what these highly intelligent editors (oops, they prefer “editrices”) are like when REM deprived, strung out on caffeine, and wallowing in nerves, ponder no more. The result is a verbal mania that nevertheless retains the wit and banter these brave writers have become known for.

Have no fears, the quality of The Toucan is unfazed by their exhausted delirium. In fact, Issue 8 might be the best ever.

Here is part of the delightfully manic intro:

This issue is a bit shorter than the two previous, but it sure hits the mark for quality. The scales are tipped for fiction, we admit. Maybe it’s the alliteration, fall, fiction, “Flower Power”…and by the time you finish that one you’ll have even more questions about what’s in the mascot’s cigar. But there’s a sobering, bracing quality to the work. Suicide is contemplated, death is pondered, realizations laid bare, voyages meet with “Various Crash Landings” and THE HIPPY IS GOING EXTINCT! Eventually, “It All Becomes Fiction” and fall is as good a time as any to remind ourselves of that. But we do wish our readership would avoid bears, otherwise you might be pondering death sooner than you think.

That last bit is a reference to “Mountain Guide for Avoiding Bears,” a poem by William Neumire, which is included in the Issue.

The Toucan is published entirely in a blog format, which leads to a towering column of story and poem that spills over three or four separate pages. To read the whole thing, you have to keep clicking on “Older Posts,” an elusive ant-sized specter at the bottom of your scroll down.

There is no table of contents either (hard to do in blog format). Being the congenial Owl that I am, I hereby provide an unofficial list of all the poetry contributors in Issue 8 (in no particular order):

William Neumire
John Grey
[Owl Who Laughs]
Dan Cirilo
Paul Handley

As you can see, there are only five of us, but wonderful stuff. I hope you get a chance to drop by. You’ll also find excellent color photographs woven into the text. One is the most handsome picture of a toucan I’ve ever seen (keep in mind, though, that I’m not an ornithologist). And the other, titled “Duality” is quite sexual. Though whether it is erotic or philosophic or artistic--or all three-- depends on the wandering eye of the beholder.

Toucans and owls don’t normally mix, but an exception is in order for this fantastic production by Liz and Laura. Check out Issue 8 for sure!


PS: Here’s a shortcut to my poem (“Field Towards Road”), if you want:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

We're All Thugs

A Nobel Peace Prize was just awarded to Liu Xiaobo, who is in jail in China because he spoke out for free speech and democracy. Beijing called the award an “obscenity,” reinforcing how despicable the government there is--and how we in the United States are sadly complicit in bringing about the rise of this gargantuan force of tyranny.

It seems like at least half of what we buy is “Made in China,” and has been for decades. Our government claims to fight for human rights but it's really about economics.

Isn’t human rights the reason we took out Saddam Hussein in Iraq? (After the excuse about “weapons of mass destruction” was revealed as a lie). If we took out Hussein for human rights violations, why do we keep making China stronger by giving Beijing oodles of cash?

Answer: We invaded Iraq for oil, not to help the Iraqis.

The government of China is ethically repugnant. And unlike the invective poured on Hussein, there’s almost no condemnation from our media. Our politicians say nothing either. Why?

Because we are all corrupt. We like being able to make purchases on the dirty and cheap. Not just one thing once in a while, but lots of things all the time. Things we don’t even need. Where do these wonderfully cheap things come from?

They come from a country that spits on our bill of rights. A country that takes us ten steps back toward the Dark Ages. For decades, sweatshop workers in China have toiled like dogs and were treated like dogs. Any protest was met with incredibly cruel punishment. Summary execution was common.

The problems are still immense today. Just ask Liu Xiaobo. Oops, you can't. The Communist Party of China (CPC) put him in jail for daring to want freedom of speech.

But the good citizens of the United States have never really cared about Liu Xiaobo or where our products come from. We’re all hypocrites. We’re all thugs.

In my opinion, the reason the US Empire is in decline, sinking fast, has much more to do with moral decay than anything else. Our “economic choices” are dictated by greed. The result is to turn our backs on the oppression of tens of millions of people.

Since World War II we have been a narcissistic consumer society, swilling products with a devil-may-care attitude concerning our karma. We’re a nation of me instead of a nation of we. Money has been our God and it is telling and ironic that we inscribe “In God We Trust” on our currency.

The answer to all our problems, ironically, is to start acting like good Christians instead of don’t-tax-me pigs. (keep in mind I’m not a Christian but I’d be happy if people acted as meekly and kindly and givingly and spiritually as the Bible says).

All I see are Christians ranting and raving about how much they hate our black Islamic President who actually is a Christian. The hate-filled protesters cuss because they don’t want to pay for their neighbor who is dying of cancer, even if it is only a small tax on their carbonated sugar drink.

Our government has been subverting and preventing democracy in other countries for a long time. The reason is always claimed to be national security, but the dictators we install and support have been friendly to the economic priorities of our corporations.

Our fat cats have touchy-feely relationships with our politicians, so you see how that goes.

(The latest incarnation of this is Halliburton and Dick Cheney. Where did all those billions funneled into US business in Iraq go? The Iraqi people STILL don’t have reliable electricity.)

Did you know that the USA supported Saddam Hussein for years and gave him huge amounts of military support? Did you know that when he first gassed his own citizens, we turned the other way?

Why? Because then he was our ally against Iran.

Did you know that the Taliban was our ally against the Soviets in Afghanistan and that we gave them tons of military training and aid? Yes, it’s true, Osama bin Laden was one of our buddies.

If you don’t know this, or that the US has been supporting thugs and Darth Vaders all along, you are willfully blind.

All you have to do is look at our economic relationship with China to see that money is far more important to us at all levels--from the citizen on up--than promoting human rights.

We’re a sick greedy country that binged itself into a housing market crash. It was a headlong chase after profit. It was spiritually immature and idiotic. Virtue and Jesus had nothing to do with it. In fact, we don’t want ethics. We want our next Caribbean vacation or a new widescreen TV.

Folks, we have been seduced by our inner demons. That’s why we’re going down. Don’t blame anyone but the American people, we divided dumb petty griping spoiled brats, and the demagogues who we foolishly serve because they play to our hatred and fear so well.

History will remember us as the short-lived empire that gave birth to the monstrous police state of China. And once China is supreme, I tremble for human rights everywhere.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

I'm a "Great Regular"!

Rus Bowden is running the most amazing show in poetryland, a razzle-dazzle of the latest greatest news on swarms of wonderful poets:

I happen to be included in the latest swarm. You’ll have to scroll down to the list of “Great Regulars” to find the blurb on me (my publication in CounterPunch). Or try this link:

I could see myself as a “regular,” since I’ve published over 500 poems. It has been a continuous road of toil over many years, including thousands of rejections, plus editing my vast trove of hopefuls (a new draft gets added almost every day).

What’s pleasing and special is that someone has decided to call me a “Great” regular. I appreciate that. Maybe with all the heartwork I’ve put in, a few gems have emerged among all the crap and coal.

Thank you, Webmaster Bowden! Not just for giving my morale a very needed zing, but for your hard work producing a weekly info blog that has more connections to interesting poetry sites than I’ve ever seen on a single page.

And believe me, I’ve wandered many a literary garden.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Release: Forge 4.2

Forge just released issue 4.2, and it is well worth checking out:

The poetry is wonderful. I'm honored that my poem "Spider" is included.

As an added bonus, the cover art by Robin Ator (who works professionally animating characters for TV commercials) is quite erotic. Well, I think so anyway. It's not often you get to see eight naked women and a rooster.

Anyway, an excellent job by Chief Editor Leif Milliken and staff.

A great big HOOT of approval!


Friday, October 1, 2010

Acceptance: CounterPunch

CounterPunch is a nationally relevant magazine edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair. It's a VAST honor to have my poem "Killing Guilt" in their "Poets' Basement," which is edited by Marc Beaudin.

This is one of those very special moments in my life as a poet, one that will affect motivation and morale for a long time.

The ethical state of the world is so F*#(Ked up and to be heard, even a little, from the depths of my artistic soul is very validating.