Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Poem: Hobo

Here is one of the three poems that recently went up at Carcinogenic Poetry:


May it edify in some small way.




the struggle
has turned his urges
into railroad tracks.
a wanderlust that pokes
holes in his penniless coat.
he scrounges for copper
among roadside gabble,
mingles with nameless folk
hot with sin in torrential cold.

lustful ribs
trap them all within a single cage.
he gets dragged into the muck,
earning a few claps,
and then off on a binge
whiny with joy, wiggling
against a late asphalt
shapeshifting lover.

it turns out to be the wind,
only she--she who has been tying knots
through sobbing throats.
he is not happy with the sex
as they slur and blur into one,
surrendering as addicts do.
when she finally goes, he lies down,
irrelevant in numbness,
except for dried grass
which crackles against his nape.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Acceptance: Carcinogenic Poetry


Three of my poems ("Hobo," "Big Collapse," and "Prophecy") just went up at this incredible blog-style journal. They are currently the featured works.

(However, if you are reading this in retrospect, scroll down to August 26)

If all else fails, here is a direct link:

Owl in Carcinogenic Poetry

Michael Aaron Casares is the editor, and under his leadership the website has amassed a large and steadily increasing group of followers. If you're wondering about the name of the journal, the site's motto is helpful: "The truth is to lies like cancer."

Casares' own poetry is most beautiful and eloquently wrought. Scroll down to August 20 to see two of his evocative pieces.

It is a great honor to be published, once more, by the discerning and empathic Mr. Casares. I wholeheartedly recommend Carcinogenic Poetry as an oasis in our toil-ridden world.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Poem: Pharmaceutical

This poem originally appeared in Offcourse, run by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg, and is one of my favorite creations.





granular mixture,
once root, bud and agave teat,

now synthesized, brainwashed
and hoodwinked

into a clean cousin
of LSD, capsule
that settles the suicidal,

alka seltzer for the head,

bathing neurons in fizz
till they’re too numb to think.

such white pure beach sand,
dissolving in the boudoirs
of the intimate mind—

like Jamaica ingested,
complete with Mai Thai,

and a hammock so limp
and spineless you hardly know

the fabric is you.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Acceptance: Boston Literary Magazine



It’s a tremendous honor to me that Robin Stratton, editor of Boston Literary Magazine, has decided to take my poem “Truman” for the fall issue. BLM is an extremely fine venue, which alone makes this acceptance wonderful; but what truly adds to my joy is that Stratton is a marvelous, special person.

First of all, Blue Mustang Press recently published her first novel, On Air. It already has splendid (5-star) reviews on Amazon. I purchased a copy and look forward to the read. I have know Stratton for years as a distant acquaintance (she published me a few years ago), and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of a book contract. She works ferociously and also (here’s the kicker) spends a lot of time helping and advising other writers. Her kindness is outrageous. I don’t know anyone as giving as her in the literary world.

She runs BLM as Editor-in-Chief (with the assistance of Managing Editor Lucy Spinetti), and what a job she does! For instance, when I submitted a few years ago, she responded within 5 minutes. It was a witty, memorable and slightly ribald acceptance note--nothing boilerplate, but instead original and personalized. This was my fastest acceptance from a professional journal, not one of those pay-us-$20 kind of scams that hit you with an auto response. I will never forget this fantastical and a little eccentric introduction to Robin Stratton. Her vivacity, intelligence and discernment were apparent right away and took me by sudden storm.

On top of all I’ve said above, she has a good heart. She is always working to help others, to spend time with her family, and somehow, miraculously, to nurture her own projects. She is much more talented than the vast majority of folks; and yet she is humble and generous to all. If there is an angel in disguise on this planet, it must be Stratton. No one is more worthy of having their novel published and I am thrilled vicariously for this great moment in her life.

Check out BLM! And then go to Robin Stratton’s website to learn more about this scintillating person, one of those magical outliers who makes the rest of us raise our heads up out of our own selfishness and stare at a nascent star.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Link To My Jane Crown Radio Interview!


(Click on Crittenden)

My interview with Jane Crown is up and ready for download! What a great honor to be on her show. She has interviewed many luminaries. As she says on her website: “interviews with some of America's best and brightest poets, from the renowned to the underground.”

Who knows why I was included? Maybe because I obsess on details. A few good poems have evolved from the primeval cauldron of my heart. If only it didn’t take many months, or years, to find some bit of glow.

Jane Crown was a marvelous host, who asked soul-touching questions that trembled my cordial facade. I mumbled and said “Um” countless times, but her quick-witted verve and fleet skill led me along. In less than an hour, she unpacked and polished my poorly presented worldview. I laughed awkwardly and rambled. I spewed flawed bits of wisdom wrapped in clumsy phrases, which lurched about like drunken sparrows.

If you listen to the interview, you will notice two things: how poorly I read my poems and how thrilled I am to gab. I consider myself an introvert, but I sure seem to love the spotlight. What can I say? It has been years since my last interview. I may never get another.

Maybe vanity is acceptable in moderation?

Ugh! I don’t know who I am. Being interviewed makes you ponder yourself in fresh ways. My personality seems to have sprouted new sides. Maybe art has fractured any hope I had of being a unitary person. Art is all. Creating at the poetic level is like injecting yourself into yourself. Even being 10% honest is a flirtation with the unstable.

Of course, who wants to live in a stable?

The real star, of course, is Jane Crown. She has interviewed hundreds of poets, a monumental cross-section of a sizeable pantheon. She knew me through her research, knew what to ask, everything from suicides to cyborgs.

Thank you, Jane. It was an absolutely unforgettable experience. You’ve elated a jaded philosopher-poet. You made me dance. I didn’t even waste time asking why.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

They are like cows and anxiously bored, while I am alive and free. But I am going to die soon and they will live on for many muted decades. There are worse fates than death.

Ozcar Crane, Outside Liberation


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fan Mail for "Evil Queen"

I don't get fan mail very often, but when it happens, it's a very much appreciated boost. Someone (name unknown) contacted me recently to say they liked my poem "Evil Queen," which recently appeared in Red River Review.

I'm going to re-post the poem here. Thank you anonymous fan!



Evil Queen

ugly and unanswered,
she no longer sees herself
in her face.
each wrinkle a ligature
that strangled a sin.

some lines knots
caught up in how everything
came to this.
no kudos for outliving
the secrets in her bones,
or her critics who died
of disaster.

years have gone down
like poker cards, pretty faces
hostage to shovels or sex.
no one left at the table now
except Hades, who always
ups the ante and never fails
a bluff.

staring into his eyes,
blank as hell-fired chips,
she can feel their weight
and the little numbers
etched in granite.
this time she will lose,
even with diamonds
to play.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Interview: Jane Crown Poetry Radio

I'm being interviewed by Jane Crown at 5pm today for her radio show:


Being a hermit in the woods has pretty much destroyed my verbal and social skills, so it should be very interesting, though perhaps not in the way I would like.

I will post a link to the interview on this blog--or you can simply go to the above website.

My tongue is turning into an ossified pretzel already.



Thursday, August 4, 2011

An Epitaph For The Damned

The quote below, from an article announcing the creation of a huge shark sanctuary in the Pacific, somehow seems to capture the stupid cruelty of the human beast, and also how human society feeds off and fosters paranoia and gluttony, while mutilating the great natural magic of this Earth.

Here, then, is an astute epitaph for the damned:

While watching sharks stalk their prey to eerie soundtracks may make for heart- stopping television, the fact is that sharks are responsible for the death of only two to three people each year. Yet people kill nearly 73 million sharks annually, primarily for their fins to meet a demand for shark-fin soup in Asia. Nearly one-third of all shark species are threatened with extinction.



Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Acceptance: WHL Review

WHL Review, whose Poetry Editor is Irene Koronas, took three of my poems: "Stormy," "Flooded Gutter" and "Half Awake."

This journal has been a steady supporter of my work, and without them I might have crumbled. This is my only acceptance for a while, and it probably will be my only acceptance for quite a while longer--because I am just too tired to do any submissions.

I keep writing poems, draft after draft, polishing them up. But I have nothing left afterward. All my heart goes into the words and afterward, I'm spent. Totally spent