I am thrilled to have two poems, “Yellow” and “Fruit of Your Offspring”, in the new issue of the completely revamped online journal Elsewhere Lit. They have poetry, prose, and visual art to please the eyes and heart. Take a few minutes to check out this gorgeous site ran by Nandini Dhar and others. Includes work by my friend and Cadence poet, J.D. Isip.
The possibility of birth since our death
has passed, yet— in nine months
a new life is here now, where you abandoned us.
This Thursday girl, my child, my only daughter,
has become the woman you will never know, like
you once knew
the most unlit folds of me.
I birthed her from my own black ashes and none
of the fragile skin of you. She lives in my night side,
grows in those thick shards, those tire weight pocks.
She flourishes in the white vacuum space you
sucked out from me
like a plane window under pressure cracked,
She loves the deafened stillness and
grows in my gnawing hunger, grows out
through my fingernails and the follicles
of my new hair-the softness of which
you will never know—
like you once knew the lather and rinse of it.
First published in The Mayo Review (2014), also appears in All the Tiny Anchors.
I take you with me
like a chain around my wrist
I took you through security
brought you to England
and on the bus to Wales
I pushed you up my arm
with bangles clinking soft
I went to Ireland to forget
the sound of your low voice
in every hotel you wait
for me to sleep without you
under pillow-white comforters
and clouds under roads
of endless miles and miles
I change my nightshirt
I change my long pants
but I find you there
in the bottom of my shoes
I met a poet who married an artist
after years and years of not
their deep folds of white skin
stinks of my undreamt dreams
I count the days unhad
in the cracks of aging stones
in ancient Scottish castles
dissolving like dead paper
black and grey and brown
they all eat like you
knives leading forks
in sway and swoon
painting food on plates
but only in reverse
pinks follow greens
orange and tan rising up
leaving only empty white
five thousand miles
two hundred days
I can’t dilute you out
filling red wine with water
flowing over the rim
I see you in the gift shop
and in the hotel shower
I leave without you
touching my own skin
brushing my own hair
I am whole without you
like a lone cathedral tower
gray stones on stones
without walls or ceilings
for centuries it stands
or faithful believers
still, it stands without you
First appeared in The Mayo Review (2014), also in All the Tiny Anchors
I’m very excited about this new store that just opened called MADE in LB. It features local products from small merchants and artisans in Long Beach. They are also going to have in-store events! Gatsby Books, our favorite indie bookstore, will have a booth there early next year when they officially open. In the meantime, they will have a holiday showcase of local merchants and Gatsby’s monthly storytelling showcase, Speakeasy, will be held there on Wednesday, December 17th at 7 pm. On top of all that, I get to do a special storytelling set of poetry specially arranged for the event. If you are in the area, come down and check out the local goodness and hear a story or two or three. There is even an open list if you have a story to tell! 236 Pine Ave, Long Beach.
I am honored to have my poem, “My Friends Who Write Poetry”, included in this gorgeous journal, Uno Kudo Vol. 4. This journal pairs poetry and prose with stunning color images created by artists for the work. Also in this volume are the amazing Larry Duncan, Danielle Mitchell, and Erin Parker. You can get you hands on your own copy by finding this issue on Amazon.
It’s always dusk or dawn
in my memory. When I open my eyes,
she smiles or I see laughter in the house
though I know those days were heavy
with labor. She does laundry
in the kitchen while she cooks me eggs.
I will always eat my vegetables for her.
She always moves across this
dimly lit room. If I watch her longer,
the sun must go down. It gets
very dark for days, dark for years.
I can hear her hum, though I never
remembered her humming.
I am so small and hate to have
my hair brushed. She is every
thing that connects me
to this earth. She gives me
folded clothes to put away: my rainbow
t-shirt sparkling glitter in my hands.
Her long straight hair is perfect,
a hippie part down the middle,
always pulled back in a loose ponytail.
I remember plants in the window sills,
long green and yellow leaves.
I don’t remember how
she cared for them.
She cleans other
people’s houses, burns
her hands on the chemicals.
I will climb her ladders,
I will hold her razor blades
on my fingertips. No one
will notice these scars until I show them.
First published in East Jasmine Review.
My poetry partner, Nancy Lynée Woo, was interviewed recently by Maxine Thompson on Artists First. She talks about the press we co-founded, Lucid Moose Lit, and the anthology Gutters & Alleyways (also being featured at the reading I co-host next Monday at Gatsby Books). She explains how we collaborated on the project and our mutual experiences on poverty. She also does a beautiful job reading a poem I wrote for the anthology, “Why I Can’t Kill Daddy Long Legs Hiding in My Shower Curtain”. Listen to the interview and learn a bit more about our poetry partnership and press.
The newest issue of East Jasmine Review, Vol. 2 Issue 3, includes a wonderful book review by K. Andrew Turner of All the Tiny Anchors. Two of them poems in the book, “Words in Stone and Liquid” and “The Truth of My Skin” were first published in EJR earlier this year. I am deeply honored that Mr. Turner wrote such generous words about the book. He covers each of the four sections to show the story arch. He also quotes specific lines from the poems to illustrate his points, which makes it feel so much more personal. Please check out all the issues of East Jasmine Review. (They are all currently on sale for less that coffee at Starbucks!)
If you’d like to get our own copy of All the Tiny Anchors, you can buy it directly from Sadie Girl Press or find it on Amazon.