Poetry Sunday: Raine Geoghegan

Self ordered Raine Geoghan’s book in November. We were supposed to meet up, the day before self left England to head back to the San Francisco Bay Area. But things were starting to get a little hectic, and she didn’t want her first meeting with Raine to be rushed. So, we took a raincheck.

In the meantime, self never received the book. She waited and waited and waited, and finally last week, it came. She knew what it was the minute she laid eyes on the package, because the postmark said Birmingham, UK.

She opened the book with great excitement, there was a picture of Raine’s mother:

What a gorgeous picture. And what a gorgeous book!

Will be posting more in a trice.

Stay tuned.

Friday Morning: Reading Luisa A. Igloria’s New Collection

Luisa A. Igloria, dear friend, is this year’s Virginia Poet Laureate. Her newest collection, Maps for Migrants and Ghosts (Crab Orchard Review & Southern Illinois University Press), is such a beauty.

Excerpt from Moving, Changing, Not Moving


In the brick-lined interior of a coffee shop, a man at the communal table closes his eyes, a pair of earphones plugged into his cell. Fanning themselves, people come in from the street; it’s the hottest summer & everyone wants iced coffees & teas, water & ice; & parents with little children fall in line outside

people come in from the street; it’s the hottest summer& everyone wants iced coffees & teas, water &

btw: Has anyone EVER tried to contact WordPress about their new Block Editors, and has one EVER received a response? This poem format is ALL OFF, and the code editor does not allow self to switch between single space (within a stanza) and double space (between stanzas). Literally, self has been trying to format since 10 a.m., an hour and a half ago. Even their Customer Service doesn’t work. That is all.


Poetry Saturday: Cristina Querrer

The Man Who Lives on the Crooked Lane

An Excerpt

There is a man
who lives slantingly
with an uneven sky
peeking through
missing teeth
of the Venetian blinds

Has a yellow dog
that half yawns & half wags
walks sideways
like a sidewinder snake


Cristina Querrer was born in the Philippines and grew up as a U.S. Air Force military child. Querrer is also a U.S. Army Veteran with an MFA in Creative Writing. Her first full-length collection, By Astrolabes and Constellations, won the silver medal from the 2020 Florida Authors & Publishers Association President’s Award. She is also a visual artist, singer/songwriter, and podcaster.

Two Beauties, Just Arrived

Friends Brian Komei Dempster and Luisa Igloria, both poets, have new books out this fall. GAH, when she took them out of the packaging, she was slain by the covers:

Regarding Juan Sebastian Elcano, Basque

Rick Barot’s collection The Galleons is on the National Book Award’s longlist for poetry! Kudos, sir!

Self finds it interesting: she is writing about the galleons, too! Her book invents a character and puts him in the Philippines at the close of the 16th century.

Today, in her leisurely read of The Economist of 12 September 2020 (She’s fairly sure they skipped an issue; the 19 September issue should have arrived last week. What gives, USPS?), there is a letter about Magellan. Truly, self has entered a zone! A zone where everyone else is also thinking about Magellan! Galleons! The 16th century!

Letter to The Economist from Marques de Tamaron, Madrid:

Ferdinand Magellan was not “the first known circumnavigator (Obituary for Marvin Creamer, August 29th). He commanded the flotilla of five ships and 239 sailors that sailed in 1519 from Spain but he died in combat in the Philippines in 1521 before completing the round-the-world voyage. Juan Sebastian Elcano was then elected leader for the rest of it, reaching Spain in the only remaining ship, Victoria, in 1522. He and the emaciated survivors who dragged themselves ashore were indeed the first true circumnavigators.

Prompted by curiosity (mebbe she should have written about Elcano instead of making up a fictional character for her novel! Oh well, too late now!), self does some google research. Elcano died only four years after his return from that epic voyage. And there is a Spanish thinktank named after him that addresses such topics as climate change, cybersecurity, and international migration. Here is a link to their very interesting blog.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Tomas Transtromer’s The Clearing

The sky is whitish haze and it is intensely hot. The nearest fire is 0% contained. Stay inside! the radio says. Until we give the order to evacuate.

Self is reading Tomas Transtromer.

(Also, praying. Does she feel lucky?)

Excerpt from The Clearing

— translated by Robin Fulton

Deep in the forest there’s an unexpected clearing that can be reached only by someone who has lost his way.

The clearing is enclosed in a forest that is choking itself. Black trunks with the ashy beard stubble of lichen.

Thinking of Andres Bonifacio

Is there any love that is nobler

Purer and more sublime

Than the love of the native country?

What love is? Certainly none.

— Andres Bonifacio, Pag-Ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa (Love for the Native Land)

Bonifacio was a self-educated warehouse clerk who became famous for starting the Philippine Revolution. He was murdered May 1897.

#backreading The New Yorker, 14 October 2019

Found, in a pile of unread New Yorkers, the issue that lauds Jenny Lewis’s Gilgamesh Retold (available now as an audiobook featuring Jenny reading her own work, on the Carcanet website)

 

It’s partly about George Smith, “an engraver of banknotes,” who “spent his lunch hours at the British Museum, studying its holdings.” Eventually, Smith was hired to “help analyze the thousands of clay shards that had been shipped … ” from “Nineveh, an important city in ancient Mesopotamia … the reason so many tablets had been found in one place was that they were the remains of a renowned library, that of Ashurbanipal, a king of the neo-Assyrian Empire in the seventh century B.C.” The script was written in cuneiform, a script “no one could read.”

The article, by Joan Acocella, is very long. But worth noting is that it reviews Jenny Lewis’s new collection, Gilgamesh Retold. Self has heard Jenny read, and her voice — Shohreh Aghdashloo level.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Poetry Contest, Rosebud Magazine

Deadline for Submission: 30 September 2020

DSCN0091

Judge: Lester Lennon, Rosebud Poetry Editor

For complete guidelines, go to: http://www.rsbd.net

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Process: Stonehenge/Pacifica

Self decided to look through her old MacBook Air (which, judging from the dates on there, had stories dating as far back as 2006) and found an early version of her flash, Stonehenge/Pacifica, which Wigleaf published in 2012.

It is fascinating to compare the two versions. It seems that, early on, Stonehenge/Pacifica was a poem. The line breaks are short:

STONEHENGE/PACIFICA

It was a dream I had, some restless night.
Perhaps one of those weeks/ months/ years
when we were worried about money.
But when were we ever not worried?
First, there was the mortgage,
and then the two.
Then your mother got sick,
and your fathe died.
And my mother I think developed
Alzheimer’s

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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