The New Amerikan Thing

Juan Felipe Herrera’s story is a nice one. Born in California in 1948, he grew up picking crops with his migrant worker parents in the San Joaquin and Salinas Valleys.  After graduating from San Diego High School, Herrera went on to complete degrees at UCLA, Stanford and the prestigious University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has published […]

Profiled

Silver Birch Press, a Los Angeles-based publisher of poetry books and anthologies, recently ran a brief author profile on my work as a result of my contribution to their “Great Gatsby Anthology.” I’ve published a few pieces with Silver Birch Press in the past and the process is so much more enjoyable than it normally is. Melanie, the editor, is friendly […]

Crisis at Thirty

There is an undocumented age crisis that occurs in the early thirties. Indeed, the onset of this decade might mark the actual “coming of age.” Eighteen is still shrouded by the incredulous, protective shield of childhood, as is any age before twenty nine. But thirty-three is different. It is lucid and stunned and dismayed at […]

Said and Done

  I fear my capacity to guide Mistake toward fulfillment   At times, I blame: The flurry of misprint, of crisis to unscramble; The renewed promise of classic self-improvement; The flat-water buoyancy of fresh peace.   Other times, I blame: This devotion to words and their construction – How they unsay as they say – […]

Revel

When I wrote this poem, I thought it would be one of those pieces that never gets published. Much too quirky, I thought. So I was amazed when The East Bay Review accepted it for its summer issue. Thanks, guys!   Revel   For Dr. S. Rueda   On the night Chavez died I needed […]

Fortune’s Cookies

A friend recently sent me an upbeat, effortless Lawrence Ferlinghetti (b. 1919) poem that I immediately liked. And then immediately didn’t know if I liked. The poem is from Ferlinghetti’s record-breaking “A Coney Island State of Mind,” which was published in 1955 and sold over a million copies in nine different languages.  The poet’s life story is worth reading. He is […]

Submit to Five Quarterly, and to Me!

Since 2012, Five Quarterly has been publishing exciting works of fiction and poetry by emerging writers in issues culled by guest editors. I am happy to share that I will be one such guest editor for their upcoming October issue. They are currently taking submissions, so submit away. It will be an honor to read your […]

Better than a Great Song

Several years ago, British poet John Fullerwrote a poem with a bright future as a chart-topping pop song.  Perhaps its catchy flow is due to the fact that it’s a strict villanelle, or perhaps it’s due to the fact that the poem is about unrequited, but not tortured, love. There’s just enough heartache to make it interesting, but […]

Te lo vi

  Yo lo vi; te lo vi todo.   Te vi mi mano abriendo y cerrando el cuero de un libro pesado.   Te vi mi mano mostrando y tapando el reflejo de un tenedor bordado.   Te vi mi piel guardada.   Te vi la falta de crucifijos en las paredes de mi casa. […]

Abandoned Men

Brooklyn Copeland is a young, prolific poet who has published individual poems in venues like Poetry Magazine and The New York Times. She also has several chapbooks and  full length poetry collections available. As readily available as her work is online to peruse, I found it hard to pin down. “Self-conscious” is definitely a word that came to mind. “Intentional” […]

The Open Dishwasher

  Today, you fell face first into the open dishwasher   One plastic prong bruised your nose Another gave you your first black eye   I rushed to cradle you And sing your falling down song   Then I took you outside to show you The birds, the lizards The cloudless blue sky And the […]

Oh, Zelda

Los Angeles’s Silver Birch Press just released an anthology dedicated to “The Great Gatsby,” and I am thrilled that my poem “Oh, Zelda” was selected as part of the book. The poem is about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife Zelda, who was a tumultuous part of Fitzgerald’s fame, fortune and misfortune. If anyone is interested in ordering […]

Sunday 4 & Domingo 4

    My poem “Sunday 4,” published alongside its Spanish brother “Domingo 4” in the Spring issue of Jai-Alai Magazine.  

Flirtation

Rita Dove was named Poet Laureate of the United States in 1993 when she was just forty years old. By then, though, she had written a few novels and several collections of poetry, including Thomas and Beulah (1986), which won the Pulitzer Prize. The poem below is not an example of how Dove confronts complex historical issues in […]

Yellow Tomatoes

Thrilled that VerseWrights published my poem “Yellow Tomatoes” this month!   I once thought I could know anything The death knowledge of the Buddha The clarifying call of Gabriel Former lives and abetting suns That enthrall worlds more able than mine I too never doubted my time supply To be the daughter of the dying […]

Stay Inside

The other day, I read a poem whose beginning I didn’t quite like. But, it was weird enough to keep me hooked to its very last line, which made me laugh out loud and reread the poem several times, appreciating it more and more with each go. The piece is by poet Paul Violi, who published eleven collections […]

At Every Wedding

Not many young adult authors launch their novels with a poem, much less a two-page piece that transcends their target demographic. So I was surprised to find the poem below on the very first page of bestselling YA author Sarah Dessen‘s novel “That Summer.” The poem is by South Carolina author Dannye Romine Powell, an award-winning poet, writer […]

Final Poem by May’s Poet of the Month

It Amazes Me How I Heart the Hazy Art I tried to maintain straightfacedness “Photography.. Is  taking  paintings’  places At our public art palaces.” Said a sad man in line, up ahead, “Imaginably.. Detail  has its beauty..but the thing Is..A twin image is less interesting.” This made me mention McLuhan, Not the man, but the […]

Another Poem by May’s Poet of the Month

THERE’S  FOG There’s fog. Then, there’s people landing planes at all hours. There’s dogs chasing birds on runways. And one way those people in those towers can plan to, and see to, land planes is the guts to go with the guages. They heartfelt dealt with data, Trusted all they’d seen on their farforeign &; […]

Domingo 3 and/or Sunday 3

A few of the poems from my book “Entre domingo y domingo” were published last month in “Jai-Alai Magazine.” Since “Jai Alai” is a multi-lingual literary review based in Miami, they were interested in publishing the poems in both English and Spanish. It was the first time I translated my own work and thoroughly enjoyed the […]