Seen and Felt

Poetry bears witness to events that surround it, sure. But it is not the news. It is not an opinion column either. It dips its slippery toe into telling, showing, and expressing so as to permit each reader to recreate the very event over and over anew and on a personal basis. Such a feat is perhaps […]

Nail Poem

  Got some Drugstore Notebook nails last week! The work of a true artist. 

Tunnel/Sculpture Poem

This sculpture is a tunnel. Or is it the other way around? In any case, it joins the East and West Wings of the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Going through it felt like being Michael Jackson, I think. Leo Villareal, whose info is above, created it.

The Lonely Masturbator

After the poet dies, people like to argue about the relevance of their work. Was it innovative? Did it do something new for form, for formality, for fluency. Does it deserve to be reread in schools or university seminars? Sometimes this discussion is valid. Sometimes the poetry in question is perhaps only marginally relevant. Other times the […]

A veces pasa

Se acaban las miradas hacia afuera. Se acaban las miradas. Ojos, dos ojos cerrados. Vienen emociones. Sentados, ojos, dos ojos cerrados. A veces pasa al mediodía, después de una mañana larga de noche alargada. A veces al mediodía pasa, lejos de la noche que cansó la mañana. La noche ya inútil desde su primera llamada: […]

Domingo 2

  En ciudades pequeñas deja de importar la cercanía de la selva.   No importa el silencio; el silencio es igual a la selva. Todo es más grande y yo— Pónsela fácil, me dijeron, más fácil que esto.   – From “Entre domingo y domingo”

What Work Is

I recently came across a remarkable poem by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Philip Levine  thanks to a blog I sometimes read. As remarkable as the poem (below) is, I am even more grateful that it led me to an utterly delicious interview of Levine conducted by Mona Simpson in The Paris Review.  Few interviews of poets can be described as […]

La librería que recomendaste

Abierta a las 7 y 25 de la noche Lunes Mucha luz y 0 ruido, 2 libros de brujería moderna Lunes 1 de pensamiento árabe, todos 3 en rebaja Lunes 8 días después de dejarme un Domingo Después de 2 noches Domingo Los 2 creyendo que llamarías Martes 1 noche a Miércoles Crear 1 noche […]

Miamians, Come See Me Try to Verse

For those of you who live and breed in Miami, or happen to be in the area, consider stopping by the Art Center at Lincoln Road this Friday April 17th from 7-9pm, where I will be reading a few poems as part of the O’Miami Poetry Festival. The event is also the official release party […]

Ode to DC: Sirens and Cherry Blossoms

While in Washington DC last week I had a chance to witness the cherry blossoms in full bloom. Here they are on tape, where they speak for themselves. The sirens wailing in the background are intentional. DC feels empty without them.

We Did Not Stop the War

I think American poetry was right at the center of the American heart. But we did not change that heart. We did not stop the war. The war ended when the military wanted it to and Vietnam and her neighbors were plundered and leveled. We had such a powerful faith in the rightness of our […]

That Time of the Poetry Month

Dear readers, it is that time again. In honor of National Poetry Month, I am launching another “Poem of the Month” contest this April. Please send three of your best pieces to thedrugstorenotebook@gmail.com by April 30th to enter. Looking forward to reading your work!

A Drinker of Life

Columbia Magazine, The Guardian and various other media outlets published moving articles to commemorate poet John Berryman’s centennial,. For those who don’t know much about the poet, it is a great opportunity to get to know him. For those who do, it is perhaps a chance to learn something new, something more. “Columbia Magazine’s” piece includes several excerpts from […]

A Bad Time for Poetry

A week ago I dreamt that a close friend and I were stalking Bertolt Brecht in Paris. Since I rarely have such intellectual dreams, I took it as a sign to read some of the German writer and thinker’s work. Although Brecht is perhaps best remembered for his contributions to theater, he is also considered to be one […]

Domingo 1

En ciudades pequeñas deja de importar la velocidad al nombrar la esquina, el taxi, o la pizza. La navaja opera igual de callada. Si timbra el teléfono, vibra, bajo una sábana cerrada, y un vaso tibio de vino blanco se derrama en jugo de manzana. Cede la puerta; me acuesto callada. Soy el primer astronauta— […]

O, Miami / O, Poetry

O, Miami Poetry Festival is in its fourth year running in, where else, Miami. It is a month-long event whose goal is to engage every resident of Miami-Dade County with poetry at least once during April. I will be running a project during the Festival called Poetry Parlor. The plan is to slip inserts with user-friendly […]

A Schedule of Poetry Chapbook Contests

As I am finally feeling ready to send out a small collection of my recent work for publication, I’ve been on the hunt for as many poetry chapbook contests as I can find. The good news is that there are many. The bad news is that they all charge. Even those that “don’t” require you […]

Ireland’s Favorite Poem

Irish culture may be linked to St. Patrick’s day, and the heavy beer drinking involved. But, the nation is also known for the many legendary writers that came from its rolling green hills. James Joyce, William Butler Yeats and, most recently, Seamus Heaney all called Ireland their home. This year, RTE, the national broadcaster, hosted a contest aimed […]

Download My First Book (in Spanish) for Free

My first poetry collection (in Spanish) was just published. It is called “Entre domingo y domingo,” which means “From Sunday to Sunday,” and can be downloaded here. Even those with a minor working knowledge of Spanish should be able to understand most of the pieces, as they are sparse and straightforward. In the coming months, […]

A Young Adult Novel Written Entirely in Verse

I recently visited the main branch of the Miami Public Library System and was strongly impressed by what I found. Although the entire library was elegant, spacious, well-stocked and easy to decipher, the teen’s section was truly remarkable. There were large signs indicating that only 12-19 year-olds were allowed to use the area, which was equipped with […]