Friday, October 15, 2010

Cynthia & Nick's Wedding

My daughter got married October 3rd. Here is a slide show.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Taos New Mexico last year

In cleaning up my work area I ran across this piece.

When uncle Napoleon stopped eating peas on a knife with honey, he appeared in a village on the way to Taos. I should say I met him again for the first time. He knew the stories and that was enough for me. He used a willow switch to point out history on his covered porch wall. His back broken he moved using his swivel chair as pigeons flew around the enclosure. A walking stick appears, 'I make them' he says. He gave us homemade maps and hi-lited them with pink marker. He repeated a phrase: 'this road is not that long, you are not lost, stay on it.' God had spoken that to me years ago on a bridge; 'stay the course.' This new uncle Napoleon sang a Penetenta song in Spanish. I closed my eyes to listen, when he was done he said: 'you can wakeup.' A trickster sense of humor. When we left he said' come back again and bring your son and pretty daughter. We never told him we had children. His name was: Napoleon Garcia.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Shopping around my poetry book

I have been sending out query letters to universities about my latest book: Tell them that you saw me but didn't see me saw. There are a couple of poems with pictures on my blog from the book. My dream is to get the book published by a University Press in one of the Dust Bowl states and read my poems in each state leading to California as these courageous people did. I am going on a workshop weekend to Port Townsend to do a little art and then our Delmore Family reunion on Whidbey Island. I am giving a talk on story as it pertains to family. A new poem to enjoy below.


I named her Louisiana
A rambling girl, a bigger
Purchase I could have never got.
She had many a spat; tit for tat
Katrina the latest tussle.
Mass exit makes for mass entrance
Musicians leadin the pack.
Streets pour with water. The occasional
Sofa or love seat blisters every alley.
She’s pretty, my Louisiana; that ninth ward
Like a cancer, should have been examined
Sooner or been more honest when she was
I see my Louisiana on TV its superdome
Like a tiara tossed. But she comes back
Dressed and sweats for the next event.
That’s my girl.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Catching Up

I finished reading an essay a few weeks ago called poetry by concession. It was from a book which I just got from Amazon yesterday titled: The selected writings of Juan Ramon Jimenez. This essay touched a lot of things that I feel in my craft of poetry. I put a quote of his on my e-mail. Here is a quote of his: one is a poet not because one writes poetry, but because one is "an abstract dancer," someone whose "eyes are not turned outward but within oneself." The poem below was written in Minnesota after visiting my grandparents. It is the first time seeing that site. Hinkely, Minnesota.

The Grandparents Grave

For Linda & Kim

The gate was a pull
A hedge made it so.
Walking the precipice
Of this life; committed
To finding their grave.

Red marble- square among green
And so serene.
Footsteps among the supine.
Relatives don’t sit in cloister
Like the “Our Town” line
Preaching among the dead.

We voice the history
Ineffable as it may be
Like voicing an abandoned organ-
Pipes bent and rusted, yellow keyed
Stops left open.

In death there is no punch
Of bare-knuckled fighters
Or swigging rock gut.

The story, the Irish line
That is what outlives all.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Poems Mailed

I sent my latest book off to AWP Writers contest yesterday. I asked my friend Jenny to look over the poems (she is an amazing editor) and I added enough to get the minimum, of 48 + 1 poems so I keep working on my DL Project and other poems that come my way.
I am also reading Corn by Paul Engle written around the same time that Dorthea Lange was photographing farmers. I am reading John Steinbeck's Travels with Charlie. You thought I would say Grapes of Wrath didn't you. Also A Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich. I think she is one of the best writers out there.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

So much writing is done on emotion. I read about writers and how that have a schedule or a goal for each day. For a long time I tried this to emulate others who are so successful in this craft. This of course hides what my style is and creates guilt when I fail at "their" craft. I have my highs and lows as a writer but never fail to get something written. Having three books of poetry and several individual poems published  says something of how I work. I am advocating for the individual style that all writers must find to FLOW.
 My Dorthea Lange Project went on hold for awhile. I would look at her photos and nothing would come. I began to think I need to go back and choose a different set. Yesterday  I looked at this one photo below and these simple yet powerful words came to me. I think of Gwendolen Brooks: We Real Cool Poem not to compare but to remind that short poems  can be powerful.      Taking It Easy
                     We done work.
                     Work done us.
                     We done lean.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Poems

When mom smoked
She used a filter
Of black & silver.
The distance
From mouth to menthol
Was her intake.

This was style
A mirror to advertising-
Grace with a cigarette
Plugged in.        WE
Who inhaled such exhaust
Were sickened years later
By that wand that coughs
In our memory.

David slew Goliath
That power moved through him.
David loved his Solomon, his king.
That love was a dance of weapons and music.
The obvious crown rolled like a rutted wheel
To and fro- subservience to royalty.
That spinning was playful with a dose of jealously.

David as king loved his women
Sending spouses to battle while he
Had his way. That power was seduction.
God’s law was his aura as his body plowed
The air with proclamations. That rule was hypnotic.

David’s musical talents went beyond the lyre-
Women moaned in lust and men wailed in cries
Of war, allegiance.
As old Solomon would split a child for equality
God’s favor he could not balance. 
That was inconsistency for a king like David.

Chairman Mao’s Impromptu Visit

Chairman Mao got off the bus today
Dressed in shorts and hoodie.
Looking much like a round faced woman.

Holding a laptop, no red book,
No star on cap. The distance was palatable.
No visible guards. He did not wave or talk
The peoples talk.
Cameras did not flash as they did
When shaking hands with an over coated
Nixon on the Great Wall.

I counted the group around him
But it never added to nine-
More sometimes less, but no gang.
This impromptu stop, his only
Visit to America, is all the more
Bizarre since he’s been dead for so long.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010