Friday, February 21, 2014

From the Black Earth Institute, this remarkable treasury of writings and art assessing Civil Rights in America, edited by writer, activist, and independent scholar Richard Cambridge.

From the assassination of Medgar Evers and the Birmingham Church bombing that killed four children in 1963 to the re-election of the first Black president, this issue contains challenging, provocative, compelling, and prophetic contributions in essays, poetry, lyrics, song, short fiction, photography, art, and video that reflect on a particular or general aspect of the ongoing struggle for civil rights. How far have we come as a country, and how have we regressed?

Monday, February 17, 2014

I am posting a link here to the book trailer for Kathleen Aguero's latest, After That

Here is the title poem from that fine collection, her fifth:


she wouldn’t leave the house, or she’d be gone for weeks and return smelling of cigarettes and bleach.
She’d say what anyone would, but, like thunder in winter, it didn’t sound quite right.
When she thought we weren’t looking, she tied knots in her hair.
She wouldn’t eat anything white, hid money in the refrigerator, wore five pairs of underpants at once, cringed at butterflies. She covered her ears when she talked and was afraid of the telephone.
She threw away her plants, collected fruit pits. She stopped biting her fingernails after that, but she wouldn’t let anyone cut them either.  She wore a hat, but never a jacket.
Her dog wouldn’t go near her.
She wouldn’t answer the doorbell, but she never closed the door.
She refused to go near the windows.
After that, she never drank tea.  She hissed at her dead mother, standing in the doorway.
She ripped her good dress into pieces and cut her father’s photograph in half.
We didn’t know how to think about her after that.

After That is available from Amazon, Small Press Distribution, or the publisher, Tiger Bark Press.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

I have taken a good, long while off from this blog while I poured my time and energy into the new memoir, Love & Fury. Yesterday, Valentine's Day, I found myself tinkering with this poem:


When you pretend you’re not but know you are,
you suffer worse than if you just confess you are in love.

The rain falls right through your umbrella and the sun
and moon deny the whole cold day and night they are in love.

All winter blinding white flakes rise up into the sky.
You start to think the shutters and the windows are in love.

The wheel and the road, the wrench and the bolt,
made for each other, hurt, but they are not in love.

That sometimes she frightens you with her clarity
or angers you with her reserve are proof you are in love.

It’s one thing to dissemble in the fiercest heat of ardor
but better to play dead than pretend you are not in love.

Underground, earth and ice, igneous rock and lava
long ago accepted that the past and future are in love.

Play spout to the water, act a chimney to the smoke
and admit once and for all to everyone you are in love.

Come on, Richard, what’s so hard for you to understand?
That yours is the kind of misery men feel when they're in love?