Books in the Mail

I love going to the mail box and being surprised by a package containing a new book by a friend. I've received two books over the past few days:


s John Martone, self-published

"String Parade" Jordan Stempleman, BlazeVOX [books]

"all saints" is a small, 4.25 X 5.5, handmade chapbook of light green Cambric Linen 65 lb. cover with black tape neatly covering the stapled spine. The inside ends pieces are delicate lavender handmade Japanese paper. The inside pages 24 lb. Cambric Linen Natural. The tactile experience coincides with the delicate poetry of a writer who has disciplined mind and spirit to note only what is essential in a poem. John Martone's work is one of those secret finds I could only hope for prior to getting acquainted. Light falls from the pages of his book.

all these old couples
                           out for a walk
                                                & me

the elderly
couples walk

the young ones
lie down
under maples

- John Martone, from "all saints"

"String Parade" by Jordan Stempleman is a BlazeVOX [books] production, 6 X 9, four color process, acquias coated, C1S cover. I'm assuming the cover is a Geoffrey Gatza design, the books is, I don't see a credit otherwise. Anyway, all hail BlazeVOX [books] for kicking and screaming and surviving the economy (the best revenge is to do well and Geoffrey certainly is). I love the cover design. "String Parade" is maroon (you want the PMS number?) PenultimateLight typeface on a 1.25 inch black background above a half inch white bar bearing Jordan's name margin-right above the cover photo: a headless mannequin sitting on a crystal looking construction, in a hot pink, short gown clasping her hands together, her white 'skin' in contrast to the hot pink and Op-art design on the wall behind her (the colors on the wall match the book title).
Why do I bother with all that description? Well, it's the first hint of what's inside, a well crafted book of poems with a view of language as surprising as a well dressed, headless mannequin.

Copied Mist
for Charles

the weather
and the weather

as it comes
and goes

as it seems
able and nowhere

after holidays
taken from towns

beside towns
unlived in

for some time
unheard of

until picked up
and sent

where others live
and announce

where they go
by leaving

and moving in
above all

Each of the 38 poems is dedicated to a person. I'm left wondering if each dedication is Jordan's nod to the people he knows or a riff on dedicating poems in general. Could be both knowing Jordan. Anyway, I've only just begun to read his book which arrived today. I expect a rocking good time.

3 December 2008

a plum, happy lungs, a radio in touch
evidence, restrained desire, syntax with a view

Frank is . . .

a hungry ghost gripping the wheel
an apple's nipple into cider-bearing sentences
paleontological stretches, a few moles, pines, transversely ridged
old man saguaro, the hum of blood, the sun, a glow
pajama sleeves, morning's radiance, unspeakable things
the compass in my pocket, whatever I can picture
the wheel, fallen leaves, the road ahead

Frank Parker
© 2008

I wrote a friend this morning

Whatever we do today is full of hope. Whatever we do today is new. I am thrilled to have lived long enough to see the dream come true. From my first question as a kid in Petersburg, VA, "Mom, why are those people wearing those signs? Who is Jim Crow and why do they care if he's dead?" to the excitement of the election of Barack Obama, my faith , so severely challenged these many years, has been let loose in a flood of joyful tears. Whatever we do this day, dear Deborah, is flooded with light. We are all here for the first time. We are all baptized by grace.

POG Group Reading: Splash into Fall!

splash into fall!
Group Poetry Reading
with 8 of Tucson’s finest poets

33 S. 6th Ave, Tucson
7pm Saturday, September 13

$5 general admission, $3 students

Renee Angle works for the University of Arizona Poetry Center. She holds an MFA from George Mason University, where she was editor of the journal So to Speak. Her poems have appeared in Practice: New Writing + Art and Diagram.

Sue Carnahan has an MFA from the University of Arizona. Her chapbook "Auto Repair" won the 2004 Weldon Kees Award and was published by the Backwaters Press. She lives in Santa Cruz County and works as a speech-language pathologist.

Jefferson Carter's most recent book of poems, "Sentimental Blue" (Chax Press), has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He teaches poetry writing and developmental composition at the Downtown Campus of Pima College. Currently, he's the Writing Department Chair.

Mildred Lachman Chapin came to poetry through her painting. She published “Reverberations: Mothers and Daughters”, a book of her paintings, prints and poetry. (This is where the poetry began). She will read from one poem done in Joni Wallace's class while she worked on a painting about it at the same time ( painting will be shown). She has spent many years as an art therapist. Her last teaching job was in the graduate art therapy program of the Art Institute of Chicago and, more recently, at Prescott College. Her Visual Haiku paintings and accompanying poetry Haikus have been hanging at the Poetry center since May.

Carlos Gallego is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Arizona. His interests include 20th century American literature, Chicano/a studies, philosophy and critical theory. He is currently working on a book manuscript examining the transcendence of identity thinking in Chicano/a literature.

Annie Guthrie is a writer, jeweler and artist. She received her MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson and is Associate Marketing Specialist at the Poetry Center. She is currently working on a novel.

Tony Luebbermann is retired from the City of Tucson and currently serves on the boards of Chax Press, POG, the Tucson Poetry Festival, and represents the College of Humanities on the University of Arizona Alumni Association. He is a member of the Poetry Center Development Committee and is an active volunteer. Currently, Tony is pursuing a low residency MFA in Poetry at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Bonnie Jean Michalski lives, works, writes, and plays in both Tucson and Tempe, Arizona. Her work appears in online journals including mid)rib and APOCRYPHALTEXT, and she has three poems forthcoming in a publication from her hometown--Madison, Wisconsin--called Cannot Exist. She has three cats, one dog, and one husband-to-be.

POG events are supported in part by the Tucson Pima Arts Council and by the Arizona Commission on the Arts with funding from the State of Arizona and the National Endowment for the Arts. POG also benefits from the continuing support of The Drawing Studio, The University of Arizona Poetry Center, the Arizona Quarterly, Chax Press, and The University of Arizona Department of English.

For further information contact POG: 791-7451 (Frank Parker),
or and visit

POG Sound - new!

Hi Everyone,

I've been recording poetry readings for POG and Chax Press here in Tucson for a couple of years now. While I missed a few events due to my medical ordeals I still managed to amass quite a collection. This week Charles Alexander, Tenney Nathanson and I put our heads together and hatched the idea and means to create a web site dedicated to the recordings. As a joint project of POG and Chax Press, Charles set up a new domain and I developed the web site POG Sound. What you'll see is a beginning. Links to other audio-poetry sites will come.

We are all really excited that Tucson, AZ, finally has an online archive of selected events. Please visit POG Sound and let us know what you think.


83°F / 4:03 am

a peak a narrow window a length of clouds

“it's only a paper moon”

zig zag journeys the sunny south a salsa bar

36 Hours in New Mexico

saddle up a fine cream-colored mule

an unimaginable mystery

eager to be abroad in its

startling white church, its clustered town and its acacia trees

clumps of wild pumpkin

a great colony of gray-green lizards

petrified rock, “yellow as ocher”

ancient juniper trees

jutting upward 700 feet from the sandy plain

Like the full moon filling the birdbath, a perfect circle of ice blunts the sparrows' beaks. The skin on the first knuckle of each finger of my right hand stings with cold. My brittle fingers break small pieces of bread from the slice now half its original size. I laugh out loud at the headlines, "St. Francis of Tucson, Bread Man to the birds, found wanting for nothing ever again, a freeze in the cactus garden of the Tucson basin."