Wednesday, April 25, 2012

VIPF 2012

Phew. Life's getting complicated all over again. The annual Valley International Poetry Festival kicks off tomorrow with an anthology release, which happens to include 3 of my poems! It is, by the way, available on Amazon. Here's the full schedule. See you punks tomorrow at the Incubator!

Celebrate National Poetry Month . . .
 . . . With a plethora of international poets!
Please note: the 2012 schedule is being added, but please check back for updates!
WHAT: "5th Annual Valley International Poetry Festival & "Sixth Annual Poetry Pachanga"
WHEN: April 26--29, 2012
WHERE: Click Here to see a list of 2012 venues across the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas
TIME: Event times will vary throughout the weekend.
FYI: All events will be free and open to the public, except where noted as private. Books, Chapbooks, CDs, T-shirts, etc., for sale. Please supportthe poets.
Contact: Daniel García Ordaz, Founder





  • Be part of the audience at readings in Mission, McAllen, Edinburg, Weslaco, Brownsville, San Benito, South Padre Island, in the Rio Grande Valley of deep South Texas!!
  • VIPF is the only known poetry festival with concurrent readings in two countries!

    ALL EVENTS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
    (unless otherwise noted)


    SCHEDULE OF EVENTS (Please check www.vipf.org for updates on schedule. Poets listed are scheduled to appear, but may not be available as listed.)

    Free Admission
    Visit www.vipf.org/venues.html for addresses, contact information, and details about each venue/location listed below.
    THURSDAY, APR. 26, 2012
    *Word Poetry Jam (private event)
    Featuring Amalia Ortiz
    UT-Brownsville Student Union (La Sala)
    2 - 5 p.m.
    *Opening Reception/Anthology Release 7 to 9 p.m.
    McAllen Creative Incubator, 1001 16th St., McAllen
    Boundless 2012: The Official Anthology of the Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival
    Note: Copies of Boundless 2012, the anthology of VIPF, available for $10.Perfect-bound; anthology includes poems by 40+ poets from across the U.S., Denmark, England, and Bangladesh. Wine and cheese reception and readings; merchandise available. Registered poets check-in.
    FRIDAY, APR. 27, 2012
    *Poets In The Schools
    Featuring Lady Mariposa, with Daniel Garcia Ordaz
    McAllen Memorial High School (private event)
    8:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
    *Poets In The Schools
    Featuring 2012 Texas Poet Laureate Jan Seale
    Sci Tech/Med High High School (private event)

    *Poetry Slam Night Events Peace & Coffee: 2405 E. University Dr., Edinburg
    Hosts: Barrio Poet, Edward Vidaurre, Emmy Perez, and Daniel Garcia Ordaz
    6:30—11 p.m.
    Youth Poetry Slam Contest
    Open To All High School Students
    6:30 — 7 p.m.
    Intermission: 7 – 7:15 p.m.
    College/University Readings
    7:15 — 8:15 p.m.
    Intermission: 8:15 – 8:30 p.m.
    Featured Musician Set: Kim Snyder: 8:30 – 8:45 p.m.
    Featured Poet Reading: Lady Mariposa & Kim Snyder: 8:45 – 9 p.m.
    Adult Poetry Slam featuring HBO Def Poet Amalia Ortiz and
    Juan M. Perez, San Antonio Poets Ass'n. (SAPA) Poet Laureate 2011-2012
    9 – 10:30 p.m.

    Note: Peace & Coffee offers coffee, alcoholic beverages, hookah, and sandwiches.
    Slam Rules: www.vipf.org/slam.html


    SATURDAY, APR. 28, 2012 *Workshops: 9 to 10 a.m. Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center, 225 E. Stenger St., San Benito
    WWorkshop by: Daniel García Ordaz, Founder, VIPF
    Topic: Creative Leaping/Creativity Exercises
    Savory Perks Coffee, 1000 S. Texas Blvd., Weslaco
    Workshop by: Christopher Carmona, author of Beat
    Topic: Beat Poetry
    Sekula Library, 1906 S. Closner Blvd., Edinburg
    Workshop by: ¡Vanessa Brown!, Founding Creative Director, VIPF/author of Twiffler (Heredado, 2012)
    Topic: Self-Publishing
    Jitterz Coffee Bar, 1625 Conway Ave., Mission
    Workshop by Carolyn Thorman
    Topic: Making It Shine: Polishing Your Work
    * Readings: 10 to 11:15 a.m.
    Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center, 225 E. Stenger St., San Benito
    Hostess: Brenda Nettles Riojas, Founder, VIPF
    Readers: Amalia Ortiz, Julieta La Poeta, Arturo Saldaña, Kaitlin LaMoine Martin, Edward Vidaurre, Daniel García Ordaz, Linda Romero, Robin Cate, Beto Conde, Brenda Nettles Riojas,Chip Dameron, Eduardo Del Rio, Charlene Moskal, Rudy García
    Sekula Library, 1906 S. Closner Blvd., Edinburg
    Hostess: Letty Leija and ¡Vanessa Brown!, Founding Creative Director, VIPF
    Readers: Juan M. Pérez, Oscar Peña, David Barcelona, Joanne Uppendahl, James (Grizzy) Griswold, Rachel Vela, ¡Vanessa Brown!
    Note: Café is open for drinks and there will be pan dulce available at reading site.
    Savory Perks Coffee, 1000 S. Texas Blvd., Weslaco
    Hostess: Lina Suárez
    Readers: Lady Mariposa, lauren espinoza, La Erika/Poeta Power, Lina Suárez, Virginia Torres, Hector Gomez, Christopher Carmona, Chuck Taylor, Meliton Hinojosa, Erika Said Izaguirre
    Jitterz Coffee Bar, 1625 Conway Ave., Mission
    Host: Alan Oak
    Readers: Trev (The Rhymey Limey) Wainwright, Alan Oak, Laura Reagan-Porras, Yolanda López, Corey Mangan, Kelly Ann Ellis, John Milkereit, Carolyn Thorman
    *Lunchtime Readings: 11:45 a.m.—1:15 p.m.
    Carino’s Italian Restaurant, 421 E. Nolana Loop, McAllen
    Hostess: ¡Vanessa Brown!
    Readers: Juan M. Pérez, Oscar Peña, Trev (The Rhymey Limey) Wainwright, Alan Oak, Joanne Uppendahl, James (Grizzy) Griswold, Kelly Ann Ellis, John Milkereit, Yolanda López, Corey Mangan, Laura Reagan-Porras, Rachel Vela, ¡Vanessa Brown!, Carolyn Thorman, Sarah E. Williams
    Savory Perks Coffee, 1000 S. Texas Blvd., Weslaco
    Hostess: Julieta La Poeta
    Readers: David Barcelona, Arturo Saldaña, Linda Romero, Shirley Rickett, Julieta La Poeta, Steve Vera, Shawn Elliot, Lamar Jones
    Note: Readings will begin here at 12 p.m. (noon).
    Galería 409, 409 E. 13th St., Brownsville
    Hosts: Mark & Betty Clark
    Readers: Amalia Ortiz, Rudy García, Kaitlin LaMoine Martin, Edward Vidaurre, Daniel García Ordaz, Diana Domínguez, Chip Dameron, Robin Cate, Brenda Nettles Riojas, Charlene Moskal, Beto Conde, Eduardo Del Rio, Gene Novogrodsky, Travis Whitehead
    Note: Bring a pot-luck to share.
    *1:15—2:15 Afternoon Delight
    Paragraphs On Padre, 5055 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island
    Hostess: Joni Montover
    Readers: Lady Mariposa, lauren espinoza, La Erika/Poeta Power, Lina Suárez, Rudy García, Virginia Torres, Hector Gomez, Meliton Hinojosa, Erika Said Izaguirre
    *1:30—2:30 Afternoon Delight
    Sekula Library, 1906 S. Closner Blvd., Edinburg
    Hosts: Letty Leija, Library Director/Alan Oak
    Readers: Trev Wainwright, Alan Oak, Christopher Carmona, Chuck Taylor, Shirley Rickett, Julieta La Poeta, Arturo Saldaña, Yolanda López, Laura Reagan-Porras, Katie Hoerth, Carolyn Thorman, Kelly Ann Ellis, John Milkereit, Corey Mangan
    *2:45—3:45 Afternoon Delight
    Paragraphs On Padre, 5055 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island, TX
    Hostess: Joni Montover
    Readers: Amalia Ortiz, Kaitlin LaMoine Martin, Edward Vidaurre, Daniel García Ordaz, Chip Dameron, Diana Domínguez, Brenda Nettles Riojas
    *3—4:30 Afternoon Delight
    Jitterz Coffee Bar, 1625 Conway Ave., Mission, TX
    Host: Gabe de la Garza, ¡Vanessa Brown!
    Readers: Juan M. Pérez, Linda Romero, Shirley Rickett, Shawn Elliot, Lamar Jones, Steve Vera, Rachel Vela, ¡Vanessa Brown!, David Barcelona, Katie Hoerth


    Sixth Annual POETRY PACHANGA--the event that started it all in 2007!!! *6—7 p.m.
    Private Dinner—Registered Poets & Guests (one of the only private events)
    McAllen Creative Incubator, 1001 16th St., McAllen, TX
    ($10 per guest—pre-pay by Apr. 27 with Brenda Nettles Riojas)
    *7—7:45 p.m.
    Music by Shawn Elliot and Lamar Jones McAllen Creative Incubator, 1001 16th St., McAllen, TX
    Note: Doors open to the public at 6:45 p.m. A security guard will be hired to watch cars.
    *7:45—10:30 p.m.
    Sixth Annual Poetry Pachanga Readings McAllen Creative Incubator, 1001 16th St., McAllen, TX
    Welcome: Brenda Nettles Riojas and Daniel García Ordaz, Founders and ¡Vanessa Brown!, Creative Director
    Featured Poets: 2012 Texas Poet Laureate Jan Seale, Amalia Ortiz, Lady Mariposa, Oscar Peña, Juan M. Pérez, Trevor Wainwright
    Note: After featured readers, registered poets will read one 1-minute poem each, then return for Open Mic.
    Registered Poets: ¡Vanessa Brown! * David Barcelona * Christopher Carmona * Robin Cate * Beto Conde * Julieta Corpus * Chip Dameron * Eduardo Del Rio * Diana Domínguez * Shawn Elliot * Kelly Ann Ellis * Lauren Espinoza * Rudy García * Daniel García Ordaz * Erika Garza-Johnson * Hector Gomez * James Griswold Meliton Hinojosa * Katherine Hoerth * Erika Said Izaguirre * Lamar Jones * Yolanda López * Corey Mangan * Kaitlin LaMoine Martin * John Milkereit * Charlene Moskal * Brenda Nettles Riojas * Gene Novogrodsky * Alan Oak * Laura Reagan-Porras * Shirley Rickett * Linda Romero * Arturo Saldaña * Lina Suárez Chuck Taylor * Carolyn Thorman * Virginia Torres *Joanne M. Uppendahl * Rachel Vela * Joe Steve Vera * Edward Vidaurre * Travis Whitehead * Sarah E. Williams


    SUNDAY, APRIL 29 Dr. Gloria E. Anzaldúa Readings (Hargill) Meet @ 10 a.m. at UT-Pan American Bookstore parking lot; depart at 10:05 a.m. to Gloria Anzaldúa burial site at Valle de Paz cemetery in Hargill. Readings onsite. Lunch afterwards @ Casa Blanca in Raymondville. Cash-only buffet.
    Hostess: Lina Suárez
    Note: Contact Daniel at rgvipf@hotmail.com to RSVP
  • Sunday, April 22, 2012

    NaPoWriMo #9

    Just keep thinking about cactus :) and Daphne...

    She crouches down among the endless rows
    of sunflowers, her honeysuckle hair
    tangles wild in September's breeze,
    takes in the scent of sunshine, the sweetness

    of her sweat. Beautiful but dangerous,
    she points her rifle to the cooing sky,
    the white-wing dove, russet hued
    against the blue, perched atop

    a prickly pear, pecks at the bright pink
    blooms. As she slides her finger
    on the trigger, closes her eyes
    and imagines heaven opening

    the thumping, the rising up of Texas dust,
    the crimson eyes sealed shut and silenced. 

    Saturday, April 21, 2012

    NaPoWriMo #8

    Here's my South Texas Daphne!

    Apollo wanted just a little taste
    of her agave breath, to squeeze limon
    atop her midrift, taste tequila's tang
    mixed with her sweat. He wanted just a peek

    of her pink nipple blooms beneath her shirt,
    to run his palms across her smoothest skin.
    The story says that not all women want
    to be just like a potted plant, beautiful

    to look at as they come to bloom. Some girls
    prefer the taste of Texas dirt to lips,
    of men. Some like to roam the wild brush
    and get a little dust upon their boots.

    So when she felt his hot breath on her neck
    the lovely nymph became a prickly pear :-)



    Friday, April 20, 2012

    NaPoWriMo #7

    Today's prompt was to take a walk, go on a journey, and take mental notes. I obeyed.


    It’s spring and trees unravel catkins, bits
    of pollen cling to strands of hair
    Hidden in honeysuckle color.
    It has to happen, right?


    I ask. He nods. I think of worlds
    Bursting open, how grains of pollen sail
    In the wind and nestle in the right spot
    And make a seedling spring to life.

    Sure, sure, he says and pats my shoulder.
    I think of all the magic I believe,
    Take into the sidewalk cracks of my heart
    and let bloom into faith beneath pavement.

    A sparrow, one small enough to tuck
    into my pocket,hops and pecks at crumbs.
    A grackle puffs blue and black,
    his dead yellow eyes fixated
    on the crumbs at my feet.

    A sago’s leaves begin their journeys soft,
    Curl and harden as the seasons pass.
    The grackle crows. The sparrow startles,
    Flutters away.
    And still to me, underneath this heavy sun,
    When we piece our flesh together,

    Worlds open.


    Thursday, April 19, 2012

    NaPoWriMo #6

    I went to a funeral today, so naturally, that's the topic of my poem:

    For the Medranos, Virgilio and his amazing daughter Santos.


    No one could stop the April breeze today
    from animating her hair, the pinned back curls
    of his daughter as she hurried into church.
    As family shuffled in, heels clicked against

    the tiles like steady heartbeats, his blood flowed,
    his name alive on tongues. The clocks ticked on
    and cell phones rang muffled in purses as prayers
    were whispered and mouthed. The songs

    of reuniting filled the pews, and children's laughter
    echoed, dug out nascent smiles. The flowers bloomed
    white around the silent ashes, but never
    did I feel more alive than when I held

    his daughter's hands in mine, her eyes ablaze
    with strength. I whispered my condolences.

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    Why I LOVE Lavender Review

    So there's this fantastic indie journal I've recently discovered called The Lavender Review. I just have to say, it's been a pleasure to sift through.

    Lavender Review is a one woman show, founded and edited by Mary Meriam, a poet I love and respect. I met Mary on Eratosphere when I joined about a year ago, and she's posted some of the more inspired sonnets I've read in a very long time.


    Anyways! Lavender Review needs some support. Mary's put together a Kickstarter campaign because, after all, it's an independent journal run on the sweat and love. Check out the updates section for more videos of poets, artists, and readers declaring their love for the journal, too! I hope you'll consider LOVING the Lavender Review back by sending in your support or uploading a video like I have. The deadline's May 4th! 


    Let's keep this journal going, so woman everywhere can have their voices heard.

    Here's my video, which... is probably one of the least interesting on the site! X-D Check out Rick Mullin's video, which is beyond cute.

    video


    Why I think Lavender's Important:

    Lavender Review is dedicated to providing poetry for the LGBT community, and promoting the visual and literary arts of women. I love LAV because it's all about broadening the conversation, tearing down boundaries, and giving voice to some of the most fantastic poets around. We need more journals like this one around, that's for certain.

    Don't take Katie's word for it, readers. Issue 4 is out and about, just waiting to be savored. And you know what? It's dedicated to fairy tales! Here's my personal fave from the issue:

    Woman Into Tree by Gail White

    Lavender Review needs our support to continue publishing and promoting the arts. For issue 5, Mary is planning on a special themed issue about gardens, which sounds really exciting to me (I am, after all, a garden goddess myself... or err... I like to think I am...).FYI... she's currently taking submissions.

    Sunday, April 15, 2012

    NaPoWriMo #5

    I've decided to change my goal a little X-D

    How about instead of a poem a day, I just write as many as I can? Because man, one a day? No, I'm not cut out for that. I get all anal about them, and then I want to go back and revise, revise, revise while the conceit is still fresh in my mind. I can't leave them be. Taking a poem from scrap to poem in a day is, well for me, impossible (nearly, I've done it a few times, but it usually takes more time than I have most days...).

    Ok so here's #5. At this rate, I'll be at 10 by the end of the month. Which, isn't really half bad.


    Some things are done in faith, she says, her fists
    filled with soot. She raises her hands to the wind
    and opens up her palms. The wind periwinkles
    with ash and blows past the garden bed, leaves
    a fingerprint of gray on a single red bloom
    of hibiscus. I can't understand how it works,

    the bits and pieces of grease and bone
    from the bottom of the grill will seep
    to the soil, bring forth more blooms
    but here, in this moment, the vibrant
    red petals just dull. Like Moses,
    she tosses another handful to the breeze
    closes her eyes and waits for the boils
    of blooms to come across the face
    of our bed. That's just how it works.
    Don't question, child.

    I sit in the grass, bare kneed, split blades
    with my fingernails, and try to make sense
    of the world as bits of ash settle
    in my hair. 

    Monday, April 9, 2012

    NaPoWriMo #4

    I know, I know, I'm falling behind.

    I've been revising my little buggers... which isn't the idea of feverishly writing but whatever.

    Ok, so here's another shitty first draft of a poem, a "musing" let's call it about a South Texas Europa.

     
    I can't tell you what made me do it,
    the gritty bar, a night like any other
    where I sat underneath the neon lights,
    listened to that same old song of men
    left by women who are to blame
    for all of life's dilemmas. I swill
    cheap beer, it's bitter on my lips,
    it always tastes the same. I breathe
    the stale air, smoke and sour breath,
    listen to more bad pick up lines:

    My girl, your eyes are perdier than...

    No more. I slam down my glass,
    half empty now, and before the rough
    man can offer to buy me a drink, ask
    me to dance in a two step that leads
    me nowhere but his dirty apartment. I'm gone,
    left my bar stool, my heels clicking against
    the wooden floor. I don't know what made
    me do it that night, that night I climbed atop
    the bull and grabbed the reins in one hand,
    held hat in the other and closed my eyes –

    The cacophony of drunks turned to
    a symphony of waves, the steel guitar
    to sea gulls carrying a tune, and the bull
    bucking between my legs, cold underneath
    my ass was white and warm, gentle flesh,
    and galloped through the breezy night.
    I closed my eyes and rode away, away
    to a place where I was a woman who
    mighty enough to name a continent after,
    the one who even gods could not resist.

    Sunday, April 8, 2012

    How I Planted (and uprooted) the Garden

    I'm taking a little break from feverishly writing poems for the weekend. My publisher asked me to write a narrative on how I came up with my book. Goodness, nothing is more awkward than writing about your own poems. But, alas, Publisher is Publisher and well, Poet must listen to Publisher. It's... how nature works!

    Anyway, here's my little "essay" so far.

    How I Planted (and Uprooted) The Garden
     
    I've always been a reader, the worst and best kind all wrapped up into one. I was that awkward girl, you know the one with the bad skin that hangs out at the library. Yeah, that was me. I was hungry, taking in the stories of fairy tales as a kid, escaping to a realm of mythological beasts and fancies, and diving into the worlds constructed by my favorite novels. I'll admit it; I spent the better part of my teenage years fantasizing about Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, wishing someone just like him would move next door to me. I thought I just had to wait, look out my window, and someday, my life will begin and end in a whirlwind of “once upon a time” and “happily ever after.” To a girl like me, that was the world I lived in – the world of books. It was so much more enticing than the real world, the gritty and dirty one at my fingertips.

    Books, television shows, movies, the stories we hear – all of these powers have an amazing influence on how we see ourselves and how we imagine our place in the world around us. Perhaps they're the seeds of who we are, of our identities. We're all that girl running scared through the enchanted forest. Everyone has kissed a few frogs. We've all dared to bite that provocative apple. These are the collective cultural experiences that make up the core of who we are, that is, if we nurture the seeds an take them into ourselves.

    But what if you can rewrite the stories: take those seeds, uproot, and transplant them? I wanted to change these tales, revise them to depict a more complicated world, a world more true to my own experiences. I wanted to live in a forest where Red Riding Hood has fangs, a world where frogs hang out in night clubs (because, let's face it, they do), where Eve has a garden filled with designer dresses instead of flowers and fruits. Through the poems in my first collection, that's what I set out to do, to open up the conversation about the stories we're told as children and carry within us through to adulthood. After all, as a woman, I don't have to be the victim. I don't have to wait for a huntsman to save me from the belly of, well, anything. I don't have to wait for Mr. Darcy to move in next door for my life to begin. All I have to do is open up my window. All I have to do is uproot the garden.

    So that's how it all began – I was a reader first, a devourer of literature and culture, and a writer second. I began working my first poetry collection, The Garden Uprooted, about seven years ago, though I didn't really realize I was doing such a thing. I was simply writing the poems of my experiences, as both a reader and as a woman, experiences that were both real and imagined. I loved writing poems because each one had its own world, its own story to tell, its own truth.

    I grew up in Deep South Texas, so a lot of the poems in this collection carry the influence of the landscape – natural, cultural, and linguistic. And certainly, in this text, there are a lot of poems that chronicle how the speaker builds her identity, finds her place in the prickly landscape, finds her own roots. Though I wouldn't go so far as to say that the poems are confessional, I certainly draw influence from my life and experiences being a woman in this contested space of the borderlands. The narrative strung throughout the collection is fictional, though rooted in the truths of my experiences as human being searching for the answer to that very universal question of “Who am I?”

    I wish I could say that I had all this in mind when I set out to writing this collection. The truth is, though, that I didn't. I wrote poems that I wanted to read, poems that I felt were truthful, authentic, and raw. With a big pile of poems on my lap, there had to be some order to this chaos, a manuscript in the mess. I began looking for common themes in my work, and began to find the inherent order to my poems, the method to all the madness. Frost once wrote, “No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.” This manuscript was filled with surprises and discoveries for me, and hopefully, the same will ring true for my readers. Just watch your step – in this uprooted garden of imagination, you're sure to find some very real and warty toads.

    Friday, April 6, 2012

    NaNoPoMo #3

    This is *kind of* a true story. As a kid, I tagged along with the boy scouts since I had two brothers, and my dad was a troop leader. I always felt like I was one of them, sort of. Anyway, here's a little poem about being a 5 year old girl, in the woods with a bunch of wolves ::ahem:: I mean boys.


    I sit around the fire with the boys,
    and hold my stick above the flame.
    I let my marshmallow burn
    to hear them laugh, to stop
    their talk of guts, how, while hiking
    they’d come across a rabbit,
    torn to pieces in the brush.

    What do you do when lost in the woods?

    my father asks the troop. They talk of earth,
    of footprints, broken twigs and stars. A language
    I can’t understand. I clutch my rabbit’s foot,
    dyed red and on a chain.

    Which one’s the northern star?

    The troop leader asks, his eyes
    on me. I shrug.

    Dunno.

    and point my finger towards the night sky
    at any old star, one of thousands
    in the milky night.

    A boy scout grabs my arm
    and guides my finger towards
    the brightest star.

    There, he whispers in my ear,
    breath tickling against my neck.

    A june bug lands on my knee,
    drunk on the light  we make.
    I shriek, and the boy scout lets my arm go,
    pinches the bug between his fingers.

    I watch him toss it to the flame,
    catch and grow still.

    Girl, how are you going to find
    your way home?

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

    Welcome to National Poetry Month!

    Ahhh this really snuck up on me.

    I have some plans for National Poetry Month... among them include participating in the Valley International Poetry Festival at the end of the month, in addition to going on a DIY writer's retreat.

    I really want, also, to devote more and more time to my writing. You see, I'm not making fast enough progress on my manuscript. I'm writing, slow and steady, but it's just too slow for my taste. I've been averaging this year a decent poem maybe every two weeks. At this rate, I won't be done with my next manuscript in awhile.

    So, in the spirit of National Poetry Month, I'd like to paricipate, also in NaPoWriMo. I know, I'm getting off to a late start. I meant to start on the 1st, but I've been completely swamped with grading. And... making headway on my novel, which is another project that I'm making too slow progress on.

    Anyway --

    I'm going to try to pick up the pace and write 30 poems this month. No, they won't be great, they won't even be good. But hopefully by the end of April I'll be left with some seeds of poems that I can plant, revise, edit and workshop into something glorious!

    I'll be posting them here. Hopefully everyday. Here are my first two (though, they're really related).

    NaPoWriMo #1:

    A herd of longhorns graze on sorry grass;


    the summer’s burned the monte blonde and dry.

    I watch from my backyard; I peer my face

    above the aging picket fence. A fist

    of endive in my hands, I toss a rib

    across, my bovine offering. The leaves

    thump down against the Texas dust, bring forth

    the largest bull. The earth

    bows at his weight, he tips his horns to me

    in thanks. His tongue unfurls around the leaves,

    between his lips the endive disappears

    with a crunch. He sniffs the earth and searches

    for another taste, perhaps a loose

    board in the fence. What else could I expect?



    NaPoWriMo #2

    Cilantro plants as high as hips,


    Tomatoes like a fist,

    my garden bloomed in glory.



    Then the hungry came.

    The fence bowed at his weight,

    and I could only watch and yelp

    and wave my shovel while the bull

    trampled on through, pulled up

    my rows of endive, munched down

    cilantro plants to nothing but stubs,

    tomatoes bursting sanguine underneath

    those dusty hooves. Even nopalitos,

    spines and all, were sucked

    between his eager lips. I tried



    to slap his bovine face, his warm

    breath kissed my wrist.



    What else was I to do but watch wet eyed

    As the beast galloped off into the monte

    Disappeared into the wildflower fields

    of early spring? What else was I to do



    but shovel up manure

    and start again?

     
     
     
    I'll come back and revise later, but it's nice to have a start! Here's to writing more!
     
    Happy National Poetry Month, and let the NaPoWriMo begin!
     
    Hey, I was late starting NaNoWriMo too, and I still made it to the finish line. Don't judge me, you punk.