Friday, March 31, 2017

Poetry Pubs So Far in 2017 (and One in 2016)


Friends, it's the eve of National Poetry Month, and tomorrow I'll begin writing a poem a day throughout the month of April. My poet buddy Thomas Alan Holmes will be joining me here in the blog with his poem-a-day productions as well.

In the meantime, here are my poetry publications so far this year, besides the ones I've announced in the last few days. (Plus one from last year, shown below, at the end of this post.)

"Head to the Sky" and photograph "Silvertone Silhouette"
Published in The Ekphrastic Review (see image at right)

"Space Opera" in The 2017 Rhysling Anthology
Nominated for a Rhysling Award (short form — fewer than 50 lines)
from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association
Originally published in Altered Reality Magazine

"Elegy for Iain Banks" in The 2016 Rhysling Anthology
Nominated for a Rhysling Award (long form — 50 lines or more)
from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association
Originally published in Star*Line 39.3
Reprinted in Altered Reality Magazine

"Doggie Diner, Geary and Arguello, 1969"
in the ME, AT 17 series
Published in Silver Birch Press

And finally, from 2016, "Clerihews for a Literary Sailor"
Published in the Parody Poetry Journal

Here is that last one, for your enjoyment, since it's not currently available anywhere online.  

Clerihews for a Famous Literary Sailor


Herman Melville
Was into whale kill,
So he wrote the famous Moby-Dick
Although harpooning was not his schtick.

Herman Melville
Couldn’t spell well.
The real guy’s name was Israel,
But Herman misspelled it as Ishmael.

Herman Melville
Didn't sell well.
Thousands of Moby-Dick copies left over,
In his attic, his basement, and his mom’s, moreover.

Herman Melville
Fished for bluegill.
He said it was almost as fun as whale,
If you don’t consider matters of scale.

Herman Melville
Visited Nashville.
Where Moby-Dick didn’t get him too far
’Cause he couldn't sing or play guitar.

Herman Melville
Scared a Paris demoiselle.
She said, “Mon cheri, with you it’s wrong.
Your Moby-Dick is just too long.”

—Vince Gotera, Parody Poetry Journal (Volume 5, Issue 2, 2016).


Thanks to all the editors who published these poems: Kelly Christiansen (Altered Reality Magazine); Lorette C. Luzajic (The Ekphrastic Review); Brian Garrison (Parody Poetry Journal); Melanie Villines (Silver Birch Press); and F. J. Bergman (Star*Line).

Friends, see you back here tomorrow for the beginning of NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day? Until then . . .


Won’t you comment, please? I'd love to hear what you’re thinking. To comment, look for a red line below that starts Posted by, then click once on the word comments in that line. If you don’t find the word “comments” in that line, then look for a blue link below that says Post a comment and click it once. Thanks!

Ingat, everyone.   



P.S. I was wrong above. Turns out Parody Poetry Journal blogged my Melville clerihews on 30 January! See that pub here. Thanks again, Brian! (Added 3 April 2017)


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Stone Canoe / Veterans Writing Prize


I recently had the good fortune to have my poem “Army Wife” get double honors. It was published in the renowned New York journal Stone Canoe and also won that journal's Veterans Writing Prize for 2017.

Here is the cover of the issue in which that poem appeared.

And here is the poem.

Army Wife


The lieutenant from the Japanese Army
twirled his Nambu pistol on his finger

like a Hollywood Wild West gunslinger,
interrogating my mother about what she knew

and didn’t know. They dragged her two oldest
brothers out into the Manila street, beheaded

them in front of the Fajardo family mansion.
Their bodies tossed into the garden to water

the sampaguita flowers, the jasmine scent
corrupted by the iron tang of their blood.

Nights twenty years later, she soothed my father
when flashbacks from WWII racked his mind.

She was always afraid he might think her
an enemy, kill her bare-handed while asleep.

“Blessed art thou among women.” Her lips
would whisper the words. “Pray for us sinners

now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”
Rosary beads twined around her fingers,

she would kiss the Blessed Mother’s face
where the silver chains joined full circle,

the small crucifix hanging like an anchor
in candlelight. Then she would drape

the rosary’s light chain around her neck,
like the doctor’s stethoscope she gave up.

Like everything,
everything she gave up.

—Vince Gotera, Stone Canoe 11 (2017).

I would like to thank the students in my Poetry Workshop class at the University of Northern Iowa in the spring semester of 2016. That class only had 7 students and so I had the welcome opportunity to write and workshop poems along with them. “Army Wife” was one of those poems, and the students — Amanda Husak, Andrew Richman, Claire Bowling, Lexi Yost, Molly White, Sarah Smith, and Ven Batista — all gave me insightful workshop feedback and practical advice. Thanks, guys!

Many thanks also to Phil Memmer, editor of Stone Canoe. Excellent journal issue as always, Phil! Keep up your wonderful work.

Friends, click here to get a copy of this Stone Canoe issue.


Won’t you comment, please? I'd love to hear what you’re thinking. To comment, look for a red line below that starts Posted by, then click once on the word comments in that line. If you don’t find the word “comments” in that line, then look for a blue link below that says Post a comment and click it once. Thanks!

Ingat, everyone.   

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Trilingual Blue Bravura


I recently had the pleasure and the honor of one of my poems appearing in translation: Spanish and Romanian.

In February 2017, Eileen R. Tabios — my "poet sister" and "verse kumadre" — published Your Father Is Bald, a history and collection of the hay(na)ku form, which Eileen invented in 2003. I happen to be the namer of the hay(na)ku . . . a portmanteau pun on "haiku" and the Philippine expression "hay naku" (kinda like "oy vey" or "oh my god").

Your Father Is Bald, put out by PIM Publishing House in Romania, is trilingual — in English, Spanish, and Romanian — and Eileen invited me to be a "guest poet" in the book. So my hay(na)ku poem "Blue Bravura" appears there, my first time being translated into other languages.

If you're not familiar with the hay(na)ku, it's basically a tercet with one word in the first line, two words in the second line, and three words in the third line — a deceptively simple form that is amazingly flexible and expressive. This 1-2-3 patterning produces the book's title. "Your Father Is Bald" comes from the Philippine nursery rhyme "isa, dalawa, tatlo, and tatay mo'y kalbo"; in English this translates into "one, two, three, your father is bald." Much more fun in Filipino!

Here is my poem next to the Spanish and the Romanian versions.

Blue Bravura
For the
Griffin Lit
sixth graders
and their teacher
Ms. Filas
poems
like gems
in my pocket

gleam
and glisten
in the dark

glowing
always with
their blue light

saying
hey you
pay close attention

bluebirds
blueberries sky
blue blue blue

blue
egyptian jewels
sapphire tanzanite turquoise

blue
lapis lazuli
azurite aquamarine topaz

blue
jade dragon
breathing carnelian flames

blue
steel blades
crocodile kampilan swords

blues
blazing rock
guitar bass timbales

blue
prophecies ballads
in yours mine

our
blue pockets
brilliant breathtaking words
      Coraje azúl
Para los niños
del sexto grado
de Griffin Lit
y su maestra,
Ms. Filas
poemas
como diamantes
en mi bolsillo

brillan
y alumbran
en la oscuridad

brillando
siempre con
su luz azúl

diciendo
oye tú
pon atención aquí

azúlejo
arándano cielo
azúl, azúl, azúl

azules
joyas egipcias.
zafiro, tansánito, turquesa

azúl
lapislázuli
azúl celeste, aguamarina, topacio

azúl
dragón de jade
llamas de cornalina

azúles
hojas de acero
espadas kampilanes

blues
rock explosivo
tímpanos de guitarra

baladas
profecías azúles
reencuentro en ti

nuestros
bolsillos azúles
brillantes palabras abrumantes
      Curaj albastru
Pentru copiii din
clasa a şasea
de la Griffin Lit
şi profesoarei lor,
Doamna Filas
poeme
ca nestemate
în buzunarul meu

strălucesc
ş􀀙i luminează
în acest întuneric

strălucind
întotdeauna cu
lumina lor albastră

spunând
hei tu
fii atent aici

albastru
cer albăstriu
albastru, albastru, albastru

albastre
bijuterii egiptene
safir, tanzanit, turcoaz

albaş􀀁tri
lapis lazuli
azur, acvamarin, topaz

albastru
dragon jad
flăcări vii cornalină

albastre
lame de otel
săbii kampilan

blues
rock exploziv
timbale chitară bas

balade
preziceri
albastre regăsesc în tine

buzunarele
noastre albastre
strălucitoare cuvinte copleş􀀁itoare

—Vince Gotera, from Your Father Is Bald by Eileen R. Tabios (PIM Publishing House, 2017).

This poem goes back to April 26, 2012, when I featured on the blog the Griffin Lit wiki where Danielle Filas and her sixth graders at Village Academy Schools in Powell, Ohio, were posting NaPoWriMo poems. That day was The Academy of American Poets' "national poem in your pocket day" and I wrote this poem in tribute to that inspiring class of young poets. Those kids are now juniors in high school. I hope some of them are still writing poems!

By the way, the Spanish translation is by Diana Dragomirescu; the Romanian by Gabriela Apetrei, Elena Țăpean, Ioana Agafiței, and Irina Secărescu. I love their work except that both translations, strangely, leave out the word "crocodile" in line 27.


Won’t you comment, please? I'd love to hear what you’re thinking. To comment, look for a red line below that starts Posted by, then click once on the word comments in that line. If you don’t find the word “comments” in that line, then look for a blue link below that says Post a comment and click it once. Thanks!

Ingat, everyone.   

Monday, March 27, 2017

Poems at Inigo Online Magazine


Friends, we're kinda sneaking up on NaPoWriMo here . . . less than a week to go. This Saturday — five days from now — will be Day One! So I thought I'd up warm up the blog here with some poetry news. It's been a while since I've been here. A sin, I know. I do hope you'll come back every day during April for poems, poems, poems!

During this month of March, I've been very lucky to have four poems appear in a new venue, Inigo Online Magazine, at inigoonline.com. On the mag's launch day, two of my carmina figurata appeared, memorializing Prince, and today Inigo Online published two of my poems on Jimi Hendrix. It's a rock & roll month!
The four poems are . . .
"Prince Rules" (1 March 2016)

"Prince's Guitar" (1 March 2016)

"Letter to Hendrix in Paradise" (27 March 2016)

" 'Are You Experienced?' " (27 March 2016)
Thanks to editor Melanie Wolfe and her staff at Inigo Online Magazine!


Won’t you comment, please? Love to know what you’re thinking. To comment, look for a red line below that starts Posted by, then click once on the word comments in that line. If you don’t find the word “comments” in that line, then look for a blue link below that says Post a comment and click it once. Thanks!

Ingat, everyone.   

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