Sunday, November 27, 2011


"Taming Texas"--Jefferson Carter
"American Ingenuity"--Jefferson Carter
"Other"--Mary Crow
"My Son, My Undertaker"--John Kay
"Confetti"--Robert King
"Dear Key Largo:"--Alexandra van de Kamp

Good luck to the above contenders.  You can read more of their poetry in the December issue of 10x3 plus.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

JOHN KAY -----------> continued success

I wish I had the budget that Bellevue Literary Review must have. Enough dollars to pay for staff to edit and publish a 250 page 10th Anniversary issue. Quality poetry abounds: some favorites of mine are poems by Rafael Campo, David Wagoner, Cornelius Eady, and Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan. The review also includes fiction and non-fiction.

John Kay has two poems in the current issue: "Almost Dark" and "Echo's End." John continues down his brave and uneasy path--both esoteric and universal. I'm tempted to copy "Almost Dark" completely here, but that wouldn't be fair to BLR--maybe John will let me share it on this blog a few months from now.

In the meantime, you can read John's poems in BLR and also in the #6 issue of 10x3 plus.

Check out information below on ordering John Kay's full-length poetry collection, PHANTOM OF THE APPLE.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

from "Paradise Lightning Dazzle" - Gregory Orr

One step beyond
what world is that?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ferns: A Study - Michael Gessner

From his pose in the garden
Just as his voice became
My own, Froebel stepped into the evening

Of my dream for his uncommon love
Of the young and with his notes
At the close of another century
Collected from an elemental source
Of children, my children of the forest
And the perpetual lily pond mad for the end,
Playing and sometimes translucent
Against the sun endowed with beauty
Which has become commonplace
And for beauty's tension they never cease
From the pursuit of themselves
As though they inhabit this place
Only to breed themselves to death by error.

As forests were once ferns
And ferns infant in the dumb morning
Existing of notions
Which were also geometries
Copious among us

As they were always among us
Even in the dreams of the twelfth-century girls
Dreaming at the edge of the forest
In anticipation of the unimagined season,

The caress and the still life
Of ferns
On seacoasts and on the white porches
Of summer homes
Or hung from the platforms of wooden depots,
How they bowed along the boulevards
Welcoming victors to the city,
And atop cool Corinthian planters
In the lobbies of grand hotels
There were ferns
In the background of photographs,
Pharmacies and funeral parlors,
And in the corridors of museums
Positioned carefully below milky skylights
That are sealed and permit no entry,

But most in a memory of children
There were ferns
Copious, still and sometimes swaying
In the settings of their stories,
In the stories of their sleep.

First published in Pacific Review
Collected in SURFACES (March Street Press)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize

Beginner's Mind Publishing has made its first nomination for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. The Academy of American Poets oversees the award annually for a poetry collection by a living U.S. poet.

It was a pleasure to nominate PHANTOM OF THE APPLE by John Kay, Beginner's Mind Publishing, 2010.

The following poem from PHANTOM OF THE APPLE first appeared in 5 AM:

Who's Who of the Dead

I see that I made it into the
Who's Who of the Dead

and there's a picture of me,
wide-eyed, looking stern, as if

I have a serious beef with life,
on page 727 of the fifth volume.

I'm the first of my family, and
I didn't get in because I knew

somebody. I jumped the fence
and ran like hell from one yard

to another, and the doctors
could never catch me.

Good luck to John Kay and Beginner's Mind Publishing.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday, 2011

Reading the "Daily Prayer of Father Parfeny of Kiev" on Martin Turner's Weblog, I realized I don't think of prayer as between self and God. I found myself editing "Grant me that purity of spirit...which makes us worthy of Thy Love" to Grant me that purity of spirit...which makes us worthy of Love." Without the Thees and Thous, the prayer seemed to evolve into a generalized prayer of being, focused on Good.


* Laura Treacy Bentley
* Maggie Anderson

Laura Treacy Bentley has two poems in THE SOUTHERN POETRY ANTHOLOGY, Volume III: Contemporary Appalachia. "Closet Appalachians" appeared originally in the #2 issue of 10x3 plus. "Gas Stations" was first published in Pudding Magazine.

Years ago, I wrote a grant for the Pennsylvania Council of the Humanities to cover a community program featuring Maggie Anderson. Maggie's presentation culminated with an evening poetry reading in a local church in southwestern Pennsylvania, and poems such as "House and Graveyard, Rowlesburg, West Virginia, 1935" really resonated with the residents. At the time, the community newspaper reprinted "Spitting in the Leaves" and I was glad to see it published again in this anthology.

Other writers with West Virginia connections included in THE SOUTHERN POETRY ANTHOLOGY are Casie Fedukovich, Harry Gieg, Chris Green, Larry Grimes, Ron Houchin, Donna J. Long, Jeff Mann, and Elizabeth Savage.

This is a really rich and wide ranging anthology and I hope it will find a readership that extends well beyond the Appalachian region.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tomas de Faoite to Sue Ann Simar, Correspondence

sue all time is limited, compressed,
when I look on my life there is none of it left,
it is all just another day, another again,
i seek no solace and nothing can shed
its essence, or justify its value,
i have no interest in truth or credo,
i can't lean my arms on a pew anymore
and look to the ceiling and see the hand
of michelangelo in the stretching out
of fresco, cracking, peeling off
the world that is turning out of tune and time

and all your artworks, the house top heavy,
and all those pictures probably still in wraps,
looking towards each other, and your husband
the fisherman, knowing where the river opens,
casting from the shade into sunlight; his feet
in the undergrowth, up to his waist in reeds
and salamanders. let him cast and cast again,
and do not be downcast about it
if nothing bites on the dullest of days

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday, January 14, 2011

BEAST BOOK - Michael Gessner

I had the privilege of writing one of the back cover liner notes for this book of poems, and of course, I read the book in its entirety before doing so. It's now several months later and I keep returning to this book again and again. This book is so multi-layered that I've been savoring one poem at a time, line by line, word by word.

Today it's the short poem "Matching." Snow is falling throughout West Virginia and the poem matches my mood perfectly:

"...a world
brighter than my own
floats to mind,

and I have stepped outside
the self & into another
zone occupied
with foreign sensations only"

There's plenty of grit in this book--gristle and grind and "fat in a pot." But it's needful to find the little poem, the small that makes you larger.

The book design by Geoffrey Gatza and publishing details by BlazeVOX contribute to the cohesive effect of the book. I really hope this book finds the readers that it deserves.