Saturday, May 31, 2003

Today is the Official Publication Date for Patricia Carlin's Book, Original Green!

Marsh Hawk Press Poet and Board Member Jane Augustine offers:

31 May 2003

Marsh Hawk Press blogspots--what an opportunity for someone on the editorial collective to talk about the poems of the poets she helped select, and it's not cheating or self-reviewing, (although I've always loved Whitman's chutzpah in self-reviewing and have felt tempted to similar crime, which I may yet commit). But it's the chance I've always wanted to talk about Marsh Hawk Press's good books, ruminate on them almost as if talking to myself but aware that others are listening.

Now I want to talk about Patricia Carlin's book that Marsh Hawk Press is officially publishing today. On Thursday evening at her book launch she read the opening poem in Original Green, titled "The Box Turtle," a poem that sets up the book's premises. Its first line completes a sentence begun by the title: "can live for up to a hundred years." Tone simple as if quoted from a scientific journal (ah, thinks the astute poetry reader, just like a human being). "Unless" --the scientific journal continues--"the water dries or the land is cleared/he will spend (note it's ‘he') that hundred years/in the same square-mile patch of woodland..." Then come closely observed details of how the box turtle waddles, searching for water (men are ‘slow', they don't get it, they search, but stupidly). He's "plated, boxed....It's hard not to think of him as inside his shell" (ah, the poet acknowledges the cliche that the reader maybe has sensed, of a withdrawn person, as "inside his shell", and catches me up on ) "although in fact he is his shell as much as he's not." Now poet and reader are coming into more direct contact. Look, the poet says, a man, a human being, is who he is: "He" — or I, or you?— "can never see his own design." ( Nor can I see my own face directly, only its reflection). She then shows me exactly how the box turtle looks "intricate tessellated bone-house.../ and the soft self, thrusting out and withdrawing." (Phallic, penis = male self, erotically thrusts out and presents the lover's tender hidden self, a redemptive thought, nice— ) Then— wham— the last line:

And there's no metaphor in this. No poetry.

Her intelligence plays along with mine and overwhelms it. We're face to face but in tandem as well. She is saying: forget your clever readership. What do you think you're doing, turning everything into a metaphor? Forget "the natural object is always the adequate symbol" although it's true. Look at reality. Look squarely at things as they are. They're beautiful, mysterious, inexplicable and we've only begun to try to understand. Poetry is more than poetry--that is the trick it plays and that Patricia's words reminded us of as she read them Thursday evening among the half-lit dark mahogany shelves and old books of the library in the Explorers Club.


Here is Patricia's poem:


can live for up to a hundred years.
Unless the water dries up or the land is cleared
he will spend that hundred years
in the same square-mile patch of woodland.

The voice of the turtle is never heard.
There's no sound to cloud his slow lurching waddle
inch by rickety inch over the yellowing leaves
as he searches for water.

Plated, boxed: splayed legs; sharp tail;
head red-eyed and beaked on a thick short neck.
It's hard not to think of him as inside his shell
although in fact he is his shell as much as he's not.

He can never see his own design.
Intricate tessellated bone-house spotted with profligate red,
and the soft self, thrusting out and withdrawing.
And there's no metaphor in this. No poetry.

A Marsh Hawker at the Boston Poetry Marathon!

Thomas Fink will read at the Boston Poetry Marathon at the Art Institute of Boston (700 Beacon St. in Kenmore Square) on Thursday, June 5 at 8:30 pm. Other poets reading that night include Wanda Phipps, Lisa Bourbeau, and Tom Sleigh.

Friday, May 30, 2003

More on Patricia's Marvelous Party!

Burt Kimmelman reports:

The book party for Patricia Carlin's Original Green was a marvel--so many fine poets and critics in attendance. The highlight of the evening was a brief reading from the book by Marie Ponsot and then by Patricia herself. Of course, the food and drinks were delightful, as was the surrounds. It was my first time at the Explorer's Club. I love this sort of Upper East Side of Manhattan experience, an area dotted with embassies, museums and the like, graceful and posh architecture and solid conversation to go with it (or should this be the other way around?).


for adding MHP Blogs! to your site of poetry links at your wonderfully-green blog:

Limetree: K. Silem Mohammad's Poetry & Poetics Blog

Limetree's links offers a great list of other poetry-related blogs.


Stephen Paul Miller notes, "I note that people are mentioning elephants. I like elephants as is, but I long for them to develop a consciousness to rival humans on our own terms. Here is a poem from my MARSH HAWK BOOK, THE BEE


As an elephant, I gain immense pleasure being gentle and
laid back in all judicial matters.
I’m unintimidatable,
extremely phallic, and totally out there.
My nose and upper lip come
together in a hand that
sprays my head off. I have an
inlaid triangular pillow below
the balls of each foot. I guide
Stephen Paul Miller. When people jeer
at him he walks by unfazed, as do I, with my
unapproachable joy, bliss,
knowledge, and power.
Am I losing weight?
No, of course not.

(Nota bene: Some of the poem's lines are indented; for accurate version, read his book!)

Thursday, May 29, 2003

And Apparently A Good Time Was Had By All At Patricia's Party!

Sandy McIntosh:
Just back from Patricia's party at the Explorers Club. We got lots of photos of Patricia, other Marsh Hawk poets, many other non-Marsh Hawk poets, and lots of taxidermied fauna and flora (none of the latter two categories, and I emphasize this, being Marsh Hawk poets).

Photos will appear shortly on the MHP website.

On a personal note, the last time I was at the Explorers Club I shot an elephant in my pajamas.

Eileen Tabios:
What did the elephant do to you? How did the elephant end up in your pajamas?

Sandy (who lives in NY):
You know what I hate? I hate it that I can go make the long trek into the City on a dirty train, go to a lovely party, stay until it ends, have the janitor indicate that he will be wheeling me out in his gurney if I don't leave on my own, and then I write to you after an interminable ride home on the train in the wee hours of the night, and I realize, by the alacrity of your response, that it is still early evening for you 3,000 miles away, and my exhaustion is only an after dinner frisson for you and your equally sibilant readers. That's what I hate. Otherwise, things are okay.

Eileen (who lives in St. Helena):
It's all about frisson, honey.

Congratulations to Patricia Carlin!

Patricia Carlin will be celebrating the publication of her book, Original Green, at the Explorer's Club this (Thursday) evening between 6-9:00. 46 East 70 St., New York City.

Original Green is among Marsh Hawk Press's Spring 2003 releases, along with Madeline Tiger's BIRDS OF SORROW AND JOY and Sharon Dolin's Serious Pink. All books are available through SPD, Amazon and Bn.com.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Madeline Tiger's Upcoming Readings

In June, Madeline Tiger will be giving two (more) readings. Her book BIRDS OF SORROW AND JOY was published by Marsh Hawk Press in April 2003. She will have a second book launch -- reading and celebration -- on June 9th, at the Montclair Public Library in Montclair, NJ. 7:00 to 9:00 P.M. She will be reading with Diane Lockward, whose new book, EVE'S RED DRESS, was published this spring by Wind Publications.

Madeline's next Manhattan reading will be at Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street (in the Village), on Monday evening, June 16th, 6:00 - 8:00 P.M. She will be the feature reader. The $6 admission fee includes a drink at the cafe bar.

There will be book signing and sales at both these readings.

Madeline's book launch was celebrated on May 11 in Manhattan. She was joined by her collaborator, the artist Barbara Beck who produced the cover painting and illustrations for Tiger's new book (also for several of her prior collections). It was held at Barbara Beck's gallery, Studio Gallery 88, 205 West 88th Street, and attracted an enthusiastic crowd of artists and writers -- a successful event for all involved.

Monday, May 26, 2003

A New Poem From Harriet Zinnes!

A Line

The line
that is drawn
that swirls
to reach
what is not

A line
a sanctuary
an angle
a root
a force
is a line
is a line
an object
and yet
and yet

Harriet Zinnes was the seventh poet to be published by Marsh Hawk Press. There is much pleasure to be found in her book Drawing On The Wall, which was praised as a "Notable book of the year" by the National Book Critics Circle.

Is This a Blurb From The Times Literary Supplement?

Mike Heller recently alerted us to the following:

This just in from Times Literary Supplement (May 2, 2003):

"Meaningless poetry blurbs, an occasional series. Serious Pink is a new collection by Sharon Dolin, published by Marsh Hawk Press of New York. The poems themselves, which were inspired by abstract paintings, are possibly enchanting, but most readers will not progress beyond the recommendation by Tomaz Salamun: 'Dolin's passion offers us a coast where she blows up our souls with longing. Everything that happens is a gift. The place, the wind, the colours. Welcome happy avid eyes.'" (-- J.C., NB column)

Sharon cheerfully replies: "I think there is something hugely funny about my book being singled out in this way, and having Tomaz's blurb, which is a little surrealist poem-in-prose dissed like this in the intellectual paper of record in England..... I, of course, want to use "possibly enchanting" as a future blurb on a book."


Eileen Tabios drinks wine to the moon (and everything else) in order to offer a poetics blog "WinePoetics." Her blog, unique within the poetry blogging community for following the lineage of "drunken boxing," is also featured in the latest issue of The Poetry Project Newsletter, as recently noted by Nick Piombino on his "Fait Accompli" blog:

Saturday, May 24 :: The Poetry Project Newsletter, issue #195, for June-September 2003, edited by Nada Gordon and Gary Sullivan is hot of the press! The issue is mostly devoted to blogging and bloggers with pieces, for the most part drawn from the blogs of Drew Gardner, Stephanie Young, Patrick Durgin, David Hess, Jack Kimball, Jordan Davis, Tim Yu, Heriberto Yepez, Eileen Tabios, Brandon Barr, Marianne Shaneen, Mairead Byrne, Camille Roy; a poem by Marianne Moore adapted to the topic of blogging by Brian Kim Stefans, a conversation drawn from the blogs of Josh Corey and K. Silem Mohammed; and Jack Kimball on new work by Bruce Andrews, Joe Elliot, David Larsen, Carol Mirakove, Rene Ricard and Lytle Shaw. This gala, but final issue to be edited by Gary and Nada includes an in-depth review of George Stanley's *A Tall Serious Girl* by Lewis Warsh and a terrific comic strip by Sharon Mesmer and David Bourchart *Rebuilding the City of The Future*and a piece by me titled "Confessions of a Blog Artist." Free to members, the issue costs $5. The Poetry Project is located at 131 East 10th Street, NY , NY 10003, (212) 674-0910. Email poproj@thorn.net
web site: www.poetryproject.com.

Welcome to "MHP Blogs!" -- the blog by the members of Marsh Hawk Press, a poetry collective.

Marsh Hawk Press takes its name from the strong, independent, wide-ranging bird found everywhere in America's open spaces, and not too close to solid, built-up ground. Our books present forms and sensibilities that have assimilated modern and post-modern traditions but expand from these without political or aesthetic bias, outside of "schools" yet with affinities to the visual arts. The books are jury-selected and carefully edited in consultation with their authors. Marsh Hawk Press is a juried collective committed to publishing poetry. It is an imprint of Poetry Mailing List, Inc., a not-for-profit organization with 501(c) 3 status under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. More information about our books may be obtained at the Marsh Hawk Press website.

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