Wednesday, October 29, 2003


Eileen Tabios returns to New York for two events over the next few days. The first is AAWW's Intimacy & Geography, a national conference on Asian American poetry, in which she participates on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2003; click on the link for full conference schedule while here are Eileen's panels:

11:30AM - 1PM / $7 / @ CUNY
Lightning Strikes
In this panel, poets trace the editing process for one of their poems, from first draft to published version. Eileen Tabios (moderator), editor of Black Lightning: Poetry in Progress. Participants include Mei-mei Bersenbrugge, Arthur Sze. and Timothy Liu.

2 - 3PM / $7 / @ AAWW
Poet Squared (a conversation): Arthur Sze & Eileen Tabios

Asian American Writers' Workshop (AAWW)
16 West 32nd Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues
10th floor
New York, New York 10001

CUNY Graduate Center (CUNY)
East 34th Street, at 5th Avenue
New York, New York 10001


Eileen's second event is on Monday evening, Nov. 3, 2003:

Bold Girls: authors from the great new Filipina anthology, GOING HOME TO A LANDSCAPE
in an Evening of Poetry, Prose and Music
Monday, November 3, 2003
7:00PM to 9:00 PM
$2 Admission

Galapagos Art Space
70 North 6th St.
Info: bookings@galapagosartspace.com

Authors Reading and Signing their work on Nov. 3:
Melissa Aranzamendez
Luisa Igloria
Isabelita Reyes
Elda Rotor
Eileen Tabios
Marianne Villanueva

Musical Accompaniment
Michael Dadap—Classical Guitar (check out his website: www.dadap.com)

For those taking the subway, take the "L" train to Bedford, exit towards the rear of the train. You should find yourself on North 7th and Bedford. Turn left, walk one block to North 6th. Turn right on North 6th, walk two or three blocks (towards Manhattan). Galapagos should be on your left-hand side; there is a reflecting pool in front of the building.

Monday, October 27, 2003


Congratulations to Jane Augustine for seeing one of her poems appear in today's edition of Verse Daily! The featured poem, "At 5:45 p.m. before Good Friday on East 18th Street," is the final poem in Arbor Vitae.

Friday, October 24, 2003


Marsh Hawk Press is delighted to feature a paper written by LaGuardia student Elena Palma on one of Sandy McIntosh's poems! Thanks Elena!

“The Operation”

by Elena Palma

Sandy McIntosh’s “The Operation” (from Between Earth and Sky), teaches a lesson that misinterpretation happens in all stages of life. In this poem the characters do not communicate fully and accurately. The lady seems to be involved in her own sadness and loneliness after her divorce. She is only thinking to forget about her past and get into a new life, but this time with a daughter, who represents serious responsibility.

The speaker apparently is a young man looking for an adventure, fun, and also trying to feel good with anybody who can show affection and make him feel attractive. At the same time, the lady challenges his manhood when she says, “Is it baby’s bedtime?” (43). The speaker feels “compromised” because of his macho ego. He thinks this adventure can result easily; he really believes that he was “the most attractive man at the party” (44). Each character is involved in different thinking.

This is significant mis-communication; both persons do not engage in a real conversation. They act under the effect of alcohol. Each person is going through different stages of life. She seems to be older than he is, and divorced already, totally opposite from the male character. The only common interest they have is the sexual attraction.

Many difficulties result from bad communication. Since each person is not sincere, keeping everything inside, the interaction with others is going to be misinterpreted; the speaker and the lady have their own idea about each other. These people don’t talk; they only make assumptions guided by carnal desire.

“Sandy” in this case solves the difficulty, first of all leaving the women’s place when she requested, even though he is disappointed and confused by her reaction. After, he analyzes the whole scenario of that encounter, and why he is rejected with apparently no reason. He thinks of good excuses or reasons to justify her change of mind about sexual intercourse. By the time he meets her again, he has understood her motives: “It wasn’t her fault, // I had come to admire her courage.” He forgives her; deep inside, he thinks that she was just a confused woman in that crazy night.

After those years, Sandy does not realize that he never asked her name, either. He notices only when she mentions it-- his one good reason to feel even at least in one thing.

Like “Sandy,” I, too, have experienced serious mis-understanding. This case was with a friend from Puerto Rico, and was about language. Spanish speaking people seem to be able to communicate perfectly, but this is not true. Many words in Spanish are written and pronounced the same, but the meaning is different. This mis-communication created a lot of resentment in our lives. We never made anything clear; both of us just felt offended and kept to ourselves. I would have had a better relationship with this person if it weren’t for our mis-interpretation of the language. I realized this after I started to learn other countries’ interpretation of language, but is was too late to emend the damage of our friendship.

People should communicate more and be honest to clarify any potential mis-understanding. Interaction with others is difficult, and understanding the real meaning of action and words is very complicated in communication.

Monday, October 20, 2003


Here's an excerpt from Nick Piombino's October 19 post at his Fait Accompli Blog!

[...]Eileen Tabios' *Reproductions of An Empty Flagpole*,
one of the most aptly titled books in recent memory,
is packed with prose poems that will bring a
reader back for revisits again and again.
Thanks to both for recent mentions
and generous quotes
on their weblogs.

From *Reproductions of An Empty Flagpole*:

"What does it say about me when I ask for asylum in places where
people wish to leave? I try to find meaning in flags. But they
repel me when buffeted by an incidental breeze. Oh, I reconsider
when I am pierced by an empty flagpole. It makes me think of barkers
at street corners flaying the wake of traffic. They should never sell
their souls."

Thanks for the support, Mr. Piombino. Meanwhile, Eileen's book is quickly selling! Get it while you can at Small Press Distribution, Amazon.com, the Asian American Writers Workshop's Bookstore, and other special bookstores across the country!

Thursday, October 16, 2003


The following is the upcoming reading and book signing schedule for Barry Schwabsky as he launches his first poetry collection OPERA: Poems 1981-2002. This is an extraordinary book which was the first listed in Publisher's Weekly round-up of 20 first books:

September 1, 2003
Publishers' Weekly [P. 85-86]
"Fall First Book Blow Out"

Putting 20 years of work into one intensely wrought luminously gripping book, Artforum critic Barry Schwabsky here stages his Opera Poems 1981-2002. His approach to the eponymous form -- colloquial, lived-in, forking the vulgar tongue, mixing in trailer park trash talk, throwing out references to Wittgenstein, Larbaud and Traherne -- rises to the other-worldly.
Meritage Press, Small Press Distribution, 104 pages, ISBN 0970917929.

Here's Barry's schedule. You may want to catch him while he's in the U.S. since Barry lives in London:

Friday, October 24
6-7:30 PM
303 Gallery
525 West 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011

Penn Bookstore
3601 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Thursday, October 23
Noon-1 PM

Poetry Readings by Barry Schwabsky and Eileen Tabios
at the residence of kari edwards at
3435 Cesar Chavez, #327
San Francisco, CA
7 p.m., Sunday, October 26, 2003

Why is this information on Marsh Hawk Press' blog? Because OPERA's publisher, Meritage Press, is edited by our own Eileen Tabios (who also is doing the October 26 reading in San Francisco). And OPERA was also designed by our own Sandy McIntosh! This reminds us to feature a poem (first published in Sidereality) by our erstwhile book designer, Sandy:

The After-Death History of My Mother

She showed up at my front door one morning
having walked away from the Alzheimer's institution.
Naturally she was confused. She thought it was spring,
but it was winter and she had been sleeping in the snow.
I finally found another institution that would take care of her:
our public library which had a small budget for videotape.
"As long as the money holds out
your mother can stay with us. We'll photograph her
from time to time, and you can watch her touching progress --
or regress or decline, as the case may be."
They invited me to my mother's latest screening each week,
and I was truly touched as I watched her journey
through whimsy, vagueness, petulance, tantrums,
until she was finally silent -- unwilling or unable to answer
the interviewer's questions.
Then I was told that the library's funds had run out
and my mother's project would be terminated.
I would never see my mother again,
since over time she had become an image on a screen,
and the library would pull the plug.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003


Congratulations to Rochelle Ratner! Sugarmule's current issue is a"Special Rochelle Ratner Issue" that includes Poetry, Fiction, Translations, Memoir and an overview of her poetry by Corinne Robins. Here is an excerpt from her fascinating memoir:

I've been writing poems since I was twelve. And wasn't it because of a poem that I quit school? Sure, there were a hundred other reasons, most of them equally irrational, but the final blow came in English class, where we'd just been forced to memorize "The Village Blacksmith." The exam asked: what's the twenty-third word? what's the forty-ninth word? etc. I knew there had to be more to poetry than this.

Whatever the point of this first conversation with the psychiatrist, it works. For the next five years, I live under the assumption that I'm nothing, I'm nobody, I have no reason to live as a person, but maybe, just maybe, I have a reason to live as a writer.

And I have to write.

I never return to school.


Marsh Hawk Press thanks Nick Piombino for including this blog at the Electronic Poetry Center's Blog List, here at http://epc.buffalo.edu/connects/blogs.html.

Speaking of Mr. Piombino, do check out his very interesting interview at Sidereality. The current issue also features an art essay by Eileen Tabios on the artist Edward del Rosario.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003


Marsh Hawk Press thanks poet and educator Chris Murray for making Eileen Tabios the inaugural "Poet of the Week" at Chris' wonderful blog, Tex Files. As part of the honor, Chris is commenting on and reproducing some poems from Eileen's Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole! And, on Tuesday, Oct 14, Tex Files shall feature an "aud blog" of Eileen reading one of her poems in Reproductions.

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