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Tuesday, June 30, 2015


“I think the person who takes a job in order to live - that is to say, for the money (not for purpose or passion)- has turned himself into a slave.” Joseph Campbell


“And to tell the truth I don't want to let go of the wrists of idleness, I don't want to sell my life for money, I don't even want to come in out of the rain.” Mary Oliver


Small Ode to My Ignorance                                          Steven Reese
To wake, at this age, and realize how
Little one knows of so many things—
Who wouldn't feel a bit like a beast,
Concerned with its corner of pasture
Or a master's voice, and little besides?

I speak of the quotidian, the necessary,
The near-to-hand—not the esoterica
Of valences or the mason wasp,
But bridges, say, or the sun, plumbing,
Gluten, flight, the bowels, acoustics,
Wind, muscle. Money. Anything
Brought to me through cables.

I bat a big eye at these things, I low
At them, then drop my head back
In the bucket and feed.

Love, what does it mean when you ask
About roads and directions, something
So plain as time, and how it is we've
Arrived here and are somehow for each
Other, and all I can do for reply is rub
My head against you like the cat?
I'd like to claim my ignorance
Is the very source and ground of all
Hungers, all wanting, that it begins
Any answer I would make you,

But I can say only that I wear it
Like a bell. Whenever I move, whatever
I do, it clatters its summons—at which
The whole stark world of my unknowing

Assembles, right there, beyond me.


And so I can’t truly say: ‘These poems are about love or death or money and they try to do this or that or the other.’ They are about what they are about. Nor do I think it irresponsible to remark that they got written for two reasons: first to get them out of my head and second in the hope that they might give some people some pleasure. It is rather as though one removed with a pen-knife an abscessed tooth in the conviction that its roots might be shaped like Rodin’s Kiss or a Japanese netsuke or the soul of the prophet Job. Or anything else that a poem might be said to look like before it gets written.

George Barker


Something for the Low End                                   Betsy Wheeler
Dear Alto Section, you angel me.
Or, I turn in my wings & fall.
You are the afternoon afternoon
curled up in. You workboot
the dangling measures. You speak
in money & money goes south.
You backbone the tenors.
You give me stead.

If you were naked, you'd be drawn
by a steady hand. If you cared a whit
about callback, you saunter back late.
You are the anti-worry my worries wallow in.
You nectar all the -ades, trump the glazes
in terms of shimmer. You tallish French harlot,
I have no knowledge for you.

Your parlor is piles
of poison pillows.
Your shades are so Rodeo.
You are the philosophy
philosophy jacks off in.
Your blue teardrops pool
on my ledges.

You'd forgive half of Chelsea.
You training-wheel the virgin evenings.
Your trailer's gone begging.
You look better in Cranberry.
You're so dark-washed.
You should take off your sweater.
Take your hands out of your pockets.
Life doesn't have to be
this way. It could be
handsomer. It could make
the sound of crystal beads
jumping. It wants to be so
accordion on your birthday morning.
Never mind what was muted,
it's sort of mysterious. It's incredibly
transparent. It's above all public
blunders & subsequent embarrassment.
It's already home in bed by now,

poor thing.


"This frenzied activity which has us all, rich and poor, weak and powerful,
in its grip - where is it leading us? There are two things in life which it seems to me all men want and very few ever get (because both of them belong to the domain of the spiritual) and they are health and freedom. The druggist, the doctor, the surgeon are all powerless to give health; money, power, security, authority do not give freedom. Education can never provide wisdom, nor churches religion, nor wealth happiness, nor security peace. What is the meaning of our activity then? To what end?"
Henry Miller

Monday, June 22, 2015

Organization Organized!

Two great things today!

1) As I've been organizing my poems into a manuscript, I looked for articles and hints on organization and poem ordering. I've tried in the past to compile a list of such resources, but found that poet Nancy Chen Long has done a much better job than I ever did. So if you want resources for organizing a manuscript, head on over the Nancy Chen Long's blog, where she curates (there's no other word for what a wonderful job she's done) a comprehensive list of resources.

2) This poem of Jane Hirshfield really speaks to me these days. It's from her collection Given Sugar, Given Salt.

A Cedary Fragrance

Even now,
decades after,
I wash my face with cold water--

Not for discipline,
nor memory,
nor the icy, awakening slap,

but to practice
to make the unwanted wanted.

Friday, June 19, 2015

BlotLit Interview

It's my 50th birthday today. Do me a birthday favor and check out this interview with me at Blotterature Literary Review. You can see me with my son's lizard Sahara. And I have a few things to say. I'm 50, after all; I'm going to start speaking up more.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Mendeleev Blotted

New review of Mendeleev's Mandala at Blotterature Literary Review. Blotterature's aesthetic is based on "merging the art of fancy talk with blue collar sensibilities," and Elizabeth Mobley catches this in her review. This collection, she says, "plays with form and content so much so that one reading of the text cannot possibly uncover all of the collection’s secrets."

After carefully considering a number of the poems, Mobley asserts, "We begin to question, not just words and meanings, but numbers, thought processes, and we carefully calculate the limits we have placed on communication."

And her ending statement is that "The philosophical to the simplistic, religious to spiritual, lovers of language to lovers of science and mathematics can all appreciate these poems from Mayapple Press."

Yay! Thanks to publisher Julie Demoff Larson and to reviewer Elizabeth Mobley. Tomorrow they will run an interview with me, and I'll link to it here.

Thanks, all!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Publication Opps

Two great publication opportunities:

1) 2015 PATRICIA DOBLER POETRY AWARD. For women writers over 40 who have not published a full-length book of poetry, fiction, or non-fiction (chapbooks excluded). Primary judge: Jan Beatty; final judge: Lynn Emanuel. One prize of $1000; publication in Voices from the Attic; round-trip travel, lodging, a reading at Carlow University with the final judge. Postmark deadline September 5. $20 fee per 2-poem entry. For complete guidelines:

(This info borrowed from CRWOPPS.)

2) Threwline Books, affiliated with the Hartskill Review and editor Joshua Hjalmer Lind, has this call out for book-length poetry manuscripts:

Please submit a manuscript in one file with between 55-90 pages. ThrewLine favors poetry that is complex and innovative enough to be interesting…but just grounded enough not to be off-puttingly experimental. Imagine Emily Dickinson wrote a letter to Wallace Stevens and, although parts of it were lost or illegible, he carefully explained thirteen ways of understanding what it meant to him.
Selections will be made by Joshua Hjalmer Lind, editor of Hartskill Review.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Motionpoem is Online!

Thanks so much to Todd Boss of Motionpoems for pairing my poem "Crows, Reckoning" with the artistry of COMMANDR filmmakers Edward Chase Masterson and Alex Hanson. You can watch the film here. I'm also thinking of ways to spread the word, so if you have any good ideas, please let me know. Thanks! And enjoy.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Leave it to Cleaver (Magazine)

Rainy season is going to start any day now here in Japan, and as you know, when it rains it pours. It's been an amazing week, with new PR for Mendeleev's Mandala every day.

Today it's a review by Camille E. Davis at Cleaver Magazine. Here's a bit of what Davis has to say:

"Goodfellow uses her poetic form in order to undermine the idea that there are distinct divisions between poetry and mathematics when the reader has learned them in tandem."

and " it is the form that collides numbers and words in the most experimental and enchanting way."

and "To quote it as a clipped form in this essay would be like snipping the bottom off of a Rothko. The poem achieves wide-eyed astonishment of the world so starkly reimagined within it."

and "when she is most in her element, giving old conceptions a new rhythm to run on, she pushes this new form to open it up to all of the possibilities that it might achieve."

Go read the whole thing! Thanks, Camille E. Davis, for such a close and thoughtful reading of my book!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

No Regrets for Verse Daily

And when it rains it pours.....

Today Verse Daily has kindly featured "Regretfully Yours," a poem from Mendeleev's Mandala. Yay!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Tweetspeak This Week

Super excited to have Mendeleev's Mandala featured today on Tweetspeak Poetry alongside Sheila Squillante's Beautiful Nerve. Glynn Young says, "The 12 poems that comprise the “time” section of the collection (section two) are particular favorites," and "Mendeleev’s Mandala is an intriguing collection. If it’s an indication of future work, we have some great poetry to look forward to."

Thanks, also, to L.L. Barkat, publisher of the site! Check it out!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Monday Must Read

Check out Mary Carroll-Hackett's new weekly feature Monday Must Read! at her blog Mary Carroll-Hackett: Poetry & Prose. Last week she featured Karen Paul-Holmes and this week it's my work she spotlights. 

Mary has lots of good ideas about how to get your poetry out there in the world, into the hands of readers, so be sure to follow her, and to read her work!