Not a Pop Poem

COLA magazine has nothing to do with the popular pop (does anybody say “pop” for “soft drink” anymore?). It’s the literary journal of the University of South Carolina, and “Cola” is a nickname for that state’s capital city, Columbia. The journal’s Senior Editor, Samantha Liming, accepted my rather bleak poem about the breeding of mad cow disease, called “Mad Cow Ghazal.” And I see my friend Lauren Camp has also been published in COLA.


Crosswinds editor David Dragone and staff run a contest every year for a single poem. As often happens with these kinds of contests, first the editors identify contestants’ poems that they want to publish, and then they forward those poems to the final judge to decide finalists for the various prizes. So this is the second time a poem of mine has made it to the first tier of the Crosswinds contest (this year’s judging isn’t complete), meaning it will be published regardless of whether it makes it to one be one of the prizewinners. The poem “Relations” ponders inherited fate and one’s relations to the ancestors, which I suppose poets always have and always will write about.

Bristlecone Pops Up Once More With Four

I am honored that the editors of Bristlecone, Jim Keller, Murray Moulding, Sandra S. McRae, and Joseph Hutchison, have included four of my poems in their January 2023 issue. Bristlecone is an online journal, and it features writers of the Mountain West. Three of my poems in this issue concern painting, two of those ekphrastic (one on a painting by Jane Shoenfeld), and the other is the song of carpet moths cheerily devouring a Navajo weaving. BRISTLECONE

The Proof’s in the Pudding

The acceptance of my poem, “Hipbones of the Patriarchs,” by Pudding editor Connie Willett Everett represents a happy confluence of loyalty and persistence. This poem has been through innumerable revisions since it was written last century on an Apple II-E computer. It has also undergone countless editors’ rejections since then until the version finalized in August of this year and taken by Connie today to be published in her first edition of 2023. Pudding, or as it used to be called under a previous editor, Pudding House, and I also go back a ways. To wit, Pudding House published my 3rd chapbook, Mr. Ubiquity, in 1997 and my 4th chapbook, The Fast of Thoth, in 2002. Additionally, “Hipbones of the Patriarchs” will be my 10th individual poem published by Pudding magazine since 1995.

Verse Daily to Repost Poem

The well-known poet, editor, and ventriloquist J. P. Dancing Bear has snagged a poem from Breaking Down Familiar to re-post in his online publication. Verse Daily culls current poetry book and journal publications to feature one poem a day in its widely viewed online magazine. The short poem, “Rights,” broaches several topics–damaging strokes, patriarchal family domination, filial fear and obedience.

Heavenly Bodies & Coal City

Brian Daldorph, who edits Coal City Review out of Lawrence, Kansas, has accepted two poems about heavenly bodies. “Friends” addresses the Perseids and “Moon Salutations” takes place at least on one level in a yoga class. These are the 3rd and 4th poems of mine to be published in this journal. Mr. Daldorph, who hails from Great Britain, perhaps carried the Coal City Review from some smudgy, industrial city like Newcastle to the plains of Kansas.

Bristlecone Takes Six

A bristlecone pine may not be as impressive at first as a beautiful blue spruce or a majestic fir. They are small, wiry, gnarly trees that cling to dry, rocky places other evergreens wouldn’t deign to try to survive in. But they cling on. And on. And on. They grow twisted as embodiments of wind. Among their ranks are some of the oldest trees on Earth. Some alive today in the American west were living when Jesus of Nazareth strode the planet. So I am pleased to have my poems included in a journal of the western US called Bristlecone. The editors, Joseph Hutchinson, Jim Keller, Sandra S. McRae, and Murray Molding, have generously published two of my poems in the September 2022 issue and have accepted four for an upcoming issue. Here’s the first two.

Two New Links to These Web Pages

Check out two new entries to this site. The “Links” page now can connect to a September 23, 2022 review of Breaking Down Familiar by Jennifer Levin in Pasatiempo. And the same day that was published, Amy Beeder and I did a reading at Strata Gallery. Some of that reading was captured on video and is now on this web site on the “Audio/Video Links” page.

16th Book Coming Soon

I was pleased to receive the galley proof of my new book, Breaking Down Familiar, from Scott Douglas at Mainstreet Rag Publishing Company. It looks great and I love the cover art by Barbara Mehlman. I’ll get the corrections pronto to Scott and production will follow. I appreciate the patience of people who have already pre-ordered the book at the discount price of $9 plus shipping. I learned from Scott that production of books ahead of mine in the queue was delayed due to the hospitalization of the press operator with Covid. So Scott had to scramble to find an alternative. There is still time to pre-order the book at the discounted rate at: