Wednesday, December 19, 2012

DENNIS KELLY, Seattle/Kansas Poet-Collagist , "Self Portrait"

Dred Scott
Dennis Kelly, poet and collagist, was raised in Emporia, Kansas, and resides in Seattle. He is author of books from Gay Sunshine Press and others. As this year winds down, here is a Baby Boomer's review of history, from a gay perspective.


It’s always sobering—
For an aging baby boomer
Like me to sometimes do
A little Self Portraiture

Outta the WW II womb—

And Great Depression
Viola! A bunch of us
Pampered spoiled brats

Drive In junkies—

We had cars back then
Postwar rug-rats and the
Whole world was ours
Hot Elvis the Pelvis—
Ducktail Rock & Roll!!!
Wild and Affluent youth
We had things to do!

Too good to be true—

They laid the nefarious
Viet Nam War on us to
Control our Generation

It seems like there’s—

Always intergenerational
Warfare going on between
Kids and parents
There were simply—
Too many of us wild
Turbulent youth so let’s
Have another War, dears!

And so they gave us—

Nixon and “Night of
The Living Dead” to put
Down our 60’s Libido

Body-bags and war—

Such dirty things but
What the fucking hell
War economies work!
“Love not War!” —
Proclaimed the Hippies
Counterculture protest &
Generational War began

It’s Still going on—

So many fucking wars later
Each generation faced with
The same denouement

NOW it’s gay lib’s turn—

We’re all just Fag slackers
“Bestiality” Bad Boyz the
Great Law scholars call us
Gay marriage approved—
Slowly state by state despite
DOMA declaring its sanctity
Ever So Heteronormative!

Salome does her lovely dance—

Oscar Wilde gets another chance
To dance with the Supreme Court’s
Esteemed Justice Antonin Scalia

“Heads” or Tails it’s bound to be—

The Dance of the Seven Veils
If only “Salome” Rita Hayworth and
Charles Laughton could be there
And so here I am, my dears—
Nothing but a minor little pawn
A mere Reductio ad absurdum
“Fallen Angel” it seems for now

Not that future generations—

Will even remember the trials
And tribulations of what’s coming
Down in this so-so legal soiree
My whole life now seems somewhat—
Caught up between two important
Legal cases: “The Dred Scott Decision”
With Blacks & me simply slave chattel

And “Brown vs. Board of Education 1954”—

Concerned with equal educational rights
And opportunities of African-Americans
And now GLBT citizens as well, my dears

Link to Dennis Kelly webpage:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Midwest Book Review comments on CONJURO by XANATH CARAZA

 "Small Press Boookwatch," published by The Midwest Book Review, has a review of Conjuro, with the comment "Conjuro is an extraordinary addition to Native American poetry collections, highly recommende." See more:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


The Writers Place Reading featuring Richard Robbins, Piper Abnernathy, and Denise Low
 3607 Pennsylvania Avenue Kansas City, MO 64111 (816) 753-1090
Friday, Dec. 7,  7 PM – 9 PM  $3 members; $5 nonmembers; no one turned away for lack of funds

 Richard Robbins grew up in Southern California and Montana. He studied with Richard Hugo and Madeline DeFrees at the University of Montana, where he earned his MFA. He has published five books of poems, most recently Radioactive City and Other Americas. He has received awards from The Loft, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Society of America. He directs the creative writing program and Good Thunder Reading Series at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He is vice president of the Associated Writers and Writing Programs national board.

Piper Abernathy is a poet and educator. She has a M.Ed. in Literacy from Rockhurst University and a MFA in Poetry from UMKC, and she taught high school locally for nine years. Piper is currently a regional coordinator for Poetry Out Loud and an adjunct instructor for Penn Valley. Her poetry can be found in Pleiades, Mid-American Review, Memorious, and the I-70 Review.

Denise (Dotson) Low is former Kansas Poet Laureate, with 20 published books of poetry, personal essays, and scholarship. She is a member of the national board of the Associated Writers & Writing Programs and was immediate past president. For 25 years she taught at Haskell Indian Nations University, and she has been visiting professor at the University of Kansas and University of Richmond. Currently she teaches courses for Baker University. She has awards from the NEH, the Lannan Foundation, The Newberry Library, the Academy of American Poets, and the Kansas Arts Commission. Her academic books include prose about Native and settler literatures of the middle plains region. She is on the national board of AWP as past president.
This is the first reading by Minnesota poet Richard Robbins in this area. Here’s a poem by him and more information. He is an original voice, with exquisite craft.

by Richard Robbins

The other one has tried to reach it
across the ocean of the shoulder,
tried to stop it from hitting, from sending
a man to death with a scribbled word.

The body wishes it would listen
more to the body, refuse for once
this urge to travel an alley without
eye, tongue, or the two versatile feet.

The heart, tomorrow, will have her way
with it. Like the bones of the rib cage,
so birds of the air. The river will turn
in its path, the blue ground angle up,

every millionth part of God conspire
to bring the right to answer for itself,
for all the hands that closed or waved away
the weak untouchable things, come now

to throne, to town, his own driveway on
their knees to be healed.

Richard Robbins is director of the  Good Thunder Reading Series and Univ. of Minn.-Mankato  M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing. His publications include: 

Other Americas, Blueroad Press, 2010
Radioactive City, Bellday Books, 2009,
Bellday Poetry Prize.
The Untested Hand, Backwaters P, 2008
Famous Persons We Have Known, Eastern Washington UP, 2000
The Invisible Wedding, U of Missouri P, 1984
Toward New Weather [chapbook], Frontier Award Committee, 1978
Where We Are: The Montana Poets Anthology [co-editor], SmokeRoot P, 1978




To the Stars Through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 Voices, edited by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg. A "renga" is a collaborative poem based on the Japanese haiku form, often about nature. In To the Stars Through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 Voices, poets in the chain take readers across the mythological as well as physical landscape of Kansas. Each poet begins with the seed of an idea from the poem before, writes, and leads the way for the next poet, all the way to the end. The group includes all poets laureate of the state, professional writers, and newcomers. Poets blend traditional and experimental approaches. The result is a unique chorale of beauty and surprise. The book follows the model of a similar United State poets laureate collection, Crossing State Lines, but with focus on one shared region. The writers celebrate startling beauty of the grasslands and its brilliant skies, including dimensions of reverie as well as plein air descriptions. The poets follow images and questions threading through the unfolding form of the renga, creating together one winding poem, a river of words on what place can and does mean. ISBN 978-0-9837995-9-7. Cover art by Lara Jost. 164 pages. Order through Pay Pal:
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Get it at the Raven Bookstore in Lawrence soon!