Just got my copy of Pudding Magazine: The Journal of Applied Poetry, Vol. 66, in the mail today and found a review of Letting Go featured in it. Thanks so much to Managing Editor Connie Willett for her fair and favorable assessment of my book!
I just learned that two of my poems, “Tijuana” and “Breathing Room,” have been accepted for WAVES: A Confluence of Women’s Voices, an anthology that will be published by A Room of Her Own Foundation. It is an honor to be included.
June 17’s reading at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Lima with some of my UU poetry peeps, Jacob King, Carla Thompson, and Anne Edwards, and others who took the mic was a wonderful experience, as always. We had a good turnout and perfect porch weather.
My first reading for the book at Happy Bean Coffee in Mt. Vernon, OH, joined by my friends Carla Thompson and Jacob King. Sponsored by the Ohio Poetry Association, the event was emceed by Mark Hersman, Vice President. Such a treat and an honor to be featured. I even sold some books!
Remember when he says, “The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here!” in The Jerk? That’s how I felt today when Letting Go finally arrived in the mail. “The new poetry books are here! The new poetry books are here!” Now what do I do with all of them? Promote them and sell them, I guess. I’ll be learning as I go, and will keep you posted on how it goes!
The manager of the Barnes & Noble at the University of Northwestern Ohio, where I teach, has ordered my book and asked me to do a book signing once they receive it. Of course, I said yes. Maybe they’ll even let me do a reading!
Publication has been delayed a couple of months (until late April), but I just received the second set of galleys for final approval, so we’re making progress.
You cannot tell the ripeness from its color
must press the flesh with your thumb
graze your fingertip across its skin
feel it give under gentle pressure
breathe in the scent of peach and honey
run the blade to cleave the fruit
along each cheek
try not to nick the pit
score diamonds into flesh
turn each lobe inside out
scrape morsels from skin with your teeth
nibble around the slippery pit
then gnaw it to get the last bits
juice running down to your elbows
dripping down your chin.
So excited that Finishing Line Press made “Letting Go” their Book of the Day. They’ve helped me every step of the way toward publication. It feels good to have my inspiration and perspiration come to fruition!
Southern California unwinds like a filmstrip
Unreels when we cross the border in the mint green Edsel
Men run into the street to meet my father and meLe
Wave their arms and say, “Senor! Senorita!”
He gets out to make a deal
Fifty dollars for new upholstery
Twenty for a new set of rims
He ends with a joke about us getting married
They laugh. I look at the ground.
On the street I look at the pinatas and sombreros
Embroidered with the name of the city
Serapes woven with yarn in colors not found in nature
My father sees a purse like his cowboy boots,
Ostrich skin with dimples where their feathers were plucked
Like the pimples pushing through my skin
And the hairs above my lip that I’m starting to pull out with
Tweezers like tiny forceps.
He sees me eyeing a silver bracelet inset with abalone flowers
Says to the cashier, “She’ll take this one,”
Slams it on the glass counter
He pays for it
Clamps it to my wrist.
We walk past darkened bars
Disinfectant wafting from open doors
But my father buys his tequila on the street
Where we eat tacos full of meat and beans
Let the juice dribble into the wrappers and down our arms
And don’t speak.
Going back we see a man
With no hands and no feet
He sits on a cart with a can that says, “Please”
I reach down, and my bracelet sounds like
Money in his cup
My father walks on.