Monday, January 26, 2009

A Review Of For The May Queen by Kate Evans

I started reading For The May Queen disliking the title and cover. That’s an early and easy prejudice to get through. The title made sense after I read the line of the song it had been taken from, referring to lyrics from Stairway to Heaven. I especially didn't like the cover photo. The model didn't look young at all, with dowdy looking clothes she looked about thirty years old, staring at a wilted flower. I would have preferred a photo of a punked up looking rock girl with a stoogie and attitude. Once I got past these minor flaws and prejudices, the book flowed from beginning to end. I finished the book in less than twenty hours.
Very simply written, in first person, the dialogue flows along with the story. I’ve always been curious about what it would have been like to go to college as a teen since I never experienced it. It’s difficult to read Evan’s book For The May Queen and not compare one’s own experiences since that’s what this book is all about; Norma’s early experiences and learning to be on her own while attending college. I never had a childhood or teen years & was forced to be adult beyond my years because of my family situation. I didn’t get to go to college until I was twenty-eight years old. Me going to college was all about “fixing” my life and having a career so I could support my son as a single mom. Naturally the stepping-stones and rituals that Norma focused on made me curious.
Norma defines the ritualistic separation that takes place when we leave home for the first time and how this evolves along with her search of self. Parallel to this young Norma simultaneously seeks her voice as a writer as she searches for her identify. Part of Norma’s learning experience is the richness of people she’s exposed to and drawn to. Naturally drawn to nonconformists Norma recognizes her own hidden depths and how she too is somehow different.
Norma at first only knows herself through how she imagines her friends see her. When she discovers her roommate is gay and realizes the special closeness he had with another mutual male friend is based on this, Norma begins to question her sexuality. She realizes that she loves Chuck because he inspires her to see the world differently. Chuck’s “movie vision view” of the world & his capacity to quote Casablanca and make it fit everyday events make him special. Norma disappoints Chuck after a night of sex & love, by protesting to her unfaithful boyfriend who shows up unannounced that “it meant nothing.” This ends the romance between her & Chuck but after this occurrence Norma begins to explore her inner motivations more.
Kate Evan’s book engrossed me with its sharp wit & humor. I couldn’t help but get involved with her characters. They are similar to the highly artistic creative people we know, each with his own brand of quirky eccentrics. Her characters are real; I could hear their voices.
A very fast reader and entirely engrossing, I highly recommend Ms. Evan’s first novel, For The May Queen. As a former educator I would recommend this book for high school students as well as adults.

This review was published also at

Thursday, January 22, 2009


The who am I lost & found in who I am, a contradictory introspection of a delusion of who I want to be mixed with who I already am, the me that is so deep it transcends lucidity the me that fires synapses constantly. I am the me with no home inside, listless, desolate, discontent, abjective, retrospective, lost in grim moments of lost wishes and dreams of who I could be if Clinton was my family, or even Obama would be better for me, I love color. I’ll sell myself for a less, I promise I’ll settle.

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
but if you try sometimes - well you just might find
you get what you need, oh baby

Let me sing the blues for you again today like I sang for you yesterday
My eyes run misty blue for you
The holiday a passed disgrace I saved no face my eyes stay misty blue for you
An outcast jew singing outcast blues, my mother sang them before me. I want to sing misty blue for you this season.

Freshly showered I emerge to sing the blues for you, to bring you back to where I want to be
I go back in time to rhyme with you, keep my flow to your flow, the glow of my flow keeping rhyme to your rhythm.
You go Charley Brown; come back to hear me sing misty blues

Your eyes shine misty in return I see beyond your armor, sing misty with me
Come in, stay a spell, let me sing misty blue for you.
I put a spell on you
I’m a give you some real life southern comfort, a few pecans, flow the red river stills your mind without forgetting the questions,
I falter, our laughter fills volumes of silent banter, I stand before you, my sensibility turning chill while I wait for the lantern of my soul to light this space
Make this day holy, my life skips an Eartha Kitt beat
my mind feels my heart sing for rain is misty blue I’m sensing changes maybe I’ll wait for you, what if I don’t know all I claim to what about you do you play misty blue and know more than I know.
Inky blue, dusk settles a cool blanket on the sky glimmers of silver clouds shimmer remain
Do you see the same inky sky I see when I see what you see when I look for you to see if you’re looking where I’mmm looking for you, I want a raspberry sky to roll its toll onto golden unplowed fields of ripe green wheat
Common Daddy let the good times roll
Common Daddy let me fill your soul
Common Daddy don’t you be late I think I may have a date with fate
I’ve got this date for old time’s sake, just let me fill your plate
Let the good times roll for old times, for old soul’s sake
Sing me those old time blues give me a taste of those old soul blues
A blue eyed soul girl singing the old soul blues for you Daddy

Sunday, January 18, 2009

In tribute to Anne D'Hanconcourt by Valery Oisteanu

Remembering Anne D’Harnoncourt
Valery Oisteanu
Poets & Artists Surrealist Society

Poetic coincidence? Unlikely
You were born three days after me, September 7th, 1943
The artsy-Virgos have a special role in art history
We met at the Dal’-Centennial 2004 in St.Petes/Tampa
Her story was a golden one, from MoMA to Dada
To the underworld of Surrealists and Abstract Expressionists
Anne the quintessential collector and guardian of avant-garde
Duchamp spun the magic wheels for “the tall girl”
His ghost is still a host of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Anne has a rendezvous with Marcel and Alexina -Teeny
In the basement by Étant donnés’ door
Which hides many ethereal white shadows
Brancusi waves his hat: “Welcome to the Avant-Gods!”
CŽzanne paints a peach inside a giant peach
Dal’ brings his soft piano as a present
Dal’-spectrum shines as a halo above her head
Alfred Stieglitz and John Cage create Silence for you
Frank Gehry running with drawing to catch you
The vision of an architectural expansion of PMA
Frida Kahlo and Lee Miller salute you
For breaking cracks in the gender-ceiling
Bravely educating Philadelphians
Without breaking a sweat
Exiting quietly, suddenly, June 1st, ‘08
New summer moon is broken
We pray for you Anne d’Harnoncourt,
The Saint of artists and a Captain of art.

Valery Oisteanu:
Copyright © 2008 (Valery Oisteanu).
Journal of Surrealism and the Americas 2:2 (2008), 253

Friday, January 16, 2009

my first try at tanka

I went on the internet to read about tankas and then tried my hand at it. Tell me tanka readers, does this make it?

Trees Love Me Tanka

I'm warm in here
Out there it's
20 degrees
the trees
are confused

They ask me
If they should
bud or go bare
they're aware

Was 50 degrees
Today it’s snowing
My heart is
Like the weather


I'm warm in here 
Out there it's 20 degrees
the trees are confused

They ask me
if they should bud or go bare
They're aware yesterday 

Was 50 degrees
Today I'm clueless
My heart is virulent 
Like the weather

Friday, January 09, 2009

Blog Postings & More

I don't want you all to think I'm not writing, I am. I'm just slow to posting (forgive the pun) write now. Thoughts come and go, my life comes and goes, take care & hope to see you there. (hey Coyote, did you steal that line from me or I from you) I have it in a previous post, 15 Minutes of Fame.
I've written 2 more blues poems that I'm still thinking about. I promised myself to write a series & to sing a few lines when I read. This is very difficult as my Dad was a musician (indeed his entire family were musicians) & Dad always told me I'm tone deaf but DubbleX has me convinced I'm far from it. DubbleX pointed out I always recognize a sour note!
I'm also considering removing my gcast player from way back where it is on the beginning of my blog and putting it in a new entry up front where it's more accessible. This way people who have already listened can turn it on & off more easily instead of searching for it. Really at this point, there's so many writings on my blog that friends of mine have commented that they keep trying to keep up with my writing but there's too much there. I could just recycle everything.
Let me tell you what's going on. It's 27 degrees out and I'm trying to force myself to go to the Post Office & pick up a few things, but I haven't left the house since Sunday last. Am I crazy? I never denied it.
Artistically, I have been producing poetry but neglecting my novel and I'm up to page 183. Also the CEO of Augustus asked me to submit another short story for Lipstick Diaries II but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I am also supposed to put together a poetry manuscript for him plus I have a childrens' story and my artist needs to give me the drawings or we may lose this deal. Hear that Heather Levy? I also am helping Bernard Alain with The Cartier Street Review. In addition, Roxanne Hoffman from Poets Wear Prada Press offered DubbleX & I a chapbook deal which I am more inclined to work on right now & get together than the full length book of poetry.
The other thing I always do is remember others. When I get requests for submissions I look them over and pass them on to people that they seem appropriate for. I also started the fan club for Ira Lightman, and yikes, how it's grown. Get the point? I like sharing. That's what makes life worthwhile. On that note I encourage you to check out Renee Dwyer's blog, Pocketing the Anvil.

Monday, January 05, 2009


Over the last three years,
three women tried to steal my sperm
one was true, she really loved me
she wanted to birth my baby,
I agreed cause I loved her

The other two said
they were on the pill
They just lied
I’m tellin’ you this
cause I know you’re concerned
you’re my very best friend
and I have to get it off my chest

And I’ll tell you right now:
I forbid you to put this in a poem,
I have dominant genes
for some recessive disease,
that although I don’t have it
my children will

Almost all the men in my family
are blinded by this malady
It’s a plague that eats away their sight
It starts in mid to late thirties
they’re stoned blind by fifty

So when Renee, the love of my life
says she wants to have my babies
I had a feeling I never had before:
that overwhelming primal urge
to shoot my sperm within her loins

and watch it swell into a baby
but when we tried
the seed failed to fertilize
And I discovered I was sterile


Now I’m brokenhearted
Renee I loved and would’ve married
But she returned to her former lover
and implored him
to seed her female garden

Since then Renee begged me
to remain her friend
and I did because I
didn’t want her to think
I wasn’t man enough to do that
And to this day
I still love her

Now, I’ve got three to take her place
But don’t worry,
Let me set your mind at ease
I can’t be tricked into
being a blind progenitor
and I mean that both ways

I know I should be grateful
But none of them excite me
And although it’s satisfying,
I’m very lonely
for the woman of my dreams