Wednesday, October 31, 2018

New Book! After The War, The Women Spoke by Katia Aoun Hage

The words in this volume reach to the deepest part of the souls of the strongest participants in all war - the women. This is a collection of art and poetry created by Katia Aoun Hage which will enhance humanity's grasp of both the true impact and the only real heroes of war - unarmed women and children. 

Speak my soul
of the ebbs and tides
of that deep ocean
where you live in.

My ears long for your truths
my heart opens up
to let you in
my womb feels
your gracefulness.

Let your words
reveal the purpose
of a life
longing to be whole.

We encourage our neighbors to buy Cholla Needles books at Rainbow Stew, Space Cowboy, and Raven's Books. Support our local distributors!

New Book! Garage Band by Dave Maresh

Let's face it, a Garage Band is a rite of passage for every American teenager, from 1954 till today. Whether as a full participant, or a by-stander who wished they had the nerve, or simply an audience member who loves to dance, garage bands define Americans. In this short novel. Dave captures the emotional experience of being a part of this great institution. 

Two other short novels round out this 360 page look at growing up and being grown up in America. If the final story doesn't have you rolling on the floor laughing, you probably slept through 2016. Dave has written a wonderful parody of a truth we still wonder about. It's hard to decide if it was all a bad dream that we're still a part of, or reality. For Dave, this doesn't matter - let's look at the fun of the experience. Dave doesn't "pick sides", he picks at the truth until you can't help but laugh. I'm sure Jesus, one of the central characters in the story, is laughing along with us. 

Good times!!!

We encourage our neighbors to buy Cholla Needles books at Rainbow Stew, Space Cowboy, and Raven's Books. Support our local distributors!

Cholla Needles - November Issue Released!

Cover by Mark Evans

The fine poetry & stories in issue 23 are by

John Brantingham
Susan Abbott
Gabriel Hart
Gillian Spedding
Dave Maresh
Tanene Allison
David Chorlton
Tobi Alfier
Robert DeLoyd
Mari Collier

We encourage our neighbors to buy Cholla Needles books at 
Rainbow Stew, Space Cowboy, JT Coffee, and Raven's Books. 
Support our local distributors!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Reading T.S. Eliot to a Bird by David Chorlton

Reviewed by Cynthia Anderson

What would a bird think of T. S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land”? My guess would be, not much—which David Chorlton confirms in the title poem of his latest collection. The bird in question, a tame starling, pecks at the words on the printed page, then proceeds to go about his business with no concern for the words read aloud—“as creatures do / for whom the present moment / is the only unit of time.”

The real question is, what do we humans think of birds? In these poems, Chorlton shares his love of the “chattering, whispering world,” letting the stories of animals bring us to a fuller appreciation of this fragile planet. From jaguars and moths to ocelots and trojons, these poems are fully inhabited by non-humans—and filled with the sense of time immemorial they emanate. We meet “ants in columns leading back all the way to creation”; we are told “the wind cannot be known” as it provides “no information about its place of origin”; we learn about a river that cannot be known either—“it kept changing course and defied the mapmakers, who grew desperate.”

Chorlton is a careful observer, using spare, vivid language to convey the tragic losses and degradations of other species that are mounting around us. In “Jaguar Variations,” an extended meditation on that elusive hunter, he writes, “Nobody knows / how it feels to break out / from mythology and tear a piece / from the world to satisfy an appetite / the feeding of which requires / all the space civilization left unused.” The jaguar, managing to find a place where he can still relish his solitude, has “no way to know / in the moon’s stony light / how close he is to being / the last one of his kind.”

In “A Black Witch Suite,” the black witch moth assumes mythic proportions, a sign whose presence transcends time—“In the Aztec twilight / many souls turned into / moths. To this day / they have endured. / Whenever an empire burns, / flakes of the ash / float through the centuries / on the breath of immortals.”

The story behind haboobs, those towering walls of dust bearing down ever-more-frequently upon Phoenix, comes to life in “Dust”—the earth itself flailing at a city that has co-opted everything that came before. Chorlton writes, “not a bargain in sight at the mall, / no progress to believe in, no / history to deny; only the land the white man stole / reassembling itself as a cloud / and moving back to take the city / built where the Hohokam / had once / been neighbors to the sun.”

While Reading T. S. Eliot to a Bird confirms that the waste land is indeed upon us, these poems are studded with moments of quiet, immortal beauty. A flower, the night-blooming cereus, has the last word—“they break open for a night / in which perfume overpowers / the form, the promise / takes the place / of the promised land.” In the tradition of great nature poets like W. S. Merwin, Chorlton uses his mastery of language to help deepen our relationship to the natural world—just when we need it most.
David Chorlton was born in Austria and grew up in Manchester, England. He moved to Phoenix in 1978 with his wife, Roberta, an Arizona native. He is an artist, photographer, teacher of creative writing, and author of nine collections of poetry. To learn more, visit

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Cynthia Anderson's most recent collection of poetry is Waking Life. You can read about all her books at her website Cynthia Anderson, Poet

Friday, October 26, 2018

Tobi Alfier - There’s No Place For Bullies In Poetry! (Part Two)

Want the bad news first or the good news? Last week I said “stay tuned for my horrible experience with a poetry class, and why I LOVE workshops”.  Bad news first?—you hear all about the things you did wrong, and then you get the amount of your small raise. Good news first?—you get your small raise, and then find out everything you did wrong and why it’s not bigger. BOTH sound like hell to me!!! So I’ll tell you the bad news first that’s really good…

I learned the hard way that semester-long poetry classes are generally not my friend. Years ago I took the class from hell. Besides the evening traffic, the instructor was a very well-known and excellent poet, and had a number of groupies who followed from class to class. Unfortunately, we just did not have the same aesthetics regarding poetry. Or teaching.

In response to a poem written for an assignment, the teacher said to me “Hearts don’t crack, change it”. I know hearts don’t crack (my career plans when I was younger were mommy, then doctor). I thought it was an appropriate line for the poem, and the subject.

The teacher said to me again “Change it. Everyone always does what I say because I’m always right!

I dropped the class and did not change the poem. 

Winter Water

The tide burbles up,
rushes into the toe-holes
our feet make as we take
our last walk.  We converse
about the small things,
kick stones with
misplaced grief.

Salt spray refracts our hearts
cracking, we see the shells
as if mounted under glass.
We head toward our sandals—
my dress absorbing the
colors of the crashing foam
your legs purpled with the cold.

Small crabs clamor in
the warm wet of our
impressions—the front
of mine deeper as I
lean toward you, your
heels deeper as you lean
away.  I feel spent as beach grass.

The symphony of winter is an
appropriate final audience for us—
witnessing our undoing.

Previously published (and nominated for an award) in Seven CirclePress


They are an opportunity to live the writing life for a week, meet fellow writers, go to craft talks, discussions, and readings by poets AND other types of writers as well. Generally the mornings are spent in your dedicated workshop with a brilliant, generous, wonderful workshop leader who is there for YOU, not for themselves.

Sometimes there is an “I got my MFA from BFD college and I know more than you” person in the group. I watched one of these people decimate the nicest woman because she liked Larry Levis! Workshop leaders can, and do, handle this kind of crap. I have learned something in every workshop I’ve attended. Living in a dorm room is a memory I could probably do without, but it’s totally worth it for the good stuff.

A few notes about my workshop experiences:

  1. I have always gone to workshops on the West Coast. When my son was little I wanted to be close enough to get home easily. My guess is East Coast workshops might be a bit more competitive but I really have no idea. (Full disclosure: I did apply once for Breadloaf and was denied). {Editor's comment: note that MUCH great poetry is written in between the "coasts."}
  1. Google the faculty and read their work. Choose a leader who would be a good match for your writing style. This is NOT because you don’t want to grow. But for example if you don’t write political poetry, don’t choose a workshop leader known for their political poetry. It wouldn’t be fair (or fun) for you, or the rest of the group, to spend a week in that environment. 
  1. Sometimes I choose a workshop for the subject. For example, I spent a week with Mark Doty on “crossing genres”. I learned that I will never write a memoir—I’m so boring, I wouldn’t even read it. But I learned about micro-fiction. I’ve only written seven or eight micro-fiction pieces but they have all been published. Thank you, Mark Doty
  1. I learned that Heather McHugh is funny as hell, and more generous and brilliant in her pinky than I am in my whole body. I wrote my first (and probably last) “literary” poem ever, in her workshop.

…who hears the voice
in rooms unseen,
but cannot bear to
tip the hand
or risk all portent of

A constant in otherwise bewilderment
the beneficent sun bestows a quiet heat
of fragile summers.

Sorrowful and
solitary, the one
voice an anchor in
an abundance of drowning.

  1. Kevin Young explained Odes in the most beautiful and articulate way. When I came home I wrote “Ode to Candy”, a poem I NEVER would have known how to write before. (It’s too long to post here but if you put your name and email address in the comments below, I’ll send it to you).
He also explained why I hate words that end in –ing and that they’re called gerunds. I still use them when I have to, but it will be a thoughtful use of them, not a lazy use. I try to find ANY other way possible to write a line before I use a gerund. {Editor's comment: and others of us will keep on activating our energizing world and going on with our poeting =:-)} 

And on and on. Yes, they can be expensive. And the whole dorm thing is kind of odd. But if you choose wisely, and find a workshop, and leader that excite you, you will learn and grow both as a writer, and as a human. And you will remember everyone (in a good way). When I read that Pete Fromm won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award for “If Not For This”, and remembered that I sat in the front row sobbing as he read a portion of it one afternoon at Tomales Bay, that’s an experience that’s mine, and I will hold it forever.

Note: a lot of workshops are for full weeks (or longer) but some are for long weekends. You’ll still get a lot out of them, and of course they are less expensive. Obviously, unless you live in France, Greece, Hawaii, or Italy…they will be more expensive too. As I said above, choose wisely. You will have a blast, learn a lot, and you will not regret it.

- - - -

Tobi Alfier's most recent collection of poetry is Slices Of Alice. She is also co-editor with Jeff Alfier of the San Pedro River Review. Don't miss Tobi's columns on the craft of poetry: insert your email address in the "Follow By Email" box to the right of this article and you'll be notified every time a new article appears.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Tobi Alfier - No Place For Bullies! (Part One)

Whether you are in a class, a workshop, a small group or an open mic, nobody has the right to make themselves feel taller by making someone else feel smaller. I have seen it. I have felt it. I am proud to say I have never done it, and proud to say that I have given poets the courage to keep on writing, even when they thought they were terrible and did not deserve that privilege.

Who has the right to make anyone feel like that? I can count on one finger the academic person who acts this way. I will never go to a reading of theirs. I will never spend one dime on anything  they’ve written. If their car was broken down in the rain, I would give them a ride into town. But I would not talk to them about poetry. And I will not name that person.

My friend Denise Buschmann is a Southerner transplanted to Indiana. Years ago, she was bullied so badly by a critique in a writing class over a line of Southern vernacular, she almost stopped writing poetry. She thought, “If this is what it’s like to participate in the writer’s community, I want no part of it.”

Denise says “I have always been a good writer and was starting to write more and more poetry. I took a class so I could learn and improve. What made that incident so bad was after one person told me I couldn't say "cut the lights or air conditioning ON", everyone at the large table adamantly agreed with him. Then three or four of them fiercely spoke up and said the same thing. Finally, another person “explained" that you CAN say "cut the lights," because it means to turn the lights off, but then agreed that you couldn't say "cut" with "on" because it does not mean to turn the lights on. 

She added, “I had used that phraseology my entire life and had never even questioned it. I was frankly shocked that no one had ever heard of “cutting” something electrical “on”. When I left the class that day it felt like I had been blindsided on a battlefield.”

After that unproductive class critique, Denise emailed her old neighbor from her hometown, who is a nuclear physicist, and asked if he knew what "cut on the lights" meant. He replied, "I know that you know that I know what that means!" She was so rattled by the nasty critique, she made him say what he thought it meant. He said, “It means to turn the lights on, of course.” She was not crazy!!

That weekend, Denise found her first LinkedIn poetry group online (the group I moderate – Poetry Editors and Poets). She explained what had happened and respectfully requested feedback. I asked her to private message me and that was how Denise and I met. Here is the poem she sent me.

Digital Immigrant on Heat Control in July

Shacktown community, Yadkin County, NC

It was pleasant without AC in my great-grandparents’ house
third Sunday each July, at the reunion on Mama’s side. 
The old folks in North Carolina knew how to plant 
their homes in the midst of generous trees 
to shelter them from sun.

Madison, GA

I toured an antebellum house once 
—one that Sherman didn’t burn.
Outside, it was smouldering.*
Set among ancient ash parasols
it had a wide hallway, running front door to back.
Our guide said, summers, they’d leave doors wide open
to capture the east wind.
Sometimes wild animals wandered in at night.

Center community, Yadkin County, NC

Sitting back in Daddy’s Tar Heels chair
under the brim of our four-vehicle shelter 
at Grandpa’s homeplace—Five Oaks—
I listened to a gentle, patient wind 
whisper something soft and kind. **
That same friendly zephyr
swishing and rustling leaves overhead
stroked my face, soothed my spirit.

Carmel, IN

We moved North July 1,
the house cool as could be midday,
when we stepped inside.
How long could we go, I wondered, without …
“Cut on the AC!” my husband interjected.
After several rounds, 
I knew when to concede.

D.C. Buschmann
June 10, 2013
* Taken from Sherman’s memoirs: "Behind us lay Atlanta, smouldering and in ruins, the black smoke rising high in air, and hanging like a pall over the ruined city."
** From James Taylor’s “Carolina in My Mind.”   

Denise stuck to her guns on that poem. It was her poem. Workshop groups are meant to point out places that aren’t clear, or possibly could use revision. They aren’t meant to gang up on someone because they don’t like a poem, or aren’t familiar with a particular phrase.

Has my friend Denise’s writing gotten better since 2013? She has grown, just as we all have. And her confidence has grown, and she has blossomed. Although she still remains unpublished in her home state, she’s been published many times by Indiana journals and on four continents (and in San Pedro River Review), and has won awards, (which she’s never gloated about or shoved down that guy’s throat, so he must’ve gotten nicer too.)

photo: Angelo Esslinger
In fact, Denise says “The person who sternly told me I couldn't say "cut the lights on" many years ago ... we were in a critique group together, after that, for four or so years and we now respect each other’s work and are friends. The last time we both were at a third critique group, he liked my poem that I brought so much, he asked if he could keep it instead of giving it back to me with comments. I was so touched. He kept saying ‘Wow. Wow.’ and asked how I wrote that. Such a 180.”

This is unfortunately a common issue I see with critique groups that have no leader strong enough to stand up to the “chest pounders”. This is why I don’t allow people to post their work on the LinkedIn site I moderate. People can be mean. I don’t know if they have any idea what kind of effect that can have on a newly-brave writer, just getting up enough nerve to show their work in public. I don’t know if they care.
I am sorry to say that Denise is not the only writer I personally know who almost stopped writing. We all have our strengths. We all have our weaknesses. But we all write for a reason.  Shame on anyone who tries to take that away from us!
Next week: stay tuned for my horrible experience with a poetry class, and why I LOVE workshops. I will talk specifically about Tin House, Tomales Bay, Catamaran, and Desert Nights, Rising Stars at ASU. I will talk peripherally about a few others.
- - - -

Tobi Alfier's most recent collection of poetry is Slices Of Alice. She is also co-editor with Jeff Alfier of the San Pedro River Review. Don't miss Tobi's columns on the craft of poetry: insert your email address in the "Follow By Email" box to the right of this article and you'll be notified every time a new article appears.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Tobi Alfier - Writing Your Passions

Writer and teacher Steve Almond has said many times that writers should write their obsessions. Without splitting hairs, I would say that “passions” sounds much more positive and much less creepy. What does it mean?

We all love something besides bacon. Even me. I love to include people in my poems. I may put them in different places, but there’s usually an element of humanity somewhere. My only “themed” books have been “The Coincidence of Castles” – Ireland poems, and “Down Anstruther Way” – Scotland poems.  The Scotland book is very short because I wrote the entire thing with a cast on my left arm. Yes, I am left-handed.

Many poets have more than one love. Take David Chorlton for instance. David is a beautiful poet and artist. He loves the mountains. Many of David’s poems are first and foremost about mountains and their surrounding areas. Some of his books are The Porous Desert”, “A Field Guide to Fire” and “The Chiricahuas”.  His bio in Poets and Writers says he prefers to work with “Naturalists and Environmentalists”.

But we can be passionate about more than one thing. I love mint chip AND pistachio ice cream (and OMG, I have a pint of Bourbon Praline Pecan in the freezer…). We can love, and write, about many subjects that capture our hearts, not just one.

I recently received a copy of David’s forthcoming book, “Reading T.S. Eliot to a Bird”. If mountains are David’s mint chip, birds are his pistachio. And as I said above, we ARE allowed to be passionate about more than one thing.
David’s book is comprised of twenty-nine poems. There is a sense of humor in some of them that just tickles me. In the title poem, “I turn the page/ for The Fire Sermon, which seems/ not to impress him. Too many footnotes/ and it isn’t cheerful.” David is using the bird to say things we all probably want to say, while remaining polite. “I spare him/ Death by Water, go straight to What/ the Thunder Said. Its portentous language/ won’t engage him.” Smart bird!! (I said that).

There is also language so beautiful, so “plain-speech” beautiful, it will touch everyone. In “Rainforest Time”, David writes about “the leaves that want to grow here/ from the fleshy to the frayed ones/ and the ones that narrow/ to a point on which/ a drop of moisture hangs/ like a minute ready to fall”. I could give you many examples, beginning with the first poem and ending with the last.

I like when books of poetry give me permission to try writing in a different way. For example, it is rare that I write a poem longer than a page. It may look longer in a journal that’s 5 ½ by 8 ½, but when I do a submission the poems are almost always less than a page each. David has some poems that are shorter, interspersed with some that are clearly longer. The longer poems are all different; some have sections numbered with Roman numerals, some are numbered, some have a “~” between the sections, and some don’t have any designation at all. And they work!

Not once did I turn a page and frustratingly think “where’s the end of this darned poem?” I just read, turning pages as necessary, until the poem was done. I’m not talking about a gazillion pages, just enough so that the poem said what it needed to say. And it was perfect.

I learned that if I have a poem that goes over a page, I don’t have to make myself nuts finding lines to take out to shorten it. David showed me that if my poem says what it needs to, it’s okay to be longer. It will work. It will fit into a manuscript of all different lengths, and it will be beautiful.

I am so thankful to David Chorlton, not only for giving me the opportunity to read his incredible manuscript, but for teaching me a new way that it’s okay to write – that’s effective and lovely. Something I didn’t think possible, that I’ve always been afraid to do.

This wonderful new book is now available for pre-order at Hoot 'n' Waddle Books. Consider it not only a chance to relax and enjoy, but also an unintimidating master class in possibility.

Since David’s book is not officially out yet, it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to post one of his poems. Below is an example of what he taught me. It did not need to be any longer.

The Blind Woman Fondly Remembers the Color Gray
By your leaves, you shall not stay alone
till holy church incorporate two in one…
                                                            Romeo and Juliet

There was a picture of us years ago.
Our first picnic, some Niagara Falls
of water rushing behind us, and I can
still see that water. Some may say
its blue, but no. Gray and shiny,
a metallic knife-blade of rushing music.
A graying sky. Our pale shadows.
And with the certainty of all my sight
and all my memory, I know our hair
looks that same way now, graying
and pale.

I always wanted a dramatic gray wedding gown,
wanted to be your Juliet— my sight the tragedy,
not my life. I can feel the mattress gently tilt
at night, know you read a while.
Sometimes, when your mind is full, you read
a while more. I can hear the birds call
to one another at daybreak, the schizophrenic
mockingbird a call and response all its own.
I do remember the greens of summer grasses,
the yellow of a weatherless sky, but it’s gray
that binds us, holds my heart.
I’ll always be faithful to gray.

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Tobi Alfier's most recent collection of poetry is Slices Of Alice. She is also co-editor with Jeff Alfier of the San Pedro River Review. Don't miss Tobi's columns on the craft of poetry: insert your email address in the "Follow By Email" box to the right of this article and you'll be notified every time a new article appears.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

New Book! The Poetry of Jesus

This book contains only the poetry of Jesus (Yeshua ben Yosef) as transcribed by Thomas (Didymos Yehudas Tomas). Enjoy the beautiful words and make up your own mind without a "scholar" attempting to influence your understanding. Sit with Thomas at the feet of his teacher.

wisdom contemplates the word
teaching expresses the word
knowledge reveals the word

honor crowns the word

joy agrees with the word
glory exalts the word

rest receives the word

love embodies the word
trust embraces the word

We encourage our neighbors to buy Cholla Needles books at Rainbow Stew, Space Cowboy, and Raven's Books. Support our local distributors!

Monday, October 8, 2018

New Book! - Afflatus by Greg Gilbert

Greg Gilbert is a tender-hearted observer and puckish philosopher; his intelligence and love of language shine through this engaging collection of poems. - Dr. Catherine Svehla

Greg Gilbert’s poetry addresses timeless questions with a voice that playfully juxtaposes classical with contemporary. Each verse’s rhythm and the timing of each stanza make reading his poems a musical mystical experience. - Veronica Daley Zaleha

With humility and a twinkling sense of humor, Gilbert's poems seek to illuminate the divine moments of the everyday, tenderly calling our attention to both the ironies and the lessons of the present moment. These are poems born of a life devoted to reflection, questioning, and an unflinching attention to the rawest parts of society. The details shine. - Lauren Henley

In Afflatus, Greg Gilbert demonstrates his mastery of language, taking us on meticulously crafted journeys “to the temple of the temporal”—and inviting us, in no uncertain terms, to “WAKE UP!” On the way, he invokes Lao Tzu and the Buddha, Jesus and Ginsberg, Medusa and Sir Thomas Malory, friends, family, and students. These poems dance on the brink of the apocalypse while urging us to sit together, listen to each other, and transform our world. - Cynthia Anderson

In this marvelous collection of Greg Gilbert’s stunning poems be prepared for a magical journey from Buddha to Ginsberg and back. His eclectic verse ranges from galaxies to Route 44, observing with precision the complex and paradoxical structures of our modern world. A compassionate intelligence informs and fills every line, carrying the reader into an unexpected awareness of the subtle layers of meaning and emotion that lie beneath the fleeting here and now. Reading these poems that move past observation to participation in life every reader will be profoundly enriched. - Mike Green

We encourage our neighbors to buy Cholla Needles books at Rainbow Stew, Space Cowboy, and Raven's Books. Support our local distributors!

New Book! - Postcards From Jackson by Maia

Jackson is gone just a little over a year now, but I imagine him unlocking his mailbox to lift out this chapbook, hold it in his hands—a rich letter in thirteen poems from one of his dears. Delighted to his toenails. Honored. In possession of before-hidden treasure. Postcards from Jackson is a glimpse of the delicious correspondence between deep, artistic souls. For though Maía is speaking, you hear his voice, too—the shape of him, the incandescent quote, and the images that sprang from his living hands. We gather that Maía and Jackson share a Tsalagi heritage, a sense of belonging to multiple lives and families, a love of folk art, myth, lore, old-timey religion and a crow’s delight in details: “And a little box you made after your brother Joseph’s / long swim to a vanished horizon; open the lid / and a shining salmon leaps inside.” Postcards from Jackson seems to be a few poems talking to a friend—but becomes a cleansing storm, instructive, as much about the meaning of existence as the dream of it. It is the last, beautiful word in a long friendship and the beginning of a conversation, “new snow over old, layer on layer…” - Enid Osborn, Poet Laureate of Santa Barbara, CA, 2017-2019, author of When the Big Wind Comes
Jackson Wheeler was famous for the postcards he sent to friends for occasions great and small. Each card was pulled from obscurity with an eye to a particular recipient or with surety that the image would magically conjure the intended heir. How lucky for us that one of his beneficiaries is the luminous poet, Maía. In Postcards from Jackson, she has taken inspiration from the images on the cards and Jackson’s words to explore her own flight over the human terrain. The result is poems which illuminate a private dialogue and sing a music of reassurance to the communal family. These words are generous in their caring, expansive in their insights, and gracious in how beautifully they strum the lyric strings of poetry. - David Oliveira, Santa Barbara Millennial Poet Laureate, author of As Everyone Goes

We encourage our neighbors to buy Cholla Needles books at Rainbow Stew, Space Cowboy, and Raven's Books. Support our local distributors!

New Book! Soul Soup by Dave Benson

My psychologist asks 
where my poems come from, 
I tell him that 
I’ve typed out my favorite ones,
from Hopkins to Lorca and Plath, 
over and over and over again,
memorizing and reciting them,
waiting for the Muse to come,
but all to no avail; 
then I tell him, hell, 
they come from the moon at night,
some fall from the stars,
others alight from Mars, 
materialize from the light 
or darkness of my soul

-Dave Benson

We encourage our neighbors to buy Cholla Needles books at Rainbow Stew, Space Cowboy, and Raven's Books. Support our local distributors!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

New Book! A Slipknot Into Somewhere Else

"A Poet's Journey To The Borderlands Of Dementia"

A master poet explores the linguistic world of Alzheimer's. With patience and love, Michael demonstrates logical thought patterns which develop meaning when a listener gives the speaker space and time. Once you've taken this journey with Michael, you'll discover the diagnosis of dementia much less overwhelming for caregivers and family. - r soos, poet
Review from A Days Encounter
Brownstein’s poetry comes alive in a number of exciting ways. The introduction actually takes us on a journey into the head of an individual with dementia with lines of imagery that are both vivid and thought provoking.

We found ourselves in the hands of someone who seemingly knows how the mind works, and wanders; how it can focus, and then go off to another plain; how it discovers, and then recovers:
Between the introduction and the conclusion, are a number of poems full of breathpause, daybreak, dysfunctionality, mismatched bone alignments, breathbrake, blackouts insomnia, and advocate of a life-inadequacy. From the first poem “Noise” to the last one, “Home”, there is much to enjoy and much to ponder over. - Lennie Cox,

I decided to try out this book. I’m not really big on poetry. Michael Brownstein has converted me. I’m going to begin reading poetry. - Stan Bolden, response to review on

We encourage our neighbors to buy Cholla Needles books at Rainbow Stew, Space Cowboy, and Raven's Books. Support our local distributors!