Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Saying Goodbye to National Poetry Month 2014

Notes on the Art of Poetry

I could never have dreamt that there were such goings-on
in the world between the covers of books, 
such sandstorms and ice blasts of words,,, 
such staggering peace, such enormous laughter, 
such and so many blinding bright lights,, ,
splashing all over the pages
in a million bits and pieces
all of which were words, words, words,
and each of which were alive forever
in its own delight and glory and oddity and light.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April is National Poetry Month, Day 29

Anyone who lives near me knows why I chose this poem for this day (for the last 5 days)...

"The Wind"
by Robert Louis Stevenson
I saw you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds about the sky;
And all around I heard you pass,
Like ladies' skirts across the grass
Oh wind, a blowing all day long,
Oh wind, that sings so loud a song!
I saw the different things you did,
But always you yourself you hid.
I felt you push, I heard you call,
I could not see yourself at all
Oh wind, a blowing all day long!
Oh wind, that sings so loud a song!
O you that are so strong and cold,
O blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field and tree,
Or just a stronger child than me?
O wind, a blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

My First Published Review!

My first professional credit, folks. I AM SO EXCITED! Check out my review of Friday Was the Bomb - Five Years in the Middle East by Nathan Deuel at Monkeybicycle.

Monday, April 28, 2014

April is National Poetry Month, Day 28


In late April they spread manure on the fields
the same week the lilac hedges bloom,
so the nose gets one of those symphonic challenges
that require you to stand out on the porch and breathe.

The earth goes around a corner, the dresser drawers slide out
and naturally, we change our clothes,
putting the long underwear away,
taking out the short-sleeve shirts,

trying to make the transition
from psychological Moscow
to psychological Hawaii.

When Mary left her husband in December,
she made herself despise him
as a way of pushing off,
like you would push off from the wall of a swimming pool,

but then she gradually believed her own story
of how horrible he was,

and when I talked to her in March,
she was still spitting on his memory;
you would have thought she never had a heart.

There’s a wheel turning in the center of the earth
and over it, our feet are always running, running,
trying to keep pace.
Then there’s a period of quietude and rue,
when you want to crawl inside yourself,
when you prefer ugliness to hope.

Last night the sunset was so pink and swollen
the sky looked like it had gotten an infection.

We were sitting on the lawn and sipping lemonade.
Inflamed clouds were throbbing in the fevered light.
Shannon murmured, Somebody better call a doctor.
Kath said, Somebody get some aspirin.
But nobody moved.

And the smell of lilacs and manure blew out of the fields
with such complexity and sweetness, we closed our eyes.
It had nothing to do with being good, or smart, or choosing right.
It had to do with being lucky—
something none of us had ever imagined.

—by Tony Hoagland,
from What Narcissism Means to Me

Thanks to Gray Wolf Press

Monday Roundup, April 28 - May 4

Bookish events in Texas for the week of April 28 - May 4, 2014:


2014 Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee

Funds raised at the Bee help the Literacy Coalition to improve literacy levels in Central Texas through partnerships with literacy programs like GED preparation, ESL, computer literacy, children's literacy and more.

Every Tuesday night at Spiderhouse, poetry, score cards and cash prizes come together for an evening of competitive art. Twelve spoken-word artists battle it out for the weekly $100 in prize money to the top three artists. Five random judges are picked from the audience to score the poetry, and the audience is invited to cheer or jeer their favorite or least favorite poets or scores from the judges. 
This isn't your grandma's polite evening of beat poets. This is a battlefield. 

Lucinda Hutson, author of ¡Viva Tequila!, will be at Tacos & Tequila, Austin, May 1!

603 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
(512) 472-5050

Monday, Apr 28 at 7PM
Bestselling Author MARY ROACH speaking and signing Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

Tuesday, April 29 at 7PM
Austin Author ELIZABETH CROOK speaking and signing Monday, Monday

Wednesday, Apr 30 at 7PM
Acclaimed Author LAURIE LOEWENSTEIN speaking and signing Unmentionables

Thursday, May 1 at 6:30PM

Thursday, May 1 at 7:00PM
LOCAL AUTHOR NIGHT - M. E. Patterson, Kelly Hitchcock & Stephen Yanoff

Friday, May 2 at 7PM
President of Brooklyn Brewery STEVE HINDY speaking and signing The Craft Beer Revolution: How a Band of Microbrewers Is Transforming the World's Favorite Drink

Saturday, May 2 at 3PM
Award Winning Author JOHN GRISWOLD speaking and signing Pirates You Don't Know, and OtherAdventures in the Examined Life: Collected Essays

Get A Spine Clearance Sale at Palmer Events Center
Join us for a fantastic sale!  Everything is $2 or less! Come to our Get A Spine Sale at the Palmer Events Center on Friday, May 2 from  10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, May 3 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and stock up on as many book spines as you can carry, as well as music, movies and more. FREE admission.  Parking is $7. The first 100 customers each day will receive a free HPB tote bag!* 
*Limit one tote bag per person, 16 years of age and up. Offer valid Friday May 2 through Sunday, May 4 at Get a Spine Sale only.

913 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702

Thursday, May 1, from 8 - 10 PM celebrate the release of Raw Paw's newest edition of Rough House Comix.

613 W 29th St, Austin, TX 78705
(512) 322-2097

Poets Picking Poets
Apr 29 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Hosted by Tyler Gobble and featuring Katherine Noble, Corey Miller, Alen Hamza, W. Joe Hoppe, Tiff Holland, Lisa Olstein, and Tomas Morin.

An Evening with Gregory Robinson and Adeena Reitberger
May 3 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
We’re delighted to present an evening with writers Gregory Robinson and Adeena Reitberger.

Hothouse Literary Journal Premiere
May 4, 2014, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Come hear readings from the authors whose work is featured in Hothouse Literary Journal‘s Spring 2014 issue and be the first to get a copy! As the official literary journal of UT’s Undergraduate English Department, Hothouse is a collection of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction written by English majors. Copies of the journal are FREE and there will also be an electronic version released. This is a literature event you won’t want to miss!

110 N Loop Blvd E, Austin, TX 78751
(512) 407-6925

April 28, 2014
Austin Anarchist Study Group
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Description: A weekly participant-led discussion group. 

April 29, 2014
Collective Meeting
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

May 4, 2014
RiseUp GA
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Celebrate May Day with Resistencia Bookstore!

Book Talk: The Buildings of Texas

Presented by Dallas Center for Architecture (DCFA)

DMA Arts & Letters Live
Timothy Egan - "Can't-Put-It-Down History"
Horchow Auditorium, April 29, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
Timothy Egan will share stories from his National Book Award-winning book, The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl,which Walter Cronkite hailed as “can’t-put-it-down-history.” The New York Times says, “Egan uses the past powerfully to explain and give dimension to the present.” At this event he will do so by discussing the land and water conservation issues evoked in Alexandre Hogue’s bleak Dust Bowl landscapes currently on view at the DMA as well as those that threaten our future.

More Comic Book Day fun! Meet graphic novel artist Gershom Wetzel at your Preston HPB on Saturday, May 3, from 10 am - 1 pm. Wetzel will do drawings for kids as part of Comic Book Day at HPB.

More Comic Book Day fun! Meet graphic novel artist Gershom Wetzel at your Flagship HPB on Saturday, May 3, from 2 - 4 pm. Wetzel will do drawings for kids as part of Comic Book Day at HPB.

Please join the Preston Royal Branch Library and author Joan McMahon Flatt as she discusses her new book "Powerful Political Women: Stirring Biographies of Some of History's Most Powerful Women." Her book discusses inspirational stories, from Esther to Hillary, and how these extraordinary women fought against injustice, and for equality.
  • Saturday, May 3, 2014 @ 2:00 pm

Presented by TeCo Theatrical Productions, Inc.
Join Hector Cantu, co-creator of Baldo Comic Series for a lively discussion - Cesar Chaviez Slept On My Bed! How Chicano Politics Launched A New Voice On The Funny Pages.
  • Saturday, May 3, 2014 @ 3:00 pm

El Paso

Te lo Regalo! by Gabriela Keselman

May 3, 2014
11:00 AM
705 Sunland Park Dr, El Paso, TX 79912
Barnes and Noble
Contact Phone Number:

Sky Stories, Ancient and Modern

May 3, 2014
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
4301 Woodrow Bean Transmountain Road, El Paso, Texas 79924
The Museum of Archaeology
Contact Phone Number:
Native American storyteller Alex Mares and astronomer Francisco Carreto-Parra join up in this program to interweave Native American stories of the sun, moon, and stars and knowledge of the cosmos with astronomical knowledge from ancient people of many cultures and modern science. Local astronomers are providing telescopes for public viewing.
The event is free to museum members and $2.00 per person for non-members. It is suitable for adults and children of elementary school age and above. Each participant should bring a flashlight.
Note: Advance reservations are required and limited to sixty people due to limited seating and parking.

14532 Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77079
Phone: 281.497.8675
Fax: 281.497.0180

What: Sarah Mlynowski will celebrate the launch of BAD HAIR DAY, the newest book in the WHATEVER AFTER series.
When: Monday, April 28, 5:00 pm

What: Sandra J. Howatt will sign her debut picture book, SLEEPYHEADS.
When: Saturday, May 3, 2:00 pm

2421 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77005
(713) 523-0701

Mary Roach - GULP [ticketed event]
START: Apr 29 2014 7:00 pm

Austin Kleon - SHOW YOUR WORK
START: Apr 30 2014 7:00 pm

Laurie Loewenstein - UNMENTIONABLES
START: May 1 2014 7:00 pm

301 E 11th St, Houston, TX 77008
(713) 869-4770

G Gallery presents A Few Words from the G, Wednesday, April 30, 2014 from 7:00 until 8:30pm.
The G gallery is pleased to invite our friends to join us for an evening of poetry and music celebrating National Poetry Month. We are honored to present 4 distinguished poets to read from their work: Joseph Campana, Nick Flynn, Ange Mlinko, and Paul Otremba

Holocaust Museum Houston presents From Killing Fields to the White House, with Ambassador Sichan Siv, Thursday, May 1, 2014, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM. Location Albert and Ethel Herzstein Theater.

Ambassador Siv is the author of Golden Bones which chronicles his experiences. He will discuss his work in this public lecture and sign books afterward.

INPRINT | Anne Carson
START: Apr 28 2014 7:30 pm
LOCATION: 800 Bagby Street 

Inprint's First Friday Poetry Reading Series presents Marie Brown, Friday, May 2.
Inprint is proud to serve as a host for the First Friday Poetry Reading Series. The First Friday Series is the oldest poetry series in Houston and has been held monthly at Inprint House, 1520 West Main

2450 Fry Rd
Houston, TX 77084
281-578-1457 (fax)

Kerrelyn Sparks Dinner
Start: 04/29/2014 6:00 pm
End: 04/29/2014 8:00 pm
Join local favorite Kerrelyn Sparks for a dinner to celebrate the release of her newest paranormal romance, How to Seduce a Vampire (Without Really Trying)!
WHERE: Rocco's Italian Restaurant

MenilFest is an annual one-day festival of art, words and noise bringing together the visual, literary and performing arts organizations located on the Menil Collection campus. Now in its 6th year, MenilFest is a unique merger of literature, performance art and words--both spoken and written.

The Path of Tea presents Belfast Borne: Irish Storytelling (and a cup of tea) Thursday, May 1 at 7:00pm.

Public Poetry for Spring takes up residence at the McGovern-Stella Link Neighborhood Library, 7405 Stella Link, 832-393-2630.
FEATURED POETS FOR MAY: Andre de Kovin, Michelle Oakes, Frances Justine Post, Chris Wise


First Thursdays Poetry Nights
Are you looking for rhyme and reason? Come to your Humble HPB on the first Thursday evening each month from 7 to 9 p.m. for Poetry Night. See you May 1!


Dinner and a Few Good Authors: Twelfth Annual Literary Lubbock

Make plans to attend Texas Tech University Press’s twelfth annual Literary Lubbock benefit dinner with books and authors, Thurs., May 1, 2014. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at The Legacy Event Center in downtown Lubbock. Authors will sign books during a reception, which features local wines, followed by a dinner catered by L.E. Anderson of Honeychild Catering Solutions. Lubbock writer and musician Andy Wilkinson will host the event.

San Antonio

513 S Presa St, San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 734-9673

April 28, 6:30 PM

May 2, 12:00PM
Book Plática

May 3, 2:00PM
La Voz de San Antonio 2014 - Grande Finale (at SAY Sí)

Heads up, Star Wars and Comic Book fans! Join us on Saturday, May 3, from 2 to 4pm, for a special visit with comic book character, courtesy of the Texas Comicon. Come meet, chat and take pics with Thor, Chewbacca, Spiderman or another comic book character at any San Antonio HPB store during this time. While you’re in store, ask about our Comic Book Giveaway and don’t forget that Texas Comicon tickets are on sale at all San Antonio HPB stores. See store for details.

Special Event: Mitchell Lake Audubon Center Words for Birds!
    Mitchell Lake Audubon Center
Description: Poetry readings followed by a short birding walk on a Sunday in the park with birds. Poets and readers will read their own work and favorites from the poets around the world who have celebrated birds. Join us in the outdoor amphitheatre.
Print Info   

Tickets: Free!
Location: 10750 Pleasanton Rd San Antonio, TX 78221
Times: 1:00pm
Phone: 210-628-1639
Event Date: Sunday, May 04, 2014

Saturday, April 26, 2014

April is National Poetry Month, Day 26

Something a little different today: poet Marie Howe from an interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air (NPR). You can listen to the entire podcast here or read the transcript. Or both. An excerpt:

GROSS: So would you read that poem for us?

HOWE: Sure. The poem is a letter, actually, written to John that I started to write when I was struggling with writing poems all day, and I decided to just quit that and write John a letter, "What the Living Do."

(Reading) Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there. And the Drano won't work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up waiting for the plumber I still haven't called. This is the everyday we spoke of.

(Reading) It's winter again. The sky's a deep headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through the open living room windows because the heat's on too high in here, and I can't turn it off. For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking, I've been thinking: This is what the living do.

(Readgin) And yesterday, hurrying along those wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve, I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it. Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning. What you finally gave up.

(Reading) We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss - we want more and more and then more of it. But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass, say the window of the corner video store, and I'm gripped by a cherishing so deep for my own blowing hair, chapped face and unbuttoned coat that I'm speechless. I am living, I remember you.

Friday, April 25, 2014


Revolt by Qaisra Shahraz
Arcadia Books
Submitted by the publisher
£11.99, 431 pgs
“But I did what I did before love came to town” – B.B. King
What fun this is! Revolt by Qaisra Shahraz puts me in mind of The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, Pakistani village style. You have the zemindars, the landlords, in the hevalis, the mansions. You have the villagers: servants, shopkeepers and artisans. What happens when the lines begin to blur? What happens when people begin to forget their places in a caste society? What happens when East meets West?

Revolt takes place in the fictional Pakistani village of Gulistan and tells the story of three wealthy sisters and the tectonic changes that happen in their lives when the phenomenon of immigration and the Western notion of romantic love threaten to dismantle all they’ve ever known. As the story opens Mehreen’s son Ismail is flying home from London for his wedding; Gulbahar’s son Arslan is flying in from New York, a homecoming after completing his studies; and Rani is preparing for her daughter Saher’s wedding to Ismail. One more person has also come home to Gulistan for this important week: Gulbahar’s exiled daughter Laila has returned in hopes of seeing her brother. Laila hasn’t seen her family in 10 years, since she ran off and eloped with the potter’s son. Laila is persona non grata, as is her daughter who has never met her grandparents.

It is almost impossible to tell you anything else that happens because there are so many plot twists and surprises and secrets that seemingly-endless spoilers would be unavoidable. And none of Revolt should be spoiled. So let’s say this:
  • Ismail returns with a stow-away within a stow-away no one knew existed.
  • Arslan has harbored a love for someone else’s fiancée since he was a child and is bent on forcing his parents to reconcile with Laila.
  • Saher, a thoroughly modern woman in many ways – a lawyer in the city, will extend that same modernity to her private relationships and this will allow her, ironically, to remain in the village she loves.
  • Laila, dear Laila. I’m not going to tell you about Laila.
One of the elements I particularly appreciated is that the servants and villagers are as fully-realized as the figurative royalty living in the hevalis. Their stories are told just as faithfully, their humanity never slighted, at least not by Shahraz. One of my usual complaints about family-saga-type novels is that they drag along, what with all the jumping back and forth between the past and present. That doesn’t happen in Revolt. We are provided with the flashbacks necessary to advance the story and nothing more (or less). Accordingly, the pacing is relentless and the plotting practically flawless. The land itself is fondly rendered by the author, a native Pakistani who moved to the UK with her family as a small child.

Qaisra Shahraz
Qaisra Shahraz is a novelist, short story writer and scriptwriter. Previous works include The Holy Woman (which won the Golden Jubilee Award and is a best-seller in Turkey and Indonesia) and Typhoon. Shahraz was recognized in the Pakistan Power 100 List in 2012. She is currently at work on her fourth novel.

A closing thought: Revolt also reminded me of a Mexican telenovela, in the best way possible. Sure there’s melodrama but, unlike telenovelas, it never descends to farce and that’s what made this work so much fun to read. It’s not “heavy literature” but Shahraz handles her material with such affection for human foibles and a deft comedic touch that she examines some weighty issues without beating you about the head and shoulders with it. This planet of ours is shrinking by the day and by the end of Revolt you will have learned something about a culture clash that has instigated chaos across the globe. Like us, the characters here don’t handle the complexities well in the beginning but by The End they’ve come to realize that when you get right down to it, people everywhere are simply people. Our differences are much less important than our commonalities. 

April is National Poetry Month, Day 25

The Laughing Heart
by Charles Bukowski

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

Friday Funny

Thursday, April 24, 2014

April is National Poetry Month, Day 24

A poem on nostalgia for Throwback Thursday 


Remember the 1340s? We were doing a dance called the Catapult.
You always wore brown, the color craze of the decade,
and I was draped in one of those capes that were popular,
the ones with unicorns and pomegranates in needlework.
Everyone would pause for beer and onions in the afternoon,
and at night we would play a game called “Find the Cow.”
Everything was hand-lettered then, not like today.

Where has the summer of 1572 gone? Brocade and sonnet
marathons were the rage. We used to dress up in the flags
of rival baronies and conquer one another in cold rooms of stone.
Out on the dance floor we were all doing the Struggle
while your sister practiced the Daphne all alone in her room.
We borrowed the jargon of farriers for our slang.
These days language seems transparent, a badly broken code.

The 1790s will never come again. Childhood was big.
People would take walks to the very tops of hills
and write down what they saw in their journals without speaking.
Our collars were high and our hats were extremely soft.
We would surprise each other with alphabets made of twigs.
It was a wonderful time to be alive, or even dead.

I am very fond of the period between 1815 and 1821.
Europe trembled while we sat still for our portraits.
And I would love to return to 1901 if only for a moment,
time enough to wind up a music box and do a few dance steps,
or shoot me back to 1922 or 1941, or at least let me
recapture the serenity of last month when we picked
berries and glided through afternoons in a canoe.

Even this morning would be an improvement over the present.
I was in the garden then, surrounded by the hum of bees
and the Latin names of flowers, watching the early light
flash off the slanted windows of the greenhouse
and silver the limbs on the rows of dark hemlocks.

As usual, I was thinking about the moments of the past,
letting my memory rush over them like water
rushing over the stones on the bottom of a stream.
I was even thinking a little about the future, that place
where people are doing a dance we cannot imagine,
a dance whose name we can only guess.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April is National Poetry Month, Day 23 - Happy Birthday to the Bard!

Sonnet XXIV 

Mine eye hath played the painter and hath steeled,
Thy beauty's form in table of my heart;
My body is the frame wherein 'tis held,
And perspective that is best painter's art.
For through the painter must you see his skill,
To find where your true image pictured lies,
Which in my bosom's shop is hanging still,
That hath his windows glazed with thine eyes.
Now see what good turns eyes for eyes have done:
Mine eyes have drawn thy shape, and thine for me
Are windows to my breast, where-through the sun
Delights to peep, to gaze therein on thee;
Yet eyes this cunning want to grace their art,
They draw but what they see, know not the heart.

     - William Shakespeare

World Book Night 2014

It's here! World Book Night 2014 is tonight. Y'all spread the love and be safe out there.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April is National Poetry Month, Day 22

Auguries of Innocence

by William Blake

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower 
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour
A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage 
A Dove house filld with Doves & Pigeons
Shudders Hell thr' all its regions 
A dog starvd at his Masters Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State 
A Horse misusd upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood 
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fibre from the Brain does tear 
A Skylark wounded in the wing 
A Cherubim does cease to sing 
The Game Cock clipd & armd for fight
Does the Rising Sun affright 
Every Wolfs & Lions howl
Raises from Hell a Human Soul 
The wild deer, wandring here & there 
Keeps the Human Soul from Care 
The Lamb misusd breeds Public Strife
And yet forgives the Butchers knife 
The Bat that flits at close of Eve
Has left the Brain that wont Believe
The Owl that calls upon the Night
Speaks the Unbelievers fright
He who shall hurt the little Wren
Shall never be belovd by Men 
He who the Ox to wrath has movd
Shall never be by Woman lovd
The wanton Boy that kills the Fly
Shall feel the Spiders enmity 
He who torments the Chafers Sprite
Weaves a Bower in endless Night 
The Catterpiller on the Leaf
Repeats to thee thy Mothers grief 
Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly 
For the Last Judgment draweth nigh 
He who shall train the Horse to War
Shall never pass the Polar Bar 
The Beggars Dog & Widows Cat 
Feed them & thou wilt grow fat 
The Gnat that sings his Summers Song
Poison gets from Slanders tongue 
The poison of the Snake & Newt
Is the sweat of Envys Foot 
The poison of the Honey Bee
Is the Artists Jealousy
The Princes Robes & Beggars Rags
Are Toadstools on the Misers Bags 
A Truth thats told with bad intent
Beats all the Lies you can invent 
It is right it should be so 
Man was made for Joy & Woe 
And when this we rightly know 
Thro the World we safely go 
Joy & Woe are woven fine 
A Clothing for the soul divine 
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine 
The Babe is more than swadling Bands
Throughout all these Human Lands
Tools were made & Born were hands 
Every Farmer Understands
Every Tear from Every Eye
Becomes a Babe in Eternity 
This is caught by Females bright
And returnd to its own delight 
The Bleat the Bark Bellow & Roar 
Are Waves that Beat on Heavens Shore 
The Babe that weeps the Rod beneath
Writes Revenge in realms of Death 
The Beggars Rags fluttering in Air
Does to Rags the Heavens tear 
The Soldier armd with Sword & Gun 
Palsied strikes the Summers Sun
The poor Mans Farthing is worth more
Than all the Gold on Africs Shore
One Mite wrung from the Labrers hands
Shall buy & sell the Misers Lands 
Or if protected from on high 
Does that whole Nation sell & buy 
He who mocks the Infants Faith
Shall be mockd in Age & Death 
He who shall teach the Child to Doubt
The rotting Grave shall neer get out 
He who respects the Infants faith
Triumphs over Hell & Death 
The Childs Toys & the Old Mans Reasons
Are the Fruits of the Two seasons 
The Questioner who sits so sly 
Shall never know how to Reply 
He who replies to words of Doubt
Doth put the Light of Knowledge out 
The Strongest Poison ever known
Came from Caesars Laurel Crown 
Nought can Deform the Human Race
Like to the Armours iron brace 
When Gold & Gems adorn the Plow
To peaceful Arts shall Envy Bow 
A Riddle or the Crickets Cry
Is to Doubt a fit Reply 
The Emmets Inch & Eagles Mile
Make Lame Philosophy to smile 
He who Doubts from what he sees
Will neer Believe do what you Please 
If the Sun & Moon should Doubt 
Theyd immediately Go out 
To be in a Passion you Good may Do 
But no Good if a Passion is in you 
The Whore & Gambler by the State
Licencd build that Nations Fate 
The Harlots cry from Street to Street 
Shall weave Old Englands winding Sheet 
The Winners Shout the Losers Curse 
Dance before dead Englands Hearse 
Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born 
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight 
Some are Born to sweet delight 
Some are Born to Endless Night 
We are led to Believe a Lie
When we see not Thro the Eye
Which was Born in a Night to perish in a Night 
When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light 
God Appears & God is Light
To those poor Souls who dwell in Night 
But does a Human Form Display
To those who Dwell in Realms of day

Texas Tuesday - Earth Day 2014

Today is Earth Day 2014. My personal resolutions include recycling clothes and books - I've been shopping at used clothes and book stores. What are your resolutions? Please share with a comment below.

To find out how you can do your part please check out the following organizations in Texas:

Monday, April 21, 2014

April is National Poetry Month, Day 21

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
by E. E. Cummings

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me, 
or which i cannot touch because they are too near 

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending; 

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses) 
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

Monday Roundup, April 21-27

Your bookish events in Texas for the week of April 21-27, 2014:

Way Behind the Music with Lit Crawl Austin! Their first-ever Lit Crawl fundraiser April 24. It’s a benefit show called Way Behind the Music. The show features a notable lineup of Austin musicians, performers, and writers who’ll be taking center stage to read from the hilariously odd music memoirs from authors such as Justin Bieber, Flavor Flav, Sammy Hagar, Liberace, and Vince Neil. Get your tickets here.


603 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
(512) 472-5050

Tuesday, Apr 22 at 7PM
National Book Award Finalist ELIZABETH MCCRACKEN speaking and signing Thunderstruck & Other Stories

Wednesday, Apr 23 at 7PM
CEO of Half the Sky Foundation JENNY BOWEN speaking and signing Wish You Happy Forever: What China's Orphans Taught Me About Moving Mountains

Thursday, Apr 24 at 6:30PM
MysteryPeople Presents Award-winning Author HILARY DAVIDSON speaking and signing Blood Always Tells

Thursday, Apr 24 at 7PM
Bestselling Author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants ANN BRASHARES, speaking and signing her new YA novel The Here & Now

Friday, Apr 25 at 6PM

5501 North Lamar #A-105, Austin, TX 78751
Start: 04/25/2014 6:30 pm
End: 04/25/2014 8:30 pm

Oveta Culp Hobby by Debra Winegarten Official Book Launch
Start: 04/27/2014 4:00 pm
End: 04/27/2014 6:00 pm

5555 N. Lamar
Austin, Texas 78751

Meet author, Sandy Smith at your North Lamar HPB. Sandy will sell, sign, and talk about her middle-grade series, Seed Savers, on Friday, April 25, starting at 5 p.m. 

613 West 29th Street
Austin, TX 78705
Ph: 512-322-2097

W. Joe’s Poetry Corner Presents Poetry Karaoke!
Apr 22 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
We’re celebrating National Poetry Month with a very special edition of W. Joe’s Poetry Corner… it’s poetry karaoke time!

Puzzling Out Tender Buttons
Apr 24 @ 6:30 pm – Apr 24 @ 8:00 pm
2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the original publication of Gertrude Stein’s modernist classic,Tender Buttons. To celebrate this groundbreaking work, poet Daniel Carter has created a puzzle zine based on Tender Buttons.Daniel will be hosting an evening of Tender Buttons fun at Malvern Books, using these puzzles to explore the wit and wisdom of Stein’s masterpiece.

An Evening with Nicolas Hundley & Samira Noorali
Apr 26 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Join us for an evening with poets Nicolas Hundley and Samira Noorali.

The Lion & The Pirate Unplugged
Apr 27 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
In association with VSA Texas (The State Organization on Arts and Disability) and the Pen2Paper Creative Writing Contest (a project of the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities), we’re delighted to present an inclusive (mic-less) open mic for writers and musicians. Join us for this fun and friendly afternoon suitable for performers of all ages and abilities!

April 21, 2014
Austin Anarchist Study Group
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Description: A weekly participant-led discussion group.

Corpus Christi

The Incarnate Word Academy Spring Book Festival is April 24-25, 2014 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the IWA High School Level Library Media Resource Center.

El Paso

Tu Libro presents the 2nd annual Chuco Libro Night


April 26, 9:30-5:00
Alief Taylor High School, 7555 Howell Sugar Land Road, Houston, TX

2421 BISSONNET STREET • HOUSTON, TEXAS 77005 • 713.523.0701

START: Apr 21 2014 7:00 pm

World Book Night special event with Chris Cander
START: Apr 22 2014 7:00 pm

START: Apr 24 2014 7:00 pm

2342 Bissonnet Houston, TX 77005 / 713-524-8597
Anderson Harp
Start: 6:30 pm, April 23
Anderson Harp will sign his debut thriller Retribution


1645 Town East Blvd.
Mesquite, Texas 75150

Meet author, Sandy Smith at your Mesquite HPB. Sandy will sell, sign, and talk about her middle-grade series, Seed Savers, on Saturday, April 26, from 6 to 9 p.m. 

San Antonio

3207 Broadway
San Antonio, TX 78209

Meet author, Sandy Smith at your Broadway HPB. Sandy will sell, sign, and talk about her middle-grade series, Seed Savers, on Monday, April 21, from 12 to 3 pm.

11255 Huebner Rd.
San Antonio, TX 78230

Meet author, Sandy Smith at your Huebner Road HPB. Sandy will sell, sign, and talk about her middle-grade series, Seed Savers, on Tuesday, April 22, from 2 to 4 pm.

125 N.W. Loop 410
San Antonio,TX 78216

Meet author, Sandy Smith at your North Central HPB. Sandy will sell, sign, and talk about her middle-grade series, Seed Savers, on Tuesday, April 22, from 10am to 1 pm.

Odis Williams, The Navy Life: A Baby Boomer's Memoir

Start: 04/26/2014 10:00 am
End: 04/26/2014 12:00 pm

306 Pearl Parkway, Ste. 106
at the Historic Pearl Brewery in the Can Plant Building
San Antonio, TX 78215

8407 Broadway St, San Antonio, Texas

Celebrate You Mixed Media and Sumi Ink Fun with Sofia Dabalsa
Start: 04/26/2014 1:00 pm
End: 04/26/2014 5:00 pm


260 S. Texas Blvd., Suite 106
Weslaco, TX 78596
Phone: 956-968-READ (7323)
Fax: 956-968-7323

Earth Day Story & Craft @ The Storybook Garden
April 22, 2014 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Join us after school for an Earth Day story and craft!