Skip to main content

And a river runs through it ...

In my part of the world, it's just past midnight and now May 1. But the day is not yet done in California, so I feel completely legal entering one more post for National Poetry Month. The new issue of Red River Review has just gone online, and I encourage you to pay this resurrected online literary magazine a visit. Red River Review started publishing exclusively online in 1999--the pioneer days of online literary journals--and has always been dedicated to poetry. From 1999 to 2007, it published 34 issues.

The journal went on a prolonged "vacation" from 2007 to 2010, when poet Michelle Hartmann stepped in as editor. Have you ever met a true poet who is a genuine extrovert? You have, if you've met Michelle. I'll never forget a "gaggle" of us poets taking a group photo after a reading. We were all competing to be on the back row--until Michelle stepped in and told us to stop being ninnies and line up and take our pictures. And she was genuinely nice about telling us.

Michelle has done a marvelous job with Red River Review's second life. The May 2011 issue has 55 poems included. The Review will soon introduce "feature poets" and give the reader a more in-depth look at their work.  Born in North Texas, the Review now publishes work from around the world. Hartmann writes:

"This issue is a trip around the world, from the streets of Alexander Motyl’s New York to a walk "By the Wichita River" by Ysabel de la Rosa, and then to a walk in the Australian rain in "no one notices he weeps" by Ian C. Smith. This is how poets speak to each other. These messages sent by journal or post evoke an answering picture in words that has to make its own journey into the world."

My poem "By the Wichita River Between Seasons" is number 46 in the May issue's line-up, and it is in great company.  So, let Red River Review carry you forward from this latest national poetry month into the year ahead, with its bounty of word, thought, and verse.


It is wonderful to have an online magazing like the Red River Review. Kudos to Michell Hartmann.

Popular posts from this blog

Life without Television, Part 2

I began life without television with relief, which was consistent Monday through Friday. The first few weekends, though, felt awkward, anxious, lonely. When PBS has good programming on Saturday nights, it is extraordinarily good. Father Brown, Phryne Fisher, New Tricks... Extraordinary acting, high production values, and I fantasize about the pudgy, brilliant priest just perhaps having an innocent crush on one of his special parishioners, which would be moi. 

I called a friend one Sunday. "Maybe television helped with my anxiety more than I realized," I said. She told me about her aunt who, after her husband's death, kept the television on in his "man cave" 24/7. He has been gone years now. The television goes on, everlasting, in his absence. I don't blame her. Much of my frequent and prolonged television viewing began with grief.

After my sister died, I would watch almost anything, especially late at night when sleep eluded me. I even watched Convoy with …

Whose day?

Years ago, I made some collages using pages from a desk calendar from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The image that leads this post is one. Inside the hearts and flowers is a picture from the MMA collection of  a Japanese screen made in the 16th century. It is titled Tagasode, which means Whose sleeves?  The title comes from a 10th-century poem:

The fragrance seems even more alluring than the hue, Whose sleeves have brushed past? Or would it be this plum tree blossoming here at home?
Iro yori mo ka koso awaredo omohoyure tagasode fureshi ado no ume zo mo
The word haunts: tagasode. Whose sleeves? The question floats in my mind like a cloud on a still day. The sleeves materialize in my mind's eye. I hear them move through hushed air. I can imagine, though not name, the scent of the person to whom those sleeves belong. It's not unlike smelling the scent of your infant's clothes, or holding the perfume bottle that belonged to your don't need to open it... you know tha…

Glad to Hear It

This past week, Larry Wilmore and company mentioned Rachel Dolezol again on The Nightly Show. I don't remember who made the comment, but either Wilmore or one of the panelists said, "Did Rachel Dolezol do anything bad? No, she really didn't. Why did we get so uptight about that?" I was glad to hear it. Three cheers for being human.

I looked briefly at what's on Google currently about her and the now much-discussed Shaun White. I intend not to enter any of that fray mentally or verbally. I still maintain that humanity trumps color. We have a long way to go until we can leave our "paint by numbers" mentality behind, but we've made progress. Good changes can come, even in the midst of chaos and controversy. Maybe White and Dolezal will help us see that eventually.

As long as I'm here and continuing on the subject of color, I think I'm not alone in the fact that I don't like being called "white." As for my background, it includes …