Eden Waters Press, editor Anne Brudevold
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Travel! The theme of the year. I have been in Hamoi in May. Who would have thought thirty years ago that Hanoi would ever welcome outsiders. We were even able to visit Ho Chi Minh's complex of houses/ offices/temples. There are no remnants that I saw of the Vietnamese war in Hanoi except for one amputee who was posing for pictures for money, and a tour of the "Hanoi Hiton," where John McCain was kept. This prison is a macabre, sureal reminder of a gruesome past.Otherwise, Hanoi is cheerful, welcoming to Americans, a maze of terrifying traffic crossing the street, because cars and motorcyles come in all directions. You have to find a hole in the fiendish onslaught and work your way through. It's like being in a video game. We stayed in Old Hanoi (within the ancient city walls) for several nights, and then moved to the uppercrust Americanized section for a last day -- ian afternon inn the new and improved Hanoi Hilton, with workout facilities that were just like home. And in the evening we stayed at a posh hotel, just to blow our money. It was like an American Hilton. Fun, good, clean. And then I had to leave. Ileft out our boat trip to the hidden caves where American prisoners scracthed messages on rocks, and Vietnamese fighters, hiding from the emeny, marshalling forces here, also wrote messages on rocks. It's a huge cave. I'm sure there are many more passages than we we allowed into. But it showed the difficulty the USA had in fighting the stupid Vietnamese war. We could never win. They always had somethere to hide. They knew the terrain. And what were we doing there anyway? War is not the answer. I was so moved to be in Hanoi, a former enemy bastion, now commercial center, friendly, in fact, busy outsoucring goods. Vietnam has lived through major battles against the French and the Americans. It emerges as a unified country, determined to be untouched by the atrocities it has sufferedl
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
This slim journal is, as the title suggests, on fire. Lots more to say about this journal, but it's 5 a.m. I'm jet lagged, still on New Zealand time, and I want to give Chad the thoughtfulness he deserves for this unique collection of poems, and his very unique, distorted in a brilliant way, poetic voice. Good night for now, but I'll return to his journal again, in this blog.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
"Sacred Fools" is a press created by Melissa Guillet and Ryk McIntyre. Theyhave published two previous anthologies and seven chapbooks. Melissa recently published an anthology of poems about the 60's called "Appleseeds, or how we got here..." It's well put together, starting and ending with poems about Johny Appleseed by respectively Sharon Lynn Griffiths and Kit Wallach. There are sixty poems in all. I've got two poems in it, "Seascape" and "The Ride." I'm honored that Melissa nominated me for a Pushcart prize, and proud to be in this great collection of poems that reflect on Americana, the American Dream. Lyn Lifshin writes about Barbie's emptiness, Jade Sylvan's "Back Home" is a gorgeous rumination on home and roots, Valerie Lawson shocks the reader with her description of the war in Vietnam. Ryk's poem, "Penny Candy Store" describes the magic of childhood eagerness in a candy store where sugar will take him "far away from here." Melissa's poem, "Memory Garden" haunts the reader with images of abandonned drive-in movies and playgrounds. The journal has a terrific appleseed cover. All the poems come straight from the heart. Melissa is an editor with vision. This collection is eclectic, comprehensive and a rare, real vision of the sixties--some things I remembered vividly and many other poets' perspectives I discovered in reading the journal. I heard Ryk McIntyre read at Out of the Blue Gallery in Boston last Fall, but missed Melissa's reading there because of the damn flu. Oh well.Hope she comes back this way. This journal has a tasteful appleseed cover encompassing a wide variety of wonderful poems. Please read. It will take you back.