Monday, March 2, 2015


(This feature is part of TRUCK’s Theme Issue on the List or Catalog Poem. You can go HERE for an Index of the Participating Poets.)

an excerpt from Rehome: The Attrition of Luz

Home #1. –

Home #2. –
How to shape my lips to fit this.

Home #3. Ormoc City, Leyte, Philippines
She knew something would happen two days before it did. She went outside where the air smelled like pig roast, sampaguitas and shit, and meditated on a stoop along the Malbasag River.  She realized the circumstances of her birth were not unlike the baby Jesus. Her mother: thirteen, unwed and pregnant. There was no father because she was immaculately conceived. No, there was a father; her father was god.

Home #4. Tacloban, Philippines
She didn’t learn of her divinity until she was eleven years old, but others had already begun to suspect it when she was four. Her foster father, drunk on San Miguel and an unbearable sun, lunged at her with a karambit knife and the next thing she knew she was crouched down on all fours on the highest branch of a jackfruit tree.

“She flew! She flew!” the housemaid shrieked.

“She didn’t fly, she floated!” her foster mother said.

That evening, at exactly 7:00pm, a social worker arrived. After three hours of trying to coax Luzviminda out of the tree, they decided to saw it down.

Once on the ground, she looked up and shook her little fist: “Ako si Luzviminda. Huwag mo akong kalimutan.  I am Luzviminda. Don’t you forget me.

Home #5 Angono, Rizal, Philippines

Home #6. Taytay, Rizal, Philippines
The process of becoming an adult happens very quickly. In a night that turns the blackness to lemon green, the moon ashen. Irises the shape of discs transmute into crescents. A shooting star fixes forever on the retinas. This is the moment he asks you how an Asian leopard cat moves and you immediately drop to the ground on all fours. This is Luzviminda. Before she bends, she whispers, “ako si Luzviminda. Huwag mo akong kalimutan.

Home #7. Metro Manila, Philippines
Luzviminda can't think in the way you want her to. If you try to push her into talking she’ll start rocking – an outrigger several knots from where it started - staring at the wall until she sees herself reflected back. The caretaker calls the children to the table for dinner. When Luzviminda doesn’t turn, the caretaker taps her shoulder. She flinches. Sensation hurts. What can we do?  We stop. Instead, we wait. At the limit or point beyond which the thinking begins. Ako si Luzviminda. Huwag mo akong kalimutan.

Home #8. Metro Manila, Philippines

Home #9. Muntinlupa City, Philippines
Days later, in a different house, she awoke to discover the white linens had turned red and she bled for six days. After, she climbed an iron fence and found a garden where she picked lemons from the tree and squeezed them, letting the juices run down her face, her neck. To cleanse the body.

That day the Pasig River reversed itself and flowed upwards. Taking her towards the sky. Along an orange-red blue. What does it mean to switch hands? To go. Again. To go. Again. To go. Again. Again. To go.

Ako si Luzviminda. Huwag mo akong kalimutan.

Ako si –                      Ako si –              Ako si –

Sunday, March 1, 2015


(This feature is part of TRUCK’s Theme Issue on the List or Catalog Poem. You can go HERE for an Index of the Participating Poets.)


Praise Song

A morning prayer
to body armor and weapons

all that keeps you safe
the drill sergeant and the bullet

interpreter and phrase book
To MREs and rocket launchers

also the forward operating
base and your radio operator

I want to praise the desert
and its mountains falling

into rivers wide nights
vast stars a moon or two

To helicopter pilots and soldiers
who donate blood the medic

and tourniquet
dog tags and helmet

I sing of your boots caked
in clay rough with hours

of the IED you don’t step
on and the dog who finds it

The specialist and sniper
tip of the spear and rear guard

To Tajik Pashtun Hazara
an anthem to women in nearby villages

that they will be wild with fury
To your smile and your instinct

A praise song to next month and next
each one that brings you home alive

The Heaviest Burden is an Empty Pocket
                        Hebrew proverb

The blue rock shell fragment
Tic-tac, pen paper clip

Shape of your pocket filled
with hair band, tooth pick pistol

The weight of cell phone, note
pad and heavy ideas

Remember the one about how you looked
at water running over a rock

for so long it became real
There’s room for faces

the muggy mouth from before you were born
Brow over blue eyes like a photograph’s torn edges

The pocket’s worn smile found
by the roadside the night you lost your way

Poke the pouch of your life
to overflowing – jacket or jean

Any small area different
from its surroundings

Pocket a memory, veto
knife or some cash

Think of Venus and sad Pluto
the smell of desert sage

Shape it till there’s no room
for anything but emptiness

Tito’s Cadillac

You rock star mick-jaggering across the canvas
            out of the boulevards of Belgrade, that swash

 buckle blue weaving through narrow streets
            you Eisenhower-power-tripping gift

your engine glowering, your Charlie Sheen
            isms spit-firing from the grill

“the hieroglyphic is earthworm you rant
            your Eldorado blue not to be messed with

because you’re the Marshall’s lagoon of peace
            lapping at the shores of Zagreb

Your steel – an old lightning charging through crowds
            in Tahrir Square

asking about free will and radiance
            Charlie’s lexicons raining on their parade

Drive on you said but it was late
            the boss golfing on some archipelago

The shine on your hood, baby, that’s museum
            wax, while the tourist who nicked your mirror

heard nostalgia in a song, said, is it
            some here-we-go-again tune

Scratch this scar tissue    remember the car
            knows about return 

INTRODUCTION & INDEX: The Catalog or List Poem

Dear Readers,

Thanks to Halvard Johnson for the opportunity to curate a group of poems concerned with the form of list or catalog poem. This is a form that’s interested me since I began writing poems. In more recent years, the list poem has intrigued because of my other interest in subverting the form of auto/biography; I’ve found that the list not only can be an autobiographical fragment of one’s life (e.g. ye olde shopping list) but also a form that can enhance truth-telling by presenting a scaffolding against the turmoil of emotions that arises when one looks at one’s life.

My interest in this form will manifest itself in my forthcoming book, INVENT(ST)ORY: Selected Catalog Poems &New. I decided to curate a TRUCK issue on the list poem to see how else other poets conceive of the form. As you will see through these varied offerings, there’s more going on in the list poem than just … listing.  My thanks to the poet-participants.

I list below the poet-participants. I plan to post 1-2 poets daily. For convenience, their names below will be linked to their offerings as we proceed through the month.


(Nos. are Days of Month):

1 – Introduction & Index
3 – Barry Schwabsky 
4 – Stephanie Strickland 
5 – Sandy McIntosh
6 – John Bloomberg-Rissman
7 – Anne Gorrick
8 – Sheila Murphy
8 – Rebecca Loudon
9 – Patrick James Dunagan
9 – Jean Vengua
10 – Anny Ballardini
11 – Patti Greenberg
12 – Neil Leadbeater
13 – Laura Roghaar
14 – Donna Fleischer
15 – Marton Koppany
16 – Minal Hajratwala
17 – Michael Sikkema
18 – lars palm
19 – Tom Beckett
20 – Mark Young
21 – Cynthia Schwartzberg Edlow
22 – Alex Gildzen
23 – Melissa Eleftherion
24 – J.G. Dimaranan
25 – G. Mae Aquino
26 – Erin Virgil
27 – J Likha Yatco
28 – Julia Fleeman
29 – Shloka Shankar
29 – Jim McCrary
30 – Halvard Johnson
31 – Eileen Tabios & a Doppelganger (Sandy McIntosh)

(cover to a List Poem chap by TRUCK contributor Alex Gildzen)

Truck's new editor/driver for March 2015

Many thanks go out to mIEKAL aND for his stewardship during the month of February.

Please welcome our new driver for March -- Eileen Tabios. The wheel is yours, Eileen.

Truck's editors & drivers -- past, present & future, as of Mar. 1, 2015


Eileen Tabios


Apr. 2015 -- Crag Hill
May 2015 -- Rudolfo Carillo
June 2015 -- Gwyn McVay
July 2015 -- Matt Margo
Aug. 2015 -- Volodymyr Bilyk
Sept. 2015 -- Stephen Vincent
Oct. 2015 -- Maxianne Berger
Nov. 2015 -- Alexander Jorgensen
Dec. 2015 -- Jane Joritz-Nakagawa


Apr. 2011 -- Kate Schapira

May 2011 -- Wendy Battin
June 2011 -- Frank Parker
July 2011 --  Skip Fox
Aug. 2011 -- Ken Wolman
Sept. 2011 -- Michael Tod Edgerton
Oct. 2011 -- Kelly Cherry
Nov. 2011 -- Andrew Burke
Dec. 2011 -- Lewis LaCook

Jan. 2012 --  Larissa Shmailo

Feb. 2012 -- Gerald Schwartz
Mar. 2012 -- Jukka-Pekka Kervinen
Apr. 2012 -- Lynda Schor
May 2012 -- David Graham
June 2012 -- Lars Palm
July 2012 --  Elizabeth Switaj
Aug. 2012 --  rob mclennan
Sept. 2012 -- Georgios Tsangaris
Oct. 2012 -- Douglas Barbour
Nov. 2012 -- Dirk Vekemans 
Dec. 2012 -- Erik Rzepka

Jan. 2013 -- Alan Britt
Feb. 2013 -- Mark Weiss
Mar. 2013-- Mary Kasimor
Apr. 2013-- John M. Bennett
May 2013-- Orchid Tierney
June 2013--Victoria Marinelli
July 2013 -- Volodymyr Bilyk
Aug. 2013 -- David Howard
Sept. 2013 -- Philip Meersman
Oct. 2013 -- Chris Lott
Nov. 2013 -- Alexander Cigale
Dec. 2013 -- Catherine Daly

Jan. 2014 -- Maria Damon
Feb. 2014 -- John Oughton
Mar. 2014 -- Colin Morton and MaryLee Bragg
Apr. 2014 -- Alan Sondheim
May 2014 -- Glenn Bach
June 2014 -- Bill Pearlman
July 2014 -- Edgar Gabriel Silex
Aug. 2014 -- Jerry McGuire
Sept. 2014 -- Karri Kokko
Oct. 2014 -- Márton Koppány
Nov. 2014 -- Anny Ballardini
Dec. 2014 -- Chris Lott

Jan. 2015 -- Marc Vincenz
Feb. 2015 -- mIEKAL aND