Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jody Aliesan RIP

Jody Aliesan, poet, writer, and feminist, passed away on January 14, 2012, of ovarian cancer. She died in Vancouver, Canada, where she had received her citizenship last July. Jody lived a life dedicated to "telling the truth, and speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves. My community, my culture, is our common humanity. I aspire to speak for that." (see full obit here) Her many dear friends will keep in their hearts memories of her wonderful spirit and powerful voice. Remembrances may be made to Greenpeace or the PCC Farmland Trust. "The poet is the wick in the lamp of the community. Not the oil, and not the flame; but the simple piece of cloth that unites the two so that the people can see their own light." (Irish wisdom) Sign Jody's on-line Guest Book at www.Legacy.com.

from her poem "in beauty it is finished"

that day above wet islands tossed by crosswinds
in a little four-seater shuddering sideways down
shoulder first through racing clouds
desperate for a clearing
. . . . . something drew me away
from the pilot's face to the world below
and said you may die soon so look again
how wind beats the water into a silver sheet
don't miss these last few moments by being afraid

. . .

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cheap Wine & Poetry Hugo House

Cheap Wine and Poetry
Feeds the Hungry!

Thursday January 26, 2012, 7:00 PM
Richard Hugo House
1634 11th Avenue
Seattle WA 98122

(206) 322-7030

Featuring Greg Bem & Amber Flame
Martha Silano & Peter Pereira
Reading New Work

Supported by 4Culture/Individual Artist Projects

Rainier Valley Food Bank Benefit Reading
The first 30 people to bring a donated food item receive a free drink!

Donate Food: The food bank can always use donations of high protein, healthy foods, such as:
Canned chicken, tuna and salmon
Hearty meat soups and stews
Canned vegetables and fruits
Dry and canned beans (kidney, pinto, green, yellow, refried or black beans)
Peanut butter
Pasta and rice
Pancake and baking mixes
Granola and energy bars
Dried fruits (raisins, dried cranberries, apricots, apples, etc)

Friday, January 13, 2012


Check this out. A really funny version of "My Favorite Things" in the voice of uber-rich, über-conceited Mitt Romney:

White folks for neighbors because they're hard workers
Other folks for caddies and legal yard workers
Money and all of the houses its brings
These are a few of my favorite things

Corporate people for my only friends
Ron to stay in til the primary ends
More Touch of Gray so I only have "wings"
These are a few of my favorite things.

When the Newt bites, when the Rick stings
When magic Underoos chafe
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I can feel... quite safe

Here is the link to the video: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/13/mitt-romney-favorite-things_n_1205184.html

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Faux Pho!

Dean and I love Vietnamese pho noodle soup, especially on cold wintry days. I've heard it called Vietnamese penicillin, so many people swear by it to keep coughs and colds away.

But on our low carb diet the noodles are just a killer. So, this weekend I invented a "faux pho" soup, using thinly julienned yellow squash and zucchini squash for the noodles. Terrific!

Here is my general Faux Pho recipe:

Olive oil
onion or shallot or both
orange sweet pepper
white wine

chicken or vegetable broth (hot)
sesame oil
lemon pepper
red pepper flakes
lime juice
pork or prawns or both

Bring it all to a boil for a couple minutes, until meat is cooked, then add the julienned squash and/or zucchinni "noodles" and cook for about two minutes (you want the squashed cooked, but still somewhat firm) and serve.

The faux noodles are quite satisfying, but have minimal carbs. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Best Poetry Books of 2011

Happy New Year! I thought I'd look back on 2011 and give a shout out to the ten or so books of poetry from the past year that I enjoyed the most, or found the most memorable. In no particular order:

Woodnote, Christine Deavel: the long-poem pastiche "Economy" culled from her deceased aunt's diary entries was one of the most exhilarating poetry experiences of the year for me.

Every Dress a Decision, Elizabeth Austen: so good to see this important poet from the Seattle scene get her first full length book.

Flies, Michael Dickman: I loved the dream-like black humor and the reference to Emily Dickinson.

Present Vanishing, Dick Allen: Though this book came out in 2008, I didn't read it until this year. I love the Zen poems especially.

The Book of Men, Dorianne Laux: I enjoyed the nostalgia for the 60-70's pop stars. Perfect for my age demographic.

The Hands of Strangers: Janice N. Harrington's wonderful debut collection from BOA about life (and death) in the nursing home does not sound like it would be that engaging. But this book is pretty amazing. Start with the poem about bedsores.

The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands, Nick Flynn : Uneven, but what an amazing cover image, and some really devastating moments in the poems too.

The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, Martha Silano: a wonderful blending of cosmology, motherhood, and cooking. Even better that Patricia Smith's Life on Mars (which is also one of my faves for 2011, though I really didn't start reading it until the last few days).

Space, In Chains, Laura Kasischke: another book with space, cosmology, in its title. Hmmm, a theme here?

And some from 2011 I am looking forward to reading this year:

Songs of Unreason, Jim Harrison.
Head Off & Split, Nikky Finney
Dear Prudence: New and Selected, David Trinidad.

If you have a suggestion for a book I may have missed, feel free to comment or backchannel.