Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lou Reed's Halloween Parade

The Halloween Parade that Lou Reed sings about on his 1989 New York disc had been left for dead. Neither 9/11 nor Hurricane Irene in 2011 could stop the parade. Huricane Sandy in 2012 did bring about its death...or do we speak of the parade's death prematurely? Now risen from the dead through a crowd funding effort, the Greenwich Village mainstay has come back to life. But is it the same Halloween Parade that Lou Reed sang about?

Oraciones dela Santa Muerte — Jueves

Hoy, antes de salir,
te pido me abras
todos los caminos
que me han de llevar
a vivir tranquilamente,

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Night Before Halloween

The roses were droopin´ after too much rain.
The nectar of specter was drippin´ from their black leaves
In the deathly moonlight
Fillin´ the hot, sticky night.

Oraciones dela Santa Muerte — Miércoles

Mi Niño,
este día que hoy inicia,
no te pediré nada.
Pero si te agradezco
la protección que me brindas tanto a mi
como a mis seres queridos.
bajo tu manto.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Oraciones dela Santa Muerte — Martes

Niña Blanca,
a tus pies me postro
y te pido encarecidamente
me des salud.
Aleja cualquier enfermedad
para que yo pueda seguir adelante.
Te lo pido
con todo mi corazón.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Oraciones dela Santa Muerte — Lunes

Santa Muerte
te pido
que al iniciar esta semana
llenes de bendiciones a mi familia,
mi hogar y mi trabajo.
Protégeme de todo mal.
Así sea.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Library Walk: Dylan Thomas

Born on this day in 1914, Dylan Thomas (1914–1953) is perhaps more famous in death than he was in life. In life the Welsh poet is best remembered for his A Child's Christmas in Wales. In death he is the "roistering, drunken and doomed poet" who famously drank himself to death in New York City.

As memorialized in his adopted New York, it is the second verse of In My Craft or Sullen Art that is enshrined on Library Walk. The poem first appeared in Deaths and Entrances published in 1946. In My Craft or Sullen Art expertly captures the process and motivation of the poet — or of any creative mind who creates not for material gain but for something more substantial — something from within.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Shakespeare's Song of the Witches

A witch in Central Park.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ghost Light

Artificial white aurora
where shadows play tag against time,
stir when proscenium is dark.

Spirits creep, seeping up energy
after the show.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


(Falling in Love with a Beautiful Description)

Love is an imperfect tense
   As her words
   rose above the bed,
        a sense of muscular light.

I felt your dreams were still here
  in the room,
  hovering tight, like sentences or wings,
           as if they were veiled, or bruised by
            a faint spasm of sky.

Monday, October 21, 2013


A poem inspired by Jack Kerouac's titular Tristessa.

I drink bourbon out of a bag
Tristessa sticks a needle in her arm
After saying her prayers
I'm drinking in the Mexico of my dreams
Tristessa dreams on morphine

Friday, October 18, 2013


In wonderland of scratch card
and tenement block
deserted bunker of dirty needles,
where headless statues are painted
in rotten fish-heads and discarded butter.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Book Award Poetry Shortlist Announced

The shortlists for the National Book Awards were announced today and the nominees for the poetry award are: Frank Bidart; Lucie Brock-Broido; Adrian Matejka; Matt Rasmussen and; Mary Szybist. Nikky Finney who won the 2011 National Book Award for Poetry for her fourth volume of poetry – Head Off & Split heads a panel of five judges who will decide this year's honoree.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

La Boriqueña

The lyrics of "La Boriqueña" by Lola Rodríguez de Tió grace an East Harlem Wall.

¡Despierta, borinqueño

que han dado la señal!
¡Despierta de ese sueño

que es hora de luchar!

A ese llamar patriótico

¿no arde tu corazón?
¡Ven! Nos será simpático

el ruido del cañón.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Chicago Man Buys Four Banksy's to 'Fill Wall'

This graffiti in Harlem is not an original Banksy!

Who is that Man from Chicago who bought four original Banksy pieces of "spray art" in Central Park yesterday?

Acclaimed street artist Banksy is doing a well publicized "residency" on the streets of New York City that he is documenting on his website and the media is documenting with daily coverage.

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Knight in Rusting Armor

You weren't looking for a knight in shining armor
When you stepped away from your world
and stepped into a life you once lived
in the country of your heart, the country of your passion.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Alice Munro Wins Nobel for Literature

“master of the contemporary short story”

O Canada! The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2013 has been awarded to the Canadian author Alice Munro.

Primarily known for her short stories, Munro began writing as a teenager and soon thereafter her short stories began appearing in Canadian periodicals.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Annabel Lee Comes to Life After Poe's Death

The anniversary of the death of Edgar Allan Poe on October 7 was duly noted in many media outlets and social media as well. For some fans of Poe, October 9 is the more important date. October 9, 1849 is the date of Rufus Wilmot Griswold's infamous obituary in the New York Tribune.

Much ink has been spilled about how our perception of Poe has been formed by Griswold. Not only was he Poe's literary executor he was also his rival in literature and in love. Griswold's obit set about to belittle Poe in the hope of raising Griswold's own literary standing.

What is often overlooked in Griswold's obit is that the obituary also included the first publication of one of Poe's best poems. Annabel Lee.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bye-Bye Barbie

A fable of Leah’s dolls

Betty with the home-made clothes
glares across the room at Barbie
who is shop-dressed, brand new,
buxom and coolly smiling.

Betty with the home-made hate
sidles across the room on her rag bum
sneakily, bit by bit, so Leah won’t see.
She is dragging the toy soldier’s axe.

Monday, October 7, 2013

New Short Story from Stieg Larsson in Crime Anthology

Stieg Larsson – the author of the Girl in the Dragon Tattoo books – will be featured in a new anthology of Swedish crime stories to be available in the new year.

Head of Zeus announced that they will be the UK publishers of the much-talked about anthology of Swedish crime stories, A Darker Shade, edited by John-Henri Holmberg.

A landmark anthology, this will be the first collection of Swedish crime stories translated into English. It features unpublished fiction from international phenomenon Stieg Larsson and his long-term partner Eva Gabrielson as well as bestsellers Henning Mankell, Per Wahloo, Maj Sjowall and more.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

London Calling: Poetry Competition for UK Youths

The Christopher Tower Poetry Competition 2014, the UK’s most valuable prize for young poets, opens for entries on National Poetry Day, and this year students between 16-18 years of age are challenged to write a poem on the theme of ‘News’.

Established in 2000, the Tower Prizes are recognized as among the most prestigious literary awards for this age group. The first prize is £3,000, with £1,000 and £500 going to the second and third prize-winners. In addition to individual prizes, the students’ schools and colleges also receive cash prizes of £150. Longlisted entrants’ poems are published on the Tower Poetry website.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Library Walk: Wallace Stevens

Born on this day in 1879, Wallace Stevens (1879–1955) gives hope to poets of a certain age as he was not published until the age of 35. In fact, the Harvard educated insurance executive's best work was not produced until he was in his 50s. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens in 1955.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Remembering Julia de Burgos

Remembering Julia by Manny Vega in East Harlem.

Pablo Neruda, said that she was destined to be the greatest poet of the Americas. So how did Julia de Burgos end up dead and anonymous on a Harlem sidewalk in 1953 at the age of 39?

My soul?
A broken harmony
that hops over its dementia
on the cushion of time.

Julia's tale begins in her native Puerto Rico with her birth on February 17, 1914. A strong-willed woman born into poverty she nevertheless rose above her circumstances and went on to university to become a teacher. Julia was an ardent Puerto Rican nationalist who also pushed for the rights of women. In 1936 she gave a rousing speech in defense of women's rights, La mujer ante el dolor de la Patria to the Puerto Rico General Assembly.