Showing posts from December, 2020


  Introduction:  Set in 18 th  century India and in Spain’s most eastern colony, the Philippines and tells the story of a young English lad, Christopher Courtney, who stows away on an East India Merchant ship bound for Madras. It is at the time when huge fortunes are being won and lost by the British and the French in India as they battle over the vast riches of the emerging continent. The autonomous East India Company, based in Madras, is headed by the influential Governor, George Pigot, who is immediately impressed by the young stowaway and takes him under his wing. With Pigot’s patronage, Courtney makes a swift rise through the ranks of the East India Company and, encouraged by the Governor, becomes engaged to the his favourite niece, Henrietta.  Pigot sends Courtney to the Philippines to make trade agreements with the local Sultan Azim-ud-din of Sulu for diamonds and pearls, to set up a factory in the Islands and to wrest control of the lucrative spice trade in the East Indies then


Introduction:  The novel is called  I Promise Not To Behave , and is about three teenage punk-poet girls of the late '70s who try to become a female Beat Generation . . . and fail spectacularly. This excerpt—the first chapter—was previously published in  Washington Square Review #38 , in 2016.    I Promise Not To Behave   Chapter One (full)     It all came back to me as I was washing out the coffee cups after dinner. I hadn’t thought about us for a long, long time. Even learning what happened to Theolinda did not spark my interest in those days. But reading that article about your fund-raiser in the  Reader  as I was eating dinner tonight brought it all back, and then something about the evening light on a soap bubble floating up from the sink, in front of the big window, reminded me of the fluorescent orange duct tape on your black leather jacket, and Theolinda’s long lashes almost touching her eyebrows as we did poppers on the dance floor of O’Banions and kicked the shit out of “


Introduction: These excerpts were deleted from my novel, DOVELION: A Fairy Tale for Our Times . I was able to refashion the excerpts into a "flash fiction" entitled "Aesthetics in the Dictator's Aftermath" that became published in the wonderful online journal, Pagsulat Sa Mga Bulaklak / When Writing For Flowers . Aesthetics in the Dictator’s Aftermath I. Once upon a time, I thought  Poetry is a fairy tale . From that delusion, I came to stand in front of a building. Inside, a stranger waited for me. What I mostly knew about him is that he was as curious as I am. I raised my finger to push at the dirty-white button by his apartment number: 3J. Before my flesh touched the button’s chill, I heard faint music. I turned my face towards the sound and saw children playing at a park across the street. They gleefully chased each other in circles while a nanny’s nearby boombox sent forth innocent tunes fitting for innocent creatures. But is anyone really innocent?  I th


Introduction to  T to C: Sun T to C = Travels to Capitals.   It’s a verse novel.  The capitals are Donald Evans ’s , who created postage stamps of imaginary countries. DE avoided fleshing out his world because he wanted to allow room for his friends’ imaginations. I didn ’ t know him, but I take advantage of that allowance to legitimize my appropriation of his terrain. If Evans’ world is the “x-axis”, then Michael Palmer’s Sun is the “y-axis”.  I worked  my way through Sunpoem by poem, using MP ’ s nouns in order as I c a me to them. I  was  not limited to his nouns, I use many of my own, and sometimes wander far afield, but I always return to the MP axis. There is a narrator; he’s like me, but he isn’t me. There are a number of other characters. Some exist in the world you and I share; some do not. All are equally real.     Empty Circles On The Earth Joy writes from the “Côte des Morts”: “The only trace of too many towns and villages: “Clustered scorch marks