La vie en rose

Swans and apples, balcony breakfasts,
skin hunger, a touch, no, a word,
not even a word
a sound

far away
past the cathedral
somewhere in the wind
a sound with just a memory

of meaning, of joy, of sadness

la vie en rose

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Schematics in Mexico

Schematics and Assemblies of the Cosmic Heart now available at Librería Escalera in Guanajuato (Av. Benito Juarez).
Libería Escalera link HERE
Amazon link HERE

white stone, a cathedral of sorts, Medea
roiled a red and golden heat, the fleece gone,
and none left to bury the dead

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Cati’s workshop

I was fortunate recently to visit the home studio of artist Cati Gris, whose work was recently featured at the Diego Rivera Museum in Guanajuato and who has a couple of shows coming up in Mexico City.

What struck me most about her work was the textures – the fabric and textile alternatives to canvas, the homemade pigments she creates out of organic sources, and the thickness and densities of the materials that get layered into each work. The subjects are abstract and yet they are mappings of something the viewer keeps reaching for – cityscapes maybe, or schematics and fragments of some unconscious landscape – sometimes soothing, as in this one, in which I could lose myself into any square inch of the piece:

and sometimes more disturbing, as in this one:

Some of them strike me as dark and childlike at the same time:

        

And some are, well, you decide:

 

In any event, they resonate with many, as Cati has been landing in some great venues lately. ¡Felicidades, chica!

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Schematics / Poetry Book Club

Schematics and Assemblies of the Cosmic Heart featured in The Poetry Book Club. Buy a copy and drop a quick rating on Amazon. Spread the news. Word sculptures to entertain and nourish the spirit. $9.88 pap, $3.91 Kindle. Cheap and easy support for those of us toiling in the vineyard of the arts. Go ahead. Do it. 
         Schematics and Assemblies Amazon link HERE
         Poetry Book Club link HERE

mountain lantern light
breaking through bamboo and ice
a thousand angels

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Goodbye, Maggie – free today

Goodbye, Maggie (shortlisted for the Faulkner-Wisdom Prize) is FREE today on Amazon (Kindle).

Click the cover below to link through. (Read some excerpts below.)

Get your copy while it’s free. Or if you have a copy, gift a copy or two to friends. Just tell them to be polite and write a brief and honest Amazon review in return for the freebie 🙂

Phil’s life becomes a fiasco of misdirection when his charismatic brother, Magnus, shows up with the news that he has murdered someone and asks for sanctuary. Magnus then disappears – with Phil’s girlfriend, Hermia – and Phil lands on an uneasy road trip through small town Louisiana with Gus, another rival for Hermia’s attention. Phil and Gus, white and black, find racism, madness, and unlikely friendships as they roll through the bayous and into New Orleans.

Excerpts:

First page

Closer to the end

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Sub Rosa and Other Stories

Sub Rosa and Other Stories. James Lambert. Balboa Press, 2021.

A variety of tales – mainly regional (Louisiana and the South), some historical (1950-60s, Jim Crow and Civil Rights era) – all told in a voice that is direct, engaging, part of the landscape itself and easy to connect with. Within the regional setting, Lambert digs out all the threads — nature vs. culture stories, escape vs. quest stories, chaos vs. order stories, and sometimes stories that turn over the stones of, e.g., a rewritten racial past to show the underside. The voice is steady but the style varies — sometimes “like a bull ride — rough, fast, and bloody” (as in the Angola Prison story, “Blood in My Hair”), sometimes finely senstive to small epiphanies (as in “Hobby Shop” and others). In the latter case, it’s like James Joyce’s Dubliners for the (mostly) rural South. All in all, a good range of well-told tales.

Gary Gautier

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Make the room bright

From my new collection, Schematics and Assemblies of the Cosmic Heart.

After wine, after friends,
in your room pushing back
bedtime forever. You strummed
songs on your guitar, songs you had written

in England, Spain, Greece, Mexico.

I read you my poems.
You fell asleep, darkness.
I stayed awake as the last bits
of beauty smoldered and went out.

I stayed awake all night
and the darkness filled with all
the joys and sadness of my life, all here,
now, in your room, the smell of rose water
lingering on the ragged edge
of time, of our time.

I stayed awake until dawn began
and your body began
to move:

“Open the curtains,” you said.
“Make the room bright.”

Link to Amazon here

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Eat the Storms

I was lucky to have my poetry featured on Damien Donnelly’s Dublin poetry podcast, Eat the Storms. You can link to the episode (Spotify) here. (I’m at 33:05-41:40.) Or go straight to the podcast website and browse. You’ll find lots of good stuff from one of the great poetry cities of the world, hosted by the warm and friendly voice of Damien 🙂

Follow the podcast, say hi to Damien, and give him a shoutout for his efforts to give voice to poets of all stripes and stature.

Gary

Link to Amazon here

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