Wednesday, November 6, 2019


Burt Kimmelman and Thomas Fink offer a deeply-satisfying conversation in the latest installment at DiCHTUNG YAMMER.  Here’s an excerpt:

I do want my poems to exude clarity and an affect of clarity as well, and to haunt the reader’s inner experience. I guess the single-syllable vocabulary—that makes for a clarity. But what is involved in that clarity? It’s difficult to find an abstraction signified in a single syllable word. And then again, in English, the specter of the language prior to 1066, the Norman Invasion, and the transforming of the language in most ways by French inclusion, is never really far from us, albeit we don’t always pay attention to that. The English (German-speaking) peasants did not suffer the pressure from their masters to abandon their German, to use French. (The French aristocrats didn’t see the peasants, really, as human beings, so while they brutally imposed their new language upon everyone but the peasants, in an attempt to expunge a cultural memory, the peasants, illiterate, kept right on with their lives.) Many of our words for basic everyday things (including the word thing) is an inheritance of much earlier incursions into the British Isles by German tribes like the Angles and Saxons, having origins in German, not French, Latin or Greek. I always think of Oppen’s reference, in an interview, to the “little words that I like so much.” I want to reduce language to the poem’s essence, which, you might say, could nearly exist without words—but of course the beauty of poetry starts with the words.

Sunday, November 3, 2019


Eileen R. Tabios' new book The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku is available through SPD Books and other outlets. While it technically is released on Dec. 1, 2019, Eileen has commenced an Author's 2019 Holiday Special involving an enchanting miniature book!

The In(ter)vention...'s mini-book version--sized at 1-7/8" x 2.5"--can work as a Christmas Tree ornament. If you don't traffic in Christmas or Christmas trees, the ribbon used for hanging on a tree can be used as a bookmark. There are poems within the miniature book, as shown by the images below. 

This miniature book, available in a lovely Holiday-red gift bag, is available for $10 (plus $5 shipping). You can purchase just the miniature book or use its purchase for a credit of $10 off of the larger hardback release priced at $29.95. Yes, this means that for the price of the hardback, you also can get the charming tiny book!

Optionally, if you wish to give either the miniature book or miniature plus large books as a holiday present, Eileen is willing to gift-wrap them both and send them on your behalf to the gift recipient. (Free gift-wrapping.) A perfect gift for introducing poetry to, or sharing new poetry with, a reader!

Naturally, books can be signed!  If interested in this offer, email Eileen Tabios at galateaten at gmail dot com  . Offer good while supply of miniature books last!

Meanwhile, here are pics:

The miniature book is produced by OnceUponTheTree (Apollo, PA).