Poetry Dispatch No. 255 | October 11, 2008
(a poem and a note)
Ed Markowski seems to be one of those writers who awakes, walks, eats, drinks, works, plays, loves, sleeps, dreams poems. I don’t know this for sure—but I suspect it. Like the old ad for Jay’s Potato Chips: “You (he)can’t stop eating (writing) them!”
I suspect ed markowski could easily write a poem a day–or more. Most of them pretty damn good poems. Keepers.
Often he’s playful, always thoughtful, occasionally political. I’m sure he prefers the long art of a short poem to the short life (politically) on things. Nevertheless, the poem is where you find it, feel it—at that moment. And put it down.
Granted, there is a ‘momentary’ zone some of us writers are fortunate to enter almost at will. A free zone, inner time zone…the kind of thing that happens when we are consumed by that which we discover to be writing in our heads—all the time, till it finally falls in place on paper.
You nourish that, court it, stay connected with that long enough…and you enter a state of what I compare to ‘zen awareness’ where everything you see becomes a poem. I suspect, here again (and finally), that ed markowski knows and religiously occupies that zen zone on a momentary/daily basis, honoring it all—feeling it flutter inside, alive in the place where words grow into telling images of revelation.
I’m not quite sure what ed does for a living—then again, it doesn’t matter. It’s pretty obvious. He lives to write poems. —Norbert Blei
an american dream
by ed markowski
the garden of eden featured
synchronized dolphins two
roller coasters & fire eating
vigilantes who fashioned each
rosary into a noose while we
pledged allegiance to a flag
that shed its skin & became
a snake beneath an oak where
the guilty women hung their
wombs at one time or another
every raisin used steroids
at the major league level &
bloomed into barry bonds the
baseball mirage who charged
an adoring autograph 15.00 for his
illegible boy before a windstorm
uprooted the virgin who was packing
apples into the pie she crushed
for christ at the church bake sale
last week in alaska every cherry blossom
that drifted down in washington d.c.
exploded while a man cried out the
box was always more nutritious than
the burger before a horse broke loose
from a carousel & won the kentucky
derby by a nose i walked eight years
in the president’s shoes only to
[Source: Author…new poem, first publication]
right now as far as print mags go, i’ve got…
8 short poems coming out in a magazine called “labor.” jim daniels, who is a native of detroit & is the chairman of the creative writing department at carnegie mellon in pittsburg is labor’s poetry editor.
[Editor’s note: Sorry, wish I could print it, it’s a beauty, but first rights are elsewhere]
is due out in a british print / haiku mag called presence. presence is a top flight mag in terms of content & production.
have these two poems…
[Ed’s note: Sorry again. Same excuse]
due out in a very tiny but well respected mag called the lilliput review.
have a large number of short poems due out in the next five bottle rockets. the editor, stan forrester has a backlog of my poems. bottle rockets is well done & a lot of fun. the mag comes out of windsor, connecticut.
have two haibun due out in the winter edition of simply haiku.
have a short story due out in the next smokebox. the story is basically a letter from charlie manson to his mother. i’ll forward the piece to you.
so, that’s what’s out there now. i’know this will seem contradictory considering the list above, but i’m not all that bent on sending things out.
it’s like in another life i was a chef & now i prefer to cook for family & friends.
as much as i like print mags, i think poems & stories travel much further on the internet. after all, the most visible magazines (the new yorker etc.) have online editions.
i get invitations all the time from fledgling e mags to send poems. i realized along time ago that it’s not necessary to be published everywhere.
over the weekend i received an invite from an ezine in india called the taj mahal review. turned it down.
stan forrester asked me to write a 10 part piece on my experiences at the naropa institute.
i turned that down too. told stan, “that was 30 years ago, anything i’d have to say would be totally inaccurate. i can’t quote alan ginsberg or gregory corso thirty years after the fact, besides the most interesting part of the trip was the 2 weeks i spent in jail in central city, nebraska. my girlfriend had to live in a pup tent the whole time. she’s the one with the story.”
so , the new yorker would be nice & maybe some day i’ll get there, but if not, that’s ok too. the small press really is the backbone of american arts & letters & that’s gotten me on a bill with billy collins at the national arts club & on a stage at chautauqua & i’ve been discovered by you who i have the utmost respect for. in my book, that’s pretty good. the small press has been very very good to me.
Ed. Note: Other small poems/haiku work by ed markowski to be found on my site devoted to the small poem: Basho’s Road