Cover Art: Michael Kostiuk, Dancing with the Poetry Queen,
pencil on paper, 19.50 x 15.69 cm. May 2019
Dear Poets and Lovers of Poetry,
Welcome to another issue of the California Quarterly, Number 48:2! Soon, as you can see, the CQ will complete half a century of publication, and we plan to celebrate in due course. For me, it is also some kind of anniversary, since this is the tenth issue I have edited. As you are used to by now-- and don’t seem to mind, thank you!-- my issues usually have quite a few translations, because I’m interested in poets all over the world: I read and write and translate in [and from] German, French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. I have studied one year of Czech and two of Navajo and know a little bit of Russian, Hungarian, Polish and Japanese. The CQ policy is to publish poems in many languages with English translation, always preceded by the original. Today we have a poem in Polish for the first time; we have already published some in other Slavic languages such as Czech, Bulgarian and Russian. Romanian, in which we’ve had a poem, is a Romance [from Latin] and Slavic language.
CQ’s practice of almost always publishing the original-- Tamil looks so pretty!— is based on the assumption that every reader is usually able to understand parts of the original in any Indo-European language, except Tamil, which is a Dravidian language. And the original is the lodestar version of the poem! Recently I found another purpose of translation, which makes a lot of sense, now that so many people in the world are multicultural and have left their original language and homeland. In the New York Review, an Armenian woman who lives in the US, and had Hindi as her third language when she was a child, is very happy when she can snap up bits of Hindi, to refresh this language she once knew, so she won’t forget it completely.
This is probably my last issue, I have had some eye trouble, I fear I’ll soon need an operation. And I shall certainly get one, since I won’t easily give up on reading and writing. I wish you a pleasant summer of good writing and reading and relaxing. May all wars end, and all people instead become poets! Please feel free to e-mail me about anything.
~ Margaret Saine, Editor
TABLE OF CONTENTS
California Quarterly, Vol 48, Number 2, Summer 2022
Acrópolis — Khedija Gadhoum 7
Acropolis — Tr. Margaret Saine 8
Runner’s Itch — Johnny L. Wooten 9
Chocolate Hearts — David John Tyrer 9
Mixed Blessing — Marty Walsh 10
Se — Rita Stanzione 11
If — Tr. Margaret Saine 12
The Sadness — Graham Buchan 13
Rebirth — Michael Keshigian 14
Re:Set Text — d.p. houston 15
Oranges For Wallace Stevens — Millicent Borges Accardi 16
Lockdown Sonnet #4 — Santiago Villafania 17
G. Floyd — Ismael Diadié Haïdara 18
G. Floyd — Tr. Margaret Saine 19
On the Brink — William Scott Galasso 21
Myth of Origin — Toti O’Brien 22
Leaves Tumble Across Parking Lot — David E. Howerton 23
Upadek Planety — Anna Maria Mickiewicz 24
The Downfall of Planets — Tr. Anna Maria Mickiewicz 25
Weiche ° Anomalie — Axel Görlach 26
Soft ° Anomaly — Tr. Margaret Saine 27
Door to Myself — Timothy Fab-Eme 28
Close Enough — Mike Dillon 29
With… — J. C. Foritano 30
Rier Child — Marvin Sarkar Bynoe 31
Exit — David Pratt 32
What Muse Wants — Doreen Beyer 33
Deciding Man — Sean MicKael Wilson 34
The Last Now — Donall Dempsey 35
The Land I Long For — Michael Fraley 36
Five Haiku — Billy Antonio 37
Mercury in Wood — S. D. Dillon 38
Why the Warmth — Chris Falcon 39
Dandelions — Sarah Baker 40
Once We Were God — Michael Meyerhofer 41
Algorithms: What Do They Know? — Alun Rees 42
Pirates — Bory Thach 43
Elegy for Marie P. — Marie Lecrivain 44
Shades of Home — Anna Dunlap 45
On Solitude — Lynn Hoggard 46
I Zoomed Into... — Lynn Axelrod 47
Las Palabras Tienen Frío — Eliécer Almaguer 48
The Words Are Cold — Tr. Margaret Saine 48
Lonely Sea and Stars — Jane Stuart 49
Time Immortal — Maja Trochimczyk 50
Collected Wounds — Savita Singh `` 51
After I Tell My Father — Joanne Holdridge 52
[To Her Father] — Terry Olivi ` 53
[To Her Father] — Tr. Margaret Saine 54
Hope Is. a Good Thing — Sean MicKael Wilson 55
Querencia — Alfredo Pérez Alencart 56
Safe Place — tr. Margaret Saine 57
Humilitas — Manuel Francisco Reina 58
Humilitas — Tr. Margaret Saine 59
Let me repeat myself, so everyone remembers that “we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the California State Poetry Society in 2022. While the organization was founded in 1971 (so the 50th anniversary was in 2021), the first volume of the California Quarterly was published in 1972.” To celebrate the anniversary, we decided to edit a special issue of the CQ, vol. 50, no. 1 which will appear in 2024, so we have two more years to get ready for our anniversary celebration. The journal will survey best poems of past 50 volumes selected by a group of editors, that will bring the history to the present with selected new poems. Just one poem per issue would result in 200 poems; one per volume – 50, so the selection must be done by a committee from a range of choices. We are looking for volunteers to join us in this effort! It will be lots of fun!
Our parent organization is older, the National Federation of State Poetry Societies was established in 1959 and officially incorporated in 1966. The NFSPS sponsors fifty annual poetry contests with cash prizes totaling over $6,000. It also sponsors the Stevens Manuscript contest for a collection of poems by one poet, the BlackBerry Peach Poetry Awards, and the College Undergraduate Poetry competition. Strophes is the national society's official newsletter, published quarterly and available on nfsps.com. The BlackBerry Peach Slam, first national poetry slam competition to be held in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida on October 20-23, 2022. The NSFPS Annual Convention is held at the end of June.
Poets and Artists. So far, I have found that CSPS poets are not interested in poetry slams or live readings, but in poetry publications, they also love our ideas of connecting poetry to art, as seen in their responses to the artwork in the CQ and Poetry Letters. The CQ covers last year have been graced by the artwork of Susan Dobay, Danielle Eubanks, Vera Campion, and Diane Lee Moomey. More of their art, and of work by additional artists (Toti O’Brien, Pam Coulter Blehert, Andrena Zawinski) could be seen on our blog and in the Poetry Letters, published quarterly in PDF format and re-posted on our blog.
I’ll just quote a couple of comments by readers in appreciation of poetry and art. Joanelle Serra: “Thanks for the wonderful newsletter, I'll read it bit by bit to savor the poems. But at first glance I wanted to say that the artwork is really lovely.” Beverly Barnes: “Thank you so very much for sending these great poems! I am here in Massachusetts amid cold wintery days, unable to go out much. The poetry is fiery warmth for my soul!” John F. Harrell: “Your Poetry Letter is amazing ... just stunning, really ..”
The Poetry Letters welcome submissions of art, poetry, and reviews to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the Poetry Letter No. 2 of 2022, we published the prize-winning poems from CSPS Monthly Poetry Contests held in 2022 – from January to April. The first prize winners were Pamela Stone Singer, Jerry Smith, Jeff Graham, and Debra Darby. Congratulations to all the poets and many thanks to Alice Pero, our Monthly Contests Judge. Our Featured Poet was Frederick Livingston and our guest artist – poet and photographer Andrena Zawinski. We also presented three book reviews. Jacqueline Lapidus wrote about Through a Grainy Landscape by Millicent Borges Accardi. Michael Escoubas reviewed Underground River of Want by Kathleen Gregg, and an anthology edited by J.J. Ferrer, Poems to Lift You Up and Make You Smile. Escoubas ended his review with; “The best I can do is this quote by Willa Cather (1873-1947), ‘You must find your own quiet center of life and write from that to the world. In short, you must write to the human heart, the great consciousness that all humanity goes to make up.’ This is what poets do, this is what Kathleen Gregg does.”
I must say, I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment. I had the pleasure of editing the California Quarterly, vol. 48, no. 1 and received some pleasant comments from poets. Tammy Greenwood: “The issue is wonderful! I am so honored to be included in California Quarterly.” Keith Gorman: “The editors have done an outstanding job.” Brittany Nohra: “It looks brilliant, what a beautiful issue.” Terry Ehret: “Such an interesting, compelling selection of poems in this issue!” Pamela Stone Singer: “Thank you for publishing my poem, ‘Bullfrog Pond’ and for all that you do for the world of poetry.”
Gratitude is near the top of all human sentiments, healing in and of itself. It is also a daily nourishment, so I am happy to find so many people and things to be grateful for in CSPS. Let me cite from the editorial of the first issue of the Poetry Letter I edited in 2021 and dedicated to Margaret Saine: “I am especially grateful that she introduced me to the CSPS. Margaret’s contributions to our Society are immeasurable. To me, she is the embodiment of extensive, expert knowledge of all the arts (poetry, literature, painting, sculpture, and architecture), as well as languages, and history. I admire her deep, unyielding love of poetry in as many languages as can be brought together for the cause of peace and coexistence without violence, without wars—to seek beauty, inspiration and appreciation of the world as is, in all its darkness and light, in all its riches. She writes and publishes poetry in English, her native German, as well as French, Italian and Spanish. She translates an international group of poets, giving them a space to share their insights. As a photographer, she depicts the world in motion—blurry, misty, ambiguous, yet enticing with mysterious patterns. Her erudite, thoughtful and passionate poems reflect her keen attention to detail, ability to see the large picture, find wisdom in nature and art. I am profoundly grateful for all the gifts Margaret brought to my life—richness of vivid language, sharp focus on quality of words expressing a thought or impression clearly and succinctly.”
I am also thankful for the talents and achievements of CSPS Members. This year, Terry Ehret, CSPS Board Member and former CQ Editor has published a volume of translations issued by the Sixteen Rivers Press. Plagios/Plagiarisms, Volume Two, by Mexican poet Ulalume González de León was co-translated with Nancy J. Morales and John Johnson. The book was issued by the Sixteen Rivers Press with an introduction by Mary Crow. William O’Daly praised the translation: “The finely wrought, scrupulous translations chart the shifting realities, the cumulative mysteries, by doing what the poems do: They live and breathe, and invoke the untouchable language of silence.” Look for the book tour events in August and September!
Our new CQ Editor, William Scott Galasso has been very busy. His haiku have been accepted for publication by Modern Haiku, The Autumn Moon Haiku, The Heron's Nest, Blithe Spirit (U.K). The Publishing Club of Laguna Woods Anthology 2022 and The San Diego Poetry Anthology for 2021-2022. He also participated in readings at the Spoken Word, Laguna Woods Publishing Club, the Point Loma Library in San Diego and on several Zoom events, including Verse Virtual.
In recent winnings, Ambika Talwar shares with four others the Poiesis Award for Excellence in Literature (2021-22) for a short story. She received the Nissim International Poetry Prize (2021) for writing a poem daily during April 2021 (poetry month) with The Significant League. Ambika published a poem in The Force is With You – a collection to honor the Indian defense forces – her poem is for her father and his batch mates (2022). She is also published in the following anthologies: Timeless Inspirations (2022); Ruddy Ravens. Cheshire Cat & Rusty Rats; Beyond Words; Breathe Poetry (2021), and Roseate Sonnet (2020). She is a monthly contributing poet to Glo-Mag (both online and print).
My own poems appeared in Quill and Parchment, Mary Evans Picture Gallery (UK), and Pisarze.pl (in Polish). My newest poetry and photography collection, Bright Skies, was issued in May 2022, with a dedication to my children and grandchildren. Finally, this June, Shoutout LA published my second interview, this one focusing on my legacy, something I should think about “when I’m sixty-four…”
For this summer, I’m sending you my heartfelt wishes for the creation of a fantastic poetic legacy for the future generations by all CSPS members and friends!