Actions Speak Louder, and Words

Publication, more often than not, is a measure of longevity with talent as the understudy. We shouldn’t confuse approval with publication, publication with success. But there is of course sweetness in publication, to see your words in print or online. To know someone read it and said ‘yes.’

About two months ago I received a phone call from Floating Bridge Press, a Washington State press that focuses on local writers. After many years of submitting I am thrilled to say I have my own yes; I am honored to be the winner of the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award. My first book of poems, “Elegy/Elk River,” will be published in October 2015!

As excited as I am for this next step, I am equally excited for whatever increased visibility I can bring to traditionally underrepresented poets. This is where you come in. (more…)

Wearing a Mask of Your Own Face: On Persona, Race, and Identity

Not too long ago I published a (craft/lyric) essay on persona, race, and identity. It was lucky enough to find a home on Brevity’s (a great online journal of creative nonfiction) blog. You can read it here if you like.

I wanted to share the news since it came out but couldn’t quite find the words I wanted to introduce it. I wanted to say more about masks, about how even the body can be trained into a costume. I wanted to talk more about identity, about being biracial and my fear of “passing,” though to be honest as what I have no clue. I wanted to confess all the ways I still try to remain invisible or hide behind persona but secretly hope you meet my gaze, which is how most masks give the wearer away.

What I mean is here I am. I want to give myself away. Look me in the eyes and don’t blink. Not even once.

Wordplay as Foreplay, Poetry and Politics

Recently I had a poem published in Mouth and Mouth Magazine, an online magazine dedicated to the erotic that seeks “to create a visceral experience that furthers the counterpoint to mainstream sexuality.”

When the editor had asked me to submit something it didn’t take me long to agree. I can write openly about my sexuality, write a sexual poem, publish in an erotic magazine, but I doubt I would be dubbed an “erotic writer.” As a straight male writer this is a privilege I have. (more…)