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Dear Poetry Lover,

Ten years ago we began a Knopf tradition. To celebrate National Poetry Month, we sent a poem a day by e-mail for 30 days to anyone who asked to receive them. Now, with over 35,000 subscribers, we are proud to continue with a whole new series of daily poems. Each day during the month of April you will receive a poem from some of the best poets in the world including Mark Strand, Mary Jo Salter, Julia Hartwig, and Richard Kenney, as well as classics from Frank O’Hara, Rudyard Kipling, Kenneth Koch and more. This year, we’ll also be featuring special podcasts, gorgeous printable broadsides, and signed books.

If you know of someone who might like to join the Poem-a-Day party, they may visit here to sign up.

Best Wishes,

Jason Kincade, Knopf New Media

NOTE:  I’ve done this a couple of years and thought others might enjoy it also.  Helen

Just not all the time.

It is true the springtime flowers
have blossomed forth, forsythia first,
daffodils, followed by the Bradford Pear.
Then the Dogwood. The azaleas—
various kinds, colors—slowly stagger
their release of blossom
over several weeks. And now lilies
of the valley—perfect, lacy hanging
bells— grow on the north side of the house.

It is true that tiny violets covered
much of the yard before our John Deere
tractor moved them away and that two tender-
hearted children rescued a sick, baby bird.
They put it in a cage, unaware
that it might give them lice. Or worse yet,
West Nile Virus. But this concerns more
than just the springtime. Much more than
the flowers. More even than the baby bird,

‘though I picture him still. This is about
the blood that flows through soldiers’ human
veins, the senseless violence they endure,
and the prayer I have continued to pray.

first published in The Peace Tree

April is National Poetry Month. To celebrate the Dead Mule is calling its April Issue “Poems On the Odds.” A new poet will be published each odd day of the month. That’s fifteen poets.

The Dead Mule will begin its April Celebration with the student poets of Scott Owens, the 2008 Visiting Writer at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, NC. The students are followed by poets from regular submissions and invited poets. We try not to make distinctions at the Mule. But long-time Mule readers will remember poet Kevin Blankenship as a former Poetry Co-Editor. Clare L. Martin has written a mini-chapbook, Growing Into Myself. We have two chapbooks, There Is a Map by Felicia Mitchell and Deceptively Like a Sound by Scott Owens—yes, the same Scott Owens who teaches at CVCC. And finally we have the pleasure of publishing our second state Poet Laureate. We have six poems from Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, who is the current Poet Laureate of Virginia, as well as a visual artist.

Fifteen Mule Poets. Poems On the Odds! YEEEEEEEEEEH HA!

April 1 Daishi Miyazaki
April 3 Jason Ozolins
April 5 Sam Eagle
April 7 Andy Major
April 9 Trisha Hart
April 11 Torrance Stephens
April 13 Bruce Fuller
April 15 Maria Nazos
April 17 Ellen Kombiyil
April 19 Geoff Balme
April 21 Kevin Blankenship, former Dead Mule Poetry Co-Editor
April 23 Clare L. Martin – A Mini-Chapbook – Growing Into Myself
April 25 Felicia Mitchell – A Chapbook – There Is No Map
April 27 Scott Owens – A Chapbook – Deceptively Like a Sound
April 29 Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, the Poet Laureate of Virginia

So why not start now, reading the poets the Mule has already published, and be ready when the new ones start coming. “Poems On the Odds” is our biggest poetry issue ever.

This entry is cross-posted at the Mule blog.

I have reprints of four poems on Sacramento Poetry, Art and Music (SPAM) this week.  The poems are “After Katrina,”  “Restoration,” “The Phone Call,” and “Missing the Beaded Indian,” a poem about my Dad.

Thank you, Eskimo Pie.

My position against the war is unchanged, but I am very thankful that my prayer that Shane return unharmed from Iraq has been answered. About 5:30 pm, Shane came home to the apartment he shares with our younger son, Victor. Tomorrow, I understand, Shane is hoping to buy a car.

UPDATE: Shane is the owner of a new ride.

UPDATE II:  Shane’s car is a 2001 Honda Prelude and hugs have been delivered.

I thought my action had pleased you.
My request was reasonable
and I thought perfectly clear.
You said, no, and thought

you were reasonable,
because my request had nothing
to do with my action toward you.
In my response,

I was—quite possibly—unclear.
When I asked you about
the rejection, you acted shocked,
embarrassed, you said,

at the conversation becoming silly.
And it did.  Yet despite significant
positive correlation between
friends’ receiving and giving,

detection of rejection must be
a fundamental difference
between being a woman
and being a man.  I heard

men like women to tell it straight.
We are friends; I write poems;
Your response was rejection;
And the truth is, I am hurt.

I just had word from editor Eve Hanninen that a poem I wrote for Tomas Karkalas has been accepted for publication in The Centrifugal Eye in May. Tomas is a photographer and visual artist who lives in Lithuania.

I’ll write more about the poem’s publication when it comes out.  Meanwhile, you can see the work of Tomas Karkalas at his new site, Captain’s Bridge, and my favorite Candleday, among others.  Please visit his blogs and give him some feedback.

The following is a response to Val’s post “Putting Yourself Out There. . .” that won’t let me leave a comment.

Art is not better than craft; they are sisters, but they are not twin sisters. If art’s the inspiration, then craft’s the grunt work. If art is the vision, then craft is revision. Without the craft, the art goes unnoticed. Without the art, the craft is merely a paint-by-number. The Muse brings art, and the patient artist practices craft. The Muse brings ecstasy, while the craft fixes dinner.

Go Ruth!!!

Nothing but basketball comes in March.
Everyone dreams of cutting down nets.
Who will reach deep to find strength
in muscles that ache but must not quit?

Look how chosen teams play
keep-away with beautiful slippers—
no longer afraid of the Spirit,
no longer afraid to think, holy.

Strong teams wear white, bend weary limbs
like forsythia branches, yellow and hardy.
Other teams wear black—
always black, under the bright lights.

There are no godmothers.
No pumpkins or coaches. Not even mice.
Everyone knows the clock will strike midnight.
And they don’t really dance at this ball.

first published by Writer’s Harbor thanks to Steve.