Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Interview with Poet and Publisher of Shivastan Press, Shiv Mirabito

Be: Shiv, you recently came to my attention through mutual friends. I read in an interview that you are American born. What was your journey to acquire the name “Shiv.”  

Shiv: When I first went to India in 1988 - and almost every winter afterward - I studied with the Naga Babas who worship Shiva the god of transformation, yoga, meditation, and nature. I was initiated into the Anand Akhara of Naga Babas and was given the name Shiv Bharati - this is a more studious and scholarly branch of the Das Nami Shiva Babas and I was told to visualize that Saraswati the goddess of wisdom, poetry, and music is constantly sitting on my tongue constantly guiding my communication.

Many people who don't know me think I may be Indian or Nepali with my dark complexion, big beard and six foot long dreadlocks but this is the influence of 33 years of traveling to these places.

I am actually a 3rd generation Sicilian-American from a middle class background born in a small town in upstate NY.

But I do find it offensive when people say "but what's your REAL name?" It's like asking a transgender person what type of genitals they really have. People should accept whatever name (or gender) anyone wishes to use without scrutiny.


 Be: You seem to have a real respect and fascination with India. What drew you to India and ultimately to Kathmandu?  Could you find something there you couldn’t find elsewhere? 

Shiv: I studied and lived in Allen Ginsberg's farm in Upstate NY in Cherry Valley - I was introduced to Hinduism and Buddhism there as a teenager. In 1988 I spent a semester studying in India and Nepal through the State University of NY. I've tried to go back every winter since and usually spend 4 months there studying, writing, and publishing every year January through May - last year I was stuck in Kathmandu until October and this year I am not traveling because of the pandemic. In Woodstock NY I have a small bookshop focusing on poetry, Hindu/Buddhist tantra, the occult, art, history, lgbtq studies, my small press, etc.

    I love India and Nepal because of the ancient culture that is based on more pagan concepts of worshipping nature - rocks, trees, rivers, mountains, etc- and the profound respect for poets, poetry, spirituality, and those who are focused on the sacred in all aspects of life. I continue this sense of ubiquitous sacredness in every waking moment and interaction with myself and others - but I do not consider myself "religious" - I am much more of a hippie than a devotee. I feel everything is an illusion - and at the same time a teaching - so why take life so seriously. Life is to enjoy. I also drink, smoke, experiment with psychedelics, and engage in polyamory and sacred sex - like many of the beat poets did and still do.


Be: When did you start your Press and what motivated you to do it?

Shiv: I started publishing in Kathmandu on handmade lokta paper with my small press because I wanted to self publish my own poetry. Someone asked me "you have a vanity press?"  and I hate that term so I started offering to publish books and broadsides for other poets as a service to the greater community. I engaged in a wide correspondence with many poets and have published about 70 publications since I started in 1997. I was also inspired by Ira Cohen, Angus and Hetty Maclise who published poetry on handmade paper in Kathmandu in the 1970s.


Be: What type of work does Shivastan Press publish?  How do the find your authors?

Shiv: I open the possibilities to any poets & writers - I prefer unusual "beat" or "alternative" poetry but I don't limit the press to any labels. The main requirement is authors must pay for printing and I facilitate all the rest in Kathmandu. The possibilities are endless.


Be: Who are some of the well-known poets you have worked with or published?

Shiv: Here is an abbreviated list of some of the fine poets I’ve published.

Shivastan Press {Woodstock~Kathmandu} Limited Edition Chapbooks, Broadsides and Wildflowers Woodstock mountain anthologies, craft-printed with handmade paper in Kathmandu Nepal:

#1, 2001: Ira Cohen, Andy Clausen, Janince King, Phillip Levine, Paul MacMahon, Shiv Mirabito, Dina Pearlman, Ed Sanders, Marilyn Stablein, Christina Starobin, Palmer Shaw, Janine Pommy Vega, Sue Willens.

#6, 2005: Ira Cohen, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Roberta Gould, Hetty Maclise, Robert Kelly, Donald Lev, Richard Livermore, Taylor Mead, Shiv Mirabito, Erik La Prade, Tom Savage, Anne Waldman, Chavisa Woods, Ziska, review of Atlantis Manifesto by Robert Kelly.

Andy Clausen: Festival of Squares, 2002.

Andy Clausen: Songs of Bo Baba, 2004.

Ira Cohen: Whatever You Say May Be Held Against You, 2004.

Enid Dame: Where is the Woman? (Edited by Donald Lev), 2006.

Shiv Mirabito: Transcendental Tyger, 2004.

Ed Sanders: Stanzas for Social Change, 2004.

Janine Pommy Vega: The Walker, 2003.

Anne Waldman: Ceremonies in the Gong World, 2007.


Lawrence Ferlinghetti: Allen Ginsberg Dying, 2005.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti: Pity the Nation, 2008.

Allen Ginsberg: Why Fuzz, 2017.

Allen Ginsberg: A Mountain Outside, 2018.

Ed Sanders: The Bookstores of New York, 2018.

Anne Waldman: Manatee Humanity, 2008.

Anne Waldman: Vatsala Devi, 2018.

I would like to mention that anyone in the area is welcome to visit my groovy little bookshop The Woodstock Shivastan Poetry Ashram Bookshop - we have many open poetry gatherings with a bonfire & vegetarian potluck in a beautiful secret garden + everyone who comes to visit receives free gifts like prints of my collage artworks, books, seashells from the beach in Goa India, etc.

- and please visit my pages on Facebook for information about the bookshop & my small press Shivastan Press (Woodstock-Kathmandu). Publications from Shivastan Press are available on my Etsy page.

Thank you Belinda - peace & love from Woodstock- Shiv

WILDFLOWER HELL by Tanya Rakh, reviewed by Hex’m J’ai

Alright readers, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to…


Feel free to stroll the grounds.  Take in the lush botanicals and verdant greenery.  Breath in the exotic aromatics, feast your eyes upon the plumage of rare birds, behold golden boughs heavy with sensuous fruit, submerge the senses in the wonder……..Hey! Don’t touch……..oh, great….we lost another one.

(Remember, roses have thorns and smiles can kill.)  

“WILDFLOWER HELL: Amalgamated Poems” is Tanya Rakh’s most recent collection of poetry.  This collection is cleverly broken in four sections or chapters that correlate to the seasons and are assigned an appropriate flower.  An allusion to the Victorian language of flowers?  Perhaps.  Visual symbolism with an intended meaning?  Absolutely!

Regardless of the intriguing layout of the collection, the true magic(k) of this book lies within the individual pieces.  Each is a piece of imagery laden fruit reminiscent of the French Symbolists in aesthetic and an active experiment in form.  Yet, these are not simply aesthetically appealing filler or mere decorative language arranged in a pleasing fashion.  Oh, no.  There is a darker, dystopian, undercurrent pulsing through these petals (knowledge comes with the curse of being tainted so the myth implies).  Alluring, razor-sharp petals etched with Tanya’s surrealist filagree cutting doors to the unique dimensions of her mind’s eye.  Through these freshly carved doors we can partake of a sensory engaging buffet where some things are sweet, some succulent, some bitter and some bite back.  And that, my friends, is what makes these pieces truly poetry.  

So, with that, I encourage you explore Tanya’s garden of botanical oddities, I can assure that you will not regret it.

(from Wildflower Hell)

that summer

She grows much older that summer. All amber and chlorophyll, she peels from her roots, lets her branches furl across forest in veins and rivers. Finds tesseract and pearl tooth hiding among willows, amphibious stars crackle for the choke point. 

In summer she evaporates, multiplies in prism, a gallery of refractions. She gazes into train lights and refuses. I’m tired, she tells them, spills out a dusty road instead, swaps her feet for years of windstorms. They say she lives here still, always howling. Until the day no one remembers, she echoes nightingale beneath your trees.

Dim memory lights and fissures in our boneyards. All oceans filled with swollen death, the mermaids left for orchid water long ago. 

Before the sun there was a poem here, verses sunk in soapstone, etched in gold. Each syllable a cut in time. Now the timeworn lines have found a doorway, loosened their ankle ties, but incantations fade and calcify with parallels, an undead choral prophecy.  

It always ends this way—the heavy dragon eats its tail in mired calculations. Always the sun rolling down the same mountain, that same weightless mountain where time and love move together but refuse to make eye contact, sleep rigid on opposite sides of the bed, the sheets soaked in pleading. The same nightmare cycles again.

Each razor story, every gray, splintered home. Each tall rooftop bent by this deafening momentum, this entropy dance of meat clinging to skeleton, these endless days of wheat and water.

All of this, alive in tapestry. Hungry for bones and hearts and holes through inertia. She grows much older that summer. Eats from fruit trees and falls asleep a stream. An ocean someday, a sun cascading down mountains. The moon rises here in whispers still; bright stars spin awake behind the haze.

Order Wildflower Hell from Amazon.

Tanya Rakh was born on the outskirts of time and space in a cardboard box. After extensive planet-hopping, she currently lives near Houston, Texas where she writes poetry, surrealist prose, and cross-genre amalgamations. Her work has appeared in numerous journals including Redshift 4, Literary Orphans, Heroin Love Songs, Yes, Poetry, and The Rye Whiskey Review. Tanya is the author of two books: Hydrogen Sofi (Hammer & Anvil Books 2019) and Wildflower Hell (Rogue Wolf Press 2021).

Friday, March 26, 2021

ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA by Christopher Ethan Burton, reviewed by Hex'm J'ai

Mr. Burton has been writing and creating for years.  As well, Christopher has recently been honing his craft on the spoken word stage giving definitive life, flavor and vibrance to his poetic works.  In the last year, with public readings cancelled due to covid-19, Mr. Burton took the opportunity to continue his live spoken word performances via Face Book and You Tube.  That said, Christopher Ethan Burton has finally taken his spoken word darlings and crystalized them, fixed them in his first published collection.  Though his first publication, Mr. Burton has painstakingly edited and re-edited his original manuscript to render the finished product as professional as a larger press, though this text is self-published and available to readers for essentially cost.  

Watch a performance by Christopher on YouTube.

Telling.  Autobiographical.  Honest and unashamed.  Witty, observant and nostalgic.  

Buzz words.  Buzzwords.  I could fill this page with buzzwords to describe the first published work of Christopher Ethan Burton.  They would be accurate, but they would be pale in meaning and be lost in the ocean of milk-toast descriptions.  This slim, self-published work deserves, in my humble opinion, a much closer inspection.

Between the covers of this unassuming volume is a microcosm(s).   Pulsing through these pages are what I call an alchemical blend that is matter-of-fact punk-rock simplicity combined with rich imagery.  Through this medium Mr. Burton creates a vehicle that can transport us to NYC in the 80’s through a child’s eye, dusty Hudson Valley libraries where the literary ‘greats’ reside or to bleak upstate Penitentiaries.  Through this blend, Mr. Burton offers us the opportunity to experience a myriad of emotions.  Righteous indignation, ennui, longing for the bitter-sweet past, the ego debasing and ultimate freedom of the quest for redemption, love, both young and innocent, tainted or that wise perfect love seldom described with accuracy.  All of these are possible destinations within the pages of Once Upon a Time in America.

That said, I encourage anyone who wants to take the trip, to pay the fare and hop aboard.

Gold Rush

Searching for Chinese food 

   in these odd times, 

like panning for gold in California

     after the rush was over

       and so many natives dead.

San Francisco transformed by that fever 

   into a robust city of vice.

      America, today flooded

with toxic politicians, 

      polluting our air waves. 

  It is mind numbing to think

   the populous falls time 

and time again for the old ruse 

  of smoke and mirror tricknology. 

The river alive with speed boats

   and families fishing for catch

hazardous to eat.

    Everywhere we look 

  rubber gloves on the ground, 

   like empty heroin bags

            and used syringes. 

Face masks finding their way 

         out into the ocean. 

   The gold was never in the mountains 

 or streams. 

  It was never in the oceans or rivers. 

The gold is the mountains and streams. 

    The oceans and rivers. 

   The gold is everywhere but our wallets.

   The gold is that piece of ourselves, 

like “Blue Birds trying to get out,

      we fight to keep down.

“Pouring whiskey on

   while inhaling cigarette smoke,

    and the whores and bartenders 

   and grocery store clerks, 

     never know that it is in there.”

Order Once Upon A Time in America on Amazon.


C.E. B.

Christopher Ethan Burton is a forty-year-old poet from New York. He began writing at fourteen, shortly after his father was murdered.  Fifteen years of his life were spent incarcerated, over ten of those years in New York’s worst maximum security prisons.  Today he lives a simple life with his girlfriend and her two children in Germantown N.Y.  He is the author of two chap books, “Once Upon a Time in America” and “A Dog’s Life.”

Poet/Artist Hex’m J’ai Joins GAS as Poetry Book Reviewer


In his own words: 


Writing, poetics, photography, visual arts etc. are all mediums I can channel energy into and receive energy from by the creative act.  I know that sounds ambiguous or pretentious, but that is because it is.  I love to live “mythically”, and these are vehicles for me to do so and vehicles that allow me to share said “myths” and creative “creatures”.  

It’s this energy and the myriad perspectives of the universe I can glean that draws me to the work of others.  It is also why I have always enjoyed and been willing to collaborate with others in creative endeavors, whether they were musicians, visual artists, fellow writers, etc.  There is seldom described sweet tension in the collaborative process where the sum is greater than those who contribute, and it becomes more than symbiotic as everyone leaves the project with more than they arrived with.  And that to me is love with a capital “L”.

Hex’m J’ai:

Currently resides on Earth with his significant other, offspring, various extraplanar entities (it is crowded up in here), two cats and a crustacean.  Hex’m J’ai has been writing and creating since circa 1990 EV. though this date is speculative at best as there is earlier evidence.  That said Hex’m has frequented the spoken word stage of NYS capital region since the mid 1990’s and continues to do so. The experiments of Hex’m J’ai have been published by:  The Rye Whiskey Review, Under the Bleachers, Unlikely Stories, Mark V, Alien Buddha Press, Rogue Wolf Press and several others.  Hex’m J’ai is currently the co-editor of Dead Man’s Press Ink.

Catalogue of Hex’m J’ai’s most recently published work:

Arm Chair Icarus

Lacklustre: The Meanderings of Mole-Man Jack



Negative. Space.

The Secret Utopia of Mole-Man Jack

Death and war had become
The not so secret whores of
Even love (though not LOVE),
When scandalous,
Hiked up her skirt and let
Her spaghetti straps fall
Just off the shoulder

She new when the camera was watching
And straddled the bar between
'Raunchy' and 'tasteful'


Far below the sewer grates
That catch broken glass, roses and tabloids;
Below the white monoliths and modern art
Tree houses;
Below the liquor stores, malls and crack houses;
Below the fallout shelters and syringes;
Below the streets
Of this city
Below it's

Lives Jack

Considering himself
A sovereign cosmic entity,
Jack concluded to secede from
The cultural union
Originally he wanted to move
In the other direction
But he found that battling
Rooftop samurai
Would be strategically
Besides "they have satellites"
And lovely Luna had been claimed
By astronauts, witches and poets
On potential....

He wanted her to have a world
A world of sun and sky;
A world of chalk drawings
And fingerpaint visions
A world of river parks and
First kisses
One of fairies and robots and
Mythic bliss

He forgot to speak of injustice
He neglected to inform her
Of the evil of restriction
Or that nature is a mechanism
He never told her where hot dogs
Really came from
Or that the lovely shapes of clouds
We're composed of poisons and
Evaporated blood

When her ghost was given
He forgot to cry
No, he didn't forget
He just couldn't....

Jack was a well educated nothing
A psychic sponge that could never
Be wrung
Though he had interest in current
He found parties distasteful as
The agents and politicos
Would overwhelm him
Their onslaught of well
Crystallized rhetoric
And citations
Rendering him mentally
Their sleek logic and
Eloquent passion leaving him
Befuddled and repeating phrases:

"The Emperor has NO clothes!"

In the kingdom of the one sock
Jack was the gracious co-ruler,
Along with his friends Bert and Raul

Here, below the radar and nonsense
He was no longer subject
To pocket fascism
For Jack surmised, being well read,
That it is far better to rule in
The basement
Than to serve in
The kitchen

Lighting fires would alert
The others
So Jack had acquired a taste
For his rat to be raw
Raul has seemed to have
Forgiven him for this
Yet a ruler of Jack's prowess
Cannot be sustained on rat
Fortunately, the kingdom of the
One sock
Is abundant
With what he refers to as
The fields of the found

When it rains
High Spring
The Egg
As if by osmosis
Trickles a steady
Raul is thrilled
Wormy tail swishing
In the liquid life that has
Been purified by layers
Of concrete and offices
Bert clings to the driest
Of supports
Until the Egg has abated

Some afternoons
Herald the arrival of the sage
The only outlander
Who does not suffer the vengeance
Of Jack's divine staff of reckoning
The sage brings offerings
Exotic treats of
Cheese, cigarettes and cheap liquor


The village crier
And the shaman
Have been banished
There is a well tanned vampire
Invited into every home
Summoned by mothers
By children
By brothers and buttons
Sensory drugs compliment
The virus of language
Honing new creatures
Refining new golems
From superior


Decomposition is ripe with Chi
Amidst his mushroom hell
Jack has erected temples
Portals to the out land
Thrift store televisions
Create an arching wall
Around his thrown
And he watches
He summons
He laughs

He still can not cry.


At the bus station
Amidst the free philosophy
Of the restroom wall
Is the shaky signature
A scrawl of ownership
A window to the kingdom

"Jack lives"


Monday, March 22, 2021

Su Zi's review of THE GREEN ORCHID by Connie Helena

First books are definitive entities: the labor of the writer born into the world and flown to the reader; emblems of hope, sometimes. Some first books are as self-published as Whitman and sit as comfortably on the bookshelf as books from presses large and small. An enterprising reader might have once stumbled upon a debut collection in an independent bookshop, but nowadays a debut work can pop up on social media and be acquired with a fiddle of the fingers. Such is the case with the debut collection of both poetry and prose by Connie Helena, who posts art on Instagram as creativeflorida.

In a perfect bound, trade sized edition, with a 2020 copyright, Helena presents six short stories and a section of poetry. The poems are separated as individual poems by sometimes ending on the page, with the next page’s poem continuing often without title. Since the topic of these poems is a particular and romantic relationship, the poems lend themselves to being one long poem in episodes. During this excursion into intimacy, the poems’ lines alternate between a loose narrative structure and moments that hold much promise for further work from this writer: “ I am a bruise shaped like a butterfly” (79) is followed two and a half stanzas later with “ I’m your angel sugar pie/ I’m your sweetness super fly”(80). Helena is wise enough to filter the traditional trope of love through personal perceptions that include momentary references to the seasons to indicate the passing of time.

Helena’s short story offerings here are of another genre, uniting in various dystopian views that include ironic humor. Each story begins with a shocking premise: In “ The Cardinal”, the opening story, an infertile woman harasses patients at a health clinic; in “Cannibals” a teacher is undone by a false student; and in the book’ closing story, “The Last Violence”, a crew of astronauts seeks to introduce humans on a distant planet. It is in these stories that Helena shows a deftness in writing—each story’s premise is a bit nauseating, as if culled from distasteful news stories and re-envisioned. Of these, the premise of “ The Last Violence” might be the most appalling, as our beloved planet is destroyed in the story’s opening action. The reader is then introduced to the characters, who are mostly symbolic—the large male security soldier, the earnest communications officer. Also introduced is the division between these characters of those who engage in physical sex versus those who meet their neurochemical needs with a pharmaceutical cocktail.  “He could tell right away she did Natural—it was in her eyes and the way she walked. The long hair indicated it as well because most women cut theirs short once they began taking maintainers in the teen years (103)”. It is this absurdity in the story that clues the reader to the forthcoming twist. 

In the six stories presented here, told with varying tempos to their narrative arc, there is a hyperbolic moment that clues the crash of a climax. Each story ends with a bit of dark humor. Helena’s knack here is taking the most ordinary conceit in a story, prosaic and Hollywood enforced narrative cliches in character, and detailing their undoing.  If a debut collection is a promise of what else a writer might have to offer in time, then readers ought to keep lookout for this writer’s short stories; witty and slyly feminist, darkly amusing, Connie Helena debut’s work is a fine start indeed.

The Green Orchid is available on Amazon.

Connie Helena

Saturday, March 20, 2021

GAS Featured Musician: Jerusalem Mules, presented by Kevin M. Hibshman

Jerusalem Mules is the one-man band from Erie, Pennsylvania comprised of Matt Borczon. He not only plays a variety of instruments, He builds them himself. His music combines original songs with cover renditions of timeless spirituals, country ballads and folk tunes. He is something like a troubadour for our troubled times, blending an antiquated sensibility with a post-punk edge. Let's find out more.

KH: Could you tell us some of your musical inspirations and/or favorite artists?

MB: I love most old music. Doc Boggs and The Carter Family come to mind. I also love Dave Alvin, Steve Earl and some of the alt-country guys. In the most modern underground sense, I am a huge fan of The Godamn Gallows, The Calamity Cubes, High Lonesome and the whole Hellbilly movement. As for who influenced me, there is a musician in York, PA. named Shane Speal who built the first big website examining the cigar box guitar. This changed my whole life! Building and then playing these simple instruments allowed me to get the simplicity I was looking for.

KH: How many instruments do you play?

MB: Let's see. Guitar, everything from one to six strings, tenor and five-string banjo, some violin and mandolin, Mostly anything with strings. I also play some penny-whistle and a little harmonica.

KH: What was your initial inspiration for building your own instruments?

MB: I pretty much only play what I build now. I learned  from a cigar box guitar website. You can now google plans for a cigar box guitar and find tons of great information on them. Also, YouTube videos.

KH: You are a published poet. Do you find it easier to write song lyrics or poetry? 

MB: Since starting to take poetry more seriously, I find it harder to write songs now. I tend to be better at whichever one I'm working hardest on.

KH: Has Jerusalem Mules played in public?

MB: I have played a bunch of open-mic shows and a few cigar box guitar festivals over the years. Not much since Covid hit.

KH: Do you have future plans for this project?

MB: I am always recording and I hope to get a three-piece band out in front of an audience once this all ends.

KH: What would you like listeners to take away from your music?

MB:I hope it gets them interested in old music and maybe building their own instruments. Also, I'm always hoping to show people that you don't need lots of money to make real music, just some simple instruments, time and energy. Sort of what made me love punk rock in the 70's.

Here is a link to the Jerusalem Mules on band camp

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

GAS Featured Poet: Thom Woodruff


"SPIRIT THOM"  has played and toured with Daevid Allen, Mother Gong, Kangaroo Moon, Invisible Opera Company of Tibet etc. Thom is a co-Founder of AUSTIN INTERNATIONAL POETRY FESTIVAL and can be found on YOUTUBE, ZOOM and SKYPE (Spoken and Heard ) Sunday nights. Thom improvises to the Muse and has  200 books of improvisations available from redking44@gmail.com.
Thom is the TEXAS BEAT POET LAUREATE 2020-2022.



I went to the Dakota Hotel. It was dark and chill.

No joy, so, around the corner to Strawberry Fields,

where the young were playing 

John Lennon songs continuously. 

Light and spark!

It was Yoko Ono who set up this Memorial Space,

with the single word IMAGINE central to this pocket park.

In Austin, we have a pocket park for Albert Huffstickler,

poet of the people, who from his park bench, 

wrote and gave away poetry in Hyde Park.

Memorials remind us of our shared pasts, 

which is why a statue of YORK,

an enslaved member of the Lewis and Clark expedition 

appeared in a Portland park.

And, in Bristol, a slave-trader statue of Edward Colston 

was dumped in Bristol Harbor,

replaced temporarily by one dedicated to BLM's Jen Reid.

In Texas, hundreds

of Confederate statues are now in Museums.

There are statues of whistleblowers in Berlin,

drawing our attention to their release from prison.

And statues of Saddam were destroyed,

like the statues of Stalin. 

Taliban destroyed Buddhist sculptures,

which were replaced by artists with holograms.

Statues of Hitler melted down.

Native American sculptures rising up.

What we honor, celebrate and respect has changed,

so statuary must adapt. 

I remember Beatles statues 

outside the New Cavern in Liverpool,

but there are no Beatles anymore.

I like what Dolly Parton said,

when they wanted to make a statue of her-

"I am grateful, but I am not dead yet.

Just enjoy the music while I am living!"


See an interview and performance by Thom produced by the National Beat Poetry Foundation in 2020.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

GAS Featured Poet and Artist: Michael Rothenberg

photo by Bob Howard

Michael Rothenberg is the co-founder of 100 Thousand Poets for Change (www.100tpc.org), and co-founder of Poets In Need, a non-profit 501(c), assisting poets in crisis.

His most recent books of poetry include Sapodilla (Editions du Cygne-Swan World, Paris, France, 2016), Drawing The Shade (Dos Madres Press, 2016) , Wake Up and Dream (MadHat Press, 2017),The Pillars (Quaranzine Press, 2020) and I Murdered Elvis (Alien Buddha Press, 2020). A bi-lingual edition of Indefinite Detention: A Dog Story was published by Varasek Ediciones, in Madrid, Spain in 2017.  In 2020, Arwiqa Publishers, Cairo, Egypt published an Arabic edition of Indefinite Detention: A Dog Story, trans. by El Habib Louai.

His editorial work includes several volumes in the Penguin Poets series: Overtime by Philip Whalen, As Ever by Joanne Kyger, David’s Copy by David Meltzer, and Way More West by Edward Dorn. Rothenberg is also editor of The Collected Poems of Philip Whalen published by Wesleyan University Press (2007)

Rothenberg currently lives on Lake Jackson in Tallahassee, Florida where he is Florida State University Libraries Poet in Residence. He frequently performs his poetry in the tradition of Jayne Cortez, Amiri Baraka, Michael McClure, and David Meltzer, with The Ecosound Ensemble, a group created by Rothenberg and composed of some of Tallahassee’s music legends. In 2020 Rothenberg and The Ecosound Ensemble released their first CD on TribalDisorder.com Records, featuring jazz and world music greats Longineu Parsons, Michael Bakan and Brian Hall.

City in Spain



She wants to know if I am pro Muslim

Why not pro Muslim?

Of course, I am pro Muslim!

Hugely pro Muslim

Pro Muslim like my life depends upon it

And while I am at it

I am pro Jew, pro Christian,

pro Buddhist, pro Fish, pro Swan,

pro Rose, pro Daffodil, pro Biotics,

pro Sun, pro Sky, pro Moon,

pro Trout, pro Limpkin

Pro Marmalade, pro Peanut Butter,

pro Volone, pro Cheddar

and pro Poetry!

Have you a got a problem with that?




Airboats skim over lily pads

Zebra Longwing butterflies flutter 

in orange lantana

Pine cones bounce off the roof

Spanish moss just hangs there


                        Key Lime Pie,

               anecdote to the presidential election

            If you sprinkle toasted coconut on top of it

                        that's not bad either


Today, I will hold my nose and vote

One California friend says, 

         "Drink the Kool-Aid! Drink it!”


Another California friend tells me,

"Go make Florida blue!"


Blue skies

Blue oceans

Blue Herons

Blue Hydrangeas

Blue butterflies

Blue crabs

Blue runners

Blue Stripe Garter Snakes

Bluebells and blue plumbago




Black and blue, I voted 

Who would not prefer nature over politics?

I prefer nature 

over politics 

any day.


Icicle Hill Totem

See an interview with Michael in GAS:  Poetry, Art and Music 10.

Watch an amazing video by Ian Edward Weir, using poetry by Michael.  Disneyland and The Cops was released as a video from his new CD, Dystopic Relapse from Tribaldisorder.com, the album features Longineu Parsons (trumpet, bass recorder, flugelhorn), Michael Bakan (drums and percussion) and Brian Hall (double bass).

Face and A Lizard