I came home tonight to a lovely surprise: my contributor's copy of A Bird Black as the Sun: California Poets on Crows & Ravens (Green Poet Press, 2011). If being a poet in California was like being in High School, this anthology would be my yearbook. The table of contents reads like a trip down memory lane.
Who knew these dark muses could set the quills of so many fine poet-friends a-quiver? I know what I will be reading on the tube for the rest of this week--poems like Jackson Wheeler's "Crow Sings Jazz" and a promising-sounding one by Paul Fericano, ever obsessed with The Three Stooges, entitled "Curly Howard Misreads Edgar Allen Poe."
My own poem, "Shelf Road, Ojai" (originally titled "Crow") qualified me first for an honourable mention in the Atlantic Monthly Student Poetry Competition, then as a runner-up in the Indiana Review Poetry Prize--but has never actually been published before. Re-reading it brings me back to the eponymous trail in a Shangri-La now some six thousand miles away. Perhaps all along these messages-in-a-bottle I call poems were only ever meant to return to me on the shores of a different island, to remind me of who I was, and who was with me, everywhere that I have been.
The anthology is now available at local bookstores or on Amazon.com.