Two Fingers for Walt Whitman

The April 21st edition of The Long-Islander newspaper slipped through my mail slot today. In “Walt’s Corner”, a column dedicated to poetry since the paper was founded by Walt Whitman in 1838, appears my poem praising various uses of two fingers.

(Click to enlarge)

I have had two poems in The Long-Islander previously, both times listing my location as “Ojai, California”. But this is a poem that could only have been written in the UK.

Previous Poems in The Long-Islander

[Note: George Wallace informs me that, while the newspaper was founded in 1838, he actually started publishing “Walt’s Corner” in 1988]

“Double Agent” (Poem in The Long-Islander)

I came home tonight to a strange package from New York. In it was a copy of the August 11th issue of The Long Islander, bearing one of my poems. Regarding this historic American newspaper from England, it seems curious to note that its founding by Walt Whitman in 1838 was in the Victorian era, when our North London flat was built. And the location of “Ojai, Ca” beneath my name, once second nature, is finally beginning to feel remote.

I wrote this poem long before I dreamed I’d end up here. My relocation gives the title a new shade of meaning for me, as I seek to blend in with strange surroundings. Sometimes I am unsure myself just whose side I really am on.

Many thanks again to George Wallace for publishing this poem. Click here to read the clipping.

Pushcart Prize Nomination

I just received the news that my poem, “Recipe for the Broken,” first published in The Long-Islander and subsequently re-published as a limited edition broadside in The Broadsider Vol. 2, Series 12, has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses XXXVI. I am proud to have this poem put forward in such good company, alongside poets Suzanne Frost, Diane di Prima, William Taylor Jr., Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, and Peg Quinn. Hats off to one and all — and here’s hoping the Pushcart editor likes these poems as well!

Poem in the Long-Islander

Click to read the poem

The Long-Islander was founded by Walt Whitman 1838. Fellow Pacific University MFA alumnus George Wallace edits their weekly poetry column. Last week, they featured one of my poems. “Recipe for the Broken” loosely follows the English sonnet form. You can view a larger, legible version of the clipping by clicking here. How satisfying, indeed, to have a poem printed beneath the gaze of Whitman himself.