Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Poetry Reading in Hillsboro video

Here is a video taken at last night's Hillsboro reading, where A. Molotkov headlined a beautiful reading and discussion, followed by an open mic.


Word Salad

My poem "Two Rivers" has just been published in Word Salad. Click here to read my poem and the Spring 2010 issue!

Monday, November 29, 2010

This Week's Poem

The Poem Tells Us Death
To Gottfried Benn

The poem tells us
death’s geometry
is not round like earth,
supple and cold like endless sea,
but plotted upon contiguous
right angles, drained of abstraction
into sharp corners and red alleys,
a razed mountain
and human rubble,
all organs and cavities and words,
a pure mathematics.

An expression of love
in copper transit,
itself labored over like a poem,
his many graveyards
know no shadow or ghost.
Where is the vacuous depression
expected of darkness
and the vicious emotion
bound to its description?
His world writes
between wintry doctor’s hands.

Silence the symphony!
the poem tells us,
and weave a landscape
of precise incisions
and dull spoons,
of colorless blood
and knives like flowers
thrown amongst the summer-faced children.

Carve the dawn in language
and translate it unevenly
so both living and dead
can read the same day

and ending us in twilight,
mince me, this demanding poem,
and drink me like sand
in your ripening garden.

-published by Ken*again

Friday, November 26, 2010

Poetry reading, discussion, open mic

A. Molotkov, a Portland writer and a co-founder of the Inflectionist poetry movement will read and discuss his work at Hillsboro Last Monday Poetry Group. Questions and challenging views are welcome. Followed by an open mic session. Hope you can come, join the discussion, and read your poetry. I'll be participating in the open mic and discussion...

When: Monday, Nov. 29, 7-9pm
Where: Hillsboro Last Monday Poetry Group
135 SE 3rd Ave, Hillsobor, OR

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Cirque- A Literary Journal for the North Pacific Rim has accepted my poem "Sleepless Harbor" for publication in their Winter 2010 print edition! "Sleepless Harbor", composed in Iceland, beings with these lines from Elizabeth Bishop:

“At four o’clock
in the gun-metal blue dark
we hear the first crow of the first cock”

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Praise for A Pure River

"John Sibley Williams' chapbook A Pure River is what I consider a perfect glimpse into his quiet yet somehow expansive style. What is most striking is how much space seems to exist in each poem. As a set of poems centered around themes of travel through the American landscape, Williams quiet measured breath and concise use of line and language accurately recreates the feeling of standing on some lonely stretch of road with nothing but the wind, the impenetrable vista and one's own heartache as companions."

-Chris Cottrell, former editor of Portland Review

Monday, November 22, 2010

This Week's Poem

Black and White

All day I gawked and awed,
tracing the Guadalupe Mountains from the horizon
as one might cut along a paper’s perforation,
embarrassing myself before the sun and vultures,
and not quite content to look
yet too cowardly to touch and cry.

Later, the tin and dust motel
showed some black and white cowboy film
and I wondered if this is how the soul moves.
Indifferent to the vast colors, beauties,
rattlers and hungers and savageries,
a sole rider kept to his purpose
as if one with everything he failed to see,
as if he did not need to see
and simply was.
And other lone horsemen wandered by, unhesitant,
none pausing, gawking, or scribbling notes
(they did not need to remember).
At times a slaying, at times a silent passing.
It made no difference to hills, horses, men.
One set of eyes could capture an entire landscape,
reaching so far beyond night
it almost touched morning again.

-published by San Pedro River Review and in my chapbook A Pure River

Friday, November 19, 2010

322 Review Acceptance

322 Review, a journal of provocative poetry and art, has just accepted my poem "The North Sea" for publication in their forthcoming Winter 2010 issue! I'll post when it's available online for public consumption...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Moonstruck Featured Reading

I will be headlining Moonstruck Cafe's poetry event in January, which is a wonderful and eclectic poetry series hosted by Joan Maiers. This month is William Stafford's birthday, so this event will include a mic after my reading with local poets reading their favorite Stafford poems. I'll include a few in my reading also. Please join us for a wonderful evening of poetry, celebration, and chocolate!

When: January 16, 2011 @ 6:30pm
Where: Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe
45 South State Street
Lake Oswego, OR 97034

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Paper Tiger meets Figures of Speech reading/mic

Figures of Speech hosts Steve Williams and Constance Hall will be performing together at the Paper Tiger. There will be an open mic following the reading, which I and fellow poet A. Molotkov will particpate in...it's our first venture to our friendly city to the north, Vancouver. Come join us!

When: Thursday, Nov. 18 at 7pm
Where: Paper Tiger Coffee Roasters
703 Grand Blvd Vancouver, WA 98661

Monday, November 15, 2010

This Week's Poem

From Under a Sari

I have slipped you, this single poem,
over her bare brown toe
as a third silver ring,
one I cannot remove as easily.

Why, she asks in her sleep, my toe?
Why not another swirling gold bracelet
or fourth eye, something grandchildren
can tug and kiss and remember in their age
indecipherable from my memory?

But of the wisdom a simple trinket bestows
I know little
and dare only what few will see-
this ornament of words
that may, I fear,
hang from her like a cross.

No, it is simpler still.
I’ve not the courage to inspect
the world still hidden
that heaves and dreams on this bench
like living soil,
with only roots exposed.

Where best to lay a poem
than upon what stretches deepest
and, unseen, absorbs from those dearest
all tomorrow’s fallen tears?

-published by Arlington Literary Journal

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Stonehenge Studios Open Mic

I'll be participating in the open mic portion of the monthly Stonehenge Studios reading series along with fellow friends and poets A. Molotkov and David Cooke.

When: Sunday, Nov. 14, 7-9pmWhere: Stonehenge Studios @ 3508 SW Corbett Avenue , Portland, OR

Featured readers are John Morrison and Jess Lamb.

Monday, November 8, 2010

This Week's Poem


I speak with all the accents
of the people I have loved-
the warriors and the panicked,
the native and the exiled,
the lovers
of wisdom and of ignorance,
the speakers and the listeners,
those who bleed blue from wounds
and those who by endless night and saber
slaughter the rest like sheep,
those who have returned love
and those who left me upon its shore.

I am still coming of age
in their contradictions
and I find nothing of death
lumped in my one throat,
that never forgets
its thousand dead dialects.

-published in Tertulia Magazine

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Exercise Bowler Publication

Exercise Bowler has accepted my poem "The Torch" for publication in their Spring 2011 issue due out in March! "The Torch" begins with a plea to Kabir, the great Persian poet, to:

Tell me just enough of the truth
that I continue battling up the mountain,
just enough and no more

water, so I still thirst,
love, so I still desire,

shadow, so I still weep.

Exercise Bowler: The name of a 1946 performance at the Arts Theatre in London about Army life in World War 2 and the harsh realities the soldiers face upon returning home.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ken*again accepts 2 poems

Ken*again has accepted two of my European poems for publication in their Spring 2011 issue! They've previously published other poems from this collection (titled "The Longest Compass" and presently submitted to chapbook publishers), and I'm happy that "The Dead in the Castle" and "Varied Views From the No. 29 Tram" have also found their way into its pages...

ken*again is a quarterly, nonprofit e-zine presenting ahearty, eclectic mix of prose, poetry, art and photography:accessible, obscure, soothing, disturbing.Wrap your mind around a good read.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Psychic Meatloaf Issue 2 now available online!

The online version of Issue 2 of Psychic Meatloaf: Journal of Contemporary Poetry is now available! Three of my poems are in this issue! Click HERE to read the issue! The print edition will be out in about a week...

Psychic Meatloaf publishes free-verse and experimental poetry that is quirky and imaginative, with a strong sense of artistic value.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Scapegoat Review Fall 2010 issue out now!

The Fall 2010 issue of Scapegoat Review is out now! Click here to read the issue!
It contains two of my newer, shorter poems: "Three loons perched" and "I tend to leave splinters embedded in my skin".

Monday, November 1, 2010

This Week's Poem

I Say I Sing

You are the one
I’ve harbored in light.
You, arrived from another city,
Americanized in my dawn
and salt promises
that you are the one
of gold
I say I sang
decades to unearth,
real now together
under this flagless sky
I say I will sing
until the sadness spills
from this noiseless street
and rises, a new nation,
under both your gods
and mine.

-published by Spectrum