<![CDATA[Hello friends! Today is a special day:
Happy Birthday, David Carter! May all your wishes come true.
Today, and in celebration of dear friends, and the joy of what true friends bring into our lives, I want to share my one and only trip to Calistoga, California. We did a road trip from my room-mate from college, Gregory and his then-wife, Kimberly's house in Pleasant Hill. We listened to all of the best tunes of the day, like Salt-n-Pepa's "What a Man," as we tore up the 680, speeding north through small towns of Contra Costa County. And, as we were often prone to do, the sounds of these towns (remember, we are all New Yorkers) sounded, well, rather like characters in a play. And so, Andrea "became" Benecia Martinez (a combination of two towns), David "transformed into" Marina Vista, and I was decidedly the child, Chilpanchango. Of course, the characters morphed as we improvised our new relationships, and Benecia became Chilpanchango's mother (?), while Marina Vista became the "bitchy aunt."
Are you already seeing how difficult this is to follow? And you thought only I was crazy! Well, if you want, you can read a version of a story I wrote about us all called "The Frog.” Hopefully you will enjoy it! I love and miss you, Andrea and David!
Today, for National Poetry Month, I am going to read Rigoberto Gonzalez’s “The Strangers Who Find Me in the Woods.” (Perhaps this is why those latino towns in California came to mind?) Enjoy!
▶ Robert Vaughan reads “The Stranger Who Finds Me in the Woods” by Rigoberto Gonzalez – YouTube
Do you like getting lost in the woods? What did you find last time? Was Hansel or Gretl with you? Did you come across a wicked witch?
<![CDATA[When Darryl Price, editor at Olentangy Review, and an outstanding poet, asked me to delve into the "process," or what went into writing the poem that he published of mine, "Leaving," in the first issue of Olentangy Review, my first thought was: can I do this?
"Leaving" is one of the oldest (in time) poems of mine that I more recently published. The original version I wrote at the end of the 1980s, and time, that undefinable entity marches onward, circumstances shift, jobs change, addresses morph; even people deemed so vital at any one time, vary. Some are no longer here.
The main reason I decided to write this is because it scared me. I'm a fiction and poetry writer, this non-fiction stuff is out of my league! But, as my dear friend Bill says, 'What is the difference between fiction and non-fiction?' And he's right! What is the difference between truth and lies? Between what "really happened," and what "might have happened?" Remember, only you get to decide. This is crucial to bear in mind as a writer.
And so, here is my story "On Leaving": Process – Olentangy Review
Thanks so much, Darryl and Melissa, for this generous opportunity.
Also, deep thanks to Ben Tanzer, the guest editor last October at Necessary Fiction, where “Seven Shades of James” first appeared.]]>
<![CDATA[When I first started publishing my writing, sending out more poems and stories in volume, there were a handful of people who took my work seriously, encouraged me and published a half dozen or so pieces of mine. One of them was Shannon Peil, editor at amphibi.us. Shannon published some uniquely experimental and strange poetry at his site. Recently I went online looking for it, and discovered it no longer existed. I was really bummed! I’d often include amphibi.us in my quest for some reading inspiration. One of my poems Shannon published, “Semaphones,” I also selected for Microtones:
I come from steel, bolt,
twine, bales of indifference,
swells of turpentine.
Broken bells, misfires at
semaphores. Shrieking hearts
grind open moors.
Twisting tides train
moon in motion. Scurrying
sideways, crabs flee ocean.
You find me flinging
misshapen flocks as you
bridge closer filming shocks
And here is another poem of mine that Shannon published at amphibi.us:
Still, the Clouds
Kelly tells me tonight
Erik leaves for Minnesota
this Sunday. Immediate relief,
exuberance. Later deep pain
registers regrets. What have
I done? His
wavering like weather.
A rare shimmer.
Still, the clouds;
still, the rain.
Thanks so much Shannon, for always supporting my work. I hope you are still writing, and crafting your poems and I want you to know I wish you all the best!
<![CDATA[My poem, "Aretha," is published at the amazing Literary Orphans, in the new Wordsworth issue. "Aretha" is the first published poem of a chapbook length project I wrote called Songstresses: Moving Lyrics Into Poems. The project originated a few months ago when writer Joseph Quintela asked several friends to contribute to his Working Definitions project. You could select any word, (sometimes he would provide a list), and re-define them using poetic terms. Then, JQ created a Word Poeticizer, in which you could select a line, or phrase, or a lyric (I used several for Songstresses), and feed them into the Word Poeticizer, and out popped a completely different poem! Then I edited, and re-edited, altering the phrases and embellishing to make them “my own.” And voila! I hope you enjoy “Aretha,” and thanks editor Mike Joyce for the incredible support, and Felicia Simion for the lovely accompanying artwork:
Aretha by Robert Vaughan | Literary Orphans
Also in the Wordsworth issue, my good friend John Riley reviews Microtones, with aplomb. Very grateful to John for this:
A Review of Robert Vaughan’s Microtones by John Riley | Literary Orphans
And while you are here, check out stunning and diverse writing by Amanda Deo, Misti Rainwater-Lites, Matthew Burnside, Tantra Bensko, Kenny Mooney, Joel Kopplin and more:
Photo Content Page: Wordsworth | Literary Orphans]]>
<![CDATA[Happy June! I have five new short fiction pieces in the Summer issue of Gone Lawn Journal, thanks to guest editor Yarrow Paisley. There are several other talented writers in this issue, including Berit Ellingsen, Stephen Ramey, Nicolette Wong, Neila Mezynski, and many more. Featured artist is Pd Lietz and painting is called Maelstrom:
The five pieces I’ve published are:
The Hazards of Moving in With a Couple, A Wonderful Life, Dirty Laundry, Mercy, and Nuts: Gone Lawn 11 : Robert Vaughan
These are pieces I am considering for my upcoming full length book, Addicts and Basements, from Civil Coping Mechanisms.
<![CDATA[Last fall my friends, Darryl and Melissa Price published a poem of mine, "Leaving" in their first resurgence of Olentangy Review. You can read it here:
Robert Vaughan – Olentangy Review
Today I was happily informed they’ve added a Marketplace tab to their incredibly supportive literary website. My book, Microtones, is mentioned, along with other published writers and authors, Walter Bjorkman, Jane Flett, Bob Eckstein, Marcus Speh, and Bill Yarrow:
Marketplace – Olentangy Review
Thanks, Darryl and Melissa for your unwavering support!]]>
An observer would have
thought her unsuited
for that frame.
I wondered why my
parents kept the photo on
the piano. She’d died over
ten years ago. Died on her
own, by her own stupidity.
A visitor would have
thought her adorable,
Unable to see the contagious
recklessness. Unable to see
the damage she inflicted.
How my family came undone.
I slip her photo into
the desk drawer. Underneath
a stack of report cards.
[This poem is from Microtones by Robert Vaughan
Červená Barva Press, 2013]]]>