...In-between sets from poet Cynthia Schwartzberg Edlow

October 8, 2017

Thank You, Lynn Melnick

Advance praise from Lynn Melnick, 
for my next book of poetry, Horn Section All Day Every Day, forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in February/2018~

Spirited and poignant, funny and contemplative, the poems in Horn Section All Day Every Day bring us the world from a visitor’s point of view, sometimes literally, and all the time reminding us that, although we are just travelling through this universe, it’s what we do with our stay that matters most. Like the instruments of the title, these poems don’t stop; these poems wonder how we got here and why we must leave, they constantly assess and reassess the input the contemporary moment throws our way. It is not often I feel tender affection for a book, but Edlow has created a space of such hope and vitality in these poems, that, long after I put the book down, this splendor extended past the page and softened how I felt moving through this world we occupy together, now.— Lynn Melnick  

September 22, 2017

Super Dan Makes a Public Appearance

Super Dan, a pretty popular superhero who takes the front lines in a series of poems in Horn Section All Day Every Day is not conversant with the wiles of spirits, as David Kirby refers to in his blurb for my book in the post below this. Here's one of the Super Dan Question Box Series poems, and at its bridge you'll see for yourself Super Dan's encounter with elixir—


WHERE I COME FROM WE DO NOT RUN


              No man is a hero to his valet.
                 —Mlle. Aisse, Lettres

Super Dan: Where I come from we do not run
with crosswind. You did once
at the wildlife park, with the she-lion.
Hope was the two of you were bonding
from either side of the sixteen-foot
chain-link fence. When she stopped, you stopped, when
she pivoted, you pivoted. When she silently settled
into pounce-mode your memory
flipped back to twenty years
of housecats. The dilated eyes, two black saucers.
The shoulder muscles under fur, tense with the
exactitude of hard labor. The rubbing of her shoulder
blades a private encouraging undertone.
In you the blood fell to your feet
as an avalanche. Meat. But— 
she harbored no spite, no jealousy, no predetermined
disgust, didn’t favor your jeweled rings or lust
for your husband. You were merely
close enough to matter some.
But for that fence.
Or rather the four feet of it
she could not leap.

Just look at this human predilection for daredevil stunts—
motorcycle jumping over quarter-mile-wide canyons!
Or the enormous dirt arena
and the gigantic slapdash pile of junked cars,
and barreling smack into that pile 
another souped-up junk car dragging
a hay truck on fire!
Never will be the day
when one hermit crab says to the other
hermit crab, “Hey Joey, light my
shell on fire
and I’ll run into the sea.”

Super Dan receives hot chocolate
in a large steaming cup, then pours into it quite a bit
of a new superdelicious beverage not
available on his planet, something
creating a fondness in him, they call it Kahlùa—

At my home we accept we live until we don’t.
Even with what creeps us. Look at your world’s Komodo
Dragon with its man-dropping saliva, the brown
recluse violin-coifed spider, the primordial
scorpion, siren of hurt in its curved blond tail. The tail
itself a marvel of grotesque, agile as one human
index finger, the flexion, the extension, but—
for all their misgivings, they’re not out calculatedly
picking the lock of your home. A delicacy
set upon a silver platter
to them would be absurd excess. Eat
or protect. Unadorned
as the trundling, snuffling brown bear
on the pine hilltop, making the most
of the furrow in front of him.
It is not the bear on the hill with servant bears.







///
Originally published in The Los Angeles Review, 2013
Winner of the 2012 Red Hen Press Poetry Award
Judge: Jericho Brown
originally titled "Super Dan Comics Question Box Series #18"

Thank You, David Kirby

Advance praise from David Kirby, 
for my next book of poetry, Horn Section All Day Every Day, forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in February/2018~


Old-school songs play through and beneath these soulful poems, the radio hits of rhythm ‘n’ blues pioneers like Solomon Burke and Junior Wells. Yet what lifts our journey to a whole other level is the presence of a winsome comic hero named Super Dan, an extraterrestrial with a canine curiosity about human life, from the alcoholic beverages we favor to the intricacies of women’s lingerie. Playing Virgil to our Dante, Super Dan takes us deep into that most mysterious of worlds, our own. Beauty awaits you, reader, as do laughter and music. -- David Kirby

Everything Looks Bigger in Pencil

3-MINUTE SKETCH by JASON SEILER, Illustrator
Jason Seiler is an illustrator who'll make your knees go weak, his work is that great. One time I said to him "I bet you can't draw me under 3 minutes" and darned if two thing: 1) he didn't prove me wrong and, 2) my schnoz is more giant than I think it is.


September 19, 2017

Booker & Trilby

Going into the deep memories file for the cadre of poems I'm looking to stare into the eye of, next. Might have to cue up some Iron Butterfly. Might have to purchase supplemental health insurance. Might have to pull out the mauve phone book with all those phone numbers in it. Phone numbers so old all the area codes are sectioned off now. Might be time to finally get that dog. Two dogs.

September 17, 2017

Thank You, Cynthia Hogue

Advance praise from Cynthia Hogue, 
for my next book of poetry, forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in Feb/2018~

Cynthia Schwartzberg Edlow’s new collection, Horn Section All Day Every Day, dazzles like a Brass band, wild and bold as a trumpet, delicately plaintive as a lone French horn. Although there are stunning poems about animals throughout, which shift the tone of the volume, at its heart is the story of Super Dan, an extraterrestrial superhero who comes to Earth to study and stays to marry the witty, earthy woman he falls in love with. “love me and be my kiss,” Super Dan sighs to his wife. This book, a veritable “trove of ardor,” is filled with the emotional force and beauty of that love. -- Cynthia Hogue

August 23, 2017

My Poetic Court of Appeals




For quite a few months I've had this lovely secret to share. Today's the day. 
Immeasurable gratitude for their advance praise on my forthcoming poetry book, Horn Section All Day Every Day~I hereby deliver with all
appropriate pomp and circumstance, and with a bountiful horse-drawn carriage filled to capacity with the most aromatic, colorful, overflowing floral appreciation and affection to 
Cynthia Hogue, David Kirby, and Lynn Melnick

I remain stunned by your touching, insightful, and marvelous statements over my second collection. Each of you saw what I did not, or chose not~this is indeed a collection of poems about unconventional relationships: the mysteries, the weirdnesses, the irrefutables, and the wonders. I protest it no longer. How could I--with the three of you in whose counsel I rely because that much wisdom I have been known to retain. Lo, the three of you! I do believe that over the next few months up until publication from Salmon Poetry in February/March, I may find myself unable to resist posting, on separate occasions, each of your chiming declarations here on this blog. Yes, yes, to hope to whet appetite, but also, because you are right, all three of you, from your varied backgrounds and generations, calling the same lady up top on her verse. 

Image result for cynthia hogue photos
Cynthia Hogue   

David Kirby

Lynn Melnick

July 10, 2017

Greetings from the Parched Suburbs of Phoenix

It's been that kind of summer. When I was a kid, I took cloudy, rainy, days for granted. Goes to show you. I wonder who came up with that phrase. << See how the hallucinatory statements just slip out? Come on out here and try 118° for days in a row. Car tires are blowing out on the freeways from the asphalt heat. This has got to stop.

The West was tamed by air-conditioning.
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I'm loving teaching my poetry classes at Phoenix Center for the Arts. My students are marvelous. It is like a present to see them "get" how to move their poems up and out and further. No wonder educators get hooked. It's the students.
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Blurbs! I've been sitting on them for months now. They are really beautiful, and I am deeply grateful to the three individuals who have read my new poetry collection and written these statements about my book. I am very fortunate. That unveiling comes in August, as I choose to reveal things of enormous importance to me on days of great significance to me, so, just a tad bit longer....Not teasing, just prepping.
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And now I have no less than four editors of four literary journals having personally requested poems, so let's get to it.

May 13, 2017

Unveiling the Magnificent Book Cover Artwork for My Second Full-Length Poetry Collection

Today is more special than I can try to write.

40 years ago today, on a Friday, my father, Isadore Henry Schwartzberg, died. Everyone who knew him knew he was born to have been an artist, an illustrator, a drawing guy. He had the gift, he really did. People know when people truly have the gift. My dad had it.

After I write this post, and present the magnificent cover created especially for my poetry collection by my brother-friend, the kindest man and preeminent artist, Tom Bachtell, I will be lighting a Yahrzeit candle and saying a special prayer in memory of the death of my beloved father. My dad would be so utterly speechless and happy to see this gorgeous cover that Tom has gifted me. I am blessed ten million times over, I know.

Tom Bachtell drawing for The New Yorker
Above is a photo of Tom's hands at work. They are so intuitive, strong, concentrating, wise. 27 years over at The New Yorker's "Talk of the Town", among other sections of the magazine, will do that to a drawing guy. I love that he wears a collared, button-down shirt when he draws. His website is right here, if you'd like to view his portfolio, and of course, you could pick up a copy of The New Yorker magazine anywhere, anytime since 2000, and find his signature artwork within. He's a pretty darn good drawing guy.

Dear Tom, with all my loving heart I am grateful.


Cover Art Illustration: TOM BACHTELL


I am beaming with joy to say, this art illustration will grace my next book of poems, Horn Section All Day Every Day, forthcoming in March, 2018.


It's time for me to go and say a prayer.




April 19, 2017

If You Buy These Journals You Will Become Stunning

National Poetry Month has been very good to my poetry. Two fabulous literary journals have just released brand-new issues, and I am fortunate to have new poetry in them. My poems in these journals will be included in my next poetry collection, come February, 2018. 

Enormous joy, and gratitude to the editors of South Dakota Review and Santa Clara Review.

South Dakota Review

Santa Clara Review