Books
  • Furious Lullaby (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)
    Furious Lullaby (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)
  • Names Above Houses (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)
    Names Above Houses (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)
  • A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry
    A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry

  • Requiem for the Orchard (Akron Series in Poetry)
    Requiem for the Orchard (Akron Series in Poetry)

Anthologies

Oliver's work can also be found in the following anthologies.

  • Tilting the Continent: Southeast Asian American Writing
    Tilting the Continent: Southeast Asian American Writing
  • Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation
    Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation
  • Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond
    Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond
  • From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great
    From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great
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Online Poetry Journals

Oliver de la Paz’s Requiem for the Orchard is a love letter to memory and its ability to both sustain and shatter us beyond the “dust of ourselves,/ cold, decisive, and purely from the earth.” de la Paz renders in beautiful and exacting language the tenderness and ferocity of boyhood, alongside the enduring vulnerability of parenthood.  Out of such intimate recollection a generous wisdom blossoms.   

—Jon Pineda, author of
The Translator’s Diary

Response 2

Like the previous entry, this is also a response to Beth Bachmann's Do Not Rise. Only the draft I present here is actually my second attempt at the same poem.

Here's the problem when you write and compose directly on the laptop--programs crash. Sometimes programs crash while you're writing. Sometimes they crash when you haven't saved your work. This was what happened to me this afternoon--I had typed a poem which was roughly sonnet-sized. I was trying to save it. The program crashed. The first draft of the poem is gone. There's a lesson in all of this: SAVE YOUR WORK WHILE YOU'RE WRITING. 

Anyway, here's the second response to Beth's work. I responded to lines from her poem "sustainable."

And, by the way, the titles are just placeholdrs--I'm trying to force a secondary sequence into a current manuscript and using titles as a means to pry entry into that manuscript. It may or may not work.

 

 

From an Index of Monstrous Things: Abnormal

 

 

I want the flame-tongue to dazzle me.

 

To rise up the sides of cavern and maw,

 

its voice clicking when doors wing open on hinges.

 

I call it love. To call it something beyond

 

the burn of a language that speaks to the dark

 

is to hook its animal lungs and call it star. Stay with me

 

fire, skin hollowed out from your last gulp of air.

 

Breathe-in. Kiss hard and know I've been awake.

 

Late and soft and blowsy gutterings click

 

on the echoey stone. Rickety and bitten.

 

Let your mouth sip the wind. Let it ladle up

 

droplets of the dark. Pour you on me.  Let me feel

 

the utter rain of you. Let me feel burn. Your eye

 

whorls, lips, your breathy singing

 

 

Summer Reading Challenge and a response

I hope you are all having fun with the reading challenge. So far I've managed to read two of the books on my list: Beth Bachmann's Do Not Rise and Nick Flynn's My Feelings. I'm in the midst of juggling two books, but I'll mention those once I get through 'em.


One of the challenges I added for this Summer Reading List is a response in writing. It's to keep you accountable. I know I need to be held accountable. Anyway, here's my response to Beth Bachmann. I borrowed a line, but then it ended up being the image of the bloodshot eye after revision from her poem "bright one." 

I'll be back tomorrow with more writing and more responses, but for now, here's the poem:

 

 

From an Index of Monstrous Things: Aberrant

 

 

 

Because when I feel my pulse, its quickening

 

can't be fathomed. The minotaur

 

at the center of the maze is all cups

 

for eyes. Limbs and hinges thrusting about

 

in a dark foam. His frenzy hums

 

all night. I hear it zone around my ears

 

like a gulp of gnats. I am full of his sound.

 

My cup masks nothing but his breath's

 

swell and thrust. What's more, he is a child

 

waving down the shadows he casts on walls.

 

Shadow hands cross and uncross atop pavilions,

 

inverted constellations of rabbits, doves, and dogs

 

with their tongues fingering the labyrinthine night.

 

There is no pattern for my urge--I love his bloodshot eye.

 

Love the incline of his forehead. His fury. 

2015 Summer Reading Challenge

Summer Reading Challenge Rules:

1) Pick 15 books that you would like to finish this summer--any genre, any size. This list doesn't have to be at 15 right from the start. It will grow as the summer continues.

2) Of the 15 books, designate 3 that you recommend to co-participants. (After you've read them, of course).

3) Of the 15 books, 3 of the books must be from recommendations by other participants.

4) Post your 15 book list somewhere with a link so that co-participants can link you on their webpages, tumblr pages, or blogs.

5) Hold yourself accountable by posting commentary about a book you've just read. Commentary can also take the form of something creative or artistic.

6) The Challenge Ends August 31st. Have fun.

 

*****

My list (so far):

 

1. All Aunt Hagar's Children--Edward P. Jones

2. All the Light We Cannot See--Anthony Doerr

3. Bluets--Maggie Nelson

4. If the Tabloids Are True What Are You?--Matthea Harvey

5. Ending in Planes--Ruth Kocher

6. On Looking--Lia Purpura

7. Yearling--Lo Kwa Mei-En

8. My Feelings--Nick Flynn

9. Voicing American Poetry: Sound and Performance from the 1920's to the Present--Lesley Wheeler

10. Lighting the Shadow--Rachel Eliza Griffiths

11. The Americans--David Roderick

12. Open Secrets--Alice Munro

13. Do Not Rise--Beth Bachmann

14. River of Shadows--Rebecca Solnit

15. Demons in the Spring--Joe Meno

I read Keats as part of the Favorite Poems Project

Thanks to TateStreet.org! Here's a video of me talking about Keats:

 

https://youtu.be/k12SencWfXQ

Recent Review of Post Subject: A Fable

Lately

 

Sorry I've been invisible lately. We just moved and with that move came the usual madnesses as well as a blessing here and there.

We said farewell to our beautiful country home and said hello to a cozier (smaller) home in the city so we could be closer to work and the amenities my kids need.

I've mentioned this before--my oldest son is on the autistic spectrum and it looks as though my middle kid has sensory sensitivities. So my beautiful sons have taken up the bulk of my time--time that I would've otherwise spent doing silly things like fussing over Facebook posts and/or whatnot. I'm grateful for the time I'm spending with them.

What you see in the image above is an Occupational Therapy structure we had built in the basement of our new house. It looks like a small ocean to me. To my kids it's saving their lives.

Anyway, that's what I've been up to. I haven't been writing. I've been on sabbatical, but the sabbatical coincided with our big move, so much of my psychological space has been dedicated to making this new living and working environment work for the five of us.

I hope to get back into the swing of things, but for now, I just wanted to tell you that you're in my thoughts and that maybe I'll write a thing or two about you and about this beautiful and sad world.

Draft

 

***ZAP***

Still on it

***ZAP***