What “invisible borders” do you seek to address and cross in your writing, and why?

I’ve finished my interview for “Santa Fe Literary Review” which will be in the 2016 issue. Questions came from student staff. “Invisible Borders” is the theme of the forthcoming issue.

What “invisible borders” do you seek to address and cross in your writing, and why? How do you do this?
I’ve been obsessed with borders most of my life. I grew up in northern New Jersey where the border was between us and the glittering city of Manhattan across the Hudson River. Having lived in New Mexico for thirty years, I’m hyper aware of the border between the US and Mexico and what it means to cross. That border is visible, but invisible too. My grandparents were immigrants who didn’t speak English when they came to this country-—more borders.
Physical boundaries are a huge theme in my writing, even if it’s just how my westside neighborhood was re-defined by putting St. Francis through it decades ago. More personally, women’s experience is still hidden from view, even now. I like to cross that invisible border and bring it into the light. The same with disability—in my case a so-called “invisible disability” although all I need to do is use a cane to make it visible.
The greatest border, for me, is between silence and words. So much of human life is hidden in shame or fear, insecurity, or just plain silence. Words—poetry, fiction, memoir, and more—give life to what is hidden, silenced. I like to cross that border daily—and move from the repressed into the expressed—for myself, and with others.

On-Line Poetry Class With Miriam Sagan Starts in January

Hi Far Flung Writers–my poetry class, on-line at SFCC (http://www.sfcc.edu/) has a few spots. It’s an intro class: pantoums, haiku, prose to poetry, elegy, love poem, pastoral, sestina…well, that doesn’t sound so introductory, but it is! We’ll do some collaborative forms, word decks, and individual field trips. Class is on Canvas–very easy software. 15 weeks–in your pajamas? A chance to write, share, and get feedback. Very inexpensive! “See” you!

Check out English 222, Intro to Poetry, on-line, Sagan, credit class.

Glad to answer questions.

Albuquerque Poetry Post

There is a lovely poetry post in Albuquerque.


The curators say: We’ve had the pole up for about 3 years; when we first put it up it was just plastic sleeves for the poems and a simple sign- since then we’ve had a metal artist we know make us a steel sign and steel frames for the poems. We know lots of folks who make sure their regular neighborhood walk passes the pole, and we’ve even had a school field trip come to the pole, and all the kids left their own poems behind for us to post! Our block also has a little library and a magazine exchange. Thanks for the interest!

Current poem by Joan Logghe:


Click to see text.

Memoir in Aphorism–Suzanne Vilmain

Men don’t protect you anymore.

— on condom wrapper
— Jenny Holzer


He who leaves the game wins it.

— Sebastian-Roch N. Chambort

Report and Haiga from Nepal: Michael G. Smith

image copy 3

dawn kora
cold bricks
worn smooth


Michael G. Smith is touring Nepal and doing volunteer work. The Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu is the most revered Buddhist site in Nepal, especially for Tibetan Buddhists. The stupa’s iconic spire was heavily damaged in the April 2015 earthquake and is being re-built. Buddhist practitioners from all over the world come to circumambulate the stupa in a practice called kora. Practitioners can be found walking twenty-four hours a day. At 5 AM in the morning Michael would be walking kora with hundreds of others.

Obey: A Poem by Lorenzo Atencio


After “Surrender” by Joanne Dominique Dwyer in Belle Laide

Evil has come to New Mexico
To be exorcised is to be cleansed
In islam the arugya repairs damage caused by black magic.
Some parents don’t buckle their children.
Peace keepers use guns to keep the peace.
Yahweh created the universe with words.
New Mexico abolished the death penalty for capital murder in 2009.
Black smoke smudged the heavens over the penitentiary in 1980.
The penalty for disobeying the state police is death by firing squad.
Annie Oakley could shoot and hit the thin side of a card at 30 paces.
The look of kill is the face of evil.
Mother in van transporting little mischiefs, runs.
Friday night in America is time to de-stress.
A California stop and a “wobbly” right turn are criminal.
Catholic exorcism ceremony is in the Rituale Romanum.
Criminals don’t respect unjust laws.
Robo Cop trained to stop a car with a bullet.
Show and tell is a shotgun.

Evil has come to the United States.
Wolves sit pretty on the Wall
Manifesting destiny of might makes right
Evil is fought with deadly force.
Lessons in the cathedral of security
Everyone is evil
Defend yourself
Shoot first.
Evil has come to New Mexico
A weapon fired 16 times
16 notches on an official gun belt
Exorcist on the Rio Grande is efficient but evil
Fourteen bullets strike the car
One bullet enters the young woman’s back
Tearing muscle and bone and nerve
One bullet designated minor exorcist
Expels evil through a hole in the woman’s head.
For a traffic violation .
The Crown’s exorcist is possessed.

Snow Day!

10,000 cell phone
snapshots–one early
snow fall



I’m also re-blogging my poem “Snow Day.”

Snow Day

I always wondered
How competing prayers were counted in God’s Computer

All children praying “Snow Day! Snow Day!”
Grown-ups praying that school stay open

You say the prayers of parents
Are already worn thin, transparent from overuse

Pleading, bargaining, the rot
Of panic at 3 am

While children’s prayers
Will always win

Are plump and wet
As snow.

All around me, language was changing, people were inventing slang and speaking in a patois about disaster–earthquake, flood, a broken heart.
Snow covered the street and yard and I stood up in the emergency room I stood up in the I.C.U. I stood up in the zendo I stood up in labor and delivered you under a partial eclipse of the moon.
In English there is one word for snow and it says it all.
Compassion is here by the moment as is the empty space between the black branches of the Russian Olive.
Each snowflake wants something, that its crystalline shape dissolve and that the Rio carry it towards the sea, even if this is impossible.
Downstream a girl fills a jar and carries it home.


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