Sunday, June 29, 2014

July 7th Installlment of Monday at Mahall's will feature Jack McGuane, Chuck Joy, Eva Xanthopoulos, and be guest hosted by Terry Provost

This month's installment of the Monday at Mahall's Poetry and Prose Series is a triple knock out featuring poets Jack McGuane, Ēva Xanthópoulos and Chuck Joy - plus, for any who dare, brews, bowling and a bowl-you-over open mic. Our guest host for the event will be Terry Provost! You won't want to miss this! July 7th at Mahall's in Lakewood.

Jack's and Eva's photos lifted from their Facebook pages. Chuck's photo by Chandra Alderman.

Jack McGuane age 86, has been a resident of Lakewood, Ohio, since 1974, when he moved there from New York’s Long Island. Jack has been married to Kathleen (Moriarty) for fifty-seven years and is the father of five, grandfather of six. He retired in 1997 from his position as Regional Manager for Fireye, Inc., and has been a poet ever since. He served for three years as poetry editor of Whiskey Island Magazine, won the Haiku Death Match (sponsored by Heights Arts), and was named Poet Laureate of Lakewood 2006-2007 by a board of judges and by proclamation of the Mayor. His poems have been published in the anthologies Family Matters (Bottom Dog Press), Come Together, Imagine Peace (BDP), and Lipsmack! A Sampler Platter Year One 2012 (NightBallet Press), and in Whiskey Island Magazine, Moonlit Magazine, ArtCrimes, the November 3rd Club, The City Poetry, and other print and online journals. His chapbook Sleeping With My Socks was published in 2008 by Deep Cleveland Press, and his collections Chickenhawk (2011) and Unfinished (2013) were published by NightBallet Press.

Eva X. is a Greco-American writer, mystic, and multimedia artist. She received her BA in Creative Writing from Cleveland State University. Many of her works are published both in print and online (The Golden Lantern, Mystic Living Today, The Journey Magazine, etc.) and she's the author of several poetry books (Sacred Shapes, Water Walker, and Cumulus). Eva is the founder of Poehemian Press and is the co-founder of Etheric Archives. Find her at

Chuck Joy is from Erie, PA. His poems have appeared in Great Lakes Review, Ampersand Review,, Medicinal Purposes, Lilliput Review, and Bogg, as well as anthologies edited by Sean Thomas Daugherty, Berwyn Moore, and Jack Coulehan. His publications include All Smooth (Destitute Press) and Every Tiger Wants To Sing (Poets' Hall Press). A poet impressed with the music and drama of lines, Chuck has brought poetry to the stage at The Orange Bear, Blue Planet Cafe, Confluence, every Snoetry, the Erie Book Store, Authors Books, Woodlawn Diner, and Mac's Backs. Chuck is excited to return to Mahall's!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

This Saturday at ComFest!

From 6 to 7:30 p.m. this Saturday during the 2014 Community Festival in Columbus, Ohio, the Ohio Poetry Association will present performances by five dynamic poets from across the state -- Dianne Borsenik, Louise Robertson, Mark Sebastian Jordan, OPA president Mark Hersman and John Burroughs (me) -- joined by musician/singer David Kender.  And we're just a small part of the weekend.  If you're in the area, come check us out on the Peace Village stage.

For more information about Columbus' annual ComFest, please visit

Monday, June 23, 2014

Top 50 Crisis Chronicles Cyber Litmag Posts During Its Six-Year History

Before GoDaddy deletes my old blogs, I grabbed a few screen shots of their statistics.  First here's a chart of the Crisis Chronicles cyber litmag's viewership since I started it in mid 2008.

click pics to see larger
And then here is a listing of the fifty most viewed works in the history of the Crisis Chronicles cyber litmag at its old site.

I've recently transferred the litmag's content to a new location.  As a result, some formatting problems have crept in and I hope to have those fixed eventually.  You can check it out, though, at

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Top 50 Posts on Previous Tao of Jesus Crisis blog

Thanks to everyone who has responded with kindness to my last blog entry about a woman impersonating NightBallet Press to attack me on Amazon.  <3

As you know, this is my new Tao of Jesus Crisis blog.  The old one will be deleted by GoDaddy this week when they discontinue Quick Blogcast (hence my move).  But before it disappears forever, I wanted to save some of my GoDaddy statistics for nostalgia's sake.  For one thing, I find it interesting to see which blog entries have gotten the most views over the years.

Though I began the old Tao blog in 2007, GoDaddy didn't begin their new statistics format until the summer of 2008.  So these statistics don't include the complete history if the blog, but they come close. 

So finally, here are screen shots that show what the 50 most-viewed entries at the old Tao of Jesus Crisis blog were from June 2008 through June 2014.  Bear in mind that some of the earliest entries were also crossposted on MySpace, and these statistics don't include the number of views there.  (Click the pics to view larger.)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Charlotte Mann Impersonates NightBallet to Attack Me

This morning I noticed a new "review" on the Amazon listing for my 2009 chapbook 6/9: Improvisations in Dependence.  It's by someone using the identity "night ballet."

I knew it couldn't be by my friend Dianne Borsenik, who runs NightBallet Press and published my 2012 book The Eater of The Absurd.  So I wondered who it was.  I clicked on night ballet and noticed that he or she had reviewed other books, back in 2006.

Since NightBallet Press didn't exist in 2006, and anyway is not and would never be responsible for such a "review," I presumed that this Amazon reviewer recently changed his or her screen name to "night ballet." 

One of this person's older reviews was of a book called Licensed to Kill.  If you take the text of that older review and plug it into a Google search, you'll see that the reviewer's name change apparently hasn't yet propagated to all systems.  You'll see her real name, which she used to review under before adopting the "night ballet" charade.  It's Charlotte Mann.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Dad's Day, New Books, Barrel

Me, Dad and baby brother Mike in April 1972 at our old apartment,
5000 O'Neill Blvd. #104C in Lorain, Ohio - photo by Mom
Some of the promising new literature I've acquired so far this month, mostly
at last night's Words Dance in the NightBallet event - photo by me
Recycling barrel painted by Dianne Borsenik, emblazoned with one of
my older short poems, now residing at Elyria Community Garden A Plenty
- photo by Dianne

Friday, June 13, 2014

Broadsided: Words Dance and Makes Her Mark

Blurry phone pic of my broadsides
Many thanks to Christopher Byck and 48th Street Press for publishing my poems "Words Dance" and "Makes Her Mark" as part of their 2014 broadside series.  Each was printed in a limited edition of 20. I need to send 2 copies of each back to the publisher, and I plan to keep 1 of each for myself.  I'll have the rest available tomorrow (6/14/14) in Pittsburgh for Words Dance in the NightBallet at Modern Formations gallery, where I'll have the pleasure and privilege of reading with some of my favorite poets, publishers and/or people, including John Dorsey, Dianne Borsenik, Amanda Oaks, Jason Irwin, Karen Lillis, Jason Baldinger, Nikki Allen and Heather McNaugher.   If you're anywhere near the area, I hope you'll stop by and say hi.

"Words Dance" and "Makes Her Mark" are two of thirty-one poems I wrote last October, which will also be appearing in the soon-to-be-published Oct Tongue -1, alongside poems by Mary Weems, John Swain, Steven Smith, Lady Smith, Shelley Chernin and Steve Brightman.  Crisis Chronicles plans to release that book in time for July's Mad Sing You II poetry/music festival in Cleveland.  (Stay tuned to this blog for more details.)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Welcome to THE NIGHT MARKET, Book of the Year

Art by ReBecca Gozion
Crisis Chronicles Press is thrilled to announce the imminent publication of the legendary D.R. Wagner's new book, The Night Market.  I love everything we've ever published, but if anything can be called the jewel in the Crisis Chronicles crown, this book is it.  Perfect bound, featuring around 100 pages of D.R.'s best poetry, as well as cover and interior art by ReBecca Gozion, in my opinion this is the book of the year.

“I would guess I’ve been reading the poetry of D.R. Wagner for about 15 years now and one of the things that has always struck me is his seemingly effortless ability to blend both classical and modern literary styles and come out on the other side with something completely his own. The pieces in The Night Market offer a glimpse into the ever-changing landscape of his dreams, his heart placed bare on a snow covered rock at dusk, stealing its revolutions back from the sun, bathing in an ethereal river of emotion that will surely leave you breathless, I promise you.”  -John Dorsey, Author of Tombstone Factory.

For a limited time you can pre-order D.R. Wagner's The Night Market for $14.99 and get free shipping from Cleveland, Ohio.

We are also making the first 26 copies of THE NIGHT MARKET available in a special lettered edition signed by D.R. Wagner and Rebecca Gozion.  Order one of these (for $24.99) and Crisis Chronicles Press will throw in two additional titles: a surprise recent chapbook we're sure you'll love and a copy of our limited edition 2012 broadside of d.a.levy's The Wandering White.

Photo of D.R. Wagner by Glenda Drew

Details about the official release party for D.R. Wagner's The Night Market, in Locke, California, are forthcoming.

[This article was crossposted from the Crisis Chronicles Press blog.  UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who has pre-ordered so far.  As of the morning of 6/12 we are about a third of the way to where we need to be to pay for the first print run of The Night Market.  D.R. and I are very excited about this book and I'm sure you will be, too, when you see it.  If you haven't ordered yet, please do.  I love you.]

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Ohio Senate Passes Bill Establishing Ohio Poet Laureate - House Next!

Steve Abbott testifying on behalf of S.B. 84 on May 21st
in Columbus [photo by Michael Salinger]
Click here to read about it on the Ohio Senate's minority caucus blog.  

Many thanks to the senators, including many from our area and from both political parties, who have stepped up and supported Senate Bill 84.  Letters from poets and other bill supporters from across the state, as well as great support from the Ohio Arts Council and Ohio Poetry Association have helped immensely.  But our work's not done yet.

Now Senate Bill 84 is moving on to the Ohio House for consideration and this is the perfect time for us to write to our state representatives and express our support for the establishment of a Poet Laureate position in Ohio.  It doesn't seem right that Ohio, the home of so many fine poets statewide, is one of only five United States not to have such a position.

So please write to your state representative and urge him or her to pass this bill.

Click here to find your representative.
Click here to read Senate Bill 84, the Ohio Poet Laureate bill.

Click here to read my testimony before the Senate in support of S.B. 84.
Click here to read Michael Salinger's testimony before the Senate in support of S.B. 84.
Click here to read a statement by Steve Abbott on the O.P.A. blog in support of S.B. 84.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My views on the Bergdahl trade

Those Afghans should have been charged and tried years ago - or, if not, then released years ago. Third option: they should've been treated as Prisoners of War in accordance with the Geneva Convention (and released anyway as we end the war) - but the government wanted to have a "war" without declaring one. It's immoral (and unconstitutional?) to just keep a human being (no matter who) locked up indefinitely without due process because of what they might or might not do in the future. How can we expect other countries to embrace so-called American ideals when we don't? And we brought a captured American home, too. Six people who should not be locked up any longer were finally released. What's not to like?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Me as the Best Cleveland Poem Competition's Sacrificial Poet

Here's me as the "sacrificial poet" at Sunday's 2nd annual Best Cleveland Poem Competition, sponsored by Tim Misny, hosted by Ray McNiece and won by Dianne Borsenik. Thanks to Celina C. Photography for the photo.

Other finalists included Steven Smith, T.M. Göttl (second place), J.P. Armstrong, Dianne Borsenik, Jeffrey Bowen, Lee Chilcote, Renay Sanders, Michael Murray (third place), Geoffrey A. Landis, Danilee Eichhorn and alternates Anita Keys, Mary A. Turzillo, and Frances Lograsso.  Great poems all around!

I didn't expect to read because I didn't submit to the contest (mostly because Crisis Chronicles Press plans to publish an anthology of the finalists' poems), so when Ray asked me to serve as the judges' warm up I wasn't prepared with a suitable poem.  But I did have a copy of my
The Eater of the Absurd [2012, NightBallet Press].  The one real Cleveland poem in it - "Lit (Er, a Tour)" - was too long and and a bit depressing for the occasion, so I ended up performing "Roué Let" - which is not exactly a Cleveland poem, though it's about a casino and/or a fictional hook-up and there's no reason it couldn't have happened at our downtown Horseshoe, except that it didn't.  One of the judges, a woman whose name I can't remember, gave me a 4.2 (out of 10), the lowest score anyone got that day.  The other judges were more generous, with Tim Misny giving my not-really-about-Cleveland poem an 8.5, maybe because I wore his shirt.  [Wink.]  For comparison's sake, the contest winner, Dianne Borsenik,  received all 10s from the judges.  She earned it.  You gotta be more than great to make Tim Misny pay.  As for my own performance, I think it was good. But my poem did not exactly fit the theme (#ThisIsCLE), and I wasn't competing anyway.  I had a lot of fun though.

Click here to see more of Celina Colombo's photos from the event on Tim Misny's Facebook page.

And click here to check out the book last year's Best Cleveland Poem Competition inspired.

Some top poems from this year's competition will soon appear online at

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Best Cleveland Poem Competition and June's Monday at Mahall's

Crisis Chronicles Press recently had the pleasure and privilege of publishing Songs in the Key of Cleveland: An Anthology of the 2013 Best Cleveland Poem Competition.  Now the time has come for the 2014 competition, sponsored by Cleveland attorney Tim Misny.  Ray McNiece has whittled down submissions to the top ten (plus three alternates) who will be going head to head at the mic this afternoon (4 p.m.) at the Willoughby Brewing Company.  Ray will emcee and a panel of celebrity judges will determine the winner.

This year's finalists are Steven Smith, T.M. Göttl, J.P. Armstrong, Dianne Borsenik (who won last year), Jeffrey Bowen, Lee Chilcote, Renay Sanders, Michael Murray, Geoffrey A. Landis, and Danilee Eichhorn. Alternates are Anita Keys, Mary A. Turzillo, and Frances Lograsso.

Then tomorrow, we will have our monthly Monday at Mahall's Poetry & Prose event in Lakewood.  June's featured authors are two of Cleveland's best poets and known around the world for their writing, teaching and performing.  They are national treasures Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger.  An open mic will follow.  This is my third month hosting.  For more info, click here.  Hope to see you there!