new book released!

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I’m happy to share that my third poetry collection, Until We Are Level Again, is officially out from Mongrel Empire Press! It’s available for purchase here.

This collection incorporates excerpts from my first chapbook, The Wall (Tiger’s Eye Press), into a sequence of poems that engages further with ideas of language, identity, family, work, and death. I am excited to have it out in the world and hope you check it out!

Special thanks to MEP editor Jeanetta Calhoun Mish for working with me on this project and to Anthony Frame, Robin Carstensen, and Octavio Quintanilla for their wonderful blurbs. Thanks as well to Adeeba Shahid Talukder and Brian Clifton for close reads of the manuscript in its final stages. Thanks also to Ani Schreiber for the digital sketch that adorns the cover.

To celebrate the book’s release, I want to share the poem from which the book title comes from. This poem means a lot to me on a formal and conceptual level: formally, it is one of my breakthroughs in my work with syllabics, a poem where all the experimenting feels like it pays off (at least to me). Conceptually, there is a clarity to what the poem says that remains complex. I’m not trying to praise my own work; rather, the last line was one that surprised me when I revised into it. It appeared on the page as if I had placed it there in another life.

The Broken Escalator at the Train Platform – José Angel Araguz

When something like this breaks, it means
we must swarm around the narrow
stairway, our steps slower, the pace
set according to our sighs. Each
glance and gesture becomes a word.
My looking down and waiting speaks
to the old woman next to me:
after you. All the stars left in
the sky, all the calls and blinking
messages, the wintered sorrow
of all passing thoughts must now wait
until we are level again –
wait as we take turns returning
to our lives. When something like this
breaks, it means the words I wanted
to write before are different from
the ones I have got down for you.
These words are older than you think.

originally published in The Boiler

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Happy until-ing!

José

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new work!

Just a quick note to share the release of the latest issue of The Collagist which features my poem “Cows.”

This issue contains work by Tina May Hall, Felicia Zamora, and other stellar writers. Check it out here.

Thank you to the editors for including my work!

See you Friday!

José

new work & book news!

Just a quick post to share two things:

ONE: I am honored to be the January featured poet over at A Dozen Nothing. I’m especially excited to have these particular poems out in the world as they deal with some of the personal and political aftermath of last year’s election.

Thank you to editors Jeff & Pete for allowing the space for this work!

Check out the new work here.until 3_300

TWO: I want to officially announce the forthcoming release of Until We Are Level Again, my third full length poetry collection, to be published by Mongrel Empire Press later this Spring.

Thank you to editor Jeanetta Calhoun Mish for giving a home to this manuscript!

I’ll be sharing more news closer to publication. For now, here’s a peek at the cover art, a digital art piece by Ani Schreiber.

Happy new year to all of you!

See you Friday!

José

new work & some news!

First off, I am happy to share the latest issue of West Texas Literary Review which features my poem “Old Man in a Rocker.”

This issue also features solid work from Ace Boggess, Ann Lowe Weber, Tara Ballard, and John Sibley Williams among others.

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Secondly, I am happy to share that my prose poem, “City of Windows,” has been nominated for Best of the Net by the good folks at Pretty Owl Poetry.

Thank you to the editor for the nod and community!

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Lastly, I am delighted to share that I am beginning my tenure as one of the editors of Right Hand Pointing starting this month.

My welcome into the fold is in the shape of the latest issue “the rain will never end” (issue 115) which I guest edited. I had a great time selecting pieces for the issue. I hope you enjoy spending time with them.

Thanks to the RHP crew for bringing me on board!

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See you Friday!

José

new work x 3!

Just a quick post to share 3 recent publications of new work:

.) Check out three new octaves in the latest issue of The Inflectionist Review. These poems come from a new sequence that expands upon the syllabic craft concepts explored in my chapbook Corpus Christi Octaves (Flutter Press, 2014). Special thanks to John Sibley Williams & A. Molotkov for including me in this issue along with CL Bledsoe, Devon Balwit, and other fine writers!

.) Also, the latest issue of Shantih Journal includes “Nada Takes Stock” from my series The Nada Poems. Thank you to David L. White and everyone at SL for putting together such a fine issue!

.) Lastly, I am proud to have my prose poems “Mist Song” and “Creature Song” be a part of the inaugural issue of Scryptic Magazine. Special thanks to Chase Gagnon and Lori A Minor for including my work! Read more about the vision of this magazine here.

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See you Friday!

José

new Naos digital chapbook!

* naos to meet you *
* naos to see you again *

Just a quick note to share the release of my latest digital chapbook: Naos Explains Everything Via Crumbs published by Right Hand Pointing.

You may remember the persona, Naos, from my first digital chapbook with RHP, Naos: an introduction.

This time my cursi philosopher Naos (a mix of Aesop, Diogenes, & Walter Mercado) takes his habit of explaining to epic proportions.

Or rather, micro-epic proportions, as his focus is on crumbs.

Here are two excerpts from the sequence:

(ix)

the ant is Atlas under a crumb—

Atlas carries the crumb of the earth—

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(x)

Poetry as a matter of crumbs:
hinting at the food of experience

from what little
falls behind.

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Check out the rest of the digital chapbook here.

Happy crumbing!

José