Squaw Valley Review 2009

This review continues the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Poetry Program tradition of publishing a collection of poems begun during the poets' week together in July. Poets submitted poems--whether completely revised or exactly the same as the day the poem was first imagined--and volunteer editors (who are also participants in the poetry program) selected which poems to include in the review. Proceeds benefit the Scholarship Fund.



Amy Antongiovanni
Kevin Arnold
Samiya Bashir
Jacqueline Bentley
Tara Betts
Toby Bielawski
John Briscoe
Mary Kovaleski Byrnes
Laurie Capps
Deborah Casillas
Elizabeth Biller Chapman
Catharine Clark-Sayles
Brian Cochran
Kristina Marie Darling
Charles Douthat
Ann Fisher-Wirth
Deborah S. Friedman

Marilyn Friedman
Kirk Glaser
Veronica Golos
Nicholas A. Gulig
Judy Halebsky
James Halligan
Donna Henderson
Alicia Hokanson
Eric Howard
Dorothy Knight
Ted Lardner
Laurie Suzanne Lessen-Reiche
Margaret Mackinnon
Jack Martin
Sarah Murphy
Meryl Natchez

Jeremy Nobel, MD
Kathleen R. O'Toole
Melinda Palacio
Maya Pindyck
Francesca Preston
Khadijah Queen
Henry Rappaport
Steve Rempe
Evie Shockley
William Stobb
Samantha Thornhill
Jie Tian
Jeanne Wagner
Natasha Wang
Paul Watsky
Cynthia Wuthmann
Elizabeth Wyatt

To purchase The Squaw Valley Review 2009, please use this order form.
Or send a check for $10 along with your mailing address to:
Eric Howard at
2255 Duvall Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90031.
( Make the check payable to Eric Howard.)

industrial-strength blueberries

Evie Shockley

now that we all know about blueberries,
the days of the craze are numbered.

        few of us can convincingly say anti-oxidant.
        but anyone can say blueberries.

my nieces, at two, have never not known
about blueberries.

        blueberry-fed mice behave
        better, remember what they've been taught.

when i was a child, boo-berry cereal
was as close as i got to blueberries.

        the many blueberry muffins i've stuffed
        down also shouldn't count (calories).

now it's just blueberries, straight
from the container, rinse and munch.

        it's a sign, when the people you'd
        least expect are already onto blueberries.

imagine the current demand for
blueberries. my how you've grown!

        in northern california, blueberries cost
        $4.99 a pint (551 ml).

blueberries are one of three fruits native
to north america.

        they say native americans gave the settlers
        blueberries that first winter.

it is less healthy to give blueberries
than to receive them.

        a half-pint of blueberries a day can make
        all the difference.

when i don't get my blueberries, i get
the sweet-tart indigo blues.

        blueberries subdue
        free radicals. this is better than it sounds.

argentina and chile supply the blueberries
for our winter oatmeal.

        given the benefits, who in the world
        can afford not to eat blueberries?

in the supermarkets, bountiful fountains
of youth-bearing blueberries.

        i will eat blueberries till i'm a teen
        again, if it takes me the rest of my life.

Dear Auden

John Briscoe

What fine fun to belittle lawyers
their meretricious ways and words,
but no professional poet ever wrote
an Emancipation Proclamation
that worked, or words
as the afterthought speaker
at a cemetery dedication
that sit by Goethe, and Shakespeare,
that revivified a nation.

Never mind your Archibald MacLeish
or your Wallace Stevens. Read Lincoln.
Read aloud the soaring, then basso law briefs
of Thurgood Marshall and Louis Claiborne
if you would know the fullness of the lie
that poetry makes nothing happen.


Guam: Where America's Day Begins

Jack Martin

Drunk on wine light, evening air buzzes my hair.
Bicycle rolls the valley dusk.
Changes and changes: now we're on Guam.

Oh, complicity, beyond pleasure there is lightning.
On this day in 1799, French found the Rosetta Stone.
No. It wasn't today: now we're on Guam.

My racist, Seabee dad's Filipino wife, his first wife,
left him in Guam. Mom used to tell us.
Recalcitrant dad. Oh, Guam, did he love her?

This stanza is about the Island of Guam and the U.S. territory of Guam.
Guam is the largest island in Micronesia.
Guam is an international hub.

“Navy Guam,” means “hello” on Guam,
and welcome to the Fleet and Family Support Center, Guam.
We hope this greeting has been not only informative, but helpful.

In the Frederic Remington painting behind me,
(we're not really on Guam) holding rifles,
four men in denim shirts, felt hats;

seven in leather and feathers and paint;
thirteen horses. The horses don't hold rifles.
They can't. They're horses. Now we're on Guam.

The men recalcitrate. The horses look concerned.
This is before the massacre,
the slaughter that never occurs. This is a painting.

To be fair, this is not the history of imperialism.
This is the moralizing summary: a bicycle is not a boat,
and yes, he loved her.

Still, sixty years later, the night rolls in to meet my mom
and out again to meet my dad.
Now we're on Guam.

Mostly to uncover the reality of my destructive hunger

Khadijah Queen

He gave me nothing to eat but photographs
of other people eating meat. Cooked and raw, half-gone and
about to be sliced. In the photographs the people looked relaxed
and not very hungry. But first they were killing
the animals with their careful machines. This was before
clumsy hands came to the collective mauling. And before the children
danced carefully in their ironed clothes at their little table. It all looked
delicious. The shiny weapons and thick spats of flesh and
slavering mouths and families. He did this in order.
In order that I might see how feeding is done.

John Briscoe writes light and serious verse. He practices international environmental law, has taught at UC Berkeley, and is the chair of the advisory board of the St. Mary's College MFA Program in Creative Writing.

Laurie Capps's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Crazyhorse, Mississippi Review, new south, and the Southeast Review, among others. She holds an MFA from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She plans to attend the Program for Poets & Writers at UMASS Amherst, where she will also serve as managing editor of jubilat.

James Halligan received an MA in English/Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. He has published poems in a few small magazines and currently teach at SFSU and Chapman University in Walnut Creek, California.

Alicia Hokanson's first book, Mapping the Distance, was selected by Carolyn Kizer for the King County Arts Commission Prize in 1988. Two of her chapbooks have been published by Brooding Heron Press. A teacher for over 30 years, she was named Poetry Teacher of the Year by River of Words in 2003.

Eric Howard is a magazine editor who lives in Los Angeles. His poems have appeared in Birmingham Poetry Review, Caveat Lector, Conduit, Gulf Stream Magazine, Hawaii Pacific Review, Old Red Kimono, Plainsong, and The Sun.

Melinda Palacio's chapbook Folsom Lockdown won Kulupi's Sense of Place contest. Her novel, Ocotillo Dreams, was published by ASU's Bilingual Press Fall 2010.

William Stobb's collection Floodlight is forthcoming in 2011 from Penguin Books. He is the author of Nervous Systems, a National Poetry Series selection, published by Penguin Books, and of two forthcoming collections: Vanishing Acts, a limited edition chapbook published in 2010 from The Black Rock Press, and Floodlight, due out from Penguin in 2011. Stobb's poems appear in recent issues of American Poetry Review, Colorado Review, Jacket, and other journals and zines. He hosts "Hard to Say," a miPOradio podcast on poetry and poetics, and is Associate Editor for Conduit.

Jeanne Wagner is the recipient of several national awards, including, most recently, the Ann Stanford Prize and the 2009 Briar Cliff Review Award. Her poems currently appear in South Carolina Review, Smartish Pace, and New Millennium, among others. She is the author of four poetry collections, including The Zen Piano-Mover, winner of the 2004 Stevens Manuscript Award. She is on the editorial staff of the California Quarterly.

To purchase The Squaw Valley Review 2009, please use this order form.
Or send a check for $10 along with your mailing address to:
Eric Howard at
2255 Duvall Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90031.
( Make the check payable to Eric Howard.)