Problems with Hurricanes

ok, so I made the decision to not post regularly anymore because my life is so crazy, BUT my friend Audrey sent this to me today and I had to post it because, well, Florence.

Problems with Hurricanes

A campesino looked at the air
And told me:
With hurricanes it’s not the wind
or the noise or the water.
I’ll tell you he said:
it’s the mangoes, avocados
Green plantains and bananas
flying into town like projectiles.
Read rest of poem 


Tribrach is on sabbatical

Tribrach is on sabbatical. My heart hasn’t been into it since my father passed away this past Christmas, and I need to do my own essay writing–something which is particularly hard to do since I’m not in the academic world. (Virginia Woolf talks about a woman writer needing “a room of her own,” but these days, when so many of us work full-time at the same time we raise children, it’s more like a woman needs even just to be able to find “a minute of her own.” 😉 )

My apologies to anyone who has tried to reach me by the Tribrach email or comments–I haven’t checked the former since December and the latter not as much as I should, due to being continually overwhelmed. (Dad died, part of our house was destroyed by frozen pipe damage, my kid was hospitalized for a ruptured appendix, I was hospitalized for pneumonia, a tornado hit my home-town, and so on and so on.) I’ve had a lot of “life” happen to me recently, which is one reason I need to go back to writing about it seriously.

I may post sporadically here and there plus come back fully in a few months after I’ve recharged and figured out how to balance my life and writing better.  If needed I can be reached at tanya (dot) a (dot) allen (at)

All best,


Bamboo grows and grows in the NY Times

How free and lush the bamboo grows, the bamboo grows and grows
Shoots and morasses, fillies and lassies and shreds and beds and rows
O phloem and pistil, nodes and ovules

Read rest of poem 

American Life in Poetry: Column 699



Carol V. Davis lives in California, and once was an artist-in-residence at the Homestead Monument in Nebraska, where I met her.The following poem, her fourth to be published in this column, is from her 2017 book from Truman State University Press, Because I Cannot Leave This Body.I’m a sucker for poems about customs.

Covering the Mirrors

After a funeral, they were covered with black cloth,
some draped with shawls like a scalloped valance.
Leftover sewing scraps, wool, linen, synthetic,
anything to shroud the odd-shaped mirrors,
though sometimes a corner was exposed like a woman
whose ankle peeks forbidden from under a long skirt.

A mourner must shun vanity during shiva, focusing inward
but as a child I wondered if this were to avoid ghosts,
for don’t the dead take their time leaving?
I’m of a generation where grandparents disappeared,
great aunts with European accents,
rarely an explanation provided to us children.

My mother died too young.
With a baby in arms I couldn’t bear to fling
that dark cloth over the glass.
After all she had come back from the dead so often,
even the doctors could not explain it.
Each time I looked in a mirror my mother gazed back.
I could never tell if she were trying to tell me something
or to take the baby with her.

We do not accept unsolicited submissions. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2017 by Carol V. Davis, “Covering the Mirrors,” from Because I Cannot Leave This Body, (Truman State University Press, 2017). Poem reprinted by permission of Carol V. Davis and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2018 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.

Dailies 8/17/18


 Nicholas Samaras – Damnatio Memoriae

“Damnation of Memory”

How smart the Roman Senate was
to remove from remembrance all those
who brought discredit to their State by various
causes of dishonor. How smart to close

Read rest of poem 


Annie Stenzel  – Cassandra Talks in her Sleep 

But if you’re waiting for me
to Say things the way I used to
say things, don’t bother.

Read rest of poem 


Joseph O. Legaspi – Kissing My Father

Three days into his wake my father has not risen.

He remains encased in pine, hollowed-
out, his body unsealed, organs 
harvested, then zippered 
shut like a purse. 
Read rest of poem 

Book recommendations from Emily Dickinson

An Emily Dickinson Reading List: Imagining book recommendations from a life of letters. – Jaime Fuller – Lapham’s Quarterly – 8/13/18

The list includes 

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Dickinson unsurprisingly vacuumed up contemporary verse, enjoying near peers who had published when she had not. Elizabeth Barrett Browning was perhaps her favorite, judging from the fact that a portrait of the poet hung in her room. In fact, she had more than one portrait, as she told Higginson: “Have you the portrait of Mrs Browning? Persons sent me three – If you had none, will you have mine?” Dickinson praised Barrett Browning in her work: “I went to thank her,” for example, imagines a trip to her idol’s grave, and, after the poet died in 1861, she wrote, “Silver perished with her tongue.”

Dailies 8/16/18


 Nam Le – Aubade

The birds are gone. Soil
blooded to rustfruit, eyebright

Read rest of poem 


Elizabeth O’Brien  – Inside a Girl  

is hot house
light and back stage
shimmying cancan dancers

Read rest of poem 


Maryam Ivette Parhizkar – Study Guide Toward Naturalization of the Mouth

from an inherited notebook

(I) How many teeth does the 
snail have?
                   tens of thousands 
upon the tongue. thousands 
Read rest of poem 

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