Moorpark Press, Oakland, CA
March 2010 E-mail:

Rose Black

Rose Black lives by the Union Pacific Railroad tracks in Oakland, California, where she and her husband operate Renaissance Stone, a studio and supply source for stone sculptors. Some of the places Rose's poetry has appeared or is forthcoming are Runes, The South Carolina Review, Wisconsin Review, Hampton-Sydney Poetry Review, Spillway and Slant.  Her book CLEARING was published in 2005 and reviewed in the Great American Pin-Up in May 2005. Her second book, WINTER LIGHT, was published in April, 2008. Both CLEARING and WINTER LIGHT were recently accepted by Yale's Beinecke Library for the Yale Collection of American Literature.

Poet Moira Magneson describes Roseís poems as a "canoe ride on a quiet lake, interrupted by a sudden, sometimes deadly, squall." In the words of David St. John, ďRose Black is a remarkable and heart-breaking poet. Her meditations on the passages of experience and the psychological resonances of childhood are compelling and powerful, surprising and illuminating. There is a quiet and elegant music to Rose Blackís poems, and once heard, itís not forgotten.Ē


Wednesday, January 27, 2010 5-6:30 P.M.
The Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Avenue, Oakland 94609
with Rafaella Del Bourgo.
sponsored by BAWP (the Bay Area Writing Project). It's on the east side of Shattuck near the corner of 65th.  Their phone number is 510 595-5344.  The Nomad Cafe's website is at <> and features their menu -- coffee and cocoa, sandwiches, a salad, a Mediterranean snack plate and a couple of coffee-cake type desserts.

THURSDAY, MARCH 4, 2010, 7:30 P.M.
     with Richard Silberg, Associate Editor of Poetry Flash. Most recent book: Deconstruction of the Blues
     and Mark Taksa. Most recent book The Biography Thief.
AT: Temple Sinai Sanctuary
       2808 Summit, Oakland, CA



english cafe












Feeding the Dog

Scoop the food out of the bag with the orange plastic cup. The bag has no bottom and sinks through the floor into the earth. The dog waits. Wagging speaks of what comes next. Heís had enough but wants more.

I scoop more brownish grey pellets into the cup, again and again and again. Better to err with too much than too little.

Soon the entire yard is covered with dog food, mountains of dog food. Itís spilling into the street and over the fence into the neighborís yard. Iíll never again be accused of not answering any creatureís I need and I want, or the tap tap of his tail on the linoleum floor from side to side, eyes focused and tongue flicking quick over his open red mouth and lips and again and itís a human dog and a hundred dogs. Iím feeding all the dogs and people in the neighborhood, the country, the world.

There is no animal in this universe that I am not taking care of.

They rush to me and the bottomless bag. If I try to walk away Iíll just stumble on the slick, licked pieces of what Iíve already laid out.


Backwards Over Egypt

We have almost arrived when the plane turns around. Dangerous air space, the pilot says. We arenít allowed over this country, and have to get to Egypt flying zig-zag, often going backwards. Then, right above our destination, we go into a holding pattern, and fly round and round before we land.

At the airport, we walk between green walls that have nothing on them except a signó WARNING, THOSE WHO BRING IN DRUGS WILL BE SEVERELY PUNISHED, AND COULD SUFFER DEATH BY HANGING. I look around. Should I quickly flush my aspirins down the toilet? Will someone please tell me what counts?

And, as so often happens when we travel to a foreign country, that night I plead with you to play the game with me, not the Stuck-On-A-Desert-Island game, where you give me two bad choices of who Iíd rather spend the next ten years with. Right now Iím not interested in climbing coconut trees and making spears for fish.

Right now Iím interested in what we call the Holding game, where you go back and back with me to visit all the turnings in my life, and while you hold me we decide over and over that the route I took was the way I had to go to get here.

book cover-CLEARING

Books available - call Rose Black (510) 633-1888
(limited to stock on hand)