Tag Archives: Rick Lupert


DARK INK: An Anthology Reading

— Saturday — October 24, 2020

The Los Angeles Dodgers may have just lost a game in the World Series that will go down in their franchise’s history as far more stunning in its implausibility than KirK Gibson’s home run back in 1988. In this case, though, the tape loop will verge on infamy, as it involved a two-error sequence that was closer in quality to what one might see on a Little League field.

Fortunately, I had the pleasure of reading with a wonderful set of poets earlier in the afternoon to celebrate the Halloween season by revisiting our contributions to DARK INK, an anthology of poems “inspired by horror.” Edited by the indefatigable Eric Moraga, this collection seems even more lively than it did when it first appeared two years ago. If you need a book to provide a counterbalance to the colossal infarction of American democracy that is being addressed in the ICU of electoral politics, then this volume is the one to get by the end of the coming week. It will provide almost enough imaginative solace to keep the thought of the unbearable in historical perspective.


Here was this afternoon’s line-up:

Robin Axworthy
Laurel Ann Bogen
Amanda Bradley
Cathleen Calbert
Mike Cantin
Sarah ChristianScher
Scott Noon Creley
Alexis Rhone Fancher
Brian Fanelli
HanaLena Fennel
Jerry Garcia
Sonia Greenfield
Seth Halbeisen
Armine Iknadossian
Victor Infante
Rick Lupert
Daniel McGinn
R.S. Mengert
Bill Mohr
Mish (Eileen) Murphy
Robbi Nester
Terri Niccum
Alan Passman
Lee Rossi
Jennifer Lee Rossman
Beth Ruscio
Jason Schneiderman
Rob Sturma
Ben Trigg
Ellen Webre

Each of us read one poem. I chose to read “The Ghoul Convention,” which I wrote well over well over a decade ago in response to a WSP convention. (WSP stands for “White Supremacist Party,” a political organization that used to be known as the GOP.) The reading was recorded and will eventually be made available to watch online.


“The young ones can’t catch on. Stay calm,
even when confronted with the hilarious panic

of a half-dead corpse. After waiting all year,
don’t leave the picky eater picnic with any regrets.”

The old ones give each other shoulder rubs
while reading back issues of Ghoul Housekeeping.

Next year’s panels are announced: Topiary Management.
(“Even a ghoul must plant his garden.”)

Wraith of the year! Eidolon of the decade!
The world is not an ugly place, not yet.

No natural enemies, a voiceover recites.
A very young ghoul is digging holes in a huge field

too far from any city to be a place for mourning,
yet the bereft come here to be alone, or grouse.

“Ignominy,” an adolescent mutters. “Carnival music,”
a widow responds. “Casual acquaintances,”

their companions proclaim. “Whores for hire
in all but name.” “Depends on your definition

of virginity,” said a half-naked ghoul getting dressed
again. “I don’t like accidents,” the seduced insist.

“Unintentional carnage is so boring, so effete.”
“Magnanimous spite is the only motive I respect.”

Borrowing the sentiments of triumphant candidates,
the ghouls repay their debts with orphaned toys.

(This poem first appeared in SKIDROW PENTHOUSE, in 2011. My thanks again to its editors.)


The 2014 George Drury Smith Award

January 4, 2014 — George Drury Smith Award

Beyond Baroque’s Winter 2014 reading schedule arrived in the mail the day before and folded into it was a separate sheet with the first public announcement of the poets who will be the recipients of awards at Beyond Baroque’s annual banquet and fundraiser, which has moved from mid-summer to the first week of April this year. I am grateful that Richard Modiano has changed the date of this event, since I was never able to attend it the first three years. I’ve been teaching a fiction writing class for teenagers at the Idyllwild Summer Arts since 1995, and that job is just far enough away that I could not easily get down the mountain, attend the event, drive home to Long Beach to sleep overnight, and then hustle back to Idyllwild to resume the next week’s instruction.

I brought up the logistics of all this when Richard quietly informed me before a reading at Beyond Baroque several months ago that I was the poet who had been selected by BB’s board of directors to receive the George Drury Smith award in 2014. When I mentioned the difficulty that being in Idyllwild posed for my attendance at the event, Richard mentioned that the board had decided to change the date of the banquet to coincide with National Poetry Month. I’m gratified, therefore, not only to have been chosen for this award, but to know that I will be more easily able to attend this event in future years.

I’m not the only one being honored, however. Rick Lupert is also being recognized with the “Distinguished Service Award,” which I hereby propose should be named (and retroactively bestowed with the full name) as the Alexandra Garrett Distinguished Service Award. I can’t think of anyone else who gave Beyond Baroque so much substantial and continuous service as Sandy Garrett (1926-1991). In fact, should she have lived into her nineties (as my mother has), I can’t think of anyone who would have been more deserving of being the first recipient of any awards ceremony held by Beyond Baroque. That’s a decision to be made by the board of directors at BB, however. I make this suggestion, however, in hopes of getting the discussion of this idea underway.

Here are the details for the upcoming event:


4th Annual Awards Dinner

This year’s honorees are:

William Mohr

George Drury Smith Award


Rick Lupert

Distinguished Service Award

Sunday, April 6, 2014 , 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Church in Ocean Park

235 Hill Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405

Tickets: $65 per person

Tickets may be reserved by emailing Beyond Baroque at:

specialevents@beyondbaroque.org or at Eventbrite: www.4thbbawards.eventbrite.com