Monday, December 14, 2009

We All "Knead"


Love hate they say as if we are baking Sylvia bread,
head in an oven to watch the yeast rise.
Witness the moment the skin begins to brown,

when the odor wafts upon the window draft
like a ghost walking about room to room.
We look but can not see,

smell but do not inhale because we know inside
hate festers like pan drippings on the heating element;
you can not touch without getting burned.

After all, one who hates you perfectly,
moils without end to slice the lines that define you,
might be the one who can accept

everything you are made of,
the hard crust, the delicate insides,
and the crumbs that linger longer.

first published in Clockwise Cat Jan 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Latest Poetry Happenings

It's been a little slow on the poetry front mostly because I was putting a lot of time into getting my Mice Verses Man book ms and the galley perfected with the publisher so I wasn't submitting a whole lot during that time plus I have a few submissions that have been out for a couple months.

Anyway, I did hear back with a poem acceptance from a new lit mag called fourpaperletters for their January 2010 issue. Many thanks to the editor Laura Issacman. Looking forward to being a part of your magazine!

I also heard from editor Lori A. May from The Ambassador Poetry Project. A fairly new literary magazine based near the Detroit metro area named after the Ambassador Bridge. She accepted two of my poems for their March 2010 Spring issue. Thank you Lori! I hope to meet you some day too at a reading or whatever.

Since my last update, I also received two sets of rejections.

The publisher of my forthcoming book, Robin Stratton, shared one of the review excerps meant for the back cover of Mice Verses Man with me today. It's is from Steve Meador who has three fine poetry books out, all of which I own by the way, and also is the editor of the literary mag Hanging Moss Journal.

Here's his review. thanks Steve!

“R Jay Slais braids nature with humor and face-slapping reality that allows the reader to feel like a longtime friend. He is adept with language, structure and planting seeds of emotion, and one cannot help but feel lifted by 'January and all its newness is coming.'”
Steve Meador - author of Throwing Percy from the Cherry Tree

Winter is setting in here in Michigan. No snow here yet, but brrrrrrrr it is cold.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy first Birthday Chloe

She's one today. We got her at eight weeks old back in February, a tiny little fluffball. Now she's a huge fluffball, 13 pounds worth of lover kitty. Sometimes she thinks she's a dog though, she has this little bark she does and she loves playing fetch with her little soccer ball. Happy birthday Chloe!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Open Mic Poetry Reading 21NOV09

Last night I attended an open mic poetry event sponsored by Troubadour 21 Magazine at The Beat Cafe in Warren Michigan. It was really crowed with about 50 people there.

Many came to see the featured poet Whitney Syphax Walker and she did a great job, brought down the house.

I read three of my poems early in the event including one from my forthcoming book Mice Verses Man.

It was fun seeing and listen to all my poetry buddies. You all did great work up there on stage.

William B. Burkholder - The MC of the event and also a staff memebr at Troubadour 21

Valencia 'Numi' Vanner

Dimonique Boyd

Crystal Reign Brock

Karma Sweetmain Williams - Co owner of The Sweet Epiphany in Detroit

Carla Dodd - The Troubadour 21 Poetry Editor

Candace Deekah Wyatt jammed a couple tunes for our listening pleasure

New friend Megan Collins who came in from Erie PA. She owns The Last Wordsmith Book Shoppe in Erie

and another new friend Dawn Shepler Shimp who came up from Ohio

I also had some great conversations with local Detroit poet Mark Durfee and I bought his latest book Stink - Poetry And Prose Of Detroit. Thanks Mark!

Thanks to Troubadour 21 for sponsoring the event and to The BEat Cafe for providing the venue.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Test Flight

Opening The Door

It was a tough delivery,
he was almost lost.
That first day,
he grips my thumb,
his hand no bigger
than a newborn bird.
I always let him
steady himself
during his flights.

His is different
from the others.
The other children
sometimes tease him
because his hands shake,
his nerves un-feathered.
As he grows, he learns
to master the use
of each hand
with equal strength.

Our hands are the same
size now. His hands
still shake a little,
if you watch very closely.
Someday, his hands
will stop shaking
and mine will begin to;
I know he will be there
to steady me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Good news - My first book ms accepted by Big Table Publishing

Yay, now that I have signed on the dotted line and it is official, I would like announce that by year's end 2009, my first collection of poetry Mice Verses Man is to be published by Big Table Publishing Company Chapbook Series. BT Publishing is based in Massachusetts near Boston.

Eventually, it will be available at this link from the publisher or you can contact me directly at
RJay61 at comcast dot net
if you would like a signed copy.

Thanks a lot to the owner and Editor In Chief Robin Stratton for the acceptance and for being such a patient and knowledgable person to work with. The project is moving fast and it won't be long until it drops. It's going to be a 40 plus page chapbook, sort of a chap on steroids I guess, and it contains a lot of my best work including many previously unpublished pieces.

By the way, next door, I have started a new blog titled Mice Verses Man to help promote the book, print reviews, list readings or signings I will be doing in the future. Maybe I will see you here, or there, or there...thanks!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

On the cover of OCHO 27

Thanks again Didi for including my portrait on the cover and my poem "Obscure" on page 20/21.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Poetry here and there

Having fun writing, doing open mic readings, and submitting these days. Some successes, including acceptances at

The Smoking Poet, one in Zinta Aistars magazine, Winter 09 issue forthcoming. Thanks Zinta, you and your magazine rock!

I will have a poem in Hanging Moss Journal forthcoming soon. This is Steve Meador's great lit mag, Buy his books btw, all three are Good Reads!! you will not be disappointed.

Got one accepted for the forthcoming issue of Boston Literary Magazine. Great mag and my second time sharing there (Summer 2008 also). Robin Stratton and her staff do wonderful work there. THANKS!

One poem will be in Didi Menendez's OCHO 27 forthcoming soon, thanks Didi

Two poems accepted and published at Troubadour21, a Detroit local magazine just starting out but making a name around town. Great people. I met Carla, Carl, Karma, Bill, and Paquita at open mic readings recently. See you all again soon. Thanks!

Recently I had three poems that were published in the latest issue of Leaf Garden. a superb magazine, thanks so much!! See the link to their free PDF on the right hand side of this page or go there and buy a hard copy.

All this was balanced by 9 sets of rejections including my fifth from Beloit Poetry Journal, oh well, someday. :) The editor wrote me a note a said he loved reading my poem (not enough to publish it I guess but

Big news on the horizon.... shhh, it's a secret. (for now)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

American Poet Portraits by Didi Menendez

My portrait was rendered and posted on Didi Menendez's American Poet Portraits 2 website today. Thanks Didi, your art is more flattering than me in real life... smiles!

See it here: R Jay Slais portrait

Here's the link to her site. American Poet Portraits 2 Check out all her great work. For those whom may not know Didi, Didi Menendez is a Cuban-born American artist and author. She is also a publisher of several literary magazines including MiPOesias, OCHO, Oranges & Sardines, and Poets And Artists. Her publishing company is GOSS183.
Her latest book of poetry is WHEN I SAID GOODBYE released by BLAZEVOX.

Here's a snapshot but I hope you visit her site too.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Poetry Reading in Detroit

I finally got out last weekend and did a open mic poetry reading. This was my first one.

It was an event sponsored by Troubadour 21, a great new lit mag here in the Metro Detroit area. It was hosted by The Sweet Epiphany in Detroit. Proprietors Karma Qsaay and Jennifer Williams are providing the area a place to enjoy music, art, and poetry. They strive to educate and expose our youth to the arts in a positve evironment. Great people!

This was a two day event and I went on the second day. Poets that read on stage the second day included local poets Ber-Henda Williams, Brook Blander, Zach Ashley, William B. Burkholder, Carlton Smith, Matvey Troitsky, Karma Qsaay Williams, Jennifer Williams and myself. Diane Borsenik from Cleveland Ohio also came up to perform her poetry. Local artists Adam Klimec and Anthony Callis headlined the show with their their paintings plus other headliners included photography by Courtney McClenahan and wonderful hand-crafted jewelry by Christina Douglas.
I had a great time and stayed until after midnight, a long night but well worth it.

Thanks to The Sweet Epiphany for providing the venue and T21 for sponsoring the event.

Here's a couple photos of me reading there. Photos by Diane Borsenik. Thanks Dianne!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Poetry Happenings

During these trying times of late, been writing when I can and submitting here and there. Some good news to brighten my days, 3 poems accepted for an upcoming issue of Leaf Garden, 2 poems accepted at Breadcrumb Scabs for issue 16 in Apr 2010, and 1 acceptance at Hanging Moss Journal due in Oct 2009 superbly balanced by four rejections from some excellent magazines that all sent personal notes with the response.

Thanks to all the editors for their responses and for smiling my day. Peace and love!


Monday, September 7, 2009

One poem in Oranges & Sardines

The Self Portrait Issue of Poets And Artists, the latest release from Didi Menendez and her creative magazine Oranges & Sardines is now live here: check it out!

The Self Portrait Issue - Poets And Artists

I am happy to have one of my poems titled "Happenstance" included (pg 43)
Thanks Didi!!!! It's a beautiful magazine with so many talented artists and poets featured in it. Lovely!!

If you would like the option of getting a hard copy, please bookmark this link. It should be available soon. I can't wait to get mine!!

Peace and love!!

Some photos from my N Mich road trips

It's been a while since I posted here. Been a busy summer, lots of hard work and some fun like my trips "up north". Click to enlarge the photos. Smiles to you all!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Love Solstice

Since it has been a little over a year now since my friend Tom, the editor at Barnwood International Poetry Mag first published this poem, I thought this was a good time to re-post it and share it here too because damn... I am so right here inside what this poem is speaking to right now. :(

Love Solstice

After her smile fades
a bee sleeps in my mouth.
The sunset has no teeth.
Lips are frozen;
a window thick with frost,
all night, the cold finds lost needles.
Widower in the wind,
horny fleas construct their brothel
on the wing of a flightless dove.

Breathing is a fierce storm
when the sky is full
of wet eyelids,
the language of torn dead leaves,
like the scurry of mice
around the feet
of a cold weathered monument.
Her loss is a suffering
that will never be carved
on the subterranean stone.

In the absence of flowers,
a bewildered man,
even the fault line shake
of morning wake
does nothing but loosen
the frail balance of growth.
A single seed,
endosperm cap weakened
to permit radicle emergence,
drowns in a rush
of Spring rain,
never to root in soil;
the echo of sad voice
despoiled by time and tears.

Waving at my shadow
on concrete,
a gaunt gray man,
lacking contour waves back.
That lonely walking dove
one eyes the sun
seeking nothing but warmth,
a voice, a seed to split.
We are blinded,
unable to find the threshold,
her name,
only a memory on my mouth.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Febuary photos

Click to ENLARGE

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Rose & Thorn current issue

I am very honored to be part of the current issue of The Rose & Thorn Magazine. My poem "If Asked One Can Walk On Water" was published in their magazines Winter 2008/09 issue.

Many thanks to the editorial staff for including me!!

Peace and love!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

5 Poems up at Clockwise Cat #13

I am happy to see five of my poems are up at Clockwise Cat Issue #13. Thanks to the editor Alison Ross for including these poems, some of which are ones I still enjoy, in your magazine!


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bird's Eye reView #1 is out

A couple weeks ago, one of my poems "After The Fall" was included in the debut issue of a new lit mag Bird's Eye Review.

Many thanks to the editor Amy George for including me.

Check out the magazine here . There are a lot of great poems to be read there by some great writers.


Friday, January 2, 2009

Gutter Eloquence Magazine - Issue #1

For me, it's always exciting to be part of a new venture, to be on the ground floor in the mix when something brand new sets sail.

Yesterday, the premier Issue #1 of a new literary magazine Gutter Eloquence was published online and one of my poems titled "The Greatest Fear" is included along with many other fantastic writer's work.

My thanks to the magazine editor Jack T. Marlowe for including me with such a talented group of writers including several friends, a few local Michigan poets, and also some of my favorite poets to read. Happy New Year Jack. Best wishes for fine success with Gutter Eloquence!


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Dec 2008 Hanging Moss Journal

The December 2008 issue of Hanging Moss Journal dropped yesterday with two of my poems on board.

Thanks again to the editir Steve Meador for including me in his magazine. You can read "One Final Wish" and "Responsibility" here.

There's a lot of other great contributions there too, so read on his Guest Poets section.

Thanks again Steve!