Tony Quagliano

hardly a poem, a simple statement of the day's events:
cold dogs in the courtyard arrived in the morning mail
back cover photo of pocked and plagued Bukowski
hardmouth poet by admission
sap for crazy parlay: poetry and balls.
later, I stood around before a German class–
a fellow student told me that this Rilke guy we're reading
really led a screwed-up life,
sure, I said, he was alone a lot (I've already cast my lot with madmen,
should I defend them too from engineers?)
der Lehrer is a sweet Amazonian Madchen
taller than almost every man, her head, I'm sure, is ringing
with yelpings from the courtyard.
and now on the radio: sniping in Detroit
and Poitier reads Plato,
I do not invent this, there are hounds at every heel,
hierarchies of angels had no answers at Duino
Bukowski got drunk for ten years
and I sit behind a sorry six-pack
and sweat out hardly a poem.


Tony Quagliano was a poet of international reach, editor of the Hawaii based journal KAIMANA for many years. His own work appeared on the pages of such journals as the New York Quarterly, New Directions, Harvard Review, Rolling Stone Magazine, Exquisite Corpse, Wormwood Review and Negative Capability. He published three books of poetry -- Language Drawn and Quartered (Ghost Dance Press, 1975), Fierce Meadows (Petronium Press, 1981), Snail Mail Poems (Tinfish Network, 1998) and pictographs (Red Moon Press, 2008). He also edited the Small Press Review special issue on Bukowski (1973) and edited a book on the poetry and prose of Reuel Denny. He was the 1976 recipient of the first Pushcart Prize–Best of the Small Presses Award, 1988 the Elliott Cades Award for Literature, and the Stephan Baciu Award in Literature for cutting edge artistic quality, originality, creativity and inventiveness in a body of work. Tony has poems forthcoming in Visiting Wallace: Poems Inspired by the Life and work of Wallace Stevens (Fall 2009)The Tony Quagliano Poetry Fund has announced its first biennial Tony Quagliano International Poetry Award, details of which may be found at their website (