Ghost Roads: Sticking Around in these Old Neighborhoods

Ghost Roads by Michael Aaron Casares (Virgogray Press, 2008)
Ghost Roads by Michael Aaron Casares (Virgogray Press, 2008)

To be quite frank, I was unsure that I would return to publishing independently. Virgogray Press had been quiet for a few years already and I hadn’t done much in the wake of my brief reading tour in 2005 across the Southwestern United States. But what would I do? That three years after publishing Sad Height under the pen name Jacob Gray I would have my first publication of poetry a la Ghost Roads would never have crossed my mind. For reasons I shan’t disclose, I think I nearly gave up on writing after 2005. I still wrote poetry and doodled word phrases, but the writer/publishing game? Forget it.
So what changed in 2008? I’m not sure. The end result, however, is Ghost Roads, a 40 page poetry chapbook collecting poems that wander through the nostalgic avenues of my past. Not being one to enjoy the  occasional rut, I retain these poems as evidence of progress and change. Transcendence. Ghost Roads, as with my latest collection, The Terrorist, is really a dissection of Sad Height in that it takes some of the themes, tones and poems of that experimental piece and breaks them down and revises them into new personal truths.  Not bearing sequence, some poems like “Island” are throwbacks to older poetry, written as far back as 2002; where as “New Paths” or “Routine” are newer fresher faces amongst my words. Ghost Roads is my tribute to the heart, a fine place if any to start; it reconciles some of what I lost, some of what I miss, some of what I’m looking for. It is my “hello” to the world, at least for now.

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Get “Fresh Lotus Rehab” by Marc Olmsted

Fresh Lotus Rehab by Marc Olmsted
Fresh Lotus Rehab by Marc Olmsted (Virgogray Press, 2009)

Fresh Lotus Rehabby Marc Olmsted was released on February 11th, 2009. This is the latest poetry chapbook publication from Virgogray Press and is a long overdo peek into the secret planet of someone who could perhaps be the last of the Beat poet generation (maybe one of the founders of the post-beat generation). Now in his 50’s, Marc presents a fresh rendering of verse utilizing the big mind style, that is to say, as Ginsberg’s Buddhist teacher said, “First thought/best thought” or poetry that is uninhibited and honest, unconcerned with over-thinking or over-analyzing. And truly the poetry of Fresh Lotus Rehab takes us into this realm of poetry writing and spices it up with events relevant to today. We learn of the personal tragedies and peeves of the poet, which is always interesting where juxtaposed with Buddhist philosophies, and peer into the poetic thought process over events like the arrival of the Olympic Torch in San Francisco, the  fires of South California, the ghosts of the war for oil. For all it’s timeliness, Fresh Lotus Rehab remains personal, a gift from the poet to the reader. And what a gift indeed. Marc Olmsted has released 3 previous books: Milky Desire (Subterranean Press, 1991), Resume (Inevitable Press, 1998), and What Use Am I a Hungry Ghost(Contemporary Press, 2001) which included an introduction by Allen Ginsberg.  Marc has lectured at Naropa University and U.C. Berkeley. Pick up Fresh Lotus Rehab and stay tuned for more news from Marc coming soon.

Valium: Poetry Journal now accepting submissions

Proposed cover for Valium: Poetry Journal scheduled for release summer/fall 2009.
Proposed cover for Valium: Poetry Journal scheduled for release summer/fall 2009.

The first in a series of poetry chapbook anthologies, Valium hopes to capture the essence of prescription drug effects through the poetic voice. We hope to explore the vast spectrum of views on this topics as neatly as possible in a chapbook anthology. Poems of all tones and voices are encouraged to be submitted for this publication. Please send no more than 5 poems in the body of an email to

michael.aaron.casares@gmail.com

No previously published material, please.  Original text only. No simultaneous submissions.  The chapbook is hoped to be in publication by the end of summer time.  The deadline for entries is May 1st, 2009.  Virgogray gets first time publication rights, then rights revert back to author. All published poets will recieve two copies of the finished publication & an invitation to submit a manuscript to Virgogray Press.