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Other online poems from the book


"peace valley elementary school during the vietnam war" can also be found at http://othervoicespoetry.org/vol32/jelee/index.html


"sex ed blues" can be found in XConnect at http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/xconnect/v5/i3/g/contents.html


"her blues" can be found in Painted Bride Quarterly at http://pbq.drexel.edu/pbq/archives/1393


"she wanted to be / heaven to him" can be found at http://othervoicespoetry.org/vol32/jelee/index.html


"Iris’ painter hears the rain music return (off broadway)" and "Iris’ blues for her painter" can be found in XConnect at http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/xconnect/i21/g/contents.html (These two poems can also be found at http://othervoicespoetry.org/vol32/jelee/index.html)








Outtakes from the poetry ms.

There was actually a dramatic sketch in the original poetry ms., and it was called: “INTERMEZZO: SKETCH OF A FORGOTTEN NIGHT.” It preceded “4 a.m. phone call from my sister.” It was actually used by a director, Gary San Angel, at the Asian Arts Initiative of Philadelphia, as an acting exercise. I also performed it with Lori-Nan Engler a few times at various readings. It is sort of noir comedy.

There were actually a few very funny poems in the original poetry ms., but they did not fit into the arc of the narrative very well even though they were related to the Iris story. I tried having these at the end of the poetry ms. as a kind of a coda that re-established the identity and sanity (such as it is) of the narrator. This final coda was to be called “Subvertisements for Utopia,” and the funny poems were:


"night out with my sister’s contact improvisational dance girlfriends"

[This drag poem above, incidentally, was written during a workshop at NYU with Sharon Olds in 2000, i.e. before I changed my name...]

"love story variations in twenty words a pop"

[This “love poem” above, incidentally, was written during a workshop at NYU with Cornelius Eady in 1999. It was his idea to tell complete love stories in 20 words or less.]


The very last poem in the ms. was supposed to be the one below. It is not about Iris at all but about someone whom she could have turned into if her life did not work out, as it were. I have run into a few women who could have turned out like this character, Katrina.

"Subvertisements for Utopia (when he is haunted by hearing Katrina....)"

This poem was published by the good people at In Posse Review:



Depending on how far you want to go with this outtake idea, there could have even been a whole other half of this book that was called towards euphoria. The "prologues" to invisible sister are all that remains of that, now...

The best outtakes, i.e. the poems that were the most successful that were cut from this book were the narrative lyrics about out-of-body travel at thirteen and the transcendental and sexual elation that went along with it. These poems were all published individually, and the whole series is now forthcoming in January 2012 as a chapbook from Seven Kitchens Press. Due to the unusual format of the poems, the best way to present them simply is as a PDF document. You can download some of the poems here if you have Adobe Acrobat Reader.


Someday, if I can find an editor as impractically devoted to this sort of work as I am, the reconstituted book may appear one day in the form that I had originally been intending, i.e. the prefatory poems of Towards Euphoria (2012) would become a first half, and the long poem called invisible sister would be even more like a novel in episodes than it is now with the outtakes restored and new poems added etc. {11/06/2011}








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