January 4-10, 2016: Lenny DellaRocca and Surya Gemilang

Lenny DellaRocca and Surya Gemilang

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Lenny DellaRocca

Bio (auto)

Lenny DellaRocca began publishing poems in 1970 but it was in 1980 that most of his work began to appear in literary magazines. As an editorial assistant of the Florida Arts Gazette, DellaRocca joined the board of directors of the South Florida Poetry Institute in 1982.In 1987, he founded The Electric Chair, a poetry reading featuring one poet reading before a hand-picked audience. In 1989, DellaRocca joined the board of the Miami-based Hannah Kahn Poetry Foundation. He was Creator and co-founder of Random Acts in the mid-1990s, an interdisciplinary ensemble of poets, storytellers and musicians who improvised and interacted with audiences. In 1997, DellaRocca became president of the non-profit HKPF and resurrected The Electric Chair reading paying $50 to a local poet and founded Quartetto Poetica, a four-poet reading that paid local poets $25 each. During his tenure as president of HKPF, DellaRocca brought to South Florida Denise Duhamel, Albert Goldbarth, Enid Shomer, Janet Holmes, Carolyn Wright, Lyn Lifshin, Yusef Komanyakka, Nick Carbo and George Wallace. Their readings and workshops were often co-hosted by Florida Atlantic University, Nova Southeastern University, Florida International University and the Miami International Book Fair and The Florida Center for the Book. In 2000, DellaRocca became poetry correspondent for about.com where he gathered and published news about the poetry scene in Florida. He self-published Alphabetical Disorder in 2010. In 2015, NightBallet Press published his chapbook, The Sleep Talker. His poem, The Wonderful Viola Player, was nominated for a Pushcart by Chiron Review.

The following work is Copyright © 2015, and owned by Lenny DellaRocca and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Dear Rattle

I should’ve sent this poem to you last time
but felt it was too good for you. I want this poem
in American Poetry Review or Poetry.
But they sent it back saying, you know, blah, blah, blah…

Don’t get me wrong I do want some of my poems here,
just not this, my best poem, which should be next to poems
by famous poets— Billy Collins or Mark Doty even,

but not the typical poets in Rattle. Mind you, Rattle poets
are usually quite good, but let’s face it, they’re not on the A List,
they’re not doing workshops in Key West or appearing
in Poem-A-Day alongside Denise Duhamel or Richard Blanco.

You’ve heard of Richard Blanco, haven’t you? He’s the gay Cuban
poet from Miami who read his poem at the president’s
second inaugural. And guess what? He read at my invitation

for twenty-five bucks years before he was famous. (No shit).
I deserve more than having this poem appear in your pages.
Not that I dislike Rattle, I like it a lot, but it’s not Paris Review, right?
We can all agree on that.

But go ahead publish this and place it next to poets
I’ve never heard of, or worse, next to Lyn Lifshin or B.Z. Niditch.
I’ve already had tons of my poems next to them.

I like Lyn and B.Z. but enough already. I want to be on the page
before or after Linda Bierds or Andrei Codrescu. Somebody Big.
And who knows maybe someday an unknown poet like me will show this
issue of Rattle and say, Look! my poem is a page away from
Lenny DellaRocca! You’ve heard of him haven’t you?



Surya Gemilang

Bio (auto)

Surya Gemilang was born in 1998. He lives in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. His first short stories anthology, Mengejar Bintang Jatuh, has published on August 2015; and his poetry, Meraba Jejak-jejak Hutan, got the main reward from “Poetry Prairie”.

The following work is Copyright © 2015, and owned by Surya Gemilang and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

My Family in Three Parts

my mother reincarnated as a secret
land and buried me. sometimes
she called the god of the rain; she said:
please give your blood to my babies.

another time, my mother became
red fog, trapped an eagle inside.
then she cut its wings for me. but I
still couldn’t fly around her body.

when the new moon cried, my mother
changed her body into a lamp that
hanged above my bed. she sung her
last lullaby for the angel beside me.

today, my mother is a window of
my secret room … my blood is its glass.

my father is the biggest philosopher;
his voice is the darkness of his eye
balls. in the future, his eye balls is
the grave of its black.

nobody can passed his bridge. the
longest bridge of philosophy, such
as rainbow.

my father is the greatest parade of
lullaby. a black bird fly around
his head, suddenly become his
hat. boys and girls are crying on
the side of the street for the biggest

nobody can passed his bridge. the
longest bridge of philosophy, such
as the death.

let me sing a story about my eldest
brother: he is the prince of wind;
he is the way to fly. everybody try to
catch him. just try … because he is
the way to catch.

several years ago, he was a bee.
he came from the black of my mother
hair; that’s why until now he always
love the wind of night. several days
after that several years ago, he died
under the sea of honey.

let me sing a story about my eldest
brother …



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