Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Poem Blossoms at My Place

So it’s Thursday, but not just any Thursday. Time for a poem, but not just any poem. Please welcome guest-post-poet Sarah Hina, who has just published her debut novel, Plum Blossoms in Paris. You probably already knew that, but on the off chance you didn’t – well – now you do. You’re welcome.

Happily, Sarah agreed to make L&M a stop on her (rather incredible) blog tour. I feel kind of like Bootsy Collins and Macy Gray just showed up to play my house party – I mean yeah, the place is kind of a dump, but nevermind that.


We’re about to be transported.

But first - it might seem odd to promote a novel by posting a poem - but it isn’t. At least not for this novel. Part of what sets Sarah’s writing apart is how it moves like prose but informs like poetry. Or maybe it’s the other way around. What am I, the New York Times Book Review? Point is, her prose is full of poetry – the way it lifts, falls and turns, the way it breathes, the way it ripples through the senses like a sleepy finger trailing through a quiet pool. If you’re familiar with her work, you know what I’m talking about. If not, bounce over to her blog for a bit or check out this excerpt from Plum Blossoms.

OK, I’ll shut up now. Here you go.


The Accordion Player
by Sarah Hina

He squeezed a song
from bellowed veins
growing blue half notes
into red, sustained
as couples passed
like shaken bouquets
some tossing their coin
some fading away

Down silver quays
slickered with dreams
cobblestone rivers
to catacomb drains

And still he played
as the Seine did flow
April in Paris
to La Vie en Rose
fingers pumping
his reluctant friend,
Non . . . je ne
regrette rien

But regrets he kept
between two stones:
Sacré Cœur summits,
gargoyle bones

Until one night
in late November
when tourists were weak
and the sky was thunder
a single soul strolled
a burgundy flower
bracing violin
against one shoulder

Her back was turned
his eyes did close
they exchanged no words
as notes struck swords

And lightning flashed
over Notre Dame
and bridges swayed
with maelstrom song
as the stained glass shards
of two musicians
bubbled and dripped
into one rose fusion

And when she turned
a chord of eyes
their surrender à l'amour

Under Paris Skies


Follow Sarah around on her Meet Me In Paris blog tour (sort of like being a Deadhead, but without all the hippies, microbuses, contact highs and perilously errant Frisbees):

Sarah hangs with
Travis Erwin
Plum Blossoms in Paris
virtual launch party
Plum Blossoms
flash fiction contest (winners announced!)
Sarah answers
25 Questions posed by Richard Levangie
7SS with Aerin Bender-Stone
Sarah visits
Jaye Wells
Sarah’s poem at
The Walking Man

An excellent review by Stephen Parrish
Listen to
Sarah reading Sarah

And of course – don’t forget to pick up your copy of Plum Blossoms in Paris at:
AmazonBarnes & NobleChaptersBordersYour Local Independent BookstorePowell's BooksBooks-A-Million (or, you know, walk into a bookstore. If you’re old school.)

Oh, and this. Just so I can keep my poem-a-week streak alive. (I know. Total narcissist.)


I can not wait to
read Plum Blossoms In Paris -
I hear it kicks ass.


Sarah Hina said...

I don't care what he says. I know you're all disappointed. But take heart--he'll be back next week, with another small miracle. In the meantime, I'm very, very grateful to be given the chance to dirty up the joint. Thanks, Joaquin.

Oh, and your Hina-ku makes my whole blog tour. I want it as a blurb on the novel. Now.

Stephen Parrish said...

Joaquin: It does kick ass. You'll love it.

Sarah: Wonderful, as always.

Julie said...

Awesome. I enjoyed "The Accordian Player," as well as your Hina-ku. Nah, you're not a narcissist. At least no more than any of the rest of us:)

But seriously, Sarah's book sounds excellent. I love how you describe the poetry of the prose. That's my favorite type of prose to read. If it's anything like the poem, it is wonderful and full of music.

Thanks so much for the info. and all the links!

Charles Gramlich said...

That rocks. No matter what kind of music they might have been playing together.

the walking man said...

The beauty of love found in common passion is here expressed. The book tour moves on like the notes melding together.

Margaret said...

Sarah - The Accordion Player is so wonderfully romantic.
While reading it I'm not sat here at home but in the sreets of Paris - it's so alive!

Joaquin - Loved your Hin-ku. I can't wait to read Sara's beautiful book either!

I'll be back to read your poems every Thursday. :)

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Joaquin, what a fantastic host you are. And - you really cleaned up the place nicely for the party! jk Loved all the wonderful links you provided.

Sarah, I'm so happy for you. It has been a pleasure to witness all the revelary and accolades. You certainly deserve a lot of credit for writing and publishing a wonderful book. It takes a lot of tenacity to accomplish that!

The Accordian Player took my breath clean away...

Sarah Hina said...

Thanks, everyone. I know the accordion isn't the first instrument that springs to mind when thinking about passion. But I figured every beret-wearing French cliché deserves its day in the rain. :)

Really appreciate everyone's kind words about the poem and book. This stop has been a lot of fun, and you've all made me smile.

Jannie Funster said...

I was SO not disappointed, Sara.

like "shaken bouquets" what an amazing image.

Loved this accordion poem. And now I miss Paris!! Only been there for 2 days in my life but it IS awesome.

Thanks for hosting, Joaquin.


Jannie Funster said...

Please excuse, Sarah -- with an "h"!


Sarah Hina said...

Thanks so much, Jannie!

You know, I've only spent about a week in Paris. I really wanted to go there when I was writing the book, but money and small children are great impediments. :) That said, I think there's something about longing that inspires writers more than anything else. If I couldn't go there, I sure wanted to create the experience in my head.

At any rate, I very much appreciate your kind words here.

Dave King said...

A rare treat, as indeed, your blog generally is. I have had a fairly quick scroll through, but shall be coming back for more!

Aniket said...

"Like a sleepy finger trailing through a quiet pool" is EXACTLY how it feels when I read her book (and other works)

And sorry Sarah, you're awesome and all, but I liked the Hina-ku more. :) When it comes to poetry, I change my loyalty. :P

On a serious note, I loved this poem. Not so much as I loved page 68 of your book (which is sooo awesomely written) but loved it, I did. Did I tell you that I have a huge crush on Daisy now?

Moanerplicity said...

@ Sarah: This was a wonderful introduction to your work as a wondrous word-weaver. I'm glad I had the opportunity to happen upon another polished poet who possess a memorable voice and a gift for painting images with such verve.

One Love.


joaquin carvel said...

hey all - thanks for dropping by this week, for your awesome support, and for helping celebrate the release "Plum Blossoms In Paris".

and a big thank you to sarah, for this beautiful poem and for letting me share it here (which, as an added bonus, let me slack off for a week. sweet lethargy!)

signed...bkm said...

Wow, great read Joaquin, thanks so much for posting here ...I will have to check our her other pieces...bkm