C. J. Prince

BLONDE NOIRE, C. J. PrinceRavens’ Song Press, Bellingham, WA, 24 pages, $5 paper.

I tried looking up Ravens’ Song Press, but the Internet didn’t offer anything. No matter. All you have to do to get your hands on this book is drive to Bellingham, drop in on almost any poetry reading, and ask for C. J. She’s probably there.

Well, after the Pandemic you can find her.

As you know if you have been following my blog for long, I have been writing a mystery novel. It is now 95,000 words and I’m going on 3 years on this project. Meanwhile, C. J. has written a mystery–a sort of an old-time riff on a film script of a movie you must have seen before / poetry mash up–in 24 very small pages. It has a detective, Mr. Colavita, and a “dame,” Blondie, who “warbles like a nightingale.” Here’s an excerpt:

I got money, Mr. Colavita. Please.

Blondie snaps open her beaded black purse.

See? I got a deposit here. 

She leans out of the booth,
and checks the front door.

I think I’m being followed. 

She’s a dish worth chasing
but murder’s another story.

Tomorrow morning (I know the date says it’s already tomorrow) I’ll have the last book for you. Thanks for reading along. If you ever want to borrow any of these books, look me up. 😉

C. J. Prince’s Fox

I am pleased to share with you this chapbook by a friend of mine, C. J. Prince. It was published (I want to say, produced, as it is a little piece of art), by Ravens’ Song Press in Bellingham. After my presentation on Emily Dickinson at the South Whatcom branch of the Skagit Co. Libraries in February, she handed me this book, autographed. It had slipped into a box with other papers and books, and only recently emerged. Clearly, it wanted to be read this month, while I was on this tangent.

Had I read the book by chance, without planning to blog about it, I kind of doubt I would have looked up Sobek. But now we know:

Sobek (also called Sebek, Sochet, Sobk, and Sobki), in Greek, Suchos (Σοῦχος) and from Latin Suchus, was an ancient Egyptian deity with a complex and fluid nature. He is associated with the Nile crocodile or the West African crocodile and is either represented in its form or as a human with a crocodile head.

And it seems almost a crime to include an entire poem here (the chapbook is very small), but it’s a short poem, and I have a feeling C. J. wouldn’t mind. Her poems are often political, and this one is no less so for being short. To learn more about C. J., visit her blog!


If Alligator brings you
a dead red rose,
know that things are amiss
in the waterways.
Be aware that Alligator
is protector
of flowing waters.
Turn off your faucet.
Send prayers.

C. J. Prince, Fox (Ravens’ Song Press, 2017)