Felino Soriano Tribute

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In MEMORIAM: Felino Soriano (1974 - 2018)

We will begin with Felino’s Artist Statement:

My writing stems from the perspective of positing a poetic language of immanent discovery. Often, the

burden of everyday language - one offering a sameness and lack of creative spontaneity - creates spectral

desensitization toward environment and the paradigms of interrogating what expands into beautiful

presentations. I am first, an interpreter of what surrounds me; music is foundational, and the found

rhythms inspire and dictate each poem’s identity and spatial configuration. I am interested in language as

longevity, in advocating for its limitless disposition toward revealing, - and in this revealing, I aim to

uncover/unconceal angles of what is unseen, the belly of a stone’s cool and undisturbed silence.

This statement, of course, discloses the depths of Felino’s poetic philosophy far better than I ever

could. Many times I tried to describe his poetry via reviews of his work, and each time I

floundered. Of course, Felino, ever the magnanimous soul, always appreciated my attempts. And

those numerous attempts were because I so admired Felino’s prolific, enigmatic and innovative

lyrical outpouring. Allow me to narrate, just briefly, how Felino and I “met” and how I came to

worship his words.

The fact is, we never did meet - at least in person. But we did have a virtual meeting. The year

was 2007. I had just started Clockwise Cat, and was anxious about whether anyone would

actually submit to my magazine - and if they did, whether their pieces would be any good. My

angst soon quelled when across my online transom came two poems by a mysterious figure

named Felino Soriano. He’d found out about my magazine via Duotrope. I was intrigued by his

name - so warmly exotic to my ears - and even more enthralled by his submitted pieces. Indeed, I

was euphoric at their quality, because it meant that a writer of great caliber appreciated my

magazine’s aesthetic - and it meant his work would magnetize similarly talented types..

I was also struck by Felino’s kindness in his correspondence. But our friendship did not

materialize just yet - indeed, it took some time to grow. Felino kept submitting, and I kept

praising and publishing his work. Gradually, we formed a writerly bond.

At first, we only talked about writing. And, until the very end - our last e-mail exchange was

early September 2018, about a month before he died - our main conversational topic was

writing. But as we got to know each other, Felino’s family and work life became topics as well.

He revered his daughter, Mia, as testified to on his Facebook page, where announcements of his

publications alternated with astoundingly adorable pictures of her - often in his loving embrace.

His family life was obviously the most important aspect of his life. His work as the director of

programs serving adults with developmental disabilities was also dear to his heart.

But Felino was fiercely guarded, and I respected that, so I never probed into his personal life. He

was more comfortable imparting his ideas about the poetic idiom that he had invented. His

thoughts flowed freely about authors he admired, about how the process of writing “elated” him,

and about how he aimed to forge a more authentic lyrical vernacular. Language, for him, was

vivid with possibilities, and while Felino was never overtly irreverent toward other (lesser)

scribes, undergirding his passionate tone about writing was an implicit disdain for how so many

writers allow themselves to be hemmed in by what they perceive to be the constraints of

language. In Felino’s mind, language clearly exists for us to manically manipulate.

He admired writers who ferociously endeavored to do just that. As such, he enthusiastically

collaborated with other poets, and he also founded and edited two journals that solicited

experimental writings. Felino ardently celebrated poets who brazenly flouted (imaginary)

linguistic boundaries. (And he was incredibly encouraging of my own writing, to the point where

I find it challenging to write poetry anymore.)

Of course, I am imposing my own limited ideas and diction onto Felino’s style. And even the use

of the word “style” unjustly pigeonholes Felino’s work, as though he consciously cultivated a

poetic fashion of sorts. What Felino did was largely unconscious; he dug deep into the core of

language because that’s what his soul impelled his brain to do. Felino may have seemed

excessively, almost oppressively, brainy, but at the end of the day, he was a deeply genuine

person, profoundly unpretentious.

Felino’s mini-manifesto about his work reads thusly: Felino A. Soriano collocates a fixating

fascination with various idioms of jazz and the interminable desire to assemble a dissimilar poetic


But to reduce him to being a “jazz poet” misses the point entirely. The ever-prolific Felino was a

grammatical Cubist, a spiritual cousin of e.e. cummings, his stylings an MC Escher drawing

unraveled into words. His work was ineffable, yet accessible, convoluted like the most cerebral

jazz, but as affecting as the catchiest swing tunes. Titles like “Of Languages the Rain Speaks,”

“Compatible Aspects of the Disparate Endeavor,” “Delineated Functions of Congregated

Constructs” are laboriously labyrinthian and endearingly lyrical at the same time. And to witness

his poetic evolution - as evidenced by the first poems published by Clockwise Cat compared to

the last poems published by Clockwise Cat, appearing the beginning and end of this issue - is to

witness greatness unfolding.

Felino died tragically early, and my heart aches for his friends, co-workers, and most especially,

his family - his mother, brother, wife, children. Their unimaginable grief weighs heavily.

Within these pages, we pay tribute to the most gifted poet of his generation. We honor Felino

Soriano with our words and our art. We were blessed to know him in whatever capacity we did,

and fortunate beyond fathom to be touched by his soaring poetic spirit. May his words continue

to resonate across the cosmos.

Felino Soriano’s Bio (from



Over 5,200 of my poems

have been accepted for

publication in over 600

online and print journals

since 2006, including


BlazeVOX, 3:AM,

H u m a n i m a l z L i t e r a r y

Journal, indefinite space,

Full of Crow, Otoliths,

Clockwise Cat, Unlikely 2.0,

and others. Also, I have 76

p r i n t a n d e l e c t r o n i c

collections o f p o e t r y

accepted for publication

since 2008,

including Searching for Full

Body Syllables: fragmented

olio (erbacce press) Between these Rhythms: Bone &

Ash (Fowlpox Press, 2016) , sparse anatomies of single

antecedents (gradient books, 2015), Forms, migrating

(Fowlpox Press, 2015), Of isolated limning (Fowlpox Press,

2014), Mathematics ( N o s t r o v i a ! P o e t r y , 2 0 1 4 ) ,

Espials ( Fowlpox Press, 2 0 1 4 ) P a t h o s | p a r t i c u l a r

invocation (Fowlpox Press, 2013) and Hinge Trio (La Alameda

Press, 2012).

Writers Paying Tribute to Felino:

Heath Brougher

Alicia Mathias

Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

Marianne Szlyk

Catfish McDaris

Alan Britt

Sheila Murphy

Eileen Tabios

Scott Thomas Outlar

Geoffrey Gatza

Heller Levinson

Karen Neuberg

Patricia Carragon

Annmarie Lockhart

Chani Zwibel

John Dorsey

Vernon Frazer

Lars Palm

Alan Corkish

Michael Annis

Rus Khomutoff

Virgil Kay

Constance Stadler

Diana C. Hoagland

Rich Follett

Alison Ross

Felino Interviews/Collaborations/Correspondence:

Clockwise Cat

Jamez Chang

First Literary Review - East (Editor Cindy Hochman)

David Reed

Nostrovia! Press (Editor Jeremiah Walton)

Ditch (Interviewer Kane X. Faucher)

Rus Khomutoff

Fowlpox Press

Virgil Kay

Clockwise Cat 2013 Author Interview: Felino

Soriano (Part I)

I am going to be frank here: Felino Soriano

is my favorite poet. Yeah, sure, there's

Arthur Rimbaud, there's Charles

Baudelaire, there's Emily Dickinson,

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Octavio Paz, there's

Pablo Neruda, e.e. cummings, Tristan

Tzara....all great poets, to be sure. And

among my all-time favorites.

But Felino Soriano, whose name alone

invokes poetry, holds a special place in my

poetry-heart, because his stuff is so damn

original. Indeed, I have been a fan since

nearly the beginning of his career in

verse. In 2007, right when I

started Clockwise Cat, I received a

submission from Felino. The submitted

verse caused me to exclaim out loud (to my cats, anyway), "Well, if this is the

caliber of submission I am getting, then I declare Clockwise Cat a resounding

success." I was flattered that someone of his scintillating skill and innovation had

submitted to my then-fledgling magazine, and thrilled that his poetry would help

introduce my inaugural issue: Issue One.

And ever since then, Clockwise Cat and Felino Soriano have had a symbiotic

relationship; Felino credits my encouragement of his verse as an element in his

success, and I credit Felino's regular contributions, dating back to that very first

issue, as a big part of Clockwise Cat's success. I think the Cat’s habitual featuring

of Felino's poetry has magnetized similarly talented poets to the magazine, and

as a result, Clockwise Cat has published some of the underground/small-press

greats. Just take a tour of our archives for proof.

If this sounds like sycophantic ramblings, so be it. But let the world be on alert

that I spurn the use of hyperbole EXCEPT when it's merited - in which case it's

not really hyperbole, is it? The point is, I am an unabashed idolater of Felino

Soriano’s verse.

In fact, to illustrate the magnitude of my adoration, I did Gmail search back to

when we first began corresponding. Of his first submitted poems, I wrote: "The

pieces display a complex and playful preoccupation with language that readers

are certain to find alluring."

In subsequent responses to his submissions, I described his writings as

"geometrical cubist poetry," wrote that I appreciated his poetry's "mathematical

complexity and experimentation," and lauded the "unusual and vivid complexity"

of his verse. I also acclaimed his style as "wonderfully labyrinthian."

So, you see, I've been a Felino fanatic all along.

On top of Felino being a vivid versifier, he's a charmingly kind individual. He’s a

passionate conversationalist about poetry, and also about other topics, such as

work, art, music and family, not to mention his magazine, Counterexample

Poetics, and press, Differentia Press. He is also supportive of my work and has

helped me get my first chapbook published.

In short, I think Felino Soriano is just grand. I have never met him in person, but

I hope to one day - though I must admit also to secretly hankering to preserve the

intriguing mystery of his persona. After all, he’s an introverted sort, a fact that is

slyly revealed in his intricate and cryptic lines, as well as in his staggering output

of poems. And as if it were not enough that he’s a prolific poet, fantastic friend,

and international man of mystery, Felino Soriano is the proud papa of amazingly

photogenic baby girl, whose regular appearances on Facebook delight family and

friends alike.

So, without further ado, I present Clockwise Cat’s long-overdue, first-ever

interview with Clockwise Cat’s Poet-in-Residence, Felino Soriano. This is Part I of

our interview. Part II, which will delve further into his poetic process, will appear

in the Spring/Summer Issue. (Please note that this interview is completely

unedited (though it is proofread!). I have not left a damn thing out, because the

man's words are that powerful.)


What is it in your personality that makes you so damn prolific poetically ? Are

you a loquacious person in real life, or is poetry the way you verbalize things? In

other words, are you more introverted and so poetry is the verbal outlet for you,

or are you extroverted and poetry is just the spillover from all that?

An easy answer is my fascination with language, —which truly is the

foundation. My life is quite structured in the habitual sense, yet collocated with

the desire to improvise and find alternate aggregations of time to find meaningful

moments of subjective elation. Writing exists within this spectrum of dual

identities. I purposely have created an existence of minimal participatory

directions. I have a section of life predicated on absolute joy and devotion, which

include my family and employment, as these entities are basis for imperative

aspects of my identity. Outside of familial and work responsibilities, I ensure to

visit with my three other passions, daily: jazz music, studying, writing.

In the context of your question—I will begin with writing (although jazz and

studying are paramount, reactive devices etched into the writing, too). To revisit

my prior my fascination with language, it does start there, but too, the

interaction with the creation of a poem causes the rarity of elation. I write

poetry daily, which is the causal formation of what others sometime consider

prolific. Since 2006, I’ve written circa 4,300 poems, and all are predicated on the

intuitive desire to create an uncommon language that illustrates my

environment, understanding, philosophy, vantage point, etc. Those that know me

on a more personal affirmation know I am very introverted; this translates into

shyness and has been my dispositional makeup since childhood. In the context of

writing, the artistic endeavor then, is the realized manifestation naturally

desiring to write, juxtaposed with the already innate ability to determine the

cultivated comfortableness of being able to stay within.

Language is my fascination, which transcends and translates into an

idiosyncratic creation of varied partitions of existence. Within the findings of

these partitions, language holds the hand of communication—and good

communication, in all aspects of my participatory desires—is what I attempt,

daily. The uncommon language of what I speak about earlier is etched into each

partition as well; I am not trying to create a language that is misunderstood—as

the understanding of what I am attempting is based on giving opportunity for my

language to be spoken, and understood. In the framework of my poetry, the

construct is intended to deliver differentia in the context of opening an altered

understanding of _____________. The process can be easily designed in the

explanation of wanting to write about something in plain sight, but describe the

something in a way that is uncommon, for the cliché is an enemy of good poetry.

Writing is joy, and this epicurean perspective is the focal examination into the


When did you know you wanted to write poetry for more serious reasons? Was

there are particular book/author that sparked your interest, or did you have this

void that yearned to be filled by an artistic pursuit...or was it something else


I wrote sporadically in high school—mostly for my then-girlfriends. On 1/1/2000,

a strong yen caused me to sit down and write. I hadn’t an idea though, of

structural familiarity with poetry, history, favorite poets, etc.; I simply wrote

based on the reactive asymmetry of thought and fixation. I’ll indicate though, my

writing didn’t become the aspectual, subjective clarity of my now-nisus, i.e.

passion, dedicatory, desire, until circa 2006. I should though, recreate

occurrences in accordance with your query of particular book/author: back in

2001, I was given a book by Octavio Paz called A Draft of Shadows, and this was

first installment of altered understanding for me into the importance of poetry. I

kept this book on my writing desk for months, and was fascinated with the

language’s music contained there—the swing/sway rhythm of Paz’s angular

images changed perceptual configurations, and I desired to improve.

To reiterate, my disposition has a naturalized function of silence; this silence

though is the tool I often use to find ways to observe. The eye and creative

thinking function as the hands, thus, the immanent focus I have on diligence has

played a major role in my output of poetry over the span of these years.

Which other authors, fiction and non-fiction, do you find kinship with besides

Paz? I too am a great lover of Paz and am reading Draft of Shadows again. Which

poets, living and dead, known and lesser known or even unknown, do you find

particular resonance with? And why?

My focal interest regarding reading prose is on philosophy. As I mentioned

earlier, my primary interest right now is on Heidegger’s work. Also, I am

currently reading The Democracy of Objects written by Levi R. Bryant. Engaging

with thinkers and their subjective styles of identifying functionalities of

experience is fascinating; the language shapes and assists in varied angles of

critical thinking.

After philosophy, poetry is what I read most. I identify with poets who create

their art through using an uncommon language—those that write for the desire to

interact with language, instead of writing for an audience, journal, or publication

opportunity. Some favorites include Duane Locke, Pablo Neruda, Heller Levinson,

Vernon Frazer, Will Alexander, Clifford Brooks, Matina Stamatakis, Marcia

Arrieta, and several others.

You are so fixated on jazz, which definitely reflects in your poetry. But, are there

any other musicians who inspire you, either as a poet or in your everyday life?

Music was integrated into my life during early childhood. My dad sang in a band

that performed a lot of covers of groups categorized in the funk, R&B, soul

categories. I would accompany him often to his practices, and sit for hours,

listening. Folks like Kool and the Gang, the Commodores, Rick James, Al Green,

the Jackson 5, Prince, Michael McDonald, Smokey Robinson, and others, assisted

me in developing a preference to these genres of music.

Until I began heavily interacting with jazz in 2000, my musical tastes were very

diverse—but were always predicated on popular music. This was largely due to

MTV—as when it began I was in early elementary school—and like for many

others, it translated music into a visual component that augmented the

foundation of sound. This translation altered perception of music, altered the

functionality of it. For many years I listened to more Rock influenced music (Van

Halen, for example) during late elementary school and junior high; for a few

years I played the drums as well. This time period was followed by an infatuation

with hip hop and soul music: A Tribe Called Quest, Leaders of the New School,

Mos Def (now Yasiin Bey), Common, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, and many others.

In terms of musical preferences now, outside of jazz, a simple definition is good

music, music that creates a physiological response, and has ability to alter mood

and creative affirmations. Some quick examples include Norah Jones, Jill Scott,

Anthony Hamilton, and Bilal. What needs to be said is that these artists and

others I enjoy are equipped with the ability to challenge predefined definitions

and identities—those definitions and identities that others incorporate into a false

truth of categorization.

Still, while jazz is the dominant musical form I most enjoy, I find elation with

other genres as well. What good jazz does well—despite the “purists” limited

perspective—is it disallows stagnancy. Currently, I am fascinated with the pianist

Robert Glasper. He has released several “traditional” jazz albums, patterned

within the trio formulation. He writes incredible original tunes, but also

interprets other genres as well, including Radiohead’s Everything is in its Right

Place, Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit (which is becoming a standard), and

others. In addition, his group The Robert Glasper Experiment is a dedication to

expanding boundaries of musical identities. One will hear an amalgamation of

disparate sounds, congregating to create a neoteric display of wonderful music.

When did you start becoming interested in jazz? And how?

In 2000, I had a coworker with an immense catalog of various musical

directions. I asked him to recommend me some jazz records; he quickly

suggested Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue and John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, both of

which I purchased soon following our conversation. I need to state in those days,

jazz was a strange language to me, as I mostly listened to popular music and

radio’s recycling of few recordings. Jazz though, immediately caused a

connection in me that functioned as fixation. About that time, PBS was

broadcasting Ken Burns’ documentary Jazz which I watched intensely. These

two events—the purchasing of Miles’ and Trane’s music/watching Jazz ignited a

desire to learn and listen, interact and enjoy.

What philosophers do you feel a particular kinship to? And why?

My current focus is on Martin Heidegger, —particularly his attention to poetry,

poetic language, and creative thinking. His devotion to the process of uncovering

amid interaction has caused a serial renewed devotion into finding innumerable

collocations of words or/and phrasing, leading to unexpected versions of

descriptive behavior; this identity has reinforced my own language, and has

enthralled the functionality of my writings. His quotation of “Language is the

house of the truth of Being.” is a prevalent example of directional function in the

context of language’s imperative functionality.

You are a lover of ekphrastic poetry. I too find ecstasy in writing such poems.

How did you start writing ekphrastic poetry? Which artists do you gravitate

toward, in particular?

Silence requires listening. Many tell me I listen well, and I’m appreciative. This

compliment contains the imperative of an aspectual guideline of conversation, —

which is the foundational ingredient to my vantage point of ekphrastic

poetry. The reactive premise beneath the guiding desire of interaction is what

first burgeons, well before the poem’s shape begins. As I’ve noted many times,

I’ve been attracted to paintings since childhood; growing up though in Santa

Maria—I wasn’t enveloped with many opportunities to engage with

art. Therefore, I’d delve into books containing paintings that pushed me into the

early significance of the relational camaraderie and preference toward the art


In 2009, I dedicated the entire year to composing a series of ekphrastic poetry I

calledPainters’ Exhalations. I started in early January and wrote the last poem

on 12/31/09; the series finished itself with 886 poems.

Favorites include Vincent Van Gogh, Kim Cogan and Linda Lynch. Many more

exist of course, but these names appeared, first.

My desire to engage with others’ artistic endeavors further expanded into the

2010, when I dedicated that year to a series I called Approbations a nearly 900-

poem series, interested in interpreting various jazz recordings. Jazz is

foundational to my process of writing, as it creates an altered perception and

thus, altered language of description. This series differed though from simply

having the music playing while writing, as I attempted to interpret each

recording, and allowed my reaction of sound to engage with each writing’s varied

fruition. I have a form of synesthesia that allows me to translate sound into color

—and therefore, the musical accompaniment engages with revealing an intuitive

desire to decorate a language with tonal affirmations. Favorites include Robert

Glasper, Jason Moran, Charles Lloyd, Christian Scott, Alice Coltrane, and many


So where did you grow up? What was life like in the Soriano family?

I grew up on the central coast of California in a city called Santa Maria. I have one

younger brother, and I can recall very specific family outings to Yosemite during

winter; we’d rent a cabin spend a few days among deer, snow, giant redwoods, and

connecting to the beautiful environment. Much of my youth, when not in school,

was typically spent outside with friends; we’d ride our bicycles around the

neighborhood and partake in other standard activities such as sports or video

games. One of the pivotal points in my life—which, in explanation, fundamentally

assisted in creating my current disposition—is my dad began teaching me martial

arts at age five. I trained until the age of 22, and received my black belt in Tae

Kwon Do at age 15. In addition to the physicality of the tradition, philosophy was

being introduced to me through the articulation of parallels: language/body, and

these together taught the spontaneity and the believability that the body’s

language must first listen to the calm resuscitating parables of the mind’s

elongated teachings. Applying the mind first toward environment, here, is valid,

in that action sans critical thinking can lead to destruction of purity’s

foundational intent.

Discuss your travels within and without the United States. How does region

(specifically the west coast) play a part in your poetry - either implicitly or


I rarely travel. The popular term of “homebody” applied very well to me. Home

is comfort in the finding of routine, habit. When these attributes are disrupted,

my functionality is unbalanced, regardless of “how nice” the hotel is, for

example. I have never travelled outside of the United States, but hope to

eventually do some travelling—particularly to the Philippines, Mexico and

Europe. I have family in various places throughout the country, most notably in

Hawaii and North Carolina. I have been to these states several times, but not in

several years. I want to eventually make it back to visit.

Region, in conjunction with availability of resources is foundational to my

poetry. The context here is regardless of where I am—if my computer is with me

(but also, other tools—pen, paper, surface, etc.) I will be able to create a poem

based on environment. Environment is predicated on what the embrace is—what

is available to interpret. Environment here is not the political definition, but the

proprietary objects asking to be interpreted. Because my poems are dually

inspired—environment/jazz music—the reactive behavior outlines outcome

through the connectivity to content of the imagination.

I have never met you, but you claim to have an introverted disposition, which

doesn't surprise me given your prolific poetic nature. I am more of an extroverted

nature, but I do have my introverted side, and it's being cultivated more and

more as I age. Discuss your thoughts regarding introversion and extroversion.

The poet Will Alexander said “For me, poetry must be initially nourished in

isolation. One must grow to seed in private until it burns its way into the world on

its own.” This echoes into my own particular position. I write alone—always

have. I have never taken a creative writing class or class on how to write poetry

—this is extraneous to me. Perhaps this brand of camaraderie dissolves prior to

reaching me, as my anatomy of poetic language is often mis:read/interpreted/

understood in the spectrum of contemporary poetry.

My instinctive disposition is encircled by introversion, as this breeds aliveness in

its allowance to engage with the various epicurean topics that bring such a

heightened brand of joy, in solitude. Like you, Alison, as I am getting older, my

introversion is more so an overwhelming identifying aspect than when I was

younger. Often, introversion is misunderstood and misidentified in the cultural

clutter of predefined labels and definitions; people incessantly attach labels to

others that attempt to fit a very narrow understanding into perspective—which is

absurd. Introversion is “diagnosed”, often, as habits toward the cultural

miswording of “anti-social”—again, absurd. This label has sometimes been

attempted to be pasted across my forehead, and I excitingly correct those and

this notion. This living inward, is a needed facet of rejuvenation to escape the

chaotic, the overly defined through too many identifying people.

I have a small writing room/library in my home that is a needed paradigm of

personal space; within it I have all of my books, computer, typewriter, music, art,

and photos of family, —all that is required. I ensure to interact with the space

daily, as again, it allows for participation in what is needed for me outside of work

and familial responsibilities.

I have various attributes to my disposition. When needed, a movement toward

extroversion is an easy transfer, depending on context; meaningful conversation

is a fulfilling way to engage; also, one of my roles at work is a trainer, as I teach

several different trainings for the agency, and I have a passion for

communicating information. Interaction also breeds elation paralleling the

introverted elation brought forth among immanent certainties of believing in

one’s own art.

Find out more about the

fascinating Felino Soriano at

his website: Of the poetry this

jazz portends

First FELINO Poems in Clockwise Cat

Published at www.clockwisecat.blogspot.com - Issue One, 2007

Vagabond's Vision #129

Days disperse

realigning horizontally

with tossed away targets,

fingers hunt for historic contacts


decapitation of several

Sundays through Saturdays,

designing an in memory of

calendar in which to

document delirium,

dramatic beyond

RIP incident pseudo-syndrome.

Vagabond's Vision #130

Solidarity combed the hair of absence,

reminding silence that habits fill the lungs of

unnatural habitats. This blue morning with

orange streaks of slanting light arrived delicately,

holding only small percentages of dampened leaves,

leftover from night's lengthy storm:

sentiments among a city whose longtime dryness

begged to feel fortunate through the emotional

gift of vigorous sensational saturation.

Vagabond's Vision #133

Inspiration blanketed materialism

warming eyes, shoving multiple glances

into becoming yearning for newness,

a woman wore many à la mode

man-catching colors, engraved

perfectly still.

Layers, ruler-straight spontaneity in

her the shape hitherto held another

lopsided language describing

morbid declaration explaining

expansion of prior unavailability.

Two poems

By Heath Brougher

To Experience Anew

(for Felino A. Soriano)

I stumbled into this party 20 years late

in search of poets WILLING to take a chance—

create something new with their work and by

happenstance I happened upon a poem which headspun my head

as it whorled in a different world causing me to interpret something

I thought I knew

on a wholly original level—

I looked into this poet

most astounding and eventually

mustered the strength

to send him a letter only to have my

mindblown yet again

when he responded that very day


encouraging me to keep moving forward with my work—this poet nice enough to

treat my nobodiness with respect

which eventually bloomed into friendship

his ear was precise

and this jazzman poet eventually said

he liked the asymmetrical rhythms of my own work—but, now, I, having been

at the party for 3 years, with time enough to explore the landscape of


realize that I had known the Ultimate One from the virtual beginning— seeing

even further that no one in the world has the flatout unimaginable ability to create

what he, Felino, has been creating— he of an instant access to a new form of


—a brilliance that HE and only HE is capable of bringing forth

to froth in verdant waves of newborn rays

upon the Intellect rereadable a trillion times over—

to continue to concoct new ways for ideas and emotions to be conveyed

with expression of a depth unrivalled realms unexplored

fallen more so into the slats of Blake and Co.

there was above that a stream of Humanity and Magnanimity which came to settle



all the others this facet of character flawlessness is the True him

the True Felino whose main gift is rivalled only

by his

Unfathomable Kindness.

Ode to Felino (written on a wobbly train coming back from New York)

One must KNOW there need be no screaming disillusionment.

On a cellular level, with Mind focused in proper direction,

the brain can begin to change certain cells within the body.

One can actually trick one’s brain into an explosion of Compassion.

Cells otherwise neutral can begin destabilizing

and morphing into spheres of glory.

If this is possible with Compassion one must KNOW

within the deepest pith of their Spirit

that this proves it MUST be possible in other facets,

all depending upon which way the brain is bent.

With a mind properly attuned, the brain

could therefore be used [tricked] into curing cancer cells.

The brain is used [tricked] by a tilt of thoughts,

by a Consciousness i n s t r u c t i n g neutral cells

to morph into cancer-fighting cells.

Though, I state again, this must be KNOWN [not hoped for or attempted to know

but KNOWN!]

by the practitioner in order for this change [trick] to occur.

I say to my friend you must KNOW this

in order to move forward properly with a healthiness blossoming though—

you must KNOW this

to the point in which it becomes a reality on a cellular level!!

Day in, day out—KNOW this and all the magnificent morphing shall begin

allowing your daughter’s voice to echo within your ears deep into her middle age!!

Felino Poetry


Made and

Published by

Heath Brougher

In Loving Memory

by Heath Brougher

Felino A. Soriano was, in my opinion, the greatest poet of my generation. Tragically, he left this

Earth far too early at age 44 on October 18th due to esophageal cancer. He left behind a cute-ascan-be

7-year old daughter and a beautiful wife. He also left behind some of the greatest poetry

ever written.

I was shocked when the lit world barely took notice of this. The lit world had just been shaken to

its core and it seemed like no one had been informed of it. Thankfully, Felino was a prolific poet

who had an instant access to a unique brilliance and published over 77 books in a 10 year period.

What we must do now is make sure his unique genius is never forgotten. Felino Soriano's work

more than deserves to be put in the textbooks right next to Whitman and Cummings. All of us

must strive to make this happen. We CANNOT let such brilliance fall through the cracks and be


On top of his astounding talent he was also one of the kindest people I have ever met in my life. I

remember when I arrived at the "lit world party" 20 years late (almost 5 years ago) with duffel

bags full of notebooks that needed to be typed up and submitted. Felino's journal Of/With: a

journal of immanent renditions was one of the first places to publish my work. Felino then took

the time to tell me he liked what I was doing and to submit to the next issue as well. He talked

with me on FB for almost an hour back before I had any kind of fancy bio. This is a quality you

will not find in other editors. I remember being amazed that such a genius would want to talk to

me for so long.

Felino Soriano was as magnanimous as they come and his work MUST be put in its rightful

place as it marks a major chapter in American/English literature. I still cry several times a day

when thinking about how Felino is no longer with us. We have his work, though. We will always

have his work and we must make sure it is remembered. I would like to thank Felino for the

brilliance and compassion that he gave us and tell him that we all miss him so very, very much.

This world is a better place because he lived in it.

Editor’s note: This first appeared on the back issue of Paragon Journal, in its issue

devoted to Felino.

Two poems

By Alicia Mathias

tequila sunrise

my heart let him know

i heard jazz in breezes


blue in green

leaves. he said

he understood

so many miss the music

of Earth—even as it sings

all around them.

they don’t even hear it

in sunsets—fading

typewriter ribbon

or even in sun



drinking too much star

light from the full

moon’s canteen

For Felino Soriano

he knew some refused

to hear Monk

and Motian run

through his blood. that Dizzy

and Miles purse words

into bloom

those embouchures

of sky—

the only ones

who ever understood

the music

in my heart’s trumpet case.

and when I’d met them

for the first time, we stayed

up-all-night, together.

scatting in liner notes, grooving

to bass lines—

playing hooky

now in their spirit


on a stage of agave

sky they strum

and sing



for those who hear

and see the sky

is a sheet

of music—eternal

breath in and out

like wild


drink till we are full.

weep into their shoulders.

laugh into corners

of their mouths. kiss

them into our wrists—

as sunrise nears

we curl up

with them

into song—falling





The Voice


my head

that I could

not put to words—


tonight as a train


its velvet

smoke of lavender


chugging jazz—



a kind

of blue



as folds

in a paper



the distance

from your world

and ours—



us with




No beginning

No end

Alicia writes:

When I first heard of Felino through Duane Locke, I was

immediately intrigued. He loved jazz and wrote experimental

poetry! This was gonna be good.Felino’s work is what I'd call

"groovy." In jazz-speak, groovy refers to music that swings, yet is

tight, funkafied and "in the pocket." Yet it breathes, moves and

discovers! Even in it's perfectionism, it feels comfortable, loose as

an oversized shirt with a light warm breeze, making it billow. As if

it's chillin', and hangin' with the band, just winging it,

improvising--in love with the way all the instruments create such

a mood, a vibe… I found Felino's creativity to be similar, with an

intellect so highly evolved, so open to discovery, and to the

experimentation of form, content, and the melding of different

styles! I began reading of/with and would savor his poems, which

for me, were always a delight due to his voice, music and freedom

of expression. His work challenged me to become a better reader

and thus, a better writer.We never met in person, but much like

one may never have met a jazz great, such as Miles Davis, Dizzy or

Coltrane, you still connect with them through their work, and

consider them a friend. In that spirit, descansa bien, mi maestro,

mi amigo.

Two poems

By Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

Quiet Night with Quiet Stars

A night splatter

of dizzy stars,

and Gillespie


his ballooning

cheeks – medically


e -

horn blasting


On quiet nights

with quiet stars

Miles Davis

and John Coltrane

blow the roof off

with celestial horns.

In the writing room


takes it all in

and shares with us

his philosophy

and love of jazz


Take the dragon

and the fly

and expand/expound.

Decapitate structure,

deviate and elevate.

Breathe fire

on the page

and let it burn

to a crisp.

See what is not there

if you care.


into rarified space.

Find the music

and make no mistake

without it

we suffer

without it

there is no meaning in life.

Luis writes:

It is so disheartening to see how this disease takes good people away from their families and from those people

they love and who love them. It is so upsetting that someone who loves poetry and jazz and is able to express

that love through words will no longer be able to do that anymore. Felino’s words remain alive in the work he

left behind. Online there are so many poems and in print there are so many poems that will live on.

Two poems by Marianne Szlyk

Listening to Duke Ellington's "Rockin in Rhythm"

For Felino A. Soriano

In those days, the past was close

enough to touch as I watched

from the bay window of the former

hotel. I knew signs from 1949

were still up in the back alley.

I could read about the Valentine’s Day

blizzard on microfilm. Turning the crank

of the reel, I could imagine snow

falling silently, steadily on empty streets.

Coal dust lingered in the basement.

In these days, listening to YouTube,

I realize the past is different

from what I remembered. The song is

not quite the same. Horns breeze

in, music from the summer dance hall

at Dorothy Pond or Catalina Island,

yet more places we'll never go,

places we've never been.

Listening to Robert Glasper

The last song

escapes your laptop

and rises just above your head.

A black man’s voice fuzzes,

then disappears around

the brilliant corners.

With a flick of a switch,

the drum crisps.

The voice reappears.

Glasper remembers Nirvana’s song.

You don’t.

Other music blasted out

of the clothing stores

on Jamaica Ave. in Queens.

The hoop-earring girls

in neon leggings and high-tops

and lemon raspberry perfume

danced down the sidewalks

to “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless).”

They were singing along with her

la da dee la dah dah.

Dressed for success

at your temp job,

you wanted to dance, too.

You did not.

Now you do.

Marianne writes:

I first met Felino A. Soriano in 2014 through editor and publisher Amy Huffman.

Having just started The Song Is…, my blog-zine for poetry and prose inspired by jazz, I

asked Amy if she knew of any poets who would be interested in sending work to me.

She immediately thought of Felino who soon submitted “toward smile and its

fundamental creation,” a poem for the trumpet player Takuya Kuroda, and

“introverted dance and its electronic configuration,” a poem for pianist and composer

Kris Bowers. These intriguing, challenging poems were the first of a number of his

poems that I published over the next few years. I especially liked that Felino

celebrated young jazz musicians like Kuroda, Bowers, Jason Moran, and Robert

Glasper, the brilliant ones who are going to bring the music into the future.

More importantly, though, Felino was a dynamic poet and a gracious editor. (Full

disclosure: he included some of my poems in the glorious of/with. Furthermore, he

found a home for my review of Yusef Komunyakaa’s Testimony, a meditation on Charlie

Parker and his music.). I was always in awe of how prolific Felino was and how his

work evolved throughout his all-too-short lifetime, culminating in his poems that

express his love for his family. I have particularly fond memories of reading his

collected poems to trace his poetic evolution, and every so often I dip into his Of

Collocated Rhythms, poems inspired by Roy Hargrove, Sun Ra, Alice Coltrane, and

many other artists whom other poets do not celebrate as often. Whenever my husband

and I go to a concert by a particularly innovative artist like Terence Blanchard or a

new artist like Elijah Jamal Balbed, I wonder what Felino would have made of the

music, and I regret the poems that will never be written—at least not in our world.

Adios Compadre Felino

By Catfish McDaris

Evoke the memories of tomorrow

the experiment, bad cop, worse cop

grooving to the big girl body, time is

fleeting and rented with sweat and blood

Cancer is a death horse rusting the metal

that holds you together, it asks the burning

question, how could I have lived better,

would I do things different for my loves

A smiling shark named Cancer is sitting at

a whiskey stained piano, it’s smoking a rum

crook cigar that smells nasty, the piano is out

of tune, people are dressed in their Sunday

Finest trying to dance and they are all waiting

with respect, a jazzy dirge follows your

procession down the street, I spoke of your

beautiful words about jazz, tip-toeing across

A stream on slippery rocks, goodbye old

friend, people are welcoming below the border,

my lady and I will live in a valley with vanilla,

and coffee, on the mountain I’ll look for you.

43 (from Oscillating Echoes)

By Felino Soriano

I held a lyric of wind’s piano

in the good hand of my promise

to observe and engage

with water’s lack of

dimensional shadow

a design of gradation, gray

a dangling of notion

a listening pivot

toward body’s softened

redemption of musical


Editor Cindy Hochman writes:

This beautiful poem of Felino's appeared in the March 2016 issue of FIRST

LITERARY REVIEW-EAST. Felino was a frequent contributor to FIRST

LITERARY REVIEW-EAST. I was always excited when he submitted

because I knew the poetry would be breathtakingly beautiful. What a gentle

soul. Rest in peace, dear Felino - you are loved.


For Felino Soriano

By Alan Britt

I don’t believe we pay proper homage

to death.

Though I should, I don’t.

Death whose eyes cling to the velvet thighs

of a bumbler

entering a white carnation’s grieving mouth.

Death, naturally, is a part of life.

But some days death to me is a banker

hiding my mortgage in the darkness

of his worsted wool pocket.

The lining of his suit reminds me

of satin wallpaper peeled from a coffin.

Ah, death, why should I worry? I couldn’t die

today even if I stumbled beneath the A train.

Today my body is twisted around the brass gears

of a kitchen wall clock—this much I can tell you

as I loiter the rat-infested alley of this poem—

some days you just can’t die!

Certain days on the hour a vulture leaps

from my clock, its ragged shoulders hunched,

cape trailing the musty air, bruised light

leaking through its squinty eyes.

When I sleep, its scented buzz enters my snore

as it observes my disenchanted brain telling me

I’m tardy with a monthly payment—& seems

like I’m always late with appointments for prayer.

I’m late for this & that; I disregard conventional

judgement, bored as I am with protocol,

which doesn’t place me in good stead

with my intimate friend, death.

At this very moment, before the proper stroke

of a pompous hour, in the middle of the tiny inhale

of an unfinished second, unperturbed, casual

as any scavenger & slightly stooped, death lifts

its ashen wing to paint a pallid shadow

across the tired length of my repossessed soul.

Apparently, death has a sense of humor like when it

tosses the unborn into the same wooden cart

as old women who miscarried light-years ago,

then upon them proceeds to dump software executives

whose hearts expired while vacationing in Bermuda.

Death sometimes expresses good nature, though,

& even forgives the occasional mock,

what with so many blasphemous words that orbit

its hooked beak like rotten mango flies.

But, alas, how unfortunate for you & me

that death also has the memory of an elephant

& takes keen interest in the slightest vibration

from each brass spring coiled inside every clock

in our tightly wound universe.

Alan writes:

Looking back on the many poems of mine that Felino published in his Of/with: journal of

immanent renditions (plus Sugar Mule), I came across a poem he liked that seems most

appropriate to dedicate to Felino. That poem is called “Death Fandango,” and I attach it for

you. It did appear in Felino’s Of/with: journal of immanent renditions (fall 2015 issue). It’s sad

going back to see so many connections to Felino. In July of 2016 I sent at his request a

handful of poems to Felino. Shortly afterwards, he sent out the notice to all of us, I’m sure,

that due to health concerns he would not be completing the next issue of Of/with: journal of

immanent renditions. Knowing how enthusiastic Felino was about his poetry life, I feared that

his health concern had to be serious. We now know just how advanced his cancer was at that


One poem by Sheila E. Murphy

Preface: I admired Felino Soriano’s spirit and his life, always sensing from his work a presence that

revealed a refined spirit living deeply and honoring poetry as a constant commitment. He is deeply missed

and deeply here.


for Felino Soriano

The difference between travel

and arrival is desire.

Calculate the distance

from your quiet to this place

where I have invested a full hour

erasing years of dross

that I might hear you.

How apart from words to recognize your voice?

Depth unmeasured tempts perception

of a difference

between this and not this.

Trust the question.

Answer what is infinite as replication

sorts what we admire,



to reach a state of grace

between the lines aspiring to transcendence.

One poem by Eileen R. Tabios

Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: Felino’s Music of Broken Math

—for Felino A. Soriano

Like a wave breaking on a rock, giving up

its shape in a gesture which expresses that shape

Rosmarie’s “quest for agitation” leads to heart

and pulse points easing until she becomes

a Buddha face, a moment of gold in a dim corner

of a winter garden. I recall mathematics broken

but preserved by the poet Felino Soriano—thought

becomes embodied as his face earnest before

a microphone, behind him a saxophonist elongating

a note that halts lovers street blocks away so they

can listen, and in the air overhead his poetry books

shimmying their pages as they circle to form a halo

then free-

floating away to dance with birds and floating leaves

which fell on purpose to land on his shoulders

Watching Felino, a girl twirls black tresses and red

dress as her smile sparkles glee. Join me! Papa

Felino encourages his daughter and pulls Mia up

onto the stage. We all come along, too. We join him:

Felino’s shape a music with symphonic accompaniment

Editor’s note: This poem was originally published by BlazeVOX, Spring 2018

Eileen writes:

Felino and I met as members of a particular tribe: poet-editors. He asked for some of my

poems. I asked for some of his poems. In the beginning, we didn’t know that neither of us had to

ask; we would have given freely just to share. For me, Felino embodied poetry as the jazz of

community - the here and there, the above and below, the dark and light, the back and forth…

and then more back and forth. Such are the notes of engagement, and I appreciated his poetics

of engagement. As such, he’s a big loss to the poetry world. But he’s more than loss. For his

poems survive and exist. His music does not end.

One poem by Scott Thomas Outlar

For Felino

Part I

The light


from a brilliant mind


with star-sent silhouettes

of jazzy syllables

that splish-splash


the canvass

of every heart

they touch

We all dance

to the same tune

from the source

but some souls

are blessed with a gift

of translating the music

into a language

with rhythms

all their own.

So we will sing

in their honor

with our verses

and pay respect

to a creative style

that’s so smooth

it’s almost shameful

to try and emulate

in this form.

Part II

E-mail Exchange

Between Jamez Chang

and Felino Soriano

Jamez writes:

The email exchange below is when Felino A. Soriano accepted me as his co-editor [of

Counterexample Poetics] (out of the blue!) back in 2013. It's a real sweet exchange, full

of humor, humility, mutual respect, and fun! I think it gives another glimpse of Felino's

generosity and humanity, and even sheds light on his aesthetic sensibility. Also, it kind of

reads like a job interview!

From: Felino A. Soriano

Date: Sun, May 26, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Subject: Re: Co-editor Request

To: Jamez Chang


Things are well, man; the weekend

thus far has been good and


I hope for you, as well.


One of the aspects I truly enjoy

about the small press, from my

perspective, is that camaraderie

exists frequently: encouragement,

collaboration, etc. You epitomize all of that. :):

I founded the journal in 2009; a paradox of my mind’s workings often incorporates two

very distinct paths of movement: improvisation (quick-thinking) and procrastination (but

HERE, not in the fashionable negative connotation, but in the aspectual figuration

of waiting amid critical thought). The journal actually has a foundation of both of these

directions. In 2008, I had a hankering to start a journal; I had about 2,000 poems

published and a few chapbooks; my first desire was always to devote the journal to

showcasing work that exhibited anti- à la mode tendencies, and in some form, saw the

journal as a way to give back in the formulation of publishing others’ works. Also, I

wanted to make a place to showcase many of my favorite artists, hence the featured

artist section. This was my first experience in creating a journal, and therefore, in irony, I

followed what was typical and used a very basic template for the site. However, the

journal’s gone through varied identities, and I devoted hours to reading about html and

site creation, and finally, the journal’s current reflection is one I’m happy with and has

been in place for a while.

Also, my original intention was to only publish poetry, hence counterexample poetics; in

looking into ideas for the name, I found counterexample to represent my philosophy of

looking at everydayness as it surrounds language in my own writings, and as to what I

wanted for the journal’s specific identity. However, (and here is where the improvisation

in my thinking examples) I quickly altered and began accepting photos, paintings, etc.,

following various queries from folks interested in contributing. Soon, interviews and

book reviews followed, too.

Anyhow, man, that’s a truncated version hiding amid the detailed entities I refuse to bore

you with!

Now, your query is interesting; I honestly never had a hankering to publish flash fiction,

although I do enjoy reading it (some of it) - and this is because, outside that horrid piece I

shared with you some weeks back, - I don’t write it. I read your email last night, but

wanted to think/sleeponit/think again, prior to my answer:

YES (that’s bolded, italicized and underlined, by the way).

I would be honored to coedit the journal with you. You need to know upfront, though, this

is a non-paying gig; if you’re okay with that, then we can continue. I make zero money

myself. I use blogger for the platform, and the domain name costs me $10.00 a year - not

bad. Blogger/Google offers a lot by way of site management, most of which I don’t

use. I will be responsible for the monetary upkeep of it. What I can do is set you up with

an email address; let me know what you want the ______ to be preluding

@counterxamplepoetics.com. If we move forward, too, I’ll set up the submittable end,

and will need to create a separate section for flash fiction submissions to be emailed

directly to you. Can you create the guidelines for what it is you want and email them to


Another side note, your statement earlier: “…and am a networking machine”. How do

you do that? I’m painfully incapable of networking. Duane Locke wrote a brilliant

introduction to my book, Intentions of Aligned Demarcations, and in it states: “Soriano is

the sincere solitary poet who is not endowed with a Madison Avenue sensibility, which is

fortunate for poetry, but unfortunate for his becoming a public and popular icon.” How

would you promote the site?

Anyhow, Jamez, these are early thoughts, with more to come. What are your

reciprocating thoughts?

Thank you for your kindness, genuine words, and desire to enhance the journal.

Happy Sunday,


From: "Jamez Chang"

To: "Felino A. Soriano"

Sent: Saturday, May 25, 2013 10:33:54 AM

Subject: Co-editor Request

Hi Felino,

Hope your Memorial Day Weekend is off to a great start.

Let me preface by saying, if you say no to this idea, I completely understand and I'll be

fine. But I think the idea would work (we could make it work?), and I'd love to hear your

thoughts: Would you be willing to expand Counterexample Poetics and pick up a coeditor?

I love flash fiction, experimental prose (these two examples

by Gardner and Czyzniejewski represent styles I admire) and was wondering if you'd be

open to having a Counterexample Flash section (do I hear branding?) within the journal.

In other words, you could take me on as the Prose Editor, and I would be willing to read

all flash-fiction submissions with the utmost diligence.

I really believe we could create an incredible team and fill a niche that I've noticed in the

market: SmokeLong Quarterly is the undisputed heavy weight of flash (1,000 words or

less; weekly flash; published online as a quarterly) and Randall Brown's Journal of

Compressed Arts tries to be more experimental, but with a word limit of 600; 6 month

wait b/w rejected submissions; and several intermittent closed reading periods. Wouldn't

it be great to establish Counterexample Poetics as the experimental cutting edge of flash

prose artistry? I believe that can happen. I love your journal and believe I can enhance/

complement its strengths, while bringing another dimension to link East and West coasts.

I've got a decent eye, work incredibly well with deadlines (editing/reading/writing

obligations), and am a networking machine.

I'm also a lawyer, so that might help... If you're open to this collaboration, I know in my

gut it will succeed! But most of all, my greatest strength is that of a loyal, supportive

friend (the heart-gut matrix), and I would do everything in my power to bring creativity,

innovation, and positive vibes in the direction of your journal. I just think we'd make a

great team–in silence, in thunder, West to East Coast–so would love to hear your

thoughts. :)

Always with respect,


Felino Soriano Tribute Note

By Geoffrey Gatza, Editor & Publisher

BlazeVOX [ books ]

What a sadness it is to consider living in a world without Felino Soriano. I had the

pleasure of knowing him as a fellow poet for the past twelve years. As his publisher,

BlazeVOX published many of his projects, the first being in 2007. In the beginning of

last year we planned on publishing his book, “a wearing of light.” When he was

diagnosed with stage-four cancer, we talked about hope and the optimism of treatments

and how we would pick up this book as soon as he was healthy enough to do so.

His writings were very cool, taking the vantage point of jazz music as a foundational

starting point. Many of his poems were predicated on personal viewpoints through living

with depression; the thematic light takes its form through verbal angles and familial

aggregations: being a husband, dad, granddad, poet, etc. Light is both a symptom as well

as an aspect of healing in his work. And now, sadly that light has been diminished, but his

writing endures. I am glad that Felino Soriano existed, I am glad to have known Felino

Soriano and I am glad to have been a fellow poet with Felino Soriano. I will miss him


From Quintet Dialogues: Translating Introspection

By Felino Soriano and David Reed


—after David Allen Reed

penetration of slither of symbol of

porous decisions the

the build of its

identical name and

blur of language is

camaraderie with thrust and hands of devoted asymmetry—






≡ supplementation curing the


escape the hand as time a rhythm serenade sequential episodic currents

curating eyes toward the introverted patterns of \ the i ≥ silence of those

silencers’ unaware nuances of judgme(a)nt to belittle: this is the fortune

wanderers inherit from hands that caress and contain praise from prose and

prayer’s nomadic stationary devotion to bettering the behavior of continuous

hours of sealing belief the body needn’t extravagance exterior to its own reason

and belong-sing whisper to encourage and walk/on/in:to centering of prism’s

delicate swirl of how the embrace earns worth and burst of asterisks’ calling to

the watchers’ emblem to clean and clarify


orchestras of innovative timelines

detailing determined philosophies: the

form is essence and temporal

entwined and multiplied

within the multilingual fascination used to delve and

encourage mantras and verbal incisions resting into pulse and plural of action

Drums by David Allen Reed

Piano by David Allen


—for David Allen Reed

Tone on ear—

on turn of

smile a

rhythm hears

into open


what is now are

angled fractions,

flamed in contoured

contexts, perception: inward,

intuition paradigms

gregarious in way

and framing

what follows, what

finds in eventual

articulation. This

is an hour in where

we’ve found a

whole name intuition

a burn of

bone to become

strength’s version

of story and the

prose containing



Said of what the keys

did assured

life as does

the naming of

children, plural


triumph of sound,

of what belief does

when verbs respond

to the tongue-in/on

music replying toward


than moment than more a prophetic

insight of numbers

numbing, carving meaning’s multilingual



calm of a moment’s

decisive philosophical

advance… we

without hum is

we into a Sunday’s

all-night rendition of

achromatic speech

in how the hands


reinvented basic human highlights,

with music as

notion as window

toward range and

solitary eruption—


what the eye does

well is what the

mouth renames

with interpretation’s


experiment… the


of color transitions

expanse of the

miracle’s devoted


Exterior to the

crawls is what

inserts sound

of Song and


motivation for

equal modulation.

╠ ╣ ╠ ╣

We’ve eyes, their

movement a trilogy

all within what

movement portends,

of motion’s strength and growth

of the hands’ diligent

position… what

wears light is how

the left hand hears

a radical right hand’s analyzed

location. The

crawl is only

light when the faith

of incorporating





in time oscillates

using breath as bridge to gauge fluidity’s

voice within

truant causations

toward implementing whole


╠ ╣ ╠ ╣


angular in light


motivated fathoms.

What we’ve held

does not fully

rotate away from us.



pivot sound-in/off

of an echo’s sly



Editor’s Note: The book, Quintet Dialogues: Translating Introspection, is in

the process of seeking a publisher.

David writes:

The MO of Felino’s and my collaboration was for me to process the

musical essence of each instrument visually into artwork, then send the

image to Felino for him to write a poem from the artwork in turn -

translated by degrees of separation from the music. . . but it's safe to say

on that note (no pun intended) the inspiration was mutual. Although to

be clear, it was the art, then the writing in response to it. It was a

fascinating process, begun by hours of listening! He in effect illustrated

my artwork - with words. They were compositions by proxy, begun by the

process of us both listening to studying and understanding the nuances of

each instrument in a jazz quintet.

They were not meant to be mutually inspired illustrations of one another,

as though adjunct, but interconnected attempts at finding a universal

language between multiple art forms; we would find it by exploring an

idea through one form, then another, and finally bring it all together -

comparable to dialogue in jazz. It was synaesthetic revolution in thought,

and a scientific method of jazz. Our emphasis on the collaborative

dialogical aspect of jazz made it equal part collaboration between Felino

and me.

Our process and ideas and their relation to jazz are discussed more fully

in the philosophic "dialogue" interview portion of the book. It cannot be

emphasized enough how hard Felino worked, and how much this book

meant to him during a difficult time. Following his miraculous remission,

Felino reached out to say that the prospects of Quintet Dialogues was his

reason for his getting better and that he regarded “Quintet Dialogues:

Translating Introspection” as his most important work, and thus his

reason for living.

One poem by Heller Levinson

from approbation this cherokee

(for Felino Soriano

the Bee Hive Chicago November 7, 1955

{Brownie Sonny Richie Max

Leo Nick Chris George}

colossi collected

colossi encoding

coil moil sputstrut splutter-spat-splatter musicology mixmashery shapers

from sea to shining



redemption warrants stamped embark-insatiables grate-griddlegridgridding outlaw

embraceables sweet singers from the swamp land

champions charging

sheer Charge

in extremis

Max propulse equine gallop lunging a battery battering peppering trans-percussional

percuss girding Brownie winged sailing fat crinoline crenalate lightalighting aloft litting




cres - cen - doing

://: NYC September 9, 2010 listening

to a tune that is not a tune a tune beyond the scope of tune it is an unlike an unlike

anything musicians playing unlike themselves hearing unlike any heard

alterity delcares possi bility as the faith in waiting

imagine weather that joins to no

‘weather system’ a climate of perpetual surprise ://:

Max cyclonic a blistering blither zither jumble jubilee go danggangdoodle pop

snapboom snareslinging cymbalillogicalroastfestering wunderbar slam ceremonial crash

crushcrush croonery splash sprung spring-ing ing

Leo hurls curl catch quicksilver-sonority-soars

volts jeweled perambulatories

sequinsequester relish initiates the payday thruway dribbling down-home-divinity

perspirative dervish beads farms of knavery hives cluster size clove clive cobbling

frivolity in the noteyard skiing through the boatyard drizzling

intersectingsecessionals slip slide daven dive

how much of





otherly absorption

Max cyclonic Brown blizzardry Leo burl pearls

-- -- fumarolic rotational floats par


Sonny solemn on relay slick kick-courses tuck drive combustible cumulous accrual

agglutinate accumulate scrivening scribe scrambler seraglio commander

pronounces the land of no idle

Max supracessional battering battery con-cuss-ing ramadam powwow celestials


larkspur luxuriate

carom careen catachism cataclysm canon-izations

Brownie giddyup giddy go-man drive rostrum delerials pound downunder serials sessile

popping serum supplier confronts no denyer

paramount aliva


colonies cummerbund comeuppance

camel heather neck lather featherlyful

shelving voluptuosity volumes

slickened cobblestone

circumferences liquified


move on

Heller writes:

"from approbation this cherokee" was dedicated to Felino and he was able

to enjoy it. It appeared in WRACK LARIAT (Black Widow Press), page

149. I've been reading through his dedications to me in the various books

he gifted me, sharing this one:


Please accept this gift in


& in friendship.

Your genius & kindness




with whole inspiration

& I

thank you,


One poem by Karen Neuberg

within the motion of time

--in tribute to Felino A Soriano

It’s all true

though it appears

to proceed dislocated

from the linear.

Such brave marches across

marsh & magnet, weaving

migrating patterns

into murmurations

into the ear into measures

of what matters within matters

exterior, or interior,

or both

so that I want

to spread my hands across

the page of words as if touching

will allow me another way

to take them into me, into

that place in me where they will turn,

burn from themselves and float

beside my own, speaking

blazing encouraging fires

emanating from the continuous

now & ever.

Karen writes:

I'd been reacquainting myself with some of Felino's poetry and remembering

how much I like it. This is a poem I wrote in response to the power and

innovation of his poetry.

Dust in the Wind by Patricia Carragon

Dust in the wind/All they are is dust in the wind—(Kerry Livgren, sung by Kansas)

the recession double-dipped

(into depression)


to her nervous breakdown

she lost her job

(couldn’t pay the rent

or buy the meds for herself and her cat)

her 401k dwindled

(to dust)

her flute played

an old kansas tune

(for a windfall inside her cup)

her smile

a broken keyboard

her cat

purred in pain


(she disappeared into the earth and sky)

by her filthy coat

(a passing wind closed her cat’s eyes)

a homeless man

raised his hands

Patricia writes:

(recited words)

—for dust thou art—and unto dust shalt thou return—

Jazz music and other genres are paintings born from sound, and like Felino Soriano, I interpret my emotional

responses with poetry.

Felino Soriano Interview with

Nostrovia! Press

MAY 1ST, 2014


"Soriano is seriously

concerned, deeply

dedicated and devoted, to

creating a genuine and

authentic poetry, a poetry

that expresses an

emotional apprehension

of reality that is always

elusive, and never

graspable through a clear,

distinct, transparent


-Duane Locke

Nostrovia!: Your influences are varied and consistent. Would you elaborate on how

each affect your writing?

Felino Soriano: Simply, my two primary influences (with various secondary influences

following) are jazz and philosophy. I study both intently, daily, and use both spectrums of

those fields’ languages as guidance to create my own poetic language.

N!: Why Jazz?

FS: Jazz alters my perceptual ability; thus, I listen when writing, as this assists in

altering my poetic language. I also enjoy the improvisation etched into jazz, the “on the

spot” creations of live shows. I attempt to mimic that aspect in my writing, thus, outside

of correcting spelling errors, I don’t edit any of my poems.

N!: Favorite Jazz artists?

FS: This will be a truncated list, as the entire list would be rather large:

• Robert Glasper

• Jason Moran

• Christian Scott

• Kris Bowers

• Thelonious Monk

• Miles Davis

• John Coltrane

• Jamire Williams

• Alice Coltrane

• Charles Mingus

• Vijay Iyer

• Geri Allen

• Fred Hersch

• Charles Lloyd

• Paul Motian

• Matthew Shipp

• Cecil Taylor

Circular language by Felino Soriano

N!: Your favorite album(s)?

FA: Again, a truncated list:

• "In My Element" – Robert Glasper Trio

• "Facing Left" – Jason Moran

• "Out to Lunch!" – Eric Dolphy

• "No Beginning No End" – José James

• "Conflict of a Man" – Erimaj

• "Kind of Blue" – Miles Davis

• "A Love Supreme" – John Coltrane

• "Yesterday You Said Tomorrow" – Christian Scott

• "19 (Solo) Compositions" – Anthony Braxton

• "Unit Structures" – Cecil Taylor

• "Mirror" – Charles Lloyd Quartet

• "Cover Art" – NEXT Collective

N!: Your favorite Jazz record?

FA: I’ll list the record I’ve listened to most frequently, which also happens to be a

rather recent recording:

• F.T.B. – from Robert Glasper Trio’s album "In My Element"

N!: Why philosophy?

FA: Philosophy broadens understanding of an existential purpose. It provides

direction into thought, and causes a desire to enhance the ability to think outside of

mainstream formulas.

N!: Among philosophers, who would you say have been kicking into your interest?

FA: The current philosophers I read most often:

Martin Heidegger, Friedrich Nietzsche, Graham Harman, Jacques Derrida

FA: What does language provide in the context of your poetic endeavors?

N!: With each poem I desire to use an uncommon poetic language, one that is sans

cliché yet can discuss and create my interpretation of environment’s varied appositions.

I have a strong fascination with language which is paralleled by a conviction that it truly

is limitless.

N!: Where do you write?

FA: I have a dedicated writing room/study in my home that I’ve been using for several

years. I will sometimes write elsewhere in the house, but the majority of my poems are

written in my writing room.

N!: Can you explain your environment when writing?

FA: My room is small, but has wall-long bookshelves aligning one of the walls. This

houses my books, stereo, jazz collection, family photos, and other collections. My

writing desk contains my computer and typewriter and other necessary tools for writing.

N!: What your most common tools for recording your writing?

FA: I sometimes use a pen and paper, —also my typewriter or cell phone. The majority

of poems though, are written using my computer.

N!: You’ve shared several ekphrastic poems. What intrigues you about this form of


FA: Ekphrasis provides opportunity to converse with another’s artistic endeavor. It is

my favorite mode to compose a poem, as it’s causal to removing any preconceived

ideas about a poem’s construction, and imposes the need to look at or listen to what

invites interpretation.

N!: Outside of your writing, what does life include?

FA: My life is quite structured and habitual. This is purposeful, as what I am involved

in takes time and devotion and a desire in me to succeed. Outside of writing,

studying and listening to jazz music, I have a family, and am a director of supported

living and independent living programs that provide supports to adults with

developmental disabilities. These qualities make up a large part of my identity and

created nisus on a daily basis.

N!: Elaborate on what you hope to complete in 2014.

FA: I am currently working on a collection called Confirmations. Also, I am planning on

a collaborative collection with another poet. I have a few collections that I have

submitted and am awaiting decision for the publishers, and I have a few other

collections forthcoming later this year. Along with Jamez Chang, my literary journal will

continue called Counterexample Poetics.

Editor’s Note: This interview was reprinted with permission.

inward electric by Felino A. Soriano

Three poems by Felino Soriano

First Published in vox poetica

I first read Felino Soriano’s poetry in 2010. What I noticed was its joyfulness, the life

that breathed in its musicality. Felino understood percussion, the rhythm of language,

the way meaning and sound inform one another. He used words to reinvent narrative,

building a poem from the ground up, one phoneme at a time, and he trusted readers

to process his tales via their own associations with vowels and consonants. I hear his

poems as whispers, suggestions of stories. He was a master of wordplay with a

musician’s ear. As prolific as he was, he only had enough time to give us a taste of his

talents. I will miss his distinctive voice. Categories, which appeared at vox poetica in

January of 2011, is a classic Felino Soriano poem.

—Annmarie Lockhart, founding editor, vox poetica


By Felino Soriano


dissecting shrunken bones of past tense

emplacement; worn-etched garment

stitch-heavy forehead salute

invocation tonal impressive deity

conjure absent hitherto


rhythm saviors calculating deducted

deductive substance, sellable cymbals creating

crashing curators of indelible soundful

calamitous sensations


errant misery topographical hurriedness

spraining motional attempting liaison

garnered festive explosive reunion

motive explained of rima oris’ favorable


Felino in his study

(from felinosoriano.info)

Sun Ra Mural - East Atlanta, GA

Editor’s note: A few years ago,I posted a picture of this mural on

Felino’s Facebook page, telling him it always made me think of him

when I saw it.

Three poems

By Chani Zwibel

Chani writes: I didn't know Felino well and only briefly interacted with him during our

mutual involvement with The Southern Collective Experience. When he first got sick, an

email went around the SCE asking to send him any poems, etc. that might help give

him some comfort/cheer as he faced the illness. I sent along the first poem, which I

had written for my sister when she contemplated suicide. It came from a place of

staring at Death and Sickness and telling those old bastards NOT TODAY. That was two

years ago. Today I wrote the other side of that poem, and then a very short one on

how you can know someone, and not know them, and grieve them, with others, for

when we lose one so brilliant in the community, we all mourn.


All you listening saints, pray for me tonight. All you hovering Angels, draw near. My

spirit is weak and weary, and I am crowded by fear, consumed by frustration. Help me.

Send down heavenly rays of love and sterner stuff. Give me a lion’s heart that I may

roar and send these demons fleeing from my mane, where they try to tangle their

claws. Let the four winds to sweep down upon these maladies, blow them out to the

open oceans and drop them. Away from me ye wicked ones of old. Feast not upon my

heart’s blood, gnaw not upon my bones, wet not your tongues in delight upon the

misery of my innards. I will be free of you! I will not let you inhabit this carcass, for yet

I breathe! Yet I live, and I will live in freedom. My soul is no tower you will overthrow. I

have dreams, and they will sustain me. I have hopes, and they will lift me. I have faith

and it will shield me. I give you no power; your hold diminishes. Help surrounds me. I

will not be daunted. I stand upon the high hill cloaked in splendor, a blade in my hand

to strike down my foes. No creeping evil will corrupt me, for I am fortified. The love of

the Creator fills me, guards me, houses me against all harm.


Prayers be stilled and angels weep. What courage there dwelled, buoyed up the spirit,

then fled. In the end it is only the taking of an unseen hand. In the end it is only the

last breath out. Untroubled now, no longer weary. Now the prayer is for those who

emain. The loved ones who grieve. It is the absence that troubles, for nothing ever

replaces. Sometimes the answer is wait, and often it is no. Finality is the most painful

tool and hope the most heavy. Yet love remains, it whispers softly. Love is the tears and

love is the silence. Loss of a battle makes no less a hero. For those bravest travel

where we cannot yet follow. Prayers be hushed and in peace sleep.


I knew you, through others. Everyone in the poetry community loved you. How they

spoke of you in respect and admiration.

I knew you, through emails. A few times we exchanged words, the creative exchange of

artists working at a project together.

I knew you, through your words, the music inside them, the dance and the carousel.

To know someone at the periphery feels strange. I sense the light we’ve lost, by the

dark cocooning all around. It wraps all the words anyone could ever give in shrouds and

lets the ones you left us shine the brighter.

Editor’s note: “Prayer for Strength” was previously published in The Song Is August 3,


Poem for Felino

By John Dorsey

i wonder who found your body

who tapped the last bit of jazz

out of your ears

trapped in there like a hornet

like a ghost born again

building castles out of bone.

Three poems by Vernon Frazer

Fixed into Transition

zoning osmotic

particular havens

renew their indicative split

to forage

through a scattered simplicity

unraveled necessity glue

during their tunic slaying








cawed across the millennial strand


transformation occurs






the neurotic intoning

warns cataleptic sheep

to band together staving

predictable schism happenings

when the stoning



abandons rhetoric

on rocky ground

or beveled in cement

Delayed Uprising

weasel detergent

panoptic diaphragm removal

aim your sturgeon forklift

steadied as she maculates

cortical reruns autonomy

venture plasma bleeds the dark

beat my plaster crate to the car

despite your coptic syllogisms

encrusted dilemma couches

decline the smell of rank positioned

thematic slouches cordially

no matter

the sunshine plasma dictates

insurgents breathing calypso

in arrears or on the late mike

resurgent emergence

vents caustic reprobation threats

apocalypse deterrent

rodent reruns cheesy to remember

salted logic urban grease

hat fanatic adorable fedora

your thatch is showing backward

trounce your own trouser soufflé

easy on the soap deterrent

no mongrels allow switch creeds

when thrashing molecules desiccate

viper breath hungers under gashes

a snake in the graph

pilates expert ration

tastes the prequel silence

a muzzled topping

disturbance turns

a somber yellow

dyspeptic mention precluded

the essence of presence as diaphragm

cache your stilted remorse

optical dehydration returns

project a victor in the anomaly

future rehearsals were past

Forgotten but not Gone

lentil remarks

cruise the sea of costly dividends

no homage due

the bracket

encoding the mongrel



the ancillary desert

slow current left

pacing a throughbred


on a see-through retention

slightly left of invention

where the corridor mat unfurls


guests still


voices lost on the twilight fog

dimension settings

revel in past routines unheard

in the spring

of clearing





reveling in contours

from its misshapen magic




candelabra resuscitation


r o o n i n g

tunefully the

new lament




in contrary motion

a seasonal ramp

indicator, legions

passing a renewal

peaking askance


: : :



Vernon writes:

When I read the description of Felino Soriano’s Portions of Conversational

Assemblies, its mention of jazz aroused my curiosity and my suspicions—-

curiosity because of my own lifelong links between jazz and my writing; suspicion

because many writers who claim to know jazz show the contrary. Felino Soriano

quickly convinced me he had the knowledge and the ear to make his own poetry

a music that captured the mood and flavor of many jazz tunes I knew well.

When I sent him one of my books, he responded enthusiastically, inviting me to

appear in a number of magazines he edited and dedicated one of his books to

me. On several occasions he invited me to write introductions and cover blurbs

for his books, but complications arose and the opportunities passed.

We did, however, carry on a correspondence during the first half of this decade.

As well as a poet, he was a devoted family man and a dedicated worker in the

social services, where I had also worked to support my writing. We had a number

of common interests.

Unfortunately, we developed one common interest too many. News of Felino’s

esophageal cancer hit me hard; my family and I have dealt with cancer frequently

since my teenage years. My own experience taught me that esophageal cancer

didn’t have a hopeful prognosis. Felino and I emailed several times after his first

treatment. I knew from my own cancer what he was facing and would listen if he

wanted to talk. He appeared to regain vitality after his second treatment; his

Facebook page showed a lot of activity.

Then came a period of silence. My email went unanswered, which made me

worry. Two months later, I learned what had happened, online.

Although we will never know what he could have achieved with a full lifetime, his

literary fecundity has left us a substantial body of work to read, consider and

enjoy. While his family makes a life around the hole of his absence, they will have

his love and caring to give them strength. Those of us who gained from his

generosity as a friend and editor know he can’t be replaced.

Felino Soriano was a good man and a brilliant poet. His life and work are a gift

that improved the quality of our lives.

One poem by Lars Palm

(black & tan)

i.m Felino Soriano

that king of the fields became king of the forest. newly carved runestone for sale to

the highest bidder. seven inspirational tails. or honk when they cross the street. just

in case i didn't know that already. sleeping with a handful of eyes open. in earlier

colonial times an ore was a vagina. charismatic plants & animals make speeches to

each other. many colours cat food. photographic studios studied grammar years

before. that far north being a wolf is a hazardous occupation. the one accepted

theory of national economy postulates a connection. & then they. oh, jeezus. kindly

no guano anywhere near these feet feeling naked as it is. maybe the country is

backward but its security service is not. oh what a little grandmother say the spirits

she claims to call upon. defending the right to resist. into the socket with you. bird

outside, music in a neighbouring apartment. & beware the wolf crying man one too

many times. gunpowder & paper shop. various birds tap dance on the tin roof of

the bike shed. is it any stranger being a surrogate mother than donating a kidney?

wind slowing down looking for a poorly marked sideroad it needs to take. so it was

said then how it would be wiser to wave & to waive your towel to beaches with

stolen sand where the rains remain silent & spring is noisier than last year. which

people does not need to be protected from its regime? the banshee stoned out of her

mind (from boredom she says) was almost hit by their teapot for they aimed

strangely. cairo is a small town. stepping outside with a blow-dryer. how boring

might byron be? give us your body & we'll give you your mind. some old, recently

deceased, relative bequeaths him a very well packaged empty whisky bottle. the

wind is in the willows & the moon is on the wing. lost are the flightless winged

waterfowl wading these shores. or just on vacation. testing toasters boasting new

amazing features. in northeastern japan a massive earthquake & tsunami, in

southern sweden huge lovely hail bouncing off the ground & then boring sleet

followed by sun. what that has to do with any thing is anybody's guess but some

people are rumoured to prefer cupcakes. enlightenment wrapped in a sheet slipped

inside a plastic bag. might not have been that sane this time. dive into the air. make

bubbles of hydrogen. simply put, put the ball in the hole not knowing it's a black

one. how do most tigers really raise their kids? releasing genetically modified

mosquitos to fight dengue fever. once upon a time in the vast expanses of the west

some guns found men on horses. heavy water coming down. mixed with pets. as it

were we waded across the river only to find the other side. but the question is what

effect this has on reality. the hotel room has an electric trouser press. they call their

dog tifa, short for antifa(scist action). why did who post it on this bus stop? & in

birmingham no less? the poster for the 1979 punk rock show in austin fits perfectly

beside it. it's only god in another language. severe heads heading off on the seven

seas. hi-jacking a ship we can't navigate. sumo wrestler approaching, time

perchance to leave the ring. if you want to look into this why not use a

gastroscope? we go ask michelangelo what he was thinking. always aim for the

rear end when you're driving & a moose crosses your path. kicking the ball or

kicking your opponents' legs. spring equinox & the moped seems somewhat tired

after its long sleep. but they do have wings, don't they? wandering through the

history of childhood wondering how. a conference of birds & a long dead turkish

sufi chronicling it. would it be too easy to just look in the mirror? or ask the sun to

be easy on us today? timetables sit under the table watching in wonder as

anatomically correct lobotomised cats shine their whiskers with whiskey & water

once again. now seriously. first bike down in the yard felled by the wind. chinese

movies, portugese democracy & muriel spark. as he made off on someone else's

pony. there is no pain, you are a ceiling. objects in mirror are closer than they

appear. is that a smirk or are you just embarking my nerves for a ride you’re not

likely to forget? last week the man in the radio was confused. plenty of daylight to

save this time. when the gunsmoke scatters we'll see who coughs. this huge elf

taking a crap in a barcelona mall. ascending the stairs two steps at a time. there's

something about the light. negotiating the climate sneaks a document in. out

shopping for broccoli & chorizos under a bright sun. seagulls & magpies loitering

in the backyard. wouldn't know her from adam. every day is a holiday unless

otherwise proven. all along the curb we go painting suns on cars. putting my leg

back on at the halifax pier. also a system of solar cells on her roof

Lars writes:

Felino was, in my mind, a force of nature. i got to know him in both our capacities of poet &

editor & took the liberty of thinking of him as a friend. i published a couple of e-books by him

under the ungovernable press imprint in 2009 & 2010. & he published my so far only volume of

prose poems as an e-book around that time from differentia press. what struck me, though i never

got to meet him in person, was how simultaneously kind & professional he was in our

correspondence. however, with his work & writing & editing schedule my constant thought was

”when does he ever sleep, he'll crash badly sooner or later”. now he rests & he will be

remembered for all he did & by those lucky enough to meet him, for all he was

this poem was written in the autumn of 2009 & first published in road song for (corrupt press,

2011). at the time it was for Felino, in this context it's i.m

One poem by Alan Corkish

Closing a Library

{For Felino A Soriano; died 17 th October 2018)

When a wise man dies a library crumbles

-African proverb

there’s a library closing-down on poetry-street

the hand-written sign on the paint-flaked door


words have been put on hold until further notice,

rhythm has gone fishing

and the juxtaposition of ideas with patterns

has been summoned to explain itself

no more will words billow like leaves on a warm breeze

while readers wipe happy-tears as they tumble past

like truisms on speed

no more will streams of ideas spill into the ether

performing somersaults and cartwheels

as they tunnel into waiting minds

to the rhythms of snap-dance-jazz


there’s a library closing-down on poetry-street

and it’s due to an old-man acting omnisciently

sorting his preferred lamb from

the flock of the ordinary

placing his hand upon

the one that gives him

most pleasure

and saying

}as he slings the-chosen-one

across his shoulders{

you were too good to hunt with the pack

and anyway your fellow word-mongers

have much to ask you

we’re going to party late

and off he strides

across paling clouds as evening

gives way

to stars that softly applaud the arrival

of a much loved brother while we

the ones who suffer loss

weep with heads bent

in the dim shadow of another crumbling library

Tribute by Michael Annis

(Publisher of Howling Dog Press and

Churn Magazine):

We grieve the tragic loss of one of America's

great modern poets — one whose originality

of language, and profound beauty of

expression never waned and were

completely his own. He pioneered the

realization of the intellectual and spiritual

intercourse that intrinsically connects jazz

and poetic language. Besides his fantastic

talent, Felino Soriano's depth of character,

humility, and devotion to his family defined

him as an exceptional human being in every


Prisoner of Infinity

To Felino A. Soriano

by Rus Khomutoff

Oh Prisoner of infinity

countercurrent between transgression and transaction

insinuation of eternity’s unrepeatable coalescence

poise deposited in an effervescent aye

on this iron chain of birth and annihilation

you espouse your catastrophe of charm

surefire voices that furnish the kiss of death

an unwearying impulse

to decrypt and decipher longing

like an idea infested with platitudes

realm navigator on the edge of consciousness

Editor’s note: This poem first appeared in Ink Pantry, May 2018, and

is used with permission.

A collaboration between

Rus Khomutoff and Felino A. Soriano

I swallow the ghost of your whispers

the vast unceasing universe was already

the aesthetic event

ideographs and fairytales

stirring nuance with stark truth

an invitation to deep stillness and perpetual pause

ciphers and tropes

will I someday know the ceaseless flux?

Question of movement, diligence

the voice captures wind, captures silence

amid the blue of day’s ornamental music

truth in solace, in what guides then watches our steps

Hope in nuance, though the gradation hides within

the gray of the moment’s compromised devotion


(For Felino Soriano)

By Alison Ross

Climb the staircase of oblivion. Pass ghost shacks on the

way. If the ghosts are hungry, feed them. Turn right at the

rain. Look up at the starry maze. Keep going until you

reach indigo.

Editor’s Note: This poem is forthcoming in an Anthology

published by Heath Brougher

To Felino

By Virgil Kay

The smoothness that comes

From extending the whole mind


And soul

To one's neighbor

Growing gardens

In empty places

Sowing love

In old cracks


Is the beauty

Of our sleeping friend,


Virgil writes: I edited books of Felino’s and published them [in Fowlpox Press].

Interview of Felino Soriano

by Dr. Kane X. Faucher

(originally published on the ditch, website 2010)

“So much of my writing stems from wanting to exist within my need to view a ‘thing’ from a

metaphysical vantage point. In doing this, I challenge a supposed truth of another, creating a


Felino Soriano discusses his poetry with Kane X. Faucher.

Kane X. Faucher: I suppose my first question is on the order of position and composition of

elements. Although the connections may appear rather obvious to certain readers and

connoisseurs of philosophical discourse, could you discuss and describe this seemingly strong

felicitous merger you make between philosophy and jazz in your poetic practice? And, as a

follow-up question, what area of jazz do you find most compelling for poetic purposes? For

some reason, I have in mind German free jazz of the 60s...There is no doubt that both philosophy

and jazz factor strongly in your oeuvre.

Felino Soriano: Thank you, Kane. Indeed, the formula for my poetic posits stems urgently

and basically from both philosophical awareness and jazz music, or more suited to my own

subjective definition: musical conversation. Philosophy has created in me (which has changed

my disposition grandly) a skeptic, a doubter, a hater of many supposed truths relegated by those

within society that are not qualified to posit their ideas as such. This may sound harsh to the

casual listener, but I disagree. From many angular disseminations, language is used,

ideologically, to corrupt the non-critical thinkers, the absent minded, the followers who prefer to

be lead. I disdain much of popular culture, for this culture is populated with minds that would

rather congregate, celebrating façades of the celebrity, and mimic within echoes, statements that

stem from ideological sameness, rather than think critically about surroundings that create a

subject of monotony.

So much of my writing stems from wanting to exist within my need to view a ‘thing’ from a

metaphysical vantage point. In doing this, I challenge a supposed truth of another, creating a

counterexample. To the certain viewer, philosophy is abundant, and therefore, metaphysics is a

living thing, a voice, a brand of obesity, a barrage of paradoxical reality. A thing, say, a beautiful

dragonfly, is not simply the manmade definition of a dragonfly. There is a beautified, colored

texture, a hyper-motional wing activity, an ensuing vanish. These qualities may or may not be

visible to the onlooker, and it is therefore my responsibility to posit these interpretations of what

a dragonfly is/can become. There are too many top-layer definitions of surroundings, of

existence. Thus, I investigate the possible layers residing beneath, and posit through my brand of

language, poetic occurrences that are notreadily available, unless examined.

You mention jazz. I always listen to jazz when writing. It is part of a quartet of necessities

when I am writing a poem: jazz, my computer, my writing desk, and my desk lamp (on). I have

written this way for the past few years, and these layers of my existence have caused me

immeasurable happiness. As with philosophical interpretations, jazz is part of my poetic starting

point. I mentioned earlier, musical conversation. This is a rarified, beautiful language, for

improvisation is identifiable, augmenting the reality that these individuals are not playing within

so much structure that a splay elsewhere cannot take place. I become so engrossed with the

recording, I switch modes into a tranced state. This allows me to interpret the emotional

spectrum from which the musicians are playing.

Regarding the area of jazz I find most compelling, akin to poetic sensibilities, this varies. I

listen to many styles of jazz music – from bop, to hard bop, to the attacking sound of the avantgarde.

Miles Davis is my favorite artist, and his ballads are especially beautiful. Also, I will write

to, say, Eric Dolphy’s album “Out There”, for example. Mood, want, wellbeing, facilitates and

leads me to a specific recording. When listening, I often try to mimic what I’m hearing, thus

many poems are written with angular syntax, accentuating white space, reiterating the milieu of

the music.

KXF: I would have to say that I too feel some enduring frustration with the privileging of

homogeneity over and against critical assessment of what it is we consume, experience, and do.

Your practice – if I may say so – is reminiscent of what Gilles Deleuze would call a philosophy

of immanence, of life (in its victorious differences and not the regulated and prejudiced

understanding of traditional truth norms). To that end (and with a further nod to Deleuze), jazz

does represent in many ways that differential factor, that freedom of experiment that ought to be

at the heart of every artistic and philosophical endeavour, disavowing stagnation.

The Nietzschean antecedent here is a strong one, and one that he quite vociferously

bequeaths to us as our duty to be creators and willers of the future beyond the myopia of alleged

truths or even our own egos. But what you speak of here, the inherent and grievously

unacknowledged perceptions of, say, a dragonfly, heralds the “duty” of the poet: to grant the

expression, the stoic “lekton”, where preconceptions blind us. This expressive power to bring to

life the percepts and affects of existence is the noble and thankless task of the poet – of which

you are indeed an exemplar. The merger with music – specifically jazz – is a felicitous one, one

that does not have to (for instance) rely on the formula of counterpoint in either the sonorous or

the written. Instead, your work may better fit the strategy of Glenn Gould's “contrapuntal radio”

where it is the inter-aesthetic counterpoint rather than infra-aesthetic.

For our readers who may not be familiar with your historical development as a poet, and

your sudden surge back in the early part of this now waning decade, could you elaborate on what

concatenation of factors led to your rather impressive and prolific output? I cannot resist the

temptation to think that there was something so momentous or traumatic that suddenly unleashed

your voice in the public domain, something that rose by some volcanic necessity.

FS: You mention, Kane, “duty” of the poet, and your definitional characterization is

excellent. A brand of observation, finding its subsequent actions unfamiliar first (and perhaps

never completely found) within an object, a thing, a language, is rather important in my poetic

disposition, and therefore, my language posits sometimes document themselves within an

esoteric voice, which is necessary. Though necessary, esoteric language is not intentional,

though. Process of writing dictates use of language, of space, of interpretive observations of what

the poem consists of.

Within rejection letters, editors have stated this very phrase, my poems being too esoteric,

and further more, the quotidian phrases such as “too deep” “too experimental” have also made

their way from editors that have chosen not to use my work. I recently read a comment on one of

my published poems which stated my use of language was “daring”, was “experimental” and the

commenter chooses rather to use “simpler” words within their poems. But, what are these words,

really?: daring, experimental, simpler, these adjectives are completely subjective choices to

either isolate, or conjoin with what the poet is stating. Such is with editing a journal, such is the

philosophy of preference: the unique, singular rendition of our minds feeling connection with the

relegated posit before us.

My being a poet is relatively new. While in high school I wrote for attention from my thengirlfriends,

for accolades from their friends, for au courant reasons including being considered

atypical, and having what many deem a specific talent. These writings, though, were derisory,

indifferent to the sensibilities of absolute poetry. This changed, somewhat, circa January, 2000. I

began writing to apply a cliché of “escaping” from painful aggregations involving, again, a thengirlfriend.

Applying emotion with an ersatz poetic language, I began to write in abundance. At

this time, I wrote solely in notebooks, for my mind was much slower (although I wrote nearly

1,000 poems in a three year period), much unaware of what reality can constitute as metaphoric,

philosophic, and did not recognize many concrete falsities. Several years ago, I became

reacquainted with these writings, and saw not poetry, but emotional absurdities lying within lazy

rhyme structures, in limp meter. I did, though, publish my first poem in 2001 in a now defunct

online journal; the poem was called “Jazz and Her”.

Jazz was an important part of my searching disposition at this time, yet I had not developed

interpretations of jazz language, and the ability to discern emotional content of recordings was

not yet available to me.

Two specific periods since 2000 have changed my poetic disposition principally, but more

so, my life in the realm of philosophic understanding, of defining a specific concept and routine

methodology for living. The first, circa 2004, I was in a bookstore, perusing the magazine

section. On the cover of the International literary magazine “The Bitter Oleander” was a portrait

of a man, leaning on his arm, with interesting use of colors highlighting shadow and background.

The man on the cover was poet and philosopher Duane Locke, whom back in my unaware days,

my quotidian days, my following the fashionable days and lauding poet laureates, I had never

read. This particular issue of the magazine was a special tribute issue to Locke, which consisted

of a 90 + page interview, as well as 60 poems the editor chose from nearly 5,000 Locke had

written over the prior three years. I had never heard of such prolificness, a type of a fertile poet

of this caliber.

I purchased the magazine and read the interview and poems several times. Locke’s

philosophy of life, irritation with what poetry was currently listed as, and his exciting poems

caused in me, solely, a reevaluation of why I write, of why my poetry, though not good, was a

natural sensation, a natural part of mood, of time, of being.

A current favorite poet, Antony Hitchin, recently stated in an interview that Locke is a

genius. I indeed concur with this appraisal, and this is not part of being generous to a poet who

has published over 6,000 poems in his lifetime, but it coincides with ascertaining a mind that has

philosophy at its base, and comprehends the Nietzschean concept of separating oneself from the

sameness of society that can damage through ideological sophistry, causing the mind to succumb

to the selfish desires of others.

Circa 2006 brought the second of what I deem important in my mind transformation.

Though I was familiar with philosophy, with conceptual aptitudes as they agree with or challenge

life, I did not completely delve into this gift until this time. Through the studying of philosophy, I

began writing a series of poems entitled “Vagabond’s Visions” which consisted of 145 poems

documenting philosophical, or furthermore, metaphysical understandings of a wanderer’s

surroundings, dreams, dissatisfaction with political structure, among other concepts. My

language changed, along with poetic structure, using absence paralleled with vernacular to shape

a poem’s body. Too, I discovered avant-garde jazz musicians such as Eric Dolphy, Cecil Taylor

and Borah Bergman, and began, through understanding of awareness, these musicians were

antithetical to say, Louis Armstrong, Lester Young (whom I both enjoy) – but vis-à-vis much

more than the obvious differences in textured sound (a topographical understanding, solely).

Taylor, for example, in his famous video at his piano, garbed in a gray sweat suit, white beanie,

and oblivious to the sweat forming deluge down his face, completely entranced with what he is

doing: veracity, knowledge of improvisation, speaking a language considered by the à la mode to

be injurious through deviating too far from “tradition”. These are the individuals I admire. Thus,

the poets I enjoy reading are akin to these musicians, in that they manufacture through language

a reality copacetic with a mind outside of the ritualistically praised.

After my poem was published in 2001, I did not submit others until 2004, and had one

accepted, again. I ceased submitting poems until 2006, and currently still am. Since April 2006, I

have had over 540 poems accepted for publication. The number, not important; importance for

me is forming a dialogue through the poem with an editor, a conversational methodology in

where my brand of language is understood, and more importantly, reciprocated.

KXF: It generally seems that what is labelled “esoteric” or “experimental” comes with a

pejorative connotation, thereby marginalizing those of freer expression that disavow the clichés.

Of course, this attack against “complicated” poetry with flagrant claims against poets as being

too enamoured with their big words, jargon, theory, etc., are ways of closing discourse, and also

part of a larger in-bred strategy of valorizing lazy simplification and decreased literacy while

villainizing in bad faith those who choose to make language – the whole of it – a tool for

expression. The problem with those who disparage against “esoteric” language and subjects is

that it makes a few fatal assumptions such as assuming the poet is brandishing terms,

experiences, or references for personal aggrandizement. As well, it assumes that poetry has a

necessity to be “universalizable”. It troubles me that those who would criticize a poet for, say,

making esoteric or obscure references are actually demonstrating their own laziness or lack of

knowledge. There is no obscure reference in a poem that cannot be rendered comprehensible if

the put-off reader takes a few seconds to avail him or herself via Google. The same goes for

obscure words by means of searching in dictionaries hard or soft.

I have not met many poets whose origins in poetic expression were not indexed on winning

the affections of a desired person. It makes us seem as though we come from, ahem, baser and

ignobler pursuits – although there is nothing categorically wrong with the act, and it is not

something we have to discard in later life since we can always write our very interpersonal

poems for reception by our intended loved ones. But you invoked the notebook, the trusty

notebook that has long since been a symbol accoutrement of the poet. It stands as a kind of

expressive touchstone, and one does not see notebooks around so much anymore with the

continued advent of writing directly to screen. There is a touch of nostalgia with the notebook we

ought to revisit.

I would ask to explore your sculptural metaphor, to detail it a bit further in terms of your

poetics. You mention the paralleling of absence to the vernacular in the shaping of a poem’s

body. My prejudice here would be to “hear” or “see” more of what you mean by the absence, this

space that so often is cast aside in our consideration of the poem, the register of silence.

Could you touch on the work you have published with ditch, – its motley “raison d’etre”, the

shapes it takes on?

And, given that you have provided us with a fascinating and insightful chronology into your

development of a poetic voice (one that, as all good voices do, modulate and continue to develop

perpetually, following a principle of perpetual becoming), could you speculate as to where you

are orienting yourself next?

FS: Assumptions are dangerous in that they proclaim a truth of inexistence, further

facilitating the concept of man needing to name everything, rename the misunderstood.

Assumptions lean on the crutch of inadequately processed information. How this affects poetry is

in the wellbeing of the poem, how it exists and the humorous unaware reality it can clobber what

notions of top-layered definitions explain in their ignoramus vernacular. The whole issue of

being marginalized is fascinating to me. My view on this stems from coagulating the collocated

words of interpretation/imperative.

Interpretations can lead to a beauty, even if subjective, for universality is rare, and within

these vast interpretations, the mind must facilitate this brand of thinking in honoring it as being

imperative. Becoming marginalized is a fashion of interpretation. A term like pigeonholed, where

an individual is identified solely or powerfully with one, or very few definitions, seen as

incapable of documenting something anew – this is marginalizing. I feel, a poet can, in

ascertaining the possibility of becoming marginalized, demoralize this other – given definition

with a continuing leap towards positing different formats of poetry. This can be done, without

leaving the self for another – given definition of what poetry should exist as.

In describing the metaphor further, vis-à-vis the parallelcreality of absence and existence

within a poem, the definitional certainty burgeons from my frequent listening to jazz. Earlier, I

stated, many times, I attempt to mimic what I’m hearing. This act conceives the poem’s shape,

and learns its body as the poem is written. The outcome, of course, is solely determined by which

recording I am listening to. The technique, of course which is not new, of using white space

(absence) explains an antithesis to noise (existence). I will use Miles Davis’ album “Kind of

Blue”, as an example. My interpretation of the milieu surrounding the musicians’ conversations

varies in its formula, ranging from the intense happiness of “So What?” to the melancholic

species of “Flamenco Sketches”. One recording I’ve written many poems to from this album is

“Blue in Green”. A recording such as this allows white space to be alive, to bounce, the absence

to help in formulating the poem’s shape; Miles’ playing here, is lucid, concise, brings imagery of

love, of pining. Bill Evans’ piano playing echoes this spectrum of descriptive playing, for the

notes are spaced beautifully, allowing the ear to construe a sense of belonging to the overall

ambience of classic jazz communication. Thus, the absence in the poem will be the paused

appreciation among the musicians’ vernacular, and without them knowing, have helped in

creating a shape of words and silence atop the page.

Regarding ditch, I feel it is one of the finer magazines available. John has allowed and

combined a very exemplary assemblage of writers at his site. I’ve been published twice at ditch,

and have two chapbooks released from its offspring “Trainwreck Press”. Regarding the

individual poems published, all are from both chapbooks released. The idea of writing poems for

a manuscript was foreign to me prior to 2006. These poems, written in 2007 and 2008, were

meant to document the notion of examining what reality constitutes, attempting to find

symptoms, catalysts, experiences, and substitute the poet’s reality for the other-given, the

unaware beyond the top-layer of existence.

My first chapbook “Exhibits Require Understanding Open Eyes” is a statement of

metaphysical understanding. The posited question of what is reality, and more so, highlighting

what are the misguided realities spoken as concrete truth. “Exhibits” are our surroundings, but

require more attention than stating “this is a shadow, a tree, a lake.” Language is often

monotonous in its definitional garb, thus, I attempted to dislocate the monotony from that of the

objects in which I was writing.

The second chapbook “Abstract Appearance Reaching Toward the Absolute” I use

“abstract” to document my interpretations of objects, of language, of the philosophy of

expression. Finding fault with others’ thinking is the philosopher’s and poet’s obligation, to

rectify the beautiful that has been tossed from the eye, replaced with monotony, with a culture’s

obsessive demeanor reaching toward indifference, as it does not fit with the au courant.

As to where I want to travel next, this requires discovery of desires outside and atypical to

routine. Currently, I am writing an ekphrastic series which deals with various paintings I find

extraordinary. The extraordinary is rare, and therefore, hyper-beautiful. Connotations revolve in

the reliance on others’ definitions. This, I cannot adhere to, for within poetry exists my love of

language, of creating an image of solidified awareness, considered esoteric or not. I want to

improve as a poet, want to strive for more fundamental awareness of my surroundings, while

staying empathetic to others, and to atmospheric conditions.


By Constance Stadler

18 Karat

down by Law

syllables syncopate

owning the page.

Birdland lives

in mystic confabulations

between the lines.

‘Trane riffs alto

in Acknowledgement

‘Of thinking yelled

Into paused hands.’

Miles smiles

at ab-so-lute-: affirmative

word wonders

hitting on all sixes.

~ for Felino Soriano

Constance writes:

In many ways, it’s difficult to remember a time when Felino was not

in the second chapter of my life. After a decade-long pause in my

writing, I came back in a much different place. Having met Felino

through an online poetry community, the animated exchanges of

group members were often interesting, but I became drawn to

Felino’s rare contributions. Within a short time we began a

conversation about the creative act; a conversation that continued

over the next fifteen years. I remember spending days exploring

white space as a canvas which led to thoughts shared on the virtues

of the L.A.N.G.U.A.G.E. poets which led to innumerable revelations.

We exchanged work every few days. I soon learned not to search for

cues and just listen to a language alive with improvisation. It didn’t

matter if I disagreed with his response to the poems I sent, I knew

that he had honored my work. Not a few of those same poems were

published in Counterexample Poetics, which I had come to see not so

much as a literary journal, but rather as a space to celebrate and

encourage creative voice. When fortunate enough to work with him

on a compilation of ‘imprints’, I threw out the idea of limits and, in

many ways, never looked back. Like so many of us, I never imagined

a world without him.

The human editor

By Diana C. Hoagland

In honor of Felino A. Soriano

In the jumps of time, your dreams were way more than a copacetic reality.

A rebel of quintessential movement, your rhythm was CounterExample, your

poetic teeth, a smile in deed.

No day passed, that the fellow ear didn't relapse like chili powder, sparking an

Ekphrastic revolution.

The evolution of lines-the knowledge shared-you made sure no one was spared.

These rhymes busted out from the music of your soul.

My fears were our fears, my lines, our lines.

The Soul of the World carries on through the OF/WITH.

Of a Community from beginners to Advanced, With the courage of Art upon Art, a

spark in the wind that Hope will make sure it never ends.

Diana writes: I came to know Felino through being asked to review one of his

first books as I volunteered for Leaf Garden Press. Felino thanked me generously

and asked me to submit to Counterexample Poetics. He accepted an Ekphrastic

work between myself and my sister-in-law based on Algerian Women's Art and

Struggle. Through his site and email communication, I found many other

publications. Felino understood at the time, I had a lot of mental struggles and was

in a difficult marriage. He helped me publish under pen names and always pushed

me to improve myself through many great philosophical ideas. I'm forever grateful

and will miss him and his great experimental movements in his poetry always.


i am weary of wisdom,

wary of platitudes,

weighted with

enlightened perspective.


i wish only to find air—

to keep darkness at bay

and just



i might bloom with

creation but


i am far more free

than poets dare to dream:


i am jazz ~


By Rich Follett

Rich writes: I wrote “tonight/tomorrow” as a gift for Felino in his last days, and he

greatly appreciated the work and the gesture. His response to me was:


i am jazz ~"

Yes, that is beautiful, as is the poem's entirety. Thank you, so very much for this gift. I

apologize for the slow response, as yesterday marked the one year anniversary of my

dad's passing, which has been difficult for me to deal with all week, coupled with my

poor physiological response to my chemotherapy.

I will print your poem, and keep it in my writing room.

Rich, thank you,


I first came to know Felino (he was one of those rare artists for whom no

surname was necessary) through the late Duane Locke’s online circle of poetic friends. I

had newly returned to Poetry after a thirty-plus year hiatus and was exceedingly unsure

of myself. Felino was warm, encouraging, and ultimately instrumental in my artistic

rebirth. He invited me to submit to his Counterexample Poetics online journal and

awarded me a permanent page as a featured artist. In my world, Felino was magic – a

guardian angel, hand-picked for me by a mentor we both revered. I don’t know how I

could have had any greater good fortune than to become friends with Felino – he was

the rarest kind of creative genius who achieves greatness with humility and

simultaneously encourages and brings out the best in others.

Felino was fond of saying that poetry was music – specifically, jazz – to him; for me,

poetry is more like an interpretive dance. I was not born with an athlete’s or a dancer’s

body and, as an asthmatic youth, was always envious of those who could run, jump, and

seemingly stop time in midair with effortless grace. It was not until I was well into

adulthood and well into my friendship with Felino that I realized what poetry means to

me – freedom. Through the miracle of poetry, I can be agile, graceful, and weightless. I

can dance, without self-consciousness or fear. Felino, through his own fearlessness, was

a lamp to light my own poetic re-emergence. I will never forget him, and I will always be

grateful. My feelings are best expressed in the brief tribute which I left on Felino’s

Facebook page shortly after his passing: “Felino, your time here with us has too soon

come to a close. Rest gently, brother poet, and know that you will be loved, honored, and

remembered as long as there is poetry in the world. Your gift is eternal.”


Felino was, first and foremost, a

family man. His admirable

devotion to his wife, children,

mother and brother provided a

paradigm of what a husband,

father, son, and sibling should

be. Here is a sampling of some of

his last poems with Fowlpox

Press, from his book, Aging

Within These Syllables,

dedicated to his brother, Darius.

Published with permission.

For my brother, Darius-

for the music within our

dialogical occurrences.

A Promise toward This

Here, you resemble

what the mirror always told you. These

scars are smooth, raised sorrows and forget the singe

unless pain of

your eyes reshapes entering the flame. How your mouth

rewinds misery in the echo of

memory’s misremembering you hold your hand out

to the mirror’s version of you recalling youth’s energy

amid this age’s injured effort. In

this flesh is removal of walls, an unabridged summation


As if this morning was the shadow of a new body

alteration, with grace and prose your mouth explains

the change was startling

—the listener: uninterested: their own awakening: a

memorized bridge in making pivot golden, away from night

and from the tongue’s internal aching—

you interpret listening in

how the stone translates ground: a place to rest and heal

the feet

of all momentary movement.

Song to the Self

When young you

would bruise to escape the clarity of

comfortable skin. Your mother would

reject her tongue

to remove evidence

of questioning why. This did not disturb you:

your face provided

erased prose to unfasten meaning

of the escalated pain drawing your

eyes the color of evaporating crows.


You partition these voices traveling circles in your mouth.

Record them. Hold the one hallowed whisper nearest to

your chest. Breathe well.

The screams, you bury into flame. Believe in the father’s


of size. When leaving he is largest. Pain to augment the size


your disappearing safety. The city in you burns. The bodies

gray into apparitional hours. You watch to recognize past.

The silence recognizes you. The voices are perishing—the

mouth tumbling into mistaken company.

Editor’s Note: Virgil Kay, publisher of Fowlpox, sent me an e-mail exchange between

him and Felino, regarding Felino’s book:

Love the book, remembered how I took my cowboy wallet with me to the hospital, the

leather in the face of the whole thing, and we tried to work that into the layout.

Your book is very direct. Have it attached, and a jpg should you need it. I emailed the

artist/ poet who did a great portrait of you this year, and that should be your back cover.

Give me your thoughts.

He wrote back to me:

It's beautiful, Virgil, and I really like the front cover and how it coordinates with the page

color. I am honored.

Thank you, very much.


Clockwise Cat 2013 Author Interview: Felino

Soriano Part II - The Writing Process

Editor's note: This is the second part of the two-part 2013 interview with the

prolific, innovative poet Felino. The second portion of the interview focused on

on Felino's writing process.

I have previously compared the experience of

reading Felino Soriano's verse to struggling

through an interminable labyrinth of tunnels.

And that still holds true, but my newest analogy

is that the experience is akin to wandering

through a densely layered forest: tangled with

trees and vines and shrouded in mist, just like

Felino's intricate interwining lines and jarring

juxtapositions shrouded in convoluted mystery.

At some point you exit the chaotic confusion of

the forest into the lucid light of day; with a

Felino poem, the revelation is that there is no

tangible truth to be acquired, but rather a

subjective, subconscious truth. Which, if you

subscribe to Kierkegaard's philosophy,

subjective truth is the only kind of truth to be


This is not to say that universal ideas cannot be gleaned from a Felino poem - but

if they can, I would venture to say that the "cosmic truth" inherent in the poems is

that language is a magically malleable, endlessly elastic expression to convey the

difficult-to-understand, giving challenging ideas and works of art and music an

idiosyncratic idiomatic dimension.

I have also made the analogy that if MC Escher's drawings were dismantled and

versified, they would look like Felino's poems. I still think that's true, of course.

But I also ask you to imagine eavesdropping on an illicit conversation between

Kierkegaard and one of MC Escher's pictures. What might that look like,

transcribed? A Felino poem, perhaps?

Felino Soriano's verse: enigmatic, riddling, tautly architectural, employing a kind

of geometric minimalism, abstract, philosophical phrasing, and, least explicitly

but most importantly, nuanced humor. It's challenging reading, to be sure -

cerebral, elusive - but also downright FUN. That is the part that I think many

people miss when settling in to read a few of Felino's head-spinning poems (for if

you read too many in one sitting you might need Dramamine): the mischievous

joy, the ebullient celebration of language and jazz and art and philosophy, and

how these all intermingle and coalesce into one giant jumble that's a chore to

unravel but a thrill to muse upon.

At least, that's my experience with Felino's poetry; you yourself may have your

own dialectical interection with this compelling writer's wickedly experimental


But enough. Let's let Felino speak for himself about his own poetic process,

shall we?

Everyone has their own "mode" when they are writing poetry. Walk us

through a typical Felino poetry-writing session. Spare no details!

Environment conducive to concentration is imperative. Although I am

comfortable with writing in varied environments not necessarily contributory to a

lack of chaos (rhythms of noise’s varied aggregations), I prefer a very specific

area to compose my writings. I am fortunate to have a small writing room/study in

my home, which has allowed me opportunity to construct several of my poems. It

is painted a very dark gray, —near-black, which enables in me experiences of

comfort. I have a wall of books—jazz, philosophy, art, poetry, etc., accompanied

by family photos, my stereo and jazz accumulation, and various

collectibles. Further, dressing the other walls are floor-to-ceiling pieces of art,

quotations and more family photos. The environment is reassuring, and

constructs the conduciveness I speak of earlier.

Recently I acquired a new writing table (replacing the desk I had for nearly ten

years); it contains adequate space for my computer, typewriter and other needed

writing supplies. The majority of my writing is done on my computer however, as I

type rather quickly, which enables me to get down my thoughts immediately. (A

typical poem takes me a few minutes to write.)

Since late circa 2006, I’ve listened to jazz when constructing the majority of my

writings. As I’ve stated many times, the music alters my perception, and thus my

language, driving the collocation of odd words and images.Usually, I write in

gatherings of three poems, nearly-daily. I am not sure why I write in the paradigm

of groups of three, but this has been my practice since 2006.

Your stated objective is to collocate philosophy and jazz within your poetry.

Discuss the philosophers you read and how you incorporate their ideas into your

poetry. Give us examples from your work to enhance our understanding of your


Some of the philosophers I currently enjoy reading are Martin Heidegger, Jacques

Derrida, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Graham Harman. I am mainly concerned at this

time with the functionality of existence based on its varied and multilayered

adaptations and with interaction and purpose of involvement with whatever/

whomever it is I am attempting conversation. This transfers into my writing

through finding language appropriate for the poems’ texture and

essential becoming, —through an examining (interpreting) environment and

reactive language associated with in the moment evaluations. Philosophy has

taught me the importance of using authentic language, a language not predicated

on formulaic foundations coming from others’ renditions of approach. Philosophy

has also instructed regarding structural importance of critical thinking and

analyzing/countering supposed truths others posit as universal. My poems are

aspectual identities established on fruition of my immanent approach to language

and poetics.

When you are interpreting a jazz piece into Felino-verse, do you listen

to a given piece over and over during the process of interpretation, or

is one or two listens sufficient to translate the essence of the piece?

Jazz has various functionalities in my writing. When deliberately interpreting a

jazz record, as with those I did in my Approbations series, depending on the

length of the poem, I will listen to a recording for as long as it takes me to finish

it. In 2010, I had a book length poem published calledArtist in Residence which

was a collection written after Jason Moran’s 2006 album of the same name. I

listened to each recording several times, and the ten-poem suite took me over

two hours of total writing time to compose.

In 2012, I wrote a collection called Quartet Dialogues, which delved into a function

of jazz that fascinates me: the dialogical occurrences within a recording or live

performance. I used the traditional jazz quartet paradigm in constructing this

collection, focusing on the structural components of the musicians playing

together (conversing) in the beginning of the collection, then breaking off into

solos (while the others listened), and bringing it back into the group dynamic to

finish off the conversation. I concentrated on piano, saxophone, bass, and drums,

using Of as the lead-in to each instrument (e.g. Of piano) as an illustration that

the poems are in the context of that specific conversation, and could become an

altered aggregation of thoughts if a different set of instruments/musicians were

part of the dialogue, instead—further identifying my belief of language’s ongoing

capabilities. For the “solos”, I would listen to either records with wonderful solos

of that specific instrument, or records with leaders playing that particular


instrument. This collection has led to others including myAggregations: the

quintet gatherings, and Quintet Dialogues: translating introspection, which is

currently awaiting a publication decision from an excellent publisher.

Describe your process when writing ekphrastic poetry. Do you

attempt to get into the skin of the artist or into the skin of the art itself,

or is it some other process that is more elusive? If so, make it as

tangible as possible for us!

Ekphrastic poetry started for me in January, 2009, when I began a series

called Painters’ Exhalations. It started, as with writing poetry in general for me,

with a very strong desire tointeract. Fundamental. Art, in its communicatory

abilities is cornerstone for me in Ekphrasis; a dialogue must be present through

the function of attempting to understand the language of what it is I am trying to

interpret, and subsequently transmit in my own language. I try to figure out a

parallel between my writing (listening) and what the artists’ intent is. And because

I may never fully know what their intent was, I must attempt to create a poem

predicated on my reactive premise to the work. When interpreting a painting, it is

very similar to interpreting a jazz record: my language stems from what the artists

communicate through their language, and I might rely on fathom, nuance, angles,

color, title, to cultivate the narrative or message, as all of these are apparent in

both mediums, though they affect-first disparate senses.

In my view, writing poetry is part subconsciously "inevitable," part

consciously deliberate. Therefore, I believe that though much of our

writing flows naturally and unfettered, there is that deliberate aspect

to it where we consciously acquire a certain style. To that end, I ask:

How did you come up with your unusual phrasings and startling

juxtapositions and overall strikingly unique style? This is something

that has evolved over time, clearly, as your earlier poetry is not quite

as densely layered. Describe your evolution as a poet, and how you

came to rest within your signature style - even though that style may

be constantly regenerating itself.

I agree, a poem becomes through the naturalized direction of motivated

deliberateness. All my poems are an attempt to interpret, and gauge

communicative functionality within the spectrum of the interpretation. My style is

a systematic spectral response to various emblems of important interaction that

began very early in my writing; but as you also indicate in your question,

regeneration occurs. The first, and most important piece of advice I received was

to never use clichés when writing, for they are an enemy to good poetry. Upon

hearing this, I hadn’t written or read enough to ascertain what clichés existed

within poetry, and therefore, I spent some time looking into discovery. Circa

thirteen or fourteen years after receiving that advice, I still adhere to it, but as you

mentioned earlier, my language has changed through the addition of layered

communication. My current and, as you mentioned signature style is an attempt

to write using a dissimilar poetic language, one that is absent of cliché, in

addition to ensuring a lack of transparency. I believe this is why my writings are

often described as being dense and difficult. Following the anti-cliché advice,

several other occurrences has given me opportunity to respond with, or evolve

into my current approach to writing:

· a dedicated study of poetry—alliteration, prosody, line/image quality, etc.

· writing poetry in the context of environment subjective to what I wanted to


· understanding the important role interpretation has in my writing

· discovering Duane Locke’s writings, and subsequently forming a friendship with

him; through my communication with him and simply reading his writings teach

the importance of musicality within poetry

· finding the connection of philosophy and language, and building this

connection into my own poetic language

· discovering jazz alters my perception and language

· befriending and collaborating with Heller Levinson and Linda Lynch on

our Hinge Trio collection; these aspects assisted me in finding the value in

collaborative projects

· coming into contact with so many kind editors, publishers, and other artists

over these years; on many occasions, this contact leads to encouragement and

camaraderie and friendship

All of this, and much more condenses and expands articulation of my writings.

There are the symbolists, the surrealists, the Dada-ists … do you take

any inspiration from those movements, and if so, how? For me, your

poetry, though unique in its own right, bears some resemblance to the

symbolists, especially. Do you feel a kinship?

Tennyson’s indication of “I am a part of all that I have met” might be acceptable

here through perhaps an unintentional company of style. Any similarities to poets

from the groups you mentioned though, is not an intentional brand of paralleling

identity, but perhaps it stems from again, a subconscious enactment of poets I’ve

read. When I first read Octavio Paz’s A Draft of Shadows, I was in the early epoch

of poetic development. I hadn’t yet a “style”, and thus, I attempted to emulate the

angled rhythms of the poems in that volume. I read that book many, many

times. Another poet I admired early (and very much still do), although I wouldn’t

state he’s from any “school” or predetermined classification of poet—is Ed

Pavlić. His excellent volume from 2001 called Paraph of Bone and Other Kinds of

Blue stayed on my writing desk for a few years. Pavlić’s interest in jazz

burgeoned-too on the page. Regarding kinship, I do feel a connection to poets

using a language that is atypical—whose poems have a deliberate but

unpredictable rhythm, and whose poems are indeed musical in directional


Deconstruct a Felino piece for us, if you will. If you won't, then tell us

why you are against deconstructing your own poetry.

In my attempt, I’ll use a poem you published in the last issue of Clockwise Cat,

from my collection Espials:


I cannot recall the number

etched by early-breathing crows (a burn a eupnoeic reactionary rhythm)





speckled speaking, turntable high speed




or when-now isolates into solitary folds of inward innovation

I lean into a silent shout

my body’s lexicon

shortened by varied pages


or now-and realization burgeons hybrid analogies

one/two or more

than the pluralized invention




within the enclave of crows’ leaving my memory

I’m choosing this text as it displays what I typically use in the creation of a poem:

white space, angled placement, and openness without regard to

punctuation. This falls in the paralleling aspect of my belief in the poem(s) can

interact and facilitate a deeper and alternative brand of meaning.

Here is the poem again with italicized, parenthesized commentary:


I cannot recall the number (a leading to drift of memory or acclimation of mirage)

etched by early-breathing crows (a burn a eupnoeic reactionary

rhythm) (breathing equating to the proficiency of living, and the reactionary

purpose of the watcher’s desire to continue the visualization of movements)





speckled speaking (calling back toward not knowing how many crows were seen;

tiny, faint caws), turntable high speed

inventions (remarkable, accelerated shapes formed by the curving patterns of




or when-now isolates into solitary folds of inward innovation (the immediate

presence is visualized and when the action is realized, a focal examination by the

watcher places itself into the originality of the architectural shapes)

I lean into a silent shout (awed)

my body’s lexicon

shortened by varied pages (awe often provides a lack of verbal reliability, as then

the physiological response is a more accurate representation of what is being



or now-and realization burgeons hybrid analogies

(an attempt to define sustain what is being seen)

one/two or more

than the pluralized invention




within the enclave of crows’ leaving my memory

(quick in two contexts: arrival of the crows’ inventing/their absconding and

leaving the clarity of visual presence)

What matters more to you in a poem that you write - imagery, or

sound devices?

Both of these are natural occurrences within the kinesis of a poem; they can

create dualities of interest (toward writer|reader), hinges, and have ability to etch

residue subsequent to the reading. Regarding sound: because of my fixation with

listening to jazz when writing, a natural music occurs (akin to practicing until the

nature of it is a naturalized occurrence), as the recordings’ rhythms build

analogous internal monologues in their guiding of the poem’s shaping. Prosody,

alliteration,—these are the practiced foundations of the poem’s sound, and occur

with a deliberateness toward enhancing a poems’ cycling rhythm. The oftenangular

presentation of my poems, the white space—acts as a function of

sound. Pianist, Bill Evans’ Peace Pieceis an absolute favorite record of mine, one

I interact with frequently. Throughout the record, one can acclimate to the rhythm

that is partly created by the pause-between, /the silences; I attempt these

nuanced breaks from sound in my poems that use angulate phrase structure and

accompanying openness. Another example of rhythmic silence that inspires me

is the excellent trumpeter, Christian Scott’s record Isadora. In similar identities to

Evan’s record, the silence between each phrase dictates pace of the interwoven

resonances, quite beautifully.

In my poems, imagery is happenstance, an accidental aggregation coming from

the often odd appositional phrasing. This arises through my desire to collocate

asymmetries, in the context of describing/interpreting through the use of unusual

idiom. My poetry has been described as being difficult, dense, dizzying. I find

these descriptions interesting (and complimentary), as my intent is to identify and

posit—not necessarily unreadable/unknowable/unexperienced dimensions of

existence—but rather often times, very common objects and ideas. The goal

though, always, is to use a language that is not transparent (cliché), and is

viewable from various perspectives, creating multiple identities. Further, both

devices parallel and interact, enhance and build through relation of unconscious


What is your goal with your poetry?

Goal with my poetry? I have several: to write as often as I can; to create a unique

and dissimilar language; to create a legacy of publications my daughter can visit

as she is growing; to be considered a great poet.

You said: "My style is a systematic spectral response to various

emblems of important interaction... My current and, as you

mentioned signature style is an attempt to write using a dissimilar

poetic language, one that is absent of cliché, in addition to ensuring a

lack of transparency.” Expound on this, if you could (for example,

some people would adamantly disagree that poetry should be

opaque, as you are seemingly suggesting.)

The origin of my poetic language is an attempt to describe my environment. This

subjective and widened vantage point possesses and points toward myriad

opportunities to present what I see in the context of interpretation and guidance

from the music accompanying the writing. My writing style is reactive—it delves

and becomes, not from the prearranged but from the extemporaneous. I do not

have the temperament to sit down and plan a poem, nor does my disposition

match with the patience needed to agonize over if I am using the “correct” word

to create the image occurring within the moment. I am confident in my phrasing,

as I am confident in the act of writing; the confidence though isn’t akin to placing

self-value into the work; it is a definitional instruction to myself, acknowledging

comfort in the naturalized direction of the poems’ fruition.

The “lack of transparency” is a personal view of the writings. My poems are

occurrences within, in that meaning is created upon engaging the responsive

language itself. This is purposeful and pronounced through collocating

uncommon words and phrases to describe what appears. Opacity is a reaction

predicated on the reader’s interpretation of the work. Opacity is not the goal; it is

a rendition of realization from the perspective of unusual language. I realize my

poetry is difficult; some have simply stated “I don’t get it”, —some have indicated

it is “too out there”, “too confusing”. These descriptions though, I do not hold in

the dim light of dismissal, for they are reactions to the art I am honored and

determined to continue.


You said: "My poems are aspectual identities established on fruition

of my immanent approach to language and poetics." Now THIS is

opaque. Can you clarify it for us lesser linguists?

My fixation with language drives and expands my experiential understanding with

all aspects of my life. From interaction with my family, friends and those I work

with, —to the communication with music, and of course, in delving into the

functionality of writing a poem. In the context to the quotation above, the poems I

am writing are guided by the process of interrelating with the nisus of my writing:

portrayal of my environment using a language of comfort predicated on the

needed subjectivity in creating art, rhythm, shape, tone, etc. with the poems’

reactive language. The fruition is when the poem is completed and I move onto

the next.

You said: "Philosophy has taught me the importance of using

authentic language, a language not predicated on formulaic

foundations coming from others’ renditions of approach." Discuss

your idea of authentic language versus more formulaic language.

Authentic language for me, is often the designation of defining a language that

occurs from a spontaneous and unplanned perspective. Jazz does this—

particularly live jazz in the function of improvisation. Although I’m quite

introverted, I am fascinated by conversation that delves into an unsuspected and

unexpected meaning. I am unskilled at “chitchat” or “small talk”; these versions

of conversation cause discomfort in me; why?—I am unsure, wholly. The


conversations I truly enjoy are those that lead to revelatory thinking, which, in my

experience, stem from directional unknowingness, in that the path of

conversation—even if the topic has been predetermined—alters itself based on a

reactive, unplanned language used to describe one’s perception. The

language springs from a silence and frees itself into clarity or confusion; either

can be valuable in the learning of self and the process this takes in becoming.

I think of formulaic language as being a language that is expected, thus,


You mention some similarities in interpreting music and painting, but

what is the main difference as far as your PROCESS in interpreting

music versus interpreting a painting?

The disparateness relies on the differentia pertaining to artistic medium. Painting

and jazz, topographically, appear quite different, yet they are rather similar in their

fundamental purpose ofcommunication. Senses. The senses are informed

differently depending on what it is I am interpreting. A painting engages the eye

first, leading into what is heard or explained in its language of communicatory

desire; this is the listening component. Ekphrasis is a brand of communication…

in a painting, my listening dictates the language of ensuing poetry. With jazz, the

auditory devices speak, first. A jazz quartet is conversing, —I am

eavesdropping. Depending on what I am hearing (as I’ve mentioned elsewhere,

the synesthesia I have translates sound to color), images leap rather quickly,

informing then, the language being used within a poem’s desire to portray.

Have you ever attempted to poetically interpret an excerpt from a

work of philosophy? If not, would you? Why or why not? Who would

you choose?

Wonderful question. No, I have not, although the idea has burgeoned. I’m so very

fond of Heidegger’s philosophy of language as it relates to poetry, I would

probably attempt to analyze and further, interpret some work he dedicated to that

topic. His language is quite dense; whenever I read his work, it is done very

slowly. His quotation: "The poets are in the vanguard of a changed conception of

Being." hangs on my wall, and delivers insight into an angled commentary on

why I write in the configuration I do.

All poets who have reached some level of success, as you have,

encounter detractors. What have your detractors said about you?

What do you say to your detractors?

I’m unsure as to any detractors commenting on my work; I can, however, speak of

editors’ responses and their language within rejection letters I’ve received, which

typically consist of various versions of language stating my work was too difficult

to access: too experimental, out there, esoteric, philosophical, difficult, avantgarde,

and others. My response really, is experience into moving onto the next

opportunity to submit my work to journals. Rejection is part of the process, and

therefore, is expected and predetermined. Opinion is tied to preference is tied to

perspective. Years ago, rejection letters bothered me, and early on, caused a

reevaluation of my writing. Now, however, rejection isn’t a fathom of causational

introspection any longer.

Felino and I have had many e-mail exchanges over the years, and

before we conducted this interview, when we were having a casual

conversation about writing, he showed me one of his earliest

published poems, which he allowed me to publish below. When I read

it, I was struck by its naive lines, which are especially remarkable

when juxtaposed with his much more complex verse of late. The

imagery is lovely, and the lines refreshingly apprehensible, but one

realizes that the best Felino poems are those that are convoluted

enigmas, like impossible-to-solve riddles that are nonetheless

enjoyable to attempt to decode. This poetic evolution shows that

Felino has made good on his promise to eschew cliche at all costs!


The meteorologist was right this time.

Light was in abundance with fog

composing another town’s ceiling.

I’m usually cynical about weather predictions

and the smiles that accompany

the phrases, after the weatherperson

forecasts a truth rarely found to hold

that given name. A trip to the beach though,

could give me a chance to catch up on things:

sleep or breathing, or understanding

that I can’t catch up on such things.

The sand shaped tiny paths between my toes.

Hurry!, I thought (in a childlike rush!)

and follow where the paths

widen! There, a gathering

of seaweed, resembling a cluster

of ripe grapes

pushed salt into the air traveling

between the hair. I built my hands

into a rusty vintage ladle

and scooped up the belly from the slippery

ocean mess. It was as if fingers tangled

inside mine, for connecting with something

not before in my grasp was lively—I observed it,

licked the salt to taste its skin

and felt abandoned that I’ve never done

this type of thing before. Around

my neck, I put one strand and wore

it home to show my pet fish.

LAST FELINO POEM in Clockwise Cat

Published at www.clockwisecat.com - Issue 39

Editor’s note: The last issue of Clockwise Cat to feature Felino’s poetry was Issue 39,

released in April, 2018. He died in October, 2018. We did reprint one of his poems from that

batch (“Conjuring Rain”) in the mini-tribute to Felino in Issue 40 (out in January, 2019). The

piece we are reprinting from that batch for this full-fledged Felino tribute issue is an ethereal

poem dedicated to his wife, Gabriela.

Within your Language I Cultivate my Listening

Bridge of where our meeting

met us of how the bodies

bend and skeletons endured

a wind stronger than the bridge

could coordinate outlasting.

Somewhere, or precise

in the here rendition of place and rhythm

we’ve a homemade handmade

direction toward

family and the sway of unexpected

additions. Amid devoted sound

you’ve heard my healing ache

into plurals of allegorical friction.


the voice you’ve had since

inception my hearing of it

renames each moment

many times in momentum:

--for Gabriela

how this life continues will resemble an aggregate of seasonal surprise, a flourish

of piano

and soloing into a specific language of deliberate articulation



A wonderful poet and person has passed. Felino Soriano, Clockwise Cat's Poet-In-

Residence for many years, valiantly fought an 18-month cancer battle, and it finally

claimed him in October. He was only 44. He is survived by four daughters, one of whom

is only 7 years old; a loving wife; an adoring mother; and a proud brother. My heart

aches for his family.

My heart also aches for the poetry world. His talent was rare. His approach to poetry

was unique, ground-breaking. In his own words, Felino "collocates a fixating fascination

with various idioms of jazz and the interminable desire to assemble a dissimilar poetic


In our copious correspondences, which spanned from Spring 2007 until September

2018, Felino spoke passionately about his own process. He was enamored not only of

the multifarious forms of jazz (and listened to jazz feverishly while composing his lines),

but of philosophy, and was primarily preoccupied with how he could fuse the two media

in his poetic projects.

His was not a haughty undertaking. Contrary to the intellectually intimidating persona

conveyed through his words, Felino did not have a stuffy writer's ego. At all. He

remained humble in spite of his rising star in the universe of small and medium-sized

presses. Felino knew he had a gift, and knew his gift was singular, but he was

determined to revolutionize language authentically, not superciliously. If you carefully

absorb the natural cadences and labyrinthian lines of his startling compositions, you will

come to see that Felino approached poetry with pure love. He was boundlessly blessed

with huge talent, and huge heart.

Clockwise Cat first published Felino in 2007, in our inaugural issue. I was ecstatic when

I received a submission of this yet-unknown talent, because his compositions were

crafted in exactly the kind of subversive style I was seeking. I felt I had hit the literary

jackpot when his poems crossed my virtual transom. His poems epitomized the

experimental ethos, but they were also ineffably accessible, exuding warmth and humor.

And over the 11 year span of Clockwise Cat's publishing tenure, we featured his poems

so many times I finally made him our Poet-In-Residence. I was always thrilled to be

witness to his poetic evolution.

I was honored to be Felino's friend. We never met, though I certainly entertained a time

when we might share a stage together, reading our poetry. Or when I could simply and

blissfully listen to him read his magnetic manifestos of verse. For in the end, each poem

Felino scribbled was a manifesto - against the sterility of language and for genuine and

impassioned idiomatic expression.

Felino, my friend, you have left a void in the hearts of your loved ones and in the world

of words, but your scintillating spirit lives on through your verse, so vivid and vital.


By Alison Ross

I will always deeply miss Felino as my poetry pal,

and as the main impetus for continuing Clockwise

Cat through the years. Indeed, Clockwise Cat and

Felino Soriano are so intricately bound, it seems

almost absurd to persist with publication of the

magazine given Felino’s horribly unfair, untimely

demise. Time will tell what happens with this


It is been thrilling for me to learn, however, through

the submissions to this commemorative issue, just

how indelibly Felino touched so many people, not

just through his vital verse, but through his persistent

encouragement of their own talents.

Thank you, Felino, for your warmth, intelligence,

humor and compassion. The world is a far dimmer

place without you.

We close with a blurb I wrote for one of Felino’s yetto-be-published


Felino has pioneered a new genre: Primitive post-modern poetics. In fanatically

fusing the metaphysics of the written word with the sultry and searing sonics of

jazz, Felino has engendered an idiosyncratic idiom unparalleled in

contemporary poetry. His compulsive search for authentic expression has led

him to that primitive place in the psyche that existed before language. But it

has also urged him toward evolving a propulsive vernacular that rearranges

syntax and fearlessly subverts formal grammatical modes. Felino Soriano's

verse is a delicacy to savor forever.

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