Hiccups, a new book of short poems


My second collection of poems, Hiccups, is now out from Augury Press & available for order through Small Press Distribution & Amazon. You can also read some sample poems on the SPD site.

Taking cues from a myriad of short forms—haiku, epigram, bon mot, aphorism, senryū—the poems in Joe Pan’s Hiccups search out unexpected ways to document events in transition. Here the imminent moment, deeply regarded, is agitated into performance or merely left to drift, generating through language a curious experience of its own making. The disparate settings of these poems are as diverse as the impulses that gave rise to the work—a Tokyo skyscraper, a South African wildlife preserve, a log cabin in the Pacific Northwest, a shark-infested reef off Belize. These are poems that arrive with a jolt, engulfing the familiar, before being left to linger or dissolve.


“How Joe Pan just lets the world occur in Hiccups is a pleasure.” 

-Joseph Massey

“These verses I found charming, always, even when downcast, and exhilarating in bulk—if works so well carved from cherry stones may be said to have bulk.”

-Fred Chappell

“What’s the opposite of a suicide note? If there is a “life note,” then this is it, taking us from casino to glacier, our attention a pinball, a staccato of seasons.”

-Heather Morgan

“If Walt Whitman wrote haiku, they might sound like Joe Pan’s capacious short poems in Hiccups, a luminous “Song of Myself” for the twenty-first century.”

-James Shea


“Hiccups” to be published by Augury Books in 2015

I was in LA this past week when I opened my inbox to a terrific email from Kate at Augury Books informing me that they wanted to publish my book of short poems, Hiccups, in May of 2015.

The book is a basically a love letter/travelogue broken into 250 short poems.

I’ll update the site as more information becomes available.

Now I’m just trying to find a good author photo, which is proving difficult but entertaining.




Noon moon,
city sidewalk
a gyro draped in aluminum.

The child holding his coat
aloft by one arm is held
aloft by one arm.

Park leaves breaking into color.
Two blind men
compare dogs.

Even the old dog
in snow
wonders at its breath.

The cow under dogwood
is the glove
nuzzling away the hoarfrost.

Blinded by the first flakes
the ambulance
cries for what it carries.

Early workaday. Two women
recognize each other revolving
through revolving doors.

My hands under
the cubicle lights.
Autumn? Spring?

Nights at the Advertising Firm

Quarter moon over
the Empire State Building,

The New Newer


How can I put this? Star Wars is the new Odyssey. No new news but still news. No? If one believes in a populace representing their own beliefs & choosing new characters as heroes. If not, there’s always academia. There’s always an -ism, which means an earlier stab at dominant theory revived into council as the ultimate way to believe a priori. Liar. You dream better than you feel the truth of that. Yet God is chosen much, mostly, or anti-god, muchly, and Chris Hitchens dying choosing writing as God, into the final hours. Much love.

Some more hiccups:


Spring rain taps the window.
My refrigerator
hums its one tune.

Spring rain,
and all the books here slouching
on their spines.

Sound of a saw—but
when I look—child
smiling from a tree fort.

Each Day, a Crumb


So I’m going to try & post something new each day. A poem piece, a little nugget of text, fragments of a story in progress, something. So today, four hiccups (haiku-like poems) that began & ended my last attempt at blogging: onward, upward, forever westward eyeing eastly, uneasily & perhaps awkwardly, but openly, hopefully:


On Mt. Rainier

Log cabin porch swing—
bugs practice shadow puppets
behind the green leaf.


3 Hiccups in WA

Is that my cat’s ghost
or the computer

New snow, old snow.
World looks the same
in an oilslick.

Following a Korean dinner over oranges
arranged in a white bowl
she finds the rhyme in Stonehenge.