Here we are, the year nearly finished, and we still do not have a new poet laureate -- O my captain! Did our resident poets not see the tiny item about the search in the Mercury News? Did they have trouble with the nomination guidelines, which only considers poets whove published a non-vanity book that contains 48 pages or more (huh?), a CD (what?), or 20 or more poems in established publications? Maybe we should just let Jack Hirschman pull a Bloomberg and continue his two-year reign. Hes certainly done a fine job, what with the biennial International Poetry Festival that started in 2007 and the fests interim events, the second of which is todays San Francisco International Poetry Festival Vietnamese Poets of the Diaspora. Attending is award-winning poet and S.F. State teacher Truong Tran (perhaps our next laureate, hint) as well as five other Vietnamese-American poets, all of whom excel in areas beyond free verse. Linh Dinhs collection of stories Blood and Soap got picked by the Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004; Mong-Lan moonlights as a painter, photographer, and Argentine tango dancer; and lê thi diem thúys 2004 novel, The Gangster We Are All Looking For, is required reading on many college campuses -- shes also a acclaimed performance artist.