Sunday, June 23, 2013

Recent publications: The Ghazal Page

The June 2013 issue contains three of my ghazals:
The Cosmos,
Out of context, and
To be light.

Altogether it's a great issue, with contributions that push the boundary of the ghazal in this way and that. I was particularly intrigued by Karla Linn Merrifield's fractal/ghazal hybrids. As always, Gene Doty adds his comments on each poem.

You can find more about The Ghazal page and my contributions to it in the post for May 30, 2010. It contains links to all of my ghazals previously published there. (Published later but never noted here in a post was Change. In that one, I maintained the monorhyme but rung changes on the radif.)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Recent publications: Disembodied Text, KIN, Danse Macabre

Disembodied Text is a fledgling themed zine which has recently changed from weekly to monthly. The editors see it as a sort of gallery space where literary, visual and auditory works around a given theme can interact. Issue 5, "Disembodied animals and abstraction," includes my poems "Leave thy low-vaulted past" and "Perspective".

KIN, aka Kin Poetry Journal, is a form-friendly zine with an adventurous spirit. Issue VIII includes my rubliw, Dispatch from the Kremlin. The form was invented by Richard Wilbur and named by Lewis Turco ("wilbur" backwards).

Danse Macabre is a quirky zine in more ways than one. Their new server apparently doesn't allow them to link to individual pages within an issue, so I can't post links to individual poems on the sidebar. Issue 68 contains three poems of mine on the theme of unwanted communications: "From the circular file," "From the spam folder," and "The unknown caller." If you're feeling tntrepid enough to seek them out, the above link should take you to the issue home page (Heimat / Cosmos). Clicking on "Poetry" at the pink menu to the left should produce a turquoise menu. Click on the 4th one down, "Tre entro tre". There's a cameo NNW of the picture on the right, at the top of a light-colored vertical bar. That's the scroll bar. If you drag the cameo thing about 3/4 of the way down the picture frame you'll come to my first poem.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Recent publication(s): Chain ghazal: Chickens

I've been in a dry place and haven't been writing much poetry lately. I hang out now and then at the Sunset Beach section of The Waters – where, besides participating in NaPoWriMo, one may write 7 poems in 7 days at any time in the company of a small but nurturing group of people who cheer each other on. In January I tried a 7/7 and lasted three days. One of the three poems was an attempt at a hybrid ghazal/pantoum, though it came out more like a blues. The first draft had 3-line stanzas; the later version has four, with the third unrhymed to give it the feel of a ghazal's first two shers.

Gene Doty published it in the March issue of The Ghazal Page, and notified me a few days later that Carol Rumens, who writes a weekly column in The Guardian, had asked to use it as her "poem of the week." It appeared there on March 18; when last I looked there were over 200 comments, including many imitations and parodies. On March 20 it was posted on 3quarksdaily, which I'd never heard of, but my son says Azra Raza is his friend's wife's friend's cousin, so obviously it was a put-up job.

I'm feeling somewhat overwhelmed by all this. I had intended to give NaPoWriMo a miss this year, but now I am energized and will be participating – for which I am immensely grateful to Gene and Carol.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Poetry Archive: Cartographie Curieux, The Centrifugal Eye

Cartographie Curieux is a new zine with an unusual slant: The editors are "interested in the curious geographies that everyone must navigate as they travel through life. We are obsessed with finding ourselves and we are looking for some good maps to get us there" poetry, fiction, visual media, etc. The zine, which is in blog form, officially launched on May 25, and my poem Trail to the Treasure of Al the Awful was the first and so far the only post. Do go to the submissions page and scroll down to where it says "Some maps we’d love to publish". Perhaps you'll be inspired to submit. I'm very curious to see what other cartographies will appear on this site.

The Spring/Summer issue of The Centrifugal Eye is themed "J Is for Jabberwocky: A Glossarium of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Allegory, Myth & Legend in Poetic Form." Two of my poems, World-Saving Poem and Return of the Zed-A, are in the Science Fiction section.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My poetry archive: Lyre Lyre and Infinity's Kitchen


Lyre Lyre is a fairly new ezine of surreal bent; they made me the portfolio poet for issue three, with four poems: "Old Sugar-Spike is dead," "This just in from the footfarm," "Shards of bottled ivory" (a homophonic translation based on Arthur Rimbaud's "Le bateau ivre"), and "The five bats of unhappiness."

Infinity's Kitchen has separate online and print magazines. Issue 5 of the former included my shaped poem Spooked. The print version is so far out I was surprised they'd accepted my work when I saw the company I was in. My very-tame-by-comparison contribution was an antonymic translation. The idea, which I got from a book on Oulipo, is to replace most of the words in an existing poem by their opposites, or the words don't have opposites, something in that direction. Here is the poem; I'll leave you to identify the source:

The Penultimate Going

Straightening, straightening out the narrowing plane
The warbler listens to the warble-ee;
Ideas coalesce, the periphery can drop,
Rank stringency is bound below the sun,
The wine-bright ebb is bound, and nowhere is
The free-for-all of guilt resuscitated;
The worst have no acquittal, while the best
Are void of apathetic listlessness.

There's no proof any concealment is afoot;
No proof the Penultimate Going is afoot;
The Penultimate Going! Softly these deeds are in
When a wee archetype in Corpus Coeli
Oils your hearing; outside rocks of the ocean
A haze without lamb's mind or the foot of a mouse,
Closed eyes crammed and merciful as the moon,
Is resting its fast shins, while irrelevant to it
Unwinds the light of cheerful fish of the sea.
The first time daylight rises, you're unaware
That a single second of warm insomnia
Was pleased to sweet dreams by a static coffin,
And what smooth bird, its moment gone square long since,
Prances away from Golgotha to be killed?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

RIP: John Mella, with thanks

John Mella, founding editor of Light Quarterly, died on April 16 at age 70.

As of 2006 Light, a print magazine, was the main if not only venue for light verse in the US. The following poem, which appeared in the Autumn 2006 issue, was my first to be accepted by a literary magazine:

Orientation Speech

A compass
is an object about which it is not worth making a rumpus.
This wretched hunk of magnetite
can't even tell me which is my left hand and which is my right.
The location of north and south is a mystery which I have not the least interest in plumbing;
what I want to know is whether I'm going or coming.
Be so kind as to spare us
your lecture on the virtues of knowing the whereabouts of Polaris.
The wind bloweth where it listeth,
or so the Bible insisteth;
and what direction it bloweth from engageth me as little as how to tell splakes from wrasses.
Just give me a gadget that will point to where I put my glasses.

The poets on Eratosphere, a site which specializes in formal poetry, have got up a thread where members are invited to post their own poems which appeared in Light. It's quite a collection; take a look.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My poetry archive: Winamop

The latest issue of Winamop is out. This is a quirky little British zine that "was conceived on a whim, is run on a shoestring, ignored by the many, loved by the few and has continued unabashed since 2003." Just the place to send light verse - and the editor took three of mine, plus a collaborative poem written by eight of my relatives in 1947. Great to find waiting for me first thing on April Fool's day.