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.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

National Poetry Writing Month 2012

April is National Poetry Writing Month, when we are challenged to write a poem every day for 30 days. I have decided to try it again, as I have every year since 2007.

I will be posting my daily efforts on the forum at Poets.org. The section "The Writing Life" has a folder "NaPoWriMo 2012"; my thread is "Esther's Exercises."

The Poets.org forums have had increased difficulty with spammers and hackers, and have toughened their access rules as a result. To view the NaPo threads (or any of the poetry workshop threads) you must join the forum with a recognizable first and last name, and wait to be approved.

Of course, if you join and would like to participate in NaPoWriMo yourself, you can create your own thread!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Publications update

Here's a brief rundown of poems I've posted since the last update in May:

The Fib Review (edited by Mary-Jane Grandinetti, who is also editor of Shot Glass Journal) is a zine devoted not to minor mendacities but to the fib, a form based on the Fibonacci sequence. I had 3 poems in issue #10: "The mailman cometh", "Gift of gab", and "Make your cooking colorful". (I can't the links to work; see "Index to published poems" at right.)

Curio Poetry is a fairly new zine, specializing in "poetry that explores the world at a micro-level: tiny spaces, instants, individual objects, scraps of dreams and memories, et cetera." Issue #3 contains 3 of mine: Summer libation; The sinister spoon; Floaters.

The December issue of Danse Macabre had my cranky holiday poem, "'Tis the season" - I'll post the link on the sidebar when the archive is available again. Two other poems, Literalness is the Devil's weapon; Visitation, were posted on the auxiliary site, Danse Macabre du Jour.

On New Verse News, see my double dactyl Laissez-faire (June 12, 2011) and Sonnenizio on a line by Edward Thomas (March 5, 2012).

The latter is the first poem I've written since last June; time to get in gear for National Poetry Writing Month in April!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Review and reading of UNGLOBED FRUIT

The March issue of Friends Journal contains a review of Unglobed Fruit by Catherine Wald, the former poetry editor. Here is the conclusion:

I enjoyed this book as an adventurous foray into language and form that is heavier on wit than emotional impact. For this reason, I suspect the book will be of more interest to poets than the general public. I was also surprised that someone so keen on form chose to order her poems alphabetically rather than in terms of thematic or narrative thrust. However there's much to admire and amuse here— so help yourself!

I laughed at her comment on the alphabetical order. I daresay the book would have come out a year earlier if I hadn't been hung up on the arrangement. I read and reread Ordering the Storm, a collection of essays on how to put together a book of poetry; each and every contributor recommended crawling around on the floor, which at my age I'm physically unable to do. So in the end I decided that what was good enough for W H Auden was good enough for me.

Coincidentally, I've been asked to do a book signing and reading at the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting library next Sunday, Feb 26. (1515 Cherry St., Philadelphia, 12:30-2 PM. Meeting for worship starts at 11:00.)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Poetry update

After a pause of several months I am in the process of updating the links on this site. The following poetry zines have closed or suspended publication since I listed them, though their web pages are still available (see "Poetry sites" sidebar):

Shit Creek Review published an "End of Days" issue in December 2011, which they indicate will be the last. It was a first-class formal-friendly zine from the land of Oz with a wonderfully un-stodgy spirit.
Pemmican is on "indefinite hiatus," meaning the 2011 issue is the last, at least for now.
Puffin Circus, which started out to be a monthly, seems to have run out of steam after its April 11 "baseball" issue.
Danse Macabre is moving, and will resume once it is installed in its new home. Submissions are suspended until then; the archive is currently unavailable.

As for me, I've been on hiatus too; I've done some revising, but have written virtually no poetry since last June.

I'll be back anon with a list of recently published poems.