Tuesday, January 30, 2007


the process of submissions is a miserable thing. deciding which poems go to which mags, making sure you've not sent that poem to em before, no simultaneous submissions, no previously published work, typing up a letter that says more than "here's some poems, asshole," stamping envelopes, heading to the post office, etc. then, you learn to forget about submissions; editors take their time getting back in touch. you learn to expect a rejection in the SASE when it appears in your box; most poems aren't a fit. and do this ten or fifteen times to different mags, constantly. mostly, I wonder why it matters, how much ego is involved and am I doing this for the right reasons (in my case, it's always about communication, deep communication and seeking a better understanding of myself, so I think I am, most times). I think about the reader of poetry mags, the generally faceless nature of writing. the solitude. I revel in it. I want the words to stand out there on their own. to do their job. and I want no part in that, I've beaten those typewriter keys and that is my reward.

but I tell you, the feeling of opening that fucking return envelope, I swear, no matter how many times I do it, is a goddamn thrill. you look at the postmark if there is no return address, you remember the stamps you used (vintage Harleys, Ella Fitzgerald, omnipresent American flags), you feel its weight. the world compresses into one thin finger cutting along a gummed flap and the sound of paper tearing. inside, well, shit, who knows? I don't ask for my poems back, only a reply in my SASE (the postage is cheaper). maybe a tiny scrap of colored paper that reads SORRY. maybe a short note, maybe a contract signing over first North American serial rights. maybe a check, too. it is all part of the process, and when a poem lands for a total stranger, when the words hit them like they hit you, it's a fine thing indeed.

and when a mag like the New York Quarterly takes two of my poems, a mag that is legendary, and has endured much to remain active and publishing, it is a kind of affirmation that the process has merit, that the act of mailing poems out is a valid expenditure of precious time. that it is an important facet of writing the poems. that maybe the poems will help just one person understand some universal truth or ask a question of themselves or just wonder at the impossible miracle of our frail humanity. it lets me know that it is possible.

in the end it is the connection via a fucking poem to another living soul that continues to amaze me and keep me hunting for it, searching for it:

the mystery that is Art.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

fragile beauty (rust)...

some of cynthia's latest, part of a larger series:

Friday, January 19, 2007

a couple of things...

just got the new Silt Reader with a poem of mine in it along with Julie Lechevsky, Locklin, Ellaraine Lockie (also a proud GPP Operative) and others; I have two extras so the first emails I get asking, shall receive). oh, and the new Nerve Cowboy with a couple of mine along with barrett, Church, Estabrook, Thompson, Wisniewski and many many others, and have one extra that I'll give away as well.

also have the final final proofs for my sunnyoutside book so hopefully we'll get the printed versions, I'll paint em, and you can buy em real damn soon.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

he's right...

Saturday, January 06, 2007

you gotta fight the bastards...

any of you poets out there who've not yet subbed to Fight These Bastards should do so quickly. they are on their fourth issue and the editors pick some great writing. they disdain the academic world and prefer the hard edge of real life.

and if you've the goods, they are currently running their chapbook contest, submit 16-23 poems with a SASE and $12 (check/mo payable to Fight These Bastards); pays $50 and 50 copies and your twelve bucks gets you a copy of the winner even if you don't quite get there. past publications include Lyn Lifshin and Mark Wisniewski

submit to:
2007 Evil Genius Chapbook Series
c/o Platonic 3Way Press
P.O. Box 844
Warsaw, IN 46581

do it, and if not, at least check out an issue for $4. worth the change...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

don't get pwned...

jam this awesome list of words whose retirement age has come up your iHole.