Artists are the antennae of the race, but the bullet
-headed many will never learn to trust their artists. [Pound]
My Catholic Girlhood taught me two disciplines that are invaluable,
I think, for writing: the daily examination of conscience
and the meditation on holy pictures. [Warner] The business
of the poet is to show the sorriness underlying the grandest
things. [Hardy] A result which is sentimental is implemented
by what to the craftsman was private and unsentimental. [Moore]
[A] requisite in our poet or our maker is imitation, imitatio,
to be able to convert the substance or riches of another poet
to his own use. To make choice of one excellent man above the rest.
And so to follow him…Not as a creature that swallows what it takes in,
crude raw and undigested; but that feeds with an appetite,
and hath a stomach to concoct, divide, and turn all into nourishment. [Johnson]
Words are always getting conceptualized to some secondary meaning.
It is one of the works of poetry to take the truants into custody
and bring them back to their senses. Poets are the policemen of language,
always arresting those old reprobates, the words. [Yeats]
The multiplicity of nations and cultures in the word
makes it inevitable that the details and particulars
of human experience will vary according to time, place,
and circumstance, and it follows that the majority of writers
will dramatize and interpret human life according to usages
of their particular nation and epoch. [Jemie]
Poets are damned… but see with the eyes of angels. [Ginsberg]
There’s a place, such a loud place, inside music–
a shrill glitter though one might sense it not. To
tell how loud you must get inside ’cause zilch,
no, nothing’s as loud.
Imagine music turned up piercing the out-
side; that’s nothing. Wait for volume dealt with in
there. You may not love it in music–where it
gets so frigging loud.
It’s loud. Though for judging, one must get into
a music which may be for you a dark home
–a place, a point, not the outside but inside.
So, you. Inside. Go.
Mind your step in music, no shuffling or hobbling.
Don’t stumble. Don’t fall. Pick up your feet.
Don’t place feet in random order, all jumbled.
Only bring one cat.
This music’s done cafe’ forte; baristas
brew coffee for the ruckus. You’ll be glad once
in ’cause, I swear to God, there’s joy, love, and peace
written on the walls.
Within the shop screams one lone aloe vera
plant, a pillow with sofa, and a ceiling
made of attractive corrugated metal.
Walls shout local art.
In there you’ll find spinning dancers eating sand-
wiches from the darkest side of the moon. Tell
me, while whirling, must they eat their submarines
loudly chewing so?
As you leave the coffeehouse, go to your car,
or truck, or SUV, or bike. Do obey
the traffic rules because inside the music
fines are really high.
While home-tripping down a loud county road, you
might spy cotton fields and winds strong enough to
knock your grandmother down. Winds there are so loud;
cotton not so much.
Once again, for all this, you must get into
a music ’cause outside music you are lame.
Inside’s loud. Bit loud. Best be ready for that.
Just get in the groove.
Most editors are happy to answer questions regarding submissions. If a lit mag seems like a good fit for your work and it happens to be a collaboration, found poem, or other more nontraditional form, contact them via email or on other social media to ask if they are open to such forms. If you receive a response and can share it with me here, I’ll note it for others in the future.
Most of the listings below have accepted found work or other unusual formats of poetry and/or claim that they will. They are listed alphabetically; some are currently accepting submissions, some are temporarily closed. I’ve also included a link to their Duotrope page, which will allow you to track deadlines if you currently subscribe to Duotrope.
Submissions: Open September 1st and close on October 15th: Publication will occur in January. Open February 1st through March 1st:…
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In celebration of National Poetry Month I have two things happening this April: 1. A new collection of poems being released this month by New Orphic Publishers of Nelson, BC, titled The Price of Transcendence. Some of the poems from this book have been published on this blog site. And, 2. A new essay, posted here, titled The Power of Questions. This was inspired by an invitation to perform a ‘favourite poem’ at the Nakusp Library poetry event happening April 23rd. Organizer Barb McPherson reminded me that I’d already done Rilke’s timeless poem from The Book of Hours at a previous Nakusp Library event, so I have her to thank for prompting this new essay. Amazing what last minute desperation combined with inspiration can do sometimes!
THE POWER OF QUESTIONS: ‘THE BOOK OF QUESTIONS’ BY PABLO NERUDA
Why don’t they train helicopters
to suck honey from…
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One Sunday, I rubbed sleep from Moorish eyes, tossed on clothes and shoes, then cooked breakfast: chorizo potato huevos, toast, and hot yerba tea. No orange juice–but I woke up with this old hymn stuck in my head.
Would you be free from
the burden of sin? There’s pow’r
in the blood. Power…
Eyeing sky out the kitchen window, I spied starlings, many starlings; oh so many starlings perched on electric wires again. After burning my lip on tea, I spent numerous minutes imagining a ton of reasons why birds might perch on lines like that. Oklahoma had perfectly fine trees. Yet these starlings picked wires for all their sittin’ lined up across the city. Why did they do that? I settled on only this: these birds longed, like me, for a safe place to go sit close to power. Not power in the wires; that would be ridiculous. They liked power in solidarity.
Come for a cleansing
to Calvary’s tide; There’s won-
derful pow’r in the…
So I set out to attend a church, por qué no. On arriving too early for the big service, a deacon handed me a name sticker then funneled me toward something called an adult group for discussion, the topic: the Mexican Border. Unprepared, I listened to the discussion leader and to the other folks gathered there. The talk was there’s only one language: English. I didn’t know that, but aye, aye, aye! And, “The restaurants are fine,” one man said, “but the Mexicans must leave.” It was an emergency.
Would you be whiter,
much whiter than snow? There’s pow’r
in the blood. Power…
I ran my eyes across the Gospel faces of the people on pews. Everyone got a chance to speak their English. No one spoke French, German, Chinese or any of the other languages they might have had. It was an only English event. I ran a hand across my forehead then back through my hair. I got it; yet I didn’t–birds of a feather, I guess, only in a cage. My mind escaped for a moment; thoughts just flew right on out of there and landed in a different place in my head. Once there, I silently told myself the story of my mother and how, during the last waves of Eisenhower deportaciónes, my Appalachian father married her and brought her to the states.
Sin-stains are lost in
its life-giving flow; There’s won-
derful pow’r in the…
I never returned to that Church since the discussion leader’s talk. No lo quiero. For what it was worth, I would still rise early on Sundays, dress myself, cook breakfast, and peek out the window at the weather where I would once in a while spot starlings perched on electricity. One bird would fly off, swoop around, pick at something on the ground, look around, then fly back up to sit with friends on wires. I would envied those starlings lined up on electrical lines with all their power. But me, I would just eat breakfast then kick back on the sofa with a remote flipping through cable channels. Then on other Sundays, I would drive to my mother’s house where we’d sit around watching programs on Telemundo TV.
There is pow’r, pow’r, won-
der-working pow’r in the
precious blood of the…
US envoy to Israel faces Senate after Trump scraps two-state policy
Surprise! Trump hands the mic to supporter at Florida rally
Zakaria: Trump has’hardly done anything’
Comey talks Russia with senators in closed-door briefing
Senators want Russia-related materials preserved
Flynn changed story to FBI, no charges expected
Tillerson presides over abrupt shakeup at State Department
Trump pivots to economic message in Boeing visit
Clinton’s staffers are keeping up the fight
Republicans have long talk about replacing Obamacare, but no bill yet
Cruz to Trump: Name John Bolton as national security adviser
Officials: Mike Dubke to be named as White House communications director
McCain: Dictators ‘get started by suppressing free press’
Trump wants a ‘wall’. Border experts want a fence
Jeff Sessions’ team takes over Washington
Under fire, Trump returns to the campaign
Priebus denies collusion between Trump campaign and Russian officials
Navy commander charged in long-running scandal
Roommate wanted: No Trump supporters
McConnell urges GOP: Don’t fear protesters
Trump’s Sweden comment raises questions
Is Russia’s obsession with Donald Trump waning?
DeVos given U.S. Marshals Service protection
Smerconish: ‘This is a golden age of journalism’
from CNN headlines 2/10/17
In the sky she floats,
flooding the shadowed earth
with clear silver light. (Sappho)
Herself to her a Music
as bumble-bee of June. (Dickenson)
That music of my nature,
day and night with dream
and thought and feeling interwound (Browning)
among the litter of a sunless afternoon
having eaten without tasting
talked without communion. (Loy)
Love comes in waves like the ocean,
a sickness which goes on
& on, a hollow cave. (Attwood)
- The Poems of Sappho
- The Poems of Emily Dickenson
- The Soul’s Expression by Elisabeth Barrett Browning
- Human Cylinders by Mina Loy
- Postcards by Margaret Attwood
Wake up you sleep shop heads. Wake now sleep stop.
Make with morning songs sung second to none.
Get up. Get up. Good god, get up a ton.
Stick socks and shoes on feet–sans the holdup.
Last warning. No snoozing here. Coffee’s up.
Don’t zizz on like hell on a hot dog bun
–a blanket sausage/pillowed concoction.
God bless everyone but get the hell up.
Window look, out, toward the sun. Rub your eyes
or whatever you do in the morning.
Sun’s an early riser so so must you
blow a so long kiss to your slumber selves.
And then stretch–sing like a sun a-shinin’.
Suns do sing, sleepsters. And, oh, don’t argue.