Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Interview with Liz Gallagher

In the Event Museum, there is no pleasure like wine and no pleasure greater than drinking wine with Liz Gallagher while talking about her first full-length collection of poems, The Wrong Miracle (Salt Publishing, 2009).

As part of their contract, poets are given a superhero costume to wear during the interview... just so they understand that we are dead serious.

Arlene Ang: Welcome to the Event Museum, Liz. I hope you're comfy.

Liz Gallagher: Hi Arlene, it is lovely to be here at the Event Museum, thanks for awakening me out of my non-poetry slumbering life and getting me up and about again. I so love the superwoman outfit that you had laid out on the couch for me, as you can see, I have slipped into it and also have delighted in the fact that my legs took on a new spurt of growth while doing so... I am totally comfortable sitting here and yes, if there is a large Martini going, I would be delighted. Hope you join me, and I adore your outfit too, I want your dressmaker's name after the interview.

AA: I'm pleased to say that our supporters have provided us with every type of liquor, but no glasses. It's probably a study on human adaptation. Just pick what you want and drink directly from the bottle. It's perfectly okay.

Talking of adaptation, I've always been intrigued that you were born in Donegal, Ireland and have been living in Grand Canary Island these past fourteen years. What impact did this have in your writing? Would you have any poems that shout Donegal or Grand Canary to you—they don't necessarily have to be about these places, but more of a feeling, maybe how they remind you of a period or time there?

LG: I really began writing while living here on Gran Canary Island. We are so fortunate as to live in a very beautiful and protected valley where there are only a few houses nearby so the quiet and relative isolation of the place is ideal for writing.

I think the fact that I am an 'outsider' here (even though I speak the language, know lots of people and am quite involved in the community) has also impacted on my writing as I can so easily go into 'objective mode' and sort of remove myself from my roots, so to speak, and thus feel freer to actually write about personal and 'root-like' things! I suppose there is some contradiction there!

I never really write while I'm in Ireland, I take notes and jot down expressions and things I hear as the wealth of expressions and sayings that my parents and neighbours use is very inspiring and amusing. One of the things I have found is that the minute I am on the plane out of Ireland, I am there with the food tray down writing away and usually it will be about Ireland, even if indirectly! It will take maybe two months for me to shake off the Irish experience and move on to other themes.

AA: I noticed some religious elements in your book, The Wrong Miracle—even the title hints on an "act of God" gone wrong. I remember exchanging notes with you once and talking about our Catholic background. In one of the poems there, "Sun Over a Tree Line," I'm fascinated by this image:

                        God becomes
a ragged fellow who moves
from tree to tree in the back of the mind.

He pursues the living and the dead stay dead.

Will you tell us more about this poem? It's almost as if God or religion is being relegated to the back of one's mind, to be taken out only on special occasions, like for an illness or a funeral. I'm also struck by the use of the verb, "become"—does this mean that we tend to use religion to suit our needs?

LG: Oh gosh! Yes, G/god, in lower or capital does make his/her way into my poems a lot. I was never really aware of the pattern until putting the book together and thinking: 'Here, we go again, God/god is everywhere'... I will confess (!) to actually spending quite some time wondering whether to put G/god in lower or capitals in some of the poems in the book after having written them. And yes, Arlene, I was brought up a Catholic and was educated by the nuns and no doubt that has left its mark and it comes out in a sort of half-rebellious way every so often in some poems.

This poem was written after the invasion of Iraq. There were protests and general disgust at this whole event happening. It felt like a collapse of civilisation, the fact that something so barbaric could happen in the 21st century and that the world stood by and let it happen. The over-riding feeling was one of chaos as shown by some of the images in the poem ( e.g. Humpty Dumpty, hoof-prints, pedicures for Dictators, door frames collapsing, dead bodies and water-logged blankets..) ..... and at the end I suppose God is being implicated in what is happening, like the lurker behind the tree who comes to pick at the spoils... I've never really analysed this poem before but yes, it is a move away from an all-loving G/god to one who is part and parcel of the chaos and the resulting deaths.

And to answer your question about using religion to suit our needs, I think this is possible, even though Catholic religion, as I know it, has always been so 'boxed-up' and 'defined' that I have never felt that I could make it adapt to my needs, that in fact it was a case of adapting to it or nothing, but yes, I know what you mean about all of a sudden finding a purpose for a G/god /religion, especially non-institutionalised religion, in times of grief and sadness.

AA: Another favorite poem, "Cosmic Noise" is such a perfect depiction of marriage—not just between two people, but also between two opposing forces.The pullmi-pullyu bickering in the first stages, then the establishment of balance:

                        I settle
to enjoy lunch. You settle to enjoy lunch.
Two people, their bearings found, and settling.

Would you relate this to your writing, too? Can you discuss your own relationship with poetry?

LG: I love your interpretation of this poem, Arlene. And yes, I do think that balance is needed to be able to write. I cannot write if I am unhappy or worried. The word 'settling' to me is really important, it's about that 'stretching-out-of-one's-legs' and the 'sigh-of-contentment' feeling that means turmoil is held at bay for a while but like you said the 'pullmi-pullyu' bickering is a sort of foreplay to settling as settling implies having been unsettled beforehand. This is my relationship with poetry, to a certain degree—there are so many preludes/interludes/general-life-happenings that prevent me from writing and when I do actually get down to writing, I always give a sigh of relief. And since I physically write with my back against my study wall (cushion between back and wall though and my legs stretched out before me on the study futon and laptop on lap, then it is the physical act of settling as well as the psychological.

AA: I have to say that after all this time, "Episode iii: The Day the Shelling Started" remains in my mind as one of the best poems I've come across. There's this haunting tango between the horrific and banal happiness:

The doctors said her tumors had shrunk. A wedding
took place across the street...

                        ... An artist in Lebanon ties
a microphone to his balcony to record the "Summer Rain"

of bombs breaking the sound barrier, he plays the trumpet
in the background and sketches drawings in the hushed

seconds of a starry night. An ex-hostage dreams of the blood
letting being over. He imagines one day sitting under

a magnificent oak and letting the beauty of the place soak into him.

I've always wanted to ask you about this poem, what made you write it. Will you tell us more about Zena el-Khalil to whom this piece is dedicated?

LG: As you know, Arlene, I have taken part in poem-a-day activities with yourself and others in Inside The Writers' Studio 30:30 forum. It was during one of these 30:30's that I wrote this poem (just to explain to other readers, 30:30 means writing a poem-a-day for 30 consecutive days! ) It was in July 2006 and it was during the invasion of Lebanon. I used to read the Guardian online every day to find out what was happening and I remember reading Zena el-Khalil's account of being there during the invasion and it affected me greatly.

At one stage for about 10 days during this particular 30:30, I lost my Internet connection but I didn't want to give up the poem-a-day activity (nor to give up reading the Guardian) so I used to go to the nearest village which is 10 minutes away and go into a Cyber Café there to read and write my poems. Because it was duirng the summer holidays, there used to be lots of young teenage guys there playing very loud computer war games and there I was stuck in the middle of them trying to get inspired to write poems—actually, most of the poems that came out of that time evolved around the invasion of Lebanon and war in general. The artist mentioned in the poem is a real person, his name is Mazen Kerbaj. He actually did record from his balcony the 'summer rain' of bombs. He blogs here and has a 6 min. 31 second recording of the bombing alongside saxophone improvisation.

Another weird aspect that added to the 'war' element was that in mid-July the rabbit-hunting season starts here on the island and the ironical thing is that where I live is big-rabbit-hunting ground (it is ironical considering it is actually a protected-valley, but not for rabbits, seemingly!) and every Thursday and Sunday there are loud gun shots which brought the whole horror of killing that little bit nearer.

AA: WOW. I never imagined so many outside events influenced this poem. The rabbit-hunting came as a surprise. It does sound harrowing.

You're such a gifted photographer, too. Have you ever found yourself using images from your pictures in your poems or vice versa? It would be interesting if you could point out some poems or stanzas in the book and show us what images inspired them.

LG: Arlene, thanks, that is very kind of you to say so. Funnily enough, I have never used actual images as inspiration for writing. I do have a visual memory though and find that just seeing words or phrases brings up the image for me and I can then go with that image. I very much enjoy taking photographs and find it indirectly helps me get worked up and inspired to write.

AA: Okay, here's a fun last question, then we can go fishing: Do you have any bad habits that actually make you a better poet? Any suggestions to aspiring writers?

LG: Oh, love this question, Arlene! Well, one bad, (well maybe more odd than bad), habit might be that I write in the dark with only the light of the computer screen. I suppose in that sense I am a vampire-writer. It is a little ironical too considering the near-constant light and brightness I have here on the island. Not sure why I write in the dark but know for sure I cannot write in the sunshine. I also love writing with my night-wear on... this falls in line with the dark thing, I suppose and the fact that I write at early dawn-ish accompanied by the very welcome first cup of tea. I am also a pre-shower, pre-combing hair writer. Maybe it's the earthiness and primitive back-to-basics feel of it all that gets me going!

I am also quite obsessive, a possibly or possibly-not bad habit. I obsess over whatever poem I happen to be writing but it is never long-lived and usually within a few days I am obsessing about another poem. I still consider myself to be an aspiring writer and the things I do that help me get writing would be things like 'disciplining' (ha!) myself to get involved in daily writing activities with other writers, not taking myself nor the writing too seriously, always being open to different types of writing and wanting to read, read, read as much poetry and other forms of writing as possible. Oh and one last thing, what keeps me wanting to write is the need to recapture that feeling of excitement that comes from seeing a piece of writing take shape... even if after a week or so, on return to that piece of writing, I sometimes begin to wonder what got me so excited about that particular piece in the first place. And so the cycle begins again....!

Thanks, so much for having me here, Arlene, I so enjoyed slipping into the Superwoman suit you had ready for me and I know it will be replacing my night-wear to become my writing-attire. The questions you posed were so interesting even if it did take me a few months to settle-down (there is that word 'settle' again!) and answer them.

Next week I'll be crossing the Atlantic to land in Texas with Brenda Nixon Cook at her 'The Art of Breathing' Blog... I'm looking forward to it a lot.

AA: Thanks so much for dropping by, Liz. I look forward to seeing you at Brenda's place. If we catch enough fish, I think she'll cook it for us. I hear she's a mean cook.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Event Museum Rules

There are those who would ask: Why do these museum employees write in the third person? What happened to the first person? Was foul play involved?

By contract, the museum staff is required to use the third person at all times as this facilitates the concept of having sheep for brains. As part of the museum's public relations campaign, a short film on personnel recruitment has been made available to the concerned community:

As primary job requirement, all employees need to have previously existed as Tim the Enchanter (interested parties may take the FB Test to find out if they are Event Museum material). When it doubt while searching for the washroom, the public is advised to address a museum employee as O Tim. Codeword for the washroom is The Holy Grail.

Photo of museum guard in summer uniform wearing the customary ram horns and ID.

Recent events in the Event Museum:

• The 2009 Contest Finalists Festival and Treasure Hunt: Marsh Hawk Press Room, Ground Floor

Activities on this modern farm include food, wagon rides, music, reading activities and lots more. Visitors may also be asked to join in finding these secret objects around the museum and capture them with a digital camera: Arlene Ang, Rebecca Aronson, Anne Babson, Douglas Blazek, Jack Coulehan, Kimberly Davis, John Estes, Bernadette Geyer, Jamey Hecht, Carolyn Hembree, Matthew Hittinger, Lesley Jenike, Cory McClellan, Luigi Monteferrante, Carrie Oeding, Deniz Perin, Richard Robbins, Hugo Rodriguez, Sarah Wetzel Fishman, and S. Scott Whitaker. Hints are available at the front desk.

Day of the Dead: The Contrary Hall, 2nd Floor (Summer 2009)

Family-oriented activities. For example, volunteers will be asked to choose someone dead to bring to life in an animated film or to keep in a jar. Best accompanied by white wine or vodka.

Dead Men Talking: Museum Graveyard, Lot #10 (August 2009)

The current rotation includes words by Arlene Ang, David Gwilym Anthony, Greg Billingham, Michael Cantor, Enriqueta Carrington, Antonia Clark, Mary Cresswell, Ann Drysdale, Bill Greenwell, John Milbury-Steen, Timothy Murphy, Frank Osen, Rob Plath, Daniel Sluman, C.P. Stewart, and Peter Wyton; and a selection of art by Patricia Wallace Jones recording Shit Creek Review's upstream voyage from silence into vibrant conversations with the dead.

Origami Condom: Safety First Gallery, 5th Floor (7 August 2009)

A selection of 39 safety procedures required when reading and/or writing poetry—a prison pass, self-extinction, improved room acoustics—from this prominent 14th PDF collection, most never before exhibited outside the North Pole. Some collaborations (with Valerie Fox) are featured due to the complex nature of condoms.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Arleneus Angeli Exhibit: Lobby, The Extinction Loft

Many people think that their Arleneus angeli is dead when it is simply molting and dispose of the gastropod while it is still alive. The Arleneus angeli will usually bury itself in the sand or plop on the lawn for days or weeks when it begins to molt. It must leave its shell to molt, and at that time it will not move and may appear to be dead. You can tell very easily whether your gastropod is molting or dead by the pungent smell it emits.

Other events in the Event Museum:

• Blogging and the Feather Duster: First Floor, The Dead Skin Cells Alcove (27 July - 29 October 2009)

Because the museum will be the first stop (October 29) on Liz Gallagher's virtual book tour, the curator has decided to host a practical blog-cleaning exhibition. The museum guards are so excited about Liz's first full collection, The Wrong Miracle that they have decided not to leave for their summer vacation in order to stand under the sun and badger people with lines from the book, like Your bedroom is roped by genuflecting visitors or I have a hunch and it has nothing to do with the price of eggs. The French maid outfit is courtesy of Sims 3 and the professional playing Sims 3.

• I Edit Therefore I Exist: Second Floor, The Mouse Trap Gallery (21 June - 21 August 2009)

Issue 52 of The Pedestal Magazine features poetry by JoAnn Balingit, Nicelle Christine Davis, Jude Goodwin, Rich Ives, Jim Redmond, Brandon S. Roy, Amy Small-McKinney, Jari Thymian, Ann Walters, Sarah Wetzel, Gerald Yelle, and Amanda Yskamp. Free psychiatric admission.

Here and Now: Third Floor, The Allen Itz Washroom (July 2009)

Six Sims-illustrated poems explore the continuing impact of a widely distributed game on lobster thermidor recipes around the world. Despite countless exposures of the video game as public drunkenness, the desire to actually live among cow-inspired furniture has retained incredible influence on poets and udder people with extra-long acrylic noses. Today, technology has made the sim-self available to anyone with Internet access, and it continues to be circulated by those who promote rabbit head keychains, experimental drugs, and even cave art.

If I Had An Eye Patch, I'd Give You My Eye: Fourth Floor, The Cerise Press Room

Homo sapiens with eyes have always been considered the most interesting of species ever to land on Earth. Since the climb down trees, they have recorded centuries of self-captivity in all its richness and diversification. This selection by the Cerise Press editors shows every aspect of the performance process from the eye-extraction program to the latest in eye-patch fashion. It also demonstrates a range of techniques, from approximative translations to orphanage development and includes some of the best eye owners in the business such as Patricia Fargnoli, Tess Gallagher, Diane Gilliam, Ray Gonzalez, James Harms, Laura Kasischke, Robert Kelly, Karen An-Hwei Lee, Éireann Lorsung, John Minczeski, Nate Pritts, Natasha Sajé, Susan Thomas, David Welch, and Eleanor Wilner.

Things She Told the Rooster Before It Became Glass: Sixth Floor, The Holly Rose Ballroom (June 2009)

The Passion Collection includes fragments of objects. These are often secretive, demonic and revealing in their own right. On first becoming infected, like for example with swine flu, we often wonder what we are. By examining a detail we can understand more about the whole survival of the self, what completes it, and from which source it sprung. This display showcases passion and examines the art of turning it into blood.

Robot Melon: Ninth Floor, The Mail Conservatory (June-July 2009)

This display reveals the never-before-released whereabouts of the postwoman when she stops delivering mail (insert cow). The RM's outstanding collection of psychiatric studies features classics like Heather Momyer's Even Boys Dream Dreams that Bunnies Can Dream and Justin Hyde's lost & hung-over on a pre-dawn gravel road with socks but no shoes.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The dead has risen...

... and it is drinking. It has recently been quoted to say: Just being alive should make you late for everything. In case you've never noticed, the dead are always on time.

Time, including the passage of, is all in the mind of strange moving creatures. Hence, since the last blog entry, no time has passed at all and there is no need to feel sheepish and hide under the table.

As Nabokov (dead) would put it: I confess I do not believe in time.

Currently logged in the Event Museum:

• The May-August 2009 issue of Press 1 is now up with fab poetry and fiction from CL Bledsoe, Ken Cenicola, Holly Day, Daniela Elza, John Grey, Christine Hamm, Kate Irving, Miriam N. Kotzin, Lynn Levin, Sean Lovelace, Clare L. Martin, Matthew Salesses, Paul Siegell and Ann Walters. The spectacular artwork is courtesy of Mario Sánchez Nevado.

• Have finally retired the G4 and gotten a 24-inch iMac. All I can say is that there's nothing like "the" Mac experience... oftentimes compared to dying and going to heaven.

• It's now official: I have two poems, Alopecia and the grizzly bear and I'm Not Supposed to Wear This Gorilla Costume in Best of the Web 2009 (Dzanc Books), slated for publication on July 2009. Fellow contributors include: Waqar Ahmed, Michael Baker, Marcelo Ballve, Marge Barrett, Carmelinda Blagg, Benjamin Buchholz, Blake Butler, Jimmy Chen, Amy L. Clark, Amber Cook, Bill Cook, Michael Czyzniejewski, Darlin’ Neal, Matthew Derby, Ryan Dilbert, Stephen Dixon, Alex Dumont, Claudia Emerson, D.A. Feinfeld, Marcela Fuentes, M. Thomas Gammarino, Cassandra Garbus, Molly Gaudry, Anne Germanacos, Matt Getty, Todd Hasak-Lowy, Karen Heuler, Ash Hibbert, Philip Holden, Roy Kesey, Hari Bhajan Khalsa, Tricia Louvar, Peter Markus, Michael Martone, Heather Killelea McEntarfer, Lindsay Merbaum, Corey Mesler, Laura Mullen, Joseph Olschner, Jeff Parker, Elise Paschen, Elizabeth Penrose, Kate Petersen, Glen Pourciau, Sam Rasnake, Jonathan Rice, Tom Sheehan, Claudia Smith, Lynn Strongin, Terese Svoboda, Jon Thompson, Davide Trame, Donna D. Vitucci, Helen Wickes, Kathrine Leone Wright, and Jordan Zinovich.

• Have cloned myself on Facebook — for the gaming purposes — and have begun to exist as my clone 95% of the time. At some point, I removed my clone from my friends list because of her insistent game invites. It's sad, but true: I'm longer FB friends with myself.

Having multiple FB identities is probably the modern way to experience split personalities since only one consciousness (per browser) can be dominant at a time. Hee. It's a rather confusing experience.

• Last Friday the potato chips and nuts that my sister mailed me on 11 December 2008 finally arrived. The box had the seal of the Deparment of Health... as if to say this could be swine flu. The customs people even made me sign a month ago that I will be held responsible in case of an epidemic or something. Hee!

Acceptances, from most recent to oldies:

Pen Pusher Magazine accepted a poem, Drive-Thru Hazards.

     Submission sent: 9 April 2009
     Reply date: 20 May 2009

Incidentally, they have launched a poetry competition (no fees attached) with the Latitude Festival 2009. First prize includes a chance to read on the New Voices stage in the prestigious poetry tent at Latitude. Goal is to write a poem about where you live. More info at their website.

Thieves Jargon plans to publish the cheeky poem, A Driving Instructor's First Experience with a Tango Teacher in an upcoming issue.

     Submission mailed: 13 April 2009
     E-mail reply: 9 May 2009

• Thanks to Liz for mailing me a gorgeous copy of The Stinging Fly, I decided to send them some work myself. They accepted two poems for publication in a future issue: Apple, Pear and the Body Running Through Them and Suffocation Prelude (sonnet).

They're currently closed to submissions now and will be open again from January 1st to March 31st.

     Submission mailed: 19 January 2009
     E-mail reply: 1 May 2009

Weave Magazine — a literary print publication and organization based out of Pittsburgh — accepted a poem, Feeding the Husband for a future issue. Payment is one copy. Very quick response time, too!

     Submission sent: 21 April 2009
     Reply date: 29 April 2009

DIAGRAM accepted a prose poem inspired by the James Castle exhibit in Philly, Unidentified dark object (with shoelace) for an upcoming issue.

     Submission sent: 31 March 2009
     Reply date: 29 April 2009

Holly Rose Review accepted a poem, Things She Told the Rooster Before It Became Glass for the Passion issue (#2, June 2009).

     Submission sent: 9 April 2009
     Reply date: 11 April 2009

Oranges & Sardines accepted three poems: The Girl in the Bathtub, Ownership, and Disconnection for an upcoming issue.

     Submission sent: 9 January 2009
     Reply date: 12 April 2009

Arch Literary Journal accepted two poems, April Morning and Sunday for their Winter 2010 issue.

This is a lovely 'zine with fantastic poetry. And quite new, too. They're currently only their second issue... but it's fast becoming a favorite.

     Submission sent: 7 December 2008
     Reply date: 17 March 2009

Inertia Magazine, a literary journal based in NYC, accepted Roadside Motel for their Issue #7, slated for release in July 2009.

     Submission sent: 4 February 2009
     Reply date: 9 April 2009

Caketrain accepted a longish poem, Self-Portrait in Green Dress for Issue 07, tentatively slated for publication in late 2009. Yay!

     Submission sent: 9 January 2009
     Reply date: 8 April 2009

Boxcar Poetry Review accepted a poem, Living Without Water for an upcoming issue.

     Submission sent: 23 November 2008
     Reply date: 19 March 2009

• Found out last April that my prose poem, Family was accepted for a future issue of Drunken Boat. Never thought I'd live to see the day... plus anything with the letters d-r-u-n-k in it makes my cuppa poison.

The downside is they can't seem to send me an e-mail. Have changed twice now and they've sent the acceptance e-mail twice, but nothing. They seem to have fairly quick response times... my advice is to just check your submission regularly on their database manager in case this should happen with your e-mail addy, too.

     Submission sent: 19 December 2008
     Reply date: 27 February 2009 (DB records)

Publications, from recent to oldish:

• The Spring 2009 (volume 2 number 3) issue of diode is up with poetry by Adonis (trans. Khaled Mattawa), Neil Aitken, Michelle Bitting, Jason Bredle, Travis Brown, Brooklyn Copeland, Mark Cunningham, Patrick Donnelly, Kate Durbin, Anne Haines, Catherine Jagoe, Karyna McGlynn, Keith Montesano, Miguel Murphy, darlene anita scott, Nate Slawson, Sally Van Doren and a pair of elbows interpretating the afterlife.

     Submission sent: 26 January 2009
     Reply date: 7 March 2009

• Have six poems in the Fantasies issue of Succour — which went out on 11 May 2009. It's one of the print journals I've discovered through Facebook via friends of friends of friends. FB does have its neat uses. Poems list:

» The Self in the Mirror is a Test
» Please Meet My Nails
» I'm Only as Half-Drunk as You Think I Am
» twelve: crackle (from approximative translations)
» The dog in the rearview mirror
» What the postwoman can't fight

     Submission sent: 16 February 2009
     Reply date: 28 March 2009

• The Summer 2009 issue of Rattle is out! People have been writing me to say, but — again — I still haven't gotten my copies. Will keep my fingers crossed that they get here before Christmas. My poem, Tonsillitis is in there aching.

They've also got a call for subs on Sonnets for the Winter 2009 issue. So get those da-DUM da-DUM nuts cracking.

• My first published flash, The Dreaming Lake came out in the March-April 2009 issue of Oak Ben Review.

qarrsiluni published some poems and fiction that I co-wrote with Valerie:

» Jennie, or How Things Go Down in The Yankee Doodle (24 April 2009, fiction)
» Visions of Lamb Cooked in Slight Brine (8 April 2009, poem)
» Little Boys and Snips of Donkey Tails (20 March 2009, fiction)
» We Wrote a Letter to Jesus and He Told Us To Buy a New Car (5 March 2009, poem)

• An oldish poem, Memento Mori made it into the 20th issue of Blue Print Review: The Missing (hehe) Part.

     Submission sent: 2 April 2009
     Reply date: 6 April 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

Interview and chapbook giveaway

There's a three-part interview with me up at Savvy Verse & Wit, plus a review of Secret Love Poems and a chapbook lottery. If you'd like to try your luck at winning a copy of the chapbook, just leave your e-mail address here. The deadline is 26 February 2009.

Thanks so much for this honor, Serena!!

Currently at the Event Museum:

• Am seriously considering renaming this blog as The Event Museum... where for months only one important event is happening — based on a ticklish collaboem I've been writing with Valerie.

• Have been busy redesigning my website. Good grief. I've been rechecking all the links from way back in 1995... and finding so many dead bodies, I mean, dead 'zines. At this rate, I'm going to outlive all my publication credits.

• Am scheduled to leave for Manila on Friday... and so have only three days more to get my act together — which includes answering my messages — or will be forced to forever hold my peace. Hee.

Recent publications:

qarrtsiluni has posted the first collaboem (with Valerie) in their "Mutating the Signature" series, In retrospect, 1984 made a fine sausage. The audio file is between me and John Vick.

Three poems: Polish Dancer Prelude (sonnet), The Local Physician Returns to the Ski Lodge and The 38th Secret Love Poem are in Issue 2 of Blackbox Manifold together with the works of Vahni Capildeo, Joshua Clover, Vona Groarke, Alan Halsey, Lisa Jarnot, John Kinsella, Peter Larkin, Matt Merritt, Drew Milne, Geraldine Monk, Paul Muldoon, Vivek Narayanan, Chris Nealon, Francis Raven, Ian Seed, Ben Stainton, Kyle Storm, Matthew Sweeney and Nathan Thompson.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Double yikes

Let's pretend it's still January... 2008. So this blog entry is almost a year early. Hee.

Special Events in The AA Event Museum:,

• The January-April 2009 issue of Press 1 came out too soon, a case of multiple breech births, with the following bouncing bunnies: Lydia Cortes, Nicole Cartwright Denison, Theresa Edwards, David Erlewine, Rebecca Guyon, Mark Lowe, Lilla Lyon, Sally Molini, Michelle Panik, Meg Pokrass, Ron Price, Don Riggs, Denise Scicluna, and Robert Anthony Watts.

• Someone fell off the 30:30 wagon three times. She is now on Day 23 (round 15) and should be able to make it with her favorite sandbox playmate, Valerie helping her out with the other half of the poems.

• Because drinking was making A one heck of a depressed drunk, she decided to stop... or at least drink only on weekends. Plus, the wine store across the street has had a change of owner. There's a woman there now. She has terrible wine — believe me I tried them all. I used to think I can glug down anything... I was mistaken.

• Have bought a ticket for Manila... and have started having anxiety dreams about the plane taking off without me again.

• The laptop caught a virus for the second time in two years and had to be reformatted. The cure seems to agree with Muerte (as re-baptized on 13 January 2009). Since then it's been more quiet, ventilator-wise. No more crazy chopper/hacking cough sounds. Yay!

• Chainsaw rant coming down here —

Recently discovered on my own that London Magazine didn't include my poem in their Anglo/Indian issue after all. I'm quite pissed about it since they didn't even bother to tell me after all this time when I could've sent it off elsewhere. Oh yes. I remember. On their guidelines page they say they don't send rejections. First they send me the proofs, with a two-day response time or else (they chopped off the first stanza, too without so much as a by-your-leave). I okayed everything next day, then sometime later got invited to the issue launch. A good thing I was in Philly that time... if I had gone all the way to London to read a poem that they chose not to publish, I'd probably have gone after somebody with a knife.

I guess I'm just pissed for the most part that that poem, which is about a woman mourning the death of her unborn child, didn't make it right next to that half-page SMB ad: for all your corporate and personal tax advice. Hee.

Anyway, I'm blacklisting this magazine. I think they're a bit better via snailmail, for some strange reason. But that was way back in 2007.

Recent (and not so recent) publications:

• The Winter 2009 issue of blossombones is now live — with poetry by Lana Hechtman Ayers, Margaret Bashaar, Elizabeth Bruno, Juliet Cook, Athena Dixon, Jo Hemmant, Amy Hinrichs, Charmi Keranen, Daniela Olszewska, Kristen Orser, Nanette Rayman Rivera, Toni Scales, Erin Elizabeth Smith, Bill Yarrow, Susan Yount, and (ahem).

• A new 'zine, Fleeting posted two poems, Confessions of a Road Sign Collector and Dream Interstate 104 on 26 January 2009.

Canopic Jar #22 with poetry by coreyMesler, gabebaBaderoon, isobelDixon, johnMcCullough, kayMckenzieCooke, leeAnnPickrell, leeStern, matthewGillis, michelleMcgrane, myeshaJenkins, patrickSullivan, phillippaYaaDeVilliers, rethabileMasilo, roseDewyKnickers, ruthSabathRosenthal, santiagoDelDardanoTurann, and someKindofStrangeOrgan. They have some fab pRose and aRt sections, too.

This is an elegant online journal, quite eclectic tastes. With regards to response times, the editor actually wrote me on 17 December 2008 to ask if the poems were still available. The in-between e-mail exchange kind of made the waiting seem less.

     Submission sent: 7 October 2008
     Reply date: 9 January 2009

Okay. I confess. I knew he was my kind of editor when I read his e-mail signature quote:

         I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.
                                  —W.C. Fields

Just because I no longer drink on weekdays (again), doesn't mean I've stopped thinking of it.

• Two poems, Mendel experiments and We stand the postal clerk are up in the current issue of Cricket Online Review (volume iv, number ii).

• Found out just last week that they made me (woohooo!) Featured Poet in Identity Theory (Summer/Fall 2008). Thanks for the nod, WP!

Recent (and not so recent) acceptances:

Cerise Press accepted four poems (2 spanking new/2 oldish) on 5 February 2009:

If I had an eye patch, I'd give you my eye—
five : leap
six : sundown

for their first issue (Summer 2009). They officially open to unsolicited submission on 1 April 2009 — for the Fall/Winter 2009 issue. Don't forget. It's a neat, sleek 'zine. Response time was one day — really quick, but under normal circumstances they give 2-3 months in the guidelines.

• While hopping from one 'zine to another, I discovered Robot Melon and couldn't resist submitting. Who could resist such an order as ticklish as, In the body of the e-mail give us a 2-3 line biography. If you like a certain type of bear, this might be the place to mention it. Neat little bear trap, ain't it?

Anyway, I was thrilled that they accepted my prose poem, What Happens to the Postwoman When She Stops Delivering the Mail for Issue Nine. Nothing like some robot lovin' to wake up to in the morning. Hee.

     Submission sent: 30 December 2008
     Reply date: 18 January 2009

• Three collaboems, (1) Visions of Lamb Cooked in Slight Brine, (2) We Wrote a Letter to Jesus and He Told Us To Buy a New Car, and (3) In retrospect, 1984 made a fine sausage — that Valerie and I wrote last year have been accepted for publication in the Mutating the Signature issue of qarrtsiluni.

     Submission sent: 2 January 2009
     Reply date: 15 January 2009

• Wooopwooop!! I received my first ever flash fiction acceptance from Oak Bend Review. Very quick response times, too (see below)! My shorty, The Dreaming Lake is slated for their March/April 2009 issue.

     Submission sent: 4 January 2009
     Reply date: 8 January 2009