This poem deserves a codpiece.

*EDIT: This poem was accepted for publication by World Enough Writers for their Last Call: Anthology of Beer, Wine & Spirits, released July, 2018!

Notes from April, 2017:

I challenged myself to a poem-a-day for April (NaPoWriMo). I’d made it to April 17 before Life Happened, but April 13 is the most exciting day to me so far. It’s when I wrote this poem while waiting for a friend at P&G. Yes, I was drinking a stout at the time. Yes, it was that good (a Founder’s KBS, in case you’re wondering, though the poem contains an homage to another favorite of mine, local Swamphead Brewery’s Midnight Oil).

I can’t get over how much I love this poem. I’m not sure why. It feels like it must be shouted at top volume in pubs and hole-in-the-wall microbreweries and seedy bars around the world while holding aloft a snifter of thick, well-muscled, knock-you-on-your-ass brew. I haven’t made a practice of recording my poems to share, and I’m generally protective about posting unpublished poems* on this blog since many markets consider that tantamount to “previous publication,” thus exempting it from submission.

And yet. Here we are.

Hope you like it. If you recite it somewhere aloud in some half-lit dive, I hope you’ll let me know 🙂

Text is below. Enjoy ❤



Ode to a Stout
First appeared in Last Call: Anthology of Beer, Wine & Spirits by World Enough Writers (July, 2018)

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© 2018 Samara. All Rights Reserved.

5 ways to read more poetry when you just don’t have the time.

1. Subscribe to a poem-a-day email service

It’s hard to ignore when it’s in your face, plus who doesn’t love convenient?

Here are a couple of tried-and-true organizations offering poetry in your inbox:

Don’t want more email? Try #4 below (don’t cheat and skip #2 and #3, though, I totally worked hard on those).


2. Read poetry to your children (dogs, neighbors, whatever)

A research study showed this is one of the ways modern, older (aka middle-aged farts like me) poetry-lovers who don’t read so much poetry anymore actually take the time to incorporate poetry into their lives. That same research also showed that children who were exposed to poetry at an early age are more likely to grow up to love poetry as adults! So get movin’.

Below is is a completely random and definitely incomplete list of poets whose work may be incorporated into your kids’ bedtime routine (or let’s face it, your own). Some pages include links to poems, scroll down if you don’t see them after you click through!


3. Listen to audio poetry while adulting.

Multi-tasking is every modern person’s best friend, right? Or at least us busy types. I’m not one of those people who can listen to music or podcasts while doing any kind of thought-engagement (like work or homework — unlike my son, who enjoyed listening to Skrillex while doing Calculus homework???). But if I’m just doing housework or running errands, that is time just begging to be filled with some spoken word poetry.


4. “Like” an active poetry Page on your favorite social media channel!

Let’s face it, you’re probably on Facebook almost every day like much of humanity and Cambridge Analytica. Why not make use of that time to get notifications about poetry?

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Here are a few Pages that popped up in a search I just did. Simply “Like” one or more (or find your own) and you’re on your way to more poetry every day!

Note, I vetted these to be sure actual poems or videos of spoken word were included and easily located on the Page. No just-memes for you, I love you too much for that.

Second note, I speak English, so these are English-speaking Pages, but you can do a Pages search on Facebook and find many more on different types of poetry, different themes, in different languages, etc.

If you’re not a fan of Facebook, try following your favorite poets on Twitter or Instagram instead!


5. Put your fave poetry books in the bathroom.

I’m not even kidding. You know what to do, and when.

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“On Breaking” up at Uppagus

Many thanks to Zig and Jude for creating a real thing in the world, and for letting me play, too.


Please note that some of these blog entries are short to encourage you to click through to the original journal to read, if available online. In the event the poem is no longer available for any reason or the poem(s) appeared in print only, I will post the text as published here on my blog, with purchase links to support the journal if applicable. Thank you!

“Parallax” up at Bird’s Thumb

This poem, appearing in the Feb 2018 issue of Bird’s Thumb, was one of those I really worked for, undergoing numerous revisions before it was abandoned (published). It contains references to a particular scientific effect in relation to two people within a relationship that is, well, circling the drain.

Thank you for giving it your attention, and many thanks to Nina and Sahar at BT for including my work!

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2 poems up at Plum Tree Tavern

we do not touch our living / half so well as elephants touch their dead” and “The way back” are both up at Plum Tree Tavern. The first poem arose out of a tangent to revisions on a different elephant poem, which may yet be finished or abandoned (not just now though). I hope you give them a read and find some good in them for your day. Many thanks to the PT Innkeeper Russ Streur for including my work!

❤

#100rejections — The Final Tally, an…A?

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Final accountability check-in for this challenge! But first, what is #100rejections anyway?

I have decided to set the literary goal of accumulating 100 rejections this calendar year to facilitate sustained efforts toward publication. Submitting multiple poems to one market and having them all rejected counts as one rejection. Having any number of poems in the packet accepted means that submission counts as one acceptance.

December, 2017 — 12 New Rejections, 7 New Acceptances, 20 New Submissions

2017 FINAL TALLY — 95 Rejs / 23 Accs / 105 Subs

  • Clementine Unbound, Rejection (personal)***
  • Leaves of Ink, Acceptance
  • DIALOGIST, Rejection
  • Gone Lawn, Acceptance
  • After the Pause, Rejection
  • Dunes Review, Rejection
  • Inflectionist Review, Acceptance
  • The Mantle, Rejection
  • Allegro, Rejection
  • Riddled With Arrows, Acceptance
  • Ink In Thirds, Acceptance
  • Gyroscope Review, Acceptance
  • Rust + Moth, Rejection
  • Valparaiso Review, Rejection
  • West Branch, Rejection
  • Into the Void, Rejection
  • Liminal Stories, Rejection
  • Poetry Breakfast, Rejection
  • Ekphrastic Review, Acceptance

*** A personal rejection, also known as a tiered rejection is sort of like a half-way point between a rejection and an acceptance. It means the editors passed on the work, but otherwise left a positive commentary of some kind in the rejection notice that was unique to you or your work, or added a personal note of appreciation. This is the first one I’ve thought to make note of, and definitely the first one I’ve received in a while. I’m excited about this one because I’d love to be published in this journal, so it feels like one little step closer! Also, they liked one of the poems that I really like, too, so that was just plain nice.

So. I decided on December 21 that I was done submitting. With the holidays coming, several life-stuff things to prepare for, and the likelihood of editorial attention dwindling sharply with the arrival of Christmas break, I called it “done.” At that time, I had collected about 88 rejections, plus still had 13 outstanding submissions. So in one sense, I did make it to 100 (ish, sorta).

That meant I was prepared and willing to accept whatever results came in (or didn’t) at that point, and I was also going to choose to be pleased with the success of my project (regardless of my final tally’s relationship to the number “100”).

When I hit 90 rejections, in my mind I won. I also realized that, with the summer of transition and the exigencies of life and child-rearing consuming my attention mid-year, I had lost 5 full months of literary activity of any kind (no writing, reading, editing, or submitting). That means with the five bonus rejections that came in over the course of the next week or so, I’d gotten 95% of the way to my goal in less than 60% of the time I had originally allotted for the project. I’m good with that. Monthly average was about 2 acceptances per month, and my volume-submitting to the fastest responding markets (according to Duotrope) in November and December definitely paid off with a huge spike in both acceptances and rejections to finish the year with a bang. So I got a 95 out of a 100. That’s an “A” as far as I’m concerned. 🙂

I think next year I will change it up a bit. Maybe I will focus on submitting to pipe dream top-tier markets only, or getting my full collections out there more. I can already feel 2018 percolating. It’s nice. Thanks to those who followed along, I hope you received something of value in the experience, too.

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Stay tuned to this blog for more news and poetry from Samara-land, a lot of the end-of-the-year acceptances will be coming out in the next 2 months!

Happy New Year, everyone.

❤

2 poems up at Ekphrastic Review

Ekphrastic poetry (poems inspired by and written about works of visual art) has always been interesting to me, how different media interact, imagery and words in close relation. I have a small (as yet unpublished) collection of such pairings, a selection from which Ekphrastic Review recently accepted and published, “nocturna.”

Take a look at it (or the other one, a reprint called “the angry boy“), and stay to read some of the other incredible work shared on the site. I see it as something of a window to the writer’s process. The paintings or photographs (or links to them) that inspired each poem are included for your viewing pleasure! Interesting stuff.

Many thanks to Lorette Luzajic for including my work.