4 poems up at Anti-Heroin Chic

“Anatomy of Under,” “Sparking,” “Thoughts while digging in a patch of barren earth,” and one of the poems I have cherished for a long time, “the gift of no guarantees,” are all up at Anti-Heroin Chic today. Many, many thanks to James Diaz for the kind words and for including those babies of mine with that baby of yours. ❤




2 poems — “The Laureate and the Lothario” and “Grand Falls, AZ”

“The Laureate and the Lothario” and “Grand Falls, AZ” are now live in the freshly-minted print edition of The Wildhood Project‘s second volume, your voice in the wilderness.

Thank you so much to Cristina Falcone for including me in this beautiful volume!


** EDIT, April 2018 **

As of this edit, it appears as though this fledgling market has gone defunct (it happens often, sadly). My poems are therefore reprinted below. Hope you enjoy!

The Laureate and the Lothario
First appeared in Wildhood Project (2017)

I ran into James Dickey once
(in a campground, not the afterlife).
The Congressional Librarians—
academics, all—
put up a rally-in-the-woods,
a well-formed senility
Chronus could really get behind.
            *snortchuckle* frogs and crickets
bowled their raucous caucus
into our ears, yeah,
the reckless blood
was in us all
(deliverance from gall).
Guitar tones and trails wound off into trees,
all the options of darkness and firelight,
songteeth wide, the jawing, the brews—
the glories, oh, the stories!

The dandelion head moon
puffed up white behind
its cloudseed blooms—
yeah, all that midnight jazz
the poets write about,
playing their trills and saxy tones
while the jerry-rigging scholars
rocked and rolled their way
into the holy hag stones’
time-hewn silence:
mossed, pitted, and
certain as sex.

Grand Falls, AZ
First appeared in Wildhood Project (2017)

It sneaks up on you in summer.
Driving, you will think you’re in the wrong place,
that this is not the place for a magnificence of water.
There are the known rocks and gravel,
and the long view will be all ruddy brown and hazy,
a martian landscape of high desert under Arizona sky,
which is not a sky but a verb—
the blue a borrowing of depth,
an IOU to the lungless black behind it.

So there is the gradient:
blue to dust-blue to orange to brown,
a paradox of flatness that curves itself
from sun-hot roof to dust-borne wheels,
and you will turn that one corner
near the oddly Bradburian, solitary bench
with the requisite shelter and garbage can,
and you will turn that corner,
and there it begins.

You thought the earth was a table here,
but it was legs,
and suddenly they open and open,
and you are looking down into a scrappy kind of eden,
tough where it’s green, and
where the strange math of erosion
worked its long division with water
turned cocoa-brown from dust.
It’s flowing easily, playfully—
slow and gentle for falls,
on vacation from the flooding spring—
over rocks flat and large enough for sun-bathing.

There are rocks and all the
familiar elements of surface down here,
tumbled among the exposed monolithic mysteries
in this untoward tecton footprint,
where depth is not itself but a verb—
and it’s a secret of the snowmelt,
that it can do this to the earth
the way the outbreath rim of cosmos
can do it to the sky.

#100rejections — October Totals

I AM OVER THE HUMP from the Summer of Transition (spoiler alert, November activity picks back up as predicted!). I am including this blog post for the sake of continuity and accountability. Until then….

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.

Despite several months of literary inactivity, I decided I still wanted to make a run for the full 100 rejections by the end of the year. My tactic for November is to focus my efforts on submissions to the “Top 100 Fastest to Respond” Markets as listed on Duotrope. The tricky balance here is that many of them do not accept simultaneous submissions (given the fast response times, this seems fair to me), so it will be metaphorical game of chicken with the end of the year as I try to collect 31 more rejections in as little as 61 days. It will require regular activity, but I feel up to the challenge!

Side note, as part of my return to literary activity, I cleaned house on several submissions, including a couple of markets that went defunct, which I will not count toward my rejection tally. Crazy news is that one of the markets that went defunct had previously accepted a poem! So it goes.

October, 2017 — 1 Rejection, 1 Acceptance, 0 New Submissions
Year to Date, 69 / 11 / 69

  • AFTERMATH (Radix Media), Acceptance
  • The Harvard Review, Rejection

Tune in next month for November tallies (including another Acceptance!). Happy submitting!