Thursday, April 12, 2007


That last blog was pure coconut cream pie and local anesthetic speaking -- the giddy relief from back pain. I would like to retract it, but I just stated elsewhere that I'm very interested in rough drafts and the process of time in working out a piece of writing, so the sad thing is I am honor-bound not to delete that late-night gobbledygook. (And if you must indulge after reading thing, check out this healthy recipe. I esp. love the Himalayan salt.

In that regard, I was steered to a magazine you probably know all about, LUNGFULL! "Poetry in progress" might be its subhead (hint to editors). Especially of interest is the area How The Editors Decide What To Accept Or Reject. The magazine (print) boasts big and little names (but are there really any little poets?) in every issue. I just wish they would post samples on the website (BIG HINT to editors).

The antithesis to LUNGFULL! is Quickmuse, which does have a subhead "Poetry under pressure." As I am engaging in the NaPoWriMo, or poem-a-day for April, I have recently had some experience with this. The poem composed at

Whether you like your poetry raw, al dente or thoroughly cooked, you'll enjoy these sites. I got the idea of wanting to look over the poet's shoulder while reading through the fascinating Elizabeth Bishop work-in-progress/stasis, Edgar Allan Poe and the Jukebox. I especially like the handwriting (almost medical in its obfuscation) and the alternate words she places in the margins in parentheses, to ponder.

(Can this blog count for my poem today?)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Epidurals & coconut cream pie

Nuff said. Oh, and don't bother with sedation. It'll just make you slow in getting to the pie. Try a light sleep aid instead, like Ambien, one that won't interfere with your midnight dash -- okay, shamble -- to the kitchen.

Oh, and be sure to leave the fridge door open while consuming same with knife -- it counteracts the flushing brought on by the steroid.

Happy painless dreams.

Tomorrow you'll see the poem about the epidural team. All pet owners, it turned out.

New contests

No, I'm not going to become THAT kind of site. And I eschew contests in general, but sometimes when a friend is running one to support a really good magazine and you get an actual subscription worth something for the entry fee, or the entry fee is less than I tip the waitress on an average lunch ticket, I take the plunge. As I will for these contests now running:

Atlanta Review
Smartish Pace - Erskine J Poetry Prize
Alehouse - Happy Hour Contest

Alehouse is a new print journal out of San Francisco, edited by Jay Rubin. Last year's contest was judged by Alicia Ostriker and won by Allison Joseph with "Blind Date," an amazing pantoum. They blend free and formal verse easily and include book reviews and essays on poetry. An excellent read, their Issue 1. Though they could use an image or some blurbs on their plain back cover. I look forward to more.

My friend the poet David Alpaugh prints the magazine and that's how I heard about it.

Atlanta Review has produced another unique issue, one featuring contemporary poetry from Iraq. Their claim to be a worldwide poetry magazine is about the most justified of any I've read that make similar claims. Featuring a different country in each issue, they have spanned the globe in the years I've been reading them. Worth submitting and subscribing to, in or out of contest. And Dan Veach writes nice notes even if turning you down.

In other news, signs of a new humanity emerging: a Naomi Shihab Nye poem is making its way around the Internet as evidence that kindness does exist in the world. The same thing happened after Sept. 11 with one of Naomi's poems and I wrote and asked her what she thought about this unauthorized use. She wrote back that if her poem made one person feel better at such a time, she was gratified.

So here's a link to the poem, posted on Kelli Russell Agodon's blog.