Thursday, February 28, 2008

Throwaway

Who'll show her where to go tonight
when all the warm stores shut their doors?
When all the walkways roll up tight,
Who'll show her where to go? Tonight
she's being baptized by streetlight.
Her heroes will become the whores
who'll show her where to go tonight
when all the warm stores shut their doors.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Excuse Me,
















but right now I've got the remote -
and I say we're watching The Animal Channel.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Michelle Mis-speaks

Don't get me wrong, I'm an Obama supporter all the way.

But for Michelle Obama to have said this was just plain stupid - regardless of what they're going to say she really meant.

It's fast becoming that first little nagging doubt in the back of my head.

I, like many other people, perhaps even like the majority of the people. tend to read "America" as "the American people" and regardless of how disgusted I sometimes get with American government, there are daily reminders of our capacity to show true American spirit and remind us of how proud we deserve to be of ourselves and one another.

Methinks Michelle ought to not let the campaign managers "explain what she really meant" and just bite the bullet and apologize.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Of Babies and Boas

I dunno, call me old-fashioned and over-protective, but isn't a mom supposed to protect her children from things like snake venom and boa bites rather than take public delight in "baby's first bite"?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

"All Is Not Light" - or "Why I'm Not in the Mella-Camp"

Occasionally people who know me, or who know my poetry, will ask me why I don't submit anymore. I've usually only got vague answers for them because I'm not really sure myself.

Today, though, I remember the real reason behind my lack of enthusiasm for poetry magazines and for the editors of poetry magazines wihch has, God help me, filtered all the way down to the way I feel about poetry itself.

It all started 6 years ago with the infamous Poetry.com, of course.

And then along came the now defunct Foetry with it's unending and irritating tales of poetry-publishing shenanigans, not the least of which was The Tupelo Press/Jeffery Levine (Send-me-$35.00-please) debacle and the Lehman/Best American Poetry Series with it's rather incestuous sounding selection process.

More recently, there's this and there's this just in case all that other stuff wasn't enough to convince us (meaning me) that there is very little honor and very much nepotism in the publishing world.

Just in case I was in danger of changing my mind, however, one of "the good guys" (in my mind, anyhow, since I had never heard anything bad about him or his publication - if fact, on the contrary, I had always heard very good, very fair and complimentary things about him) has now fallen from the clay pedestal I'd once set him and a very few other editors upon.

It all came to Light over on Eratosphere on this thread started by a poet from North Dakota named Timothy Murphy.

For those of you who don't want to waste an hour reading the whole thread, I'll do a quick recap:

The well-known Murphy said, about Tom Mella, the editor of Light Magazine,

,John Mella's been awfully good to a lot of us. He doesn't accept email, so I'll email this in.

This is true, of course. They do not accept email submission. If you read their guidelines, there is no email address for submissions given and all submission information is paper based only.

Please be neat, submit letter-quality typescripts or clean photocopies, and a stamped self-addressed business (# 10) or manila-sized envelope (no post cards). Submissions that do not have sufficient postage for their return will be destroyed unread. There should be only one poem on each page, etc etc
Send contributions, queries, subscriptions, correspondence to:
LIGHT
The Editors
PO Box 7500
Chicago, Illinois 60680


No email address or instructions for it's usage was given on the submission page - no where, no how, no way.

Five hours later, the following announcement was posted on the thread:


This just in from Light Quarterly:
INSTANT DECISION: I LOVE IT! AND ACCEPT IT.. I'm sorry about your wheelchair. I'm glad you can still keep the sight steady. Write when you will or can. Glad you like the facelift of the mag. Still kicking, the old girl.
John


And so, this is a rather long and tedious way of saying, "In order to get an editor's attention, it's not how you write, it's not what you write, it's not how carefully you follow directions or how neatly you fold each submission or how much blood and sweat went into your poem or your preparation - it's about how well you already know them."

I'll take the high road here and go out on a limb - editors like that, editors who have rules for one set of people which do not apply to other sets of people, I don't think I really want to know them or to waste my time submitting poetry to them......at least Poetry.com is quickly up front about the way they do business - and as far as I know, they don't discriminate - they read all of the submissions the same way and they take everyone's money the same way - regardless of who they are - and they're not afraid or ashamed to say so.

I mean, fer God's sake, if you're going to make a practice of favoritism, at least have the decency to be quiet about it.