“Government Buildings in Berlin, 2018,” Is Out at After the Pause

Photo: Government buildings reflected in another government building across the Spree in Berlin. Taken by me. Summer, 2018.

I was delighted to learn today that my poem, “Government Buildings in Berlin, 2018,” which I wrote about here, is up in the latest issue of After the Pause. I’m grateful to Editor Michael Prihoda for publishing the piece, and hopeful that our country, like Germany after Nazism and Communism, can turn around and start going in a more progressive direction now. Although I did not compose them as a set, I’ve always felt that this poem and Dreaming to Updated Mountain Songs went together–both ekphrastic, both centered in a place, both anti-totalitarian, both looking to imagination in a time of incipient tyranny. So I was intrigued to see that Zebulon Huset, the editor of Coastal Shelf, which published “Dreaming . . . ,” has a piece in this issue of After the Pause. I look forward to reading his work and all of the experimental work in this issue of After the Pause. Perhaps it will further my understanding of “experimental,” which still seems to me a nebulous, though inviting, descriptor.

Glass Half Full Rejection Becomes Quick Acceptance

Photo credit: Sealle, Glass half full or half empty. 3 Aug. 2017. Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 4.0.

Some time ago, I received a kind rejection from Clare MacQueen of MacQueen’s Quinterly. Although she declined my poems, she sent me an invitation to submit to the next issue. Not just a standard invitation: a special, jump-the-line one.

When someone solicits work, I think it is a good idea to graciously send some. Even if one of them is a recent poem you think is especially good. Possibly The New Yorker will reject it, and meanwhile the window for generous-hearted Editor MacQueen, who has recognized your talent and desires to promote it, will have closed. Long story short, with breathtaking speed (less than 24 hours), Editor MacQueen chose the best new poem in the bunch, and The New Yorker will just have to wait 😉

Seriously, I am grateful to her for her kind words and invitation, and for recognizing the merits of the poem, “Lion’s Tooth,” which is about dandelions and Ohio and the past. Like a lot of my poems, it just came to me, and I welcomed it. As always, I look forward to reading MacQueen’s Quinterly while waiting for my work to appear there in January.

Photo credit: Markus Bernet, Dandelion clock (Taraxacum officinale). 29 May 2004. Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 2.0.