Can Poems Up in ShufPoetry

The can poems I wrote about in And Now for Something Completely Different are now up in ShufPoetry. These are quasi-found poems. First, in addition to using existing words on cans, read top to bottom, front to back, I occasionally used parts of words to make new ones. Second, I added some words to “Can #4” to enhance the audio, and some text to “Can #6” to enhance the graphic. Nevertheless, the limited vocabulary of the can texts forced me to associate freely and think of dimensions of the can language that strayed far from the corporate mindset behind their manufacture. A can of chicken flavored cat food led me to the consumption of pornography, a can of tuna led to a dreamy lyric about death and risk, and a can of Pet Pride cat food led to evocations of the Trump campaign. All great fun, for readers as well as me, I hope.

And by the way, just because there happened to be two cans of cat food and a can of tuna in my cupboard when I finished up my can poems, there is no need to assume I am a crazy cat lady. I have no cats right now, but was cat-sitting for a friend.

Different Again: Forthcoming in Mysterical-E

I like to play around in different genres. The mystery seems to me to be one of the hardest ones because you have to be so careful to structure the plot well without its seeming too contrived. About a year ago, after seeing The Big Sleep again and still not really understanding it, I decided to learn from the master and read some Raymond Chandler.

I enjoyed his metaphors so much that I decided to incorporate them in two homages: a gender-reversed noir story, and a sort of noir psychomachia (more on that when I place it). When I finished the gender-reversed story, I wasn’t at all sure about the plot, but rereading it a few months ago, I thought it was OK, and pretty funny. I’m pleased that even such an obviously sexist genre can be reversed, and I like my detective, Marla Phillips. Also, I’m proud of the great metaphors I came up with. They’re all in the spirit of Chandler, but none is copied from him.

All of that is why I’m so pleased that Mysterical-E has accepted my story, “Café Noir,” for an upcoming issue. They have a serious editing process I’m waiting to hear more about, but I’ll be sure to post as soon as I know when the story will be up.

And Now for Something Completely Different


So, Dark Magic, the anthology containing my scifi/horror story, “Feedback Loop,” is on sale now through November 5th for $9.99 for print, $1.99 for Kindle copies. Take advantage!

But also, I have just had three poems accepted by ShufPoetry, which plans to issue them by the middle of the month! I am excited by this because ShufPoetry is edited by two award-winning poets and is dedicated to cutting-edge, dynamic, never boring or stuffy, multimedia work. Check out Issue 5 here.

When I found myself at loose ends after finishing a draft of my novel (not yet published) last year, I decided to try writing some found poetry. Taking a page from Andy Warhol, I used the text on a can in my cupboard to inspire and furnish material for a poem. I then found that magazines publishing that sort of thing were few and far between. “Experimental” usually seems to mean unpredictable combinations of images, not the sort of surreal, fragmented superimpositions I had created.

Before I could give up, however, and after I had written two more of them, the editors at the wonderful Experimementos made me the featured poet of issue 2, which you can read here. This encouraged me to finish up my “can” series by using the rest of the cans I had in my cupboard at the time.

I chose to submit to ShufPoetry partly because I liked their multimedia approach, and partly because their rejection of my first “can” effort challenged me. I gussied my last can poems up in ways that seemed appropriate to each, and–success! I look forward to sharing these.