“Kayaking on Lady Bird Lake” Is Up at Hotazel Review

Railroad bridge over Lady Bird Lake. Taken by me, while kayaking.

I am excited to see one of my favorite poems up in Hotazel Review. The editors have paired the poem with a lovely, evocative illustration by Griet van der Meulen. I wrote about “Kayaking on Lady Bird Lake” here. I like it because it is feminist and anti-big tech, plastic, and fascist, racist policing, but it’s also lyrical. It records a wonderful small adventure–I had never been kayaking before, for starters–that was full of contrasts and contradictions, as I said in my earlier post.

Many thanks to Editor-in-Chief Linda Ann Strang, Roving Editor Warren Jeremy Rourke, and Poetry Editors Shaun Pieter Clamp and Kharys Ateh Laue. Although I have not had time to fully explore Issue 1 of Hotazel Review, the pieces I have read are varied and compelling. So go check out my first publication in South Africa!

People gathered on the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, TX, to see the bats fly out at dusk. Taken by me.

Honorable Mention in The Spectator, and Other News

I was happy to read in The Spectator that I had received the equivalent of an honorable mention in Competition No. 3235, in which “you were invited to invent a prequel to a well-known work of literature and supply an extract from it.” I guess they liked my sonnet from Romeo & Rosaline, in which she puts him in the friend zone. For those of you who may not remember, Romeo meets Juliet while on the rebound from her cousin Rosaline, and only attends the party where he meets Juliet in hopes of catching a glimpse of Rosaline.

While the political views of The Spectator are considerably to the right of my own, it is nice to see my name in such a highly respected publication. Goodness knows when I will find an opportunity to publish my sonnet, but it was fun to write.

In other news, I received a revise-and-resubmit rejection from The New York Times. I will try to revise my essay, but I’m not sure I can satisfy them. Anyway, while it gets tiresome being the bridesmaid, rather than the bride, at least I have participated in two weddings in the space of a week. This was a much-needed distraction from Ukraine and other evils.

Two Poems Out in MOLLYHOUSE, and Cohen Anthology Update

I am pleased that my poems, “Koans for the Late Anthropocene” and “100% Pure,” are now out in MOLLYHOUSE, Issue 4 (pp. 38-40). Again, thanks to Editor Raymond Luczak.

I wrote about these poems here. The first koan in “Koans . . . ” imagines the consequences had Don Quixote encountered real giants (hence the photo, above). His struggle would still have been viewed as quixotic. I see this koan as evoking the view of activism in the 1980s versus now. In the 1980s, we were gaslit into thinking it was quixotic to struggle against neoliberalism because we weren’t giving this useful and productive worldview a chance. Now that its failure is spectacularly evident, we are told it is quixotic to struggle because corporations are just too big and too powerful–but no informed, sane person is contending they are not monsters anymore, so that is–something? The rest of the “koans” allude to the environmental and political consequences of neoliberalism. “100% Pure,” a can poem, is an ironic invitation to the immigrants at our southern border to enjoy all we have to offer them.

So far, I have read the first couple of poems in the issue. They contain a stimulating blend of concrete imagery and implicit social commentary. Check it out!

In Other News . . .

Before I Turn Into Gold, the anthology of poems inspired by Leonard Cohen that I wrote about in my last post, is now out in paperback and Kindle editions. You can read more about it here. Thanks again to Editor David O’Nan for including my poem.

Leonard Cohen Poem Out in Anthology

Photo credit: Leonard Cohen. Rama. 27 Oct. 2008. Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 2.0 FR.

I’m happy to report that David O’Nan, editor of Fevers of the Mind, has reprinted my poem, “Hearing ‘Hallelujah’ at the Women’s March, 2017,” in his anthology of poems inspired by Leonard Cohen, Before I Turn Into Gold, now available on Kindle. I wrote both about the anthology and my poem here. A paperback copy of the anthology will be available soon–I’ll keep you informed.

I have read only a few poems in the anthology, but those seemed strong to me. I think that if you are a fan, if you mourn his passing and feel we could use his artistry now, this anthology conjures his spirit. I’m grateful to be a part of it.

And an Apology

In case anyone is upset that the reviews are inaccessible, this is because my son doesn’t want to publicize his political views while he is teaching high school, and one of his more determined students ferreted out his YouTube channel despite his attempts to disguise his identity there. He has made his reviews private, at least for now. We’re sorry.

“Without Us” Up at The Poetry Bar

Лашков Фёдор, View from the top of the site of the Veps Forest reserve. 25 Sept. 2017. Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 4.0.

I think “Without Us” is a hard sell. It’s bleak, which seems to be going out of fashion now, after quite a long run, and it’s a bit flippant about its bleakness. It could also be accused of being elite white privilegy or perhaps just stodgy because I choose Mozart as an example of what might balance out human evil and mediate against a lack of regret for our extinction. I can’t help it. It’s my upbringing and training, and quite possibly my ignorance of other cultures’ musical productions. I don’t think anyone needs to apologize for their musical tastes, as long as they respect the tastes of others. But still, hard sell.

So when I saw that my blogging colleague, Luna, has a section of LUNA, pen to paper called The Poetry Bar, I sent in “Without Us,” which is now up there, where you can read it. I have not read many of the other poems there, but I can say that the ones I have read are interesting and have something to say, and I am happy to be in their company. I also got a thoughtful and complimentary comment from a reader there. Thanks, Luna!

WhimsicalPoet Issue Arrives

Lily in the style of Georgia O’Keeffe and WhimsicalPoet. Taken by me today.

Yay! The latest issue of WhimsicalPoet, containing the poem I wrote about here, arrived today. I have photographed it against a lily in the style of Georgia O’Keeffe that my daughter painted when she was a kid in art class. The painting and the issue make a whimsical duo.

I have not been able to read much of the issue yet, but it had me at the first poem, which poignantly describes a grief-stricken servant tending to her late master’s cat. If you are, for some reason, still refusing to buy your own issue, you can read that poem, “Gata in Grief,” by Carla Sarett, for free on the WhimsicalPoet website, which is the second link in this post. I’m looking forward to the reading the rest.

Winter Issue of WhimsicalPoet Is Out

My mom and her dad. Unknown photographer. Not sure when this was. 1947? ‘49?

The issue of WhimsicalPoet containing my poem, “Why the Frogs Sing,” about my mother’s death, is now out in paperback and on Kindle. I talked about the poem here. I haven’t got my copy of the paperback yet, but I have been familiarizing myself with some of the works on the website. They are worth a look, and I especially liked this one, which is also about a mother’s death.

Please check out the issue and support poetry.