My BEST Poem Accepted by Angel Rust–And a Review

Photo credit: Bruce Bisping, Old Style Cash Register and Canned Goods in a Butcher Shop in New Ulm, Minnesota. October, 1974. Wikimedia Commons. PD.

I am pleased that the editors of the new magazine, Angel Rust, have accepted my can poem, “BEST,” for their first issue. I have written about my can poems so many times that they have their own category on the blog, so you can just hit that for more information. Basically, I select text from top to bottom, front to back, of a can. The words coalesce around a theme. To give myself a slightly broader vocabulary, I sometimes put parts of two words together to make another.

I find that composing these pushes me to think outside the box because words I would not have thought of get worked into the poem and help it say something I did not expect. The corporate and commercial language also tends to produce an activist slant, because, divorced from its original context, this language highlights systemic depersonalization and inhumanity in our society, although at times it can also get positively lyrical. I hope to find enough new can text to produce four more poems, and then I plan to stop, though you never know.

“BEST” fits the can-poem theme of corporate depersonalization since its subject is an anonymous, perhaps collective, speaker’s demand for subservient mediocrity. According to their About page, Angel Rust “is a place for under-represented voices to be messy, to speak their truth no matter how shocking, and to die on a hill no one else cares about.” As such, it seems a fitting place for “BEST,” and I look forward to seeing the kind of company my poem will keep there.

And now, a review. This is the end of the Oscars reviews. Before my son and partner called a halt to them, I had already seen this movie and thought it was very good, so I strongly encouraged him to see it and do a review with me. I’m still his mother–what choice did he have? So after we finished seeing It’s a Sin, we saw Crip Camp. Here’s our review.

“Eye of the Beholder” Up at Schlock! And a Review

Photo credit: History of Horror, Veintitres. 19 July, 2014. Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 4.0. N.B.: This file has been removed from Wikimedia Commons.

Trigger warnings: The cover of the latest edition of Schlock! is weirdly disgusting and disturbing. I mean that in a good way, but sensitive souls may not enjoy it. Also, my story contains graphic violence and gore and is not for people sensitive to mentions of eating and compulsive exercise disorders.

And Now the Post

With no written heads up (though I believe Editor Gavin Chappell informed me of this when the piece was accepted), my horror flash, “Eye of the Beholder,” has suddenly appeared with the latest edition of Schlock!, available online at the link or in Kindle and paperback here. My thanks to Editor Chappell. It’s also nice to see the story title featured on the cover–and what a cover it is, too.

I wrote about the story here. I can’t remember what prompted me to write it–some call for horror stories, but I can’t even remember the theme now. Even though the story is schlocky in some respects, I do like the way it shows how trauma can cause people to lose perspective. If you won’t be triggered, please go and read it, and let me know what you think.

In other news, I’m somewhat embarrassed by the following review. I saw Pieces of a Woman, didn’t like it, and forgot some important details, as I do with works I don’t care for, almost immediately. Then, several weeks later, I did this review, and only remembered the details as I went along. That said, I think my reasons for not liking it are clear.

For anyone wondering why I haven’t posted in a while, I had no news to report. I am only getting the odd poem out because I am still working on the second part of a three-part science fiction novel. Did you know quantum physics is actually quite hard to understand?

I also had no reviews to post because the reviewing is on pause while my son completes his master’s in education. He only got this one up recently, and we did it some time ago. We plan to finish the Netflix Oscar fare, even though the ceremony has been and gone, when he returns here after graduation.

For anyone who was wondering about that, no, my son will not be living in our basement. I believe he will soon be hired, and he would be a credit to any junior high or high school in need of a social studies, history, government, psychology, geography, or economics teacher. We don’t even have a basement, anyway.

Love Song for LaTasha Review, and Twitter Mention

We found this film to be laudable in its intentions but disappointing in its execution. Portraying Latasha is a delicate balancing act, as anything negative about her or her friends, family, and neighborhood is likely to be seized on by racists and used to justify her murder. But by praising her largely in vague, idealizing terms, the filmmakers make it hard for us to feel that we are getting to know a real person and her real relationships. I do believe this is an important injustice that should be more widely known, and I respect the choice to focus on LaTasha, not the crime or its aftermath.

In other news, I was pleased to get this mention by After the Pause of the poem I discussed here. You can read it just by clicking on the arrow in the tweet and going to full screen. As always, I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

Cheers!