“The Artist as Her Own Model” by Andrés Rodríguez

The more these higher orders look like us, the nearer we are to them. —W.S. Di Piero

From each canvass
she inhales heavy oils
breathed as from a fane
of laundry and books.
Each is different
yet with all she offers
this world’s future
or distant past.
For thirty years
imagination put her
on a bank she smoothed
into marbled jade
the waters stilled
under a milky sky
blanket-wrapped women
filing to the dazzle
beside boulders
that morph into rooms.

Today she looks
and sees the colors
of gamma knife
pilgrims draped
in surgical gowns
herself naked as her palette.
The sacred scene
inside her skull
tilts on a laptop screen
as she lies waiting for
the radiant beam
and in the air
hovering above her eyes
sees a long moment
turning green to red
so she can enter
future or past.

Andrés Rodríguez is the author of Night Song (Tia Chucha Press) and Book of the Heart (Lindisfarne Press). In 2007 he won Poets & Writers’ Maureen Egan Award for Poetry. His MA in Creative Writing is from Stanford and his PhD in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

“Inches” by Jamie Lynn Heller

Some inches slide
smoothly along a surface,
easy to measure.
Others are deceptive,
deep enough
to drown in calm seas.

She told me,
looking up from where
she intently inched
one finger along the chair fabric,
that meth makes her beautiful.

I walk in the mornings
on a crowded sidewalk
where bumped shoulders
cross canyons between
strangers who are farther
apart than a touch.

While in my own space,
we sleep inches apart,
the sheet between us
grows cold during the night.

Some inches slide
along a surface.
Others are deep enough
to drown.

Jamie Lynn Heller is a Pushcart Prize nominee (Little Balkans Review 2014) and Best of the Net nominee (805 Lit + Art 2016). Domesticated, was published in 2015 (Finishing Line Press). She received honorable mention awards in Whispering Prairie Press Writing Contest 2012and Kansas Voices Contest 2017, 2011. jamielynnheller.blogspot.com

13 Ways to Sabotage Your Writing Practice

  1. Waiting for someone to tell you it’s ok to write.
  2. Put off writing until after the dishes are done, the bills are paid, the lawn is mowed, Game of Thrones is over, you’ve re-watched all nine seasons of Seinfeld.
  3. Use your writing space for grading papers, planning lessons, paying bills, doing taxes, repairing your motorcycle.
  4. Never jotting down your good ideas.
  5. Believing your good ideas are rubbish.
  6. Judging what you write.
  7. Judging what others write.
  8. Comparing your writing with that of others.
  9. Berating yourself for not writing more.
  10. Repeating the familiar instead of exploring the unknown.
  11. Never asking questions.
  12. Assuming you don’t know how to write well.
  13. Assuming you do know how to write well.

“A Glass of Wine Near Birds” by Judith Bader Jones

At twilight, Grackles and Goldfinches drink water,
but I prefer transparent Riesling, a wine to capture
in-between-light when all gets said and undone.

Glass in hand I drink and watch birds clutch
the rim of the feeder. My hand grasps a glassful
of stemmed memories populated with music.

After one sip of time people gather and hang around
for a last drink served up near birds perched next to
my life’s collection of ghosts. No one flies solo.

Judith Bader Jones’ poems appear in The Language of Small Rooms and Moon Flowers on the Fence,chapbooks published by Finishing Line Press. Her book of short fiction, DeltaPearls, published by Sweetgum Press, Warrensburg, MO  received the William Rockhill Nelson Award for Fiction. She has upcoming poems in I-70 Review, Heart, and CHEST, The Journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

September Digest for Zingara Poetry Review, Including News and Events

Milestones: School began two weeks ago on August 21st with a Monday morning College Convocation and an afternoon viewing of the eclipse from the backyard of a neighbor’s home. We spent most of the afternoon and early evening visiting with friends old and new and enjoying a variety of delicious foods. We also had the unique opportunity to observe the behavior of backyard chickens as well as a growing hive of bees. As you might guess, the chickens were just beginning to settling down to roost at totality and seemed a little confused that it was time to get back to hunting bugs only a few minutes later. The bees, only slightly befuddled, went into their hive one minute then popped back out the next.

None of the resident or neighborhood dogs seemed to notice anything different about the moment, except, perhaps, that their silly pet parents seemed awfully preoccupied with the sky.

Tuesday, August 22nd marked the first day of classes, and like many other first year writing instructors, I found my English 110 classrooms filled with eager deer-eyed students ready to prove they are ready handle a college workload (in most cases), a spirit that was dampened by Thursday afternoon when an active shooter and hostage situation developed in a restaurant near campus.

In fact, two of my students were confined to their dorms, located adjacent to the restaurant, and sent emails notifying me they would not be able to attend their 1:40 PM class. Because police contained the situation rather quickly, and it did not technically happen on campus (though we have an open campus), the president did not cancel classes, a choice that has resulted in a great deal of flack and general outcry from parents. At no point did the alert messages sent by campus security mention that there was an active shooter, only that there was an” incident” on King Street and to avoid the area.

Needless to say, with so many charged events, the first week of classes was both exciting and exhausting; busy and disheartening. Fortunately, and thankfully, the second week of classes was much closer to normal, though I fear my freshmen students are already a little worn out. As you can imagine, their parents have become extra vigilant and are demanding frequent updates.

During these same two weeks in my Intro to Poetry class, we discussed Gregory Orr’s “Four Temperaments and the Forms of Poetry” as well as completed several in-class writing prompts. Out-of-class poetry assignments have included writing an Abecedarian poem, a question poem, and a student choice poem, so my Labor Day weekend plans includes reading and responding to new poems by new poets.

Now, for this month’s digest.

Editorial Busy-ness: 
  • Poetry Picks have been filled until March and there are still submissions to consider. I even selected a few extra poems to publish on Holidays – that’s how great this year’s submissions have been.
  • Submissions closed on August 31 for this reading period. They will reopen in December.
  • I am reviewing poems published between July 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017 with an eye for six to submit to the Best of the Net awards.
  • I have selected six poems that were published, or slated to be published, on Zingara Poetry Review in 2017 for submission to the Orison Books 2018 Anthology of Spiritually Engaging Poetry. I am awaiting releases from their authors and will post a notice on the site with the poem titles once I have them.
Of Interest and Inspiration:
 
I lifted the following Phillip Larkin quote from the August 9th Edition of Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac and share it here because it nicely encapsulates the spirit practicing poets try most to maintain:
When asked how a young poet could know if his or her work was any good, Larkin answered: “I think a young poet, or an old poet, for that matter, should try to produce something that pleases himself personally, not only when he’s written it but a couple of weeks later. Then he should see if it pleases anyone else, by sending it to the kind of magazine he likes reading. But if it doesn’t, he shouldn’t be discouraged. I mean, in the 17th century every educated man could turn a verse and play the lute. Supposing no one played tennis because they wouldn’t make Wimbledon? First and foremost, writing poems should be a pleasure. So should reading them, by God.”
 
The Writing Life:
 
Music for Writing from the Internet Archive (Jackpot!), a website of archived works, including thousands of 78 RPM recordings (thanks to friend Erik K. for the tip).
 
In Review:


August Poetry Picks:


August Monday Minutes:
 

 

and one prompt: 

 
Looking Ahead: 
September Poetry Picks:
 
“A Glass of Wine Near Birds” by Judith Bader Jones (9/6)
“Inches” by Jamie Lynn Heller (9/13)
“The Artist as Her Own Model” by Andres Rodriguez (9/20)
“The Girl in the Cornfield” by Natalie Crick (9/27)


Monday Minutes (that I know of):

“13 Ways to Sabotage Your Writing”
AND the return of poet interviews!!

Readings and Workshops:
 

Save the Date
: Gary Jackson, Elizabeth Powell, and I will be reading at The Writer’s Place, 3607 Pennsylvania Avenue in Kansas City, MO on Friday, October 20th beginning at 7:00 PM.
I will also lead a workshop the following morning, Saturday, October 21st (details to follow).
 
Hope to see all you Kansas City area poets! 
 
 
 
 

“Susan Restringing Wind Chimes” by Alan Proctor

The stitching I could never do. She threads
fishing line – stronger than last season’s
snapped string – through the chimes’ pinhole
throats: the petite, sprung belfry fixed.

Or not. She’s winging it, retracts
the line, reams nits from a clogged
winter hole, plucks a gnat from her wine
glass with a tool better suited

for spackle, strangles the racket
of clanging, takes a sip, shakes the throats
of sound itself until the bells
dangle. Harmonious.

Fishing line, wine, choked cacophony,
chime-stitched wind of her surgery.

Proctor’s poetry and prose have appeared in numerous journals including New Letters and Laurel Review. His hybrid memoir, The Sweden File: Memoir of an American Expatriate (Westphalia Press 2015), received a featured Kirkus Review and was named by the KC Star as one of the 12 best memoirs of 2015.

10 WordPress-Hosted Literary Journals Accepting Poetry Submissions

  1. Dogwood – A Journal of Poetry and Prose: An annual national literary journal seeking works from writers during its fall reading period each year. We publish fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction of both contest winners and other writers in May of each year. The literary journal is produced by the faculty in the Department of English at Fairfield University, and Fairfield undergraduate students gain hands-on experience in helping to edit and produce the journal by taking EN 340: The World of Publishing or The World of Publishing II.                                          
  2. The Magnolia Review The Magnolia Review was born in October 2011 by Bowling Green State University creative writing undergraduates. Suzanna Anderson is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder. Please visit the Submit tab for information on how to submit. While The Magnolia Review will not have physical copies at this time, the editors may compile a print version if funds become available. We publish two issues a year, deadlines on November 15 and May 15. The issue will be available January 15 and July 15 online.                                                                              
  3. The Mantle: Founded in 2017, The Mantle is an online quarterly journal dedicated to contemporary poetry. We’ll publish the most memorable poems we receive. When the time comes, we’ll nominate for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Our first issue releases on August 1st. We are now reading for issue #2. Find our submission guidelines here.                                                     
  4. Naugatuck River Review: This is a literary journal founded in order to publish and in doing so to honor good narrative poetry. We publish twice a year. Our first edition was Winter 2009.  A print issue will be available through this site for purchase. It will also be available for download. Publication rights will revert to the author of the poem and we do not pay for poetry published. We accept simultaneous submissions, but please inform us if your work is accepted elsewhere. Naugatuck River Review is dedicated to publishing narrative poetry in the tradition of great narrative poets such as Gerald Stern, Philip Levine or James Wright.       
  5. Panoply, A Literary Zine: Join us here for a wide-ranging and impressive array of writing. Issue 7 will be a double issue and comes out August 18, 2017.                                                           
  6. Peacock Journal: Have you ever been so attracted to something, you just wanted to be close to it? You just wanted to exist within the same space? Or have you ever seen something so beautiful you thought it might be a door to another world? And all you desired, with the entirety of your being, was to pass through that door, into that other place, and just exist there for a little while? It’s not a separate reality, it’s a heightened, more intense reality, fuller and more complete. Write that and send it to us. It’s really difficult. It’s far easier to write gritty and pedestrian. But try it. Send us something about water and wind and light and the interplay of harmonies between them.                                                                                  
  7. Pearl S. Buck Writing Center Literary Journal: The theme for the Fall 2017 Issue, Volume 2, Number 2, of the Pearl S. Buck Literary Journal is Justice and Mercy. We see a host of possible avenues for writing about justice and mercy  —  the lack of either virtue OR the presence of either virtue. We include both sides of this theme, for, in Anne Kaler’s words: “If there were perfect justice, we would not need mercy.  If there were perfect mercy, we would not need justice.”                                                                                                                                                  
  8. Quill’s Edge Press: QuillsEdge Press is dedicated to publishing the poetry of women over the age of 50. We offer an annual chapbook contest during the fall and winter, and beginning in 2017, an annual anthology of new, emerging, and established women poets called 50/50: Poems and Translations by Women Over 50.                                                                                              
  9. Seshat – A Homeschool Literary Magazine:  Submissions will be open until September 1, 2017. Please review the submission guidelines before submitting your pieces to our email. All pieces will be reviewed immediately upon being received.The inaugural issue of this journal is planned for release on September 15, 2017. Any further news regarding this new release will be updated as time passes.                                                                                                     
  10. Sliver of Stone: Sliver of Stone is a nonprofit online literary magazine. Our editors are the talented progeny of the Creative Writing Program at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Our mission is to provide for a web-based environment for outstanding literary fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art from around the globe. We want to expand the influence of these genres beyond their traditionally academic audiences.