New Poems + Publishing Malaise

I have poems in the new issue of Mortar Magazine: “Before the Geyser” and “The Stones.” My writing is accompanied by the gorgeous street art of Tamara Alves. You can listen to audio of my readings on their site as well.

You will also find three of my poems in the newest issue of Requited Journal, a journal I admire for its experimentation and commitment to publishing the marginal. I’m always on the lookout for journals that showcase underrepresented voices. I crave originality and fresh perspective in writing more than anything else. I’m grateful to those editors who strive for a spectrum.

I think I’m going to take a break from submitting so much and just focus on the writing. So much time is devoted to this cycle, this endless grind, but the actual writing is always what brings me the most pleasure and sense of accomplishment. Publication is just a bonus. I have to remind myself about that sometimes.

New Look, New Writing

I’ve changed the look of the site so that it’s more focused on my writing and less just like a personal blog. The blog will still remain for updates and the occasional anecdote I’d like to share, but I don’t want it to be the focus. I’ve updated my list of publications since many of the journals that published my writing have closed. I used to joke that I was the grim reaper of literary magazines—since so many journals seem to go defunct right after they publish me. But I guess that’s just the nature of publishing, whether online or print.

But here are some newer publications:

  • I have a flash in Fanzine that was inspired by an article I read online about gay people being more haunted than straight people. Yes, it was a real article and not a parody.
  • I have a short coming-of-age story told in fragments in the newest issue of Gone Lawn. I’m very proud of this one.

I’m currently in the brainstorming stage of a novel, sort of. I’ve never written a novel before, apart from a godawful fantasy when I was in high school that was really more like fan fiction. I’m starting with the characters since some of them have been in my mind for many years. I’m just letting them wander and interact now. Let’s see where this goes.

Fall Fragments

  1. The cool, dry air pays a visit like an old friend. My skin is glowing but my eyes are tearing.
  2. I have a short prose poem in the fall issue of Unbroken Journal. It is ominous, as most writing is these days.
  3. Someone asks me, “What do you write?” I freeze. You’d think I’d be able to answer this by now.
  4. I finished writing a story told in fragments. It features potions and a garden. My stories always seem to feature a garden.
  5. I finished reading Cruddy by Lynda Barry. Brutal and beautiful. I wrote a micro review about it. Easily one of my favorite reads this year.
  6. I’ve updated my list of literary journals for LGBTQ writers, women, and writers of color. People still seem to use it as a resource and I’m glad it’s been so helpful. Unfortunately, I’ve had to remove quite a few journals that have gone defunct or no longer appear online.
  7. I’m getting married soon. Since there’s no bride, we’ve had to write a ceremony ourselves. There are no real traditions to inherit yet, no set rules. We are setting them down. I should write about this eventually.
  8. The cool spell will be gone tomorrow, I’m sure.

South Florida Poetry Reading

Starting the year off, a longer poem of mine has been published in the newest issue of the South Florida Poetry Journal. There’s also an audio recording if you’d like to hear it aloud and follow along. The editors invited me to do a reading – my very first reading anywhere – at the Broward County Library. I don’t like public speaking and I was nervous, but I think it went well. I met poet Denise Duhamel and she signed my copy of her latest book. She was funny and full of infectious energy. She teaches poetry at my alma mater and was trying to convince me to pursue an MFA. I still think about it from time to time.

More good news: I was recently named a finalist for the 2016 Lascaux Prize in Poetry. My poem will be published in an upcoming anthology alongside the other finalists and winner. The poem was inspired by “A Chinese Banquet” by Kitty Tsui. Please do yourself a favor and read her work. Her poems are coming back into print soon, which I’m very excited about.

I’m working towards a full-length collection and have figured out its structure. It’s helping to push me forward, along with a fresh spreadsheet keeping track of all my rejections/acceptances. I’m hoping these neuroses turn into something I can eventually hold in my hands and hug to my chest.

Pugnacious Boy

A poem of mine, “Pugnacious Boy,” has been published in the newest issue of Permafrost. It’s dedicated to Donnie Marsh, a friend of mine and writing partner who died from an overdose three years ago. We met on Livejournal back when I was in high school. His apt handle on there was “a_pugnaciousboy.” He was a very controversial figure in publishing – if you Google him, you will see him ranting on various writing forums. People appreciated his bluntness, but he lacked professional tact to get ahead in an industry where that kind of thing really matters. He was an extremely prickly person with lots of demons. People who knew him exclusively online (myself included) weren’t even aware of his problems with addiction. Nonetheless, he was always encouraging me to write and told me he’d publish my first collection of stories once he started his own press. He was an incredible memoirist himself, with aspirations of either being a great literary agent or publisher someday. It’s a shame his demons finally won. I miss our conversations. I’d like to think he’d appreciate this poem.

I’ve been reviewing editors at the Review Review who publish hybrid and “alternative” literature. There’s my interview with Threadcount and my interview with Matador Review. Interviewing is a new venture for me, but I’ve always loved asking questions and listening to people’s thoughts. I updated my writing portfolio to include these new interviews and some old essays. Have a look.