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.

Recommended Reading #4

  1. “The Village with All of the Boyfriends” by Zachary Doss
  2. “The Murder Sounds” by Amy Silverberg
  3. “How to Spend Your Time Before the Renegade Planet Makes It All Go Dark” by Justin Lawrence Daugherty
  4. “Grief as Mythos” by Brandon Taylor
  5. “Let’s Not Begin” by Maggie Smith
  6. “How the End Begins” by Cynthia Cruz
  7. “Ten Step Tulpamancy” by Kia Groom
  8. “Beach City” by Jaquira Díaz
  9. The Best Small Fictions 2015, edited by Robert Olen Butler
  10. The Bad Cover Letter Generator, built by Kendra Fortmeyer, which generates extremely professional cover letters for the aspiring writer (give it a whirl!)

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.

Recommended Reading #3

  1. A Field Guide to Surreal Botany, edited by Janet Chui and Jason Erik
  2. “Glass Box” by Sandra Simonds
  3. “The Math Is Bad” by Casey Hannan
  4. On the Edges of Vision by Helen McClory
  5. “Smooth Body, Smooth Mind” by Paul Rusconi
  6. “Psychic in Reykjavik” by Fatima Bhutto
  7. “Anthropogenesis, or: How to Make a Family” by Laura van den Berg
  8. “A Hierarchy of Friends and Lovers” by Amanda Miska
  9. “Why I Didn’t Write Back” by Diana Spechler
  10. “The Agony of Community: an Introverted Writer’s Lament” by Meghan Tifft
  11. Read the World, a blog that categorizes literature by place and encourages more worldly reading

Recommended Reading #1

I’ve decided to retire the Carousels on this blog and turn it into a regular Recommended Reading feature instead. These lists will include anything noteworthy I’ve been reading lately that I want to share with all of you. There’s just so much out there now, and sometimes it’s hard and very time-consuming to find the real gems. If you have anything you’d like to share yourself, you can always send me an email. I’m always looking.

So it begins:

  1. Quaint Magazine, Issue 4
  2. The Long Goodnight of Violet Wild,” Part 1 by Cat Valente (and Part 2)
  3. “Logic” by Richard Siken
  4. “Teach Me Something” by Amy Silverberg
  5. “Someday I’ll Love Ocean Vuong” by Ocean Vuong
  6. “Eating the Bible” by Robert Vivian
  7. “This Was Ugly” by Lauren Gordon
  8. “Tonight, in Oakland” by Danez Smith