Posts Tagged ‘Speculative Poetry’

Yes, I’m going through a “thing” with alliterating headlines.  Just a quick note though that the summer edition of STAR*LINE, the journal of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association, has just been published in PDF with the print edition to be ready in the near future.  My pig, as it were, in this poetry poke is “What She Learned” (cf. also July 7), a thrilling account of vampirism and education, nestled at the bottom of page 22.  The issue number is 41.3 with more to be reported here, including most likely a cover picture, when the mailed copy arrives, while more information on STAR*LINE and the SFPA can be obtained by pressing here.

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The poetic cup runneth full this Saturday with proofs received from not one, but two upcoming publications.  The first in order of fulfillment, that is to say reading the proof sheet and sending it back with minor corrections, was from our fast-moving recent friend ALTERNATE THEOLOGY (ALTERNATIVE THEOLOGIES?), cf. July 1 and 2.  Either title seems to exist depending on the page you go to, but to the chase, my part is the poem called “Tit for Tat,” a “little Willie” in which our naughty lad finds the afterlife not as had been advertised.  The poem itself has been published before, originally in an anthology called GHOSTS:  REVENGE (James Ward Kirk Publications, 2015), but the subject seems one worth repeating and, with one or two minor editorial changes, has been returned.

Then a PDF for the Summer issue of STAR*LINE was perused, with my entry in this one a new poem, “What She Learned,” one of five accepted last February and four of which have already appeared in the current Spring issue (see May 16, April 11, et al.).  Things thus moving fast all around, within the hour that proof was returned as well to editor Vince Gotera with other information requested and a note that no changes were needed.

So went the call:  This anthology will focus on a re-mastering of core biblical themes that will help justify, or perhaps even expose, modern evangelical theology.  This is an unabashedly critical look at the often hypocritical deviation of the religious right from their biblical and moral base.  This will be a disturbing read for some.  But for which was added, [h]umor and good will are key. A sharp wit and a sharper pen is the objective. We’re taking fiction, poems, and essays.  The book in question, B Cubed Press’s proposed ALTERNATIVE THEOLOGIES:  PARABLES FOR A MODERN AGE.

Ah now, thought I, this sounds like a job for “Little Willie,” the late Victorian-styled urchin whose causing or succumbing to disaster oft leads to either narrator indifference or some kind of highly inappropriate moral.  A case in point a poem, “Tit for Tat,” originally published in GHOSTS:  REVENGE by James Ward Kirk Publications in 2015 (cf. February 16 of that year; also on “Little Willies” as a sub-genre, February 6 2012), in which a preacher’s predictions of hellfire fall somewhat short, and which seemed to me a possible fit — but only, that is, if Editors Bob Brown and Irene Radford could be tempted to take a reprint.

Well, you probably know where this is going.  Unabashed (ah, now), I sent it on in with a note explaining its reprint status.  Then last night the report arrived from Bob Brown:  “Tit for Tat” was in!  With it was some info about forms of payment, for which I emailed back my acceptance as well as saying I’d look forward to further information, which to be sure will be shared here as well.

Then one other note.  While it is possible ALTERNATIVE THEOLOGIES is filled by now, technically submissions are still open until July 15, for information on which one may press here.  But be warned as well, as stated in the original guidelines as I received them:  This is not for the Faint of Heart.

Today’s street mail has brought the current (Spring, 2018) issue of STAR*LINE, the journal of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA).  This is the one that has four (count ’em, FOUR — cf., also, April 11, et al.) separate poems by me in it, granted short ones, but still four whole poems!  All of these are perhaps a little bit tongue-in-cheek, dealing as they do with the everyday problems of vampiresses on the run, sharks in mermaid-infested waters, zombie hunters seeking their prey, and love-smitten young men in Transylvania.  The poems themselves are scattered throughout the magazine (often tucked discreetly towards the bottoms of pages), the pages which they inhabit being 10, 18, 24, and 34, and with titles like “Never Trust a Vampiress,” “Oh No She Didn’t?,” “From The Zombie Hunters Field Guide:  Tracking the Zombie,” and “The Young Transylvanian’s Guide to Dating:  Taking Your Date Home.”

For those interested, more on STAR*LINE and the SFPA can be found by pressing here.

It’s skinny and long (it’s a lot of poems) but here it is, the contents list for the current STAR*LINE (see March 29) with four, count ’em FOUR, poems by me.  Well, they’re very short poems (on a very long list) and spaced out through the issue, but see if you can find them all!  Hint:  The final two have VERY long titles, the fourth perhaps the longest of all (but the first two are shorter).

Departments

Dragons & Rayguns • Vince Gotera
President’s Message • Bryan Thao Worra
From the Small Press • Herb Kauderer
Stealth SF * Flying Blind * Denise Dumars
XenoPoetry: Japanese Scifaiku and Tanka • Shouko Izuo (translated by Natsumi Ando)

Poetry

[spewing] • Roxanne Barbour
[spray of rocks] • Roxanne Barbour
Workshop Exercise 21/08/2337: My Earliest Memories • David Jalajel
UFO • David Barber
[multiple moons] • David J Kelly
[life sentence] • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
[their drone ship came to Earth] • Lauren McBride
The Fallen Angel’s Ace of Wands • Mindy Watson
Why aliens shun India • Arjun Rajendran
[huckster moon] • Greer Woodward
Never Trust a Vampiress • James Dorr
[that] • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
It’s Universal • Marsheila Rockwell
Transported by Song • Herb Kauderer
[easy mole removal?] • F. J. Bergmann
A Cinephile Steps On-Screen • Alberto Sveum
Symbiosis • Chris Galford
[Striped gaiters, breather] • Denise Dumars
Stone Clutched to Chest • Laura Madeline Wiseman & Andrea Blythe
The Holy Firmament of Venus • Mary Soon Lee
Measure • Banks Miller
[alien worm—] • Susan Burch
Widening Gyroscope • F. J. Bergmann
[rising] • Roxanne Barbour
Cost-Benefits Analysis of Being a Zombie • James Reinebold
Till Death Do Us Part • Kathleen A. Lawrence
[a GoFundMe account] • Beth Cato
If Only I Could Sleep • G. O. Clark
Hermes • Jonel Abellanosa
Friends of Traitors • Matthew Wilson
[bottle trees on Mars] • Sandra J. Lindow
When Semi-Benevolent Aliens Conquer Earth • R. Mac Jones
Cosmic Roshambo • John Richard Trtek
[we’re leaving] • Robin Wyatt Dunn
Oh No She Didn’t? • James Dorr
[revealing] • Roxanne Barbour
Archaeopteryx • Robert Borski
[Terrans scooping gravel] • Lauren McBride
Wolf Moon • Susan McLean
[FTL propulsion achieved] • Lauren McBride & Jacob McBride
[cosmology] • Katrina Archer
Flight of Fantasy • crystalwizard
[no need] • Susan Burch
[we buried] • ayaz daryl nielsen
alien sea beams • David J Kelly
A Leaf Fairy Feels Under-Appreciated • Sharon Cote
The Return • Ken Poyner
The Cold Spot • Kimberly Nugent
From the Zombie Hunters Field Guide: Tracking the Zombie • James Dorr
[summer waits for him] • Holly Lyn Walrath
[vampire job fair] • William Landis
Data Value • Patricia Gomes
[close encounter] • Susan Burch
[Irresistible panhandling] • F. J. Bergmann
From Antartican Vibranium Tankas • Eileen R. Tabios
Ghazal • Joshua Gage
Elixir Stores Open for Business! • Ronald A. Busse
[the sound of black holes] • Alzo David-West
Lost in the House of Hair • John W. Sexton
[end of the road] • Greg Schwartz
The Music of the Spheres • Mikal Trimm
Come Embrace Space • Lauren McBride
E pur si muove • Deborah L. Davitt
[nothing’s so beautiful] • Alzo David-West
[red shift] • David J Kelly
[alien pool shark] • F. J. Bergmann
Second Life • Davian Aw
[eruption] • Roxanne Barbour
[for sale: sweet cottage] • F. J. Bergmann
Illiteracy • Scott E. Green & Herb Kauderer
[outside the greenhouse] • Greg Schwartz
The Young Transylvanian’s Guide to Dating: Taking Your Date Home • James Dorr
[alien teenagers] • Susan Burch
[prohibited] • Roxanne Barbour
The Ghost Diet • Robert Borski
Everything started with the Big Bang, they say • Juanjo Bazán
[held to my ear] • F. J. Bergmann
Red in the Morning • James B. Nicola
[the prospect recedes] • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
[heat death of a universe] • F. J. Bergmann
Missouri City, Texas, in a Far Tomorrow • José Chapa
Intruders • Cindy O’Quinn
[Looking at each star] • William Landis
The Plague • Matthew Wilson
Mermaid Warrior • Darrell Lindsey
[star party] • Lauren McBride
[Stiff with chill] • Denise Dumars
Exfil • WC Roberts
[class four body dies] • Holly Lyn Walrath
[guys on a float trip] • William Landis
Shapeshifter Taxonomy • A. C. Spahn

Illustrations

Low Rounders • Denny E. Marshall
First Time on a Swing • Christina Sng
Squirm • Denny E. Marshall

And then a second very short item, the Goth cat Triana had her annual checkup yesterday at an all new vet’s, a bit closer than the one she went to last year, and (the triaba2b4001question local people who know her all asked) she conducted herself like a perfect, if apprehensive, lady.  Or more to the point, she didn’t bite either the vet or his assistant!  GOOD Triana.  (There had been some discussion when I had first gotten her of giving her a name with vampiric connotations, but the decision had been that that might be too much of a red flag — cf. February 12 2017.)  And, pending test results on certain, er, organic samples, her health is good.

Well, with one possible exception to the last, something I’d sort of noted myself as I took her in her carrier to the vet.  She may be getting a tiny bit chubby.

Ah, back to the routine of the writing life, or . . . maybe not quite so routine in this instance.  One may recall that the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association’s magazine STAR*LINE had accepted five poems from me last month (see February 25), to be spaced out over the coming year’s issues.  Today, wasting no time, the proof sheets for the coming Spring issue arrived with four (count ’em) poems of the five included!  A trifecta plus one, or, how’s that for dominating an issue?  (Well, given the poems are all very short, perhaps not exactly domination, but still. . . .).

So the poems are “Never Trust a Vampiress,” “Oh No She Didn’t?'” “From the Zombie Hunters Field Guide:  Tracking the Zombie,” and “The Young Transylvanian’s Guide to Dating:  Taking Your Date Home,” leaving the longest of the original five (by a whopping one line) to stand alone in a future issue.  I like the choices and the order — scarcely ten pages of the coming STAR*LINE can be read without coming across my name!  But more to the point, except for one minor note, all in the issue looked fine to me and so it went back this afternoon.

Spring is upon us and, with it, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association’s annual “Year’s Best” anthology nears publication.  Or to cop the tip from the horse’s mouth:  Aside from STAR*LINE, the RHYSLING ANTHOLOGY is the SFPA’s single greatest contribution to the larger world of Speculative Poetry.  It is a platform where Speculative Poets are nominated and acknowledged by their peers for single works of exemplary poetry.  But there is a catch.  Although dues-paying members of SFPA receive the anthology as a perk (while those not members may buy it as well), it does cost money.  And so today’s email has brought a plea, that members — and non-members too! — may also contribute donations.

If interested, or for just more information on the Rhyslings and the anthology, one may press here.  And if willing to donate, look to the right for the drop box marked Rhysling Sponsorship and take it from there.

In somewhat related news, Smart Rhino Publications is sponsoring a kickstarter for its and the Written Remains Writers Guild’s upcoming anthology A PLAGUE OF SHADOWS, more on which can be found here.  This is a little unusual for me to report in that I don’t have a dog in this particular pack (though I don’t have a poem in this year’s Rhysling contention either, as it happens), but I have published with Smart Rhino before and, to quote their particular email this time, [o]ur main goals for this Kickstarter campaign are (1) to support the fruitful collaboration of amazing writers (regardless of their current stature in the publishing world), and (2) to bring the best horror and suspense fiction possible to you, the readers.  Smart Rhino takes great pride in publishing quality books for our supporters — and our writers take great pride in providing you with the best stories they have to offer.  My particular stories with them are in the anthologies UNCOMMON ASSASSINS, INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS, and ZIPPERED FLESH 3, and to help the cause one might buy one or more of those books as well.

The evening is quiet as dusk descends on this, the first night of spring, and . . . it’s snowing.  It’s lovely.  And this is the first night of spring, in Indiana, a land not known for its proximity to the North Pole.

Actually the snow had started as I was walking home this afternoon.  I had been suffering from a bad cold, getting better now, but at doctor’s orders I was bearing meds from the drugstore downtown.  My thought was then that it was nice as I crossed the University campus, still not too cold outside and only a few small flakes, much nicer than rain.  But now it’s coming down with some fervor, covering the wet still almost too warm ground, though probably to amount to no more than an inch or two by the time it’s done according to the Weather Channel.  And, once again, while snow even in early April is not unknown in Indiana, still it is the first night of Spring.

But it’s nice.  And so to celebrate, herewith a poem — a lagniappe — of a previous season.  “Winter’s Still” was originally published in PANIC (Sam’s Dot Publishing, 2005) and reprinted in the British e-zine DARK METRE, edited by Katy Bennett, on September 4 2011 (cf. for the latter September 4, June 8 2011).  The text here is as it was sent to DARK METRE.

 

WINTER’S STILL

You know
how snow
blankets sound,
makes all white,
deadens sight,
blinding in sun —
silent —
new snow falls
covering steps
left behind.
Masking all.
Where is home?
Wind whistles now,
cold seeps
freezing bone,
shadows long,
lost — a patchwork
of woods, hollows,
mounds.
Quiet, white.
Heart beats then,
pounding,
fear sets in.
Attempts to flee.
Heaped drifts
inhibit flight,
tangled steps,
falling —
knees sinking —
and cloud
brings the night.

Five funny things, actually.  Lately my poetry has tended to ultra short, epigrammatic pieces, hopefully with a small punch or a laugh.  The one I had in the fall STAR*LINE, for instance, “Wet Work” (see December 2, et al.), is an example.  So it was that I sent five more to STAR*LINE in mid-December, the last of which in fact, I noted, was sort of a commentary on “Wet Work,” though goofier, maybe.  But to the point, the email came back yesterday from Editor Vince Gotera:  All five were accepted!  They’ll come out over the course of the rest of the volume year.  Probably one or two at a time.  So despite rainy, gloomy weather outside, Saturday ended up being a great day (I also finished a story that afternoon, in itself reason enough to celebrate)!

The poems (watch for them!  They’ll likely come out in a different order) are titled “From the Zombie Hunter’s Field Guide:  Tracking the Zombie,” “The Young Transylvanian’s Guide to Dating:  Taking Your Date Home,” “Never Trust a Vampiress,” “What She Learned,” and (this the one based on “Wet Work”) “Oh No She Didn’t?”  While more on STAR*LINE and sponsor/publisher Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association can be found here.

The poem, that is, “Even Odds” was on a quietly apocalyptic theme, the end of the world and all.  Then Sunday night word came from Editor A.W. Gifford that we shall all have a chance to read it.  Thank you for submitting “Even Odds” to BÊTE NOIRE.  We are pleased to inform you that your work has been accepted for publication in our fall issue due out in October, 2018.  So it will be a while before it’s published, nearly a year, but hey, remember, it’s apocalyptic (though quietly so, one must emphasize) and we wouldn’t want the world to end too soon, now would we?

BÊTE NOIRE specializes in fiction and poems that are, to quote the guidelines, well written, character driven and have a dark bent to them.  We are open to most genres as long as they have a dark side.  This includes horror, dark sci-fi, dark fantasy, crime, mystery or dark humor.  So we might expect, even with Christmas fast approaching, “Even Odds” is unlikely to be exactly jolly.

But then if it were, it probably wouldn’t have been accepted.




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