Friday, June 12, 2009

Poetry Tips: School's Out For Summer

For many of us, summer means vacations, breaks in attending classes, or being able to swim in the pool again. Summer also seems to be a season where there are many more events to attend and places to go, people to see, all which can be ample inspiration for poems. I keep a tiny notebook in my car now (don’t worry, I don’t write and drive) so that as I pull up to a state park or sit in traffic watching kids eating ice cream cones outside I can write down what I see to use it later. I suggest you do the same. Don’t forget your cameras either! Now is the time to get out of the house and go out into the world. Plus, you most likely have some more freedom in your schedule these days with vacation days or “call-in-sick-to-work-but-not-really-sick” days, etc. Keep some note-cards and notebooks in easy to reach places along with spare pens and pencils and you’ll be able to produce some new poems for freshening up existing manuscripts or creating new ones. You’ll also have more poems to send out to journals and on-line presses once Fall rolls around and more editors are looking for submissions. Have fun in the sun and may the muse bless you!

Thanks for dropping in, please stop by on Monday for another featured site…

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Albatross Open Submissions

You can send between 3-5 poems, not exceeding 200 lines, with all of your contact information on each page via snail mail with a self-addressed stamped envelope included to the following address:

Editor Richard Smyth
2 South New Street
Bradford, MA 01835

You can also E-mail by pasting poems into the body of the e-mail with your name in the subject line and head your e-mail with your contact information to: rsmythATanabiosispressDOTorg

There are many more details included if you click on the link below:
Good luck to all of you who submit, please stop by tomorrow for more Poetry Tips…

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Poems Found by Poet Hound
Maurice Manning’s “The Rainy Night in Kentucky”
William James’ “Dream Talk”

Thanks for clicking in, please check in tomorrow for more Open Submissions…

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Bones of Saints Under Glass by Jeff Fleming

Jeff is the editor of nibble, a poetry magazine, and his current collection of poems titled The Bones of Saints Under Glass is published by Alternating Current and is filled with sentimental memories, abstract moments, and life lessons learned through his family members. The cover is also done by Hosho McCreesh, whose poetry has been featured on this blog before as well and I thought it worth mentioning. Jeff Fleming’s poems keep me in my seat and I am happy to share several of them with you:

The Bones of Saints Under Glass

I am hiking,
booted feet

covering much ground
over small hills.

There is no trail before me
but a rough, jagged path

flows out behind,
slowly disappearing

as the plants I’ve crushed
stand upright again.

I stop, near a cluster
of yellow flowers,

because of something
bleached white,

a long-dead bird,
now only bones.

I’ve come upon
this tiny,

hollow skeleton
cradled in the space

between two
small shrubs

and what comes
to mind

is the bones of Saints
under glass.

I thought it appropriate to include the poem which inspired the title of the collection. I think the ending lines are beautiful and demonstrate the delicate, fragile nature of Mr. Fleming’s discovery in the woods. I also love that the trail disappears behind him as he blazes his own path just as any traveler must make his own way in life.

The Youngest One Stopped

This morning, I yelled
at my kids
so loud my throat hurt.

I could tell you why,
write it all
down, but so what?
It wouldn’t matter,
not to you
and certainly not to them.

What matters is
the oldest
started crying
and the youngest one

Many households have seen this happen and I like poets who include real-life anecdotes in their collections. We can all relate to this in some way and smile at the result.

Every Saturday Night

I called the police
after three days
because I thought
you’d gone off
on another bender,
but they never
found you.

I have nothing
but a few clothes
and your old car.

No body to bury,
no grave to visit,
no ashes to spread,

just an ’87 T-bird
with a cracked
windshield, a busted
taillight and a rearview
mirror that falls
on the floor
with every good
bump in the road.

I take the car
out every Saturday
night and drive
until it runs
out of gas,

then I sit at the side
of the road –
headlights burning
small holes in the night –
until the battery dies.

This poem is full of mystery since we don’t know who he is referring to. Friend? Girlfriend? Parent? Relative? Newspaper article? We are left just as lost as the poet who only has the car and its pitiful state left as evidence of what may have happened but remains empty of answers. It’s a fascinating poem that leaves me wanting more.

My Only Companion

It’s all darkness here
and clouds.
The road runs south,
away from you,
and my only companion
is the never-ending rope
of power lines rising
and falling lazily
from one massive steel
tower to the next –
like robots –
and I expect any moment
they will seize
my truck and fling
me into a nearby
cornfield, I will
roll over and over,
steel bending,
glass shattering,
until we become
a tight ball
rolling through
the heart-
land of America.

This poem is another one we can relate to but takes on a morbid tone that makes it interesting. The hypnotic way power lines rise and fall and then lead the poet into imagining the towering poles to be robots yearning to snatch up his truck and fling it and the people inside into wreckage across a cornfield is a striking image. It’s a poem that can crawl inside your head and wait for your next road trip to reappear inside your mind and I like that.

If you enjoyed these poems you can seize a copy of The Bones of Saints Under Glass for $5.00 through Alternating Current which will also throw in a bonus copy from archives. Remember, poets receive royalties and it is rare to find a small press who is able to pay the poets they publish so please visit Alternating Current to learn more about them. Alternating Current also encourages everyone who receives their chapbooks to review them on blogs, web-sites, etc. to spread the word about their poets and poetry in general.
That is pretty generous and amazing, isn’t it?

Thanks always for reading, please click in tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, June 8, 2009

Poetic Asides at Writer's Digest

Poetic Asides by Robert Lee Brewer provides writing prompts, interviews, on-line seminars and all kinds of wonderful information. Check it out at:

Thanks for dropping in, please stop in tomorrow for another featured poet…