Friday, October 23, 2009

Poetry Tips: The Supply Closet of Bad Poetry

This tip is thanks to a literal event in which I was cleaning out my office’s supply closet and found a box titled “Joey’s.” I looked inside to find all manner of crumpled up pieces of paper, various colors, and on a plain white piece was a carefully hand-written poem of love turned sour and bitter. I described my find to my father and he said “It’s like the Supply Closet of Bad Poetry!” Which, if you ask me, would be a fantastic titled to a collection of poems but I also loved the title so much I thought I would turn it into a poetry tip. I urge you to dig out your own bad poems, the poems you can’t bear to throw away but you also cannot bear the thought of others reading and face them in the light. I’ve dragged out some of my own, wincing or laughing, and I may actually get around to cleaning them up and dressing them anew with better flow, better words. I urge you to do the same.

Have fun, thanks for stopping by and please drop in next week for another featured site…

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blue Collar Review Open Submissions

You may mail up to five poems (no simultaneous submissions) in a regular #10 envelope with a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope enclosed (cover letter optional) to:
Blue Collar Review
PO Box 11417
Norfolk, VA 23157

For more details please visit:

Good luck to all who submit, please check in tomorrow for more Poetry Tips…

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Poems Found by Poet Hound
Philip Larkin, Days
Sid Miller, Around Killingsworth and Albina

Thanks for clicking in, please drop by tomorrow for more Open Submissions...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Poeisis Number Three

Alternating Current presents a new collection of poems by various poets in a wave of enlightening, brazen, and lyrical forms. Below are some of my favorites of the collection:

By Tim Scannell

Sent a bushel of
Autumn leaves to her
(UPS: $10.50);
A box of wooden matches
(Safeway $1.19), and
Enclosed the best love note
Ever penned:

“Ignore the city ordinance!”

What a fun and mischievous little poem, don’t you think? This is a perfect opening poem for the journal, and I love that instead of a bouquet of roses, as the title presents, it is a bushel of autumn leaves. Beautiful!

Dancing With Words
By A.D. Winans

There are poets who like
To dance with words
But dancing for an audience
Isn’t like moving to the
Music on your own
Stirring the notes of the soul

Fame kills
Billie Holiday’s ghost attests
To this
Money pigeonholes
Power corrupts
The spiritual truth
The scriptures tell us this

The true poet knows this
Stands tall above the
Dancing with word poets
Who are little more than
Instruments of a poem greater
Than themselves

Be like Li Po and sail your poems
On streams and puddles written on leaves
Be like the anonymous poets of Poland
During the height of martial law
Dropping their poems into the public square
For the people to read
Giving them hope courage and peace
Risk your life your literary life
Especially for the people who need
Something to cling to in desperate times

Telling people how cruel
Their tormentors are won’t inspire them
To go on living and to overcome oppression
Loving them becoming one with them
Standing fearless in their midst
This is the mark of the true poet

Walt Whitman was the John Wayne of poetry
Standing tall and fearless against the enemy
Which is never really man but the
Poison in his soul, pride envy and lust
How can those afflicted with the disease of egomania
Jealousy and desire for fame and fortune
Write about and from the heart?
Gone is the fire of Keats Shelley Byron
Whitman and Baudelaire
One column of media praise is of less value
Than a single teardrop on a poem
From a waitress in a greasy spoon diner
These people know nothing of genius
How can cockroaches evaluate eagles?
The true poet’s topic is people
Not the poet

Well said, Mr. Winans. I find this poem inspiring in its speech to call poets to write about hope instead of cruelty, about others instead of themselves. I can’t say it any better than he can.

By Stephanie Hiteshew

They all
call me ugly
I tell them,
“If that’s true,
I hope it’s contagious.”
And they scatter
like the days
I wasn’t this smart.

Where was Ms. Hiteshew when I was an awkward teenager? This is a perfect little poem with sass and wit, don’t you think?

The End
By Michael Kriesel

The man
who is writing
the end of the world
began like this

he sat down
in a chair
beside a window
closed his eyes
& waited for the steam
to finish rising from
a cup of coffee

pen & paper resting
on the windowsill

darkness spreading
from behind some trees
outside the window

the trees are an aquamarine

what kind of trees they are is unimportant

what’s important
is the way already it’s begun

how every night
behind his eyes
a few less stars come out.

Mr. Kriesel lends this unknown man, who is writing the end of the world, an air of the supernatural with the “closing his eyes” and while pen and paper rests on the windowsill darkness spreads until “every night/behind his eyes/a few less stars come out.” As though the unknown man in the poem is controlling the end of the world. I also like the seemingly random reference to what color the trees are, as though the darkness that spreads is swallowing color before the poet has time to notice them fully. It is a surreal and enjoyable poem.

If you enjoyed this sample of poems, you may purchase a copy for a mere $4 (plus $2 US or $3 out-of-US shipping) at, or address payment to Alternating Current with a check, well-concealed cash, or money order (and indicate that you’d like a copy of Poiesis 3) to:

Alternating Current
PO Box 398058
Cambridge, MA 02139 USA

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