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Friday, June 13, 2014

What poem today, to life! (18)

Work is light.

Today, I submitted poems to Waterhouse Review and Rio Grande Review.

It occurs to me to say why or how I landed on these among those listed at Using Duotrope is a great help, but it also is limiting to those presses that use it, which seems to be a handsome percentage, though clearly not 100%. Waterhouse had a really funny submission page. Not over the top, but just three or four little side-snides that made my chuckle. Rio Grande listed themselves on Duotrope as being interested in poems in invented forms, which is exactly what I do. I also like that they are bilingual. The acceptance ratio listed at Duotrope is 8%, so that feels like a good chance and a challenge at the same time. (You must subscribe to Duotrope to see the percentages.)

Re: Rio Grande, also, the Duran Duran memory is a sweet one.

Over the last week, I submitted 26 poems for consideration. If my average holds that means 1-2 poems printed from this arbitrarily batched batch.

Ongoing: working on Richmond poem. I'm really getting to a place where I like it. Also thinking it would be worth reading and not improv-riffing.

Ongoing: meditating and mulling on my classes at Interplay and The Writer's Forum. As I come and go, walking to my carpool or driving short distances, I run through what I want to say. I'm making notes, jotting, thinking... I am looking forward to these classes and will start announcing, promoting to my circles.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

What Poem Today, 17

Something of a breakthrough on the Richmond poem last night and this morning. This is it: I will deliver the poem with the ingredient of improvisation, as I do my Fights With Poems pieces or as I will teach my classes at Interplay and at the Writer's Forum. That is, I will memorize my talking points in order and the bright stones of language that must come into the poem and to leave the prepositions and transitions to the moment. They'll take care of themselves. The Richmond poem will flow that way, without paper. I am making it more positive — because I am genuinely grateful to live in Richmond and proud of my town — no matter what they say. I am coming to like it a lot, the poem, as it coalesces around the classic image: Rosie the Riveter's arm as she makes a muscle. Human strength and frailty. Striving.

This is an unfamiliar way for me to draft work, and I like it. I am rewriting the entire poem again and again from scratch. Then I'm rehearsing it out loud, from memory, then jotting down pieces to add or to keep. The technique reflects the chaos I talk about in the poem, which for me is part of the soul of Richmond, how it has formed over time to its state today which still seems so much in flux.

Thinking about Fights with Poems. Yes, it's a fight sometimes. Often. Frustration. Distraction. And all my internal critics, a whole council of voices of various personalities and timbres and tactics. On that subject, I drafted a poem, workingly titled "Sucks," on the way into work — literally walking through SF writing as legibly as I can in my notebook. I think it's a pretty funny poem, and I am quite pleased with the flow of it. Chaotic, internal, angry and tenacious.

Rattle continues to provide inspiration

Today I queried Cameron + Company. I feel confident and humble. Prayerful and passive. Dynamic and surrendered. Larry, Moe and Curly.

Submitted poems to Edwin E. Smith Quarterly Magazine.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What poem today book 16 in which Daniel does all manner of things poem-related.

Nearly nearly finalized letter to Cameron + Co. I am taking my time, making it clear. I have a good feeling about that press. Actually, I have a good feeling every time I submit work I realize. It is a certain faith that I find I can muster again and again. Yes! This is the good one! This is the match! This will find the editor at her or his desk in just the perfect mood to get what I'm saying, see the potential, fall in love with idea, want to see more, want to make it work. I feel it every time I click send.

Received payment from Flapperhouse for my two poems "The fallow months" and "What's cooking." Token payment still makes me happy. And I'm glad those two poems, both favorites, found a good home. "The fallow months" I have really worked on over the months!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What poem today big 15

Submitted poems to Slice.

Also took time to add submissions to DuoTrope tracking tool. I am not 100% with it because the range of my submissions is so broad. There are submissions like those for Like/Share art show, performance ideas, and the complete MS, which DuoTrope is less adept at tracking. But in general, it's a great too, and encouraging. So I'm glad I updated it.

Posted a review of Alison Luterman's new book "Desire Zoo."

Read more of Rattle, a dang good poetry journal! Also drafted a more Rattle-style bio paragraph. Less about writing credentials and the "doing" of being a poet and more about what goes into poeming, living as a poet, the "being."

Did more research and note-taking in preparation for my July 17 class at the Writer's Forum in Petaluma, including finding the editing issue of Writer's Digest from last year.


Monday, June 9, 2014

What Poem Today weekend edition (#14)

Quiet weekend. Some stewing and brewing on Richmond occasional poem.

Submitted poems on Monday to Liminality. Very glad to find this fledgling press as it seems a good match for the some of the more ephemeral poems later in One Way to Ask.

Nearly finalized letter to Cameron + Co. I feel earnest about querying them and want it to ring from the first touch. How cool would that be - to work with a press in easy driving distance?!

Practiced "Schooling" and "Plum Season" to keep them memorized...

Friday, June 6, 2014

What Poem Today big 13

Made some revisions to my plum poem. There was a line in it, "on my account let none be judged," which I came to realize emerged from the real-time context of my writing the poem. I was in the hot pool at Kabuki Hot Springs. This was the poem I wrote by composing while committing to memory each of three stanzas. I was annoyed by someone in the warm pool who was IMHO needlessly crowding my personal space. At last (and after already submitting the poem, I think to Poetry Magazine, aiming quite high), I realized the line wasn't serving the poem, so on my walk today through the city, I found a better option for lines 15 and 16. Still not going to publish this poem online though as I think I will find a home for it in a journal and some are sensitive about ANY prior appearance.

Polished my query letter to Cameron + Company and feel it's nearly ready. Going to let it incubate though, rather than fire it off next week. In the meantime, will look for my next potential publisher...

Heard nothing yet from McSweeney's...

Began hard work and research on a poem about Richmond. Found out a lot about its geography, that the city shape is far from a simple, closed curve, but includes four or more separate islands, depending on the map you look at, interloped by the city of San Pablo. It also has multiple boroughs, in addition to the Richmond Annex, which I'm still not clear about. I found out that in 2004, Richmond was listed as the 12th most dangerous city in the US, but it has dropped off the list altogether by now. I noticed on reading that that I do hear gunshots far, far less often than in the early days of our residence here. And the trees in my neighborhood are starting to grow quite full and lovely compared to move-in day, September 2001. Was reminded of the city motto: "A city of pride and purpose." And of course, there's Rosie, who gives me my working title, "One for Rosie."

Struggling to decide how much of my own politics to infuse in this poem. I don't think much. I would like to be able to deliver something that has both a 10,000-foot perspective on the city (and abstract enough entity) as well as the pride I have come to feel in my town. I also to be able to be personal, but also to represent the range of perspectives in this city of incredible diversity, on par with Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco.

Received thanks for my guest-poet appearance at my daughter's poetry slam. I'm so proud of her. I pasted her poem into my notebook and sent copies to the grandparents...

Thursday, June 5, 2014

What Poem Today, chapter 12

Traded cool words with my chiropractor, Richard Robertshaw. He gave me hyalophagia, the compulsion to eat glass. (That made me exclaim.)

Wrote a new poem on the occasion of Mirabai's penultimate day of school poetry slam event. Her teacher, Julie Patten asked me to do the first poem. These ideas had been bouncing around for a while, and this morning they manifested.

Worked more on my query to Cameron + Company

Started work on a new limeronnet, hoping to post to good old Mad Kane's Humor Blog.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What Poem Today - Eleven

I've invented the limeronnet, a combination of limerick and sonnet. It's got limerick meter, humor and sass in a 14-line remix. What will happen next?

Posted "The limeronnet" at IMUNURI.

Began drafting the next submission query for One Way to Ask. This will go to Cameron + Company because they make nice books with art and they are nearby in Petaluma. I like that they are a family business with deep roots in the Bay Area and in art. For this query, I'm going to use prose rather than go again with the cover letter in the queron form. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

What Poem Today Ten


We stopped only to snap the Klondike’s sign.
With half the neon dead, DIKE glowed bone white
from the marquees into the black outskirts
of Vegas. No cars but ours in the lot,
but Robert tried the door. It wasn’t locked.

Inside the dim, still space, most of the slots
sat off, and the game tables stank with dust.
We saw four souls flickering in the lit
end of the room: one player with ghostly
indifference and one who talked to herself,

one emotionless security guard,
and a barkeep watching reality
TV, none of whom moved to look at us
as we toured, astounded the DIKE could be
operative in fact if not in spirit.

A wheel of fortune hung on the wall. We
each spun for imaginary prizes.

Finished the poem version above on the train today. (I feel like it will take a few days to get back on a regular sleep schedule after the long, annual Vegas weekend.)

Posted "Dike Sunset Casi" on Facebook for some nice feedback and varied likes.

Delivered three poems to Ann Trinca for the Like/Share II Art and Poetry event in Oakland, "Love poem or apology," "Self-portrait via inbox: me as my attention," and "Δ"

Began reading Rattle issue 44. Planning to renew subscription.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

What Poem This Long Weekend?

Vegas weekend. Saw the sky get light. Visited the ghost casino Klondike Sunset twice.  Jotted some notes from the most drunken state I experience. Began the first lines of a Vegas poem, a traditional observance for me.  This year, a queron.  The rest stays in Vegas.  Get it? Got it? Done!