You may have read about the little one sheet DIY pocket books I learned to make from John Reinhart in a past post. I thought this would be a good time for a refresher.
These are fun to make, a cheap and effective giveaway and the perfect way to celebrate Poem In Your Pocket Day on April 26. I’m making a batch right now to pin on random bulletin boards, slip in books and (per Reinhart tradition) under ashtrays.
I will be including some poet interviews for National Poetry Month, so of course I asked Marge Simon. One of my favorite poets, she is also a dear friend. I often ask her what she thinks of my work when I’m not sure if I’m hitting the mark or not. Her evaluations are honest and keen—and she’s fun to hang out with! Everyone should be so lucky to have such a friend. And now… a few hundred words from Marge Simon herself.
Marge Simon: And now for a little something different … Let me preface my answers with a huge thanks for coming up with these unusual questions. If you’ve been interviewed enough times, you’ve been asked the same old questions, pretty much. I love the ones you came up for me, Angela.
AYS:If you could be in a poem, what poem would it be and why?
Marge Simon: I would be in Yeats’ “The Stolen Child” because I love the poem for the first lines — the fantasy, not of fairies, but of wonderment and adventures. Unfortunately, adventures for me generally turned into mis-adventures. I grew up in Boulder, CO and the mountains are my forever-dream home. “Come away O human child, to the forest and the wild …”
AYS:If you were trapped on a mountain top but you could have one poet trapped with you, who would you choose?
Marge Simon: First, thanks for not saying “desert island”! Of course, I’d like to have Bruce Boston, who also happens to be a truly Grand Master Poet and my husband. If not him, I’d love to have the ghost of Charlee Jacob, who was one of the most outstanding dark poets of our generation. Better still, to have her back alive. She died too soon, and her inspirations are sadly missed. Actually, to be practical, I’d like someone who would get us safely down the mountain top. Even if they are a bad poet.
AYS:Let’s imagine you are a superheroine and your superpower is poetry. How do you use your power for good?
Marge Simon: I’d like to think I’m doing that now. Many of my poems refer to past events, such as the Holocaust, the Civil War, Segregation, mankind’s burden: inhumanity. The idea of cancelling culture is so absurd, that’s reason enough to continue writing about tragedies past and present. I would defend keeping history in the curriculum. I would also use my poems to promote raising teacher’s salaries with the goal of improving our faltering educational system.
AYS:If you were a villain, how would you destroy the universe (or at least our part ofit?)
Marge Simon: Easy. With all my evil powers, I would make #45 Emperor of the Universe and make sure all his orders are followed. A sure thing. He would probably want to name all the planets after himself, so that might be confusing at first.
AYS:If animals could write poetry, what kind would you be, and what kind of poetry would you write?
Marge Simon: I would be a cat. I believe cats are secret poets anyway. When a cat sleeps, it dreams poetry. I would convey my phantastic dreams while purring. The only creatures who would know my language are also feline, and cats are notoriously egocentric and would not care to listen. But so be it.
AYS:How and why did you fall in love with poetry?
Marge Simon: My father used to read poetry to me while I was growing up. Priceless hours spent – he particularly liked ballads of the Old West, Tennyson, Coleridge, Poe – poems with rolling rhymes and rhythms. I loved their music.
AYS:What’s coming up for you, and how can we find, follow and like you?
Marge Simon: My collaborator from our Stoker Poetry Finalist collections, Sweet Poison and Satan’s Sweethearts, Mary Turzillo and I have completed a new collection, VICTIMS. Mary has described me as having “humanity and scorn”, which is pretty true. We have yet to find a publisher, so it may not be out until 2022.
Deep in the Everglades, protected by seven gators, there is a place I go for inspiration. You may try to find me there. Or not. I’m on Facebook and have yet to join Twitter. I’ll be at future Stokercons. See you soon, I hope! Find more Marge Simon at margesimon.com.
Poetry has been read! Amy Zoellers shared poems that had been submitted to her while I went the easy route and read from Space and Time #140. This time I read Loneliness Amidst My Wrath by Irving Gamboa, Substance by Blaise Langlois, Gravity by Geoffrey A. Landis, The Paradox of Desire by Alicia Hilton, From The Tales of Finale: The Genesis of the Animae by Roy L. Post and A Viking’s Wish… a silly one I wrote at the last minute for The Nassot‘s Viking Poetry Night. There will be video of that to share.
Amazing for us, we managed to keep the whole event to an hour and keep the focus on poetry. We will try it again next Sunday at 2 p.m. CST. Amy is taking submissions to read, and I will be continuing with Space and Time. You can see past poetry live events here.
Beware of impending poetry! Amy Zoellers will be hosting her poetry live event at Hipness_and_Outrageevery Sunday this month. She’s been taking poetry submissions to read, and I’ll be reading poetry from our latest issue of Space and Time.
We will still read a few of our own, but the focus will be celebrating other poets. To catch Amy and I, just click into Hipness_and_Outrage at 2 p.m. CST to be amazed by the antics and mayhem you will find there. Or scared. We might be an acquired taste.
And I’ll be hosting my first actual open mic since COVID closed down our in person events. It will be online and will be recorded for prosperity. Details forthcoming. If you want to read, sign up here.
Finally, I did an interview with the always amazing Linda D. Addison for Space and Time, and we talked about poetry, how to write it and how to get it published, among other things. I love that woman, and it was a good time. You can enjoy that here.
Happy National Poetry Month 2021! “Perspective” poem originally written as a response to a prompt for The Ladies of Horror Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge hosted on Nina D’Arcangela’s Spreading the Writer’s Word blog.
It’s April, and that means it’s time to celebrate National Poetry Month. Last year I don’t think any of us were in the mood for celebrating. Unfortunately, COVID is still with us in 2021… but at least I’m no longer in shock. Let’s make up for lost time. This month I have poetry to share, interviews with poets and some poetry news.
First, a little poetry news. I’m happy to announce that I’ll be taking over as editor for the annual HWA Poetry Showcase next year. Following in the footsteps of editor Stephanie M. Wytovich, she’s showing me the ropes this year as I serve as one of the judges. She did a great ‘meet-and-greet’ post for us judges here.
I’ve been submitting to the Showcase since the second year it began. Peter Salomon started it and many talented and amazing editors have followed, each lending their talents and time to promote dark poetry. I’ve submitted since volume 2 and have had my poetry included 5 times. It’s the best part of my April festivities. I’m so happy to be able to continue this tradition from another perspective.
I’ve also agreed to serve as poetry editor for a new magazine with a soft launch date of May. Called Savage Planets, “Where Dreams and Nightmares Collide.” I love that they boast “The Future of Science Fiction has Never Been So Bleak…” Sounds like a literary adventure. I’ll be handling poetry and two sentence stories for them. I’ve also written a story called “Destroy With Love” and a poem called “Savage Planets” for their first issue.
I’m also serving on the Missouri Writers Guild Board of Directors for Publicity. I believe in creating a better world by starting in my back yard and the best way I can see to do that is to help writers that are also my neighbors. Missouri writers of all genre and experience levels are invited to check out the MWG here. Member of the Guild can submit their work for recognition for the 2021 President’s Writers Contest from now until May 15 here.
A final announcement, and then some poetry. I recently went with local author and photographer Regina Daniels on one of her shoots in an abandoned school and did a reading of my poem “Riding the Exhale” from the HWA Showcase VII. “Riding the Exhale” is also a Rhysling nominated poem and will be in the forthcoming 2021 Rhysling Anthology, edited by Alessandro Manzetti.
That about sums up the main talking points (there are a few ahead I can’t quite talk about yet…) so now for that poetry. We can’t start April without that. In the spirit of April Fool’s, I’ll share one of my very first poetry readings. Warning: In this video, I’m terrified, I read too fast and my nerves scream at the audience. But we have to start somewhere, right? Today, I share this old reading from Say the Word Poetry Slam, Niceville, Florida on February 5, 2014.
The poem itself is much, much older. It was written for a writer’s prompt group, and I think the prompts were gallop, basket and cat. If I remember correctly, it won something. Because of this poem written somewhere around 2004, I have a fat cat on my desk as a lucky totem.
A Writer’s Wish
If I could pen a scribble here To a buyer that would pay me dear I’d slide up quick off my soft rear And gallop to my computer where My bony cat in basket sits And eyes my work thru narrow slits He eats not fish but old prune pits For small I’m paid for written wits. But say perchance, I could succeed To lure the president to lead Me thru his tale of slippery greed And naughty things we want to read I’d see success at my feet laid My cat now fat and me well paid.
Here it is! I personally have over 65 hours in this issue for layout and editing alone. This week. It was therapy to work on it with the luxury of time… and I really took my time. This issue is 108 pages of intense and excellent poetry, prose, art, graphics, reviews and interviews…
The issue will be popping up on our Space and Time series page here along with #133 (finally). I’ll also be posting links everywhere when it’s live. It’s my magnum opus… until #141. And, by the way, submissions for the next issue are now officially open at spaceandtime.net.
Wish you could see what I’m talking about? Wish granted:
And here’s the Table of Contents:
The Ghost, the Goat and the Robot by Mariah Montoya
haiku by Scheila Scheffler
Ode To An Ancient Priestess With A Golden Prosthetic Eye by Scott J. Couturier
Word Ninja by Linda D. Addison
The Algorithm by Louis B. Rosenberg
From The Tales of Finale: The Genesis of the Animae by Roy L. Post
The Black Hole by Ronald J. Murray
Take Two at the Movies: Mighty Like a Rose by Daniel M. Kimmel
When Gods Die by Maxwell I. Gold
Sy Klopz by L. Allen Gillick
Leonard Speiser: Professional Beginner interview by Angela Yuriko Smith
His Garden by Flavio Troisi
January Exquisite Corpse: Edge of Hope
February Exquisite Corpse: Love You to Death
Graggon Speak: Spring 2021 by Austin Gragg
Degradable Mermaid by Karen Bovenmyer
Substance by Blaise Langlois
The Bone House by Manny Blacksher
Director’s Cut by Nick Marone
Cosmic Commerce by Ken Poyner
Pterippus – A Riddle by Carol Edwards
Feverish Fiction with John Shirley interview by Angela Yuriko Smith
The Hum of the Wheel, the Clack of the Loom by K.G. Anderson
Gravity by Geoffrey A. Landis
Vision in a Block of Ice by Marge Simon
The Paradox of Desire by Alicia Hilton
Once Wicked by C. H. Lindsay
The Dunes of Ranza by Grace Chan
Science or Fiction in 50: Mind Reading by Leonard Speiser
Contemplations on Flora by Megan Branning
A Walk in the Woods by Pete
Loneliness Amidst My Wrath by Irving Gamboa
And I Have Served by Alina Maciuca
The Horror at Red Hook (pt 1) by Alessandro Manzetti and Stefano Cardoselli
How big can an exquisite corpse get? The biggest one I’ve ever put together was around 40-50 lines. With National Poetry Month around the corner I want to see if we can beat that. Makes me wonder… is there a world’s record for longest community built poem? If you know, drop a link in the comments. For now, consider going over to Space and Time’sexquisite corpse page and submit a line. The prompt is “End of the Rainbow.”
Collect your thoughts distill them in phrase drop them in the cauldron and see what we raise!
The audio version of Space and Time issue #139 has finally cleared all of Amazon’s hurdles and is now ready. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t let us set the price of the audiobooks but we do have this handy free trial so you can download and listen for free. Don’t worry, it’s an affiliate link so we benefit too. It’s a win-win… the best kind. Here’s the free Audible trial link.
The final issue of 2020…we all dealt with the trauma of the year in different ways. For creatives, they expressed themselves in words and images. Here are stories that deal with race and bias, with fear and death. How we deal with losing a loved one…and an unloved one. There is some laughter in the mix, as well as some tears. Poetry, reviews, interviews, and a graphic short come together with outstanding illustrations to make a bit of brilliance here in the darkest month of the darkest year many of us have ever experienced.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.