I haven’t been posting as often here as I would have liked. I’ve been hobbled a bit in my goal to post weekly by several things: My son, in a fit of pique broke my iPad, on which I used to read most of the poetry I review, and we hadn’t replaced it until recently; Easter – I didn’t spend Easter with extended family this year but rather in the place where I regularly sing with a choir (the American Cathedral of Paris) and therefore could have sung 6 services (plus rehearsals) during Holy Week. As it was, I only sang 3, but that meant I spent more 12 hours singing and rehearsing for said church services! And lastly, I took on the task of guest editing the SFPA’s online journal, Eye to the Telescope, for issue No. 16, which went live on April 15 (more on that below) and it was a much bigger job than I had anticipated, especially with Easter smack in the middle of all my deadlines. At any rate, I’ve been a little strapped for time and hampered by difficulties reading.
But, there is still so much poetry goodness happening on the interwebs, that I couldn’t miss this opportunity.
Poets and people who like reading poetry must seem like a serious lot, to those who aren’t and don’t. But we’re not! At least, not always. National Poetry Month gives us the opportunity to have a little fun given the heightened awareness of poetry at the moment. Also April gives us April Fools Day. And who doesn’t like to have a little fun then?
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First I bring you Shitty Poetry Month (and Contest), or “SPoM,” over at ChiZine (ed. Sandra Kasturi and Brett Savory). Every day they publish one of the shittiest of the shitty poems that have been submitted for this special event. At the end of the week there’s a poll in which anyone who is so inclined can vote for the shittiest candidate. At the end of the month the four weekly winners are pitted against each other for the honor of Shittiest Poem of 2015. Unfortunately, we are already in week 3, but you can still get involved and choose winners for weeks 3 (a tough choice!) and 4 of the contest and the ultimate winner and get lots of laughs in the process! You can read everything on their blog. The winners of week 2 (“Oh the Coding We Shall Do” by Fiona Plunkett) and Week 1 (“All-Staff” by Geoff Gander) are both well-deserving.
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Next we head over to the usually very serious poetry journal Stone Telling, edited by Rose Lemberg, Shweta Narayan and Bogi Takács. Because this issue of Stone Telling was due to be published on April 1st, they decided to put together a “joke” issue consisting of silly poems, mostly about mermaids and mermippos (that’s an in-
joke referring to the editors’ mascot Mippo – a stuffed hippo) and other mythical creatures. There are many delightful poems, notably Mari Ness’ “Three LImericks”, S. Brackett Robertson’s “Bathyscape”, Rachael K. Jones’ “Do Mermippos Dream of Electric Sharks?”, David Sklar’s “Before I Kill You (An Arch-Villainelle)”, and Alexandra Erin’s “The Spoon-Drawer Gnome”.
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Moving on to more serious poetry, I’d like to do some shameless (sort of) self-promotion. I merely selected the wonderful poetry appearing in the most recent issue of Eye to the Telescope (No. 16) and set the theme of Speculative Poetry about Music. I received a record of over 300 submissions by 103 poets. Amazingly, there was only a small portion of the submissions that didn’t adhere to the guidelines. I wanted to see poetry in which music played a dominant or otherwise very important role and I was astonished at how much good poetry I was sent, which was exactly that. And thus, I had a really hard time deciding on the final line-up. I whittled it down to encompasses “music of the spheres”-type poems, creation stories, space opera, science and (alternate) music history poems, Sirens, angels, Led Zeppelin, aliens and Martians, astronauts, jazz and harpers that represent just about all the genres we love. There’s a lot of free verse, but also haiku, a pantoum, Italian Quatrain, Sicilian Quatrain and I would like to do another issue and make the theme “Songs, Filk and poems inspired by music”. I hope you enjoy this one! If you are so inspired, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Issue No. 16 of Eye to the Telescope in the comments below.
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I’m going to leave this one at that – enjoy the fun and the music!