Tuesday, May 27, 2008


This is a dry time of year for poets. Many of the lit mags are off for the summer, as would we all if that were possible. The end of May signals shut down for submissions to many of my favorites, so I feel pressured to put a few packets of poems into the mail this week, one last push to publish. While Sunday and Memorial Day were days off, sort of, I spent a few hours poking around on line for venues that might remain open. I'm settling into the idea of on-line publication, and found some reasonable places to try. And I opened my e-mail to find that a wonderful chapbook contest had extended its deadline into June. Just right! If I send twenty-four pages to them, that's like sending out four or five individual submissions. Just what I need in this last week of May.

For those who are not writers, a chapbook is a small collection, usually not more than 24-28 pages. A non-writer friend recently read one of mine, Sostenuto, and referred to it as a pamphlet. Not far off. And thinking of that title, which I got from a former patient of mine, an unusual word, well, more synchronicity! I've been reading Ted Hughes' Birthday Letters, poems to and about the late Sylvia Plath, and there was that word! What a delight to share even that much with Hughes, long one of my most admired poets. Tiny connections such as these buoy my spirits when I feel like I'm operating in a vacuum. Circumstance reaches in and taps my arm, "Hey, you share language and goals with the greater world. Buck up, girl."

One more: I have had a sprig of an idea about a story centered on a tiny man, though I sometimes doubt my ability to pull it off. And there on the TV was a trailer for a movie about a character who sneezes out a tiny man! Weird, right? But if TV-land can pull it off, who's to say I can't? In fiction, we have all the special effects we need. So I think I'll take that little idea with me to Novel Boot Camp next month. Keep your antennae tuned. See how often the world talks back to you. Let me know.

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