Tuesday, April 30, 2013

30/30 Challenge Complete

Posted the last poem for NaPoWriMo's challenge today, to write 30 poems in 30 days, over the month of April, in order to celebrate National Poetry Month. Actually, I wrote a total of 34 (four are not posted here, as they're off on a submission right now). I'll be leaving the poems up here on the blog for a few more days, but then they'll be coming down for revision. Not bad, eh? Admittedly, there are some dogs, but also some with good potential--we'll see what happens in revision. I'm feeling a little let-down now that the challenge is over, so I decided to keep going, to continue writing a poem a day, to see how long I can keep it up. So, thank you, NaPoWriMo, not only for the exercise, and the daily habit, but for the boost to my manuscript. Let the revision begin! 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Poem at The Camel Saloon

Another spring poem of mine, "Magnolias", up today at The Camel Saloon (my favorite of all favorite literary journals). You can reach it at the link below. Once again, a big thank you to editor Russell Streur. Cheers, mate!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Poem at The Blue Hour

Here's a little spring poem of mine, "Frog Song", up at The Blue Hour today. Come visit this lovely literary journal, full of wonderful poetry and prose, edited by the lovely and wonderful Susie Sweetland Garay and Moriah LaChapell (thank you, ladies!).  Link below:


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New Poem at The Camel Saloon

My little poem, "Destination Unknown", up today at The Camel Saloon (yay!). This title is from a quote on the poet Conrad Aiken's grave, in Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia: "Cosmos Mariner, Destination Unknown". I've always loved the quote (and in fact, plan on getting it tattooed on the back of my neck sometime, right underneath my Jolly Roger tat), and the story behind it, as told in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt:

“Aiken loved to come here and watch the ships go by…one afternoon, he saw one with the name Cosmos Mariner painted on the bow. That delighted him. The word ‘cosmos’ appears often in his poetry, you know. That evening he went home and looked for mention of the Cosmos Mariner in the shipping news. There it was, in tiny type on the list of ships in port. The name was followed by the comment ‘Destination Unknown’.  That pleased him even more.”

Also on his grave, which is actually an inviting bench (he wanted people to come to his grave in the beautiful cemetery, and enjoy a drink while they also watched the ships pass), is the inscription, "Give My Love to the World". Well, I've sat there and enjoyed a drink myself, and that quote, "Cosmos Mariner, Destination Unknown", has been my travel motto ever since. In that spirit, this poem came about. And that, my friends, is an awfully long explanation for a very short poem, ha ha. You can read the piece at the always-awesome Camel Saloon, run by the always-awesome barkeep/editor, Russell Streur, at this link:

And by the way, here's a shot I took of Aiken's grave/bench in Savannah. Hopefully, I'll make it back there someday for another drink.  Cheers!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Poems Coming Out of My Ears

Well, here it is, Day 15 of the NaPoWriMo 30/30 challenge, to write 30 poems in 30 days, in celebration of National Poetry Month. We're halfway there! Although Day 12 was difficult, as I was out of town, I've otherwise found no shortage of inspiration, and I've now got poems coming out of my ears. A routine seems to work best--get up early, get some coffee, write a poem, check email, exercise, shower, go to work--but I've found poems coming to me at odd times as well, like on the bus, or during a break at the office. So, this challenge has been a good kick in the arse for me, and gotten those creative juices flowing. I'm already overwhelmed with all of the draft poems I've been posting on here, as I will have plenty of revision to complete once the challenge is over. Hopefully though, this poetry marathon won't end, and will become part of my daily routine for good, as in the past, it's been all too easy to get sidetracked. Anyway, we'll see--at the very least, the challenge has given my manuscript a good boost. On to the next!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Acceptance at Split Lip

Finally, the title poem to my chapbook, The Breakdown Atlas & Other Poems, which came out in 2011, from Big Table Publishing, finds a home with Split Lip Magazine. I've been trying to get the poem itself, "The Breakdown Atlas", published in a literary journal for two years now, as my chapbook has had little exposure, and I really think this poem needs a wider audience. It's long though, in four parts, for a total of 36 stanzas, and I think that put a lot of editors off.  But now, the gang over at Split Lip has picked it up for the May-June issue. Awesome! It's a great magazine, with a cool editor, a nice, clean website that's easy to navigate, featuring poetry, fiction, music, fine art, and film, and it also has some interviews and articles. I'm looking forward to being a part of it. You can check them out at the link, here:

Friday, April 12, 2013

I Heart The Camel Saloon

Last night, I visited the The Camel Sports Bar (#1 Yueyang Lu, Xuhui, Shanghai), not only for some pub grub and beer, but to score a photo of the place via the request of Russell Streur, editor over at the literary journal, The Camel Saloon, which has/is publishing some of my poems. Anyway, the magazine showcases various shots of actual camels, but also camel-themed bars around the world, sent in by readers/contributors, so I joined the fun, and sent a couple of shots off to Russell, who's using one of them as the journal's new masthead. Pretty cool!  Here's the shot:

Also cool is that my 2011 chapbook, The Breakdown Atlas & Other Poems, is now listed in The Camel Saloon Bookstore, with a link to purchase at Big Table Publishing. Awesome! Please head on over to this literary watering hole, to read some work by its very talented writers, peruse the photos from around the world, and perhaps submit some of your own work. I promise you will love the atmosphere, and enjoy a warm welcome from editor/barkeep extraordinaire, Russell Streur. Cheers!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Acceptance at The Blue Hour

I love waking up to an acceptance email: Three of my poems, coming soon from The Blue Hour. I will post the links as they become available, through the end of May. This is a lovely literary magazine, run by co-editors Moriah LaChapell and Susan Sweetland Garay, not only full of fantastic writing, but beautifully designed as well, in soothing blues and greens, and it's easy to wander around the site without getting lost. Quick reply time, too! Anyway, I urge you to go and check them out, read some work, and/or submit something yourself. And I must thank The Camel Saloon editor, Russell Streur, for turning me on to them. There are some really cool people out there in the biz, for sure.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Photo Exhibit for The Camel Saloon

The Bolivian photo exhibit I did for The Camel Saloon is now up (link below). I'm feeling really grateful to be so warmly welcomed in as a regular at this "literary bar", and quite enjoying the hospitality--it's nice to be recognized for one's work, but also to make new friends. Anyway, I love editor Russell Streur's write up for the photo exhibit (thanks, Russell!):
Dear Saloonatics:

The Cocaine Museum, the Train Graveyard, the Guardian Bird and Grandmother Bowler.

Where do all the good things in life end up?


And the Camel Saloon is totally delighted today to announce the opening of a new photographic exhibition at the joint: a festive, colorful and all around lovely journey to La Paz, the Salt Flats and all points within shouting distance, created especially for the tavern by the festive, colorful and all around lovely Lauren Tivey.

Please dust off the hiking boots and go climbing with the Shanghai gypsy herself at:


And feel free to stop by the other photography exhibitions, too:

Asian Caravan by Jeffrey Miller:
Eye on Wales by Cath Barton:
Eye on England by Andrew Taylor:
Eye on the Mojave Desert by Steve Prsuky:

The Camel's advice for the day:  Drink up!

Russell Streur
Cool place, cool peeps, for sure.  Hope you enjoy the photos from Bolivia (brought back a lot of memories for me, and was quite fun to put together), and I urge you to check out all the awesome work, literary, photographic, and otherwise, at The Camel Saloon.  Cheers!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Acceptance at The Camel Saloon

Just got three poems picked up by editor Russell Streur over at The Camel Saloon.  "Rainy Season" went up today, and two others will follow soon.  I really, really like this place--it's friendly, efficient, and they've got some great work on there.  What's more, writers are treated very well, and there's a fast response time.  In fact, The Camel Saloon just may be my favorite new literary haunt.  You can read my poem, and check out some wonderful work by others, at the link below:

Monday, April 1, 2013

National Poetry Month 30/30

April is National Poetry Month. Since I don't have access to any poetry events here in my small Chinese city, my plan to celebrate is to write a hella lotta poems--what's that NaPoWriMo challenge? 30 poems in 30 days (30/30)? I'll accept! Whether it be a short little thing, or just a crazed, messy free-write, perhaps I'll post the results, or some of them, here. They WILL be in need of revision, but I figure that posting them will force me to polish them up sooner rather than later.  I'll see what pops up over the next 30 days--could get some useful pieces out of this exercise.