September 1999 Café Society's Poetry News Update
EXCLUSIVE this issue - LYN LIFSHIN AUDIO RECITALS from her new book BEFORE IT'S LIGHT. Do you have any poetry news or comments for the Readers' Letters section? If so, mail me on the email link at the bottom of this page. Competitions and calls for submissions can be announced here free.

AN INTERVIEW WITH M. OTIS BEARD


M. Otis Beard (in flame-retardant compositionwear by Armani)
M. Otis Beard is a self-educated poet and writer of fiction. Originally from Los Angeles, California, he left home at the age of fourteen and has lived in cities all over the North American continent. Otis spends a great deal of his time writing humor for the Usenet newsgroup alt.religion.kibology, where he is a prominent 'kibologist' and practitioner of the fine art of trolling (his deliberately bad poem, 'The Beautiful Day', had the Usenet poetry community up in arms for weeks). He is an editor of and contributor to North of Eden, a paperback anthology of Alaskan poetry and short fiction. Otis currently resides in Portland, Oregon, where he works in the computer industry.

Poetry L & T: Were you writing poetry as early as fourteen, Otis, or did that happen a while after leaving home?

M. Otis Beard: I started writing at a very early age, but I quit in the sixth grade and didn't write again until I was on the streets. There was an English teacher at my school who refused to believe that a sixth-grader could write the caliber of material I was handing in, and she saw to it that I was not allowed to enter a statewide poetry contest that I was very eager to participate in. She sat there in her chair and told me that I was a plagiarist, in spite of the fact that she had absolutely no proof of that. I offered to write something for her in any format and on any topic she cared to name, but she brushed me off. I guess she didn't want to waste the time on something she considered a foregone conclusion.

I started writing again when I was about seventeen, but I've lost most of that material, which is a shame, because I think I could have salvaged some of it with a quick rewrite. It was raw and unpolished, but it was genuine, and I think some of it managed to convey the peculiar sense of power that I (severely disenfranchised as I was) felt at that age. I was coming into my physical prime, bursting with the zeitgeist of a very exciting era, and I had absolutely nothing to lose but my life. My friends and I were busily destroying popular culture in an unconsciously Situationist frenzy, and it was glorious. We fought the police and forcibly pried open the minds of strangers in the streets. I wasn't just writing poetry then, I was living it, and that chapter of my life has never since been matched in its pure visceral intensity.

Poetry L & T:How did you first begin to educate yourself about poetry?

M. Otis Beard:I learned to read at the age of three, and became hopelessly addicted to text by the time I started school. It was a chronic problem with me when I was growing up -- unless I was thoroughly interested in the subject at hand, I would sit in the back of the room and bury myself in a book instead of participating in class. I never did my homework unless someone forced me to, which wasn't very often, but on occasion I was known to hand in things I had written that were not assigned by the teacher. Usually I'd put some fictitious name on the papers I handed in, but they always knew it was me.

I had a reputation (deserved or otherwise) as the smartest kid at my school, so teachers and counselors were forever trying to save me from myself. I'd have gotten a much better education if they'd just sent me to the library instead of wasting my time with their exhortations to get good grades. . . but good grades reflect well on teachers and schools, so I guess they had a vested interest.

I suppose my poetic education actually began with popular song lyrics. I was always crazy about music, especially rock 'n' roll. I went to my first concert when I was five -- it was the Iron Butterfly at the Fillmore in San Francisco. Not that the Iron Butterfly were particularly good lyricists, but that experience made a big impression on me, and led inevitably to bigger and better things. Music became a very important part of my young life, and I always listened very carefully to the words in songs. That habit became infinitely more important to me when I started discovering artists like Patti Smith, Iggy Pop and the Clash. The Sex Pistols broke my brain!

I read everything I could get my hands on as a kid, even the Bible. I wasn't religious, but I recognized it as an important reference point for Western literature in general (and besides, I spent a lot of time in Juvenile Hall, where there was nothing else to read but old copies of Reader's Digest). From the Bible I found my way to Sir James Frazer's treatise on comparative religion, The Golden Bough, and that gave me a much deeper perspective on the Christ mythos (and Western religion in general). Reading Frazer led me to Will Durant and Gibbon, who were enormous influences on me as well. I read Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in a twelve-volume set, and that in turn led me to Robert Graves' wonderful historical fiction novels, I, Claudius and Claudius the God. I took a pretty serious interest in Graves, read some more of his historical fiction, and finally stumbled on The White Goddess, which is the book that really opened the door to poetry for me. I had, of course, read a fair amount of poetry before then (I liked Arthur Rimbaud, T.S. Eliot, and Walt Whitman in particular), but this was my first book *about* poetry. Until I read The White Goddess, I had no sense of the incredible historic impact of poetry or the intense scholarship involved in becoming a poet. I knew what I liked, but it never occurred to me to sit down and figure out why I liked it or what elements separated it from mere doggerel and poetastery.

Poetry L & T:What would be your definition of "kibology" - and do you often apply it to poetry?

M. Otis Beard:Kibology is a lot like Missile Command, but with straight lines instead of incoming ICBMs.

Actually, there are at least as many definitions of kibology as there are kibologists. In part, I think of it as a process of intellectual digestion and synthesis -- we disassemble popular culture into the smallest units possible that are still recognizable, then reassemble them in new configurations in order to create a new set of cultural touchstones, which we then attempt to foist off on the world at large. Some of the best comedy on the Internet is generated as a byproduct of this process.

Then again, I may be pulling your leg. Kibology is nothing if not a hotbed of trollery. Trust no one.

Does kibology influence my poetry? I've written a few poems specifically for my esteemed fellow kibologists (HI, MOM!), and it certainly influenced 'The Beautiful Day,' but in general, I would have to say no. Does poetry influence my kibology? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. As do history, myth, religion, art, science, magic, music, television, cinema, junk food, sex, scatology, bad science fiction, celebrity funerals, typograpy, typographical errors, Play-Doh, Legos, logos, Logos, orange traffic cones, bees, and improperly inflated tires.

If you really want a firm definition of kibology, just visit alt.religion.kibology and post the question "what is kibology?" You won't get a satisfactory answer, but we'll be vastly entertained by your perplexity. If you survive, we may set you up with a Hivemind connection and grant you access to the Kibosphere.

Poetry L & T:Your deliberately-bad poem "The Beautiful Day" was accepted for publication (under the nom-de-plume Sponzel Espreadadent), as you suspected it would be, by The International Library of Poetry. Your subsequent post, proudly declaring this, caused a very funny thread, as some people responded indignantly, while some saw the irony. Would you share the poem with us here?

M. Otis Beard:Certainly. Here it is:
The Beautiful Day
Copyright 1999 by M. Otis Beard

This is such a beautiful day
nobody knows why I guess it just turned out that way
the trees are so beautiful and so is the sky
WHY? WHY? WHY?

This is such a beautiful day
the birds are singing and the sky is certainly not grey!
nature is really pretty, oh my!
WHY? WHY? WHY?

This is such a beautiful day
unless I'm mistaken, it is definitely a very beautiful day today
it is so beautiful it makes me sigh
WHY? WHY? WHY?

I posted 'The Beautiful Day' in various Usenet newsgroups devoted to poetry, and with it I included comments about how excited I was that the International Library of Poetry had chosen it for publication, and how great it was to be a Famous Poet. In subsequent posts, I told everyone how I intended to spend all the money I was expecting to make from publication of the poem, and signed my name as "M. Otis Beard, Famous Poet." When the first wave of incensed naysayers showed up, I told them they were just jealous of my success.

Poetry L & T:What gave you the idea to set up that whole escapade?

M. Otis Beard:Primarily, I wanted to publicly mock the International Library of Poetry, which is nothing more than a scam designed to prey on the vanity of would-be poets. Don't get me wrong -- I have nothing against honest vanity publishing houses (and, indeed, more than a few giants of literature have been forced to resort to vanity publishing in order to launch their literary careers), but these people are nothing but scum.

I also wanted to get some lively discussion going on the nature of poetry itself, because the Usenet poetry community is hopelessly clogged with sub-sophomoric moon-june garbage. Most of it is either laughably bad verse about the beauty of nature, or laughably bad verse about teen angst. "My soul hurts, my heart aches, powerful forces beyond my control (e.g., Satan) are out to get me, it's all terribly dramatic and important for reasons that I am unable to elucidate, and I am insane now" seems to be a common theme. While I can see the therapeutic value this may have for some people (especially angsty teenagers), I resent the fact that they are encouraged to call it poetry, and I am disturbed by the fact that there is so much of it. The sheer volume of this kind of noise drowns out what signal there is, and I wanted people to talk about that. I wanted a LOT of people to talk about it.

Currently, it is fashionable in America to take the attitude that everyone's opinion is equally valid, and everyone's voice is equally worthy of being heard. Call me an elitist snob (I prefer to think of myself as merely meritocratic), but I say that's a load of codswallop. It's an attitude that denies the primacy of authorities on any subject, negates the hard work and talent of the dedicated and the exceptional, and (more specifically) fosters the belief that poetry can be written by anyone with an emotion and a pencil. Encouraging people to take an interest in poetry is all well and good, but encouraging people to be content with whatever they can accomplish easily is something else altogether, and that's exactly what the current fashion does. Because of it, this country is full of people who go around calling themselves artists of one type or another without having any grounding in the particular art they have chosen, or even the slightest inkling of what art itself is. They think they can forge ahead without taking the time or trouble to consult the maps made by those who have gone before them, and they want to be crowned with laurels without taking the time or trouble to actually achieve anything. Bah!

'The Beautiful Day' and my subsequent follow-up comments ignited a veritable firestorm of controversy between a handful of meritocrats like myself, and a vast horde of lazy, ignorant swine who want to jump on the poetry bandwagon and be heartily congratulated for things they haven't done or learned. In a way, it was the most successful poem I have ever written. The really funny (or depressing, depending on your temperament) part is that I received a number of replies (on Usenet and in e-mail) that flamed me for being overly proud of getting my poem published, but ignored the poem's lack of worth. More than one of them said things like "your poem's not bad, but it isn't any better than my poetry. You shouldn't get such a swelled head just because it's being published!"

At one point in the debate, one of my fellow kibologists jumped in and denounced 'The Beautiful Day' as a bit of plagiarism, asserting that it had been stolen from Shel Silverstein. This was a twist that went ignored for the most part, but made me laugh maniacally. I felt that I had come full circle since the sixth grade -- I had been accused of plagiarism for writing poetry that was exceptionally good, and now I was being accused of plagiarism for writing poetry that was exceptionally bad!

Poetry L & T:Who is your favourite famous poet?

M. Otis Beard:Tough question. Robert Graves has been a tremendous influence on me as a poet, but my style has not been particularly influenced by his. . . not directly, anyway. His work enthralls me, he holds an eternal place of reverence in my heart, and his philosophizing and theorizing has shaped and guided me as a poet, but I don't write like him. T. E. Lawrence (aka "Lawrence of Arabia") is also a real favorite, but mostly because of his unusual character and the details of his exceedingly strange and bravely lived life, not because of his poetry per se. I guess the reason that I like these two so much is because I feel that they were the real thing; they were men who lived poetry instead of merely writing it. They were Poets with a capital 'P'. In other words, Graves and Lawrence are my favorite poets, but their poetry is not necessarily my favorite poetry. If there is a heaven and I am permitted to enter, the three of us will drink together.

Conversely, John Milton wrote amazing poetry and contributed more to the English language than anyone except Shakespeare, but by all accounts he was a complete asshole of the kind that I dislike most. Graves hated him so much that he wrote a book just to make him look bad (Wife to Mr. Milton).

What was the question again? (laughs)

As a kibologist, my favorite poet is whoever wrote the advertising jingle for Honeycomb cereal back in the '70's:

"Honeycomb's big / Yeah, yeah, yeah!
It's not small / No, no, no!"

Genius!

Poetry L & T:What was it like working on North of Eden?

M. Otis Beard:Disastrous. One of the members of our group (Loose Affiliation Press), a guy who has a talent for shmoozing but not much going for him as a writer or an editor, made a number of very large editorial changes behind our backs, which seriously degraded the quality of the book. He changed the title (it was supposed to be called Visible Breath) and inserted a number of pieces that had been rejected by the editorial team as not good enough to be included. Apparently, he was cadging drinks, small loans and casual sex from writers in exchange for inclusion in the book. Naturally, he had to make room for their work, so he cut some very good pieces of writing from the final lineup. He was able to do all this because his responsibilities involved delivering the material we had come up with to the printer, and checking the proofs. I didn't know what was going on until I had a copy of the book in my hands. I left the group at that point.

If things had gone optimally with North of Eden, it would have been a pretty decent little book -- but one thing I learned from the experience is that art by committee is usually a mistake. One person has a vision; four have a compromise. This is not to say that you should never work with other people or accept the advice of editors, because other people's input is often quite valuable and should never be rejected out of hand. When all is said and done, though, I think there should be one person with final say on everything, and that person should be credited with the ultimate success or failure of the work.

Poetry L & T:What were you mainly looking for when you were looking for suitable submissions for that anthology?

M. Otis Beard: It was billed as an anthology of Alaskan writers, so I think a lot of people assumed that we were looking for Alaskana, but that wasn't the case at all. We were looking for good writing, plain and simple -- the subject matter was entirely irrelevant.

Poetry L & T:You're getting married soon, aren't you?

M. Otis Beard:YES. We'll be married in mid-September of this year, and our first child will be born in late February or early March of 2000.

Poetry L & T:How did you meet your fiancee?

M. Otis Beard:She wrote me a fan letter. (laughs)

I have a web site containing some of my poetry and short fiction at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/4236 (click on the picture of the boot stomping down on the accelerator pedal to get to my writing), and somehow she stumbled across it and liked what she saw there. We corresponded for a while, and eventually decided that we wanted to work together on translating certain obscure but talented Russian poets into English. Did I mention that she's Russian? She's a Muscovite.

We tried to break some ground on our translation project via e-mail, but the process we've developed really requires that we work together in person. She paid me a visit, and we took an extended vacation together. I showed her Portland, Seattle, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, and the Redwood Forest, and one thing just naturally led to another.

She's a wonderful, beautiful woman with excellent taste and a good education. I'm lucky to be with her.

Poetry L & T:Can you tell us more about the translation process you and your fiancee have developed?

M. Otis Beard:Click here for full, uncensored answer!

Poetry L & T:What do you think are the most common mistakes that inexperienced poets make?

M. Otis Beard:I'm going to ignore purely technical considerations in answering this one, and concentrate on the errors typically made by people who know how to write poetry, but don't know how to live as poets. Being too thin-skinned to survive is probably at the top of that list. If you're going to show your poetry to other people, you have to be prepared to listen to their opinions. Some of the criticism you get will be constructive, and some of it won't. Some of it will be on target, and some of it will be so off-base it will make your head hurt. Unless you live on the campus of a liberal arts college, the bulk of it will be completely devoid of any real content, and will consist solely of comments like "your poetry is really good!" or, less frequently, "your poetry sucks!" IGNORE IT. If a person can't tell you WHY they loved or hated your poem, then they don't know what the hell they're talking about, and you might as well listen to the wind. The only critiques you should really pay any attention to are those that come from people whose own poetic gift takes your breath away.

I called it a gift just now, didn't I? Shame on me. Don't rely solely on your natural talents. Study. Hone your instrument like a samurai hones his sword. Remember that no matter how easily the Muse comes to you, there's always room for improvement.

Cultivate a certain amount of humility in yourself. Know that there are people out there who can write circles around you simply because they've taken the time and effort to perfect their craft, but don't worry about how you stack up next to others -- just take steps to be the best that you can be (I sound like an Army recruitment commercial there, don't I? Be all that you can be! Join the Army and train to be a Poetrooper!).

Choose your subject matter with care, and write about what you know. You might be the most breathtakingly talented poet since Taliesin, but if you mention "spiders and other insects," entomologists will laugh at you (spiders aren't insects, they're arachnids). If you want to write about something that you don't know inside out, then take the time to research it. If you're reading this, then chances are that you have Internet access, which means you have no excuse for ignorance.

Don't force it. If you're having trouble finishing a poem you've started, then don't finish it. Set it aside and think about something else, and when the time comes to complete that particular piece of work, you'll know (it could take years). Give your subconscious mind a chance to help out, and you'll probably be very pleased with the results. Sleep on it.

While drugs can be useful at times on your voyage of self-discovery, you probably shouldn't rely on drugs to enhance your creativity. If you have to smoke twelve bong hits to get the juices flowing, then something's wrong. That kind of creativity is a shortcut to tapping your subconscious, and it generally leads rather quickly to a point of diminishing returns. Rimbaud was earthshakingly brilliant, but he burned out at the tender age of twenty.

Poetry L & T:Are there any popular songs which you think would make excellent poems?

M. Otis Beard: No. (laughs). OK, I'm half kidding, but popular music isn't exactly rife with great poetry, although there are some notable examples of not-so-popular music that fit that bill (Captain Beefheart, Henry Cow, and Snakefinger spring to mind). I tend to think that most pop musicians who are hailed as great poets are highly overrated. Take Bob Dylan, for instance -- he's been saying for decades that when he writes lyrics, he just tries to make it rhyme -- it doesn't really mean much. I believe him, and I don't understand why people insist on reading so much into what is, by the author's own admission, just doggerel. . . and who are you going to believe, some pretentious cocaine-genius rock critic who thinks 'Like a Rolling Stone' is deeply meaningful poetic manna from on high, or Dylan himself?

Poetry L & T:Finally Otis, what advice would you give to poets who want to be published, to help them improve their work?

M. Otis Beard: For starters, if you're writing poetry because you want to be published, then please stop. The only proper goal for a poet is not fame or wealth, but poetry itself, which is much more difficult to achieve. Write poetry because you love poetry, or because you feel compelled from within to do so. Write for yourself, not for an audience. If you want to be famous and make heaps of money, start a band and dress like an insane drug-addled slut.

Don't break the rules until you know how to follow them. Vers libre is just as good as any other form of poetry, but you shouldn't attempt it until you've gained some chops. Likewise, Joycean experimentation should serve as a natural extension of a mature conventional style, not a starting point. Learn how to use formal structure in your writing before you attempt to dispense with it (but beware: when writing structured poetry, don't let the structure take over -- you should never compromise the meaning of a poem in order to satisfy the structural constraints in which you've set it). When you've mastered formal structure, you'll be better equipped to recognize its subtleties, and you'll suddenly realize how incredibly difficult it is to write truly unstructured verse.

Don't "reach" for rhymes -- in other words, avoid doing things like using the passive voice just for the sake of a rhyme. "Darling can't you see / You are loved by me" may convey exactly the right sentiment, but it still bites a big choad. If you can't make a line work without reaching, rewrite it until you can.

Show, don't tell. "The rose was very beautiful" just beats the reader over the head with an obvious stick. Describe the rose, and let the richness of your description and the beauty of the language you use build an image in the mind of the reader. Remember, too, that beauty is relative.

Don't gratuitously use graphic descriptions of sex in your work. Sex has its place in literature, but relying on it to build tension and kindle the reader's interest is a cheap trick that is unworthy of a good writer. Your writing, not your subject matter, should be what captivates the reader.

Above all, read. Then read some more. When you're done reading, relax with a good book. You might also try reading quite a lot. While we're on the subject, be choosy about what you read. There are more books available to you than you could count in a lifetime, so don't waste your time reading garbage unless you have some good reason for it. Be aware of the fact that book sales are not an indication of quality -- Stephen King sells an awful lot of books, but he also writes a lot of awful books. Pay less attention to the plot and more attention to the writing itself.

Did I mention that you should read a lot?

Poetry L & T:Thanks for the interview, Otis.

Click here to go straight to Otis's poems
On his WORDS I DIDN'T WRITE FOR YOU page.


EDITOR'S LETTER, SEPTEMBER 1999

Dear Poets,

This issue I am delighted to be able to feature two audio recitals by Lyn Lifshin, of two poems from her forthcoming book "BEFORE IT'S LIGHT", published by Black Sparrow Press, with details about the book. Lyn was kind enough to record them for Poetry Life & Times, two weeks ago. She will be putting audio recitals on her own website in the near future.

Also I have an interview with the illustrious M. Otis Beard, writer of The Beautiful Day, a poem which caused outrage and pandemonium on rec.arts.poems.

The theme for the poetry section is ANIMALS, suggested by Jan Sand. Thank you Jan and all contributors.

Any comments on this issue or back issues can be emailed to me on the link at the bottom of the page.

Best Regards,

                  


EXCLUSIVE - Audio recitals from Lyn Lifshin's forthcoming book
BEFORE IT'S LIGHT
published by Black Sparrow Press, availabe this autumn.

Lyn Lifshin was kind enough to send me these two audio recitals from the book, with permission to make them available here for download, for September only:

But Instead Has Gone Underground (Just under 1 megabyte)

Moving By Touch (492 KB)

(NOTE: these are not zipped, as not everyone uses the same zip programs.)

About Lyn: The 1997 Black Sparrow publication of Lyn Lifshin's selected poems, Cold Comfort, brought to national attention, as Small Press reviewer Len Fulton put it, "a poet of substance, range and invention," one who "everywhere roots for that stripped piece of a life -- usually her own -- that yields the bare emotional atom."


About BEFORE IT'S LIGHT: The direct, spare, largely autobiographical poems in this generous new collection evoke memories of an unlovely girlhood ("longing to be what every man / would rush to take the gum out of / his mouth to whistle for"); a stormy marriage ("each separation I lost 7-10 pounds "); self-unsparing love affairs ("we were / like drunks, dying / a little more / every time"); the pain of losing a mother ("holding her while / she moans my hands are / cold, my hair a whip"); the struggle to regain self-sufficiency after bad relationships ("some of / us need to regrow claws, survive / on prey, give up safeness").

And as always, Lifshin's poetry trawls deep waters of submerged passion beneath the surface of everyday life, coming up with a teeming glistening catch.


I asked some poets to come up with poems on this theme, and the results brought some fun, light-hearted interpretations...


Izabel Sonia Ganz and her cat

IZABEL SONIA GANZ, has been publishing poems for the last couple of years, ever since she and the Internet discovered each other. Links to some of the e-zines that have been, are and perhaps will be including them in the future, as well as more about the poet can be found at http://members.tripod.com/~magique_/bio.html
and
http://members.tripod.com/~magique_/index1.html

    Your cat (a catterel)
   © Izabel Sonia Ganz

   Watching your cat
      you must remember
   he does not know
      May from December.

   Through his nine lives
      he leaps or strolls
   without a worry
      about his souls.

   No gods or devils
      can make him bitter
   he eats off his plate
      and poops in his litter.

   His fate or bad luck
       he does not bewail
   though the cruel vet
       made him not quite male.

   He gets his full share
      of aches, pains and ills
   but loses no sleep
      over unpaid bills.

   Content you hear him
      purr, mrrau or snore -
   not always trying
      to get something more.

   If there's a moral
      to this cat-tale
   I have not found it.
      Have you? - please e-mail!

[email protected]

From a political strip cartoon
by Jan Sand

JAN SAND, poet and illustrator from New York, is a regular contributor to Poetry Life & Times. and the newsgroup alt.arts.poetry.comments. A great deal of his work is about animals, or science fiction.

To see more of Jan's poems and illustrations, visit the November '98 issue of Poetry Life & Times, and scroll down past the Editor's Letter.

ANIMALS IN MY HOUSE
© Jan Sand

There are animals,
Strange animals, wild animals
In the house where I stay.
I hear them fight, I hear them play,
I hear them sneeze, their coughs, their squeals.
My eyes water and my blood congeals
When I hear them move about
But they are there! They're there! No doubt!

Down below the cellar stairs
Brawl roly-poly polar bears.
They snuffle through the wash that's there
And tangle up the underwear.
I hear them growl from above.
They wrestle, tussle, push and shove.
There's musty dusty stuff down there.
I'd like to look but I don't dare

In the closet down the hall
Hanging down from the wall
Underneath the scarves and hats
Lives a herd of hairy bats.
When I open up the door
I hear them squeak, but before
I can catch a glimpse that's clear
They scramble up and disappear.

Deep inside the refrigerator
Lurks a curled up alligator.
He munches olives, sliced tomatoes,
Peanut butter, fried potatoes.
He's a pest when we bake
Chocolate frosted chocolate cake.
He gobbles it, and it's a shame
Because it's me that gets the blame.

Underneath the household rugs
Are bumps that are giant bugs.
They're the size of hockey pucks
And late at night they quack like ducks.
At two a.m. they all shake
The furniture and sometimes break
A plate or vase onto the floor
And then they sleep. I hear them snore.

I worry on these awful creatures
With these strange hidden features.
My mother thinks they're not real.
"Quiet!", she says. "Eat your oatmeal!"
I tell her to be democratic
And wonder what's up in the attic.

[email protected]

click here for POEMS ABOUT ANIMALS - PART 2
Featuring poems by Jerry Jenkins and Julie Damerell


POEM KINGDOM - Win cash and online publication!

http://poemkingdom.8m.com

Competition is open to any amateur poet anywhere.
Poems may be any length or topic. Entries accepted online year round. Contest is held twice annually, with deadlines on April 30th and October 31st. One time entry fee of $5 for one entry or $10 for three, to raise the prize money. After you've paid the fee once, all future contests are free to you. Judging is done by online public voting. There will be 35 winners each period. Come see what makes my competition unique. It's built on integrity and a genuine love of poetry.


SEEKING SUBMISSIONS For Erotic Haiku Anthology

Milwaukee, WI -- (August 17, 1999) -- Submissions are requested for a landmark anthology of the best English-language haiku, senryu and haibun celebrating love and physical passion.

Co-editors Jeffrey Winke and Brynne McAdoo and a panel of advisory editors are gathering a collection of serious work that honors eros in the short verse form and will firmly establish it as a significant subgenre of haiku.

Work will be selected for its connection with the book's theme, which comprises the full range of emotional and physical love: aloneness and yearning, infatuation, courting and commitment, seduction, sexual expression, uncoupling, but with an emphasis on a mature, liberated view of eros. The volume will feature from 250 to 400 haiku and senryu and six to eight haibun. Major publishers are being approached for this project.

The deadline is December 31, 1999. Send up to 15 submissions typed or neatly written on standard typing paper with your name and address on each sheet. Include an SASE (for news of selections) and self-addressed stamped postcard (to receive acknowledgment of receipt of your submission). Previously published material is acceptable but must include all pertinent information for securing permission from the original publishers.

Jeffrey Winke and Brynne McAdoo
c/o Distant Thunder Press 1705 N. 68th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53213
[email protected]


Thanks for the real nice article and interview with Klaus. It's highly well deserved, and his effort has always been unfailing in keeping the Ygdrasil alive.

In the past three months we have also made some other strides that the interview did not have a chance to cover. We have created the first audio issue of the magazine so that others can also "hear" what we are about and what we produce. And I am now working on the second issue which has a tentative date of the Labor day weekend. Once again, thanks so much, and I am in awe. I guess that you could say that we have done well, and I just have never really learned to accept a pat on the back. I am honored to be mentioned, and I only average creating two or three specialty issues every year, always based on a theme of sorts, most with a mystical touch or feeling to it. Due to my work putting many of these issues together I have not written as much, but I am happy with the things that came out, and its totality. Hopefully the audio issue will add much more to our ability and perception. In my book, it must also be heard, as often times, the words take on different meanings that we did not expect, or find when we read things.

Thanks so much

Pedro Sena

Far out music on the Web
http://www.pacifier.com/~shamen/index2.htm

Ygdrasil Journal of Poetic Arts
http://www.synapse.net/~kgerken


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