January 2018

I’m finally updating this blog.

Nothing to say. Swell!  I’m submitting and writing poetry this week.  Check back next month for words of wisdom.  (Yes, that means Thursday.)

Advertisements

May, 2017

Phew! We poets who were writing 30 poems in 30 days during April have made it through another National Poetry writing Month.

This is when I disappear into the small-press publisher’s world of collecting, editing, proofreading, et cetera until Autumn.  I’m also trying to submit more of my own poems to journals; nobody can read my work if I never publish it. Sadly poems lack wings, so they can’t fly themselves to literary journals and squawk, “Read me! Read me!”

Both the print anthology Extra MoJo! series (Hidden Charm Press) and the print journal Tell-Tale Inklings (via Tell-Tale Chapbooks) are open to submissions this spring and summer. Please go to the web sites for details; nothing adds grief to the days of editors and publishers like submissions from writers who haven’t bothered to familiarize themselves with our Press websites, much less read the Guidelines pages.

Dec. 19, 2016

As this craptastic year draws to a close, I mourn the loss of two family members as well as the shared public figure losses.  And the country as we know it–with all its flaws but also moments when one could be proud of being a fellow citizen–will most likely end with the pens of the few signing away the next four years.  May whatever greater spirits we believe in help us get through it.

I try to focus on blessings.  The two brothers I grew up playing with and I have reconnected.  I met my tiny grandniece for the first time.  My little bro is a grandfather x 3!

Somehow I managed to publish the second issues of my presses’ anthology and literary journal.  My own first collection of microfictions has also seen the light.  My oldest and dearest friends are astoundingly good to me.

Yes, it has been an horrendous year.  I won’t miss it.  But one must grasp onto whatever life rafts are available or sink.  I’m past chapter 80 of Moby-Dick and won’t jinx with specifics; however, it’s safe to predict that I will finish the first draft of my Moby-inspired poetry collection in 2017 or die trying.  With six years invested in the project so far, that’s huge for me!

Happier, saner, safer New Year to all!

Summer Vacation

If you don’t know me well, you’re probably wondering why this blog looks skimpy for 2016. Well, I have a boatload of work ahead of me to get the “Extra MoJo! #2” anthology (Hidden Charm Press) out asap.  It is the print form of everything published in the online journal “MoJo!” since the first anthology; also, there was an open call for submissions.  Then I will pull together the “Tell-Tale Inklings #2” (TTC) print journal.

But before all that happens, my first book of stories will be published this month, within weeks, maybe next week.  It’s in the queue at last!  Neither broken computers, nor the Massachusetts Snowpocalypse, nor gremlins’ reformats will forever discourage “Ramshackled…” (TTC) from seeing the light of day!

And that is what I’m doing this Summer.

Book Review: Jessica Harman

Because the Bright World Weeps (Four-Forty-Four Press, 2013) – novella
By Jessica Harman​
[W.o.W. Review by Mignon Ariel King]

Ruby is a schizophrenic woman with an internal conflict — trying to determine whether or not she is and can remain a good-hearted person. She sees the angelic on Earth and is deeply compassionate toward people around her, especially younger women, even while struggling with her mental health, the end of a romance, and the darkness of the human condition as well as its brightness. The language of the narrative is remarkable, imaginative and direct at once (which is no surprise to readers familiar with Harman’s poetry).

Ruby cannot talk to her friend Jed about “complexity in art, philosophy, my fear of everything, waterfalls.” But she can talk about angels and battling her “evil” impulses in pursuit of goodness. The simple pleasures of talking about nothing much with a friend at Starbucks help Ruby stay away from “crashing and going inward.” Later, just thinking about these smaller happy times helps her feel better without having to cling to a romantic relationship or the belief that love fixes everything.

At 38, Ruby attaches powers to objects as might a young girl. Her garage-sale find Virgin Mary pillow, not chosen for religious reasons but from belief that the idol is Good. “And you need Good influences in your life. She also sits in Harvard Square parks reading poetry, regardless of Massachusetts weather. Connecting to poetry saves her from ” The Pit” of depression. Ruby explains to her 21-year-old roommate, “You’re a being of light.[…] It’s a great responsibility.”

Explaining the Dilemma (in Chapter 7), Ruby says that she feels 80% good, but “[t]here will be those devilish moments when you wish the guy on the bus with heavy grocery bags would trip and fall.” Ha! Such unexpected humorous moments are woven into what might have been one of those pseudo-deep modern narratives. Harman keeps the reader moving through fifteen chapters by juggling the good and the bad in each of us, pinpointing this internal balancing act in stright-forward yet never dull prose.

Ruby admits, “I had just expected life to be better after high school, as if the light on the water [of the Charles River] would yield all its beauty to me then because I was an adult and had somehow earned it.” Didn’t we all, at least a little bit? Brava to Jessica Harman for describing and analyzing emotionally complex and confused beliefs in clear, poetic prose.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/http://www.lulu.com/shop/jessica-harman/because-the-bright-world-weeps/paperback/product-20688034.html