Updates on Submissions

I’ve been getting a lot of e-mails asking about the status of submissions.

 

I am WAY behind on reviewing and posting submissions to the galleries.  Day-job and offline world responsibilities have severely limited the time available to me (see my post about Stardust Poetry’s new schedule).  With the move to Submittable, you can log in to your account there to see the status of any submissions you have made.  Once your submission has been reviewed and decided upon, the status will be updated.


VENDING MACHINE: Poetry for Change volume 4

VendingMachine4

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

–Mahatama Gandhi

“Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.”

–Robert C. Gallagher

 

VENDING MACHINE: Poetry for Change volume 4 features:

Lynne Albert – “In Case of Fire”
Dianne Borsenik – “Seeds”
Steve Brightman – “It’s Changing”
Skylark Bruce – “Stronger Than Bullets”
John Burroughs – “[ ]ending”
Shelley Chernin – “Pants Day: May, 1970″
Mike Finley – “Blow”
Ken Gradomski – “Times”
Chuck Joy – “This Admission”
Lori Ann Kusterbeck – “Spots”
Geoffrey A. Landis – “My Family Ties”
Miranda Macondios – “A Gandhian Epic Solipsistic Ethic”
Marc Mannheimer – “The Agenda of Sand”
William Merricle – “The Dreamer”
Rebekah Moss – “Hold Your Ground”
Jen Pezzo – “But for Choice”
Kenneth Pobo – “Work-Out Dindi”
REDD – “Commercials”
S. Renay Sanders – “The End”
Kathy Smith – “Just So Some Hows”
Zach – “This I Believe”
Beverly Zeimer – “Hunger Pangs”

 

with a cover by Eileen Matias

 

DOWNLOAD HERE


“September’s Words” by John Feaster

Words become more
than words when we
feel them into
existence.

 

My love, that
is why you
are September:

 

You, like fall
pressing
colors into
leaves,
blow words
into me,
and the
little gusts
of sunshine
turn my
pages bright.

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Feaster was born at the doorstep of our nation’s capital, but hopes none of that rubbed off on him. A dangerous romantic, he wants all the action and adventure of a poetic life. He knows how crazy that sounds, but with magic, love, and dogs on his side: how can he fail? John holds a B.A. in Philosophy and an MBA in Business.


Stardust Poetry changes, Chapbook Submission Call, VENDING MACHINE 5

The Poet’s Haven’s call for chapbook manuscript submissions has been extended until July 5th. Go to the “Submissions” page (linked above) for full details and a link to submit your manuscript.

 

The Stardust Poetry open-mic series will be taking a hiatus for the next few months. The show will be getting retooled a bit before returning in October. The show will now be held on the third Saturday of October, January, April, and July. (That’s quarterly, every three months, just not in the same months as season changes.) The show will be staying at the wonderful Karma Cafe.

 

This year’s VENDING MACHINE: Poetry for change event will take place at Karma Cafe on Saturday, November 22nd. That’s the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Features are to be announced.

 

Speaking of VENDING MACHINE: the call for submissions to this year’s anthology will be going live on July 1st. Submissions must be received by October 4th. VENDING MACHINE: Poetry for Change is a special poetry anthology published annually by The Poet’s Haven themed around Gandhi’s quote “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” The book is edited by T.M. Göttl and Vertigo Xavier. The book is not available for sale, but is instead offered in exchange for donations to the Poetic Provisions Food-Drive.

 

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Okay, now that the news bulletins are out of the way, the explanation. The change to the Stardust Poetry schedule was announced more than a week ago at the final monthly show and then briefly posted on Facebook with the words “More details and explanation will be announced as soon as I have time type up a press release / blog post.”

 

The fact that it has taken nine days for me to get this typed up is a big part of why this schedule change is necessary. Those of you who know me offline know the turmoil my life has been in the past two years. For those of you who aren’t aware, here’s a brief recap: in July 2012, the day-job I had held for many years ended. Our operation was moved to a different facility in another state. The job market in my area is rough these days. While I managed to land a few “temp-to-hire” gigs, “temp” always proved to be the key word. (My father calls them “temp-to-fire.” He’s absolutely right.) This past December, I landed a gig that requires me to work an afternoon/evening schedule. While I am still working through a temp service, six months later I am still in this position. No word on when (or, really, if) I will be made a permanent hire, but six months have gone by and I am still there. This job has both long hours and a long drive. My old job was only five minutes from my home: this job requires nearly two hours of driving every day. This is severely cutting in to the time I need to do everything here at Poet’s Haven. As the schedule is evening hours, I have had to take time off (something not encouraged for contingent workers) for the Stardust shows these past six months. Moving the show to a Saturday schedule will allow me to work my full “day-job” schedule.

 

Once upon a time, I had a super long list of local poets I wanted to feature. Unfortunately, the number of poets we have featured has outpaced the number of poets getting added to the list. Having a show on a weeknight also makes it more difficult for not-so-local poets to come headline an event. Going to a quarterly, Saturday schedule should make it easier to line up features.

 

With my “day-job” hours now in the evening, I have not been able to attend many poetry events. This has allowed me to see the big problem currently plaguing our local poetry scene. When I would be in the audience of five or six different shows each week, I would see just about everyone in our scene somewhere or another. Only being able to attend certain weekend events now, what has become telling is the faces I do not see. Our “community” has always been fractured into little cliques. Each clique attends a show or two in its circle, but refuses to venture out of that circle. Several years ago, this was what I set out to break down. I wanted to do shows that would draw people from every poetry clique. For a while, we were successful at this. Then something slowly changed and our shows developed a clique of their own. I don’t want to loose our loyal audience, but something needs to be done differently to make our shows the big EVENT that EVERYONE wants to attend. It is my hope that a less routine schedule will help us accomplish this.

 

Again, as I have indicated here, time is a big issue for me right now. When the day finally arrives where being a publisher and slam team manager can be my sole, full-time job, I will again seek to host multiple shows each month. I just don’t have the time necessary to do everything I want to do here. It has taken me a long while to realize that I need to focus on quality over quantity. I would much rather produce just five shows each year and have them be the best shows in our region.


“Foray” by Benjamin Nardolilli

Pick up that book I brought,
I enjoy it very much,
How much sentimentality
Will offend you?
What about all those star-studded
Dedications I thought
Might help you process it all?
You should be pleased
I give you idiosyncrasy
In this selection,
If it is not funny in its depth,
It shall set a deadpan fire under you.
A change in your life?
This book can shift a worldview,
Make reading an expense,
Depending on where it takes you,
It might even cost you
More than words,
Numbers can also get involved,
Leading to the rise
Of a negative entry on your ledger,
But please do not open it up
While I am inside your bedroom
And judge the book by its cover page,
Let me go back home
And for a moment enjoy the sight
Of one empty space
On the shelves in my apartment.

 

 

 

 

 

Ben Nardolilli currently lives in Arlington, Virginia. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, Danse Macabre, The 22 Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, fwriction, THEMA, Pear Noir, The Minetta Review, and Yes Poetry. He has a chapbook, Common Symptoms of an Enduring Chill Explained, from Folded Word Press. He blogs at mirrorsponge.blogspot.com and is looking to publish his first novel.


“Without Sliver” by A.J. Huffman

Without Sliver


of moonlight slipping through shutters,
I am without hope
of guidance inside midnight’s
menagerie of mind games.
Each shadow’s corner holds
landmine possibilities. I trip every one
with insomniac rage and frustration
of confinement. Monotonous
walls hold no mysterious wonder.
I force myself to dip
deeper into puddles of potential, pull
strings of pearlescent prose, screaming
all the way to page, sometimes longer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A.J. Huffman is the author of seven solo chapbooks (including Inside the Walls of a Blackened Book) and co-author of one joint chapbook, published by various small presses. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and the winner of the 2012 Promise of Light Haiku Contest. Her poetry, fiction, and haiku have appeared in hundreds of national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, Kritya, and Offerta Speciale. She is the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.


“Winter” by Christian Reifsteck

The hieroglyphs of winter
begin to etch themselves into the landscape.
Thin, bare branches are brittle words
that we pass our fingers over to read
like Braille or Ogham.

 

The cold rain, too,
is just another sign of being—
a symbol thrown against the ground
that we try again and again to interpret.

 

All it means
is that there is a fine, fine difference
between rain and thick rain,
and if you can read winter,
you know what I mean by this.

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Reifsteck’s poems and photographs have most recently appeared in The Loyalhanna Review, Written River, and The Wayfarer. He teaches in central Pennsylvania and Europe. View more of his work at illuminatedmanuscript.wordpress.com.


“Cakewalk” by Jinko Gotoh

Gunsmoke, John Wayne, Lakers
Blasted out of Obachan’s TV.

 

I fixated over animated lady octopus, plopped up on rock
Middle of sea,
Puffy clouds
And seagull.
She depicted young woman of 1970.
Golden tan, loop earrings, long curly lashes, dark eye shadow,
Bright red lipstick.

 

Oddly
She sprayed Soft ‘N Dri!
Repeated “it never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever stings!”
Why do octopus in America have arms
Not legs?

 

All so mighty foreign.

 

At end of summer
Unexpectedly
Carnival came.

 

Like waking-up Christmas morning
To find Santa’s present
Tree lit with lights

 

Spellbound.
Ferris wheels
Clowns everywhere

 

Nickel ticket
Got me on platform
Some tune played
When it stopped
I had lucky number.

 

Pink bakery box in hand
Proudly walked home
White frosting
Shredded coconut
Yellow cake.

 

Winner.
Not so bad in
Wild wild west.

 

 

 

 

 

Jinko Gotoh is an independent animation producer. Born in Japan, Ms. Gotoh was raised in California and attended Columbia University, where she earned a BS in Applied Math, as well as an MFA in Film.


New Author Series Releases, Submission Announcements

The Poet’s Haven Boutique is pleased to have added new Poet’s Haven Author Series books by Dianne Borsenik, Caira Lee, Jennifer Polehemus, and Alex Gildzen as well as The Poet’s Haven Digest: We Only Come Out at Night!

 

More books are on the way.  If you would like to ensure you get each book as soon as it is released, we now offer subscriptions:-)

 

We have been getting e-mails asking this, so I thought I should say something on the blog: The Poet’s Haven is NOT having an open call for Author Series manuscript submissions this month.  While we have had our previous open calls in April, I am still working through the manuscripts submitted last year as well as trying to catch up on submissions to our Digest calls and the online galleries.  The current plan is for a manuscript call to be opened up in June.

 

Also (and I’m sure anyone looking at this website does not need to be told this, but…): The Poet’s Haven does NOT accept submissions via postal mail.  We have not accepted postal submissions since 2002.  As much as I love finding poems in my mailbox, whether I find the time to read them or not, none of them will be published on the site or in any of our Digest publications.  If you wish to submit work to The Poet’s Haven, please follow the guidelines and use the forms linked on the “Submissions” page.


“INHUMAN” Award Nominations!

Joshua_Gage_-_InhumanCongratulations to Joshua Gage, who has been nominated for both the 2014 Best Chapbook Elgin Award AND the 2014 Best Short Poem Rhysling Award!

 

The Elgin nomination is for Josh’s Poet’s Haven Author Series chapbook INHUMAN: Haiku from the Zombie Apocalypse, and the Rhysling nomination is for one of the haiku appearing in INHUMAN!  To celebrate this, we have marked the book down to just $5 (plus FREE SHIPPING) through the Elgin voting period!  (Markdown ends on August 15.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


“If Forgetting is Death” by April Mae Berza

If forgetting is death, let me die

Alone in this wilderness

Defeated from the senses

A political exile, a rebel

 

Let my salty memories

Numb the ocean as I swim

Into the vastness of reason

 

The car keys, the glasses,

And the birthdays ignore

The tradition of remembering

As one passes on a legacy

 

Succumbing to the beloved,

I ask the mirrors to break

The reflection

 

Let me die once more

Trying to forget the reasons

Of forgetting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April Mae Berza is a member of Poetic Genius Society.  Her poems and short stories have appeared in numerous publications in the US, Romania, India, Japan, and the Philippines.  Nominated in 2012 International Who’s Who in Poetry, her poem was broadcast on IndoPacific Radio. She lives in the Philippines.  She is online at facebook.com/shakespril.mae.


“Impact” by A.J. Huffman

Point
of collision.
Disruption. Abrasive
interaction. Forceful
commingling of non-
adjoinable parts. Pieces
forced
into flight. Mock
e x p l o s i o n.
The sound of scraping
debris against pavement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A.J. Huffman is the author of seven solo chapbooks (including Inside the Walls of a Blackened Book) and co-author of one joint chapbook, published by various small presses. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and the winner of the 2012 Promise of Light Haiku Contest. Her poetry, fiction, and haiku have appeared in hundreds of national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, Kritya, and Offerta Speciale. She is the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.


“1986″ by Maureen Daniels

The year after my mother discovered

what would kill her was the year I let Tim

touch me in the downstairs bathroom,

door locked, candles lit, his 13th birthday

party on the other side of the wall.

 

That was the year the Challenger

exploded 73 seconds after take-off

and we were forced to look at the smiling

face of the dead school teacher amidst

all those astronauts, the bubble of her helmet

held on her lap like a third child.

 

That was the year my mother took me

to meet the machine that was meant

to save her. Not that I ever heard her

pray: aAt 40 she’d learned to be silent

about salvation, the hope of a life

long with age.

 

Three days after Tim’s party they took us

into the history classroom to tell us Tim

was dead. Later, at the funeral, I was told

he shot himself in the head and I pictured

that candlelit bathroom, how I’d hated his

tongue pushing into my mouth, his hand

fumbling beneath my fabrics, and that

picturesque blood on the white wall, the

splatter of him another stain on that year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maureen Daniels grew up in England and Northern California. She has a B.A. from CUNY Hunter College and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from CUNY City College. She is the winner of The Doris Lipmann Prize, The Stark Short Fiction Award, The Audre Lorde Award, and others. Her poems and short stories have appeared in publications such as Lambda Literary, Pindeldyboz, Nibble, Scapegoat Review, and others. She currently lives in New York City with her family and a Dalmatian named Pink.


“Invitation” by Joan McNerney

Would you like to unwind

an afternoon at the lake?

 

Solar sparks spilling over us

in showers of golden sizzle.

 

Put on short shorts, skimpy tops,

stick our toes into oozy mud.

 

Breezes will shake treetops

while we listen to birdsongs.

 

Why not float on new grass

facing an Alice blue sky?

 

Read celestial comic strips

from mounds of clouds.

 

We can count sunbeams,

chase yellow butterflies.

 

Devour bowls of cherries

painting our lips crimson.

 

This noontime is perfumed

with illions of wild flowers.

 

Let’s go away all day… be

embraced by the goddess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Spectrum, three Bright Spring Press anthologies, and several Kind of a Hurricane publications. She has been nominated three times for Best of the Net. Four of her books have been published by fine small literary presses.


“The Ushers” by Maureen Daniels

I’m holding onto the arm

of the past while we walk

 

through the graveyard of our

misfortune. I can’t escape

 

the color of the rose,

the flushed face above all

 

those thick thorns that cull me

from the herd of girls who

 

follow you. My desire

is hidden in your back

 

pocket like a fat wallet

flooded with photographs.

 

This afternoon is not ripe

enough for war. I’d rather

 

be ushered out these gates

onto the glittering

 

sidewalk far from any place

we’ve ever called home. Don’t

 

remind me that the children

won’t forgive us. This marriage

 

will never be a pleasant

surprise. Any truth between us,

 

will be buried beneath the fallen

stones and grasses. I don’t need

 

your forgiveness any more

than I need this memory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maureen Daniels grew up in England and Northern California. She has a B.A. from CUNY Hunter College and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from CUNY City College. She is the winner of The Doris Lipmann Prize, The Stark Short Fiction Award, The Audre Lorde Award, and others. Her poems and short stories have appeared in publications such as Lambda Literary, Pindeldyboz, Nibble, Scapegoat Review, and others. She currently lives in New York City with her family and a Dalmatian named Pink.


“Pacific Vignette” by Steven Anthony George

Wading into the oyster shell theater

I envisioned a ripple

of Aphrodite

water black

dappled

floating to the top

Am I a Nereid?

I was illumed

on the pearlescence

I reached out for the sand

 

but I was dragged away

by the evening riptide

convulsing in sound waves

I could not resist,

resonating in the clouds

wrapped in the blissful mystery

you should be smooth

you should be gentle

but by god, you have cut me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steven Anthony George resides in Fairmont, West Virginia. His work has appeared in Houston & Nomadic Voices, Apollo’s Lyre, Short-story.me, and Eclectic Flash. Steven is active in the autism community and often speaks publicly on the topic of autism.  He is online at facebook.com/sageorge.dyingofpoetry.


“The Goldfish” by A.J. Huffman

The goldfish

echo the window’s pain. Contained,

held, prisoner of iconic juxtaposition.

Glass reflects glass, allowing clear and

unobstructed view of pond. Cup attempted

emulation of ocean can only crack

against the edges of reality, fade

into the background of misfortune’s foreground.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(after “Goldfish Glass,” photograph by Herbert List)

 

 

A.J. Huffman is the author of seven solo chapbooks (including Inside the Walls of a Blackened Book) and co-author of one joint chapbook, published by various small presses. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and the winner of the 2012 Promise of Light Haiku Contest. Her poetry, fiction, and haiku have appeared in hundreds of national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, Kritya, and Offerta Speciale. She is the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.


“This Morning” by Joan McNerney

Between deep night

and soft dawn the

mist covers fields

spreading over daisies

climbing bunchberries

wetting seeds, leaves.

 

Milky smoke roams

back and forth

wandering voiceless

through mountains

of morning.

 

Whistling in fog

past sycamores

warblers seesaw

up cloudy layers

up up circling

toward heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Spectrum, three Bright Spring Press anthologies, and several Kind of a Hurricane publications. She has been nominated three times for Best of the Net. Four of her books have been published by fine small literary presses.


three untitled haiku by Jesus Chameleon

thinking charity…
messaging icons pop up
green online check

 

feeling humid air…
turning fan cools sweaty skin
a night of writing

 

friends escape winter…
pc, phone batteries charged
the mature at rest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus Chameleon is the nom de plume of a poet and essayist. His first book of unpublished poetry was selected for consideration (but did not win) a 2011 Poetry Society of America National Chapbook Fellowship. He is online at jesuschameleon.webs.com.


“Palmistry” by Maureen Daniels

She stretches her arms

toward the maddening stars.

 

Her lips which no longer love me

cower against her teeth

 

when I smile in the direction

she turns her face,

 

the way a bird might flinch

from a startling sound.

 

Today we sat by the sea

without speaking,

 

and I leaned against

the brown warmth of her skin,

 

so dizzy from what I wanted

and I wondered, with the breeze

 

in the salt twists of her hair,

those visionary palms, and her belly

 

that breathed as if it were holding

something it could not release,

 

if this was the closest I would get

to what I imagine is love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maureen Daniels grew up in England and Northern California. She has a B.A. from CUNY Hunter College and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from CUNY City College. She is the winner of The Doris Lipmann Prize, The Stark Short Fiction Award, The Audre Lorde Award, and others. Her poems and short stories have appeared in publications such as Lambda Literary, Pindeldyboz, Nibble, Scapegoat Review, and others. She currently lives in New York City with her family and a Dalmatian named Pink.