“What should I write a poem about?”
I asked my niece
after she followed me outside
to the front porch
where I’d sat down to work.
“Cats and dogs and spiders
and Spider-Man and plants
and trees and berries and pinecones
and snakes and pine straw and seeds
and rocks and buttercups and sticks
and dirt and Band-Aids and butterflies
and tops of acorns and flyswatters and rubber bands
and plastic holders and cigarettes
and that’s all…
except one last idea…
I think Natalie is going to be
much better at this than me.
The poem above was written earlier this afternoon right before the sky fell with some serious intentions to soak the earth. The storm was not quite that of Biblical proportions…but this is a post about poetry so let’s take some creative license and just pretend it was nearing such a level. I must admit that it was the most enjoyable collaborative effort I’ve ever taken part of. She’s definitely a natural. I’ll have to start delegating my work more often.
I haven’t been posting here at 17Numa as much of late. After missing the monthly recap in March, I didn’t want to fall too far out of rhythm…so here’s an honest attempt to right the ship with a few thoughts about some of the goings-on from April.
First off, I’d like to say thank you to all the editors associated with these twenty venues for accepting and/or publishing my work in the past month:
Dissident Voice; Dead Snakes; Infernal Ink Magazine; Mad Swirl; UFO Gigolo; Duane’s PoeTree; Visual Verse; KNOT Magazine; Venus in Scorpio; Full of Crow; Torrid Literature Journal; The Piker Press; The Poeming Pigeon; Lunaris Review; Longsword Press; VerseWrights; Green Panda Press; Yellow Chair Review; Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine; and Whispers.
I finished up three interviews during April, two of which (Duane’s PoeTree and Nibstears) are scheduled to come out sometime in the not-too-distant future. The latest, however, was just released recently as part of the new interview series at Adam Levon Brown’s site. My ramblings can be read here. I usually take myself oh-so-seriously when spouting off at the mouth about my work…but this time around I tried to keep things light and fluffy with a side of pure, unmitigated fun.
The most exciting development during April involved a fortuitous online meeting with Tom Janikowski of the newly launched Longsword Press. We’ve been working together of late to whip my poetry collection “Chaos Songs” into shape. After going back and forth with drafts, the final version is nearly complete, and it is set to be published in May. Longsword also just released the debut Spring 2016 issue of its online publication. My poems “Painting Ourselves into Corners” and “The Passage” (both from the new book) are included. Check it out here.
I first started sending out submissions of my poetry in June of 2014. I just went back and read some of the emails I was sending out at that time to double check on the date. Sweet Jesus, I was a tad bit obnoxious and presumptuous in some of my early cover letters. But, hell, I guess it must have worked because it has led to some fairly positive results in the past 22 months. In fact, I recently hit a nice milestone back around the middle of this month when my 800th poem was published. I’ve definitely become more professional since that first poem appeared at Dissident Voice (for the most part). Even if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t necessarily change my approach. I regret nothing! Everyone acts like an ass now and then. Karma has certainly kicked me in mine enough times through the years to make sure the ledger always remains in balance. No need to get into specifics and boohoo about the past. I’ll just put it this way: it’s fair to say that I’ve paid my dues. Now my eyes are constantly set on the future. Everything remains in a perpetual state of calm. I’m always comfortable and content…but never complacent. On that note, it’s time to forward march into May…
Scott Thomas Outlar