Much obliged to Kate Garrett the hard working editor-poet-mother for finding value enough in my poem & giving it a pew in this congregation of poets; especially pleased to see Amy Soricelli in the issue, it’s a breath-taker. You can & should read the issue here.
Still trying to get my head on straight, I have the neck thread into the shoulders, but maybe the thread has worn on the fixture or on the head. Toggling, wiggling to get the thread in place, the satisfying couple of the track of the thread so that the light bulb blinks on into full, hard light. The wagging struggle is on going.
Thought I’d compensate with a poem from the Yoon Yong series, not as daring as the previous one, but more formally different & in its form, akin to my current state of mind. In addition, & a bit late, but better late than never, thanks & congratulations to Linda Wolff for including my poem Moonlit Migrations in issue#1 (The Ache of the Pen) of her Wolff Literary Press & the best of luck in a long run into the future.
A good deal of confusion
Happy New Year. Going to refrain from repeating my message from last year (something about not celebrating the passage of precious time).
I find myself this year, back home after 8 years living in Korea, teething in my own culture & wondering what the future has in store. This period of adjustment is challenging & those who follow this blog will understand what I have given up to return to England. My departure from Korea was sad, it just felt like time to move on. I suppose somewhere within myself, an ordeal felt like a peculiarly logical step; which I have John Berryman to blame for.
My decision to leave didn’t make leaving any easier, parting from my ex-wife was very upsetting, I don’t think I’ll ever forget that moment having to leave her after so many trials & experiences together. Parting from the guesthouse was also difficult, a place I built myself, put a great deal of energy into establishing & making sure it functioned; but also a home. I am glad my ex-wife will continue to run it & I can go back to visit in the future.
Moving on, this poem @RiggwelterPress is hopefully a harbinger of a year of publications in such quality journals & more besides.
I hope all are well with hopes for the coming year.
Very very very pleased to report that my poem When all the animals are dead has been picked up by the Smithereens Press for their 2nd issue. A press I hold in high esteem & have, on my second attempt, got into.
They started publishing, exclusively, online chapbooks. They have since branched to a magazine, which is into its 2nd issue. I have read a number of the chapbooks, which include Chris Murrey’s Three Red Things & A Hierachy of Halls & Trevor Joyce’s The Immediate Future, which just happen to be 3 of my favourites.
It is a press worth returning to. & definitely worth wading into the numerous chapbooks, all free.
Thanks to Linda for publishing this little lyrical poem of mine at the Wolff Poetry Literary Journal. You can read it here.
Barton Smock has cobbled together a selection of 16 poets for his inaugural print of the Isacoustic flock. i have read through it & can vouch for the quality of every poet. i am very glad to be included, especially seeing as, i am featured alongside Robert Okaji & Tim Miller, good friends as well as fine poets. You can purchase a copy for the small sum of $6 here at Lulu.
Now i know what you are thinking: “I can just read it online.” Correct. However, picture this scenario. By this time, i have won the Nobel Prize in Lit. Naturally, following from this, i am on the syllabus of every university (major & minor) in the world. Your college faced child asks you about me, because i have become their hero & they are studying the Millennials & you say “well… y’know, i have somewhere a copy of the first ever printed poems of Daniel Paul Marshall, back when he was still trying to make a name for himself.” The eyes of your child brighten, “Whoa! really, i never knew you were so cool. Do you think you could find it so i could take it into class to show the other students, they’ll love it?” “Why, sure junior, i don’t see why not.” “Gee whizz, what a swell parent you are, i love you so much.” Then you spend a wonderful Saturday afternoon rooting out old journals until you alight on it, delightedly flicking through the now yellowed pages together, chortling & thinking very seriously about all the poems inside. Reminiscing & enjoying the attention of your child.
Now the internet by then will have buried these poems & Barton will not be selling this anymore, owing to the fact that he became the CEO of the number one printing house in the U.S. So it’s pretty much now or never, i trust you’ll make the right decision.
My thanks to Barton Smock for publishing 3 of my lemniscate poems, at Isacoustic. Barton is himself a noteworthy poet, whose poems can be read over at kingsoftrain.
In addition, thank you to Robert Okaji for recommending Barton & Isacoustic to me. If you are reading this, but you don’t know Robert’s blog O at the Edges, then you have probably been living in a cave without WiFi for too long.
Very pleased to have 3 poems published at the High Window alongside so many talented poets. Thanks to the editors David Cooke & Anthony Costello for taking them. The Resident Artist, Angela Smyth also did art work for my poem Cover Story.
The poem Cover Story, just to give you a bit of background, is also about Master-nim, the subject of the second poem, who was the fella i worked alongside while building our guesthouse. The 2nd Master-nim poem was published at Underfoot.
i’d like to take this opportunity to thank & greet any new readers (followers) of my work & to those of you who continue to ‘like’ & comment. It means a lot & it is an essential part of my days, as i am very isolated where i am, so discussions are welcomed. i also want to apologize if i don’t get around to reading & discussing your work with you, it isn’t because i got tired of you, or bored, but Summer has flash flooded me with work. We are finishing up two new houses, which require our attention now, as well as tending to Inn Jeju & the larger volume of guests due to the Summer season starting. So i will always respond & try to get around as best i can to reading & engaging with your work (you know who you are).
This poem first saw the light of day at FourTiesLitReview this time last year. i was grateful then & remain so. They are open for submissions, so send your best.
This is a revised version from the original.
i find scorch marks, black smears
barely noticeable against scoria rock hemming
the sea wall, a place concealed from the road
where tourists seldom trespass due to the stench of sewage
from a nearby factory— here fishermen gathered
: the picked ribs of mackerel, a ribbon
of its blue scales in the extinguished embers
a stack of soju bottles, splintered
disposable chopsticks, tipped with ramen stains
in 5 neat piles where each man sat.
what did the men discuss, what tantrums?
i see no footprints back to the road
there seems to be no testimony
as to where they were destined next
—did they jump into the sea & swim to greet the dawn?
Very pleased to report i have 6 poems to kick start the new journal Underfoot, started by the amiably mannered & amply minded Tim Miller. I unfortunately missed the vol-au-vonts & the champagne reception, slept in, time-zones are a meither, sometimes.
Get over & like, comment & submit. i foresee a future of fine poets for Underfoot, i know a few in Miller’s address book & am eager to see what they turn out.
Here’s the best of luck to Tim’s new venture.