Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Received the new issue of Handsome a few days ago. Beautifully designed it is. A lot of good writers within the pages. Thanks again to the editors.

I now have one more poem that needs to actually be published from Ghost Lights until they're all in journals and none are forthcoming.


I was also thrilled yesterday to get the first round of Ghost Lights galleys.

It's funny: what I never thought would be an issue is my penchant for italics and indentation.

I'm pretty sure it was Joshua Poteat who got me obsessed with how a poem can look on the page. For better or worse. And I don't know where the italics came from, but I clearly didn't realize I had that much in the book. I used it for dialogue mostly, though, and there's a lot within many of the poems. I think I just like how it looks mostly, or at least that's how the obsession started...

Thankfully I have much less italics in the new manuscript, though the crazy indentations and forms are still there. Will I ever trust myself to be strictly left-justified?

Since I start school again in exactly two weeks, I took about five hours and got about fourteen typed pages of corrections to my editor. I think I got most of it, but we'll see.

I'm doing my best to make sure everything's as perfect as can be before it goes to the printers in a few months. I suppose that kind of goes without saying.


Steve had a very interesting post recently concerning defunct journals and Acknowledgments pages:

I was looking at the acknowledgments page of Torched Verse Ends, and by my count at least five of the journals I placed individual poems in are already defunct (Cranky, Diner, three candles, Unloved Mail Order Bride, and Unpleasant Event Schedule). Plus, the journal I edited for a good portion of time while I was producing the poems, The Eleventh Muse, is either defunct or might as well be. Beyond that, a ton of the journals that were generally prominent and well regarded when I first started trying to publish poetry are gone too: Chelsea, Grand Street, Partisan Review, Ontario Review, etc. And now many university reviews are in danger: New England Review, Triquarterly, The Southern Review, etc. Is there a lesson in that impermanence, especially considering that we're clearly publishing in the age of obsolescence for the print book? I don't know. Maybe it's just that if you're really a writer, you enjoy that publication when it happens, but then consider it over and move right on to writing your next thing. Maybe something actually deep that I haven't thought of yet. What do you think?

I looked at my Acknowledgments for Ghost Lights, and right now, it looks like the only journal that will be defunct will be Diner.

It'll be interesting to see what happens in a year. How many more will be gone? I didn't know Chelsea was done either.

That said, I've always been of the mind that says, "OK, this is published, now move on." And then there's the cool thing that happens after, when it's actually published.

The best thing about getting something published, to me, is being forced to work on something new if you want to get there again. Always a good thing.


Really enjoyed A Serious Man, which I finally saw the other day. Bizarre, disjointed, and hilarious. See it.