Monthly Archives: March 2018 – I’m In It! :-D

So, okay, yes, my submission to Room Magazine’s Queer Issue got rejected. (Alas! But also: Hey, fellow 98% of people who submit to Room, I just joined the club!)
BUT the poem to-which I alluded earlier is now up and published and I can therefore crow about it and post links all over the place, and so here we go. ๐Ÿ˜€

“Compass Rose” drawing by Seamus McGill

I am delighted to announce that my poem, Compass, has been published at (and I admit I am weirdly chuffed that it’s up the week that VERSeFest kicks off, even though I know those things are not at all related). has published my work before, back in May 2011, and was both one of the first times my poetry got published AND one of that last times I sent my poetry out until this past December.
Oh, and kittens? It’s a paid market. \o/
So, y’know. Send them your stuff!


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Queer Femme Poets – Avery M. Guess

So Iโ€™ve been working on a poetry manuscript for a while now. A series of glosas riffing on the poetry of other queer femmes. Femmes get a lot done with a little, draw inspiration and strength from each other, collaborate with each other, and generally lift each other up. I think the poetic form of the glosa โ€“ a style where you take four sequential lines of someone elseโ€™s poem and write your own four-stanza, forty-line response poem incorporating one of the lines into the same point of each ten-line stanza (usually as the last line of each stanza, but not always) โ€“ works really well, in and of itself, as a metaphor for femme solidarity and mutual inspiration.
To that end: A small series talking about the poets and poems that are inspiring my manuscript.

Cover of Avery M. Guess’ chapbook
“The Patient Admits”
An out-of-focus image of a white person with shoulder-length hair who is wearing a black tank top and a veil(?) over their (her?) head.
Title and author’s name appear to the right of the image.

Some Thoughts About This Book: First off, I won this book in a draw. The author did a give-away and I was the lucky recipient. It felt pretty great to win a thing. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Second, like a lot of poetry written by femmes – or maybe like a lot of poetry written by queers – this is poetry about trauma survival. About incest survival. So, y’know, there’s a content warning for the whole chapbook.
There’s a repeating form that moves through the collection, a series of poems with titles that go “In Therapy, The Patient Is Asked To Define: []” and the [] is a particular word. The poems consist of a definition coined by the author, the use of the word in a sentence, and then an acrostic on the word that relates to the definition and/or experience described in the sentence.
I really like them.
The way the definitions are so personal. They way they do or don’t dovetail with the sentence the words are used in. How the author has embedded a poetic form – one that typically gets taught to kids in primary school – into this new structure that, I think, gives it a much sharper form while also linking the whole poem through the inclusion of this specific form, and its content, to the reality of “this is something a child had to endure”. It’s like the poems, themselves, are having body flashbacks.
They’re fucking brilliant.
Which poem I chose to gloss and why: So maybe it’ll come as a surprise to you that I didn’t choose to gloss one of the “In Therapy” definition poems. Instead I chose to gloss “The Patient Attempts to Explain Cutting”, which is a series of couplets each one building on the last. I chose it because of how well the imagery conveys the building pressure under the skin.
I took two of the couplets and built (or tried to build) a poem about how I have used self-harm to center myself or to cope with feelings and experiences around un/worthiness.
I have to admit, the poem I wrote feels like it might be two different poems that have been haphazardly sutured together. A finished draft that might need to be split and started again. We’ll see.

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Poetry Is Dead: Coven Issue – I’m… not in it.

I got my rejection letter this morning.
On the plus side, the editors let me know that the rejection wasn’t about the quality of my own work, which was nice to hear BUT I’m still a little sad about it.
It’s funny how getting an early rejection for Prairie Fire’s Love Issue was, like, “Meh. No big deal” but this is like “Oh… My heart is here tho…”
THAT SAID! I can now send those poems out elsewhere! ๐Ÿ˜€
I’ll find a home for my something-like-a-sonnet bottle spell poem yet. ๐Ÿ˜‰
AND, as I tweeted the other day, I did get another poem accepted for publication. I’ll post about that, with a link, when it launches. ๐Ÿ˜‰
It’s nice to be sending my work out again.
It’s nice to HAVE a volume of work to draw on for those submissions.
Onwards and upwards.
– A.

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