Category Archives: poetry

Bywords.ca – I’m In It!

Garlic scapes, dill, cilantro, and rainbow chard from my summer garden a few years ago.

Garlic scapes, dill, cilantro, and rainbow chard from my summer garden a few years ago.


 
Delighted to announce that my piece, “Seasonal”, has been published by Bywords.ca.
I wrote this poem years ago, as part of an on-going project exploring queer non-monogamy and lateral family-building through the lens of local, seasonal food.
I only recently started submitting it places, and I’m glad Bywords – being local to me, itself – chose to take it.
 
You can check it out here.

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Shadow and Glow – I’m In It!

Cover of Shadow and Glow – Pussy Magic Special Issue 003 … “Shadow and Glow” are written at the top in white-outline block letters against a black background. There is a photo of pink circles that look like pot-lights, ranging from very pale at the top of the picture to very deep pink at the bottom. In the bottom-right corner, in small, white all-caps, are the words “Special Issue 003 – February 2019”. Across the bottom in white all-caps are the words “Pussy Magic”.


 
I’m excited to announce that three of the glosas from my Femme Glosa Project have made it into Special Issue 003 of Pussy Magic.
“Love Spells” and “Tidal Surge” are in the Shadow section, while “Cradle” is under Glow.
You can download a PDF (it’s free) here.

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Queer Femme Poets – Kay Gabriel

So I’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 – a style where you take four sequential lines of someone else’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) – 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.
 

Kay Gabriel’s “Elegy Department Spring – Candy Sonnets 1” (BOAAT Press, 2017)
A fuzzy/soft-focus image of Candy Darling on the right side of the cover, with the title in white and red all-caps in the top- left.


 
Some Thoughts About This Book: I found Kay Gabriel on twitter, probably because someone on my feed retweeted something she said. Also, my knowledge of sonnets as a form pretty-much drops off just shy of 403 years ago. Which still means I know more about sonnets than I know about actress and Andy-Warhol-muse Candy Darling,who is the subject of this manuscript.
What I’m saying is that it’s not like I can review this chapbook from either an academic, or a pop-cultural, perspective (if you want something more like that, maybe try this review by Evelyn Deshane). I can only take these poems at face-value and maybe scratch my head a little, saying: “Okay, I have no idea how these are sonnets, but I’m just going to go with it”.
So, go with it I did, and mostly let myself be struck by poems like “Pastoral” which I read – maybe in my typical bi-dyke way – as the perennial question “Do I want to be her friend, or do I want to be her lover?”, or “Metonyms for Flesh” which pings a couple of my own experiences as an independent figurative/fetish/soft-core model.
Essentially, I’m only relating to these poems – which are about actual people and actual experiences – though my own, rather than picking up more deeply on, say, the theme of “identity as art” that shows up over and over again in this chap.
…Which, okay, I admit I’m having some feelings (although maybe not all the way into feeeeelings territory) about, since – even knowing that, on some level, a poem is a collaboration between the writer/performer and the reader/listener and what I bring to my reading is part of what makes a given poem meaningful rather than just a stretch of semi-random words on a page. Like, “Clearly I’m missing something here” is a thought that comes up with a fair degree of frequency. Which is probably why I felt the need to be all “Let me reference Dada for a minute” in this write-up, in the first place.
 
Anyway. Moving right along.
 
Which Poem I Chose to Gloss and Why: The poem I chose to gloss was “Better Homes and Gardens iii: les neiges de J/O New Jersey”. A poem that feels a bit like the months I spent, pre-divorce, day-dreaming about Late80s/Early90s-era Annie Lennox, among other celebrities a generation my senior, wanting to have been in parties where everyone was queer, including me, and I didn’t have a hetero-monogamous marriage to keep me from trauma-flirting with all those sad, angular, pretty, art girls I desperately wanted more of in my life.
So maybe it’s not surprising that the opening line, “Wake up in the 90’s like you crashed”, sent me spiraling down the path of an alternate past where my 20s look like something else entirely (but probably still involve bad boundaries, bad decisions, and rushing into romantic relationships, just gay ones this time).

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Meaningful Acceptance

Black and white photo of me (environmental portraiture), with an umbrella, taken by Ramin Izadpahah during a photography class he was running.

Black and white photo of me (environmental portraiture), with an umbrella, taken by Ramin Izadpahah during a photography class he was running.


 
So, I just got the heads-up that two of my poems have been accepted to an anthology. I’m not saying which one yet. I don’t tend to make those announcements until the magazine/anthology/chapbook/etc actually launches and, anyway, the author contracts haven’t been sent out, let alone had time for the ink to dry.
 
But, you guys… Look. I send my poems out to places that are likely to find them relevant and appropriate for what they want to publish. Everybody does this. It’s good sense.
But sometimes the submission process feels a little more vulnerable, y’know?
And this particular anthology is one of those times.
I wasn’t sure I had a chance of getting a Yes from them. They got hundreds of submissions, and can only take so many, right?
It means so much that they found my work worthy. That it was relevant. That it fit.
 
I’ve seriously been sitting here, crying, since I opened the email.
I get to be in a book with one of my heroes.
 
So I’m just going to go be a weepy mess for a little bit.
Oh my gods, you guys,, this is such a big deal. ❤

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Moonchild Magazine – I’m In It! :-D :-D :-D

Photo by Lua Deitada Via Wiki Media Commons

Photo by Lua Deitada
Via Wiki Media Commons


 
You guys! I’m so excited! Moonchild Magazine has accepted my poem, “In The Valley of Your Hunger”, for its fourth issue, Silent Hilling!
You can find me in the “Otherworld” section (which also features Mah Fren’ Amelinda Berube), but do check out the plethora of awesome poets, story-smiths, and even musicians included in both the Silent Hill and Otherworld sections of this issue. 😀
 
You can read – or LISTEN TO (because it includes an audio version ft me as the reader) – my piece right here!
 
 
Enjoy, and Happy Samhain!
A.

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Crush Issue 2 – I’m In It!

Crush Zine Issue 2 (2018) Magazine cover is white with black text. Image is a black bow and arrow aiming at a triangular cut-out that shows through the pink-on-pink muscle-wall of the inner cover.

Crush Zine Issue 2 (2018)
Magazine cover is white with black text.
Image is a black bow and arrow aiming at a triangular cut-out that shows through the pink-on-pink muscle-wall of the inner cover.


 
Hey!
So, every year, the Bi Arts Festival puts out a zine of work by bi-identified writers and visual artists.
I’m pleased to announce – having received my contributor copy in the mail – that my poem, “Sensible”, is part of Issue Two (pictured above).
 
You may or may not still be able to get hard-copies through Glad Day Books in Toronto, or by contacting the festival itself.
 
While it’s not unheard of for me to get my work published in print format, I’m more likely to be published in online journals and periodicals and, I have to say, it’s pretty exciting to have a piece of my published poetry that I can actually hold in my hand. 😀
Do see if you can pick one up.
 
 
Cheers,
A.

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L’Éphémère Review – I’m In It!

“River cayaking course in Ottawa” – Photo by Tomashu via Wiki Free Images


 
So, I mentioned the other day that I have some good news. I’m pleased to announce that one of my pieces has been accepted for L’Éphémère Review’s Issue 11: Jubilee.
 
My poem, LeBreton Flats Spring Day, is live. Feel free to check it out. 😀

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Augur Magazine – I’m Not In It (Yet)

Augur Buzzard in Flight - Matt Edmonds - Via Wikimedia Commons

Augur Buzzard in Flight
Matt Edmonds
Via Wikimedia Commons


 
So. As-you-know-bob, I’ve been submitting to a bunch of journals and periodicals and magazines. My goal, which so-far I’ve mostly been meeting-or-exceeding, is to submit to three places per month.
A while back, I submitted five poems to Augur Magazine which, as a paid market with a huge slush pile, is kind of more at the long-shot end of my particular submissions spectrum.
 
Unsurprisingly, none of my pieces made it through the final cut BUT! One of my pieces DID make it onto their long list, which I am pretty damn chuffed about in and of itself.
I’m taking this long-listing of my work as an encouraging sign, and I’m looking forward to submitting to them again in the future.
 
Gotta admit, though. Getting the news that a different publication has accepted one of my submissions – a poem that is part of my in-progress chapbook manuscript – on the same day that I got Augur’s rejection letter? It softened the blow a little bit. 😉
More on that when the piece goes live.
 
 
TTFN,
A.

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Rag Queen Periodical – I’m In It!

Blue Topaz - Translucent blue polished gem, rough-cut, on a black surface with a black backdrop - Photo Didier Descouens - Courtesy of Wiki Media Commons

Blue Topaz – Translucent blue polished gem, rough-cut, on a black surface with a black backdrop – Photo Didier Descouens – Courtesy of Wiki Media Commons


 
Hey, all!
I am massively excited to announce that my poem, “My Body Is A Spell”, has been published in Issue Two of Rag Queen Periodical! 😀
 
You can read it here.

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Flash Performance at Sawdust

“Flock of Birds” by Faisal Akram
Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons
A flock of dark-winged, white-bodied gulls flying this way and that over a marsh.


 
So! Here we are.
Last night, and despite still being in the process of fighting off a sinus/upper-respiratory infection (I hope I managed not to breath on anybody), I went to Sawdust for their Spoken Word Summer event, featuring nina jane drystek, Nathanaël Larochette, and Barâa Arar.
 
I enjoyed the show. The open mic – in-which I participated – was packed, which was fantastic, the room was full of queerdos, and the feature performers showcased a variety of styles, including sound poetry which is not something I tend to hear.
 
Or participate in.
😀
 
The reason I went to this particular Sawdust event, especially given that I was sick and would likely have skipped it under different circumstances, was because I’d been contacted a scant ten days earlier by the above-mentioned nina jane drystek about taking part in a choral performance of sound poetry based on a Kimiko Murakami piece of concrete poetry.
 
Now, I’ve sung in choirs before. And group performances are at least a little familiar to me, if only as poetry slam team pieces. But I’ve never performed a group spoken piece, and definitely not one that involved pulling and twisting the syllables of an ostinato only three words long.
So I figured, what the heck, I’ll give it a shot.
 
Three rehearsals and a flurry of messages later, I and nine other local lady poets (half or more of us queers of one stripe or another, which delights me even more) interrupted[1] the “final announcements” section at the end of the show, taking the stage one by one, to become a flock of birdgirls playing with the theme of “we are here” (Are we here? Here we are!), squashing, stretching, and clipping the syllables, layering the words over each other, passing them back and forth, crescendo and diminuendo turning them into waves, into birds shoaling, letting them echo and fade.
 
It was a fun time. To be part of a storm.
It was neat to see people’s expressions, in the audience, which from where I was standing looked pretty delighted with the whole thing.
I think I would do this again. 😀
 
 
TTFN,
A.
 
 
[1] It was, in fact, planned from the get-go, and the organizers were in on it.

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