Another piece previously published. Look for it tonight or tomorrow.
You can read along at Pea River Journal.
So, my poem “The Bottoms of the West End of Kentucky” is nominated for annual Best of the Net. And that’s exciting! And a big Thank You to Pea River Journal!
Yep. We’re gearing up for the second issue. I really want to find a cover piece (Black & White!) that’s not something I made in my basement–see the last issue for an example.
So far we have a continued fiction piece and a nonfiction piece accepted, and I’m reading through more stuff right now.
Submit Away: http://nobullshitreview.tumblr.com/Submissions
Disclaimer: I know the poet.
On to the important bit:
I’m always hungry. My dreams show blood
– from “Imagined Farms”
These poems, as the title of the collection telegraphs, are about hunger. Real, raw, human hunger felt deep in the chest and body. This is not the hunger of “oh, I’m a little late for lunch,” or “where’s the waiter with that food.” This is the hunger of first heartbreak, of a fist nailing the solar plexus sweet like a perfect tennis swing. This is the hunger of loneliness and desire, hunger that is hard to hear and beautiful to hold.
In the same poem quoted above, Burke writes, “The dreams are open wounds, talking / heads.” This is a protest poem, and though it protests about the self, it protests against ourselves as a nation as well. The factory farms and the endless wars in counterpoint to each other: in profit through blood. And, still, the love and the hunger. This is also, at it’s heart, a love poem. It’s about a lover who is
clean cucumber vine…
and I have let her wrap vines around my hungry
and a yearning to both grow and keep safe the lover. You’ll have to read the poem to get more, though.
This is a short volume, 25 pages and 16 poems, but each and every entry pulls it’s weighty hunger into the forefront. It is difficult to select just a few examples.
“The Hungry Girls of America” is dense with metaphor and “starving, then eating, then starving, then eating,” and succeeds by being about more than an individual, more than complaint, by being plain-spoken and forceful and honest. This might be the anthem for every one of us who feels like they can’t get ahead.
“The Harness” has long been one of my favorite poems by Burke. It has evolved in my acquaintance, and here it presents a tenderness and wholeness in a relationship. That ever-present hunger is softened here, attenuated.
I don’t want to give away too many of these poems. As a whole, you should know that this is a forceful collection that is very clearly feminist and queer in its sensibilities. It connects though. As a reader, you will be satisfied with this collection, but it will leave you feeling a hunger. For more of Burke’s poetry, for human connection, and for awareness to the world around you. Be open to that hunger.
You can get a copy at ELJ Publications: http://eljpublications.com/available-titles/let-the-body-beg/
Over at Pea River Journal:
You should definitely check this out, very cool. And while you’re there, check out the upcoming issue and buy a copy 🙂
Lots of news to write about!
Two biggest things:
1 – No Bullshit Review is live with its first issue! It’s only in print, but you can find out more by going to the site: http://nobullshitreview.tumblr.com. I’m really proud of the first issue and all the great writing I was able to accept for it. There are instructions for getting a copy on the blog. Really easy: send an email to email@example.com with your mailing address (like I said, in print only).
2 – I got a manuscript accepted! It is titled How to Lose Faith, here’s the announcement link: Blast Furnace Press. Take a look at the most recent issue of the magazine! This will be my first chapbook publication, and includes a couple of poems from my thesis, a couple published elsewhere, and some new stuff. I am really excited about it, it means I get to call myself a full-fledged Published Poet!
There’s been a lot of radio silence lately, I went and got myself an adult job, so there’s not as much room for activities. But I have done a lot in the last few months, including getting a magazine up and running, reading submissions and putting together enough content for a whole issue. Not to mention revising that manuscript over and over and submitting it over and over.
It is a strange beast, to finally come into fruition this way. It is a strange beast, to winnow a ~70 page manuscript down to several poems. It is a howling clawing process, in fact. And it is even harder to describe, but I may take a stab at it over on the other WordPress blog.
In the meantime, check out No Bullshit Review, send me a poem or three, or a nonfiction piece. Everyone hurts for good nonfiction submissions, and NoBS Review is not an exception.
About ten days ago, I put this poll up on the blog here. While not a great number of responses, I am pleased with the number of people who took the minute or so to offer their opinions on the state of contemporary literary magazines.
One of the things I wrote in that original post was
We know that there are more literary magazines than there are readers, but not as many as there are writers,
and this is a problem. Another problem writers come across is that there is little payment available out there for accepted works. That is a discussion outside of this one.
The new issue of Pea River Journal comes out soon, with two poems by yours truly!