This should probably go without saying. But
I’m going to say it again anyway. Some of the
words featured in the graphics on this May
Day blog shout out “Mayday!” As an editor
I’ve read tens of thousands of poems in the
past 15 years. People who wander into the
Valley of Heart, Soul, Beautiful—and that
little surprise…Cerulean…do so at their own
Take “beautiful”. Please. Take it. There
exist in the lexicon, no doubt, 100 synonyms
for this little garbage rat. Find that “one”
that best fits the context of the poem you
are in the midst of composing.
How Robert? Elementary. Simply go to
Amazon.com and purchase J.I. Rodale’s
“THE SYNONYM FINDER”. I just finish-
ed placing an order for my second copy—a
spare for the bedroom. It cost me $0.63.
Yes, that IS 63 cents, plus $3.99 shipping.
It has saved, I dare to venture, many a poet’s
poems from the waste can—and into public-
cation. It probably has 500 pages to it—more
words than The National Spelling Bee Winner
from Parkway West High School—a stone’s
throw from my home—could ever hope to
learn. No online thesaurus even—I was just
about to say, “holds a candle”. Scratch that.
Next: use it. Use it like a poor old woman
in rural Ukraine uses a washboard, like
Arnold Schwarzenegger uses whatever it is
he uses. On EVERY poem unless God Him-
self is dictating the text.
SUBMIT YOUR BEAUTIFUL, SOUL
DRIVEN, HEARTFELT POEMS
ON THIS BEAUTIFUL CERULEAN-
SKIED DAY TO:
And also: No more showing up in the clothes you
crashed in last night. These attires are not statements
about art and individualism—it’s about cloning. It’s only
Onto more important topics re: Poetry Readings. You
may recall Shakespeare noting: “All the world’s a stage…
They have their exits and their entrances.” Jean-Paul Sartre
said: “NO EXIT” (my use of capitalization is intent-
ional.) And our old friend from “Fly-Over-Country”,
Mark Twain, once remarked: “Be interesting. Be brief.
Be seated.”—All this is going somewhere. Not to wax
esoteric. Not that I have. I found the Cliff Notes
version of “No Exit” inscrutable.
As poets, if we’re asked by the host of the reading to
read for, say, 20-25 minutes—why not only read for
12 or 15? It’s Win-Win. If the audience hates you—
you’ll leave having made a whole roomful of friends.
If they love you—you’ll leave having them love you
even M-O-R-E! You know…as in…”More! More!
One way to accomplish this is by not explaining the
damn poem f-o-r-e-v-e-r before you even read it.
Or worse, enlightening your audience with your newly
minted “Theory On Everything” in between each gem.
Poems aren’t phone books. Reading them insists we
employ breath and spacing. The renowned poet
Charles Olsen taught us the white space on the page
is equally as important as the black. Invest as much
emotion (but not too much) in reading the poem—
as you did in composing it. Ah, composing. How painterly.
Readers, please note: As I am composing this blog—I’m
staring into the mirror.
Naturally, the contributions of writers from
New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles have
made incomparable contributions to the literary
catalogue. The list of stellar authors is vast.
But at theamericanjournalofpoetry.com, we
are based in the St. Louis area—here in
Missouri, which has made such a valuable
contribution to literature: Samuel Langhorne
Clemens, popularly known as “Mark Twain”.
Poet, memoirist, activist Maya Angelou, a St.
Louis native, Langston Hughes, T.S. Eliot
who gave the world Four Quarters, The
Wasteland and The Hollow Men—monuments
of Modernist poetry. Eugene Field, US
Poet Laureate Howard Nemerov, Robert
Wrigley of nearby Collinsville, Il, award win-
ing poet Sherod Santos, Mona Van Duyn,
and yes, Walt Disney—deeply involved
in writing the dialogue for so many of his
wondrous productions. We hope you will
visit our website—and if you are a poet—
submit your work for consideration. Volume
One is now being previewed—and the list
of contributors is building and building.
Poets from all over the world are heartily welcomed!
We will offer up between 50 to 100 poets
in each biannual issue. Our hope is to
become among the most interesting and
powerful reviews worldwide. We hope to
welcome you to “Our Tribe”—
“Strong Rx Medicine”® SUBMIT NOW!—
SUBMIT NOW! theamericanjournalofpoetry.com, VOLUME ONE PREVIEW now available online. Our hallmark is “Strong Rx Medicine”–poetry that not only “shows” the reader–but ABSORBS the reader. NO restrictions as to form, length or subject matter. We can print work more traditional or university-sponsored venues may shy from. And our list of contributors is BURGEONING! HEATHER ALTEFELD, NIN ANDREWS, RAE ARMANTROUT, DAVID BOTTOMS, HELENE CARDONA, SCOTT COFFEL, ALFRED CORN, STEPHEN DUNN, GARY FINCKE, ALICE FRIMAN, H.L. HIX, TROY JOLLIMORE, X.J. KENNEDY, DAVID KIRBY, STELLASUE LEE, TIMOTHY LIU, WILLIAM LOGAN, ADRIAN C. LOUIS, WESLEY MCNAIR, THYLIAS MOSS, LAWRENCE RAAB, DANIEL SAALFELD, JIM TOLAN, LEE UPTON, NANCE VAN WINCKEL, DAVID WAGONER, RONALD WALLACE, GARY WHITEHEAD, JONAH WINTER, ROBERT WRIGLEY and many more! NOW READING FOR VOLUME ONE COMING JULY 1, 2016.
We are pleased to welcome anew to VOLUME ONE: PULITZER PRIZE WINNING POET RAE ARMANTROUT, essayist JULIA GORDON-BRAMER and Past Poet Laureate of Missouri WALTER BARGEN!—Many more to come! Visit us at theamericanjournalofpoetry.com
Look for renowned poet, X.J. KENNEDY, our newest contributor into VOLUME ONE of theamericanjournalofpoetry.com NOW READING SUBMISSIONS for our debut issue coming online JULY 1ST! We employ no readers or screeners. Each submission will be read by Editor-in-Chief ROBERT NAZARENE and Senior Editor JAMES WILSON. Unique to the literary world, responses are given within 15 business days.