Fractures and Personae || Publication Updates

Originally I planned on developing a formal rant regarding a recent rejection letter-- I always reserve the right to be angry over editorial comments; my expressionistic rumblings may still hit the laptop this month-- however, positive news was delivered to me over the last series of weeks. As I tell my students, the old adage: focus on the positive; ignore the negative.

First, The Centrifugal Eye has posted their recent issue. On page 27 a long poem of mine is shown: "Fragments: East Saint Louis, 1996." This work in particular went through numerous revisions and changes over the last few years, due to the number of literary magazines which rejected it. Thankfully, the original intention remains, a theme of psychological dilapidation and ruin. The stanzas themselves are fractured shards. --as a fallen ceramic vase or a dropped glass ornament. I should add, this poem is an example of the poet talking through a mask of a bitter poet-narrator. I channeled a very bitter moment in my own life while I lived in Saint Louis, then spiraled the feelings into a dark voice. It is interesting how reality blurs with fiction and speculation... Within the reality of the poem is a scene of the downtown portions of the city which still maintain the crumbling early Twentieth Century architecture-- still beautiful in their decorations and scroll work along the edges of the buildings' structures. One section of the city contains an old brewery which I remember being a part of the Lemp Brewery chain... details are not clear for me at this stage. All recall is the levels of brickwork and dusty decay of the older sections of the factory. A full cityblock of early history of Saint Louis.

Likewise, in mid-November, the print version of And/Or will be available. They accepted three of my more experimental works which deal with different personae and their interior monologues. In particular, my long poem "9 Fugues for Jazz Piano" was selected for this issue. It also involved a memory of Saint Louis from the Nineties-- but less personal, more fictitious. The voice is that of a jazz pianist lost in a break up, which results in his decent into a drunken state of denial and resistance to the situation. He was an interesting character to channel-- difficult to maintain, but based on reality of loss and refusal for change.

To date I have never read these out loud; I may attempt to get a reaction from one of my higher-level writing courses near Winter Break. It would be nice to discuss these characters in-depth with a collection of opinions.To get a reaction from an audience regarding their acknowledgment of another person's pain.


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