Saturday, November 3, 2007

small rant

Day of the Dead passed without the usual nod. Am too distracted by not having any heat. Thanks to the friends who have helped me recently (you know who you are).

Got a rejection from an online magazine I really like. They said they "really enjoyed" my submission and suggested I try again. Since it's online, I have no idea if this is their standard rejection notice or if there really was some "enjoyment" when they read the poems. And does that mean they were laughing hysterically? Or a smile crossed their faces before they put it in the "no" pile?

Not so ironically, I'm reading submissions myself, from the slush pile, and enjoying single lines. That's all. I despise narrative poetry. Everyone has a story (or many), that can be told via memoir, photos, fiction, letters, video, performance, text messaging, lectures, oral histories, radio essays, etc. Save poetry for what can't be done elsewhere. Take risks in logic and language. Condense, condense, condense.

10 comments:

michael salinger said...

t.s eliot said - and i paraphrase and take liberty - the structure of a piece (here i insert narrative as a form of structure) anyways, ~ the structure of a piece is the meat that the burglar uses to distract the watchdog while he goes about his business ~

one can write "good" poetry as narrative if one takes this advice to heart

correspondingly, lack of narrative does not guarantee gravity – i’d be willing to wager that the piles of shlock amassed by either approach are of pretty equal height

Erin O'Brien said...

I feel your pain, baby. Honest I do.

Christawmighy let's have lunch soon.

Amy said...

Well said Salinger, and of course you're right (invoking Eliot!). Piles of schlock everywhere. I'm not after gravity, per se, but something that doesn't look like prose cut up into arbitrary lines. Granted, I'm not looking at top-of-the-line submissions...

Name the day, O'Brien, and I'll be waiting at our usual corner table...

dork said...

Guys- I do try to make intelligent contributions to this blog but this is way over my head. I feel like I was accidentally invited to the faculty cocktail party.

Erin! I will spend some time today at your blog. Very cool.

dixiedreams said...

hi miss amy. sorry you're stuck with rotten piles of words. that will make the gems stand out, though. i'm mixing my metaphors. you know what i mean....

Amy said...

Dear Dork--I'm sure you could hold your own in any discussion...and Dixie, you make me smile.

Toni Thayer said...

Hey there! I just found your blog -- surfed over from McQ's. This randomly happened minutes after I had sent you an email at an address I fear is defunct.

I'm such a luddite, blogs still feel like voyuerism to me, but there are worse things.

I got a rejection this fall that said they "really enjoyed" my story but didn't think the plot was interesting. ???

Sometimes I think I am hopelessly narrative. Others I think that moment, sensory detail, and language are all I care about, so why am I aspiring to be a novelist?

Anway, coffee? Do you still have my email?

Amy said...

Toni, come to the dark side...of poetry! But I have to tell you that I can't look at lavender without thinking of burning it...as in your story. I can do coffee only when the semester is over (Dec. 6?), and I think I still have your email. Nice to hear from you.

Virginia Konchan said...

Amy,

Love your blog!
A wonderful tonic to my overly heated, prose-frenzied attempt at joining cyberspace!

I wanted to comment on this post because I have been reading William Strunk. If this man underscore's one thing, it's revising for clarity and killing the darlin's- all of 'em.

Strunk's Rule #9: Do not affect a breezy manner. Hilarious.

BTW: you don't like James Tate, or other narrative/symbolist poets? I guess the narrative is ironic, or non-literal?

Anyway, I'll see you in Dumanis' class next semester! If you're around before then for a coffee/lunch date (I see others soliciting your company on your blog!!) let me know!

Ginny

Barrie-Lee said...

Dear Amy B Sparks: I just reread your Queen of Cups. Am living near San Francisco with three sons and husband. Am still chasing poets! Will be in Cleveberg for holidays and would like to find poetry reading. Are you involved in anything I can see/hear? Re. barry bonds-- Democracy Now commentator said of witch hunt for sports druggies: our politicians might have same indignation for other stuff! Barry had it coming, it was just a matter of time. Money had to be made. He made it and was dropped. Just the usual cycle. Sadly, one 9 year old poet I know was heartbroken. Vy me? Vy anyone?? KV would say.