Submission Bonanza!: Second Time Around

submission bonanza logo 2 copySo, you might have noticed that it’s October 19th.  You might have also noticed that it’s not September any more.  In fact, it’s nearly three-weeks-not-September already.

Way back in July, I set myself a challenge to do a Submission Bonanza!  It was incredible and successful.  I learned so much, and I’ve been published in three magazines so far (more on that to come later!).  It was so successful that I resolved to do it again in September.

Some of my cohorts looked at me like I was insane — and with good reason.  In September, I started an M.F.A. program, began lecturing on writing at university, and moved to the frontier (Why, hello, Alaska!) all in the same month.

It’s true that I didn’t finish my 30 litmags in 30 days.  It’s an ambitious challenge amidst so much transition.  I have, however, finally finished!  It took me much longer than I had hoped, but I still got work out to 30 litmags and ok, it took me 50 days, but better late than never, right?

So, in true Submission Bonanza! fashion, I’ve pasted below links to all the literary magazines that I submitted to.  They’re all magazines that accept submissions online and accept submissions for free, because those are some of the restrictions that I’ve currently set for myself.  You’ll notice that some of the magazines here are quite ambitious for such a fledgling like me to be submitting to (cough, cough, New Yorker, cough, cough, The Atlantic).  One of the things I learned during my first Submission Bonanza! was that I needed to be more choosy.  Once a piece gets published, those First Time North American Rights that all the magazines are asking for are gone, gone forever.  Because of this, I figured I’d start with the big boys and get real about racking up the rejections.

So, here it is, ladies and gents:  an incredibly ambitious September Submission Bonanza! 30 litmags in 50 days.

1. Glimmer Train
2. Subtropics
3. American Scholar
4. Podcastle
5. Writing Tomorrow
6. New Haven Review
7. AGNI
8. Nashville Review
9. A River & Sound
10. Journal of Compressed Creative Arts
11. The Pedestal
12. Poetry Magazine
13. Kenyon Review
14. Shenandoah
15. Devil’s Lake
16. The New Yorker
17. The Atlantic
18. Tin House
19. Cincinatti Review
20. TriQuarterly
21. A Public Space
22. Bomb
23. Chicago Review
24. One Story
25. West Branch
26. New Ohio Review
27. Willow Springs
28. Third Coast
29. Southeast Review

30. Pleiades

Full Pink Moon

It’s the golden hour, and all the plants are glowing as I make my way up the hill.  The sky is shocking, pink and blue and purple, as if suddenly bruising from its collision with the earth.  I want to reach up and comfort its throbbing beauty.  The turning leaves soak up the last bits of sun and radiate as if they were autumnal lanterns.  They light my way as the air turns dark.

The turning of the season and my northern-hemisphere body are at odds.  It’s nearly Beltane.  My blood wants to dance around fires throwing the cozy scarves and mittens of hibernation wantonly to the wind.  My skin is expectant with the warmth of new beginnings, and yet the gusts here are becoming harsher.  I push on.  It’s not fall for me.

As the final rays of the day tuck themselves in behind clouds and hills, I reach the well.  The very sight of the clearing tugs at something inside me.  I finger the stones, making them melt and turn to sand, as if they were an old lover who’d been waiting for my touch.

In response, I remove my shoes and socks.  My toes dig into the dirt and rocks dig back into my soles.  The breeze lifts my shirt and grazes my belly.  It’s all the impetus I need.  The wind keeps nibbling at me, encouraging me, and so I tie my clothes to the hawthorn tree.

It’s cloudy tonight and I know it’s no accident.  The moon is hiding in the shadow of the earth, tucked in the darkness of her cave as if in hibernation.  She’s just waiting for her moment.  It’s an up-side-down celebration here.  The leaves are beginning to saunter away from their branches.   The night is still pregnant with the potential of sprouts and seedlings, even as Antarctic winds raise mountain ranges of goose bumps on my skin.

I start a fire and I know you will be here soon.  I wonder how many logs and how much kindling we will need to last through the night.  The moon is flush and full.  Beneath my feet, the phlox creep further and further from the well.  The pink moss stretches its feelers toward unknown lands, testing whether those grounds hold lives that it can live.  The dainty flowers look up to the moon and howl, reflecting her full, surprised face back in their flushed cheeks.  They beam on a night like tonight.  They gather in such numbers and their blushing blazes so brightly that even the moon blushes back.

You come with logs for the fire and no words.  Before long we have our own sun flickering before us. “Ne’er cast a cloot ‘til Mey’s oot,” they warned us.  It’s not quite May, but it is time to cast our clothes.  The cold of the April wind nibbles at our skin and makes it blush, in brazen mimicry of the pink moon.  The light is deafening, and I am exposed, as are you.  The heat of the fire makes my frontside glow.  The cold of the April wind turns my backside pink.  I am round and glowing, a perfect salmon moon.

We dance in circles, falling into orbit around the fire.  I am drunk on the pollen wafting through the air, and red, yellow, and brown leaves swirl around me.  I can no longer tell whether I am surrounded by flames or trees or both.  Stars leap from the fire, embers fall from the sky.  I collapse into the embrace of the infinite.

Lost in space like this, there is no north and south, no spring or fall, only the endless expanse of new fires being lit.

 

 

Creative Commons love to phil dokas from flickr for the stunning photo!

Fall in the Long White Cloud

It’s a wet kind of cold, the kind that still allows things to grow.  The cloudy sky and diffused light makes the green of the plants more striking and they glisten with the drops of rain.  Actually, the rain doesn’t quite drop.  The air is so thick with water that it falls in a mist, mot even heavy enough to be a drizzle.  It makes me feel like I am walking through a long, white cloud, as if I am so far above the earth that I am inside the sky.  Only the moss reminds me that I am at sea level.

The tree outside my window has been dying all summer, but now, in the cold of the autumn rain it has begun again to grow.  It also seems confused by these antipodean seasons.  It lost its leaves in the shining sun of the summer drought, and now that it’s fall, it’s sprouting new life.

The koru seem unsure about whether or not to open.  I am sure I’ve seen the ferny tendrils on my path tentatively stretch open, and now they’ve closed again, as if pulling back from the abrupt, damp, winter.  Their spiral fractals seem to contract and breathe, opening timidly and closing again.

It’s on days like this I long to be outside, to feel the growth and life.  The plants and ground feel full with the potential that the rain brings, bursting with possibility and expectant growth.  I want that potential, that possibility, that growth.

 

 

This is a little birthday present from New Zealand for my awesome, amazing, inspiring cousin, Janelle.  

 

Also, Kiwi Creative Commons love to Brenda Anderson for the photo.  Thanks so much!

I want to feel (Colorado. Winter 2002.)

I want to feel

your arms

spinning me as we dance

until the sun rises

and we must

fall as autumn

rays sneak over mountain tops

and caress our faces

lulling us to lay down

in grass sweating dew

 

I want to feel

your chest

sleeping pressed

against

my back

assuring

me of your presence

with no sheets between us

as I tell the secrets

you knew when we met

 

I want to feel

your hand

cradling my head

tangled

in my hair

so that he cannot leave

until my strands relax

safe

and let him go

Fall(ing) Breeze (Colorado. Fall 2002.)

 

 

I

 

This autumn wind is gold tinted

from the dust, remains

of a dry summer floating

in the air, pulled

into my nostrils, and settling

(for) on windows that have not been

opened in months.

 

Or maybe the wind is

doing his own interpretation

of the yellow wilting leaves

of trees happily surrendering

to sleep, well-earned, long awaited;

for these aspens have not slept in months.

 

But it cannot be –

the wind does not sleep and

he does not happily surrender.

 

II

 

The leaves are tossed

in a migrating gust

letting go to dance in a breeze

that could take them anywhere.

Let go, for even the ground is better

than someone else’s limbs.

 

How can these fair-haired leaves

dance freely if someone else

is spinning them?

Say goodbye to your tree.

The restless wind is calling you.

 

 

 

Creative Commons love to http://www.flickr.com/photos/vbenedetti/ on flickr for the photo! Grazie!