Monday, February 20, 2017

(another) very short story

I’ve been holding a theory that Donna, companion to David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor in Doctor Who, was actually the Doctor’s mother. Or at least, would be. Despite her memory “re-boot” at the end of her story-arc, she was still half-Time Lord, infected by the Doctor’s spare hand. After all, he had offered once that he was part human (although: the Doctor lies). Why else was the Doctor, pre-Donna, drawn to her grandfather, Wilf? Why was he still, long after she had returned home? Why was the Doctor so drawn, twice, to Donna at all? There was the elder red-headed Time Lord that only Wilf could see in the second part of The End of Time, a woman that writer Russell T. Davies has since admitted was meant to be the Doctor’s mother. Why was she so drawn to Wilf, but for the sake of a final assist to her grandfather? The series certainly wasn’t overrun with redheaded women: the elder version of Donna, having reconciled the rift in her human-Time Lord state for reunification, memories intact. Some might argue a stretch, given the poor ending the writers gave poor Donna Noble, but all the clues are still there. She would become his mother, and the elder version couldn’t tell him. Not yet. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

12 or 20 (second series) questions with Jos Charles

Jos Charles is author of Safe Space (Ahsahta Press, 2016). They are founding-editor of THEM: a trans literary journal. They have writing published (and/or publications forthcoming) with POETRY, Denver Quarterly, Washington Square Review, PEN America, Action Yes, GLAAD, LAMBDA Literary, and elsewhere. In 2016 they were awarded a Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship through the Poetry Foundation. Jos Charles received their MFA from the University of Arizona. They reside in Long Beach, CA.

1 - How did your first book change your life? How does your most recent work compare to your previous? How does it feel different?

My first book was something I had to write, for me. Of course, I considered audience, whether it was worth sharing, the histories I was giving it unto. I was however firmly its first audience. I understand that, sympathize with who I was, and have no regrets in writing or seeking publication, but my writing has shifted increasingly to considering form first and foremost, that the most important audience for me to first commit to and consider is ‘poetry’, its histories, how I both am and am not implicated or intelligible within it, and this messy matter of aesthetics. Naturally, aesthetics is not something outside identity, obstruction, power. So, there is also that consistency of being aware or trying to make aware where one is, the things around oneself, one’s people.

2 - How did you come to poetry first, as opposed to, say, fiction or non-fiction?

The first poem I remember writing was 2 or 3 pages long, I was 7, I believe. It was a detailed semi-fictionalized elegy on the crucifixion of Jesus. It was very bad, but I liked trying to make this ugly and, what I considered bad, event beautiful, or show what I considered to be beautiful about it. I think in many ways I haven’t changed in that regard.

3 - How long does it take to start any particular writing project? Does your writing initially come quickly, or is it a slow process? Do first drafts appear looking close to their final shape, or does your work come out of copious notes? and 4 - Where does a poem usually begin for you? Are you an author of short pieces that end up combining into a larger project, or are you working on a "book" from the very beginning?

I usually begin with something simple and affective, an abstraction like say (opening my phone now to see what was last written in my notes) “an empire / no way to run / an empire [action/something],” the lone word “national,” and “in front of everyone [ending?].” When those “[somethings]” become apparent to me, which they don’t always, I begin constructing something that convinces me the lines are worth a poem. Often the original lines don’t take to it or make it. I work outward from there to something like a poem, typically in a burst of energy over a day or two. I’m usually fine-tuning a handful at any given time. Once edited I consider them “done” though they may receive more editing depending on what work they want to sit alongside. I assemble something like a book or project around that and I’d guess about 15-20% get scrapped. Another 15-20% get rewritten significantly and maybe another 15-20% get minor edits (I notice too heavy a reliance on a certain image, gesture, turn, and so on). My first book is maybe 10% of the poems I wrote in that period, but I think I’m getting more concise, realizing what poems, for me, aren’t worth writing.

5 - Are public readings part of or counter to your creative process? Are you the sort of writer who enjoys doing readings?

I used to dislike readings. I felt like they were too formal for a get together and too casual for a performance, like going to the symphony and getting a house party or going to a punk show and getting a rough sight-read performance. I’ve been learning to like house parties and rough sight-reading. Readings seem neither part or not part of my creating process, just this other thing, like a sleepover. It can be very fun if you like the people who are staying over.

6 - Do you have any theoretical concerns behind your writing? What kinds of questions are you trying to answer with your work? What do you even think the current questions are?

I don’t think a poem can ask or answer the Big Questions, but then again I’m suspect of Big Questions. I have no problem with a poem trying to answer or posit a question, I enjoy the trying, but I doubt a poem will, for example, dismantle structural power all by itself, i.e. a State, white supremacy, violence against trans people. I think people work towards dismantling power and that work might include writing a poem or reacting with or to a poem. Many of the great revolutionaries were poets after all. But what I mean is the work includes much that isn’t on the page. I say this not to dismiss identity or political poetry, but the opposite, to point to how much work surrounds a poem, how much poetry is in the work. The work within and around the poem is the theoretic, poetic, through and through.

7 – What do you see the current role of the writer being in larger culture? Does s/he even have one? What do you think the role of the writer should be?

I tend to think, rather than in terms of ought or necessity, in terms of trust. The writer makes themself trustworthy to their audience, and respectively an audience has a varying degree of trust or distrust they lend towards a writer. As with the previous question, this includes not just the writers work—though, as a reader, it certainly will be a big factor—but also the author’s life work. I don’t think I could ever “blame” someone for distrusting an author, or for an author to commit to something that will incur distrust. People will do a lot in their life that incurs trust with one group over and against another. But then one has to reckon with that distrust.

In my work, for instance, as a white trans writer, I try to make myself trustworthy to trans people and/or other marginalized identities, and, given my identity and life, that might demand a fair amount from a cis reader. I’m fine with that. I am also always already writing my white American-ness too, so I try to do that without alienating people of color and/or inter/transnational people, to be critical of whiteness as supremacist while being wholly white. This is to say there is much in my work that could bring on distrust, whether genuine critique or ideological reaction. I don’t think people owe me or my work trust. If someone responds with distrust, vocalized or not, I then get to listen or reflect and decide if I’m ok with continuing that distrust, which distrust to commit to. I try to then commit to making myself trustworthy to the people whose trust I want, who I consider to be “the good people,” to make myself into a good person. It’s not always clear what is good, but it often is. I think, ultimately, writers ought to be good people.

8 - Do you find the process of working with an outside editor difficult or essential (or both)?

Working with an outside editor seems no different than working with a boss. Maybe they aren’t an owner of the means of production, maybe they’re a wonderful person, maybe they’re poor. They’re also still a boss. This is a typical kind of difficulty.

9 - What is the best piece of advice you've heard (not necessarily given to you directly)?

Saeed Jones once said at an AWP panel something to the effect of writers, people trying to make it as writers, don’t earn money; if someone is a writer it means they got money from somewhere else. I think writers should be transparent about when they have money, to not affect poorness when they aren’t poor. I don’t like secretly rich people, having to accommodate that. If you have money that’s great, I wish everyone did. I’ve been fortunate enough to get money here and there through a grant or school funding, and I am nothing but grateful, amazed. But surely it can’t fall to aspiring poor writers to accommodate wealthy writer’s shame about their wealth. It’s especially annoying when the ashamed rich think they have something to say, and there are a lot of those in the arts. Knowing that, that I don’t have to accommodate that, could’ve saved a young Jos some heartache.

10 - How easy has it been for you to move between genres (poetry to critical prose/non-fiction)? What do you see as the appeal?

It’s all just different form, differently historically situated commitments. You arrive at a different kind of truth, a different kind of speaking, when using different conventions. The limits of their truths are the limits of their history (until suddenly they aren’t, until there are other, new limits). I’m more interested in committing to poetry than those others forms, but I get their appeal. I like how in prose for instance the idea of the never-ending line break, the never taken breath, emerged by this technological innovation, typeset and justification. It seems very appealing, being contingent on the ‘idea’ as machine-like, silent. It’s very romantic. I think of St. Augustine being scandalized by St. Ambrose’s ability to read without moving his lips, without mouthing the words. I have a very hard time not moving my lips when reading though. I feel stuck with poetry. I like music, mouths, too much.

11 - What kind of writing routine do you tend to keep, or do you even have one? How does a typical day (for you) begin?

See 3 & 4.

12 - When your writing gets stalled, where do you turn or return for (for lack of a better word) inspiration?

As far as poets, I read Paul Celan most of all, he’s my saint, but Hoa Nguyen or Fred Moten are in the pantheon. I’ve returned to Ariana Reines’ The Cow a lot; it’s what first led me to become a poet. I think I’m often writing alongside and against the modernist tradition of the grand American poetic work, with its various relations to distancing from or embracing fascism (Oppen, Tolson, Pound, Olson, Williams, etc). Sometimes I’ll dip into that, but it’s depressing, like an autopsy. I respond to a lot, I feel, but some other recurring things seem to be Medieval Christian texts, neorealist film, dodecaphonic composition, second-wave abstract expressionism, and midcentury liberation movements.

13 - What fragrance reminds you of home?

Peppermint oil.

14 - David W. McFadden once said that books come from books, but are there any other forms that influence your work, whether nature, music, science or visual art?

See 12.

15 - What other writers or writings are important for your work, or simply your life outside of your work?

See 12.

16 - What would you like to do that you haven't yet done?

I have an anti-memoir I’ve worked at and scrapped and worked at for a while. It variously has been an autobiography except set in a modernized Tolkien universe, a werewolf memoir, typical lyric memoir that ends with me blowing up an Opera house, and the journal of Frankenstein’s monster. I have the idea of it, the form, but just keep going the wrong way about it. I’ll get it right one of these days.

17 - If you could pick any other occupation to attempt, what would it be? Or, alternately, what do you think you would have ended up doing had you not been a writer?

I studied music composition in undergrad, my first love was film, and I’ve made visual art from a very young age. I don’t imagine—and I mean this with no hyperbole—that I would be alive without art. I’ve done different jobs to support my art-making throughout my life of course, and I can imagine a world, very likely this one now, where I go on doing that. I think most any work is beautiful, so I’m content with anything as long as it affords me a place to live, food, healthcare, time to make my art, agitate the things that need agitation, and so on. Of course, this is a rarity. But I have no pretense towards surviving financially on poetry, I just want to survive financially, and then poetry.

18 - What made you write, as opposed to doing something else?

I didn’t think my music was good enough.

19 - What was the last great book you read? What was the last great film?

20 - What are you currently working on?

Tiny little winding fugal things, the closest I’ll get to late Celan.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Queen Mob's Teahouse: Timothy Dyke interviews Jaimie Gusman

As my tenure as interviews editor at Queen Mob's Teahouse continues, the twenty-first interview is now online: Timothy Dyke interviews Hawai’i poet Jaimie Gusman. Other interviews from my tenure include: an interview with poet, curator and art critic Gil McElroy, conducted by Ottawa poet Roland Prevostan interview with Toronto poet Jacqueline Valencia, conducted by Lyndsay Kirkhaman interview with Drew Shannon and Nathan Page, also conducted by Lyndsay Kirkhaman interview with Ann Tweedy conducted by Mary Kasimoran interview with Katherine Osborne, conducted by Niina Pollarian interview with Catch Business, conducted by Jon-Michael Franka conversation between Vanesa Pacheco and T.A. Noonan, "On Translation and Erasure," existing as an extension of Jessica Smith's The Women in Visual Poetry: The Bechdel Test, produced via Essay PressFive questions for Sara Uribe and John Pluecker about Antígona González by David Buuck (translated by John Pluecker),"overflow: poetry, performance, technology, ancestry": kaie kellough in correspondence with Eric Schmaltz, and Mary Kasimor's interview with George FarrahBrad Casey interviewed byEmilie LafleurDavid Buuck interviews John Chávez about Angels of the Americlypse: An Anthology of New Latin@ Writing and an interview with Abraham Adams by Ben FamaTender and Tough: Letters as Questions as Letters: Cheena Marie Lo, Tessa Micaela and Brittany Billmeyer-Finn and Kristjana Gunnars’ interview with Thistledown Press author Anne Campbell.

Further interviews I've conducted myself over at Queen Mob's Teahouse include: Geoffrey YoungClaire Freeman-Fawcett on Spread LetterStephanie Bolster on Three Bloody WordsClaire Farley on CanthiusDale Smith on Slow Poetry in AmericaAllison GreenMeredith QuartermainAndy WeaverN.W Lea and Rachel Loden.

If you are interested in sending a pitch for an interview my way, check out my "about submissions" write-up at Queen Mob's; you can contact me via rob_mclennan (at)

Friday, February 17, 2017

P-QUEUE #10-13

Anyone following this site for a long enough time will know that I’m a big fan of the annual P-QUEUE, a journal out of SUNY Buffalo [see my review of #7-8 here; my review of #5 here]. I might be a bit behind on everything these days, but I recently came into possession of issues #10-13 (2013-16) and couldn’t be more excited.

What I’ve long appreciated about P-QUEUE is the range of work included. As further evidenced by these four volumes, there is real curatorial thought in the way issues are constructed, including challenging and deeply-engaged (politically, structurally, etcetera) works by a variety of writers from the emerging to the more established, predominantly including longer works (whether excerpts of book-length projects or otherwise) that might not have found homes as easily in trade journals. Given that the journal is produced through the English Department at SUNY Buffalo, much of the work featured is a vibrant mix that includes visuals and language poetry, and often includes a great deal of work by younger writers, including a number with either two or fewer books to their credit. In that way, P-QUEUE is a great opportunity to be introduced to numerous writers that might yet not have achieved a larger attention. As editor Joey Yearous-Algozin writes in his editorial in the tenth volume, “Letter to the Co-Editor”:

Now in its tenth year, P-QUEUE has proven surprisingly resilient. Exceeding its institutional status, it remains a node at the intersection of disparate poetic practices and aesthetic engagements. Instead of stalking out a specific aesthetic territory in our curatorial decisions over the last three years, what has spurred our interest as editors is how we could limit our deviation from the consistency of P-QUEUE’s in-house design. In this way, using the format we inherited from previous editors as our constraint functioned as a tool for our critical engagement, working with a set of increasingly obsolete variables—letterpressed cover, lettrines, ornate serif fonts. Since we have always planned to pass on P-QUEUE after editing this volume, we’ve come to recognize our own place among this list of variables. As such, we can now say that our attention to the journal’s formal continuity has gone beyond imitation or aesthetic allegiance, towards reading obsolescence as embedded in our editorial practice.

Volume #10 (subtitled “obsolescence”) features work by Aaron Winslow, Kim Rosenfield, James Sherry, Amanda Montei, Rod Smith, Jon Rutzmoser, Feliz Lucia Molina, Astrid Lorange, Jeremiah Rush Bowen, Lanny Jordan Jackson, Judith Goldman, J. Gordon Faylor, AMJ Crawford, Angela Genusa and Diana Hamilton. The final issue in a three-issue block co-edited by Holly Melgard and Joey Yearous-Algozin, this is the largest of these four issues at some two hundred and twenty pages (wishing I had a copy of the previous issue, for the sake of comparison). Highlights of this issue include Rod Smith’s sequence “The Rothko Poems,” Jon Rutzmoser’s photo/poem-sequence “not yet / not yet / not yet” (which is really quite striking and difficult to explain easily) and Buffalo poet Judith Goldman’s “untitled” poems, that include:


The Human Torch speaks with flaming, red word balloons

easy to scale size of the lettering

To ensure readability and in service to the story

make the text a bit smaller

to fit in word balloons

Or: Denoting speech bubbles through the water that

fills their helmets

caption lettering for captions, thoughts, and so forth

Normal-sized text issuing from radio

By nature of the exclamation point, to indicate shouting (Judith Goldman)

The issue also includes an excerpt of “The Wes Letters,” an epistolary novel that was published in 2014 through Outpost19. As Feliz Lucia Molina’s brief introduction to the section reads:

The following excerpts are from The Wes Letters, a forthcoming book-length epistolary novel between Ben Segal, Brett Zehner, and myself. (January 2012-September 2012).

Brett Zehner encountered Wes Anderson on a train traveling from Chicago to California. Ben and me suggested Brett write to Wes. Then all three of us started writing to Wes. The collection of letters was completed at Mustarinda House in a remote bear forest in northeast Finland.

I’m curious about this small novel, admittedly. However odd it might seem.

February 3, 2012

Dear Wes Anderson,

I’m sitting on our living room futon while Brett explains the situation of meeting you on the train. Apparently the person you were with writes children books. I hear words like aristocracy and kings. Our friend asks him questions like “did you tell him it’s ‘HUN-day’?” Apparently you and your girlfriend asked Brett what he reads and what he thinks about trains. Obviously you and Brett have a lot in common. How romantic, Wes, especially on a train while sipping chardonnay, poking at your duck, and talking about literature.

Brett says it was a beautiful conversation. I think he thinks it was beautiful because you guys talked vaguely about books and he said he felt like a dick for dropping names. Funny he said dick, jue like Chris Kraus’ Dick. So you’re a-political? That’s great news. Since I was eighteen I felt weird for voting for some dude to run the whole country and felt bad when friends seemed disappointed I wasn’t ‘lefty-liberal’ enough.

I love you Wes, I’m starting to, despite all the distance.

I can feel the apartment grow wider and bigger because of you.


Volume #11 (subtitled “natality”) features work by Alli Warren, Joe Hall, Dolly Lemke, Angela Veronica Wong, Anne Boyer, Christine Wertheim, Kenyatta AC Hinkle, Kate Durbin, Elizabeth Hall and Holly Melgard. The first of a three-issue block edited by Amanda Montei (the back of Volume #13 announces that Allison Cardon begins as editor with Volume #14), she discusses in her introduction that she is working, as editor, to renew, to “establish our beginning.” She writes: “What we want so desperately is a new beginning.” It is no small thing to want to carve out your own space as editor when taking over an established journal, even while attempting to continue and expand upon the work that has already been done. She continues:

It is in the spirit of this impossible possibility that I want to inaugurate the second decade of P-QUEUE. The work in this eleventh volume wonders at the possibility of making present what we cannot see is every day made absent. It demands that we recognize that there is more than what is given, and in this way, these works act. After all, if –ity is the suffix used to form abstract nouns from adjectives, then natality is also the nouned natal, the quality or condition of being natal, being-as-natal, being-as-being-baby. Relating to the obvious fact of one’s birth, yes, but also to one’s Mother, one’s Mother’s tongue, one’s Mother’s body—a body Capital would have us just as soon forget. The works in this volume remind us that to act in this time, which has been both cruelly and generously gifted to us, requires we return to the body of the Mother, the reproducer of labor power, and of beginning, on whose invisible work the entire system rests. We return in this volume to the natal not in a nostalgic relation to the biological, but in an effort to question what the act of beginning might offer us here, at what looks so clearly like a futile confrontation with the end.

Some of the highlights might seem obvious, just from the list of contributors, from Alli Warren’s poems “from DON’T GO HOME WITH YOUR HEART ON,” an excerpt from Christine Wertheim’s “afterb|rth,” from Elizabeth Hall’s “I HAVE DEVOTED MY LIFE TO THE CLITORIS” and Anne Boyer’s “JOAN,” composed as a series of short prose-sections. The first paragraph of her “Joan Gets Married” reads:

I was married on July 28. Then I was married again on August 18. I was also married on Saturday, the day before Pearl Harbor. I was next married on May 12, 2006, at the Hotel Del Coronado. I was then married on September 13. I slept alone until I was married. On a few occasions, usually when I was half-asleep, I called my beloved young husband names. I was finally married on the 20th of October. I was next married on April 21. I also married on September 14. It was one of the happiest days of my life. I married on October 11, then married on December 31, and again on the Fourth of July, so there have always been fireworks on my anniversaries. I was married on Maui in October then I was married in Detroit on the 7th of August. I was married on the day Bing Crosby died. I was married on Halloween, but I’m divorced now. Before marriage I was a virgin because I was raised in a very religious household. I was fine with that. It took me a while to adjust to civilian life.

There are also Dolly Lemke’s short lyrics, that include:

Continuing To Not Die

My affection
is that rusty stubborn thing

And before you descend
the mountain
in a hurried search

Know just what nourishment
is necessary

You didn’t hear me
whisper across the city

If you come
and get this sweetness
I promise forever
to remember you

Volume #12 (subtitled “fatality”) features work by Emily Anderson, Monica McClure, Allie Rowbottom, Janice Lee & Michael Du Plessis, Nikki Wallschlaeger, Cheryl Quimba, Catherine Wagner, Jant Sarbanes, Jake Reber, Carmen Giménez Smith and Jennifer Tamayo. In the introduction to her second volume as editor, Amanda Montei writes on fataility, beginnings and endings on the eve of (actually) giving birth:

As I write this introduction, I am nine months pregnant. In my belly there is a little life squirming, uncomfortable with my position in this chair, and perhaps more so in this editorial role, at this time, when there is so much pain circulating not only within small press poetry communities, but more widely within the country. To be so close to the end here, as I complete this twelfth edition of P-QUEUE, is a kind of fatal mistake. I am somewhat removed, far inside my body in an attempt to make friends with it, and with this soon-to-be child, both body and baby ruling my current sense of time, place, distance. I am on the verge of a kind of subjective fatality, not just because motherhood functions as this kind of erasure, but because birth, that wave-like sitting with time, requires a giving up, a letting go, a radical waiting that shatters any sense of beginning and ending.

One of the obvious highlights of this issue has to be the nine numbered sonnets by Nikki Wallschlaeger, which are included in her CRAWLSPACE, due out in April with Bloof Books:

Sonnet (17)

You need a permit to throw those black chicken bones honey
across the territory agog in studied hurricane lamps.
The pain management center is high on skin bleaching creams
I know I talk at you with tons of stories about waiting rooms
but you should know by now that tear gas guffaws everywhere.
Why ignore the elephant tied to the city center refugee camp
or the outland of red gingham hearts tricked out in razor wire
when I go out for the morning’s mail. Tell me that once.
Children, it’s time to scream for as long and as loud as you can
treading water in the crap thickets of an evaporating formula.
Rock music is as carefree as ever at respectably placed volumes,
They will play it wherever we are waiting for our descriptions
snifters of hooting community support reruns on the mounted telly
waiting for us to shuffle along, shuffle along, shuffle along (Nikki Wallschlaeger)

Further highlights to this issue include the short prose pieces by Monica McClure, Cheryl Quimba’s incredibly striking short lyric sequence, poems by Catherine Wagner, Jake Reber’s visual sequence “Afterlife,” Carmen Giménez Smith’s short story, “Tool of the Boss,” and Jennifer Tamayo’s remarkable, accumulative mantra “Woman Weeping Too Loudy By Tin Ribbon (1969),” a poem that reads as though it really needs to be heard, that begins:

Because the aridity of your art-spectacle was so intense, I could
            not weep
Because you had wiped all the entries from the inside of my body,
            I could not weep
Because you made me feel vapid and numb
under the force of your silver, your tin, your magnesium, I could
            not weep
The weeping was to be abolished
There was no room for weeping beside the elements;
The elements can speak for themselves
Because all the metal and scrap had been dragged here
before me—a labor performed by how many invisible bodies?—
            I could not weep
Because this clean moment shone the ‘weary efforts’ of the
            white world
that preserve your legacy, I could not weep
Because “Ma’am we respect your right to protest, but I’ll have
to ask you to leave now”
Because The Poetry Project wished ‘Enough is Enough’ had shared
its agenda in advance of the meeting, I could not weep
Because you want our itineraries our agendas our names so you
Prepare your defences, I cannot weep

Volume #13 (subtitled “mourning”) features work by Amina Cain, Allison Cardon, Carleen Tibbets, Emily Kiernan, Angela Veronica Wong, Stephanie Young, Eleni Sikelianos and Beeca Klaver. The final in editor Amanda Montei’s tryptich of volumes, she ends her introduction to this volume with:

If I have made any effort during my tenure as editor—by tokenizing white men in jest, but also in earnest; by refusing a standard definition of the poetic, or the avant-; by shaking off the yoke of standardization and consistency; or by snubbing in passing the tradition of print and institutional support—it is to bring forth the laboring bodies that get lost in current paradigms of production. What capitalism and so-called democracy put to work, yes, but also what our so-called progressive institutions smuggle in. What real care, community, and revolutionary thought is lost in those gestures.

What gets filled in by the works in this volume, I think, is some of that lost loss.

Highlights here, as with prior issues, a-plenty, and this issue features work by the now-current editor, Allison Cardon; a sequence of fragments excerpted from a longer project, “OPEN QUESTIONS,” that includes:

it is evident that you ask

what room is there for revelation
to conjure with corners instinctive

such self-evidence
wherefore to baffle, therefore to bluster

who is he to have his
thoughts on the matter

Further highlights include thirteen poems by Carleen Tibbetts, an excerpt of “Globe Touching” by Stephanie Young, Becca Klaver’s essay “Don’t / Look Back: On Nostalgia, and an excerpt of Eleni Sikelianos’ “Make Yourself Happy.” As an admirer of Sikelianos’ ongoing work, I’m thrilled to see her included in this issue, I also take note that she might be the most established writer to fall into the pages of any of these four volumes. Her sequence includes:

Everybody’s barfing up
the world’s extra energy

Throwing up reality

So the animal’s ghost dance is
what we get

They will never be done  Never be
done dancing   If we wipe them
from the face of the earth
they will never be done being
part of it          making the world with their
sounds & feet & hooves

until they ar done dancing the
animals’ ghost dance &
they they will be done

The next volume, which is scheduled, I would suspect, rather soon, will be incoming-editor Allison Cardon’s first. I am curious to see what she will do with hers.

As the back of each issue informs: “P-QUEUE is published annually, and accepts work year-round. See website for editorial guidelines and deadlines, but as a general rule, manuscripts must be received by December to make the following summer release.” For further information, either check the website, or send a submission directly to P-QUEUE, c/o Allison Cardon, 306 Clemens Hall, English Department, SUNY Buffalo, Buffalo NY 14260 USA.