Local Poetry and a Cause for Optimism

An odd and pleasing transaction: I had sent a short story to a magazine I found in one of the listings I use, and it was gently rejected the same day. But the editor, who had evidently noticed my mention of poetry in the bio I sent, asked to see some of it.So I grabbed a batch file I had made for an earlier submission that was still pending and sent it to him. And so, the same day, he accepted six of the seven poems for the magazine.

This was, of course, gratifying. I rarely send out poems, wondering just who reads them these days, although I often read the stuff myself. I also wonder what it can possibly lead to in a (so far) relentlessly  capitalistic society.

But of course poetry is the apotheosis of language, and it has led to much, even for me: my first contact with Scotch Rutherford, the publisher of Switchblade, who has published three of my noir tales, came at a poetry reading at The Last Bookstore. The poems had nothing to do with the sort of stories I write for him…except, of course, what muddled grace of language I can command.

So I explored this little magazine, called Cholla Needles and published in the high desert outside of LA. I like what I saw: a paper magazine, well-designed from the looks of the covers; an emphasis on poetry; a dedication to its local market. Even though they have, as they have to in these days of corporate oligarchy, a page on Amazon, they encourage their readers to buy the magazine from the independent bookstores of the desert town they live near. They host readings. They fucking live in the real world!

This is a good thing. Follow the link above and check them out. My poems won’t appear till around May, and I am looking forward to being part of their world.

Image by Ann Halpin from Pixabay

Rick Risemberg