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anathematized_one
September 16th, 2013, 07:05 PM
Hopefully this is the correct forum to ask this in.

Basically I was wondering if any of you believed my poetry to be good enough to maybe be published? If so, who might publish poetry in this style and general thematic idea?

Here's a sample of some of my poetry (I have many others, some of which [particularly the ones I feel are the best] I can't share as it is currently in submission for publication):

The Bedlam Series #3 - “In the Turning Hour”
This hour, the turning hour—
when the moon peaks half
from horizon to horizon,
be it shining enough to see
or blacking out the stars—
is my most favourite hour of all.

No patron would be so bold
as to visit Bedlam in the dark,
let alone at the turning hour.
I have a brief window of peace
with which I may vomit the soul
without the jeers of the spectators.

I allow the flood of my sick
to spread out before me.
It may very well be a sign
that I have been here too long,
but the acidic sting as it pours out
actually feels good to me.

When I finish the purge—
usually half from the Turning Hour
to the crowning of Dawn—
I grow weak and weary
then lie down my head
upon my heaved shoulders.

In the remaining hours of peace,
the sick will dry and become lost
to the dust and dirt of the barren ground.
By the time the audience gathers,
once again in the hours of light,
My expression is buried from sight.

Never will they gain satisfaction
from any more of my suffering
than the ring of my chains
as I struggle for a mild comfort.
In Sol's travel from horizon to horizon,
unknowing, they walk on my soul.


Living Martyr/Alive and Wasting
Why must you love me,
why must you care!?
For you, I remain and suffer
the pains of existence without life.

Alive and wasting,
I bear the pain
to save your heart
from becoming what I am.

Every day that passes
without me passing too,
is day that festers
into growing resentment.

I am expected to continue on,
in spite of all the pain,
so that you will not miss me.
But, what do you do for me?

There is nothing you can do for me—
you cannot heal the scars and
you cannot give to me
what is not there to give.

You can do no more for me
than a mother can do for her son
as he sits brain-dead in a hospice bed,
held in existence by machines.

What good is it for this man
to be suspended in purgatory?
He can do absolutely nothing,
and nothing can be done for him.

Why are you afraid to let go?
How can you love an empty husk?
You are holding on to nothing,
you may as well let go...


A Portrait of Desolation (unfinished)


Prologue
In early autumn,
long before the leaves,
my soul had turned.
Maledictionem ab incunabulis fit completus.

I. Innergeist
Gazing upon the setting Sun
fills me with absurd jealousy,
though neither for movement
nor as a metaphor of sleep,
but as an actual ending—
in daylight fading... 10
and THAT metaphor.

Then come the ubiquitous void,
enveloping those left behind
in the shadow of its descent.
Everything becomes still,
save for myself.
Vita animę in tenebris.

A stirring emerges deep within,
fighting to the surface where
it greets the nothingness. 20
It falls back in fear,
and shivers in the cold of alone.
It runs about, panicked,
until fatigue lays it down...
but not to sleep.

II. A Time Past
Born in a land equally as strange
to my parents as they now are to me,
I lived the beginning in a house
with a foundation that crumbled long before.

A crack formed in the plaster, 30
just behind the door.
With each slam, it grew across the ceiling;
I noticed it peek through the top
and watched it crawl across for many years
until finally, it reached the light.
The crack worsened the loose connection,
and the light began to flicker,
whenever anger shut the door in force.

Longer and longer, the light would dim;
longer and longer, the light would die. 40
It was then that I first knew life in darkness.

III. The Dead Garden
I visit the house, now and again.
It was turned into a community garden,
but in all the years and all the residents,
no matter how hard any given one worked,
there grew only a few short-lived flowers.
There now exist only dead weeds
and a modest hedge to hide the dying lot.

New people moving into the neighbourhood,
see only the best images of the final product 50
of any attempt to revitalise the dead area.

They never see images of the hard work,
never know the pain of the failed attempts,
and maintain an illusion of potential.

Bloggsworth
September 16th, 2013, 09:03 PM
I have long since given up deciding what is or isn't publishable, I have read published poems and decided that had I written some of them, they would have rapidly found their way to the shredder. I recently cancelled my membership of The Poetry Society as I found so few poems satisfied me in any way that I felt the money was wasted - But that is opinion, it is not fact, my opinion is worthless as I am not an opinion former.

Write your poetry, and having no idea where you live, trawl the web for poetry magazines that have samples of the poems they publish/have published in back-numbers, find examples of poems which most closely match your own, and submit to them. Were you to live in London, or south-east England, I would recommend a visit to The Poetry Library on the 5th floor of the Royal Festival Hall on The South Bank.

Your poetry is yours, do not change your style or content to conform with what another might consider acceptable - Console yourself with the though that Wordsworth would not get published today; poetry is living thing and evolves with the changes in society, the more you write the less your last poem will resemble your first...

anathematized_one
September 17th, 2013, 04:35 AM
Thanks. Though I am a Euro-mutt, I live in the States (in Alabama) and there is no place to get published that I can find because the only ones that come up will only accept "Southern" poetry.

There is this site that is basically a publishing search engine, http://m.pw.org/literary_magazines?. The only problem is it takes ages because most places do not allow simultaneous submissions and tie you up for ages waiting to see if you're accepted or not. I have 10+ poems that have been tied up for 3-5 months waiting on acceptance.

I was hoping somebody might know off-hand a magazine that would publish this style. The search engine doesn't make it easier to narrow it down by style or theme, so it takes forever just to find one to submit to.

I try to submit closer to the close so I don't have to wait as long and I know they don't pay, but I need to build a portfolio and track record of publishability.

It also doesn't help that I am a heterosexual white male who does not have AIDS. So many seem to be geared toward "minorities" and "minority struggles". So many to the point that I cannot get that song out if my head, Minor Threat - "Guilty of Being White". :\

Angel101
September 18th, 2013, 09:54 PM
It totally depends on the magazine and the editor. There's no set rule to it. As an editor of a small poetry magazine, I can tell you that we don't really have set guidelines for what is "publishable." It's true that many editors have specific tastes and it's generally reflected in their magazine or journal. There is a reason that nearly every journal advises you to read their issues first. It's the best way to get an idea of how you might fit into their idea of "good poetry." It does take time. That's the thing about getting published and building a record -- it's a lot of work. You have to be willing to do it if you want to go that direction with your writing. As Bloggsworth said, you should not cater yourself to fit the needs of a magazine. You should develop your writing and find a magazine that fits you. But yes, it takes time and effort to do that.

anathematized_one
September 18th, 2013, 10:13 PM
It totally depends on the magazine and the editor. There's no set rule to it. As an editor of a small poetry magazine, I can tell you that we don't really have set guidelines for what is "publishable." It's true that many editors have specific tastes and it's generally reflected in their magazine or journal. There is a reason that nearly every journal advises you to read their issues first. It's the best way to get an idea of how you might fit into their idea of "good poetry." It does take time. That's the thing about getting published and building a record -- it's a lot of work. You have to be willing to do it if you want to go that direction with your writing. As Bloggsworth said, you should not cater yourself to fit the needs of a magazine. You should develop your writing and find a magazine that fits you. But yes, it takes time and effort to do that.

That's where the problem I am running into is... finding a magazine that isn't an unknown Blog that publishes my style/fits me.

Of the first 50 results on the site I mentioned in my previous post, there were only about 10 that I wasn't immediately unqualified for since I'm a hetero white male (not that the feminist ones or Hispanic ones would reject poetry from a hetero white male, but looking through, they don't have much by them and I don't write "feminist" pieces because I think focusing on gender/race/whatever in ANY way is stupid and trite, but that's just my opinion).

Then, some only take this style or that style. I don't even know how to classify my style honestly. Somebody said I reminded them of Fydor Dostoyevsky (even though he didn't write any poetry, that I know of) and somebody else told me I reminded them of a modern form of Edgar Allan Poe (but I don't trust that one because they care about me too much and I can't trust they aren't lying to me) and another guy I know said that a particular poem I wrote reminded him of Charles Bukowski.

As far as where I look, it's hard to find any lyric poetry or poetry that actually makes syntactical sense if read like a paragraph (rather than trying really hard to be obscure by abandoning proper syntax and grammar, ex "the dog in the brain, with the hand of me, run dust in the hour")

How do blog-site only poetry "magazines" go as far as building up any sort of reputation? So far only one I have found that I think I have a shot with as far as style goes, but even the site looks like it is run by a child. :\

Also I have another question... how does having poetry on a site like PoetFreak (http://www.poetfreak.com) affect your chances? I mean you just post your poetry on-line and that is it. Technically it could be considered published but, I can "unpublish" at any time and it won't be findable on a search engine but I used to have an account on PoetrySoup and, despite having deleted my account on that site, it still comes up in Google searches. I know posting to these sites won't help in building a reputation of publishablility (for getting a real publishing deal), but how will it hurt getting on these magazines?

Some of these magazines seem ridiculous to me. Boston University's AGNI allows simultaneous submissions and has an average 2 month turn-around for letting you know if you're accepted or not AND pays you if you make it into the print version rather than on-line only, but these other sites look like they were thrown together over-night in 1998 by a 16 year old and they refuse previously published poetry and refuse simultaneous submissions and have extremely specific things they're looking for and don't even pay contributor copies (most of the time because they don't have a print version). I don't care if I get paid or not at this point, I'm really trying to establish a reputation so I can get a real publishing deal for a chapman or even book one day if I can.

Bloggsworth
September 18th, 2013, 10:55 PM
What's with this "Hetro white male" business? Do you think that the manner in which you use a subjunctive or gerund betrays your sexual and racial orientation? If one doesn't "know" the poet, unless it is made clear for the purposes of the poem, it is usually impossible to discern the colour of the writer's skin, or indeed what sex they are. If you are writing poetry designed to overtly express your nature for a particular purpose, I can't see where the HWM comes into it.

Nobody makes a living writing poetry, so dismiss that notion immediately. Giving readings, a bit; teaching, some to a lot, depending on how good you are at teaching. It is rare to get paid for having a poem published.

Angel101
September 18th, 2013, 11:07 PM
Honestly, an unknown "blog" or "magazine" is probably not that bad of a place to start if you've never been published. When you submit to known publishing entities, they probably won't take you seriously if you have no publishing record. Something is better than nothing -- unless, of course, the something's are known for being terrible. (Make sure the magazine you submit to doesn't suck.) It's true that some magazines do want contributions from minorities, etc. However, that is not the goal of the majority of magazines. There are other sites besides Poets and Writers that have directories of magazines for you to look at. Duotrope is a great one. Their search tools do help you find a magazine that's a good fit for you. It does cost $5 a month, but if you're really serious, it's worth the investment. As far as posting your poetry online goes and how it affects your chances, you really shouldn't be posting anything online you plan on publishing. The thing is that most magazines and journals ask for First Serial Publication Rights, which basically means that they have the first rights to publish your work and should be given credit if you publish the same work elsewhere (an anthology, for example). If you've posted something online, often times that means you are giving up some of the rights to your work. Check the terms of use on each site you plan to use for posting. A lot of times, the site/software has certain rights to the content posted. Therefore, if a magazine publishes something that was originally published elsewhere, they would be infringing on someone else's rights. To avoid that dilemma, most magazines do not except previously published material.

anathematized_one
September 18th, 2013, 11:44 PM
What's with this "Hetro white male" business? Do you think that the manner in which you use a subjunctive or gerund betrays your sexual and racial orientation? If one doesn't "know" the poet, unless it is made clear for the purposes of the poem, it is usually impossible to discern the colour of the writer's skin, or indeed what sex they are. If you are writing poetry designed to overtly express your nature for a particular purpose, I can't see where the HWM comes into it.

Because my poetry, while it doesn't drip with being "hetero white male", definitely doesn't scream "feminist" or "minority" or anything they're actually looking for. I even said that I am sure they would accept poetry by a hetero white male, but my poetry isn't about "the pain of being gay" or "the pain of being black" or the "pain of being a woman". I even said that almost explicitly in my last post... ("not that [they] would reject poetry from a hetero white male, but looking through, they don't have much by them and I don't write "feminist" pieces because I think focusing on gender/race/whatever in ANY way is stupid and trite, but that's just my opinion").


Nobody makes a living writing poetry, so dismiss that notion immediately. Giving readings, a bit; teaching, some to a lot, depending on how good you are at teaching. It is rare to get paid for having a poem published.

I never said I was going to try to make a living on poetry. Don't be so presumptuous—I know poetry is almost impossible to make a living on but I personally don't have many options (to make things short, school is no longer an option, I can't have a "normal job" and basically am going to have to live the rest of my life on the help of others or in a half-way house if I no longer have friends to care for me). I just hoped to be able to make a little extra on the side. I'm not an idiot and even my signature says explicitly that I say EXACTLY what I mean and nothing more, less or other... for you to even mention that is an insinuation that implies that I am either an idiot or that I am a liar. What I said had NOTHING to do at all with making money on poetry and everything to do with determining whether or not a place was worth it from a reputation standpoint as some of the places look so unprofessional that I don't know if they would even count toward a reputation standpoint. I also even said, EXPLICITLY, in my last post that I don't care about making money.



Honestly, an unknown "blog" or "magazine" is probably not that bad of a place to start if you've never been published. When you submit to known publishing entities, they probably won't take you seriously if you have no publishing record. Something is better than nothing -- unless, of course, the something's are known for being terrible. (Make sure the magazine you submit to doesn't suck.) It's true that some magazines do want contributions from minorities, etc. However, that is not the goal of the majority of magazines. There are other sites besides Poets and Writers that have directories of magazines for you to look at. Duotrope is a great one. Their search tools do help you find a magazine that's a good fit for you. It does cost $5 a month, but if you're really serious, it's worth the investment. As far as posting your poetry online goes and how it affects your chances, you really shouldn't be posting anything online you plan on publishing. The thing is that most magazines and journals ask for First Serial Publication Rights, which basically means that they have the first rights to publish your work and should be given credit if you publish the same work elsewhere (an anthology, for example). If you've posted something online, often times that means you are giving up some of the rights to your work. Check the terms of use on each site you plan to use for posting. A lot of times, the site/software has certain rights to the content posted. Therefore, if a magazine publishes something that was originally published elsewhere, they would be infringing on someone else's rights. To avoid that dilemma, most magazines do not except previously published material.

While it may be worth the investment, I have literally $0 to invest in anything. I also know the publishing concerns when it comes to rights. I have made sure that the sites I post on give me all the rights and that the site has none but, I didn't even know of places like that would count as "previously published". Does it count as "previously published" if you printed out your poetry on your own and handed it out for free?

A better search engine would be great, but I can't pay to join anything or to use anything.

flea23
September 27th, 2013, 09:16 PM
I've been writing poetry forever, since 1958. I actually hate poetry, and I venture to say that most people do too. The reason is, the quality of it has gone downhill so far it is like reading an old rumpled up newspaper. Too many people write stream of consciousness and want everyone else to tell them how great it is, when it doesn't even make sense. I'd rather my poetry be understood, even if it's bad, than no one be able to understand it.

Here is my take - Write, write your heart out, then write some more. Write til it hurts, get the hurt out on paper. Don't tell us the hurt, show us the hurt. Someone told me years ago that if I ever learn how to show emotion on paper, to be able to draw that tear, to make that smile, to make the reader agonize, then I will be making progress.

I'm very honest with myself. I've never said I'm any good. Never laid claim to being a poet. I make rhymes. If someone likes it, that makes me happy. I write by myself, for myself. I've thrown away more than I've ever kept, and given away (without keeping a copy) much more than that. At one sitting I threw away 60 pieces. Drivel, by my standards. Why do I keep the things I do? Maybe it reminds me of the state of mind I was in. Maybe . . . . other reasons. I hate my own stuff.

I do, however, enjoy reading poems by others who are trying and I encourage them with every breath I have. Don't give up. Don't be afraid to re-write. My own things I've kept has been re-written hundreds of times, trying to capture that elusive perfect way of saying something. Be yourself. Don't be a Colerige or a Poe. Find your own voice. I better stop.

P. S. I've submitted. Only had one published. Had to pay for it. It was a scam. Then I realized that their concept of publishing poetry is a money making venture. They make their money off of the author and publish the book no matter how bad the poems are. But to pay for someone to read would make me go broke in a minute. I have hundreds I've kept.t's just not worth it. I'll keep them for posterity.

Gypsy
October 8th, 2013, 04:56 AM
Yes. Look at today's song lyrics. Now if that is marketable....what isn't? Yes, give us some real fodder to sink our pearlies into.

dannyboy
October 8th, 2013, 05:40 AM
It is hard to break through and get published. I've had about 10 poems published in Lit mags etc and have been paid for about half of them. The rest give a few free copies (especially the anthologies). Then I read poets I know and love and there work is way way way better than mine. It is not because they are gay or black or female or whatever...its just that they write really, really good poetry - some of it outstanding.

For me, poetry is a means to work on my writing but for them there is only poetry...In the end I think that makes a difference. The market in poetry is the hardest to break into. It has cliques, circles within circles, friends and enemies, etc... But even so, when I read the poets getting published, ones with more than one collection out there, I realize that I am a long way off their standard.

toddm
October 15th, 2013, 04:04 AM
You have to think about exactly "why" you want to be published - why indeed? What does it accomplish? So you can say you had a poem or two, or even a collection, show up in print somewhere? So what? does it make you feel good or better about yourself? does it justify your sense of writing talent?

I'm not saying this to be callous, I've gone through the same thinking myself, and realized it's really not worth the trouble to get my poetry published. I've got better things to do, like actual writing, and living, not worrying about or struggling to be a published writer. So I started my own blog and post to it when I have a polished enough piece completed. I have people who read now and again, from all over the world; it's not thousands a day, but I can tell from the stats that people come, read, move on - some comment, most don't - probably a lot more readers read my work there than would read some poem I got published in some pretentious poetry journal or magazine, with a whole lot less trouble and headache. If your goal is to have a bunch of people read your work, and maybe have the chance to inspire someone out there, then maybe think about starting and promoting your own poetry blog or website.

---todd

dannyboy
October 15th, 2013, 11:41 AM
Anyone can write rubbish poetry, stick it on their blog (as I do) and say I'm a poet. But like scientists and the need to publish in their journals for other scientists to appraise, and test the worth of their theories, so poets need to be appraised by other poets in recognized journals. It's usually those who cannot get published that cop out and say 'I have a blog...' blah blah blah. An argument similar to those who wish to denigrate evolution or climate change science... easy to do when you decide not to listen to experts but say anyone who writes a blog is an expert...this is post modern rubbish at its worst.

Really want to be a poet - challenge yourself to get a collection published... and then to get it published and reviewed...and recognized..and awarded.... That's the aim...doesn't mean you get there...but try...really try...like for many, many years try... don't just blog it and say that's all I have to do... if there is no peer review (and yes some journals are so full of themselves, the way great sportspeople are full of themselves, why, because they actually are really good at what they do) then there is no worth to the word poet...or to the poetry produced...the form is lost...it just becomes another crass outpouring of no real worth except for the bloggers ego, worse, the poet becomes just someone who sticks words up on the screen....

To me the poet is different to someone who writes poetry like the difference between someone who hits a tennis ball and Federer...They are both doing the same thing...its the level reached that is important...not the activity...so many soggy minds miss that.

toddm
October 15th, 2013, 11:00 PM
^ I see your point, though bluntly made : )

However, this is not scientific research, it's poetry - and I think if someone wants to publish their poetry to have validation that their poems are "good enough" then that's a very bad reason to try to get published - real writers publish because they believe they have something worthwhile to say to the world, and publishing is the best way "to get the word out" whether that be a great story, or poetry, illuminating some aspect of the world or the human condition in a new and insightful way - and it doesn't matter if you are skilled at stringing words together if all you write about is your own loneliness or misery or how bad you feel today or how much your life is in the toilet - no one is interested in your pain, unless...your deft description of your pain someone touches everyone else where they feel pain too, at some interesting or helpful angle.

Some of the best "classic" writers actually believed in their own ideas and writings so much that they self-published initially until they made their name - they didn't wait around beating their heads against the wall until some external publishing house editor or editing staff of some journal patted them on the back and said "you are are such a talented writer, please give us more of this excellent work of yours."

Again, a great writer is not about being a talented writer, those are a dime a dozen - the question is "do I have something worthwhile to say, and do I have the skill (talent + practice) to successfully execute it so that it touches and moves other people who read it?"

If we are still stuck asking "is my poetry good enough to be published? we are asking the wrong question -

---todd

dannyboy
October 16th, 2013, 07:11 AM
They did self publish...they did not self publish and have no aim to be published....That's the point. By all means blog away...By all means distribute via pamphlets, stand on street corners and recite as I did for a few years....but never cease the striving to be published...never cease to test yourself against the ideas of others...and that's the real failure of blogs...There is no test...merely a swamp of posts. In the older times getting self published was not as easy...even then it required distribution...but a blog...a blog floats free... They are great for putting work out there but they should never be the end aim. The aim should always be to convince readers and the establishment that what you have to say and How you say it are both equally valid. In the end we all have things to say...Poetry is a form, not just a means...