Autumn skies redux

Four years ago I posted about loving this season, so much so that my first website was called November Sky. And then I began publishing Autumn Sky Poetry, and Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY. This year I’m taking a break from publishing and trying to focus on writing and photography. Here are a few of this year’s autumn photos and a poem I wrote in 2005:

  

Strange Violet Behind Trees

—after Wolf Kahn

The house hides in dusk’s spangled purples.
It’s hard to see such colors, capricious
tones barely there once night has almost
sucked the light from the forest.
And silhouetted trees rear up
as I walk, interrupt the horizon,
their dry leaves muttering imprecations
in the magenta gleam of twilight.

You have gone and I must be careful:
the path has faded to mere shadow
and I can no longer understand
the exuberance of a leaf twisting
in the breeze. How does autumn tangle
everything so elegantly, as when crimson
replaces the decorous sheen of green?
Such willful ambiguity. I walk steadily.
The soft retreat of chlorophyll asks useless
questions. The mother tree sleeps
and misses the violet whoop of fall,
the overlapping dive of it all.

By now night has stolen
twilight’s indescribable glow.
Our house has quietly slid
into an atmospheric blur.
There is nothing more to see.
My darling, the violet has disappeared
and I’m not yet home but I can still feel
the brittle slump of frost behind the trees.

 

—first published on About.com

 

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Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY is three months old

ASP Daily poster

It’s been an interesting three months. Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY is my recreation of Autumn Sky Poetry, a journal I published from 2006-2011. I missed reading poetry every day, and disliked the poems I found to read. My request for submissions brought me more poems than I’d ever hoped I would receive. Even more delightful is the quality of poems that have landed in my inbox. I am amazed at your work, dear poets. Thank you for sharing your words with me. I hope to keep publishing for a long time to come, but of course, that will depend on what I get.

So far, I haven’t found myself growing weary of reading. The accepting poems daily via publishing model seems to be working. I’m also pleased I don’t have to send out rejection letters. I read all the poems I receive. I am sad for those poets whose poems I don’t accept because I know what that feels like. I also recognize that what I publish may be only as good as what I like to read, and other readers may like different things.

As I’ve stated so many times in my past Editor’s Notes on Autumn Sky Poetry: Reading poetry is a pleasure for which too few of us have the time to spare. My aim, as editor, is to make poetry as accessible as possible: simple pages, simple formatting, exquisite poetry. I’m still trying to hold true to that. When I falter, I’ll take a break, but that time has not yet come.

 

Autumn Sky Poetry 23, the Art issue, now live

Greetings!
The twenty-third issue of Autumn Sky Poetry, the Art issue, is now online.
Read poems and enjoy art by Mary Alexandra Agner & Julia Tenney, Jesse Anger & Adamo Sacchetti, Catherine Chandler, Noelle Leslie dela Cruz, Luke Evans, Jen Karetnick & Jaime Ferreyros, Jean L. Kreiling, Mary Meriam, Richard Meyer, John Savoie & Shannon E. Thomas, Joannie Stangeland, and Laura Elizabeth Woollett.
With this issue, Autumn Sky Poetry is going on an indefinite hiatus. I’m grateful, as always, that so many talented artists and poets have graciously allowed me to publish their work over these past six years. Thank you for making Autumn Sky Poetry one of the more enduring poetic experiences of my writing life.
—It’s all about the poetry.
Sincerely,
Christine Klocek-Lim, Editor

E-journal? E-zine? Why do we have to preface everything online with a big E?

E

I keep seeing people posting online/tweeting/facebooking about great new e-journals. This reminds me that I edit an e-journal, though I’ve never once called it that. I used to call it an online journal but then I decided it was silly to make that distinction and stopped. Is making sure everyone knows it’s an e-journal so very important? And how does this even signify when so many print journals have e-issues? Or e-samples? Or e-mail? Oh wait, you don’t have to say e DASH mail anymore. The AP Stylebook finally lost the hyphen. Does that make e-journal an ejournal now?

The distinction between an e-journal and a plain old paper journal is, I believe, one of status. Everything online is terribly gauche and new, despite the decades-long existence of the internet. Print journals (I’m looking at you Poetry and The New Yorker) have a sort of embedded upper-class sheen that e-journals do not. This sheen of awesomeness carries over to everything print in the literary world, so that even a baby paper journal, fresh off its maker’s homemade press and with a distribution of oh, say ten, has a sense of literary hauteur attached to it that makes it better than an e-journal.

To this I say ptew! I spit on you, paper journal fanatics! Pjournals (hmm, that’s kinda interesting, onomatopoeiacally-speaking) are no more or less well-constructed than e-journals in this era of web-literacy. Attaching ridiculous distinctions to web-only journals is one of the things that continues to divide poets. We’ve got online poets and academic poets. Old poets and young poets. New formalists and lang-po practitioners. It’s like an episode of celebrity death match! Watch the dude who only uses his 1953 typewriter go at it against the smart phone guru! Bah.

All of these conflicts are a result of ego. Poets practice an obscure art which makes little to no money. The only way to keep score is to win contests and get published. Generally speaking, getting published in print leads to tenure. Getting published online leads to more readers. The decision between which venue to pursue is agonizing for all of us. Don’t you hate trying to decide where to send your poems? I know I do. The cure? Let’s all drop our Ps and Es and focus on quality publications rather than paper or pixels. Submit to both, then tell everyone about that great new journal you love without adding extraneous letters to a poor, defenseless word. After all, poetry is all about paring down the excess verbiage, right?

Autumn Sky Poetry’s nominations for Best of the Web

Here are Autumn Sky Poetry’s three nominations for the Best of the Web 2011, sponsored by Dzanc Books:

Monet to His Wife, While Winding the Sheets by Kristin Roedell from #19

Sharing Christina’s World by Don Thackrey from #19

Surgeon Finds Tree Growing in Man’s Lung by Laura Sobbott Ross from #18

Congratulations!!