Poetry Sale: ‘The Doppelganger and the Ghost’

I’m excited to announce I sold ‘The Doppelganger and the Ghost’ to the “Ghosts” issue of Eye to the Telescope, which will be published on October 15. Later this month you’ll also see “My Heart Is Set On Wandering” in Strange Horizons, another ghost poem about Filipinos in Louisiana. Strange Horizons is currently fundraising, and I encourage you to go throw some pennies at a magazine that is gearing up for its THIRD publication of my work. Strange Horizons takes interesting risks, publishes first-time authors, and is just one of those special venues whose archives have something for every reader of the speculative.

‘The Doppelganger and the Ghost’ leans more heavily into “horror” than anything I’ve published to date, but it is not exactly a supernatural haunting. This poem may have special resonance for my trans readers, or anyone who has felt forced to suppress their real identity in favor of a false image. It was a poem I figured was near-unsellable, so I’m excited to be bringing it to you soon.

I’ll also be re-releasing a special poem currently unavailable online a lot of people have asked about on October 16 when rights revert back to me, so the poetry news this month flies fast and thick!

If you’d like to support my writing, please consider tipping me.

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“Death by Three Senses” out today & other news!

Strange Horizons has published my poem Death By Three Senses today. I’m THRILLED this poem has made it out into the world, it was an impulse submission of a poem I found tucked away in an unusual spot (at the bottom of a document where I had been doing finances) and is based on an important event in the mythological world of my poetry, told from the point of view of a necromancer who sacrifices everything to save a man he loves and almost gets it right.

Almost being the key word that drives this poem. It is, like many of my poems, an attempt to invert the “tragic queers” trope — the two men who drive this poem find a way, even if it is an uncomfortable and awkward one, to be together and not to let death be the end. It is, in a way, a sort of portal fantasy, too — in the mythic landscape of my poems, death is the doorway to other universes, a one-way trip that can take you anywhere.

Strange Horizons has also bought another one of my poems, “My Heart Is Set On Wandering”, set to come out later this year. It is about the history of Filipinos in Louisiana, colonialization, and my own family history. It is set in the “Ethical Necromancy” universe, where several short stories I’m working on have also been set, in which dead spirits and revenants reappeared in the early 2000s in the “Great Awakening” and the rest of the world must somehow cope.

I also found out that “The Woman Sings Her Marriage Into Being” was nominated for the short form Rhysling. I am so thrilled that this happy love song has resonated with so many people, especially since its ultimate roots are secretly Tolkien fanfiction. Two Rhysling nominations is a TOTAL surprise to me, and it means the world to me that the discerning readers of science fiction and fantasy poetry have chosen two poems of mine that are about death, love, and happiness for gay and lesbian people usually denied it as their nominations from last year’s body of my published work. Thank you.

Finally, though this deserves its own post, I have sold my first piece of fiction! “Backgame”, which is about a necromancer in a magical siege who brings a friend back to life, has been sold to the second volume of Myriad Lands by Guardbridge Books! When I know more about when the anthologies will be coming out, you will hear more! “Backgame” being my first fiction sale is especially exciting to me because it stars a trans narrator and centers on his friendship with an asexual woman, and there’s just not enough queer friendship representation, period.

If I had any more news to fit in this post, I don’t know that I could! Thank you for your continuing support. Because I am currently in a precarious financial position (described by my wife here), I have instituted  a tip page to my paypal (you can write in any amount in the box). I have discovered mold in my apartment is making my wife very ill & we need to move basically immediately (literally, we were in the ER yesterday for emergency treatment, this happy post is very weird to write) and if my poems or activism speaks to you, any money shared to me is being used to feed my wife and I as we attempt to use what is left of her student loans to move to a new mold-free home.

Forthcoming work!

I am happy to announce that I sold “The Woman Sings Her Marriage Into Being” to Through The Gate! Through the Gate recently published what might have been, among tough competition, one of my favorite recent issues of poetry, an issue I glutted myself on and kept coming back for fresh rereads (I still think about Juli, TW for violence against women and suicide, but Bogi Takács’ The Iterative Nature of the Magical Discovery Process is joyous and light and still makes me smile.)

“The Woman Sings Her Marriage Into Being” is a special poem for me, which has its roots, very distantly, in the writing of JRR Tolkien and his lore of Numenor and the quite unexplored southern lands of Harad, and religion and culture I created to fill in the gaps there, though you’d be hard-pressed to call it a fanwork as such (you won’t find anyone or anything you recognize from the books!) It is, like several of my other poems, a ghostly love song (I do, in theory, write other things, I promise!) When it’s published, I’ll talk a bit more about the mythical landscape that shapes the poem, and the single ornithographic reference within that places it in conversation with Tolkien’s mythology.

Through The Gate is open to submissions through June 1! Go submit, poets. While you’re at it, if you haven’t done it already, Angels of the Meanwhile, where my poem “The First Wife” about Eve and Lilith is appearing, is on preorder till the end of June. Please donate as you are able to help Elizabeth R McClellan pay medical bills, whose poem Quiet Magick was in Through The Gate as well. For pay-what-you-will, you will get poetry & prose by some of MY favorite writers, including Rose Lemberg, Amal el-Motar, Catherynne M Valente, and Lisa Bradley, among others who I am incredibly delighted to be among.

There will be more news as events warrant. I have had some very encouraging rejections this season, and did squeak by for Camp NaNo with 30,000 words with some creative interpretation of “creative writing” (some of which is even now being edited!) but hope to bring you more publications soon!