“Angels of the Meanwhile” & an interview!

Exciting news. The charity anthology for the poet Elizabeth R McClellan, “Angels of the Meanwhile“, will be publishing my poem “The First Wife”, which is about Lilith and Eve and the spaces left when relationships fall apart. I am thrilled to be sharing a table of contents among some of my favorite poets writing right now, people whose work excites me and gives me energy to keep writing. To be appearing alongside Rose Lemberg, Bogi Takács, Catherynne M Valente, Lisa Bradley, Amal El-Motar, and many others, is an exciting moment for me. Until May 1, you can preorder the anthology for a donation of any amount. As someone who suffers from shoulder issues and who has had medical mismanagement run amuck with my arms, the driving cause of this anthology is very important to me.

I was also interviewed by EP Beaumont in a talk about sustainable writing and personal writing habits, though the conversation ranged all over and included writing music, research, and writing as a survival mechanism for mental health issues. I talk a bit about how I cope with chronic pain and disability as a writer, and what I do to keep from injuring myself with my physical limitations. (TW: mentions of suicide)

I missed highlighting it at the time here, but Bogi Takács reviewed my poem “The Haunting” for eir Diverse Poems recommendation. You can read eir comments, and some of the conversation that followed, here!

On a non-publication note, I am a participant in Camp NaNo this month, with the goal of writing 1,000 words on short fiction every day. I’m currently behind (of course I am) but at 6,000 words on day 9, I think I might be able to catch up! So far I’ve produced 1 rough draft for a short story and notes and outlines for several more pieces. As the month progresses, I’ll be updating with how much I write during NaNo and how many pieces came out of it.

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‘Among the Dead’ is out today!

Among the Dead, my ghost poem, is live today at Liminality Magazine! Special thanks to my wife, India Valentin, and Toby MacNutt for comments and suggestions.

Like another recently published poem, ‘The Haunting’, Among the Dead is about ghosts you love, and the happiness a haunting can bring. Following a young man through his life with ghosts, he seeks to enter the kingdom of the dead to be with those he loves. It is, in a way, a queer love poem dedicated to loving many people, as well as a ghost poem.

The poem is full of folklore. The trooping dead who pass beneath his window were a folklore feature of medieval Europe — though this troop seems happier than the armies that walked the earth as part of their purgatorial suffering! Leopards, here referenced, are a symbol of Dionysus, who sometimes played a role as a lord of the Underworld as Dionysus Chthonios, whose mysteries promised memory and rebirth to his followers if they drank from the waters of a secret river in Hades, the Mnemnosyne. As for the wine of libations, well — everyone knows to meet the dead, you must feed them. (A small aside, it is not the only poem referring Dionysus in the issue! Andrew Watson’s Blood and Honey is about a more violent side of Dionysus.)

If you would like to feed the dead while you read, honey wine and other hydromels have been a traditional offering throughout most of history. But if you don’t have mead or spiced krupnikas handy to sip on, try this pomegranate-honey cooler. (Original Recipe from Martha Stewart)

For one cup:

  • 4oz white wine
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • 2/3 tbsp honey

Instructions: Mix pomegranate juice and wine. Drizzle honey in and muddle until dissolved. Tip a little into the earth to salute the ghosts who love you, and drink.