Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Go at the Lifting Stone - Ralph Culver

"For many years a nearly round granite stone
about two feet in diameter sat at the easterly
corner of the front steps of the store now
owned by Frank E. Brown. Few men in the town
could lift it off the ground."

The hands, arms, shoulders and back
consult briefly. A new challenge
of some dimension, of serious intent.
Promise heaves in the brain. This
is our provincial glory!
The bet down--budge it, and you won't
have to buy your own beer for a week--
you think in a sense your future
lies bearing its secret under the stone,
the days breaking in your favor
or not an equation of space--
its possibilities--
conjuncting with the flesh
and its limitations;
all borne up forever on the skin
of the earth, a place that seems
suddenly new and somehow
getting younger by the minute
until you have the confirmation
you seek. By God,
you are about to learn something
(this being your sole duty);

and you learn something sure enough.
Next day, when the usual warriors
clap you on the armored brace,
your lips roll back like a dog's --
the bloody thing having not given
an inch. The sudden multitude
of flea-like urgencies in your ankle
you would rather die than bend
to attend to. Closing your eyes to this
and the uncompromising grins
stretched across the faces of
these yahoos buying you
beer after beer after beer.

First published in Seven Days

Friday, May 15, 2009

10x3 plus...Choosing a poem to publish

Someone recently asked me how I choose the poems that I use in 10x3. I really wish possible contributors would read the actual magazine, but if you are not willing to order a copy of the journal, then you could always examine this blog or do a google search of the contributor's list and read the poems that these poets have published online.

However, I did compile a short list of some of what I look for:

1. Does this poem read outloud and can I hear it?
2. Do I understand this poem?
3. Have I read the same poem before? What's new about this poem? Does this poem take me anywhere that I haven't been already?
4. Does this poem relate to the next issue's cover artwork and/or any of the poems already accepted for publication? Is this poem worth a page or more, using up valuable space in the magazine?

I never really thought about the space issue much until Martin Turner pointed out to me on more than one occasion how much space I had used on certain poets (including him)! Now I give it more thought.

It's wonderful having a choice of poets for each issue, and as the journal continues to grow and gain more recognition, I have the pleasure of reading more good work. I hope those who are already familiar with the journal will pass the word along to their poetry-loving friends.

10x3 plus...Looking ahead to issue #4 featuring Dan Casado's artwork

The #4 issue is due out on Saturday, May 23, and I will begin mailing to contributors and subscribers right away. The contributor list for #4 is the longest of any issue yet:

The Ten: George Szirtes, Grace Cavalieri, Ron Padgett, Caleb Barber, Jefferson Carter, Llewellyn McKernan, Wendy Mooney, Ralph Culver, Michael Wurster, Dzvinia Orlowsky.

Plus: Mieczyslaw Jastrum (translated by Dzvinia Orlowsky and Jeff Friedman), Nimal Dunuhinga, Ron Pisciotta, Gary Witt, J.J. Steinfeld, Sara Warner, Penny Bayless, Mark Jackley, Saba Syed Razvi, Gabe Heilig, John Kay.

Featuring: Under the Eaves: selected entries on poetry and the muse of language by Martin Turner.

Price per issue is $8.00. Any 3 issues are available for $20.00. You can visit the web site to find out subscription and submission information.

Thanks for your support!