Available Now: Your Impossible Voice, Issue 5

Today self heard from the editors of Your Impossible Voice that Issue No. 5 is out!


The story they took is “The Elephant.” Self actually sent if from Cork, Ireland. It was the morning she was transferring from Ballyvolane House to Café Paradiso. You know, self just fell in love with Cork and wishes she had stayed there an extra week.

But, back to Your Impossible Voice and “The Elephant.” It is actually quite a disturbing story, but it is what it is. Here’s an excerpt:

For over a week, the elephant’s wild thrashings sent reverberations throughout the ship. It threw itself against the walls of its container, again and again. Sea monsters, the crew awoke thinking. We’re all going to die!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

“Memories of Trees” : Live Now on PITHEAD CHAPEL, Vol. 3, Issue 9

I’m one of three people still living who can tell what a mango tree looks like.  I’m important because they think they can learn how to make more.

– “Memories of Trees,” Pithead Chapel, Vol. 3, Issue 9 (September 2014)

Sharing the Love: Last Sunday of August (2014)

Today, while self was poking around in her closet, she came upon a binder where she lists all the literary magazines she’s submitted to, organized per year.

She’s decided to share the 2014 list right here, right now. Because it is so onerous keeping that information to herself.

It’s probably as amazing to self as it is to her readers that there are so many. In truth, in the last few years, she has become rather manic about submissions. Looking back at the long trajectory of her writing life, there were many years when she’d send out to just a handful of magazines. She must be making up for lost time.

And, let’s not kid ourselves, the internet has made a huge difference. Now, it’s so easy to just press a button that says “Submit.” Whereas when she first started sending stuff out, every piece had to be printed out, photocopied, slapped into an envelope, then metered at a post office. Frankly, who had the time?

    • Agni
    • Alaska Quarterly Review (Having serious financial problems, may close)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Listmania: Six Recently Bookmarked/ 12 Existing Tags

    *     *     *     *

    Naomi Watts *  Oliver Stone * Owen Wilson * Patrick Leigh Fermor * Paul Theroux * Peter Sarsgaard * Pico Iyer * Rebecca West * Ruth Rendell * Sarah Waters * Siquijor * Tom Hiddleston

    Poem for the 2nd Sunday of August (2014): Angela Narciso Torres

    Angela Narciso Torres was one of the contributors to Going Home to a Landscape, the anthology of Filipino women’s writings co-edited by self and poet Virginia Cerenio and published by Calyx Press in 2003.

    Her poetry collection, Blood Orange, was the winner of the 2013 Willow Books Literature Award for Poetry. Her recent work can be found in the Cimarron Review, the Colorado Review, and Cream City Review.

    Here’s the title poem:

    Blood Oranges

    At the river’s edge –
    strewn seed, vermilion
    petals from blood oranges

    we ate. A branch
    stoops from the weight
    of phantom fruit. Falling,

    the leaves exhale
    the spicy-heavy air,
    its punishing sweet.

    Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

    Self Got The Full-On Star Treatment From TAYO Magazine!

    Oh the FEEELZ!

    TAYO Magazine posted an interview with self.

    Check it out.

    The banner they used for self’s interview was a picture she took in The Red Room of Café Paradiso in Cork.  That is in fact the ceiling light. Love Ger and her cooking and her warmth and all her fun group of friends who invited self to share their champagne.

    Self’s author pic was taken (years ago, cancha tell) by none other than the fabulous Stella Kalaw.

    (It’s very funny because self thought all she was doing was having dinner — in Karilagan restaurant, just hailing distance from Max’s in South San Francisco — with Melissa Sipin-Gabon, fiction writer and editor of TAYO, and it turns out what she was actually doing was giving an interview. BWAH HA HA HAAAA!  If only self had an Effie Trinket around to prep for her propo! Any gaffes are entirely her own)

    Stay tuned.


    Miguel Hernandez, NYRB/Poets, Poems Selected and Translated by Don Share

    Received in the mail today, these treasures:

    Arrived in the Mail Today: a poetry collection and PANK # 10

    A poetry collection by Miguel Hernandez, translated from the Spanish by Don Share;  and PANK # 10

    Self has blogged about Miguel Hernandez before, so his name should be at least passingly familiar to some readers.

    A poem of his, translated by Don Share, has been taped above her desk for months.

    Finally, she has his translated poetry in her hands! She reads the first poem, “A Man-Eating Knife.” Here’s how it begins:

    A man-eating knife
    with a sweet, murdering wing
    keeps up its flight and gleams
    all around my life.

    A twitching metal glint
    flashes quickly down,
    pricks into my side,
    and makes a sad nest in it.

    My temples, flowery balcony
    of a younger day,
    are black, and my heart,
    my heart is turning gray.

    About the poet:  Miguel Hernandez Gilabert was born on October 30, 1910, to an impoverished family in the old Visigothic capital Orihuela, in the south of Spain.  Of seven children, Miguel was one of only four who survived.  His father raised goats and sheep, and for most of his life Miguel worked in the family business as a shepherd.

    About the translator, Don Share:  Don Share is the senior editor of Poetry magazine.  His books of poetry include Squandermania, Union, and most recently, Wishbone.

    Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

    Tagged! Virtual Blog Tour

    Self has a lot of catching up to do with regards to honoring the lovely Rashaan Alexis-Meneses’ tagging of Kanlaon for the Virtual Blog Tour.

    She was tagged two weeks ago, but summer is always a blur.  In the summer, self’s brain seems to work at half-time.  Not. Kidding.

    Nevertheless, she is now at full attention and ready to participate!

    First things first:


    “. . .  in your blog you acknowledge the people who invited you, answer four given questions about your work and your process, then invite three other people to participate.”

    For this post only, self will drop the 3rd person arch-ness and go for first person SINCERE.

    My responses are only slightly tongue-in-cheek.

    What are you currently working on?

    A series of speculative fiction stories, most of them flash, all of them intriguing. LOL LOL LOL

    One of them, “The Elephant,” will appear in the next issue of Your Impossible Voice.

    “The Secret Room” is already up, on Café Irreal.

    How does your work differ from others of its genre?

    I don’t “do” narratives of identity.

    I write narratives of deformity.

    We’re all monsters.  In one way or another.  Inside.

    I dig deep to find that which makes us wretched.

    Why do you write/ create what you do?

    Because I can’t help myself.  And because writing, frankly, is the only thing I’m REALLY good at.

    Honestly, if someone had told me, way back when, “Your life will be spent mostly in an empty room (empty of people, that is), writing stories of deep despondency, for which you will be paid nada,” I would promptly have said, “You’re crazy!” or, “You’re dreaming!” or, “Do you think I’m some kind of martyr?” Turns out I am all of those things:  crazy/demented dreamer/ martyr.  Maybe ALL writers are all of these things. Ugh. Welcome to my Pity Party.

    How does your writing/ creating process work?

    The angrier I am, the better I write.  So I try to stay angry.

    I like to think of my process as SLASH AND BURN.

    P. S.  It’s really fun to “do” anger in flash fiction.

    *     *     *     *     *

    Spreading the love to:  Stella Kalaw; Luisa Igloria; Kathleen Burkhalter

    Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

    The List in Self’s “The Secret Room” (CAFE IRREAL, Issue # 50)

    Self has long pondered the difference between science fiction, speculative fiction, fairy tales, myths, horror stories and the “irreal.”  The other day, she decided to go through the Café Irreal essay, “What is irrealism?”

    She’d first read it several years ago, when she began writing lots of speculative fiction.  It was nice to re-discover it.

    The essay reminds us that, in “pre-modern” times, the people telling and listening to folk tales and legends assumed them to be “true.” These people, if they had heard Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” read aloud to them, “would most likely assume that the transformation” of the protagonist into a bug was likely the result of “a spell” (And why not? In “pre-modern” times, spells were considered practical ways to deal with malevolence; in other words, spells were not “magic.” They were solutions to a problem) For them, “the irreality of the story — which flows from an irresolvable clash between the real and the unreal — would be lost.”

    There’s more, much more to ponder in the essay.  Self recommends that readers go over to Café Irreal to read it in its entirety.

    Self’s story, “The Secret Room,” is in the current issue.

    At yesterday’s writers group meeting, self’s esteemed friend (and soon-to-be-famous published novelist) Lillian Howan mentioned that her son liked the list in the story.

    Which, self confided to Lillian, was the trickiest part of the piece.  Self had to keep working at it and working at it, constantly changing the items in the list because she was never completely satisfied with the “mix.”

    Here’s the list in its final, published version:

    • A map of an island with no name.  There was no way to tell whether this island was near or far, whether it lay within the bounds of the Narrow Sea or beyond, in some yet undiscovered realm.
    • A piece of yellowing parchment, on which had been written, in her husband’s careful hand, the letters KMCVQH
    • An iron knitting needle
    • A stone the size of her fist, on whose rough surface glittered a sparkly metal that might have been silver
    • A drawing of a unicorn
    • A broken silver chain
    • A dozen gold coins stamped with the profile of Aurelia, the Queen of the Undersea
    • A small painting, about the width of a hand, of a man with no eyes

    Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

    Reading Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz in PANK No. 7

    This is an excerpt from Cristin’s poem, “After Reading Your Poem About Hawaii,”  which was in PANK No. 7.  I bought four back copies of PANK from their Book Fair table at the last AWP, in Seattle, and am only now, four months later, finally settling down to read them!

    I really liked Cristin’s poem — a lot!

    Poems are phone calls you can eavesdrop on.
    When you are a poet, poems are everywhere.
    I still read your poetry. Sometimes I think
    I still see me in there.

    But other times I know that’s not the truth.
    The truth is that we both know where we are,
    and it’s not next to each other anymore.
    So what am I to make of this poem?

    Where you are the you I am speaking to,
    when in real life we are not speaking at all.
    Ring ring, my brain says. Or maybe, it can
    just be my poem waving to your poem.

    Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry and her work has been published in Conduit, Rattle, Barrelhouse, La Petite Zine, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendencies, among others.  For more information, visit http://www.aptowicz.com

    Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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