Wilderness House (often called WHL Review) has been a great supporter of my work, this time taking all five of the poems I submitted.
One thing I like about the editorial skill of Irene Koronas, who guards the gate, is that she is not afraid of the dark side. She doesn’t revel in gore, or specialize in tragedy; but she is aware that dark poems can be as sensitive as they are wounded. Such poems can hurt terribly, not just for the writer, but also the reader. Who wants to deal with someone's battle with suicide, addiction, depression or grief, even if it is beautifully limned in masterful verse?
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Editor Koronas can handle my darkest pieces. I noticed this about a year ago, and started sending more of them her way. This may seem mean on my part, but the truth is that dark poems come from that part of us that especially wants to be heard by a worthy ear. They crave validation, at least mine do.
I trust this editor with these expressions of mine as I trust few others. She doesn’t hang them up in garish spotlights, or bury them in shameful cubbyholes. She respects them but doesn't give them too much or too little. She can deal with pain in art in a way that validates the artist. And in a special way, that is healing.
For this I am eternally grateful. It is indeed a rare gift.
Below are the titles of these hurt poems. Although many people might read them and even shrug (“agony and loss, seen it, lived it”), I often start to cry when I revisit the place they summon. It is my life, after all.
Titles of the WHL Poems (soon to be published)
Cameo By a Stranger
Trying To Shovel