When I go to duotrope to research zines for submissions, a daunting obstacle awaits: a withering wall of venues, thousands spanning minutes of scroll. What to do? Or, in the language of literary geekdom: What is first base of the heuristic for bliss?
Sometimes it’s all in a name. One journal among dozens can pull your eye, sweat the pads of your fingertips, spur that first palpitation. That is exactly what happened to me when I noticed “The Vein” lurking in duotrope’s dizzy columns. Call it psychic, call it guess, call it childhood predisposition, for whatever reason I asked myself, do I like that name? and 'myself' responded
Something about mainlining various designer emotions, or the raw armature of the pleasure-passion zone, or the exquisite lattice of a crimson spider web, which captures human sin and agony, holds them spread-eagle so they can’t hide.
Yeah, The Vein!
It was perfect and I was not disappointed. Following in the footsteps of jagged mags like Gutter Eloquence, Rufous City Review, amphibi.us, xenith.net, Kill Poet, Danse Macabre, and so on, The Vein is not treading lightly. It is stomping, it is jerking, it is whirling in spiked tarantella.
The Vein grabs your aorta and squeezes. It publishes the kind of intensity that most humans, cowered by the world’s vicious contraries, run away from, donning the cloth of the sheep.
The Vein’s poems are painful, ecstatic, monstrous and mind-warping. The editor (who maintains anonymity on the site) wrote in the acceptance letter that certain psy-ops were useful to keep from going insane while sorting through all this dark honest stuff.
It’s not gore we’re talking. It’s not friday-night with Jason. It is much more truthful than that. Soul sweet. The Vein doesn’t entertain you more than it liberates you from the defense mechanisms that prop the fluffy materialistic Matrix.
I’m taking the plunge and buying a copy of the debut 2011 print issue. I never buy poetry zines. Never. But this one could be a classic. The only question is whether I can somehow get the editor to give me an address, so I can have the copy signed.
I don’t even have money for spaghetti, and I’m buying this.
The editor accepted “Hit” and “Booby Trapped.” These were hell to write, especially the latter. When I wrote “Booby Trapped” I think I must have felt the way Goya did when he painted Saturn Eating His Children on his living room wall.
If you dare to be vulnerable, The Vein will find your essential artery, so turn your computer into a syringe and take the plunge.