Thursday, August 30, 2012

Acceptance: mgversion2>datura

This might be my most unusual acceptance ever because it comes from a fellow poet rather than the editor. The journal has a cyborg-ish name: mgversion2>datura. And it comes out at a lightning pace, a bold fountain of raw and frenetic art. Themes and issues stream and blur, but one of those themes “X & friends” allows a poet to choose her friends to appear with her--and that is how I came to be ‘accepted.’ Who chose me to appear? None other than that charismatic wandering woods-spirit of verve and versatility Karla Linn Merrifield.

It all came down like this: The editor of the journal, Walter Ruhlmann, contacted ten writers that he held in high regard, and told them that they could each pick five friends for their own special issue. Karla was one of those ten, and selected me and four others for her special issue, which will appear in April 2013. The other bards are:

Eve Hanninen (editor of The Centrifugal Eye)
M. J. Iuppa (author of Night Traveler)
Colleen Powderly (author of Split)
Michael Smith (chemist, mathematician, wilderness adventurer)

We are all going to supply five poems and appear with Karla in her special issue. Yay!

What a box-breaking idea by Editor Ruhlmann, who presents an energetic persona, indeed. Incidentally, he translates many of the journal’s poems into French from English, or English from French, while based in the UK. If you go to the website, you’ll find a hectic garden of roses and trellising flowers, which to untrained eyes like mine are as absorbing as they are overwhelming:

The original name of the journal was “Mauvaise Graine” or “Bad Seed,” but when it kicked online in 2002, it turned high tech, hence “version 2” and the shift from “mauvaise graine” to “datura,” which is a dangerous yet myth-shrouded plant with transformative narcotic seeds.

I never can give enough praise to Karla, who has done a great deal as a leader in realms poetic on many levels, from the ethereal walks of the internet to the gritty saw grasses of the Everglades, and in many other ecolands as well; for she travels quite a bit and is never afraid to engage with the thickest of brush or converse with the most vertiginous canyon.

I’m further honored that she recently dedicated a poem to me, published in Kudzu Review:

If you read the poem (“Everglades Baptism”), you might see a reference to a certain owl ...

In any case, it is a masterful piece, a triptych in stanzas. All three vignettes entrance, not an easy feat.

Thank you Karla for all you’ve done for us poets--but, also, please keep writing and writing. You're fantastic!



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