Thursday, September 20, 2012

Acceptance: Negative Suck


Negative Suck is “for writers and artists who don’t suck.” Somehow I was drawn in by this bald and simple statement, a kind of vulgar zen. I think three things appealed to me: (a) Most academic journals would never allow the word “suck” in their title or guidelines, and (b)that alone implies the editors are daring and disdainful of norms, and (c) “negative suck” reminds me somehow of a cool emotional black hole: some psychic space so powerful it can warp even the strongest laws of conformity and devour all resistance to true pain, love, fear, disgust, and whatever else drives the ideals of art.

Of course, I also researched the journal before submitting. The work is raw and real. Reading this journal is like walking into a room of courageous people who bare their souls without caring what you think; and though you are prepared to be appalled by this lurid display, what happens, in fact, is that you find incredible beauty and heart, even amidst the sorrow and grime.

For reasons I can't explain, my favorite poem in the current issue is "Toll of Seeming" by S.D. Capet. It's a mostly bitter hook into the deep flesh of human toil and grit.

The editor is Jeffrey S. Callico. The Art Editor is Madrea Marie Loy. The Managing Editor is Nicolette Wong. I’m honored that all five of my poems were accepted for their themed winter issue, in which no references to snow, candles or other old-timey chestnuts are allowed. I dodged the cliche-bullet!

This is truly a powerful zine with a no-nonsense hunger for great voices. You won’t find fluff or niceties. The editors are too preoccupied with the search for the most urgent and, as they say, gut-punching, testimonies, the kind that can make the most hardened werewolf cry.


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