Thursday, April 19, 2012

RIP: John Mella, with thanks

John Mella, founding editor of Light Quarterly, died on April 16 at age 70.

As of 2006 Light, a print magazine, was the main if not only venue for light verse in the US. The following poem, which appeared in the Autumn 2006 issue, was my first to be accepted by a literary magazine:

Orientation Speech

A compass
is an object about which it is not worth making a rumpus.
This wretched hunk of magnetite
can't even tell me which is my left hand and which is my right.
The location of north and south is a mystery which I have not the least interest in plumbing;
what I want to know is whether I'm going or coming.
Be so kind as to spare us
your lecture on the virtues of knowing the whereabouts of Polaris.
The wind bloweth where it listeth,
or so the Bible insisteth;
and what direction it bloweth from engageth me as little as how to tell splakes from wrasses.
Just give me a gadget that will point to where I put my glasses.

The poets on Eratosphere, a site which specializes in formal poetry, have got up a thread where members are invited to post their own poems which appeared in Light. It's quite a collection; take a look.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My poetry archive: Winamop

The latest issue of Winamop is out. This is a quirky little British zine that "was conceived on a whim, is run on a shoestring, ignored by the many, loved by the few and has continued unabashed since 2003." Just the place to send light verse - and the editor took three of mine, plus a collaborative poem written by eight of my relatives in 1947. Great to find waiting for me first thing on April Fool's day.