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.


Susan said...

Thanks for reposting this! I laughed and shook my head yes and rode this one all the way. I think you found the device you were looking for! And your glasses.

Sometimes in your latest surreal work I have to skip lines I don't understand to move forward, and I expect that if you read them to me I would be laughing with you. Have you considered combining the posted poems with your voice reading as well?

Esther Greenleaf Murer said...

Thanks, Susan. Note the addendum to my post - if you feel like reading some good light verse, here's where.

And thanks for following my blog. Recording is not for me, I'm afraid.