Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Going Back to Back in the Day
In the first years following college, a Southern refugee living in Upstate New York, I could feel poetry slipping away. As an undergrad, I was writing every day for classes and workshops. I was submitting regularly to journals. But after leaving school, things had slowed. Having left Florida, I was hundreds of miles away from most of my poetic connections. Wanting to re-establish some kind of literary involvement, and armed with my trusty long-arm stapler, I started soliciting poems for a journal that would become bound.
In those early days, I’d post calls for submissions on what was essentially a literary market blog on an Internet still in its infancy. I listed my fragile, rudimentary aesthetic and a P.O. box address. It was the only advertising I ever did. Submissions would trickle in for a week or two and then I’d post again when I needed more. Most of those early issue runs were only read by the contributors who received copies. So, there was a quiet, distantly fragmented community.
It was around this time, a couple issues in, that I came across Karen Fabiane’s poetry. She quickly became a favorite and was featured in one issue. But when bound had run its course and poetry fell back into the background for a while, we lost touch. I actually had a batch of poems she’d submitted that I was never able to publish.
After I’d established Momoware (R.I.P.), I came across those poems again. Karen didn’t have an Internet/social media presence that I could find, but one day, she showed up in my inbox, recalling the earlier journal and asking about submissions. I got her into the final issue of Momoware and told her we HAD to do a chapbook with her. And that’s how we arrived at Seeing You Again.
Karen’s poetry is free-flowing and lived-in and somewhat anarchic. And, at times, refreshingly vulgar. I really can’t say enough nice things about it and how happy that we can bring it to you.
Observe (from “Orphan”):
“No speculative optimism
nor time anyone can follow,
trash of blood, neither abject nor stillborn,
but sensed like the clouded nudity of a goddess passing by,
abandoning shrewd theater.“