Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Donald Illich's Iffy Proposition

I used to be a 98 lb. weakling writer. I'd submit poems on the beach with my best manuscript, and I'd be afraid of too much sun and whether my work was good enough. A poetry editor like Paul Muldoon would come by my blanket and read my pages. “You call that a simile, you wussy? I ought to kick tons of sand in your face.” Which he did, metaphorically speaking, by letting me know that I should stick to the kiddy pool. The poets' lines around here were too defined and muscular for the likes of me. My manuscript left with Mr. Muldoon, to be ground up as chow for the junior New Yorker editors. That's when I read this book by this amazing poetry-builder Reb Livingston, “Stop Getting You Ass Handed to You and Do It Yourself.” Using her simple 12 step program (a few steps: 1. Write/find some poems, 4. Raise a llama, 7. Work with POD publisher to publish them, 12. Have a margarita.) After I recovered from my hangover and that night with the llama, I decided to publish my own journal. Now, when writers come by I'm the one kicking sand and other debris, though I try to be nice. I take a liking to many of them, and maybe one day, I'll be able to settle down with one of these manuscripts, have a baby chapbook, put it through trade publishing.... Oh, never mind that, just please submit to the online version of my journal by e-mailing at ifpoetryjournaleditor@gmail.com. No attachments, 3-5 poems, and bribes help.
--Donald Ilich

Donald Illich was born in Biloxi, Mississippi, and it is just like you saw it in Biloxi Blues with Matthew Broderick, except different. He is slightly less smelly than he used to be since he got married in June. He publishes and writes poetry.


Rauan Klassnik said...

Good for you, man. And good for most of us. It's great that you and the Reb Livingstons (and Octopus people and Typo people and MiPo people and Coconut people, etc, etc) of the world are using the easy and affordable technologies available today to circumvent institutions who should, for the most part, belong to the past...

Good young writers shouldn't have to wait huddled and trembling in the shade of figures and journals like "The (insert name of state or school or some other big word) Review" who might take a handful of poems from the thousands sent in.
(and having such a damn attitude about it all)

At most of these new type journals, young passionate editors (Reb, Bruce, Zach, Adam, etc) are reading the poems themselves.

and some of these new, to-hell-with-it-we'll-go-around-it venues for poems are getting a ton more real readership than the big, black statues of journals that are slowly, but surely crumbling,...

again, keep at it....

Nancy Devine said...

i concur on this. that's why i started a blog. i kept waiting for someone to publish me and then i realized that i can publish me.
seems sort of obvious. maybe i am slow.
don has published my work, and he's been nice.