I am a poet who takes months to finish a poem. Still writes notes in the margins to published poems. Sometimes when I read poetry, I can see the alternate path, another way in, another word, another world. In our present state, I keep wishing us differently.
In my own work, I am sometimes still crossed up between two tellings or the sense I didn’t say everything I wanted to say. I fear I return to familiar subjects less out of habit or crutch, though certainly those reasons too, but more that I still haven’t gotten it down right. I won’t damn Gregory Crosby’s new poem with such perfect praise. But he rendered this work on January 2nd. Note how fully realized it feels.
This poem is alive and now and on your phone. Gregory Crosby speaks into our eyes. This is his, ‘It Turns, Turns.’
One of the things that I spoke out loud about two weeks ago was the idea that we would make space for work that needs to be heard now. Carole Bromley has written a poem with quiet heartbreak in it. It made me think about foregrounds and backgrounds. How if we whisper about what is happening around us, when the world around us is burning, it is not because we don’t sense the urgency or that we do not feel the need to scream, but rather we recognize that if we are going to save this planet we need empathy and compassion. Solutions don’t come in the form of violence or threats of violence.
“Men still live who, in their youth, remember pigeons; trees still live who, in their youth, were shaken by a living wind. But a few decades hence only the oaks will remember, and at long last only the hills will know.”
— Aldo Leopold, “On a Monument to the Pigeon,” 1947
We will publish the best poems we are given. There is no restriction on style, form or what my poet friend Tony Robinson calls tradition. Everyone is welcome. I say we, because I hope this becomes a collective, a community, a barking flock of birds. I don’t know who we are yet or entirely what we’re about. In this, talk is cheap. We’re about to find out together. I hope we can be diverse, good, different. All I can do is speak my intent and aim high–maybe stick a landing.
For established poets, send me something you believe in. Something that deserves to sound and I will be grateful because as a new journal, we could use some good noise. If you’re hardly-known, new on the scene, let’s learn to fly together.
I like writers and find that sometimes editors don’t. A few friends have told me I won’t be so keen after this run. We’ll see.
Here’s the important part, my leanings don’t matter or don’t interest me. I know my art and my idea of art. I’m more interested in yours and how it could change or affect or move mine. In that way, we become something new together.
Send me one to three poems by Word or PDF to TheNightHeronBarks@gmail.com Feel free to be yourself in cover letter. Write “submission” and your name in the subject line. Simultaneous submissions are encouraged unless you’re the faithful romantic type. Then by all means be exclusive, just remember I’m seeing other people. Full guidelines are here.https://nightheronbarks.com/submit/
I believe we practice an incorruptible art, to borrow a Kenneth Burke phrase. You can’t really get famous or rich at it–they save the shine for the dead. You have to love it a little too much to be bothering with it enough to draft, edit and submit to journals with a rejection rate that’s somewhere north of 90 percent. I believe in us first as a community. I think we can be better than we are. I’d like to provide a place to land for a few of you. To sing your praises.
A shared point on the map in both our journeys. A place to look back on and return to.
We intend to publish one issue with each season, but would also like to provide space for poets who need to sound now. If you have a poem that is vital, current, pressing, make note of it in your submission subject line and we will try to attend to it in time.