For a list of upcoming readings from Lambda Literary Award Finalist and Thom Gunn Award Finalist Michael Klein, click HERE.
For the second year in a row, a Sibling Rivalry Press title is a finalist for the Publishing Triangle’s Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. This year, Michael Klein’s The Talking Day has been honored. Congratulations, Michael!
SRP’s 2014 Open Submission Guidelines have been posted. Click HERE for more info.
We’re thrilled to have four titles on the ALA Over the Rainbow list of recommended LGBT reading for 2014: Running for Trap Doors (Joanna Hoffman); After This We Go Dark (Theresa Davis): Render (Collin Kelley); and This assignment is so gay (ed. Megan Volpert), which is a top-ten favorite. Congrats, poets! Click HERE for the full list.
Congratulations to Raymond Luczak, whose poem, “Silences,” is our fifth 2013 Pushcart nominee. Click HERE to read “Silences.”
Congratulations to Julie R. Enszer, whose poem, “My Mother’s Vanity,” is our fourth 2013 Pushcart nominee. Click HERE to read “My Mother’s Vanity.”
Congratulations to Joanna Hoffman, whose poem, “High School Electives,” is our third 2013 Pushcart nominee. Click HERE to read “High School Electives.”
Congratulations to Elizabeth Bradfield, whose poem, “Distance Education,” is our second 2013 Pushcart nominee. Click HERE to read “Distance Education.”
Congratulations to Michael Klein, whose poem, “The talking day,” is our first 2013 Pushcart nominee. Click HERE to read “The talking day.”
Raymond Luczak performs “To My Weary Traveler” from his fourth collection of poems, Road Work Ahead:
Cancer (June 22-July 23): “All I ever knew is like a little mouse living in a tiny hole in a palace I have become.” (Hafiz) While you’re busy being expansive, take time to celebrate the way you used to be, which was also amazing. Bake a birthday cake for your former self, with big blue icing flowers.
Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): You never really know how much you’re loved, how precious you are to the people in your life. Look for signs of it—the special groceries, the firefly walks, the silly love-music that gets stuck in your head.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): “Before you came into my life, I missed you so bad.” (Carly Rae Jepsen) You have always contained at least as much longing as a song-of-the-summer, probably more. But today, take stock of all the many people you have wished for who subsequently arrived. The other missing magic puzzle pieces are on their way—just open your arms and let them come to you.
Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): “I feel so grateful for every challenge I’ve encountered, as it’s now clear that they were all stepping stones leading to the present moment, which is so full of joy and beauty that I feel I could do ANYTHING with the rest of my life & feel satisfied that my time on this planet was worthwhile. Dear G-d, I sincerely hope that, at some point, each and every person I know experiences the happiness that I am experiencing right now.” (Sam Richman, after gender-affirming surgery.) Be like Sam.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): The stars miss you every time we see junky special effects in old movies; it’s such a comforting thing to see. Hope all of your quests are being fulfilled, and your life is warm and full of sun.
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): To the Sagittarius who says she wishes she could just like one or the other, men or women. Erroneous binary aside, there’s so little space in this world for us, few heroes or role models. We have to make up our own way to do this. Don’t accept the arbitrary limitations that are placed on us by those with limited imaginations.
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): I recently started rewatching Angel. I don’t think that I even knew before that my favorite vampire-with-soul started his detective agency in order to connect more deeply to humans and be therefore less likely to want to eat them. It isn’t quite so dire for you, but do find some new ways to genuinely reach out.
Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): To the Aquarius planning a ladies’ weekend—may there be feather boas and dancing on banquettes, delirious running-into-the-surf, maybe a Gilmore Girls marathon. Have all the fun in the world and find your inner Lorelais.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): To the Pisces who listened to me when I was lost—I’m still lost, but thank you for taking care of me, hearing my side of things, wanting my real happiness. You’re a good ear and a magic friendship, and your life will be full of glittery adventure.
Aries (March 21-April 18): Buy two sheets of stickers, one unicorns, one rainbows. Give them to yourself whenever you take a heart-risk, whenever you live in the delightful prism-y spectrums of life, whenever you move this way or that along the Kinsey scale. It’s important to reward yourself for being so brave.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): I heard Die Antword’s “Baby’s On Fire” and had trouble not emailing it to you. Whatever’s not working for you, it’s time to burn it or dance it off. Stop struggling, unless you like that sort of thing. Not everything needs to be changed. Lay back and float on the surface of life like you do sometimes at the swimming poll. Look at the clouds.
Gemini (May 19-June 21): “Apparently I like ripping the Band-Aid off slowly and repeatedly.” (My brother, Ed Wiedmann) Yep, it’s hard to let things go, especially people, who tend to have a lot of adhesive. But it’s okay, keep trying.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): Think of how many letters you can send: Strongly worded letters of complaint, love letters, thank you notes that go into lots of detail, letters of apology and amends. Pick five and write them out on paper. Remember stamps?
Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): To the Leo who is apartment hunting—you will have ample closets, a big, clean kitchen, built-in bookshelves, hardwood floors, and a big windows. You’ll live in a quiet neighborhood with lots of trees. You’ll have everything including cheap rent, I promise.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): See Leo. Also, the tests you’ve been preparing for will be a piece of cake. Spend time in coffee shops going over practice tests. Alternate learning with good, long bouts of swimming. Fill up your brain and treat yourself kindly. You can do this.
Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): Today, all of your wishes are coming true, and you are groggily joyful. Sleep as many hours as you want, you’ve earned it. Spend lots of time with paints and books and movies. The stars recommend rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer from a bondage perspective, but that could just be the stars.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): “Who laughs the most, knows the most, if that laughter is sincere.” (Hafiz) This week, focus even more than usual on the funny. Take Calvin and Hobbes collections to the beach with you. Meditate on the wise teachings of Demetri Martin, who is just as adorable in person. Go only to movie theatres that let you heckle the screen.
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): Look at the summer schedule and map out your visits. Be sure to spend the most time with the people who make you the most delighted, and the least on obligation.
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): Soon, I’m coming to visit you! We’ll write jillions of stanzas in our notebooks, putting stickers on the best parts. We’ll eat pie and snuggle children. I really can’t wait.
Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): This week, stand up for yourself, even if it is painful, even if it leads to some loss. Look at the people, the rumors, the dramas that hold you back and give them the what-for. Yes, we know, the stars should do this, too. Don’t let anyone take anything away from you. You are worth all the happiness and freedom in the world.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): To the Pisces in a long distance relationship: May her visits be long. May her texts be chock full of effusiveness and affection and glitter. May you have the place in her life that you’ve always wanted. A happy home. Open arms. Providence.
Aries (March 21-April 18): This week in your life as a video game, you are Mario Kart. If you feel like you’re careening, bouncing over mushrooms, skidding past barky chain-link dogs, occasionally being pulled from the drink by a helpful cloud guy with a fishing pole, don’t worry, things will calm down a bit next week. Next week’ll be Tetris.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): I’ve got writer’s block for Taurus, so please send your requests. Thanks!
Gemini (May 19-June 21): Take a trip to your local produce market, a farmers’ market if you have one nearby. Fruit has always symbolized well-being to the stars, and this week will be like strawberry-blueberry shortcake for you, Gemini!
White Horse of Conquest (1999-2002)
Papa in middle-age crisis—
we stare down this damn
Y2K, waiting for the
world 2 revel & glitch 0-0-0,
out here on this quiet estate
that’s guarded by the fence we spent
a summer posting and railing,
and now in this deep winter at
the end of the innocent world
the clock moans over with jubilee
and false comfort
because in this millennial hour
a time has been born
and soon the sky will burn blue into our memories
and you will crash into the breast of your mistress
while I’m left holding my
mother at the bottom of the staircase
and they are still pulling bodies parts from
the apple pit.
Red Horse of War (2003)
Uncut soldier boy
under the floorboards of
your parents roachy Kentucky house,
who knew the fates
would take you from this war
to the oil war in the sandland of Saddam.
Lover who took in my semen like water,
when I was seventeen I said
half of my generation will die from war
and the other half from AIDS.
I was no false prophet,
but goddamn, sweetheart,
you fated both.
Black Horse of Famine (2007-2008)
Anorexia at twenty-seven.
One hundred is a doomed number
when you hangs it on your homosexual bones:
double the headshakes.
All the beautiful men in the world
can’t save you
when pushing you
onto your back grunting
“damn, you have a fuckin’ big dick, baby”
and they’ll leave you come late morning,
where you wake,
on borrowed time,
hung-over, deflated, and starving.
Pale Horse of Death (2008—2010)
All of them went down gracefully,
these paternal old folks
in beds of peace
and in their last dream;
then on a sweet summer morning at thirty
death came for me.
In a spin I was down,
lover screaming on his knees,
and as the world fades to black
I cease to breathe.
© Montgomery Maxton
Cancer (June 22-July 23): Dear birthday friend—this year, please believe all the nice things that your friends say about you, on your wall, in back-of-the-book blurbs, in vivid dreams. And while you’re at it, let accidental slights and mishaps float away like bubbles.
Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): I just Googled “collective nouns for hummingbirds.” Not only would that make a good name for something, but it also yielded the following results: charm, chattering, drum, troubling. (Who comes up with “a troubling of hummingbirds”? Clearly someone very disturbed.) Anyway, hummingbirds are like your quick, sweet luck and you’ll see a lot of them this summer.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): “Send me an angel, right now.” (Real Life) Your angels are your friends, invest everything in them. Everything shared at diner tables, sewing circles, and workshops will add up to everything you’ve ever looked for.
Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): See Virgo. You’ll have not just one angel, but dozens, everyone whose heart you’ve ever fluttered just a little bit is standing next to you as you reach this next important fruition.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22):Every time you ask nicely for something you want, you get a gold star, even when the answer is “no.” It’s time to start pushing past the boundaries of what you think you deserve. Your mantra is “more, more, more.”
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): You are your own foundation, the basis from which everything you create grows. This week, spend some time on structural integrity: Fix leaks, strengthen walls, make sure you have good ventilation and are not subject to flooding.
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): A friend of mine recently hosted a summit of nearly every smart woman she knows—it must have been one heck of a sleepover. Create this for yourself, on whatever scale you can, even if it’s just inviting the sharpest lady you know over for coffee. Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19) The stars have forgotten to send heart updates lately, but we wonder how you are doing—are you still twitterpated? Have your found new love and let go of the old? Is your family burgeoning, thriving, hurting? Be sure to let us know.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): Take a long walk past pretty fences and flowers, preferably when the lightning bugs are out. Make a good detailed wish on each firefly, each hydrangea petal. Then sit down with some nice friends and talk about books. Bonus points if there’s wine.
Aries (March 21-April 18): In Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, our hero gets shiny coins whenever enemies are defeated. This week will be like that, but with less actual combat. Every item crossed off on your to do list, no matter how small or large, will give you what you need to level up, sparkly and solid.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): Someone somewhere is writing a lot of paragraphs about you—you never know how deep of an impression you’ve made, how you’ve changed someone’s trajectory. I’m sure if they could, they’d send you the paragraphs, but for now, you can only imagine.
Gemini (May 19-June 21): “I can love whoever I want.” (Charlie’s brother in Adaptation) This week the stars are having a Charlie Kaufman movie marathon, and we suggest you do the same—get lost in the layers of it, the hot existential love scenes, the ponderousness of everything. When you watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, be glad of everyone you haven’t erased.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): Find yourself some grown-up coloring pages and go to town on them. Do this in front of the TV if you want. Embellish your pages with stickers and stamp-pads and hang them up someplace where you need to be reminded to trust your creativity.
Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): My wife recently wrote a Zombie Apocalypse Horoscope and may well be a guest horoscopist come Halloween time. I don’t know much about zombies, but I know you should never box yourself in a basement, and don’t board up the windows. What’s coming for you is coming for you, turn and face it.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): Even if today none of the libraries were open, and you ran into your old nemesis, and you ate a shameful amount of cookies, no matter. Tomorrow you’ll get a good playlist in your inbox, you’ll go on a firefly walk with your love, you’ll watch a dumb movie. Life is always mostly awesome.
Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): The stars never grew out of drawing hearts in the corners of notebook pages, and neither should you. You can even indulge in the creepy-cute eighth-grade-girl thing of writing your crush’s name over and over. Go ahead, be ridiculous and smitten.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): Every day this week, find a poem—it could be anywhere, like magic. Collect them and build something nice.
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): It’s almost time to go to summer camp, and you are a counselor. Remember your sunscreen and water jug. Remember, children can be a bit chaotic, so leave some of your Order-Muppet side at home; more Animal, less Kermit.
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): Yours is a religion of board games—read your future in Scrabble tiles, nothing as confusing as Upwords. I can’t master the strategy of chess (or even, some days, Bejeweled) but you can—you know where you’ll be three moves from now, so relax.
Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): Whatever imprisons you, accept it for a bit. Then watch I Love You, Phillip Morris, watch the clouds scoot by, and plan your escape or even your series of escapes. Whatever you do, don’t think about Camus’ The Stranger. Actually, that’s good advice for every week.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): Ignore any and all nay-sayers at the table—you can follow any goals you’ve set out for yourself. The breath and health and love you want are within reach, just take a good walk to them. Then rest in your cool and wonderful cave. Repeat.
Aries (March 21-April 18): You are as adorable and strange as a little kids’ summer camp production of Wicked, only everyone hits the high notes and no one misses their lines. You are the mini-Elphaba to my Glinda heart, and vice versa.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): “I don’t know when to start or when to stop
My luck’s like a button/ I can’t stop pushing it/ My head feels light
But I’m still in the dark/ Seems like without tenderness there’s something missing.” (General Public)
Gemini (May 19-June 21): To the Gemini who finally found her McDreamy (Several years after Grey’s Anatomy became irrelevant, but still.) –it’s okay to agonize over what to say in your emails, miss him like crazy until he gets back to town, go ahead and believe in things a little bit!
Happy birthday to my mom, brother, and sister, who were all born on the same day! And! Happy 9-year anniversary to the wonderful Leo who inspires me the most, Amy Lawson. Our family’s full of celebration!
Gemini (May 19-June 21): “You are encouraged to change your mind,” maybe even sort through all of the things you’ve said “no” to and try a “yes” here and there. Overturn all of your old thought structures like tilling the soil.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): “Tears and laughter are both welcome,” so feel free to emote up a storm this week. Recreational crying is underrated and forced laughter is overused. Be authentic above all else.
Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): “If you’re a YES, say YES. If you’re a NO, say NO.” If you’re a “give me a little quiet when I get home from work” or a “make out with me emphatically and at length,” then say those things too.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): “You must ask permission and get a verbal YES before you touch anyone. (Be as specific with your request as you can.)” Make a list of VERY specific bodily requests and check them off as you ask for them. Whether you get a YES or a NO, you get a big, fat gold star just for asking.
Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): “Pajamas stay on the whole time.” The day, the weekend, the week, as long as you possibly can, stay in bed with your loves, your pets, your books. Don’t get up until you are absolutely, unequivocally rested.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): “You don’t have to cuddle anyone at a cuddle party, EVER,” or anyplace else for that matter, whether you run to the world with open arms or cordon yourself off with caution tape, make sure it is your happy choice.
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): “Keep the cuddle space tidy.” Take some time to clear out your physical and emotional clutter—yammer it out to a sweetheart or get it all down on the page—you’ll feel better and so much clearer.
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): “Respect people’s privacy.” Take a break from sharing and tagging and “liking” and sit face to face with a stranger, even if you have to come up with a clever nickname for them when you write about it later.
Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): “WHAT TO WEAR: pajamas.” Pajamas are practically a religion in my household. Make altars to your soft pants, sing hosannas to the ribbon drawstrings, kneel down and thank your fuzzy slippers.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): “If you’re a maybe, say NO.” This week, find at least a little bit of time to do EXACTLY what you want, without any compromising. It’s difficult, but it can be done.
Aries (March 21-April 18): “Respect your relationship agreements and communicate with your partner.” That includes frequently telling your partner(s) how adorable he/she/they are. And you are adorable too!
Taurus (April 19-May 18): “Get your Cuddle Party Facilitator or the Cuddle Assistant if you have a question or concern or need assistance.” Asking for help can be tricky, but give it a whirl. What worries can you delegate, what weights could you live without?