Poetry (any form or style) and Micro or Flash Fictions wanted for an anthology on SMOKE. Not just the black clouds rising from the five-alarm fire next door, or the billowing plumes of smoke warning us of a forest fire, or the emissions from factory smoke stacks, apartment house incinerators, and crematoriums, smoke rings rise from cigarettes, smoke pours out of headshops, pipe shops & cigar stores--see that purple haze rising over the fields of poppies and marijuana we just planted--we've used it to communicate via smoke signals and skywriting, to cover our tracks and disappear with and without mirrors, combat the enemy on and off the battlefield, kill bugs, flavor food, cure illness, declare peace treaties, and fragrance our homes. Got the idea? Release it onto the page.
Guidelines: Submit up to three poems/micro fictions or two flash fictions at a time with a fascinating bio of 35 words or less, not just limited to publication credits, copy/pasted in the body of an e-mail (no attachments, please) to roxy533 at yahoo dot com & violetwrites at nyc dot rr dot com. We will also entertain up to six one-liners or 2 short stand up routines at time. Previously published work is OK as long as authors have retained the copyright, which will be returned to them after publication. Simultaneous submissions are encouraged. If your work is accepted elsewhere, and you still have obtained rights to republish, just let us know where and we'll be happy to acknowledge the other publication.
If you do not receive a response from us within a month of your submission considered it rejected and feel free to submit again. Due to the volume of submissions we cannot respond to each and every individual submission. Selection for the on-line edition are made on a ongoing basis as we receive your submissions. However, final selections for the print edition will made after the October 31st deadline. (In otherwords not everything that made the cut for the online edition will appear in print.) Please do not query. When in doubt, send the submission to roxy533 at yahoo dot com & violetwrites at nyc dot rr dot com.
Friday, April 10, 2009
We wonder how it came to this,
smoking our cigarettes hard,
as if that inhale could shrivel the words
we know we'll say, as it does our lungs.
She hasn't seen her girl in three weeks,
thinks she fell in with a gang, drugs. I've had it.
I won't worry about her anymore she asserts,
hand shaking as she takes a drag. Detectives
have been to her home to look around, question.
She says they never asked if there was a father
in the house. Some things are a given. Most detectives
are men. Life is funny that way.
Our lips clasp the filtered ends like their mouths
did nipples long ago, before we understood
what hopeless really meant. My boy called me a bitch
last night. Sometimes I hate him, truly, I tell her,
as I blow smoke rings toward a tall man's balding head.
The rings get larger, circling his neck, tightening,
until his tongue bulges purple and my ex-husband lies dead,
last words forgive me. Imagination is funny that way.
We talk tough, hands on hips, jaws set in a jut. Smoke hangs
in the air between us, like our lies. I see her wet, frantic eyes
through it, and I know she sees mine. We crush butts under pumps
and go back to work, breathing.
by Lori A. Williams
Previously published in Avatar Review.
Lori A. Williams lives in Brooklyn, NY and works at a NYC law firm.