I’m more grateful than I can express to editor Sara Watkins of Spoonie Press (home to the annual online and print publication, Spoonie Journal, and the weekly online Spoonie Magazine) for helping me share my story about raising my gorgeous, extraordinary son, Matthew: To Be the One to Say, “Yes!”
If you’ve followed my work even for a short while, you’ll be acquainted with my poetic accounts of Matthew’s autism. I had to dig deep for this longer-form prose piece. Let me know your impressions and feel free to share a link to this story with anyone out there who you believe could benefit from our experience — your engagement means the world to me!
My poems, “Missive (to the White Oak’s Depths)” and “Elegy for My Former Self,” are live in the July 2021 issue ofCathexis Northwest Press.Heartfelt thanks to editor C. M. Tollefson for selecting these pieces.
Please also enjoy the audio renditions of these poems, courtesy of—your favorite poet and mine—the one and onlyRobert Okaji!
Thank you to editor Tara Wheeler for selecting my poem,“Trace,”for inclusion in Dust Poetry’sgorgeous Portrait issue. I’m particularly touched by Tara’s heartfelt message of appreciation for the poetry community in her editor’s notefor this issue. It means a great deal to me as a contributor to know how much the editor values the artists’ voices her publication represents. This is what it’s all about!
I’m also especially excited by the timing of this issue’s release, because it just so happens that I will be reading this poem to myhusband-to-bein our (socially distanced…) marriage ceremony TOMORROW, September 25, 2020!
what element of the womb’s hush little goat _____groomed your aptitude to bleat so sidling your silken haunches up to me?
the way you press your distended _____pintsized abdomen against my knee & butt my outstretched hand with your horn buds begging for the sun- ripe shoots along the far side of the fence _____brings me to a robust belief in need…
o bleating babe no I won’t leave you before the cricket-song’s lull is in full swing _____though the dusk is rushing in to replace afternoon’s haze & twilight’s adamant touch would usher me to the dark of another sleep sorrowing signifiers for insufficiency _____like the moon engorging on the horizon weeps to streak the soft hills silver…
last night I dreamed a familiar dream of my children when they were still young in which there was never enough time & never enough help to rise & feed so many all-too-realistic demands— _____from the toting of two pajama’d bodies to the car to park them in a driveway four houses away at the crux of their convoluted breakfast ritual to rejections _____in equal parts irrational & resolute of the given dream-morning’s cereal offerings— _____& still hope to make it anywhere on time or at all…
what mother doesn’t dream of baby goats?
hear their cries in her mind as melodies & answer in harmonic bleats?
hunger for sweet greens just out of reach?
bed down in warm hay beneath the starlight bleeding through the barn’s worm-worn roof?
STEPHANIE L. HARPER
Thank you to the SELJ Editing Team for selecting “Answer” as one of ten finalist in SELJ’s 2020 Poetry Prize and including it in the beautiful 2020 issue! I’m grateful to editor Dave Essinger for his impeccable professionalism, and for making me feel like a welcome member of the SELJ community!
My poem, “Understory,” is now live in issue 13 of the fantabulous online journal, Panoply Literary Zine! Thank you to editors extraordinaire, Jeff, Ryn, and Andrea, for selecting this piece. I’ve begun the absolute pleasure of delving into the fresh and evocative writing contained in this issue, and I encourage everyone to do the same. I’m honored to have my work appear among such impressive ranks.
My poem, “Lament on Mayuary” (modeled after John Keats’s “Ode on Melancholy”), is featured in the Kosmos journal July newsletter’s Summer Gallery of Poets (scroll to the bottom). Thank you to Kosmos Poetry Editor Carolyn Martin for selecting this piece!
Here’s the scoop: Main Street Rag has opened advanced sales at $6.50 per copy for my newest poetry chapbook, The Death’s-Head’s Testament,scheduled for release in March 2019! This generous discount off of the $12.00 cover price will be offered for a limited time, so be sure to take advantage of it soon!