Monday, January 08, 2007

No Fixed Address

I heard a joke about an English major who loses his job and ends up on the street. Like many who are down-and-out, he makes a sign and starts looking for handouts. It reads: Will look at BIG PICTURE for food.

I’m sure there are lots more where that one came from. Please, if you have one, send it to me. I need a good laugh.

One thing I enjoy most as an editor of Blood Orange Review is that I get to be part of the big picture. With each acceptance, I see the next issue taking shape. Heather and I have marvelously expensive long distance phone calls where we talk about our plans and desires for the coming year. We fret and rejoice, alternately, and it’s invigorating.

Another joy of this enterprise is that while we spend a lot of time with the BIG PICTURE, because of the nature of the work and the size of our staff, we never lose sight of the details and tasks necessary to getting the work done. Data entry, editing, tracking submissions, filing, we do it all.

Today, while logging submissions into our database, I came across a writer who listed as his contact information "No Fixed Address." At other times I’ve come across writers from the same zip code, and I wonder if they know of each other, neighbors in this often lonely field.

I’m glad that the small detail work keeps me in touch with the writers and artists who submit to Blood Orange Review. I record the submissions of the people who submitted to us on the last day of the year, and I say, Good job. And to the people who submitted after the first, Keep it up. Heather and I are happy to be a small part of the big picture. We hope you agree.


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Jason Steeves' Poetry Sampler

At Blood Orange Review, we sometimes get surprises back with writers’ contracts. For this last issue, Heather and I were excited to receive Jason Steeves’ Zig-Zag E-Z Reader Poetry Sampler.

Jason explained to us that the collection is a Fluxus-inspired “chapbook,” an interdisciplinary marriage of poetry, performance, and art. It contains seven poems printed on a single folded page that slips into a tin along with a handy magnifying glass. Even with the aid of the glass, the size of the text forces the reader to lean in close to gather the strong, sometimes witty, sometime chilling voice of the poet. Opening the sampler reminded me of the way I like to approach poetry: with a sense of wonder and intimacy.

Here’s a sampler of the sampler, from the poem “Wolf Notes”:

Let the dogs bark their heads off
in the back yard.
Let them bark at the stars
and the burning dog star bark back.

Let ice cubes crackle
in the carafe
as the glasses sweat a set of orbits
through the nightstand’s amber veneer.

Jason’s poem “Lift,” also part of this sampler, can be read in full here.

If you’d like to learn more about his work, please check out Jason’s website:

Or…since Jason sent us several copies, if you’re the first to send me an email with your address, I will mail you one, free of charge. Jason, of course, is exempt from this offer.