I wrote this in Kenya, near the Somali boarder. Driving in the desert during a storm.
Dubai Poetics - Edition XVI
There's this thing. We all have something to say. But some people are listened to more than others. Why is Iggy Pop famous? Why does it matter what book Oprah likes?
Dubai Poetics - Edition XV
I'm first, as I ruminate on this question.
This poem actually is 101 words long. It started out as a 99, but it didn't fit.
So back in 2011, when I lived in Cairo I embarked upon a writing "adventrue" whereby I entered 10 writing contests of any sort. I "won" 1 out of 10. I thought that was pretty good.
I put that out there because rejections abound: I currently have 5 flash pieces that I have deemed worthy of submittle (2 of them are series of 99s). I've submitted each to 2-5 magazines. Pure rejection, though I admit I have not heard back from quite a few.
Writing is a process, it's supposed to be deep and liberating like a swim in a dark pond.
But sometimes I just want everyone to love what I've written.
Went to the Dubai Poetry Slam.
Maybe sometime I'll get the nerve to read. I wouldn't be the worst (if only because my work is short so I wouldn't be painful for long), but far from the best.
Dubai Poetics Edition XII keeps me going right on by.
Do you think you're sneaky?
Lot's of rejections, but here's a totally flattering rejection.
I will use this feedback and submit the new piece elsewhere, and keep these things in mind as I write. I have already sent them another story.
Keep the beatings coming!
" Dear Trayle,
Thank you so much for sending us your work. "Civil War" sparked lots of discussion among our editors. While we have ultimately decided to pass, we would love to see more of your work.
Normally, we simply don't have the time to give individual feedback, but we try to do so when a story comes so close. Below are some of the editors' comments:
1. This feels authentic and richly detailed. It also feels a bit too much like non-fiction, but it's good.
2. I love the descriptions and sense of place. My one concern is that I'm not sure I understand the relationship between the three parts. I believe they're supposed to be three distinct flashes, which is fine with me, but then they need their own titles and should be formatted such that the delineation is clear. My gut says that they should all be linked in some way beyond setting, too.
3. My issue is that I want more examples or stories from the elders. Two are not enough, IMO. However, I LOVE this.
4. I would suggest cutting the opening set-up altogether and going straight into the voices--and yes, I'd like a bunch more of them. Together they would create a broader world and then the fragmented structure would work as plot for the story.
Again, please keep us in mind for future submissions. "
This is a poem I wrote in college. Long ago. They published it at Dubai Poetics Edition X, our local poetry depository. Love them.
*foxfire is decaying wood, that, when a certain fungus is in there helping, glows in the dark.
Thrice I have been featured in Dubai Poetics. I really love what they are doing in Dubai, promoting the local arts here.
My poem in Dubai Poetics - Edition VIII is called "To a Poet Laureate."
If you know me from Waldron, you might recognize some of the names and places in the poem. Like most of my writing, it's based on real life and I wrote it thinking of a poet that I know, who really is a poet laureate. I like his poetry. I sent this poem to him when once I toyed with the idea of entering a fine arts program. He never really responded to the poem, so he probably hated it or thought it juvenile.
Writings that are not 99 words long can be found here.