Issue 12 Call for Submissions

by on Mar 2, 2017

This is the Official Call for Submissions for Issue 12 of Gnarled Oak, which will start in April and be an unthemed issue.

Gnarled Oak accepts poetry, prose, videos and artwork. I don’t impose rules on what is and isn’t acceptable (other than the no hate speech, no pornography one), but as a general guideline, I tend to favor shorter works, which for our purposes means poems of less than 20 lines, prose less than 1000 words, and videos less than 7 minutes long. Regarding form and style, I’m open to almost anything. Check out previous issues to get a sense of things.

I’ll be reading for Issue 12 through March 31 and plan on starting the issue the week of April 10. Please visit the Submissions page for more in-depth guidelines. I look forward to seeing what comes this way, and I hope you’ll send something and help spread the word. Thank you.

Issue 11: Natural Outlaws—Summary, Contents & Editor’s Note

by on Mar 1, 2017

Summary

Issue 11: Natural Outlaws (Jan-Feb 2017) is an unthemed issue featuring poetry, prose, videos, and artwork from writers and artists around the world.

Read online | Read the PDF (click to read online, right-click & save-as to download)

Contents

Natural Outlaws — Melissa Fu

The Past Is Not Where I Left It — Stephanie Hutton

The Teenager Who Became My Mother
 — Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto

In the Feet of a Refugee — Frank Eze

In Merciless Air — Steve Klepetar

Sometimes the Water — Marie Craven

In the Clouds — Cui Yuwei

kite festival — Anthony Q. Rabang

There Was a River— Micki Blenkush

I Have Me Some Hobbies — Paul Beckman

Journey — Olivier Schopfer

a boy draws a bird — Nicholas Klacsanzky

The Boy by the River Told — Matt Dennison

Dis-Spelling — Mary McCarthy

fistfuls of hair — Marilyn Fleming

Carried Away — Micki Blenkush

Hats Off — Betsy Mars

Scattering in Harmony — Tony Press

frost-filigreed — Debbie Strange

Grief’s Engine is a Flower — José Luis Gutiérrez

The Sound of Taste — Steve Klepetar

Poem for Rent — Marie Craven

The Road Dreamers Take — Robert S. King

beneath the surface — Marianne Paul

their affair — Deborah P. Kolodji

The Next Generation of Stones — Amy Kotthaus

When My Youth Catches Up with Me — Robert S. King

And When — Chumki Sharma

Have Made It — Matt Dennison & Michael Dickes

Editor’s Note

In a fit of helpfulness, I volunteered to be an assistant coach for my son’s t-ball team. Having no experience with t-ball, baseball, or athletic coaching didn’t stop me, but now on the eve of the first practice, I realize I have no idea about any of this: my sports were soccer and swimming, and my coaching was academic (high school debate).

I start flipping through the literature books in my classroom looking—as all reasonable people do—to poetry for guidance and come upon “Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, “Analysis of Baseball” by May Swenson, and a personal favorite “Slam, Dunk & Hook” by Yusef Komunyakaa. Good stuff but probably not much help with the mechanics of coaching little kids. Still, where would we be without poetry?

Not without a sudden lesson plan to coax a bunch of hardened teenage boys to write poetry about their favorite sports and surprise themselves by how much they enjoyed doing it.

And certainly not here at the end of this latest issue of Gnarled Oak. Which brings me back round to coaching t-ball but mostly the trying-new-things aspect of it. Poetry was a new thing once (and remarkably, still strikes me as such though I’ve been at it eight years now). So was starting up this journal that still feels new to me. May all good things in life always feel that way.

With gratitude and thanks,

James Brush, editor
Feb 2017

///

Gnarled Oak — Issue 11: Natural Outlaws: Read onlineRead the PDF (right-click/save-as to download)

 

Have Made It

by , on Feb 24, 2017

(Watch Matt Dennison & Michael Dickes’s video of “Have Made It” on YouTube)

 


After a rather extended and varied second childhood in New Orleans, Matt Dennison’s work has appeared in Rattle, Bayou Magazine, Redivider, Natural Bridge, The Spoon River Poetry Review and Cider Press Review, among others. He has also made videos with poetry videographers Michael DickesSwoon, and Marie Craven.

Michael Dickes has conceived, filmed, edited, and produced a variety of video and audio vignettes that feature his own short stories and poems, as well as producing pieces for hire in the U.S. and Europe. Most recently, two of his short prose films were featured at the International Film Festival in Athens, Greece. See more at: michaeldickes.weebly.com

When My Youth Catches Up with Me

by on Feb 22, 2017

The one I am is fragile in the mirror.
The one I was still lives wildly
along a nature trail, throws rocks
through windows of pools, makes waves,
never grows up but climbs the tallest
of an old-growth forest. He still growls
loudly in my ears, though the lines
he cannot cross are trails worn
so deeply in the past and on my face.

I grumble, clear a hole in the window fog,
replay a film on the pane, eyes flickering
along the forest path where the barefoot boy
is lost forever. Still an echo calls,
not to warn me, but to lead me through
long winters, the snow settling deeper
and deeper in my hair. The trail beneath
my slowing steps whitens, frozen in time
but for a time still cracking like glass.

 


Robert S. King, a native Georgian, now lives in Lexington, Kentucky, where he serves on the board of FutureCycle Press. His poems have appeared in hundreds of magazines, including Atlanta Review,  Chariton Review, Kenyon Review, Main Street Rag, Midwest Quarterly, Southern Poetry Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. He has published eight poetry collections, most recently Developing a Photograph of God (Glass Lyre Press, 2014).

The Next Generation of Stones

by on Feb 21, 2017

Spring finds new stones forced into the world,
children of winter’s long hidden labors.
Not even keen ermine sensed their coming
under that crystalline surface.
But they were there awaiting shifts,
pressures, erosions to bring them out of hiding,
into the leveled field to trip up horse and plow.
The only way to light they take is tearing.
Seeing fields now marred and broken,
farmers root them out, preserving them for walls
when they should be buried back.
Summer brings even plots that welcome seed,
but crops will wilt, and snow will hide
the next generation of stones.

 


Amy Kotthaus is a writer, translator, painter, and photographer. Her poetry has been published in Ink in Thirds, Yellow Chair Review, and Section 8. Her photography has been published in Storm Cellar, Ground Fresh Thursday, Crab Fat Magazine, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, and Digging Through the Fat. She currently lives in Maine with her husband and children.

their affair

by on Feb 20, 2017

 

their affair
the pattern of stones
in a zen garden

 


Deborah P Kolodji is the California Regional Coordinator for the Haiku Society of America and the moderator of the Southern California Haiku Study Group.   She has published over 900 haiku and other short poems in numerous journals both on and off the web.

beneath the surface

by on Feb 17, 2017

 


Marianne Paul is a Canadian novelist and poet who recently transitioned to short-form poetry, primarily haiku, senryu, haiga and haibun. She was the winner of the 2016 Jane Reichhold Memorial Haiga Competition, multi-media category. Read more of her writing on twitter @mariannpaul, and on her website literarykayak.com.

The Road Dreamers Take

by on Feb 16, 2017

We draw our maps in darkness,
get lost and trip on fallen signs,
detour like wingless birds
into night’s black holes.
Feet as heavy as our hearts,
we wait for morning’s widening light
when trees gleam and lean apart
for our passage—and where the road
shines ahead for a day,
we follow the fickle light
of dream again.

 


Robert S. King, a native Georgian, now lives in Lexington, Kentucky, where he serves on the board of FutureCycle Press. His poems have appeared in hundreds of magazines, including Atlanta Review,  Chariton Review, Kenyon Review, Main Street Rag, Midwest Quarterly, Southern Poetry Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. He has published eight poetry collections, most recently Developing a Photograph of God (Glass Lyre Press, 2014).

Poem for Rent

by on Feb 15, 2017

(Watch Marie Craven’s video “Poem for Rent” on Vimeo)

Editor’s note: Poem by Kim Mannix can be read at her site Makes/Me/So/Digress. Full credits at Vimeo.

 


Marie Craven is a media maker and musician from the Gold Coast, Australia. She has been engaged in online collaboration since 2007 and has contributed to works with artists in many different parts of the world. Website: pixieguts.com