Issue 15 Call for Submissions

by on Jan 3, 2018

Issue 15 is going to be a micropoetry issue (similar to our first issue). Please adhere to the general submission guidelines, but for this issue, we would like to see micropoetry, microfiction, videopoems based on micropoetry, and artwork that works with this micro theme. We’re defining micro along the lines of the Twitter model, and ask that all submitted writing be tweetable. That doesn’t mean you need to be on Twitter, it just means we’re setting a 140 280ish-character limit for each submitted piece. There’s more on the submissions page.

The deadline for submitting to Issue 15 will be January 26, 2018, and we will plan to start the issue the week of February 5.

As mentioned in the Issue 14 call, this will be the last issue of Gnarled Oak, at least for a while. Please consider sending your best work so we can close this out in style. Thanks, and I look forward to another great batch of submissions.

Issue 14: Chain of Years—Summary, Contents & Editor’s Note

by on Jan 2, 2018

Summary

Issue 14: Chain of Years (Nov-Dec 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

A Night So Beautiful We Had to Burn Down the Senator’s House #25 — Darren C. Demaree

at the port — Erin Leigh

My Body Is Mine — Jade Anouka

First Kiss — Elizabeth Moura

notes on bones — Audrey Gidman

felled branches — Lee Nash

To Johannesburg, with love — Abigail George

Breaking Through— Olivier Schopfer

First Grade Activist — Marie Craven

How the Grateful Dead Got Their Name — Steve Klepetar

the animal inside it — Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco

In Twos —Stella Pierides

hand-flapping — Marianne Paul

street in a downpour — Diarmuid Fitzgerald

Halfway to What’s Next — W. Jack Savage

night pond — Enrique Garrovillo

In Darwin’s Dream — Eduardo Yagüe & Matt Mullins

autumn chill — Debbie Strange

September 17 — Mary McCarthy

October — Mark Gilbert

The Rivers of Flame — Steve Klepetar

slack tide — Christina Sng

Advice Dyslexic — Marie Craven

Practice of Leaving — Chumki Sharma

The Last Day — Christina Sng

Editor’s Note

Happy New Year, everyone. It snowed here last night, which makes it twice in one month, twice in one winter, and twice in the past three years, I believe. It’s an unusual thing in central Texas. It doesn’t stick, but it flutters down pretty and makes everyone stop what they were doing.

Wow it’s snowing, did you see the snow, how much did you get, what did your kids think of it? These are the questions you hear repeated all through the next day. And then it dries out in the middle of the night and it’s sunny and cold, cold enough for the bird bath to freeze, which is in itself a novelty since ice isn’t usually seen outside of a drink.

And that’s how 2017 ended around here. Surprisingly quiet and peaceful. Now it’s 2018 and I wonder what this newest lap around the sun will hold. Hopefully a lot of poetry, a little more of it around here before we call it day. Best wishes to everyone in the new year.

With gratitude and thanks for making Gnarled Oak part of your 2017,

James Brush, editor
Jan 1, 2018

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Gnarled Oak — Issue 14: Chain of Years: Read onlineRead the PDF (right-click/save-as to download)

The Last Day

by on Dec 19, 2017

“The Last Day” – oil painting on canvas, digitally filtered

 


Christina Sng is a poet, writer, and artist. Her work has received numerous accolades, most notably, second prize in The 2016 San Francisco International Competition for Tanka, third prize in the 2016 Annual Harold G. Henderson Award, nominations in the Dwarf Stars and Rhysling Awards as well as Honorable Mentions in the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. She is the author of several poetry collections, including Elgin nominee, An Assortment of Sky ThingsAstropoetry, A Constellation of Songs, Catku, and A Collection of Nightmares. Visit Christina at christinasng.com.

Practice of Leaving

by on Dec 18, 2017

I watch my body every night,
how it practices leaving,
the bed becomes a boat,
the sheet a sail
and the frame a prow.
I watch my body every night
rehearse its last goodbye,
how the stars lose their sway,
rust weakens the locks on doors
and windows become porous.
I watch how the cuckoo
escapes the clock every hour.

 


Chumki Sharma is a poet from Calcutta, India. She is a 2017 semi finalist of the Vine Leaves Vignette Collection Award and is the author of Shape of Emptiness published by the Vine Leaves Press, Melbourne.

Advice Dyslexic

by on Dec 15, 2017

(Watch Marie Craven’s video & view full credits for “Advice Dyslexic” on Vimeo)

 


Marie Craven (Queensland, Australia) assembles short videos from poetry, music, voice, stills and moving images by various artists around the world. Created via the internet, the pieces are collaborative in a way that belongs to the 21st century, with open licensing and social networking key to the process. In 2016 her video “Dictionary Illustrations” was awarded best film at the Ó Bhéal Poetry-Film Competition in Ireland. To see more: vimeo.com/mariecraven

slack tide

by on Dec 14, 2017

 

slack tide
a perfect day
alone at sea

 


Christina Sng is a poet, writer, and artist. Her work has received numerous accolades, most notably, second prize in The 2016 San Francisco International Competition for Tanka, third prize in the 2016 Annual Harold G. Henderson Award, nominations in the Dwarf Stars and Rhysling Awards as well as Honorable Mentions in the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. She is the author of several poetry collections, including Elgin nominee, An Assortment of Sky ThingsAstropoetry, A Constellation of Songs, Catku, and A Collection of Nightmares. Visit Christina at christinasng.com.

The Rivers of Flame

by on Dec 13, 2017

“Beyond surprise, my ribs start up from the ground.’

                W.S. Merlin

 

And I dance beneath your open window
like a shadow between the shadows of trees.
I rattle and I shake. I wake the neighbors
and alert all the dogs, who pull
against their chains and howl into the night.
Come to the window, love, and see my collection of bones.

See my collection of bones, how they dance
at the end of a string, how my feet stir the loose earth,
how the wind sends my legs in the air.
See how I juggle my arms, how my skinny neck bobs,
how my shiny white skull grins at the sky,
with its blob of moon and clouds, its smear of stars.

Hurry, because night is almost gone, and sirens
pierce the neighborhood. Soon oaks and maples will revive,
and that green will sting your eyes. Birds will balance
on every skeletal branch. They are coming to push me
back underground, where my song, now choked with ash,
will linger forever, but only beside the rivers of flame

 


Steve Klepetar lives in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. His work has received several nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, including four in 2016. Recent collections include Family Reunion (Big Table), A Landscape in Hell (Flutter Press), and How Fascism Comes to America (Locofo Chaps).

October

by on Dec 12, 2017

Candy wrappers swirling like papery leaves,
polystyrene pinecones,
orange streets, red neon,
black-lipped girls with hair made of straw,
the rustle of traffic,
broken glass in a concrete cornfield,
the smell of old mushrooms.
Bottle held close in the cold hand of a troll.

 


Mark Gilbert is a published writer of short poetry and prose who was first inspired by Raymond Chandler and Jack Kerouac.

September 17

by on Dec 11, 2017

I had to come empty enough
For all this open sky
The iron earth
Singing its reds
Like an echo of my own
Blood music
I had to find room
For silence
For a new equilibrium
Between stone and sky
Where my chain of years
Weighs nothing
And I walk lightly
In the shadow of
Red desert dreams

 


Mary McCarthy has been a writer, an artist, and a Registered Nurse. She has had work published in many online and print journals and has an electronic chapbook Things I Was Told Not to Think About available for free download from Praxis Magazine online.