Sometimes, I just want to give you the poem. Thank you, Drunk Monkeys, for publishing “Cancer.”
There are so many ways to write. In poetry, we often get to the heart of the matter, even if written in metaphor, even if presented at a slant or in layers to be unfurled or stepped into, or around. Verdad Magazine accepted my poem, “Absent,” this morning, and I am delighted. After many years of writing fiction, I am exhilarated over this line-breaking, this exhuming what I’ve yet to say.
Looking at the number of literary journals that submitted entries to the 2020 Best of the Net Anthology competition, and knowing that each journal was allowed to send two stories, I estimate about seven-to-eight hundred stories were submitted. Of those, eight stories were chosen as the best, and fifteen of our stories were picked as finalists. I am thrilled to be chosen. I feel like my story is a winner. I feel that all stories nominated were winners. I feel that all stories chosen to be published in literary journals are winners. Editors are discriminating; they have good eyes, and they also have subjective eyes. One fantastic story chosen by one editor may not be written in a style that appeals to another editor. Another judge of another year may not have picked my story as a finalist; this year’s judge chose mine. At some point, the choices become personal. And that is okay. That is art. We are all in wonderful, creative and diverse company.
Literature and Film journal, Drunk Monkeys, publishes “fiction and poetry with strong character arcs and immersive description,” looking for works that “build worlds and break hearts.” I sent them a poem from a collection I am writing, the main characters my mom and me. They accepted it, and I am thrilled. The poem is called, “Cancer.” I will leave it there. It will be out sometime this year.