Call for Submissions

The Southern Collective Experience, which is a group of like-minded artists from across the nation, is asking for quality submissions for their magazine, The Blue Mountain Review. As the two primary editors for WISH Press are members of The Collective, we took it upon ourselves to extend this opportunity to our writers – as well as our readers. Below, you will find the first three issues of The Blue Mountain Review, along with submission guidelines to get your work to the editors of your choice. As always, if you feel this will be an opportunity others would be interested in, please feel free to share this with them. Issue 4 isn’t only seeking poetry, but prose – and art – and photography, so there’s room for all creatives.

Submission Guidelines for The Blue Mountain Review:

There are no lofty goals to meet, only the expectation that all submissions of poetry, prose, and photography/visual arts are carefully thought-out, thoroughly edited, and sent in by the appropriate deadline. The Blue is a Southern publication, but we do not define the boundaries of that interpretation. That is up to you, the artist, to consider and reflect upon when you give your material that final once-over before you do us the honor of reviewing the phrases and imagery.

As it stands, The Blue will be published three times a year. Deadlines will be announced as they become clear. The hope for 2016 is that one print issue, the Best of The Blue Mountain Review, will be sold by subscription, with one issue of the same per year. Please note: once you have a piece accepted and published, you can’t have it removed. Any questions are welcome for clarification on our website: http://www.southerncollectiveexperience.com under the tab for our journal.

Submissions for poetry: Any style is accepted. Any length is accepted. Please limit your submissions of poetry to 3 per issue. Please paste your poems within an email and attach them within the same message. In the subject line of your submission, please put your name and the genre you wish to be considered for publication.

Please visit the main website to submit poetry: http://www.southerncollectiveexperience.com/the-blue-mountain-review/.

Submissions for prose: Please submit prose (non-fiction, fiction, or essay) to the same email provided on our website. Limit your prose to no more than 2,500 words. Send only one prose piece per issue. In the subject line of your submission, please put your name and the genre you are wishing to be considered for publication. In the subject line of your submission, please put your name and the genre you wish to be considered for publication.

Please direct all prose pieces to JAverySCE@gmail.com.

Flash fiction: We honor this flavor of prose as well. With flash fiction, as is indicated by the title, make it short. The shorter, the sweeter. You are free to submit up to 3 pieces of flash fiction at a time. In the subject line of your submission, please put your name and the genre you wish to be considered for publication.

All visual arts: We leave this category up to the artist to interpret and submit in standard, easily opened, attachments. Bio with the body of the email.
NO SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS.

Please note: A 100-word bio will be requested for contributor’s notes if work is accepted.

Additional Guidelines:

  • All text, i.e. interviews, poems, prose, bios, etc. to be 12 pt Georgia font
  • For poetry – all poems in one document; one poem per page
  • For prose – only the title at the top of the page
  • For bios – send the bios in their own word document (please ensure the bios are in 3rd person)
  • For photographs and drawings – if they have a title, to title the file as the title of the image
  • Please ensure on all text submissions that only the poem/prose piece is in the file; no addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, etc. Ask the writer to submit based on how he would like his/her work shown on the page.

The Flutters of Fire

Three Poems
by William Hughes

THE DRIVE ALONE

the shaking street,
flesh at night,
pleasant this
smoke of dead dreams, glittered with copper
invention of the dawn, wafting
to sink in the world’s
mirror and snows
and hot springs
evening blast
where floss cores spray
a down nap of milk-wed velvet

where on nightshade hills
floating houses flicker out,
inscribed in swallowed thickets as the
stars,
near and distant orchestras
subdue our screaming
fires,
melodious and
rhythmic as they are
a force in events

my life is ten blue liquids
spilled over ten clear rings
and hardened
until the dirt’s hammer breathes
them into other workshops
on iron oxide, microscopic
shores
where longships storm
beneath a mystic jumbled crystal,
cadmium, on forts that were crushed
when they knelt to kiss the seas, and on
doldrums where our flags
run down deep in suffocating groves and out of
sparkling cold-water senses

dark silt violence of the city, and countrysides
growing up through it, and the sun-eyed cows,
and the vacuums around planets growing up
through the underground fields and
shades of emotion
dressed in wet diamond tears

THE COLOSSAL SERIES OF FACTORIES

The foghorn fiddler           moan of some hymn           from the gutter
Mumbling static of seventeen million people
trying to think
Asylum patients peek out the curtains           one hundred fifty thousand
Miles away

Long walk for the very faithful
Killing for a living
Street talk and night markets          strung across countries
Under high water marks           of vomiting rain

Something is out there breathing
Steam down the halls
of trumpeting white flags

The red bulbs on the nets           cast from cranes
Light up           high on every side

Seventeen inches of sleep come down on the walkways

THE THOUGHT OF YOU

A sailboat flutters out the back of my heart
Glass wires fan into phosphorous when the wind wraps my brain
Death sounds great bugle blasts through the flags of spring
As the fall rainy season approaches
Wounded lovers appear at the mouth of the forest cave
The dream cannot sustain itself once it grows arms and legs
Dancing amber in the maniac trees – from a spendthrift core
A living column of cloud
Cobblestone water roils in braids toward the mouth corners of my storm drain
Down pageant-lined streets my chest sloshes
Blood slaps against my chamber doors
We like the same songs, but that’s not enough
As the fall rainy season approaches
Wounded lovers appear at the mouth of the forest cave
With tiny flame-bright voices they flee carrying the violin and compass

———-
William Hughes was born in Akron, Ohio in 1987. He grew up in the fairy tale fields of the Rust Belt. He spent six years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and currently lives inside a veil in Oakland, California

Poet Interview #29 – William Hughes

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? At what age did you start writing? Have you always written poetry? Who/what first inspired you to start writing? Who are your favorite poets?

I first started writing stuff on paper when I was 17 or 18, but I think I was writing in my head long before that. Whenever I felt any kind of strong emotion it would keep me up for hours just sitting in bed and talking it through to myself. But it wasn’t really reasoning I was doing – it was like a cathartic expression to myself. More like a song I would speak to myself. When I started writing stuff down, I didn’t have any clue that it was “poetry” that I was interested in. It was more of a spontaneous physical sensation when I saw a piece of paper or felt depressed or read something – almost anything – for school or in the newspaper, etc. I just wanted to put words down. Sometimes I would copy passages from news articles or novels, or just try to describe something I made up in my imagination – like a city on an undiscovered continent or something. I would also write a lot when I felt ecstatic or lonely. I think reading Dylan Thomas was what first inspired me to actually start writing and take it seriously. Later it was old blues and folk music (and all kinds of music really), Rimbaud and the Beats, Bob Dylan, and then more contemporary people like John Ashbery, Philip Lamantia, and Douglas Kearney. Being around people got me to write as well. I loved just being in crowds and seeing people interact with each other.

How do you first start writing a poem? Does it come to you out of the blue, or do you have a set time where you meet with your Muse each day and let the words just … come? Has your idea of what poetry is changed since you began writing poetry?

I guess it comes to me out of the blue – like when I’m at a party or I look at someone or read a news article or mishear a phrase – but then I have to work to follow it. I used to stay up all night just following little appearances like that, but now I tend to slowly collect them and spend weeks or months ordering and reordering them while occasionally trying to consciously come up with lines to add in. I do find however, that when I am in the mood to write something but have no idea what, I can just start describing something I’ve seen or thought about recently and before I know it I have something that’s kind of interesting to me. Other times I just have this vague sensation in me and have to work to express it. Walking or driving around often gets me into that kind of situation. I think I used to see poetry as much more formal, romantic, and serious than I do now. I find poetry in absolutely everything today, whereas I had more of a solely Lord Byron idea of it in the past. I see poetry in statistics, in everyday conversations, on smart phones, in pop music, movies, and stuff like that. One thing I still haven’t lost though is the spontaneity that comes with writing. It’s always been a lightning strike kind of thing for me, even if I have to spend a lot of time on it later. I also see poetry as much more communal than I used to. I take phrases and ideas directly from multiple sources or listen to a song and immediately get the beginning of a poem out of a few of the lyrics. I think you can write insightful and resonant poetry this way because that’s closer to how all those old songs and epic poems that are still so important to us were created. It gives you a more immediate access to a collective experience that comes from your own time.

Are you on Facebook or Twitter or any other social media? Does that fit into your writing life, and if so, how?

I used to be on Facebook, but people got mad at me for not responding to posts fast enough so I quit. I am on Instagram and Snapchat though. I love the idea of having these incalculable torrents of “information” tidal waving over me and everyone else constantly. I think you could print out anybody’s Instagram feed from a single day, blow it up, paste it all over a blank room and call it an installation. It’s using Snapchat that mostly fits into my writing style though. I am often inspired by images and quick, nonsensical phrases, and Snapchat is pretty good for creating pairings like that.

Do you have a writing group or community of writers you share your work with? Who are they? What are you reading right now?

I would say that I have a community of writers around me, but not in the sense that we do workshops together or anything like that. I have had groups like that in the past and learned a lot from them. The people I find around me today though express their poetry more through conversation than anything else. I feel like a quiet sponge around these people who are quite articulate in a spontaneous, poetic, spoken-word, comedic kind of way and have knowledge and interests beyond my own. I try to use that to expand my own thoughts, insights, and written expressions. Lately I’ve been into poets like Aime Cesaire, Saul Williams, Frank Stanford, Kay Ryan, Beck, Cat Power, Mazzy Star, Solange, Luis Bunuel, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Miyazaki, Key and Peele, and Louis C.K.

What words of encouragement can you offer other poets who are trying to get their work noticed?

I would say don’t feel shitty about yourself. You’re doing something that doesn’t fit into the financial structure of our world today, but it’s been culturally and spiritually important to humans since forever. Humility is important too, but I think that will come to you anyway if you’re trying to publish poetry. I also think it’s helpful to have a thick skin, put your head down, and keep going. Eventually your writing will resonate with somebody, or somebodies. Don’t be afraid of criticism, but also follow your own ideas and sensations before anyone else’s. I think if your writing inspires you, then it will ultimately inspire others out there somewhere.

The Poetry In What We See

Three poems
by Brandon Greer
Sundays


There is something about Sundays
that doesn’t sit right with me
doesn’t feel right
doesn’t float around inside
my skull as easy as the
other days seem to.

It’s in the way the dog
licks his tail and the heavy
look in his eyes
staring
empty
at the food bowl near
the back door.

It’s in the way children
spend every second wisely
playing as many games as they
can because they know that
the school bell is only
hours away.

It’s in the way men and women
hurry through yard work and
laundry so they can have
a few hours of television
before having to sleep
because punching the clock
at a nine-to-five
is just as close as
the school bells
of their children.

It’s in the way the drunk
finishes his last beer
too drunk to drive
and the nearest town that
sells alcohol on such a holy day
is thirty miles away.

It’s in the way the whores
wake up with matted hair
and pick the crust of Saturday
night from the corners of their
eyes while searching for a pair
of panties in the dirty clothes basket.

It’s in the way that Christ
hangs on the cross in
countless churches
wood and plaster face
and body
and crown of thorns
always hanging there
being forgotten as the
sun lowers and fills
the altars with darkness
and mouse-like quietness.

It’s in the way that
I have written these words
sad and slow
and knowing that
there is
some truth
here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We Beat These Keys



We beat these keys because it
is the only way we know how to
beat anything at all.

We’re not the soldiers on the
battlefield with rifles and grenades—
pens and notebooks and typewriters
are our rifles, and a strong thought
or moment of clarity carries our charge
like land mines.

We can’t always save the bum on the
street who used to be a well-respected
pillar of the community,
but we can take note of the spark in
his eyes and the stubble on his chin
and the stories he has of the past,
and some day write it all down in
hopes that the best parts of him will
never be forgotten.

We beat these keys because our
words, when written, are louder
than our
real
voices.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I Have Seen



I have seen
trembling hands
reaching for a drink,
powder formed into
white lines on coffee tables,
belts tightened around
biceps to produce
an accessible vein.

I have seen
hands clenched
into hammers that pound
against walls and
mirrors and faces
until the flesh was
gnarled away from
the knuckles.

I have seen
roaches crawling
along the rails of
baby cribs,
toddlers loose on
the sidewalk in diapers,
while parents are too
busy screaming and breaking
bottles to care about
anything else.

I have seen
prom queens
and star quarterbacks
fall into nothingness,
clutching pipes soiled
with crystal meth until
they landed upon the rocks.

I have seen
me write
about all of this before,
each time hoping
that things get better
for them
for me
for us.

————————

Brandon Greer has lived in southern Illinois all of his life. Some of his work has been published in TPG Magazine, and his poem “Wondering About Death” will appear in the 2016 issue of The Broad River Review.

Poet Interview #28 – Brandon Greer

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? At what age did you start writing? Have you always written poetry? Who/what first inspired you to start writing? Who are your favorite poets?

I think I was eight years old the first time I actually wrote anything. I remember that the story was about some kids having a party and the class bully showed up to crash the event. The kids at the party carried him outside and locked the door, and that was my first step into the abyss of writing. Pretty deep subject matter, right? Now that I think about it, where the hell were the parents of the kid whose party it was?

So, no, poetry wasn’t my first writing endeavor. I always loved reading as a child, but other than silly little stories here and there I really didn’t get the writing bug until junior high. I had teachers who kept my love of reading and occasional writing alive in earlier grades, but it was in grade seven that I was introduced to the writing of Edgar Allan Poe. I had always loved horror movies and such, so when I was turned on to his work a switch flipped and I started writing short stories about dark and macabre things. My teacher was impressed and praised my writing, and for that I will forever be grateful.

In high school I didn’t focus much on short stories. I wrote one once in a while, but my main obsession was song writing. I had dabbled with poetry a little, but writing songs was where I developed a true love for poetry. I started writing a lot of poems after that. It was an on-again off-again relationship, but by my mid-twenties I realized it was something I would love for the rest of my life. It was also in my mid-twenties that I read Jack Kerouac for the first time, and another switch flipped. His observations of daily life and people hit home for me and I knew that I wanted to follow in that same vein: Picking at the things that seem mundane until enough layers have been peeled away that the true blood and bones of the human existence and condition are brought to light.

My favorite poets? I would have to say that the first poet who captivated me was Walt Whitman. Allen Ginsberg, Charles Bukowski, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Billy Collins are also favorites of mine.

How do you first start writing a poem? Does it come to you out of the blue, or do you have a set time where you meet with your Muse each day and let the words just … come? Has your idea of what poetry is changed since you began writing poetry?

I have no specific routine for writing. Sometimes I hear someone say something, or see a story on the news, or take a look at what people are doing while on my way to buy cigarettes, and something is triggered in my mind. Other times I stare at a blank page on the computer or in a notebook and wait for my Muse to find me. Sometimes she doesn’t come. Other times she punches me in the ribs and I write it down. She and I have never had an appointed time to meet.

My idea of what poetry is and can be has greatly changed since I began taking it seriously. Keep in mind that I was a songwriter first, and song lyrics are poetry in motion…poetry that rhymes. So for the longest time all I wrote was poetry that rhymes, and man I tell ya’ it was like I was writing Hallmark cards. When I came upon Whitman I realized that form and rhyme don’t have to be adhered to. Some people can write within certain forms and rhyme-patterns well…I found I am not one of those people. I think form and structure limits the writer, so I long-ago threw all academic approaches to poetry out the window.

Are you on Facebook or Twitter or any other social media? Does that fit into your writing life, and if so, how?

I am on Facebook, and it has been beneficial to my writing because if I stumble across a line in this scattered brain of mine I toss it out there and see if my friends “bite” at it. If enough interest is shown in it I know that it is worthwhile to dive in and flesh the rest of the piece out. Of course I write for myself first, but seeing those likes and comments and big blue thumbs give me that extra push.

Do you have a writing group or community of writers you share your work with? Who are they? What are you reading right now?

I am lucky to be among such great company in the online community. The largest group I am a member of on Facebook goes by the name Notes From The Edge: Inspired By Hunter Thompson, Bukowski, & The Beats. It is fathered by a great dude who I am proud to call my friend, Patrick Jordan. He has given so many of us a haven to find ourselves as writers and his generosity and love to all of us in the group is amazing.

There are two more groups I’d like to mention. The first one goes by the name Just Write. The second one is Poets, Drunkards, and Writers…A Place To Spill Your Guts. Both are great groups in their infancy and show a lot of promise to grow into something beautiful.

What am I reading right now? Anything I can get my hands on.

What words of encouragement can you offer other poets who are trying to get their work noticed?

Write for yourself first and foremost, and keep in mind that there is a 99.9% chance that you will never make a dime from writing poetry, let alone make a living from it. Do it because you love it and because you know there is something out there that you can bring to light. Be willing to turn over stones and scrape away moss, both in your mind and in the things you see around you. Never be afraid of stepping outside the boundaries you have been confined to.

When it comes to submitting, do your research. Make sure the piece(s) you want to submit fit the criteria of the sites or journals you are interested in. And grow a thick skin, because you will get rejected a lot. It isn’t a matter of putting down your work, it is just that some publishers aren’t looking for what you are submitting at the time. Keep it up and you will eventually see positive results.