My poem “How to Create a Family Myth” has been published in Volume 6 of the esteemed literary magazine, The American Journal of Poetry Many thanks to editor Robert Nazarene for taking this piece.
This prose poem belongs in Kin Types as it’s about Kalamazoo and my grandfather’s stories; however, it was too late for that chapbook.
UPDATE: The journal is now closed, and the poem is not available online. Here is the poem:
How to Create a Family Myth
My grandfather built a city with his tongue. Houses and little shops, celery fields and sand lots all connected to each other without roads or sidewalks. Once or twice he showed me a map of sewer lines running like Arcadia Creek underneath the cobblestones and packed dirt. We stood outside and found tall buildings in the clouds overhead. His hands gestured how his grandfather placed the bricks and taught his men to shape upwards, each building higher than the one before. Out there on the stoop, he pointed out where his mother, the one he said I looked like, had witnessed a man beating his horse. I saw her calico skirt billow out behind her, her hands wiping across her apron stomach even as she ran. When she reached the man, she snatched the whip from his hand, his surprise at her actions slowing him, rendering him stupid. When she cracked the whip down on his back time did not go on for her as it did for the rest of the world. Not until a week later, when she went to the market, did she realize that the story ran, too. It kept running until it reached all of us, each child and grandchild and great grandchild taking just what is needed from the tale. In my case, I plucked a heart from the clouds and tucked it safely inside a brick house in the city where it keeps the city alive to this day.
This is the house in the poem:
Additionally, I discovered a cool journal called Defuncted that takes poems that were published in literary journals that are now defunct. They published four poems in one collection and then a fifth poem is separate because it had unusual formatting. I love the photos they put with the poems, too.
You can find the collection here at Collection of Poems by Luanne Castle
To find the uniquely formatted poem, check out Serotonin
If you recall I made a publication goal for myself this year. So The American Journal of Poetry and Defuncted are one and two on my 2019 list.