AFTER JACOB BLAKE After the medical aid After the helicopter After immediately to Milwaukee After lengthening up through the crown After gravel shaped like twilight After tailwinds through the reeds After the pelvic floor After a mother tells her daughter, never say the Lord’s name in vain After, who’s name then am I supposed to say?
Thanks to Jim Thompson over at Cacti Fur for publishing these 13 new haiku. Cacti Fur is the only poetry journal in America that would accept these. These 13 haiku got rejected 72 times. Here’s a brief retelling of those rejections:
For rejections 0-10 I remained giddy.
For rejections 11-26 I ate corn dogs or thought that maybe I should find some corn dogs to eat.
For rejections 27-32, which came in the winter, I felt cold on the inside and the out.
For rejection 33, this one never came, I’m guessing the editors were so knocked out by my haiku they just tossed in the towel completely and turned to stone like that one soldier in Clash of the Titans.
For rejections 34-58 I thought maybe all the publishers of poetry in America must clearly be idiots who only publish their white friends. This feelings lasted 46 days and 26 minutes.
For rejections 59-62 I thought maybe I would have better luck being published if my name was Suzy Hiro or Hilario Bustamontes or Mads Kellaway.
For rejections 63-70 I thought maybe I’m a terrible poet and then I told myself that writing is like therapy and then I washed my mouth out with Ivory soap.
Rejection 71 came from the New Yorker, oh Kevin Young, what good are you? You’re a better color than the last dude, but c’mon.
Rejection 72 never came. Rejection 72 was an acceptance letter from Jim Thompson of Cacti Fur. I love you for loving me! But I hate myself for being this needy. Jim, if you are reading this, when can I submit more poems to you, and only you, for rest of my life?
Here is a picture of me pretending to talk about my 13 new haiku to Kevin Young from the New Yorker:
A special thank you to Independent Noise for publishing a new poem of mine. Click here for the poem.
Independent Noise is a online literary journal with its headquarters in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Tim Staley’s newest chapbook, The Most Honest Syllable is Shhh, is now available from Amazon.
This 32 page collection was originally released in June, 2017, by NightBallet Press out of Cleveland, Ohio.
Here is a poem from this chapbook:
My Life and Your Life
My life almost feels
like your life.
Your life might be
I turn over your life
like a ceiling fan:
fast/ medium fast/
In winter I turn
the other way.
Or is it your life
turning over mine?
September 25, 2016 Anasazi Winery Placitas, NM
September 30, 2016 New Mexico State University Las Cruces, NM
October 8, 2016 Wild Fig Books Lexington, KY
October 10, 2016 Sandra Small Gallery Covington, KY
October 12, 2016 Mac’s Backs Cleveland, OH
October 14, 2016 Art Obscura Las Cruces, NM
• Poet, lyricist, rapper, teacher, mentor, and motivator Tim Staley will receive the Arts in Education Award, honoring “an individual whose leadership and pioneering spirit promote and shape visual and performing arts education initiatives.”
Staley, a native of Montgomery, Alabama, has a master of fine arts in poetry from New Mexico State University. He has taught at Oñate High School and as an adjunct instructor at NMSU. He started a KTAL radio open mic event. He sponsored the state “Poetry Out Loud” contest for eight years, and his students have gone on to national competition in Washington, D.C. He founded Grandma Moses Press in 1992 and currently serves as publisher. He is the author of “Lost On My Own Street” and “The Most Honest Syllable Is Shhh.”