Poetry Submissions for the Rest of Us

So, I’ve been reading submission guidelines while I search for places to home my poetry. A lot of them leave me scratching my head. 

“We want poetry that makes our heart go POW and our head pop off the stem of our neck spouting blood like a geyser. We want work that zings our strings and causes a rabid dog to bay at the moon. Send us work that has the diversity of fungal infected wildflowers and the factory installed parts of a slightly used car. Come whiffling through the tulgey wood, and burble as you come, with thematic intent.”


All I really want to know is whether the magazine wants free verse, forms, more traditional, prose poems, experimental, or political. Do they consider rhyming poetry? Non-traditional? Edgy? Short? Long? Tattooed on your left hand? How can you tailor your work to the magazine when you can’t decipher the code? Back issues don’t always help.

I’ll take utterly clueless for $500, Alex.

Maybe my poetry magazine to poet translator is busted. 

Maybe I’m getting old. 

Maybe I should stick to writing fantasy. 

Maybe I just throw my poetry at the submissions wall and see what sticks. Yep, I like this option. 

(And when I do find a place for my work)—

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?

      Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

      She chortled in her joy.

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