Charles W. Brice–Interview

Creative space: My wife, the poet Judy Brice, and I are lucky enough to have two homes: one in Pittsburgh and one on Walloon Lake in Petoskey, MI. In Pittsburgh I have a wonderful garret on our third floor where I work and in Petoskey I have a second-floor study that looks out on the lake. The truth is, however, I can write anywhere: bookstores, cars, libraries, coffee houses, hotel rooms, park benches—anywhere.

Writing materials: Most of the time I write in a notebook that I keep in my back pocket. So I usually write the rough drafts of my poems by hand. I edit as I get them into the computer and then edit some more. I love my Pilot G-2 10 ink pens and hate to write with anything else.

Writing Routine: I read in the morning, poetry, novels, nonfiction, whatever, then, after lunch, go to my study and write all day. That’s not quite true: I consider submitting part of my writing day. Usually I’ll start something new or edit existing poems (some poems go through 30 edits), but always finish the day with submitting to at least one venue.

Writing, how long? I wrote poems in college but when I met my wife, Judy, I read some of her poetry and stopped writing myself for about twenty years. Her work was so good that I thought I’d be better off not writing anymore. I shouldn’t have done that, but it’s the truth. I started writing fiction again about 20 years ago. I got a few stories published but found that people really enjoyed my poems and they started getting published frequently so…I became a poet.

Audience: My first audience is my wife, Judy, then our son, Ariel, then my best and closest friends. I always have someone in mind when I write. Even though writing is a solitary process, it’s a relational process for me. I love to get my work published because I love to have people read it. It’s a special boon for me when I meet someone new because of my work. That’s happened when people have read my work on Facebook. I love it!

Inspiration: Reading other poets really inspires me, in fact, I’ve got this crazy idea that the worth of a particular poet I’m reading is directly proportional to the number of poems I get inspired to write while reading her/his work. I’m blessed, I’m never blocked. I think this is because, years ago, when I was in college, I had an English prof named Bernie Beaver who taught us that “anything can be a poem.” That piece of advice has been so helpful to me, Another teacher of mine, Jack Ridl, says that out of ten poems he’s written only one might be publishable, but the other nine were worth it. That’s a liberating thought, one that has helped me write about anything, anywhere! I’m also a member of a terrific writing group at our public library. I get a poem a week out of that group.

Other things I do: On my third floor in Pittsburgh sits the exact drum set that Ringo Starr played in the Beatles—a Ludwig Oyster Pearl drum set with Zildjian cymbals. I love playing them. I was in a rock band and a soul band when a young guy and have recently taken up jazz drumming. Also, I love taking long walks with my dog Mugsi. She’s a sweetie!

Favorite Part of Creative Process: I love editing—tinkering around with the original draft. I think of it as sculpting, getting the poem into a particular shape usually dictated, eventually, by the poem itself rather than by some design of mine. I agree with Billy Collins who says that the best part of the writing process is being surprised by what comes up in the poem, especially the ending.

Advice to writers: Get rid of your inner critic! When you hear that voice say, “it’s crap,” or “you’re no good,” give it the inner finger and write. Find your own writing rhythm. I write every day, and I’ve got friends who tell me that I’m so disciplined. I’m not disciplined! I love what I do and that’s what feels right for me. If you write only when the muse arrives, then that’s great. My wife writes only when the mood hits, and she’s a tremendous poet. Also, if you don’t want to submit your work, that’s fine. There’s no law that you have to, but if you want to publish your work, you’ve got to get it out there. You can’t catch fish if you ain’t got no bait, as the old blues song goes. Make submitting part of your normal writing day. Don’t take rejection personally. Wear rejection like a medal on your chest! It means you’re trying your best. Read like mad and eventually you’ll find your own voice. If you have a book, market it like crazy! The books don’t sell themselves! People who feel that marketing is somehow beneath them get what they deserve—few sales. They also are often the ones who whine that no one reads poetry anymore.

Check out Charles’s work in Volume 4, Issue 2, and the review of Mnemosyne’s Hand: Poems in Volume 4, Issue 2

We made it to $1,000!

Thank you to our 28 backers! We are 18% funded with 15 Days to Go! We’ve reached a THOUSAND DOLLARS! Five thousand more and we’ll reach our $6,000 goal to print two volumes of The Magnolia Review, Volume 4, Issue 1, and Volume 4, Issue 2. Thank you for every dollar of $1,108. Keep the pledges coming and keep spreading the word. Let’s make this dream happen.

Check out the Kickstarter project page here (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/magnoliareview/the-magnolia-review-volume-4?ref=nav_search&result=project&term=the%20magnolia%20review).

Mishigamaa by Robert Krantz

Krantz submitted to the first issue of The Magnolia Review. His poems are magnetic and show poetic mastery. His language builds strong and lasting images. His chosen language sounds a melodious music to read aloud, a rhythm that you have to play to completion.

In “Pearl,” the speaker begins with, “I remember the wheat fields / of Iowa and the photograph / of you I took with me, / and how neither ever really ended.” The speaker continues, “We ate and loved / much in that decade, / collided with stars, / authored myths / and stuffed our age-spotted hands / into denim pockets.” The image and sound carries through the lines, building to the final image of “The half shells we find on beaches / were once a thing joined together, / breathing, and grinding / new pearls into place.” The poem builds like a pearl, with the images stringing together into a cohesive piece.

Laundry can be boring. The speaker reflects on his fellow laundry-doers in “Load,” where “The bachelors in the laundromat / spill their words / like bleach / on black clothes, / speak of condos / and alimonies— / thick humidities turning.” The clothes transform into more, they are “damp thoughts” as they wash, and they “…breathe[s] / restless poems / into my blues and grays. / Soon this summer rain / will end, volume of water / striking pavement / will knob itself silent.” Krantz ends the poem with a moment that draws the reader back to the reality of the laundromat, “The cash machine, / against the flecked wall, / reminds me to change.”

The collection ends with “Pathfinder,” about a hatchet and its story. It shares the story of two boys cutting down a tree and of a sibling wrestling game gone awry.

Overall, Krantz’s poems are musical and full of images that inspire looking at mundane events in a new and interesting way. I look forward to reading more of Krantz’s work.

Check out Robert‘s work in Volume 1, Issue 1, and a review of Gargoyles in Volume 2, Issue 2.

Volume 4, Issue 2 is Here!

The issue is available as a PDF: TMR Volume 4 Issue 2.

The optional theme is comics, be it drawn in sequential images or just plain funny.

Contributors: Gershon Ben-Avraham, Susan P. Blevins, Mela Blust, Charles W. Brice, Aria Callaham, Joan Colby, Holly Day, Darren C. Demaree, Adam Durso, Kelcey Parker Ervick, Sarah A. Etlinger, GTimothy Gordon, John Grey, Jack D. Harvey, Aloura Hattendorf, Henry Hitz, Diane Hoffman, A.J. Huffman, Phil Huffy, James Croal Jackson, Lonnie James, Gloria DeVidas Kirchheimer, Matthew J. Kreglow, Claire Martin, Megan Miazgowicz, Jennifer Davis Michael, Paul Mills, TJ Neathery, Simon Perchik, Steven B. Rosenfeld, David Anthony Sam, William L. Spencer, David Spicer, Chuck Thompson, Dennis Trujillo, Bess Vanrenen, Maryfrances Wagner, Michael Whelan, Theresa Williams, and Kelsey Zimmerman.

Reviews: Hold Me Gorilla Monsoon by Colette Arrand, Auri by Auri, Internet Yearnings by Gary Beck, Mnemosyne’s Hand: Poems by Charles W. Brice, Her Secret Husband by Abbey Faith, The Future by From Ashes to NewBurn Site In Bloom by Jamie HoughtonRookland by Jesse Minkert, Beach Dweller Manifesto by Leah MuellerGhost Matter by Jade RamseyHeavenly Whispers by Roger SipplPermanent Change of Station by Lisa Stice, and i’m fine: A Haiku Collection About Mental Illness by Jamie Winters.

Winner of The Magnolia Review Ink Award: Theresa Williams, for “From The Diary of Lea Knight,” chosen by Dom Fonce.

Charles W. Brice

Pushcart Prize nominated poet, Charles W. Brice, Ph.D., is a retired psychoanalyst and is the author of Flashcuts Out of Chaos (WordTech Editions, 2016) and of Mnemosyne’s Hand (WordTech Editions, 2018). His poetry, short stories, reviews, and nonfiction pieces have appeared in over seventy publications including Literal Latte, The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, Psychiatry, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Atlanta Review, Hawaii Review, The Main Street Rag, Chiron Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, The Paterson Literary Review, Plainsongs and elsewhere. His poem, “Identification,” was anthologized along with poems by W.H. Auden, Hilda Doolittle, Philip Larkin, Stephen Dobyns, Louise Gluck, Anne Sexton, and others in, Climate of Opinion: Sigmund Freud in Poetry, Irene Willis (Ed.), (International Psychoanalytic Books, 2017).

Sis, Volume 4, Issue 2
Review, Mnemosyne’s Hand: Poems, Volume 4, Issue 2
Interview

Her Secret Husband–Review

Fara West is not your typical Victorian lady. She prefers riding horses and wearing men’s clothes to drinking tea and wearing dresses to balls. So when her father arranges a marriage with Marc Ranlyn, she maintains her independence and does not become the submissive wife he desires. But then Marc sails for America on business and dies in a shipwreck. She is free from her loveless marriage.

Except Marc has an identical twin. And six siblings he never told her about. When Fara meets Avetis, she sees her dead husband Marc. Avetis assumes Marc’s identity so he can finally provide for his five remaining siblings and find them suitable marriage partners. It is not long before Avetis and Fara fall in love. Overcoming the abusive history with Marc, it takes time for Fara to trust Avetis to not repeat Marc’s abuses and to not waste her family fortune.

Faith focuses on Fara’s and Avetis’s love story, and she also dips into the lives and perspectives of the siblings, Marc, and Avetis’s friend Phoenix Alden. Marley is the second oldest, and she helps Avetis raise their siblings after the deaths of their parents. Kitty is interested in fashion and is forthright and nosy. Emory reads books and is too shy to speak. The youngest twins, Enoch and Reuben, are rambunctious. Enoch cares for animals, especially his pet lizard Bug. The reader meets Phoenix Alden, a bookseller who is friends with Avetis. When customers complain about wanting more Lewis Carroll, Phoenix smirks and says, “‘What it must be like to be a child lucky enough to have a mother who purchases books for you. When I was a boy, I found amusement in tossing rocks between my palms.’”

Her Secret Husband is an entertaining read, filled with lovable characters, a memorable love story, and plenty of adventures and surprises as the Ranlyn family explores London and enters society to find marriage partners.

Pick up a copy of Her Secret Husband when it is released June 1, 2018, here from Red Sage Publishing, Inc. Check out Abbey Faith’s Facebook page for more information about upcoming titles about the Ranlyn family, and Abbey Faith’s blog here.

Roger Sippl

Roger Sippl studied creative writing at UC Irvine, UC Berkeley and Stanford Continuing Studies. He has enjoyed being published in a couple dozen online and print literary journals and anthologies over the years. While a student at Berkeley, Sippl was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and was treated for thirteen months with a mixture of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, seriously challenging him in many ways, but allowing him to live relapse-free to this day, forty-three years later. So, is this poem about an old love reappearing, or just the thought of her reappearing, or is it about cancer coming back, or all and none of these? Sippl has just self-published a book of poetry, Heavenly Whispers, and it is available from Amazon. He is finishing two other poetry books, Real Nature and Bridgehampton, which should be on Amazon in approximately the April timeframe. Samples of poems from those books are on his writing website, www.rogersippl.com.

Again, Volume 4, Issue 1
Interview
Review, Heavenly Whispers, Volume 4, Issue 2