Slow News Day

So I thought I didn’t have anything to share today, but as I was cleaning out my e-mail, I found the following message from Gretl van der Merwe, who’s apparently starting up a bimonthly magazine called Melisma.

Here’s the official notice:

TheVerbForI will be publishing the first issue of “melisma,” it’s bimonthly magazine on the 1st of October 2008. We are inviting poets to submit works on the following theme: “The Immediate.”

Format: Construct a poetic form consisting of stanzas with an odd line length (3 lines, 5 lines, etc.) where each line in a stanza has a consistent number of words (not syllables or stresses).

No fancy layout. Left justified with initial capitals. Minimal punctuation. Submit in word or pdf format to

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3 thoughts on “Slow News Day

  1. Linda Whipple

    I am not sure if this fits the criteria??


    Immediately must wake to find
    wayward papers pens and light

    barely keeping the explosive ideas
    fighting to leave the mind

    they all want out now
    cant wait for another day

    morning time is to late
    the next second too delayed

    urgency spurs on for hours…
    spent words with tired paper

    now we get our sleep.

    (c) Linda M. Whipple 2008

  2. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Robert – well, the poem above is being considered. At least I know they read my poem! Here is the give and take via email:

    (Philip Smith)
    Well this one is a bit better

    Not hugely original nor terribly musical and the bit about “dogs howling” creaks

    It reminds me of the rolling stones song “Mother’s Little Helper”

    However – we will see

    P (this is Philip Smith)
    Dear Philip,

    Thank you for reading my poem and giving me great feedback. I didn’t know that song, so I looked up the lyrics online and can definitely see the resemblance in theme.

    Most poetry editors don’t take the time to give an actual critique, and I appreciate it.

    Again, thanks, and I hope it makes the cut!


    Amy Barlow Liberatore (

    Was this a proper response? Just wondering… and did anyone else submit? Poetically and newlyweddedly yours, Amy

  3. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Robert, I was so intimidated by this challenge. But, as you have always said, once you get the rhythm going, the words do flow. I am learning so much about trusting the process of writing daily and was bold enough to submit the following to Gretl, using the "cover letter" in the body of the email and attaching the poem as a .doc, as requested. WOW! I can do this stuff! You inspire so much confidence – and I thank you. Amy

    The Immediacy of Her Life

    Morning coffee meds water COFFEE
    Efferxor Abilify Lamictal Klonapin cannot
    Keep the dogs at bay
    They are howling from within
    Snarling, scratching, demanding her attention

    Fear sparks energy. She revs
    Full gear overdrive fully flung
    Into chores – laundry dishes floors
    She does it all now
    Before someone discovers she’s slacking

    Vacuum every room dust polish
    Her yoga pushups weights stretches
    Must be done slowly quickly
    Before her husband comes home
    And she replies Fine, Honey