Any migration is forced

Poetry by Sara Fitzpatrick Comito

Category: Uncategorized

Walter Bjorkman Memorial Fund

UPDATE: Almost as quickly as the fund was created, Nicolette informed the community that a donor stepped forward to take care of the costs associated with Walter’s memorial.

Click here to give to the Walter Bjorkman Memorial Fund.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

If Walter Bjorkman raged, in keeping with Thomas’ entreaty, it was with the quiet dignity that graced all our interactions with him. Today I grieve the hole his death has punched into the heart of the independent literary community, but I grieve mostly for those who were his family and closest friends. In my limited communication with him, by email and in online spaces (and as a reader of his poetry and flash fiction), Walter conducted himself with gentleness. I know for a fact he was gentle, because communicating with such a master of his particular brand of craft can only be a revelation of true self. Go gentle, sir. I know you couldn’t have done anything but.

Nicolette Wong has set up a memorial fund for her beloved colleague at A-Minor Magazine/Press to help his family cope with their currently untenable financial situation. He was ill and penniless, and with the cost of the medical bills and now the unthinkable – well it’s a lot to bear without help.

The Drunk Monkeys Writers Tournament

This may alienate some of my readers, but here goes: I have no interest in college sports. When I hear about “brackets” around the office, I think of [punctuation]. Drunk Monkeys has produced a March Madness bracket for the rest of us! And good lord – some of the choices are impossibly hard! Faulker vs. Vonnegut? Steinbeck vs. Poe? See who people are choosing [here].

Versed in Florida

I am a poet, and I live in Florida. The Fort Myers NPR affiliate, WGCU Public Media, decided to feature me as the Florida poet of the month for March. I had a cold. Turns out I sound better with a cold. I hope you enjoy the interview, wherein I discuss how I write and what I write.

Many thanks for Mad Hatter’s Review for originally publishing “All drains lead to the sea,” the poem I read on the air.

The soul of brevity

bottles-87342_640Need I say more? That’s the work of poetry right there: knowing when to stand up at your desk, push back your chair and say “my job here is done.”
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Weird Florida, wild Florida

Carl Hiaasen has said he doesn’t have to make anything up. Having moved to Florida more than a decade ago, I can see why. My first impressions upon descending from Idaho’s high desert where I lived for a year and gave birth to my only child, and learning to live as a flatlander again included: OK, boob jobs are a common door prize at local night clubs. I didn’t enter the drawings. I prefer not having to negotiate a different center of gravity, among other things.
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It’s a birthday party and you’re invited!

My second born turns 3 this April. I’m so proud of the headless wonder. Now accepting submissions related to the special theme: the number 3! I hope you will join the party. Click the glyphs to RSVP. And as ever, thank you for your support of Orion headless.

Have you visited the home page lately? Check it out. Good stuff there.

Collab is fab?

My husband is a great partner. I never really worry about what his mission is on a given day. I know whatever it is will go toward enhancing our quality of life in some way, whether large or small. Awwww, right? He’s not bad to look at either.

He has many talents but is not an accomplished literary writer. He has come to enjoy a lot of different types of writing, partly through the vast array of offerings at Orion headless (my second child). He has limited experience with writing poetry (my first love). However, when we occasionally do have a spontaneous shared impulse it’s fun to put pen to paper sequentially, and eke out whatever exquisite corpse decides to grace us with its laughable presence.

It’s most fun when we have our writer friend and neighbor Ryun Horn over for a cocktail. The results are an alchemical reaction that foments into frothy layers of giggly foam. Such silliness is just one way I’ve opened my eyes to the impulsive joy that playing well with others can create. Here’s an example of the shenanigans. See footnote below for translation.*
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The typo writ large

Writers at one time or another run into a situation where, for some reason, a piece gets printed incorrectly. We can rage against inanimate objects, cry into our Haagen Dazs or idly threaten seppuku. Or we can get over it. It took me a while, but I am getting over it.

My poem “Pristine Creature” is the first to appear in the very first issue of Do Hookers Kiss?, a print journal of erotic literature and art hailing from the UK. When I wrote the poem, it manifested first on some coffee-splattered sticky notes and remained in an untidy drawer for years. Children, gather round and hear this tale: if you want to grow up to be a rich and famous poet someday, learn how to organize your work better. If you don’t treat your craft with its due respect how can you expect anyone else to?
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Dead Snakes

A coiled black snake

Some people like their snakes dead. I like them very much alive, thank you. I have a neighbor who killed my snake and doesn’t think I know about it. I will have to address that at some point. Black racers are harmless, beautiful creatures that are a boon to any Florida garden. Yes, it’s my snake, because I’m the one who gardens around here. The neighbor just wheels around on his wheelchair exclaiming how (1) if he still had his legs, he could dig faster than me and (2) nobody can grow corn in the front yard. He may be right on one accord. 

So I’m thinking about dead snakes because some time ago poet Stephen Jarrell Williams was kind enough to publish a poem I had written in his journal, Dead Snakes. Much of the work found there revolves around themes of poison, danger, mystery. My own work that appears there spilled out of a dream. It’s called Spill. I hope you enjoy it. 

And let the snakes live, people! 

Free Zhu Yufu

What a world we live in where a man can go to jail for sharing a poem. I much lament the American ambivalence toward poetry, but the Chinese take it quite seriously indeed.

I was ignorant of the plight of poet Zhu Yufu until my friend Russell Streur opened my eyes. I’m grateful to him for creating an online petition and generally fostering awareness of the egregious imprisonment of a man who shared a poem via Skype. While I’m grateful, I’m afraid I’ve also grown obsessed. Luckily Russell provided me a poetic outlet for that obsession by publishing my poem, “7 years for us” on his new poetry project in support of Zhu Yufu, The Bamboo Forest. I hope you will read the words there, and be moved to sign the petition. If you are also poetically inclined, submit your own words to this beautiful space. As an incentive, Russell offers: “Win a year in a Chinese prison.” Ah well, so I’m persona non grata. I didn’t have any plans to visit that country anytime soon.

Additional background information can be found at the Guardian. Did I miss something – where is the American press on this? I hope we’re not ambivalent about human rights abuses, as well.