David Kramer at the Tom Otterness sculptures on University Ave holding a New Yorker, October 2015, from The New Yorker is NOT publishing my poem. Need your submissions.
As seen in Rundelania publishes “Providence, Summer, 1989″, “The Thirty Year Prophecy,” and “A Period of Mutually Agreed Upon Reflection”, Rundelania just published its seventh volume. The journal is dedicated to the publication of original poetry and prose by friends and patrons of the library.In August 2019, under the management of Andrew Coyle, Literature Librarian at the RPL’s Central Branch, Rundelania.com The Digital Literary Journal at the Rochester Public Library launched its first print edition. Unfortunately, the print version is suspended due the closing of the library during the covid-19 pandemic.
The library may be closed but it’s staying close. As Andrew explains:
We are doing our best to stay connected to our patrons. Rochester Public Library and the Monroe County Library System have made it the staff`s number one goal during the Pause, to stay connected, reach out, do as much online programming as we can. Part of that was the creation of Central Casting, a Central Library podcasting and audio site. Rundelania housed the site at first but it has since moved to SoundCloud, at Central Casting at RPL. The Arts and Literature Division at Central thought it would be a great way for authors, poets, musicians and more, to have their work-in-sound uploaded and shared. There are also nature podcasts on the site, so it is not just art and literature. It`s a way for us to communicate with each other, it promotes their work and let`s us reach out to an audience they might not have touched before. We also really appreciate everything Talker of The Town has done for the Literature Division and Rundelania over the years. David is an incredible advocate for the Arts in Rochester. [Editor’s note: at first I didn’t catch the double pun. Central is short for Central Branch; casting is short for podcasting. Hence,”Central Casting.”]
For the May 1st issue of Rundelania, Andrew has included, “The New Yorker is publishing my poem!” and “Two on a Rickety Bicycle.” The poems first appeared in 2015 in the India digital publication The Criterion: An International Journal in English. Sometime in the last couple of years, the journal became defunct. All its poetry evaporated from the ethernet.
Andrew is kindly giving both renewed existence. In the spirit of Central Casting I added images audio clips. In the same spirit, I added audio clips to Rundelania publishes “Providence, Summer, 1989″, “The Thirty Year Prophecy,” and “A Period of Mutually Agreed Upon Reflection”.
Rundelania’s About Page explains the submission process:
We are taking submissions for issue No. 8 – November 2020, deadline for submission: October 25th, Send works of 4,000 words or less, in Microsoft Word compatible format,to Andrew Coyle: [email protected], Subject line: submission
If you’d like, include audio clips as I’ve done, amateurishly.
I who wrote one poem in college thirty years ago,¹
Walked into a cemetery,
Lit my first cigarette in ten years,
And wrote a poem in my mind.
Lacking pen, I found a Starbucks,
Scrap paper and a black Sharpie.
Within fifteen minutes, finis.²The images and dreams
Taken from another person.
But who cares?
Then the letter.³
To be published in an upcoming issue.
A complete novice.
Absolutely unprecedented and unimaginable.
The luminaries who grace the pages
Of The New Yorker!
Friends and family for the rest of their lives
To be speechless.
The Department of English
In which I serve as an adjunct
To be dumbfounded.
I who never play the lottery,
Won the lottery.
Whose life I borrowed,
Who left me,
Will come back.
¹ The poem the narrator wrote in college could be “Providence, Summer 1989”
² The poem the narrator wrote in Starbucks could be “A Period of Mutually Agreed Upon Reflection”
³ The rejection letter David Kramer received from The New Yorker:
Thank you for submitting your poetry to The New Yorker. We regret that we are unable to carry your work in the magazine, but we are grateful for the opportunity to read and consider it.
Paul Muldoon, Poetry Editor
Elisabeth Denison, Poetry Coordinator from The New Yorker is NOT publishing my poem. Need your submissions.
Audio version — “The New Yorker is publishing my poem!”
Hey, thanks. Let me show you the house.
The ruse of the forgotten pen.
From when they exchanged numbers that evening at Jeremiah’s.
Her children now at home with her sister
Eating Reeses and Nestles Crunch.
Look, seniorita, a Cuban flag bought last August
When Obama established diplomatic ties.
Going to fly it right next to the American flag
On Independence Day.
Up against a certain wall,
Back to a certain chair,
Her on my lap,
Leftover Halloween candy,
In a bowl on the table.
* * *
The Healthy Relationships Seminar done.
Skylarking home on the Canal Path
Under a purple evening sky
Making purple water.
Two Asians on a rickety bicycle.
The same two as before and before.
He gangly with glasses, in back.
She, perched almost on his lap, in front.
Pleasant, short, more plain than not.
The same couple, for years now, swooning and looping
The Canal Path, the Lehigh Valley Trail, the Genesee Parkway,
Riverside and inland.
He whispering to her in Chinese
Or Talagog. Or Esperanto.
Or is it even words?
The single encounter at the municipal tennis courts
That is not me watching them on their bicycle.
The cheap used yard sale rackets,
The found balls fuzzless and soggy,
Black socks and Walmart tennis shoes.
“Hey, I think I’ve seen you guys on your bicycle.”
The returned stare as blank as this page before I started.
“Do you go to school here?”
We grew up in China
My husband grad student in Electric Engineering
Live in Whipple Park.
Back to forehands and backhands
Plinking into the net.
Funny, she and I never have played tennis like that
The way we talked about.
Audio version — “Two on a Rickety Bicycle”
ON RUNDEL AND THE CENTRAL BRANCH