Thursday, January 05, 2006


The girls you love make beautiful suicides.
Breaking off heels and losing orchid
corsages beneath the backseats of buicks.

This one speaks through the curtain
of her hair, the sweet blonde number,
soft machine of her ribs humming

like an engine block full of bees.
The dark has too much rigging. The moon
projected on a screen with tinfoil stars.

Is full of holes. Bankrupt gas stations
and the backs of women's calves.
Your flares set fire to the homecoming float.

Set fire to the gym and all its paper
carnations. All the mouths gone metallic pink,
harboring tire irons and rhinestone tiaras.


Brandi said...

I wish I wrote this one. I'm working with similar subject matter now myself.

I've been wanting to ask you about your book submission process for a long time... I know you're not fond of the whole contest deal, but how have you been deciding who/what to submit or query to? And how many submissions/queries have you done?
Any help here would be appreciated ;)
Be well,

Christine E. Hamm, Poet/Professor/Painter said...

Love, love, love this.

kristy bowen said...

Brandi --

With contests, I'd started sending out the initial version in 2003-2004 to a couple of contests per year. I tended to stick to the smaller, newer contests, where I thought I had a chance (apparently I didn't). I only started hitting them hard last spring when I entered like eight over the course of two months...It was pretty much a free for all there..big contests, little contests..anyone who had lovely books or authors I liked and a deadline in the spring.It was something like a $200 entry fee blitz, which in hindsight, looks a little ridicuous.

By summer, I was gauging I'd not have much luck there. It wasn't until this late this summer that I started looking seriously toward some smaller indie places that might take a look at it outside of the contests. I sent it out to three, and Ghost Road was one of them.

My decisions on where to send to were totally sort of random. Sometimes I liked the look of their books. Or I liked other people they'd published. Funny, but what drew me to submit to Ghost Road was their name and snazzy looking books and website..I didn't know much about them otherwise..

I think they were the only place I had to query first, and they wanted a description of the book--thematic mostly, and some sort of indication of a marketing, how willing you are to do readings, have a website, etc. to promote yourself and your book. Also a resume-like list of prior publications, etc.

Lorna Dee Cervantes said...

another fine poem!

Brandi said...

Hey K,

Thanks for letting me know how you went about it... I'm sending to contests and feel like I'm all over the place, picking smaller ones and then a few at random...

What were the two other presses you sent to besides Ghost Road?

Thanks again for your help!

kristy bowen said...

Wordtech, which have a bunch of different imprints, but is all poetry...

And Mayapple Press

Brandi said...

Great. Thanks again ;)