Angela Williams

Editor’s Note, August 4

Hi, there, Fickle Muses friends and fans. Did you miss us? We definitely missed you!

So we want to welcome you back by welcoming back FM contributor James Nicola. Dip more than just your toe into his delightful poems “Sisyphus Revisited” and “In Crosswords We Recall.” I love the way he plays with language, giving it a vitality with an upbeat tone even when dealing with poor Sisyphus and his eternal boulder.

So enjoy and we’ll be back next week with a short story!

 

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

 

Contributor’s Notes: ames B. Nicola has had over 300 poems published in periodicals including the Atlanta Review, Tar River, Texas Review, Lyric, and Nimrod. A Yale grad and stage director by profession, his book Playing the Audience won a Choice Award. As a poet, he also won the Dana Literary Award and a People’s Choice award (from Storyteller); was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award; and was featured poet at New Formalist. His children’s musical, “Chimes: A Christmas Vaudeville” premiered in Fairbanks, Alaska—with Santa Claus in attendance opening night

 

Summer Update, July 3

Hey, there, FM friends! I will be traveling all over the place during the next three weeks and have no idea what access I’ll have to proper technology. Therefore, we will have two more issues and then be taking a short break for the rest of July. I know, I know–I’ll miss you all, too! But we’ll be back in August for a full line-up of fiction and poetry. Until then, I know you’ll love the next two writers we’ve got coming up on July 7 and 14. They’re both super talented and it’s a joy to feature them our our site.

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

 

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

Editor’s Note, June 30

Hello again after our short break and a crazy hot and stormy week!

We’re glad you’re joining us and we’re especially pleased to welcome back FM friend and contributor, James Scruton. Continuing on with our “Greek” obsession, he gives us a two-part poem as his own version of afterwords in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. In “After Ilium”, he transforms the waiting for and after battle into something stunningly contemplative. Then with “Axe-Heads”, he employs that same elegance (which is simply marvelous) as he gives us Odysseus suspended in the moment of the epic’s climatic and terribly violent event.

Enjoy!

 

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

 

Contributor Notes: James Scruton’s work has most recently appeared in Poet Lore, Thema, Slipstream, and Poetry South. He is the author of two chapbooks: Galileo’s House, available from Finishing Line Press, and Exotics and Accidentals, available from graysonbooks.com. A sampling of other poems can be found at poetryfoundation.org.

 

Editor’s Note, June 17

I know, I know, we’re running a little late. But sometimes when you’ve got something good, you have to stretch the already taut wire of anticipation.

And we’ve got something good. Two somethings, to be exact.

First, I’m excited to introduce you to our new fiction editor, Annie Olson! Your humble editor tricked Ms. Olson into doing this job because I fancy myself as wily and evil like Loki. It had to happen because Annie is super talented and a perfect fit for the magazine. But don’t let me convince you. We put together a little five-question interview to let you all see for yourselves how awesome she is. I mean, she can’t even be mean to your ridiculous editor when handed the opportunity.

FM: We’ll start easy. Pudding or Jell-O?

AO: Pudding

FM: What’s the one myth that has always stuck in your mind and stayed with you no matter how hard you’ve tried to shake it? 

AO: Icarus gets his more than his fair share of mentions in pop culture; however, I remember hearing the Icarus story in 3rd grade and it stuck with me.

FM: If you woke up in the body of a god or goddess who would you want it to be and why? (This is like the “if you could have a super power” question only way cooler.)

AO: I don’t know about God or Goddess, but I will go with the shape shifting trickster Coyote from Native American creation myths.

FM: So you’re our new resident fiction expert. What do you like to see in a story that is submitted to Fickle Muses?

AO: Originality. If you’re using themes or characters from myth, something new should be revealed in the story.

FM: Do you have a favorite writer or artist who uses myth and legend?

AO: Rudolfo Anaya. I love his use of language and modern take on traditional stories. Way before I moved to New Mexico, I did my undergrad thesis in Native American mythology.

FM: Bonus question: If you could sic a mythological being on Angela, what would it be? (This is to see how much you want to kill me for making you do this. Bahaha!)

AO: Oh, dear… You’re just an Artemis. I love Artemis. Ambitious and strong.

See how great she is? And for her very first edition she picked an equally great story by Orlaith O’Sullivan. Finally we get to hear the many conquests of Zeus’ side of the story all together. It’s great solidarity but they also have a fun surprise up their sleeves to show the world that it is these famed mythological women who truly hold the control. It’s fabulous and I was delighted. I’m sure you will be, as well.

Enjoy!

 

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

 

Contributor’s Notes:  (Orlaith is pronounced ‘Orla’, just so your internal monologue is correct). Orlaith is an award-winning Irish writer with a PhD in Renaissance literature. Her short stories have appeared in Irish and international journals. She is winner of the Fish Knife Award and The Stinging Prize, and was shortlisted for the William Trevor International Short Story Competition and the JG Farrell Award.

Short Stories:
‘The Bottle’, available in Hauptfriedhof (The Dance Macabre Anthology)http://amzn.com/B00993AZGI
‘Gilt’, in A Paper Heart is Beating, A Paper Boat Sets Sailhttp://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0954258665
‘A Tall Tale’, in The Stinging Fly, Summer 2008: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1906539014

 

 

Editor’s Note, June 9

 

So much goings on lately! You all may have noticed that we have once again opened up fiction submissions due to our brand-spanking new fiction editor, Annie Olson. We’ll learn more about her next week when we put out her first fiction edition. So send us your fiction, your poetry and your art. We look forward to reading all your wonderful work!

This week, we are back to poetry and what a treasure we have to offer. Paul Nelson gives us a superb poem full of fervor, deliberations and mythical journeys. I don’t even normally like long poems (short attention span? love of conciseness? who knows) but I just fell into this one and couldn’t drag my eyes away from it. You will have to read it more than once because he gives us so much and upon each reading, you’ll happily peel away the layers to reveal something new and fascinating.

So enjoy and we’ll see you next week!

 

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

 

Contributer’s Notes: Paul Nelson, Downeaster, writes now from the North Shore of O’ahu …like deep-sea trolling. Seven books, including an AWP winner. Burning the Furniture will come with Guernica Editions in early 2014. He directed CW for Ohio University for years.

Editor’s Note, May 27

You might find yourself looking in shock at your screen but yes, that is indeed a short story we’re featuring this week. To all those who have missed the fiction know that we are still doing some staff changes but we’ve definitely decided to continue publishing fiction pieces. We are still a little backlogged so fiction submissions will remain closed for the nonce.

For now, kick back and enjoy Reed Stirling’s delightful romp through Greece with his mysterious Fay Devine, who may not actually be a mythic character but she certainly holds her own in that sphere. The piece is from Mr. Stirling’s larger work, Shades of Persephone. I can’t think of a better way to welcome back fiction to the site than with this lovely story.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

 

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

 

Contributer’s Notes: Reed Stirling lives in Cowichan Bay, B.C, and writes when not painting landscapes or traveling or taking coffee at Bo’s, a local café where metaphor and metaphysics clash daily. Recent work has appeared in a variety of publications including The Nashwaak Review, The Valley Voice, Senior Living, Island Writer, Maple Tree Literary Supplement and Out Of The Warm Land II and III, StepAway Magazine and Danforth Review. 

Other published excerpts from Shades of Persephone:

“Inchoate Shapes” The Nashwaak Review @ St Thomas University (Volume 22/23)

“Like Odysseus” from a chapter titled “Hydra-Headed Beauty” in Maple Tree Literary Supplement @ Carleton University (Issue # 6)

“Magalee” from a chapter titled “Grace and Scourge” in Out Of The Warm Land III, an anthology, (November 2011)

“On The Road With Persephone” from a chapter titled “Thigh Friendship” in Paperplates (Vol. 8, No. 1)

“Requiem For A Hero / Tiresias” from the concluding chapter titled “Infallible Messenger” in Hackwriters Magazine (05/02/13)

“Déjà Vu” from a chapter titled “The King Must Die” forthcoming in Green Silk Journal

 

Editors Note, May 19

 

There’s a feral dreaminess to Larissa Nash’s poetry.

And myth is nothing if not feral and dreamy, which is why I’m so very pleased to feature Ms. Nash in this week’s Fickle Muses. She takes us from the ocean rocks and the weariness of a dangerous creature in “The Last of the Lily Maids” to a surreal hospital where a banshee awaits in “The Caw of Crows,” giving readers just enough to draw us down and under, as if we were the prey.

The danger of touching something we should not is inherent in most myths and legends. If you frolic with the elves in the summer land, you may never make it home again. They teach us that when the irresistible reaches out a hand and the warning blows a dust storm in our minds, we must pay heed. That’s what lives in these poems. Take heed, my friends, for you may lose yourself and never find your way back.

Or perhaps that’s the best way to go.

 

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

 

Contributer’s Notes: Larissa Nash, an alumna of Loyola University New Orleans, is in pursuit of an M.F.A. in Poetry from Pacific University. Larissa resides in the dusty, neglected outskirts of Austin, Texas, where she attempts to appease the rain god with haiku. She has participated in several of Francesca Lia Block’s online workshops, and her work has appeared in BohemiaDinosaur BeesEunoia ReviewFlutter Poetry JournalFortunatesPoppy Road Review, and Siren. Larissa is the founding editor of Rose Red Review. Please visit her at http://www.underwaterlily.org.

Editor’s Note, May 12

 

We here at Fickle Muses are not as fickle as one might think. The poem need not be a persona of an actual god or a modern reinterpretation of a particular myth to satisfy our craving. I do love a poem where literary figures intertwine with biblical figures. And even mere statues of said gods may appear and thrill me.  And I do tend to go a bit crazy over vivid imagery. Therefore, I’m excited to give you two poems by Joe Eldridge. His work is perhaps a little different from what we normally publish but I believe in throwing a curve ball every now and then. He takes on Faust’s author, as well as Nebuchadnezzar, in a very bold, playful and adventurous way.

It is, in a word, delightful.

Enjoy!

 

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

 

Contributer’s Notes: Joe Eldridge earned his MFA in Poetry at Columbia College Chicago where he is currently an adjunct professor teaching in the poetry, literature, & speech departments.  He has published poetry in Court Green, Clementine, Velvet Mafia, The Gay & Lesbian Review, Citizens for Decent Literature, Moonshot, St. Sebastian Review, Up the Staircase, Zygote in my Coffee, Vine Leaves, The Apocalypse, Columbia Poetry Review, & OVS Magazine.  Eldridge has also been a flight attendant for a major airline for the past 27 years working trips mainly to Europe & Asia.  A black belt in Seido Karate, Senpai Joe trains at Thousand Waves Martial Arts & Self-Defense Center, NFP.

Editor’s Note, May 5

May 5, 2013

Oh, poetry editors. We have too many fears.

There are days when even we forget all that connects us. The essential us. Humanity in all its fierce and fragile ways. How we can reach back in our collective consciousness and touch our shared history with firm fingers. It is not an elusive thing, either. It’s mythology. Each culture and civilization has one and yes, the Western mythologies tend to take up more intellectual space but that does not make them trite or overused. Poetry is where many of these myths live.

When I open up a submission to discover a treasure of poems delving into the most essential questions of our mortality via Greek mythology, I am delighted. A non-poet friend asked me the other night what makes a good poem. I started to explain things like “imagery” and “the music of the line,” but realized how we get mired down in the details of our craft. Many people can’t connect to poetry when we do this. So I stopped myself and said that what I think makes a good poem is one that I wish I had written.

Melissa Dickson writes poems I wish I had written. They encompass the human experience via the lens of the inhuman because sometimes we need it. Sometimes we need a Jack Gilbert to give us the simple, everyday actions to show us the beauty of life. But sometimes we need our gods to show us that very thing, as well. That is what makes poetry so resonating, so enduring, so important.

I say bring on the Greek poems. Give me your own Medusa and Dionysus. There is a reason we still read Homer, Euripides, Ovid. It’s so we can have poets such as Anne Carson, Tina Chang, D. Nurkse, Traci Brimhall, Sari Krosinsky and Melissa Dickson. Swallow these poems whole and maybe you’ll give birth to a new species all your own.

 

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

 

Contributor’s Notes: Melissa Dickson is a poet, poet’s advocate and mother of four. Her first collection, Cameo, was released in 2011 and her collection of Medusa-themed poems, Sweet Aegis, is forthcoming in 2013 from Negative Capability. Her work has also appeared in North American Review, Southern Humanities Review, Birmingham Arts Journal and is forthcoming in Shenandoah.

 

 

Editor’s Note, April 28

 

Ah, the end of April. So little of spring left and I’m recovering from a vicious allergy attack from the crazy winds of New Mexico. But this week’s edition of Fickle Muses more than makes up for nature’s little foibles.

Sometimes I crave a poem deliciously sinuous in language. Angie Harrison’s set, “Leto,” “Bloodsister” and “Eve” delivers that and more. I just want to eat her words slowly with a spoon, like honey. Her take on mothers in myth and religion is decadent despite its brevity. And in that, she also overcomes the risk of a subject too known and too written about. I say, savor the small triumphs.

Enjoy and we’ll see you next week!

 

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

 

 

Contributor’s Notes: Angie Harrison works as a scholarship administrator in Baltimore when she’s not writing. She graduated from Washington College, where her poetry and prose were awarded the Sophie Kerr Prize. Her recent work has appeared in Big River Poetry Review, Curio, and Brevity Poetry Review. “”Eve,” appeared in the Washington College Review, volume XII, under Harrison’s maiden name. Underdeveloped though it may be at the moment, she’s working to make angesterdam.wordpress.com her online home.

Editor’s Note, April 21

We are so honored to feature Juan J. Morales this week!

Juan has been a great friend and past Fickle Muses contributor since the beginning. He’s also a poet after my own heart in that he does not waste words or space on the page, giving us stark, yet vivid, imagery. His glimpse into the psyche of a pivotal Incan conqueror in “Wayna Capac Questions the Sun” holds a quiet, yet disturbing, strength. In “Thoughts on the Lost Fountain in Cuzco,” Morales offers a thoughtful elegy on what we must learn from what is lost within the memory of an empire.

So please enjoy these poems and may they stay with you for a long time to come.

 

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

 

Contributer’s Notes: Juan Morales is the author of Friday and the Year that Followed. His poems have appeared in Iron Horse Literary Review, PALABRA, Poet Lore, Washington Square, Zone 3, and other journals. He is a CantoMundo Fellow and an Associate Professor of English at Colorado State University-Pueblo, where he curates the SoCo Reading Series and directs the Creative Writing Program.

Editor’s Note, April 14

 

Happy Sunday, all!

Welcome to a new issue of Fickle Muses. This week’s feature poet is Iris Gribble-Neal and I’m delighted to showcase her three poems, all modern interpretations of Greek myth. She does a wonderful job taking on Agamemnon, Nestor and Clytemestra. Her imagery is rich and imaginative. I also admire her layered narrative through form. She gives the reader just enough, not an overabundance.

Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, in particular, make compelling poetic subjects. As opposed to last week’s stepmother, it’s a direct conflict between husband and wife, with quite the bloody end. Clytemnestra is often painted as much the villain as Agamemnon due to her affair with Aegisthus but she is also a mother driven to mad vengeance. After all, Agamemnon broke the parent contract by sacrificing their daughter. Still, Clytemnestra suffers from her own “evil stepmother” type of image. Is she truly a sympathetic character? Gribble-Neal definitely gives us a wonderful peek into her psyche.

Enjoy!

 

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

Contributer Notes: Iris Gribble-Neal is co-publisher and editor of Gribble Press, a small literary press. Now retired, she was an English instructor in higher education at several of the institutions in Spokane, WA. She has most recently been published by Blood Lotus, Glass and Stickman.

Editor’s Note, April 7

Another week, another great new poem. This one, by Lisa Litrenta, is a powerful take on the “evil stepmother” element of fairy tales. In a way, the stepmother serves as a catalyst for men who lose wives but have daughters. How that woman must be replaced almost immediately or, even worse, the daughter takes on the role of the mother and wife. Woman pitted against woman via the man, who always seems to come off as “absent.” If only he were. If he were truly absent, there would be no need for such female competition.

This is, of course, an ugly business that happens still today. The modern interpretation of myths and fairy tales is important and a matter of fascination. I often find myself incorporating these elements into my own poems in an attempt to overcome the oppressiveness of the elements of patriarchy. A very “we shall overcome” type of thing. So I thrill to see other poets take on this subject and do it so well.

Enjoy and we’ll see you next week!

 

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

 

Contributer’s Notes: Lisa M. Litrenta is a 23-year-old New Englander attempting to lead a compassionate life.  A recent college graduate, Litrenta studied literary theory, literature and creative writing.  She was also the editor of Southern Connecticut State University’s undergraduate literary magazine, Folio.  She currently acts as blog intern for The Fiddleback. Her work was published in The Phantom Kangaroo. Visit her here.