In the last
issue in which I took a strong hand, I talked about biblical numerology
with regard to the number 11. Bollinger assigned it the number of
discord; we tried to make that issue about Love.
twice the number of perfection, as perfection occurs at three and
seven in most biblical analyses, admitting also forty as the number
of complete testing and 49 as the number of Pentecost-- seven squared.
the quote by Eliot on the current issue's cover under the candelabra.
Fourteen quarterlies published equals three-and-a-half years, or half
a week of years by the prophet Daniel's calculations. What this all
means is that Melic isn't finished by any means. We're only
halfway to seven years, which in net time will certainly make us an
institution. But as Thomas Jefferson advised, we hope to remain open
to revolution and renewal.
This issue features
a number of poems with a Hebraic theme, even one ("Embarcation") which
I take to be about the recent notorious Tel Aviv bombing. We get to
behold Daniel from the lions' point of view, take a swim in the Dead
Sea, and listen to the rabbinical caution of a poem by a Yiddish and
American writer, Mr. Taub, that warns us about the danger of pride
in being "the chosen."
lions, I think Bryher's poem, "Jaguar," is a real gem. It also connects
to biblical themes of suffering and rejection at the hands of the
authorities from a modern-day leper's point of view.
and Wendy Videlock weigh in with mother-daughter poems, one looking
up to her aging mother while the other addresses a young daughter.
I think they make nice bookends, and Wendy's poem is that rare thing,
open submissions that passed the editorial gauntlet, we also have
two special features: "Sex with Martha Stewart" and "A Tribute to
the New Poet Laureate, Billy Collins."
seem always obsessed with a price tag, let it be known that Billy
only charges $7,500 for an appearance, while Maya Angelou reportedly
gets $50,000, proving again that talent is rarely proportionate to
fame or reimbursement.
The Martha Stewart
feature grew from a friendly challenge on our poetry board, as did
the Billy Collins tributes (and mockeries, esp. by Sterling Green).
Furthermore, we have brought back our "Dead White Men" audio feature,
which I was happy to recite.
We are re-publishing
an essay by Michael Corbin which I found salutary. There is also my
own controversial speculation on the "Top Ten Poets in English," which
was very difficult to write, not for style's sake, but for making
such insane judgments.
Every good poet
is unique, and classification and ranking may not extend anyone's
appreciation of poetry. Nevertheless, as David Letterman has proven,
a Top Ten List is always of interest to human beings, since we seem
to be obsessed with comparisons as if wholeness were beyond us.
My thanks to
Mark Melton, webmaster, Val Cihylik, fiction editor, and Kathleen
McGovern Chaffin, assistant to the editor and proofreader extraordinaire.
And thanks to our webmistress emeritus, Blake Kritzberg, who maintains
our Poetry and Natter boards, and to the monitors that
serve there. Lastly, our managing editor, Laird Barron, was extremely
busy with real life during this last quarter but still took the time
to go through the poetry pending file and give me his opinions.
I also want
to extend my thanks to all who submitted work. It is relatively easy
to separate good poems from bad, but it is much more difficult to
separate those worth publishing from the almosts and nearlys. I also
wish to thank the poets who cooperated with the editorial process.
Only one of those whom I thought might benefit from it refused to
enter into that dialogue. Since I generally think of poets as a surly
lot, I was genuinely surprised at their willingness to consider minor
If I were better
at marketing, my very first communication would have been that The
Best of Melic: The First Three Years Online should be ready and
available by our next issue, December 1st, 2001-- a wonderful holiday
gift, we hope. As we now have PayPal on our homepage
you can order copies or make a general donation (both are tax-deductible)
with ease. All credit cards are accepted and other forms of payment
are available as well.
issue is now accepting submissions. Laird Barron is in charge of poetry
and essays while Val Cihylik remains our faithful fiction editor.
I need a break from such things to try to realize the print version
of Melic, something we've dreamed about and are now actually
ready to achieve.
So please, if
you want to support our literary efforts on the net in print form,
go to our homepage, use PayPal to make a donation, and
please specify how many copies of The Best of Melic you'd like.
Don't forget to include your snail address. Our estimated cost per
copy is ten dollars plus shipping and handling. We will be selling
it at cost as we are a nonprofit corporation under California law.
Praise be to
God who made us and gave us the gift of language,
Thine for Melic,
C. E. Chaffin,