photo by paul schulenburg



Editor's Note


Believe it or not, we’ve entered our seventh year online. That counts for something, if only insane persistence. And near the end of putting an issue together, we editors do get a little nutsy-cuckoo.

I run a loose ship. What Jim and Jiri chose for poetry in this issue they chose without interference. Jiri’s introductory note is a wonderful read on its own merits, though it says nothing directly about the poetry he helped select. And special thanks to Jim Zola, who pulled double duty as web designer and poetry editor. After we make pre-publication proofs available to writers, their persnickety corrections are enough to drive any editor mad. "No, I meant that to be italicized." "Could you eliminate a comma from line 3, please?" And so on... Yet if writers were not haunted by perfectionism, would we want them?

Val picked four pieces of short fiction from a plethora of submissions, and the mystery of her selection process is likewise closed to me, though I always enjoy the results. She was, incidentally, quoted in the New York Times recently:

"Still, despite all the troubles, many respondents said that
like generations of New York artists before them, they
would persist.

‘I write because I am a writer,’ wrote Valerie Cihylik, an
actress and writer who is part of a small theater troupe.
‘My theater company has produced plays with almost no money at all. It is inconceivable that I or my fellow artists
would stop because of money. There has never been any money in theater or writing for anyone but the big names. In difficult times, and in good times, we are who we are.’"

(, Metro Section page B-3, March 15, 2004: "Survey Finds Post-9/11 Times Harder for City's Artists," by Jesse McKinley)

I’ve reproduced her comments here not only because it lends a patina of vicarious legitimacy to our journal, but also because her remarks dovetail nicely with Philip Routh’s essay, "Writer Beware." We get so few literary essays submitted I sometimes think it’s because people expect me to write one. Whether I do or not, rest assured it has nothing to do with whether we publish others.

It was my pleasure to re-establish a Light Verse section for Melic XXIII. Some poets had previously complained about being exiled to this category as if it were some kind of demotion, so we combined all comers into our general poetry section. However, based on archive hits, Melic’s light verse remains more popular than other poetry, so inclusion there should be considered an advantage.

I should also mention that our poetry workshop has produced yet another IBPC winner since our last issue, Teresa White’s "Shut-In."



Nuts and Bolts

As of Melic XXII we changed to a triquarterly, thus plan issues only for April, August and December of this year.

Submissions are always open, but our deadline for consideration in an upcoming issue is one month prior to that issue (12 AM PST). The cut-off for submissions for the August Melic is July 1, for example.

Although our magazine is free and free of advertising, there are associated expenses, so if you’d like to express your support in a more concrete way we have a PayPal account for donations:

PayPal Donations For The Melic Review


We are, incidentally, trying to update our archives. Our apologies to readers or authors who have not been able to locate past work. Melic’s makeover is coming, I assure you, but network television negotiations have been time-consuming. Look for Melic Eye for the Illiterate Guy on your cable network in the near future.

Thine in Truth and Art,

C. E. Chaffin