Welcome to Melic XXIV! Hard to believe weve entered our seventh year
online (our first issue debuted in Spring of 1998). Theres been a lot of water under
the bridge since then. When I look back at the amount of work involved Im amazed;
then, as they say in Editors Anonymous (EA): "Take one issue at a time."
I think this a very fine issue. As Editor I was directly involved only in judging light
verse submissions, though I did help Jim and Walter with a stack of "maybe"
poems, from which they salvaged a couple.
Given my distance from the main selection process, just as grandparents may favor
certain grandchildren, I see no harm in mentioning some of my Melic XXIV favorites.
Its only "one mans opinion of moonlight," and Im in no way
saying these selections are better, only that they struck my individual fancy.
In fiction I thought Corey Meslers "The Boy Who Used Up a Word"
startlingly original, and I loved Michael K. Whites "Singularities and the
Circle of Convergence." Val favors clear narrative with unusual themes, but future
aspirants to publication might reflect on the fact that she is an animal lover.
(She and her dog, Gracie, are inseparable.)
As for the poetry, I cant list all my favorites, so Ill limit my list to
ten: Rae Armantouts "Tease"; Aimee Nezhukumatahils "Bee
Wolf"; W. D. Snodgrass "Talking Heads"; Chris OCarrolls
"Roman Ruins"; Richard Newmans "Aliens Respond at Last to
Earths Messages!"; Dan Memmolos "Beat Surrender"; Mark
Jarmans "All Things That"; Camille Dungys "Ark"; Juan
Delgados "Metamorphosis," and Sarah Allards "Quisbine becomes
Readers will no doubt choose their own favorites; the table is rich with more courses
than can be digested in one sitting. I find its always best to hardcopy ones
favorites for more leisurely enjoyment.
For my new essay on Eliot I must thank my wife, Kathleen, for her input. Our many
conversations about "Ash Wednesday" made me rethink my approach several times,
requiring three different drafts which I afterwards collated and she edited.
In Jim Zolas tenure as our first poetry editor, I for one would affirm that he
met all the objectives mentioned in his note. We are a richer magazine for his
contributions. His web design for this issue I also find outstanding: tasteful and
understated, with vertical visuals in the margins that accent the writing perfectly. To
him we say (recalling the story "British War Medal") Aloha!which means, of
course, both good-bye and hello, as he will always be welcome here.
Ill be editing the poetry for our next issue and have enlisted the help of past
guest editor and featured poet, Sharon Kourous, for the process. The issue will be an
experiment, as we are seeking "Power Lyrics." Mia, Editor of Tryst, where
my essay proposing this category first appeared, has been kind enough to allow us to
reprint it for ease of those interested in submitting poetry for Melic XXV.
Deadline for all submissions is October 31, and the issue will debut in December.
Lastly, and most importantly, we are actively seeking a general webmaster and designer.
We do pay. All inquiries should be sent to email@example.com. Folks, we need your
help on this one, so if any reading this know of someone, or are qualified themselves,
write us at once!
Thine in Truth and Art,
C. E. Chaffin for Melic