Editor’s Note

Welcome to Melic XXIV! Hard to believe we’ve entered our seventh year online (our first issue debuted in Spring of 1998). There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since then. When I look back at the amount of work involved I’m 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. It’s only "one man’s opinion of moonlight," and I’m in no way saying these selections are better, only that they struck my individual fancy.

In fiction I thought Corey Mesler’s "The Boy Who Used Up a Word" startlingly original, and I loved Michael K. White’s "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 can’t list all my favorites, so I’ll limit my list to ten: Rae Armantout’s "Tease"; Aimee Nezhukumatahil’s "Bee Wolf"; W. D. Snodgrass’ "Talking Heads"; Chris O’Carroll’s "Roman Ruins"; Richard Newman’s "Aliens Respond at Last to Earth’s Messages!"; Dan Memmolo’s "Beat Surrender"; Mark Jarman’s "All Things That"; Camille Dungy’s "Ark"; Juan Delgado’s "Metamorphosis," and Sarah Allard’s "Quisbine becomes Hannah Elizabeth."

Readers will no doubt choose their own favorites; the table is rich with more courses than can be digested in one sitting. I find it’s always best to hardcopy one’s 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 Zola’s 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.

I’ll 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 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