M

Plague of Crickets

by Mark Seidl

The mayor issues
magnifying glasses
to the mothers who
give them to the children
and the children sweep
playground and park
and every vacant
lot. Whether
their tears come
from sadness or
joy or the smoke
of burning carapace
their fathers cannot
say or won’t.

Mark Seidl lives in New York’s Hudson Valley, where he works as a rare-books librarian—the best job in the world! His poems have appeared in several print and online journals, including New Delta Review, decomp, and Cease, Cows.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Plague of Crickets”?

“Plague of Crickets” is one of an ongoing series that includes, so far, plagues of owls, gunslingers, kung fu masters, and major and minor demons. This poem grew in part from my memory of a long-past moment when I, as a young boy, indulged in an act of petty, childish cruelty involving a magnifying glass. Now, as an adult and parent, I recall that moment whenever I encounter the often breathtaking thoughtlessness of children who are learning the hard way—what other way is there?—how to be compassionate human beings. No doubt other impulses (dreads? anxieties?) of which I’m less aware lurk behind “Plague of Crickets,” but I hope the strange alchemy of poetry gives this little piece a life beyond its immediate origins.

News

Congrats to Christopher Allen for having a work from HOUSEHOLD TOXINS being chosen to appear in BSF 2019 from Sonder Press.

Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Submissions

Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions is now CLOSED. Check out our new category triptychs! The next submission period opens September 15, 2019; submit here.

Upcoming

05/23 • Nance Van Winckel (1 of 8)
05/30 • Nance Van Winckel (2 of 8)
06/05 • Rachel Rodman
06/06 • Nance Van Winckel (3 of 8)
06/10 • Erica Soon Olsen
06/12 • Beverly Jackson
06/13 • Nance Van Winckel (4 of 8)
06/17 • Avra Margariti
06/19 • Tommy Dean
06/20 • Nance Van Winckel (5 of 8)
06/24 • Stephen Reaugh
06/26 • Hege Lepri
06/27 • Nance Van Winckel (6 of 8)
07/01 • Danielle Hark
07/03 • Shirley Harshenin
07/04 • Nance Van Winckel (7 of 8)
07/08 • Matthew Barrett
07/10 • Andrew Stevens
07/11 • Nance Van Winckel (8 of 8)
07/15 • Peter Cherches
07/17 • Christopher Ryan
07/18 • Alex Durham
07/22 • Jessica Kehinde Ngo
07/24 • Jillian Pretzel
07/25 • Danielle Hark (1 of 6)
07/29 • Theresa Senato Edwards
07/31 • Stephanie Dickinson
08/01 • Danielle Hark (2 of 6)
08/05 • Callista Buchen
08/07 • Sara Elkamel
08/08 • Danielle Hark (3 of 6)
08/12 • Steven Ostrowski
08/14 • Karie Luidens
08/15 • Danielle Hark (4 of 6)
08/19 • Nick Ackerson
08/21 • Tyler Friend
08/22 • Danielle Hark (5 of 6)
08/26 • Suzanne Verrall
08/28 • Amelia Wright
08/29 • Danielle Hark (6 of 6)
09/05 • Richard Baldasty (1 of 4)
09/12 • Richard Baldasty (2 of 4)
09/19 • Richard Baldasty (3 of 4)
09/26 • Richard Baldasty (4 of 4)
12/23 • Tara Campbell