Saturday, October 09, 2021

haiku in brass bell

The theme for October’s brass bell was “numbers,” specifically editor Zee Zahava wanted Arabic numerals, that is, 1, 2, 3, etc.

This is the one of mine she chose:

on the porch
3 peanut shells
wet with squirrel spit
    Glenn Ingersoll

check out the whole issue.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Three poems in The Sparrow’s Trombone

Three poems appear in The Sparrow’s Trombone:

“Look!”
“just a putt on the green dream”
“shadows fasting in a team”


According to editor Jeremy Scott, “The Sparrow's Trombone is a surrealist literary website as well as a zine made using traditional punk/diy cut and paste lofi tech.”

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Autobiography of a Book in Mercurius

Three chapters of Autobiography of a Book appear at Mercurius.

The editors write:

Mercurius Magazine was founded in May 2020 with the aim of building a community of writers and artists around the themes of “transformation” and “vitality”. The site publishes a wide range of work, from avant-garde visual poetry to contemporary surrealism and absurdism, literary essays, journalism, short stories and flash fiction. … We seek to take down the barriers between high art, literary culture and current affairs, not by forcing them together in unholy matrimony, but by providing a shared space. … Perhaps Mercurius is less a magazine than an ever-evolving social experiment, a community building project.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Two chapters of Book in GAS

GAS: Poetry, Art, and Music has posted two chapters from Autobiography of a Book, “in which the book admits to a difficulty” and “in which the book observes the translation of favorites”.

Thursday, September 02, 2021

“I Thought I Ought to Number” in ubu

"I Thought I Ought to Number” appears in issue #1 of the new zine ubu. A poem in a debut issue. That’s fun. My poem appears on p.16 (or maybe 17; the pages aren’t numbered). 

ubu is edited by Lori A. Minor. She says of the ezine’s mission: 

My favorite absurdist play … Jarry's Ubu Roi (1896), … uses extreme satire, foolishness, and obscenity to mock the upper middle class and overturn their social norms, [and] is a precursor to Dadaism, Surrealism, and the Theatre of the Absurd … I chose ubu. for its roots in the plays … I began writing and studying minimalist poetry over the past four years. Recently I've decided to combine my love of the two by using this venue to focus on absurd, minimalist writing.”

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

haiku in brass bell

Editor Zee Zahava requested new haiku for this issue of brass bell, that is, poems written from 8/26 to 8/29. I felt some inspiration so had several to send. She chose:

chasing the last berry

around the bowl

morning fog


Many good ones in the issue. Look for those by Al Peat, Brad Bennett, Bryan Rickert, Joe Sebastian, Kathleen Kramer … Sunflowers! Shadows! A laundry disaster! Plus both a shooting star and a meteor. 

Saturday, August 14, 2021

new year’s resolutions — so far

I just finished a letter I began a month ago. When I send a copy of Thousand out I include a handwritten letter. My writing is pretty legible, if sometimes ambiguous. A friend recently read “month” when I’d written “mouth.” I suppose I could count up how many copies of Thousand I’ve sent out. These are not paid orders. I am sending out books to people I like/admire. 

I’ve gotten out a few this year. Not a lot. Not much response. I don’t blame anybody for not writing back. I can be a good correspondent, or a bad one. Everybody’s busy. And what does one say? So far I’ve always asked before sending, so the Thousand should never be a surprise. 


I continue to send out work — to submit, goes the lingo. The process hasn’t been rip-roaring this year. But looking back over LoveSettlement posts I see twelve publications. Not nothing! 


The sense of discouragement sets in with the book length manuscripts. 


Autobiography of a Book has now been out to 18 publishers. Eight rejected it. The other ten have yet to respond. At the writing of my new year’s resolutions post Book had only been rejected three times. I have a goal of sending Book to 100 places. Are there 100 places to send it? If Book gets its 100th rejection, I will reevaluate. Maybe at that point I will just post it on the blog or upload a file to a print on demand service.


When I have energy to market a manuscript I default toward Autobiography of a Book, thus the full-length poetry manuscript is neglected. That one is currently titled Nobody You Know. It is out to one publisher. 


#keepyournumbersup … There are 30 places still considering work I’ve sent out since the beginning of July (to pick a recent date). That number includes poems, chapters from Book, and the two book manuscripts. Pretty good. It means I am not neglecting the process. 


The question with which I ended the new year’s resolution post, “I wonder how many readers a published poem gets?,” got a data point in April

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

one haiku in brass bell

The theme for the June 2021 issue of brass bell haiku is “sounds.”

The editor runs the poems in alphabetical order by the first name of the poet.


So scroll down to “Glenn” to find a honeybee.


Sunday, May 23, 2021

two haiku in brass bell

The theme for the May 2021 issue of brass bell haiku is “edible haiku.”

The editor runs the poems in alphabetical order by the first name of the poet.


So scroll down to “Glenn” to find this haiku


before the trip

finishing the berries

in expired yogurt


and one more.


I wrote a batch of haiku to the theme just before we went on our Belize trip, and these were the two editor Zee Zahava picked.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

“The perfect shape to drop to the earth” in Humble Pie

Humble Pie, the literary and art annual of the California College of the Arts, published my poem “The perfect shape to drop to the earth” in the Spring 2020 issue, vol. 17. Unfortunately, due to the great covid shutdown, the issue was not able to be printed at that time. I am happy to say, a contributor’s copy came in Thursday’s mail. (Thanks, Caroline!)

“The perfect shape to drop to the earth” was written in the home of Helen Luster. Helen and Paul Mariah co-facilitated a poetry group I joined a year after high school. Both Helen and Paul were much older than me. I guess Paul was about the age I am now (his 50s?); while Helen was a bit older (b. 1913). 


The poem went through some changes since first scrawled it in a notebook, but it’s still describing a particular afternoon. 





Wednesday, May 19, 2021

“Night Poems” in Last Leaves

“Night Poems” appears on page 42, issue #2, Spring 2021 of Last Leaves.

A reader has pointed out to me that the pdf document counts its pages differently from the numbers written on the printed pages (or Last Leaves' contents page). If you are going by the count of your pdf reader, “Night Poems” appears on the 56th page. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Are you being read?

Dear writer, are you being read? How would you know?

My brother David Lee Ingersoll scripted and drew a comic book series back in the early 90s. He writes, “I loved doing Misspent Youths. I loved the characters. Doing that book was fun and exhausting and satisfying and … unprofitable. [ellipsis in original] The publisher didn’t make any money. I certainly didn’t make any money. I did draw 160 pages of comics in about a year while working a part-time job. Brave New Words … put out more issues of Misspent Youths than any other series they printed. Cancelling the series was a mutual decision – the guy behind Brave New Words was reassessing his business plan and I wanted a break to improve my art skills.”


30 years later David got a fan letter. “I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been a fan of Misspent Youths for a while now–since they came out, actually, when I was a disgruntled and disaffected teenager working in a comic shop. … [T]hose comics you put out all that time ago imprinted on and have stuck with someone since they came out.” The letter writer even repurchased all five issues during our big covid year and reread them. He says the series is “just as great as I’d remembered it (and captured much of the flavour from my hometown’s punk scene in the ’90s).”


Are you being read? We look at sales figures. When I wrote to a gay historian after I’d read a volume of his memoirs, he wrote back to say the book sold three copies. … Yeah. OK. But I read it. 


We look at online stats. How many visits has many latest blog post racked up? Ooh, a few more than yesterday’s!


After the thrill of getting this fan letter David comes to this conclusion about art: “Put it out into the world. … [I]t needs to be available.”


I am publishing regularly these days. Most the feedback I get is prepublication, that is, whether the editor of the magazine or literary website likes the piece enough to publish it. After that very little. Some sites offer the opportunity to leave a comment — or a rating. And it’s nice see a smattering of likes or a share. 


I just came across a site that features a few lines from some of my poems. It’s the tumblr Bibliomancy Oracle: divination through literature by Reb Livingston. I recognize the name! Livingston ran a poetry ezine called No Tell Motel. She put out a couple No Tell anthologies, too. I suggested the library buy one (and they did). 


On the tumblr Livingston posts a line or three from a poem. “The concept is that literature contains ‘truths’ and speak to matters of great importance,” Livingston says, and she offers a link to one of these “truth[s]” chosen at random. Before clicking on the link, “Focus on your question or concern. Or for insight of a more general nature, simply clear your mind.”


“The Bibliomancy Oracle will divine a reading using a passage from literature. Consider the response you receive in terms of guidance, inspiration or fun. Consider the meaning and context this passage offers you. You may find it useful to meditate, read it aloud, handcopy the words or read the entire text where from the passage originates (Google can point you to the full text). It’s up to you to decide how to interpret and what to do with this message.”


The lines of mine the Oracle features are snipped from poems published at BlazeVOX, November 2019


Maybe you should focus on some question or concern and give it a go:

line beginning “give credit”

line beginning “what is fame”

line beginning “it is the unbearable”

line beginning “you will have to”

Monday, April 19, 2021

Clearly Meant presents Judy Bebelaar



On February 27, 2016 Judy Bebelaar was the second poet in the reading series. My supervisor at the library had asked me to brand it. I stared for a while at the name of our branch library, the Claremont, and it resolved into Clearly Meant. Because what else is poetry but what is clearly meant? 


I became acquainted with Judy through Katharine Harer (one of the poets with whom I worked on the Poetry & Pizza series). But the Claremont Branch is also Judy’s local library, so when she walked in the door one day to ask about some book or other, she moved up my list of possible readers. Getting local writers was a priority. I was already thinking of Clearly Meant as a neighborhood series. I knew other poets who lived nearby. A resource to take advantage of!


I ask the guest poet to provide enough poems for a chapbook, which I put together and make available free at all the Berkeley library branches for the month leading up to the reading. I prefer the poet give me poems that they can talk about during the discussion period. It’s nice to have the option of talking in depth about a poem, especially one the audience is holding in their hands. 


Judy was eager to talk about a project she’d been working on for some time, a book about the teenagers she knew in the Peoples Temple. 


And Then They Were Gone: teenagers of Peoples Temple from High School to Jonestown by Judy Bebelaar and Ron Cabral was published in 2018. Recently Judy emailed me wondering who she could talk to about a presentation at the library. I posed the question to my supervisor. My supervisor said, “This is something you’d like to do?” I hadn’t thought I was going to be doing any programs during our covid days. My poetry programs were on hiatus, both Clearly Meant and the monthly Poetry Circle. Why not? I said. Might as well do a zoom. I’ve participated in a zoom poetry reading or two from home. But I hadn’t hosted anything. 


So I got the in-house instructions for librarians on how to do remote programming, and Judy and I put her talk on the calendar. April 16, 2021. I think it went well.



Thursday, April 15, 2021

Autobiography of a Book at Second Chance Lit

The chapter, “in which the book keeps up its end,” appears in issue #2, April 2021. 

Second Chance Lit is a handsome ezine, each photograph on the main page a link to a poem or story. 


The site’s navigation enforces browsing — or methodically clicking on every picture — unless I overlooked a contents page or search box. Some of the pictures do seem to be captioned with the titles of the underlying poems. 


“In which the book keeps up its end” is included in the fourth section when scrolling down, the “peony” section, under the photograph of many books laid open. That image is a good match!


From their Mission Statement: “Second Chance Lit is … a place solely for previously rejected poetry and short prose - founded in 2020 by editor-in-chief David Wasserman. It is our hope that Second Chance will be viewed as a spot to showcase those amazing pieces that didn’t quite fit somewhere else and that other lit mags will point writers in our direction when they have an exceptional submission which doesn’t quite fit their current issue or aesthetic. Your work was good — is good. It just wasn't the right fit or at the right time or at the right place.”