my short little baby, The Only Way I Can Explain This, will be in the July issue of The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society! Hella cool to have work in a journal that’s so down for Oxford commas hollerrrrrrrr
As a poetry editor, you collect your work typically in one of two ways: some poets you find, and have to have; some poets find you, and you don’t know how you ever were without them. Dalton Day, somehow, is both to me. He came to RP&D through FreezeRay poetry, a pop-culture magazine we featured earlier this year, and I chose his work to highlight. This time, Day submitted “normally” and I was taken once again. His piece, “Sweet to Hear,” is the right combination of simplistic, authoritative, and questioning that I look for in every submission. Day’s artist featured started with the first sentence as inspiration and went from there, but I think it says more about him that any biography ever could.
When Bee left for Ireland in the summer of 2009, I thought for sure she would never come back. And maybe she didn’t. Maybe she left enough of herself there, or was transformed, and returned as something new. The Bee you all know as RP&D’s poetry editor is a woman, a power-house, a deity, a siren, a worshipper and a safe-haven. Let her carry you off. I know I’m already gone.
I was a sophomore before I read Plato
and learned for myself how the womb
wanders on its own throughout my body;
“blocking passages, obstructing breath,
causing disease” known as hysteria
and I know I’ve been self-diagnosed.
Playing Shakespeare is like fucking an insatiable lover who welcomes every sexual innovation you can think of and then, when you are spent on the floor reeling from the effort, laughs at you, saying “Is that all you got?” in a way that is at once innocent, seductive, hypnotic, entrancing and mystical.
Mm, no, darling, you wouldn’t recall the time I tattooed the word ‘no’ on my wrist with a sewing needle jammed into the end of a number two pencil, and for a couple of reasons:
1) I never finished, and I barely started. Two pokes in, I guess I lost the motivation, realized the futility of it all. No, not in regards to marking myself with my favorite word, but I suppose I found myself thinking on a larger scale; y'know, past the needle and past my wrist. Do you understand what I mean? Sometimes I worry no one quite understands what I mean… but most of the time I wouldn’t have it any other way. Does that make sense, dear? I hope not. No… I hope so. Indecision runs rampant today. I’ll suffice it to say: I hope it makes sense to you, but nobody else–and that’s that.
2) You weren’t there.
I relish a piece of work that comes to my inbox fully fleshed out, especially when that work is about flesh. Mark Gould’s “Stay Like This” and his upcoming “The Best Revenge,” affectionately nicknamed “Body Appreciate Poems Vol. I & II” are about over thought, hind sight, exploring boundaries, and the triangle of skin visible to you only when she brushes her hair over her shoulder at the exact moment the collar of her shirt droops below her collar bone while she’s sitting next to you on the porch, you paying no mind to the setting sun. Mark’s work finds a home so well at The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society because it’s about more than genderless bodies and first feelings; his work explores the patterns of oppression too often overlooked between two humans and the ways in which society can stand up, dust it self off, and be a better version of itself. In short, we hope Mark is here to stay.
MEET OUR EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jordan Rizzieri (Long Island, NY) is a 26-year-old caregiver and writer. After graduating from SUNY Fredonia with a B.A. in Theatre Arts and a minor in English, she spent over a year in Buffalo, NY honing her playwriting skills. In 2011 she saw the staging of her first full-length play, The Reunion Cycle, as part of the Buffalo Infringement Festival. Upon her return to Long Island, she began blogging about being a young adult caring for her ailing mother, as well as publishing essays on the topic. As she prepares to return to the work force, Jordan spends the evening hours writing, watching WWE wrestling with her boyfriend and listening to spooky podcasts. On the weekends she drinks a lot of craft beer, listens to the radio and has arguments with her boyfriend’s cats (which she almost always loses.) Feel free to contact her with questions about flannel, grunge, The Twilight Zone and the proper spelling of braciola .
Today, we published a piece called “Madness”—a striking, image-rich short story that depicts the struggle that a diagnosis of bipolar disorder can create in a relationship. I was so intrigued by the writing that I wanted to talk to its author—and she graciously agreed to Skype with me, all the way from Alabama. We covered it all: Lauren’s own bipolar diagnosis, writing as therapy, bipolar disorder and relationships, and maintaining creativity throughout treatment for a mental illness. We look forward to hearing more from Lauren!
Some poets come to you with work like candy-coated diamonds. The work is sugar-polished, lightly hued, and deliciously appetizing. In your fructose-frenzy-as-poetry-editor daze, you read and taste and read and work until you are met, like diamonds on teeth, with the core of the poem. Kelsey Dean came, pockets full of posy, with palatable decadence, with poetry that was bright on the outside and luminous on the inside. You are candy-floss swept up in the metaphor and then taken away with the meat. Dean is the type of contributor who understands what we’re doing here, and we’re happy to have her.
Claire has been with us since the beginning, with lines about her body, about her running eggs, about her ex-lovers. This time, she came with her arsenal in tow: a strong online presence, one foot in literature and one foot in research, a firm voice for identifying herself. We approached her to write an Artist Feature speaking to these pieces of herself and her dual identity as artist and woman. She approached the assignment with forethought & grace, exploring form, engaging rhetoric, & bringing us into her process. We were in awe of her before, but we are in deep worship now. Claire-Madeline Culkin, ladies and gentlemen.