Ephemera Newsletter Iss August.4
(Creativity and Motivation Weekly)
Welcome to the Ephemera Newsletter, Prijatelji! (Croatian for “friends”).
Idalia, oh wet and vortical, Idalia! We wish those struck most directly a full recovery. Working from Charleston, this last week of August and, by some measures, summer (although we like to leave decisions up to the old gods, sun and moon, and their reverent days of requested fealty, the equinoxes and solstices), we lost a day or two to temporary inundation, the threat of tornadoes and debris. Maybe the storm, watching so many versions of the system play out on meteorological broadcasts and digital maps, sparked our intrigue in this week’s musical choice, Clark, a stormy and brewing, experimental electronic songsman. There’s certainly a whirl, a gusting nature to his tracks, an elementalness that lends itself to comparisons to mighty and small but torrid weather systems. Do the details of the world glow more specifically before, during, and after a storm? Can we see ourselves and the things around us with enhanced clarity? What we mean is, sometimes when we’re challenged, space-time slows down to reveal the fabric of interaction and belief, the textures of the physical world in greater, grander, hyperreal detail. Hence, hyperrealism and our final look at a painter in the burgeoning field.
“There’s a two-minute torrent of ideas when you wake up where you’re still in the dream state. Capture those two minutes, then you’re good. It works with lyrics too – the dreamier you are, the better.”
—Clark, From his Website
A day of being without all things electric. A day of being with self, your too-soft flesh reminding you of the dangers of projectiles and a too torrential deluge—drown it all!—a day of insideness, of gray water-logged light. A day of liminality. Maybe forgo the dangerous circumstances and take such a day for your creative spirit. Pen. Paper. Moments of quiet repose where there’s naught to do but be. See what comes of this space, creatively, emotionally. We need to be opportunists, we writing beasts. But don’t follow rules always. Some brave souls lied in wait for the perfect moment to shoulder their boards across a wild wiling surf. We eschewed chewed up sneakers and thongs for barefoot blacktop mini-gambols, about as much risk as we dare. Still, the heart pumped. Still, we might have had a swell-to-crest-to-crash moment in the pools and ad hoc urban streams, flotsam and foam preeminent on the ground, the whisked wind making staring too long risky. Effect a return to bodiness. Adventure might be a form of meditation for it demands a focus that supersedes all else. We wrote reaction pieces. Took perspective notes. Tried to essay the experience, a too-close-to-the-moment attempt. Later. Later we’ll know the fruits of our ruminations, our mini-adventures and vulnerability. We’ll churn the milk of our bravery and fat of our caution into something savory.
~We’re so happy you’re here!~
On a bit of a work-vacation, we were accosted by Idalia while in Charleston, SC. We lost power for a day due to an unlucky tree. Otherwise, the storm caused some area flooding but was thankfully more mild than expected. And so here we are on Friday, Sept 1, delivering the final issue for August. Next week will mark the first issue in September.
This issue marks the final poem from August’s poet @ Ephemera, Sydney Lea (Link takes you to his dedicated page within Ephemera). We greatly appreciate your interest in Ephemera’s poetry program. Thanks for being close readers with insightful comments. Thanks for your curiosity.
(NOTE: Free subscribers who submit will receive the full paid version of the newsletter for that month).
**A final look at August’s sponsor. We hope you’ll check out this #friend of Ephemera: Plottr, a software for writers that aids in book outlining and managing long form creative writing projects.**
Check out last week’s letter if you missed it. And here are some reminders:
Call For Submissions: If you are a paid subscriber to Ephemera, you can submit to poetry at Ephemera for free as a membership perk! Free subscribers and anyone else can submit, too, with the reading fee and can submit up to 10 poems. Paying the reading fee will grant you 1-month paid access to Ephemera’s full letter. Now accepting submissions for the October issue. Deadline Sept 1.
In Brief…this week’s features:
Our thoughts on Music from Clark, an eclectic, sound-oriented and music mixologist who works with classical, electronic, folk, found sounds and more. (Paywalled)
More thoughts on hyperrealism and another prominent painter practitioner, Sheryl Luxenburg. (Paywalled)
August’s poet Sydney Lea and his last of four poems “Longing” (See below)
Our weekly lists:
3 magazines with open calls (Paywalled)
3 awards/prizes (See below)
3 recent job listings for editors and writers. (Paywalled)
Check out an Interesante on a brief history of hyperrealism; (Paywalled)
Book recs and in-house bonus content (Paywalled)
Our mini-essays to start! (See above)
Support us on Bookshop - See our past book recs and others. A highly curated list.
Poetry by Sydney Lea
This thin road east over Groton Heights
is a hazard even in summer,
let alone in this dizzying snow.
There are votaries of Eastern thought
who long for an end to longing.
Not I. I long to be home.
It’s hard to see through the teeming storm
and who’s to say a moose
won’t trot from these ghostly woods?
I’ve had such a brush with death up here.
How long can this road go on?
I imagine our woodstove’s warmth.
Of course, there may be a dose of pain
in most of what I crave,
though not the scorch and sting
I felt from my youthful aspirations.
It’s almost a pleasure, that pain.
It seems to keep me going.
May it persist. Residual plough-drifts
on either side of me
have frozen, melted, re-frozen.
I fight to ignore these jewels of ice,
to concentrate on my driving,
no matter I live for beauty,
which can take a wide array of shapes.
Yes, some can be deadly,
and there are some I wish
could simply persist, like my lucky marriage.
our children, our bullied planet.
Not long enough at that.
At last I’ve made it over the Heights
and onto the downhill side.
The uphill climb was tricky
and descent is more so. Yearning for home,
I downshift and tap my brakes,
ever so subtly, gently.
I peer through the snow. Can I trust my vision?
It seems that some dark form
is crossing the road below me.
Prizes/Awards/Stipends Fall ‘23
Reed Magazine Prizes awards $1,333 and publication across several genres for individual pieces. They offer other publication opportunities through the year both online and in print. $1.333k + Pub. $20 Fee + copy of zine. DEADLINE NOVEMBER 1
Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival Non-Fiction Prize awards $500 for an essay about and set in Brooklyn. Several authors, alongside the winner, will be asked to read at the annual festival. $500 + Reading. Submissions are free. DEADLINE NOVEMBER 15
Michael Waters Poetry Prize gives $5,000 & publication in Southern Indiana Review for one manuscript of poetry. The prize is administered by the University of Southern Indiana. Mail in submissions. $5k + Pub. No Fee. DEADLINE FEBRUARY 1, 2024
#Friend of Ephemera: DEADLINE SEPTEMBER 1.
Steel Toe Books Prizes awards $500 and Publication to both a poetry and prose full length manuscript. Sister imprint to C&R, STB has blue-collar roots and is interested in the new American experience. $500 + Pub. $25 fee.
#Friend of Ephemera - Plottr
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