Ephemera Newsletter Iss Sept.4
(Creativity and Motivation Weekly)
Welcome to the Ephemera Newsletter, Venner! (Danish for “friends”)
The time has crept up on us, we admit, so many end of the month obligations (work, of course, engagements, baby showers) we nearly forgot to send our letter! Despite the calendar change, we submit this is our 4th issue of September. We hope you are staying above water, finding grace in such busy times. Writing seems to come in the mornings, those wee hours before the world is jetting around. We bid you keep up with your practice, but don’t fret if it falls by the wayside, even if it piles like so many leaves—it can always be recovered.
For newcomers, this issue has a paywall. Remember, becoming a paid subscriber, even at the monthly level, grants full access behind the paywall for our weekly issues, as well as other subscriber perks (discounts on submitting, early access, and some others). Although we have occasional sponsors, we are a reader supported endeavor. If you like our content, we hope you’ll consider supporting our humble letter. Thanks-thanks!
Check out last week’s issue if you missed it. And here are some reminders:
Our letter can be cut off by emails! Please remember to click around any cut-off point and or try reading us on Substack.com or through the app.
Good Contrivance Farm Residency: Deadline Oct 31 for applications.
Call For Submissions: Reading for the November issues closes October 4. $200 honorarium + appear in 4 issues! If you are a paid subscriber to Ephemera, you can submit to poetry @ 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 each week. Learn more or:
In Brief…this week’s features:
Thoughts on Tangerine Dream, and their song “The Dream Is Always The Same.”
Thoughts on Nathaniel Mary Quinn: Contemporary surrealism portraiture.
September’s poet, Alison Luterman, and her final of four poems, “Caught”
Our weekly lists:
3 magazines with open calls (Paywalled)
3 awards/prizes (Paywalled)
3 recent job listings for editors and writers. (Paywalled)
More ephemera: check out an Interesante selection on rare and enticing (maybe even surreal) apples; Book Recs, bonus content, and our mini-essays to start!
Support us on Bookshop - See our past book recs and others. A highly curated list.
Merci. Danke. Kiitos. 고마워 Go-ma-wo. Cảm ơn. Xiè xiè.
These changing times can scramble our thoughts and intentions. Schedules out of whack. Sleep patterns. Creative spaces—ours has been disrupted for no discernible reason…oh it’s been awful, hours spent sitting in our little hidden-away nook, morning light and coffee churning like conspiracy while we yet sit with motionless fingers, nothingness pervading. The self-ridicule is terrible. At least, and this has been the basic solution for some time, reading has been a viable endeavor; we close the screen and shelve the notepad and pen, and open a book, several, in fact. We’ll confess: The Remains of the Day; Lady Joker; In Patagonia; The Sellout. Not terribly linked. Just desultory enough to feel a freedom in these choices. Perhaps that’s what a stuck mind needs, liberation from task and the permission to play. Well, that just might be what we want to convey as a means to keep ourselves engaged. Number one is if you can’t write, read. If you can’t read apropos of your writing, read wildly and playfully, maybe to amuse or to impress or to surprise yourself by what’s out there. Make a study of the changes and whims of the season, your micro-responses as a being, and track, too, the fluctuations and nuances of disparate writings, breaths, crescendos, figurative language, runs of fancy, and plot necessities disguised as revelers. Maybe this is a bend so as not to break metaphor, a boat tacks at angles when it’s met with strong headwinds expecting without guarantee calmer environs which inevitably arrive so long as it stays a-oaring. You, we, have the tools.
“If you were to come to my studio, it is very organized. Everything has a place. Everything has a system. There’s a lot of systems in my studio. Culver Academy may be responsible for that. The studio reflects the behavior of the artist working in that studio. It’s from that, though, that I’m able to focus on the more spontaneous natures of my process.”
—Nathaniel Mary Quinn, in Museemagazine.com
And what say we when a “tool” crosses our path that promises results without practice, that will shake us up reliably, so so well, enough and abundantly? We’re thinking about the surrealists with their strong tendency toward the subconscious liberated all too frequently by psychedelics. In all honesty, we’ve never attempted this, but many folks have. A genre of music with thousands of practitioners has, in addition to the art movement currently at hand. Sigh, a nuclear engine with an impenetrable hull may be hard to pass up given the storm in path and a destination with a deadline. No, no. We do not advocate. We merely consider. And ponder the allure substances such as magic mushrooms and LSD have on the creative mind, particularly if enamored of the tenets and techniques of surrealists, the moods and messages of the subconscious calling by virtue of their motivating boosts, the fullness they purportedly permit one to feel. Maybe meditation is the key, a way to access without the requisite risk of the realm of psychedelia. We’ll be mulling. If you have an angle, cogitate and beam it here—if we don’t respond, our telepathy antenna is down so email will do. We’ll share with the group the juiciest mind bits. It’ll be a trip.
~We’re so happy you’re here!~
Good Contrivance Residency
October 31 is the deadline. We will select 2 folks (i.e. 2 separate individuals) to receive a residency sponsorship (5 days at Good Contrivance Farm) and travel stipend of $200. Selectees schedule with the farm their preferred dates subject to availability. ~$1100 value. Click to learn more. (Paid subscribers have been sent an early-bird submission portal at half price).
Poetry by Alison Luterman
All night I writhed like a fish on a hook:
I have to get a job, a real job
with health insurance, and when did I get so old,
who will catch me when I fall?
At six, a pink glow cracked
the darkness. On the horizon
symphonic notes of rose-gold
opened the show, beginning with indigo oboe notes
which lightened to bruise-violet clarinets
until finally the violins came in, all pink-peach-coral.
Honestly it was almost too much;
if God were a painting student
and I the instructor, I’d have told Her
to dial it back a little, not be so over-the-top,
but then I couldn't help myself;
the clamorous colors dragged me onto the sidewalk,
shoelaces half-undone, as a murmuration of starlings
wheeled overhead. Something made me
open my arms to them, just as I saw the old Vietnamese woman
in her conical hat, rummaging in the recycling,
because you can't eat beauty, no matter how rich,
although I could also see that she, like me,
like everyone, is caught
in its net, held there no matter what,
in radiant strands of streaming light.