Submission Guidelines for Full Marathoners

Submissions to the 2022 Poetry Marathon Anthology are open now and will stay open through Friday, the 22nd of July! For the first time the anthology will have two different editors. Make sure you submit to the right editor.

Ofuma Agali, is this year’s full marathon editor. He is a 44 years old writer and editor based in Lagos, Nigeria. His works have appeared in Nigerian publications – Post Express Literary Supplement, The Guardian, The Vanguard, and National Mirror – as well as in publications in other climes – Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Praxis Journal of Gender & Cultural Critiques, The Kalahari Review, and The Purposeful Mayonnaise. He has also written a full-length published collection of poems, If We Are Willing The Earth Will Listen (2017). A revised version of this is ready for publication later this year. He holds a first degree in physics from the University of Uyo and a post-graduate diploma in marketing management from the Lagos State University. He has written two unpublished collections of short fiction and has several works in progress, including a collection of poems and a collection of short fiction.

The following guidelines are for Full 24 Hour Marathoners only. Read the guidelines carefully before submitting. The anthology is only sustainable if people follow the guidelines.

When you submit you must include in the email the following:

  1. The subject line should state “Full Marathon Submissions”. (If you are a half marathoner, do not follow these guidelines. Instead, refer to the Half Marathon submission guidelines.)
  2. The body of the email should start with your location.
  3. It should also include the hour of the marathon the poem was written in.
  4. As well as a link to your poetry marathon page. If your poetry marathon name is different than your name, include both and make it clear which name you want to appear in the anthology.
  5. Two poems pasted into the body of the email. All submissions must include two poems, no more, no less.

 

All full 24 hour marathon submissions must be emailed to: poetrymarathonsubmissions@gmail.com

DO NOT email us at the email address we use for all other communications or to the half marathon address if you are a full marathoner!

Also take note of the following additional information:

  • DO NOT email us at the email address we use for all other communications or to the half marathon address if you are a full marathoner!
  • One poem will be chosen per poet to be featured within the anthology; the only exception to this is if your poems contain hate speech or are illegible.  In both cases, we will reach out to you directly.
  • Due to issues that happened in the past, no one is allowed to announce that their poem has been accepted for publication until Thursday, the 1st of September, unless notified otherwise. Announcements made on the marathon groups before September 1st will be deleted.  Please do not query about the status of your submission via email or the FB page until after September 1st.

Thank you for following the guidelines! I know they might seem strict but they make it possible to put together an anthology in a few months. The anthology should be published before Christmas. Last year a lot of people did not follow the guidelines and we experienced significant slow down because of this. The anthology is only sustainable if people follow the guidelines.

After the poems are published in the anthology, all rights return to you.

Digital copies will be made available for free to any contributor. Print copies will be available for a reasonable price and any money that is made from selling the anthology will go towards covering the cost of the marathon.

 

Submission Guidelines for Half Marathoners

Submissions to the 2022 Half Poetry Marathon Anthology are open now and will stay open through the 22nd of July! For the first time the anthology will have two different editors. Make sure you submit to the right editor.

This year’s Half Marathon Editor Cristy Watson is an award-winning author of eight novels for MG and YA readers. She loves entering writing contests and was thrilled to receive Editor’s Choice in the CV2, 2-Day Poem Contest in 2013. She also regularly participates in the Poetry Marathon in June, and she has a poem in an important and timely new anthology, ‘Worth More Standing’ (Caitlin Press; Christine Lowther, editor). She also volunteers at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference and was recently Committee Chair for Wise Words through the BC Federation of Writers. She completed a manuscript evaluation for an author through The Writers Union of Canada, as well as helping to previously judge their short fiction contest, and in the past few years, she has assisted writers of fiction, non-fiction, memoir, and poetry. You can find her here: cristywatsonauthor.wordpress.com

The following guidelines are for Half Marathoners only. Read our guidelines carefully before submitting. The anthology is only sustainable if people follow the guidelines.

All poems submitted must be written during the 2022 Half Marathon, and the writer must have completed the Half Marathon in 2022.

All poems should be completely edited and as much as possible contain no major grammatical errors. Revisions are allowed and encouraged before submitting. Please check your punctuation. All poems should be single spaced. Any extra space will probably be interpreted as a stanza break. The first word of every line should not have a capitalization unless it is intentional.

When you submit you must include in the email the following:

  1. The subject line should state “Half Marathon Submissions”. (Full 24 hour marathoners: see the guidelines here.)
  2. The body of the email should start with your location.
  3. Then include the hour of the half marathon the poem was written in.
  4. As well as a link to your poetry marathon page.
  5. Two poems pasted into the body of the email. All submissions must include two poems, no more, no less.

Please follow all these guidelines. Use the above list as a checklist for your email submission and only press send once you’ve reviewed it twice.

All half marathon submissions must be made via this email address: halfmarathonsubmissions@gmail.com

DO NOT email us at the email address we use for all other communications or to the full marathon address if you are a half marathoner!

One poem will be chosen per poet to be featured within the anthology, the only exception to this is if your poems contain hate speech or are illegible.  In both cases we will reach out to you directly. Please do not query about the status of your submission.

Due to issues that happened in the past, no one is allowed to announce that their poem has been accepted for publication till September 1st, unless notified otherwise. Announcements made on the marathon groups before September 1st, will be deleted.

Thank you for following the guidelines! I know they might seem strict, but they make it possible to put together an anthology in a few months. The anthology should be published before Christmas. Last year a lot of people didn’t follow the guidelines and we experienced significant delays because of this. The anthology is only sustainable if people follow the guidelines.

After the poems are published in the anthology all rights return to you.

Digital copies will be made available for free to any contributor. Print copies will be available for a reasonable price and any money that is made from selling the anthology will go towards covering the cost of the marathon.

 

Congratulation Full Marathoners

You did it! Congratulations! I am very impressed! You wrote 24 poems in 24 hours. This is an achievement that few poets ever accomplish. Although, if you are a returning marathoner, some of you might be accomplishing it for the second or third time or fourth, fifth, sixth or even seventh time!

Now you should probably go get some sleep.

After every marathon I have participated in I have been filled with exhaustion but also a tremendous sense of achievement. I hope you have that too.

In the past I have personally verified that everyone who applied for a certificate was eligible and then I would make a certificate. That is not possible this year and so we will be operating on the honor system.

If you completed the full 24 hour Poetry Marathon please consider the following certificate yours, to update with your name, to print if you choose to do so. We will be taking feedback into consideration, so if you really feel strongly about this new state of affairs please email me at poets@thepoetrymarathon.com to explain your position.

Only use the link below to access the certificate if you have completed the Full Marathon.

Click on the link below, and save the PowerPoint file to your computer, add a text box. Type in your name, then save as a JPEG.

Download the Powerpoint for Editing

(Note, for optimal formatting, you may want to add the fonts Nixie One, La Belle Aurore, and Cedarville Cursive to your computer.)

The visual example of what the certificate will look like is right below this text.

Also this year we will be putting together a 2022 Poetry Marathon Anthology.

Submissions will open July 6th and stay open till the 22cd.

Full anthology submissions details will be available on the 6th. All submissions must be written during the 2022 Poetry Marathon.

Digital copies will be made available for free to any contributor. Print copies will be available for a reasonable price and any money that is made from them will go towards covering the cost of the marathon.

Want to know what the 2021 Poetry Marathon Anthology was like? Pick up your copy here.

Clinical Reduction

Funny thing, the wisdom of moving on…
It seems so clinical. So… I don’t know…
cynical, perhaps.

I don’t know.

I wonder about life coaches…
with the right questions to help me
make the right choice.

Just let go.

But, I’m a poet! I am an actor!
I am a musician! I feel my art!
How can I feel my art without its essence?

Take it slow.

I know! I’ll put it in a little box,
and take it with me,
hide it from myself until I need to sing.

Don’t say hello.

Don’t wonder how he is.
Don’t hope for his happiness.
Certainly not for his sadness.

Don’t want to know.

That’s not the point, really…
It’s more of a universe thing…
A collective attunement… I feel.

So?

So, we were friends…
friends of the strangest sort…
like a thickness spread too thin.

It was a glow.

Yes! Surrounded by shadow.
All my shadows… my monsters…
my “handlers”… my crazy, crazy people.

Go with the flow.

Yes, well… I think I’ll flow into sleep about now.
Busy day tomorrow.

Looking forward to the next 21 days!
New songs, new muses, new thoughts,
Renewed synapses, better art!

Uh Oh

I just realized tonight that some folks reading my poetry might take it seriously. A poet’s job is an interesting one – especially to me as an actor. I observe my own thoughts, having learned to do so as a character development method. So… what I write in poetry, whether good or bad poetry, whether positive or negative, are all just thoughts. I don’t always believe what I think, if that makes any sense.

“what are you thinking?” I think everyone thinks that is an invasive question. “It’s the thought that counts…” No, I disagree. Just as in playing a role on stage or in film, it’s the action that counts.

Thoughts are just that… thoughts… words that come into the mind to describe the current emotion. Fear, lust, love, longing, rage, disgust, wonder, awe, inspiration. These are, in general, the emotions I have from time to time. Sometimes it’s pure imagination.

I especially love those poetry prompts that challenge us to write a poem containing specific words. Those always develop into fun stories for me… like the woman at the bar in Colorado who meets the guy with the periwinkle pin. Gumboots was the hardest word to weave into that one, but I made it work.

Here lately, I’ve been examining emotions I’ve buried for three decades, trying to make sense of it all. My love for him. Real, genuine love. Why it’s still there after all these years. My treacherous emotional baggage. OMG! My own fear of rejection. Rationalizations that are most likely far removed from reality. Projections based upon past experiences. All that STUFF. Just stuff.

I realized something, though… I realized what motivates me most is love. It’s what motivates me to make a move, to make a change, to improve, and to create. Love doesn’t always mean stay. Sometimes love means run away. Caring about oneself and others sometimes leads to the need to escape.

I haven’t escaped entirely – and by that, I mean escaped my treacherous childhood. That needs fixing. It is my hope that everyone has grown up enough to stare the truth right in the face without quivering. I can.

I’m going to call that man from 30 years ago just to say hello. No expectations. He was dear to me, so, at my age, and his age, what is there to lose or gain by just seeing how he’s been all these years? I would rather risk rejection if he finds my call a bother, than regret not having made the call at all.

My instinct tells me not to call. Ok. I won’t call. It would be better if he called me, wouldn’t it.

Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts.

I never know what to believe!

Ok, so who was the guy from 30 years ago? I’ll drop a few hints. I refer to him as “the music man” obviously. But as far as I know, he never starred in the musical by the same name. He played guitar, and had a voice like Adam Duritz and like Robert Plant. And he kind of looks like this movie star I’ve seen but never met. Beautiful man, inside and out.

He definitely wasn’t one of the rich ones who demanded I marry them (how romantic). One of those said to me “when we get married, it’s going to be my way or the highway.” I took the I-10 east to New York. Poor guy, he otherwise was very sweet, but big mistake to announce a lack of a collaborative attitude on our third (and last) date. Funny in retrospect, though. Just think! I could have been a miserably rich Houston socialite! Aaaaannnnndddd… probably get caught having an affair with the music man. He was truly irresistible.

My music man had a good job. We met at a party at his house in 1989. Or was it 1990? I don’t recall the year – just that it was the only Superbowl party I’d ever attended. His wife to be approached me the same day, upset over my presence there. Hmmm… note to self – be possessive. NOT. Sorry, Can’t. Jealous, yes. But not possessive. On the other hand, isn’t that two sides of the same rusty penny? Whatever…

He married her. They had kids. So, what is up with my subconscious mind that I still have this giant torch for him? Is this the torture God has in mind for all poets? Unrequited love? I have to laugh, because it’s so unbearably ridiculous to blame it on God. Obviously, it’s my own fault. Ah, then again, he’s a little at fault, too. I have a feeling he still loves me.

So, what am I supposed to do in a situation like this one? What, exactly? What would any other normal human being do? Call him and say “hey, by the way, do you still love me, because I really can’t even begin to get you off my mind, and it is driving me crazy.” ? LOL! Sounds like something out of a movie. Like Sleepless In Seattle where they’re drawn together by their thoughts.

The day we met, I’d given my son a haircut, and accidentally sucked the wedding band part of my wedding ring up into the vacuum cleaner. It was before the party. The thought occurred to me at that moment “God is telling me I’m not married anymore.” I’ll never forget it. Serendipity.

Maybe I should go out and buy another wedding ring and a vacuum cleaner – recreate history. [That’s a joke, just in case someone wants to spin me crazy.]

Crazy… speaking of which… define it. What is crazy? Fatal attraction – that’s crazy. SO crazy, no matter what the gender of the offender. That movie, while very good, forever put women in a pickle. We can’t let men know we like them, much less love them lest they think we might make soup out of their cat! AND YET… statistically, it’s men who are more likely to go postal on a break up.

I wrote a poem about men once, claiming they don’t feel. I was mistaken. I never really liked that poem. I don’t know why I ever repeated it or read it out loud. “Hurt people hurt people.” That was me being hurt, and I am so very sorry if my words hurt anyone.

Men do feel. They feel very deeply. I think more deeply than I, as a woman, could ever fathom. I see them now as these beautiful candy shells hiding sweetness that I don’t know how to find. I think I grew up knowing only the ones that were hurt, who had that extra cracked shell leaking a bitter layer of resentment against those who had hurt them. Some with bitterness that spewed everywhere, covering the world in a black muck, making us all seem bitter.

Maybe I’ll cut my hair like my mother’s, and just not go platinum. Maybe we’ll cross paths at Costco. I’d come back to Texas if it meant being with you – but do we have to stay? It’s hot!! How about winter in Texas and summer in New England or Oregon? Or year round in the highlands of Panama?

For now, though, I’m headed to Thailand for the spring. I think my stalkers need a vacation someplace nice. Fella’s, you surely must be tired of sunny Oregon winters. My phone will be on as usual, so you won’t have any problems tracking me. I’m going to a lovely place, but can’t recall the name. It’s this city on the border of Laos. I’ll be the one with the long brown hair with the solid blue bathing suit and Fendi sunglasses sipping a MaiTai. LOVE those! See you in paradise!

How to Approach a Lady

I could probably wrap this simplicity
into a multitude of texts,

but as for me…

I might be vexed with a sharp tongue;
yet sweet lips await the smile of true love.

True love…

What is true love,
but a seed buried just deep enough

to bloom.

A lady doesn’t bite,
but we do nip nasty in the bud

following karma’s last act.

More Fame Than I Want

Listen, not gentlemen with more money than common sense…
I am not interested in your type.

What type is that?

The type that would pay web algorithm developers to send me smut
disguised as Amazon’s “Based upon your shopping interests.”

My Amazon shopping interests do not include cosmetics,
particularly not oddly shaped lipsticks.

I purchase all my cosmetics from Chanel.
Their lipsticks are all shaped quite normally.

I purchase these cosmetics with my own money,
earned through legal means

Via my intellect, not the advantage of my gender.

I know who you are, and I am not impressed by your bank accounts.
Never have been. Never will be. You’re not my type.

My type is a gentleman. My type has a soul.

So, please quit wasting your money.
Please quit wasting my time.

Please quit.

Just quit disturbing my peace and tranquility with your …
I’m sorry… there’s not a word for that in any language.

Just please go away.

Kind regards,

Joy

Update: immediately following this post, my phone and computer were suddenly and inexplicably free of ads for sex toys and crass purchase opportunities. Thank you. I am honored that you actually read my poetry, though these years of stalking have been annoying.

The world is changing, as I knew it would. We’ve been evolving as a culture of humans (collectively in all our separate cultures) toward a better understanding of truth vs propaganda. More and more, people view the mainstream with one eye closed, thinking of Hitler, of McCarthy, and of the 1960s. It won’t be long before 1962 and 1963 are straightened out. For heaven’s sake, my high school principal was the first to tell me she had always been suspicious of the events of August, 1962 — way back in 1978.

So… fellas. I’m taking my time because watching the process of change is so very interesting. That day will come when hate will not accompany truth. It’s not here yet. You have to evolve first. Leaving me alone is a step in the right direction.

I would next appreciate the return of my Facebook page, intact, exactly as it was when you hacked it nearly two years ago.

Meanwhile, have a wonderful holiday season! Happy Thanksgiving! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukah! Happy everything related to the winter solstice. It’s a beautiful time of year, and I genuinely hope you enjoy it with those you love.

Kind regards,

Joy

Princess Piqueé

Once upon a time…

Here we go again with that trite line

Once upon a time in a land far…

Oh, please… seriously? For God’s sake, make it real.

Ok, fine… this chick in the good ol’ US of A…

I like “Princess” better… this priceless princess… that works.

May I get to the point please?

Yes. Go ahead.

Ok. This somewhat snobby princess with a laundry list of…

Now you have your audience thinking in terms of
dirty clothes and dirty laundry,
like you’re washing off the mud.

Well, maybe I am… may I please just be creative here?

Yes, of course. Go ahead.

Ok. A grown woman in Oregon who left Texas, New York, Florida, and California for many reasons, one of which was the flagging culture in all of them, decided to write a poem about all the reasons she has ended, or not even begun relationships with men…

Sounds interesting. Useful to the broken hearted.

Yes. Thank you. Anyway, she wrote down this list she’d planned to use to develop a script, and realized what a good poem it would make, but her busybody muse that day kept interrupting and she lost her train of thought.

Uh… sorry. Keep going. I’ll shut up.

Fine. Thank you.

I don’t think I want to hear this.

Then, don’t read it…

La la la la la… not listening.

Well, when you’re in a better mood, here’s the list. YOU write the damned poem!

Smoking anything! Wandering eyes An erection in public Wedding ring Wedding ring tan line Too much tanning Drunkenness Loud voice Too many “buddies” around Absurd pickup lines Too much cologne Bad teeth Dirty fingernails Foul language Poor taste in clothing Dirty shoes Lipstick on the collar A “too familiar” woman Pre-occupation with his phone Glancing in the mirror Slamming a shot glass down onto the bar Bathroom behavior in public Dirty bathroom Dirty kitchen Unmatched dishes Inability to cook Flashing expensive car keys Mentioning his expensive car / house / stock portfolio Mentioning his girlfriend Mentioning his wife Married, married, married Mentioning his cohabitating girlfriend Lack of interest in the arts Excessive interest in sports Lack of education Disdain for educated people Pre-occupation with net worth Messy house / car Personal hygiene issues Underwear showing Acting too familiar too soon Not calling enough Calling too much Waiting too long to call Annoying voice Self-absorption No creative outlet Couch potato Lack of ambition Discouraging commentary Armchair psychiatry Fear of dirt and natural living things (spiders, etc.) Doesn’t like music / movies / theater Too many prescriptions Poor dietary habits Manipulative behaviors Unkind behavior toward anyone

Dang Woman! Demanding much?

 

Loving the Rain

Rain, then sun came today.
It’s finally getting cold after weeks of sleepy heat.
Afternoon doldrums at eighty-five, despite the A/C.

Snow in the mountains, quenched the Cascade fire,
I hope… the smoke was pleasant, yet, well, smoky.

Austin calls to me, my baby boy, music, theater,
all that I am – except for the heat and floods.

Best Mexican food in the country, that’s for sure.
Austin, except scary people live nearby.
Will they leave me alone?

France – maybe Bordeaux, except I don’t speak the language.
Bilbao, perhaps? Spain is nice.
Spain is sane… so far as I can see.

I watch the rain, and wonder where to find peace.
But at least the forest isn’t burning anymore.

Strange as it Seems

The angst… painful lessons, all…
but so appreciated!

Demons and angels among you
all led me to this point of gratitude.

Strange as it seems.

And so, you are released with love
and blessings, those who came with love.

You are banished forever,
those who came with lies and deception;
yet banished with gratitude.

You were the road signs, the stop lights,
the warning signals, even when mixed.

You were the catalysts and the explosions.

You, precious ones, were the embodiment
of Christ – yes, that one… the divine masculine.

Strange as it seems.

The doors are closed, sealed, and dis-integrated.
Replaced with grace, and self-love.

As we move forward in space and time
with all of us as one,
my soul prepares for the next life,
though I hope for forty more of this…
this journey to find love…
not knowing all along that it is me!

My Bad

He did it on purpose…
driving me crazy to feed his ego.
Oh, how clear I see it now,
thirty years hence.

“Call me! I dare you!
Call me on that number
listed online. I’ll listen,
then remain proud
behind your back.”

Oh, love, it’s tempting.
We of the poetic bent
believe in love despite
our perceived insanity.

“She thinks she knows my soul.”

I know your soul,
precious son of…

“I won,” he’ll think.
“she hates me.”

Son of the universe,
I don’t hate you.
I resonated with you.

Like all of us,
I wanted it to be love.

So glad to finally see
this isn’t love.
No… just the physics
of human vibration.

Two soul bubbles intersected
on an identical wavelength,
amplifying the pattern in me
to the point that I felt it –
like electricity across my chest.

Strangest thing ever,
but it wasn’t love.

You’re right… I barely knew you,
but the vibrations were
something like that Brian Adams song –
the one in the snow that you told me about

the last time we saw us together.

Yes, you won, my love.
You win.

I’m gone. Finally! Really!

Took me forever to figure it out…

NOT!

Oh brother! I was in a sad mood.

He’s not like that. I know he’s not like that. Sometimes I wish I could give myself a reason, as do all in this situation. I have to laugh at myself when I recall these moods. Like one part of my mind telling the part that guides my heart that it’s entirely wrong and irrational. Let it be. Observe it. All things are for one reason or another – none of which anyone will ever really know.

 

Freedom

Ego!

Ergo I might fall for some stupidity or another.
How my mind works to fool me into fantasy,
imagining what could have been, but isn’t.

Pretending for the sake of verse.
I feel it and think it’s real.
It’s not! It never was.
Well, maybe somewhat…
But… but… but…

Like a toy the child once
played with for a moment, I was.
I was the toy. He was the toy.
Games, games, games!
Am I not too old for this?

No, never…
mind games I play all alone
to convince myself of my value.
And the worst part of it all?
This isn’t even a good poem!!

Hour 4: A Hundred Years … A plea..

Oh how we have evolved you say.

We work while we sleep vacationing in the waking hours.

Out dreams have been sacrificed and exchanged for the only commodity we have left.

Time.

We pursue passions from the mind.

Physical activity is a way to connect with soul.

I’ll tell you more yet time is toorare to share this secret act.

We tap into our mental strength and hone in on the erogenous zones strictly within the mind.

Time is our currency.

All out homes are ergonomically sound.

We live in urban paradises that can not ever compare to the natural world.

Our would now consists of corporations that claim they are people too with more rights that the women who lost power of their body in 2022.

 

Has a nice ring 💍 to it don’t you thinks.

Guns still are protected over the wombs of women, but oh well they can farm life now with ease and hybrid us like exotic fruit.

Why should our rights or otherwise be protected or revered?

We are only seen as the product of pleasure seekers.

They would villainize us for such a divergent thought.

Although we have many. Thoughts. This like time is highly desired and the later is far from admired.

Theyeve retired retirement altogether.

We work past our price breaking all labor laws of the past they get us after age 10.

Our minds are the only fertile ground left to plunder and pursue. We’ve ravaged the land and greed now has no seed to breed.

So they hunt us while asleep and attack the youth each year earlier, yet we’ve halted them at nine and stoped them atten.

Fought to protect the innocence of youth, yet time they still try to regulate.
They’ve killed cash.

Credit like bitcoin seems imaginary all the same then do it in the name equality which is a word like diversity has taken the abuse and bore the burden of our discontent with self. They say we blame it on wealth when we too have been there to take the loss.

 

Where the elite have taken up every coast line and any every fmgtreen space as theirs all in the name of progress and industry.

We farm silicon chips in pools of white and Tiffany blue.

We  all pierce our tounges   Land ears to protect out identity.

 

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