Wednesday, March 11, 2015

After Hours

A piece called "Fourth of July Anarchy (Foster Beach" has been included in After Hours, a journal of Chicago writing and art. They had a booth at Chicago Book Expo where I picked up a card about how to submit. Attending book and publishing fairs is a great way to find out what journals are looking for and a chance to thumb through the journal to see if your work is a good fit.

What's so exciting about this particular submission is that it is my first published "poem." Actually it is a prose poem or it could even be described as a lyrical flash memoir. Composed after hiking up to Foster Beach for the 4th of July fireworks. We went for the show that goes off above the Saddle & Cycle Club and encountered something radically different. All around us revelers were setting off their own fireworks, creating chaos and anarchy. I think the situation would have brought on PDS for a wartime vet. There were no safeguards in effect. Generally everyone and anyone was letting loose explosives. I saw a rocket shoot through a crowd about knee-level instead of straight up into the air. People were diving for cover, it was that dangerous. But like how a roller coaster can be freaky and exhilarating at the same time--so too was Foster Beach on the 4th of July. It was CRAZY.

Also included in this WINTER issue of After Hours are poems of John Vietnam Nguyen, a rapper and hip hop artist from Uptown who while attending the University of WI at Madison accidentally drowned while saving the life of another swimmer. His death was truly tragic as he was just at the start of a promising writing career. Check out the journal and download an issue.
John Vietnam

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