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Theme & Prompt for #11

The theme and visual prompt for Issue #11 has been posted. #11 will be published on May 13, 2024, with a submission deadline of March 29, 2024. Before submitting work, please be familiar with the Submission Guidelines.

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Nightfall in a Fenced Arcadia

Gliding through the half-dark, this preternatural humidity caresses my skin like an unseen lover. I am the moth’s muffled flight through twilight, borne by the hum and whir of bicycle wheels. I’m seeking the moon — or hoping it finds me. Jagged teeth of buildings gnash against the skyline.  This city — lock-jawed in lockdown, holding me hostage for months, clamped tight on us all — finally

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& Still Your Indian Paintbrush Mouth

& still my heart clenched / in her tight little fist. / & still / your kaleidoscope irises / imprinted / into my chewed bubblegum core. / & still rose petal blind. & still stitched / to that yellow mattress. & / still. / & still / a coal mine throat / stolen canary. / & still the moon. /

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Breathtaking

By sheer coincidence, our five-year anniversary happened to fall on the longest day of the year. Neither of us were particularly superstitious nor into astrology, but the summer solstice was said to bring forth luck, which we considered a good omen and yet another reason to go big on celebrations…

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Embrace of Lands and People

Painting carried out in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and inspired by the first peace treaty in history. The agreement established the respective spheres of influence between the Egyptians and Hittites after the Battle of Qadeš (1274 BC). The painting depicts two figures (one Semitic, the other Jewish) who embody two lands, two different cultures and religious traditions in the

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Hygge

Can I live with the denial of your love?
Patches from codices of parchment, a rich repository of my love.
Today, thy hands committed libricide
and I wonder why these thoughts won’t just go away
— my taboo love or this taboo act?

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and so on

i. You ask me how I’m doing and we both know there’s no way I’d ever answer that without lying. You say love isn’t made for people like us— we’re too rational for it. I tell you that I’m a secluded person, I chase the people that hate me. I don’t know why I do it, but I do it.

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Seeking Fluency

Shimmering skin, your bioluminescence effervesces,
cupid eyes and claret cheeks, lips bow-shaped,
your August-boiled blood keeps us both warm
the whole year round…

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#9 PDF Proof Sent

A PDF proof of each contributor’s work for Issue 9 has been sent out by email. Please review and respond with edits or corrections at your earliest convenience. And, of course, reach out if you haven’t seen your proof.

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Check Your Email! Check Your Spam Folder! Check Your Privilege!

Updated Jan 2, 1:40 PM PST – The second paragraph below incorrectly referred to Issue #10 notices and acceptances. It has been corrected to say Issue 9. My covid recovery is mostly complete. Don’t ever say, ‘it’s like a cold.’ It is insidious and I am concerned about long term effects. While in the midst of it, I also stepped

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Submissions Glitch

I’ve been wondering why I haven’t had many new submissions recently and I just found out why. Our submission form has been saving the submitted data to the wrong databse. Not a big deal and an easy fix. This is just to say that the last dozen or so submissions have not been replied to with an acknolwedgement email. I’ll

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Bad Timing

I am sick with Covid. Today is day two of symptoms, and they are acelerating quickly. I’m going to try and get all issue 9 submissions responded to by the end of today. Last time I had Covid I was very sick and unable to function for almost two weeks. I will do my best to launch 9 on Jan

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Submissions for 9 Have Been Acknowledged

This is just to say that we have sent email messages acknowledging the receipt of all submissions for Issue 9 (and some for 10). This is NOT to say that we have accepted or declined1 any work yet. Those notices will be going out sometime between now and the end of December. But, if you submitted work to us and

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To Warn or Not to Warn

We have used Content Warnings (aka Trigger Warnings) on a few of the works we’ve published. In all of these cases, the warning was added at the request of the contributor. We are now questioning this practice…

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Contributor Contract

When we accept work for publication we send contributors an email which acts as a contract. The content in this email is a work in progress, and always subject to change. But we won’t change any agreement that you (and we) have already agreed to. This is what the email contract looks like for Issue 9: Hi NAME, We are

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Style Guide Available

We’ve just posted a Style Guide for the PDF and Web versions of our Journal. All contributors should be familiar with, not only our requirements, but also with the technical limitations that come with publishing on the web. Please read it before you submit work to us. (We’ll make links to this guide more prominent in the coming days.) For

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Review: Steady by Anne Whitehouse

Anne Whitehouse’s poetry collection, Steady, isn’t a poetry collection. Rather, it isn’t just a poetry collection. I, perhaps naively, set about reading it without first getting a sense of its length or breadth. The book is divided into four Parts. The first, second and fourth sections, titled Morning Swim, Signs, and Blue respectively, each contain exactly 10 poems. I didn’t

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Letters

Back when I used to subscribe to paper periodicals, I always loved reading the ‘Letters to the Editors’ first thing when a new issue dropped. I especially appreciated it when Letters would be responded to, no matter by whom. I would love to have that kind of interaction with our readers. Commenting is perfect for brief responses to individual works,

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Comments Are Easy and Encouraged

All it takes to comment on any work that appears in Exist Otherwise is to enter a name (it can be anything including ‘anonymous’), an email address (it can be fake), and your comment, then click submit. If you don’t include a link in your comment, it will appear immediately without having to be approved. You can also save your

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Bluesky and Other Social

I’m on Bluesky as @patamystic.bsky.social. That’s my personal account. I’ll create an @existotherwise account as soon as I get another invite code. I’ve only been using Bluesky for a few minutes but it looks like there’s an extensive #WritingCommunity there. It looks more promising than Threads. I’m also still using Mastodon: @ex************@wr*****.exchange. Wondering if I should start using Facebook again…

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