Saturday, December 5, 2009

THE FLEA’s Submissions Portal Closing 20/12/2009

THE FLEA will close for submissions from Sunday >>>20/12/2009<<< until further notice. There remain a very few places in future issues up until May 2010. I still have many fine submissions received to evaluate, so if you have already sent me work you should hear from me over the next few weeks. If I have already accepted poems from you which I have not yet published, I will have indicated in the acceptance letter which issue and date of THE FLEA your poem will appear in; that might not necessarily be the very next issue. Poems have often been accepted for several issues ahead: do please check your acceptance letter for the exact issue & date of publication before assuming I have forgotten to publish it. If there is still a question, then by all means contact me.

THE FLEA Broadhseets will always remain online, & will probably also be permanently archived by the National Library of Australia's PANDORA project, as are The Chimaera and Shit Creek Review.

My thanks to all who have supported THE FLEA, & have won for it thereby such high reputation in the Commonwealth's opinion for the excellent quality of the poetry exhibited therein.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Season of THE FLEA

You've got to pick up every stitch,
The rabbit’s running in the ditch,
Beatniks are out to make it rich,
Oh no! Must be the Season of the Witch...

Thomas Zimmerman, Marly Youmans, Gail White, Timothy Murphy, Rick Mullin, David W. Landrum, Rose Kelleher, Clive James, Jan Iwaszkiewicz, Midge Goldberg, Richard Epstein, Ann Drysdale, Kevin Cutrer, Norman Ball, Gene Auprey, Mark Allinson, Mary Alexandra Agner.


NB: If, Gentle Poet, you have sent a submission to THE FLEA since October 5th and have not yet heard back from me, fear not. I have a large pile of submissions and I am methodically working my way through it, placing accepted poems into various issues of THE FLEA for 2010. But if you have not heard from me in over eight weeks concerning your submission, by all means email me and make enquiry.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

FLEA Fancier-Fest

Comments on The Flea

* "The Flea is a wondrous new 'zine, marked by the rare imagination and verve of Paul Stevens. What a sparkling, spanking-new idea for a literary magazine!"

—Marly Youmans, The Palace at 2:00 a.m.

* "Paul Stevens’ latest editorial achievement, The Flea, is now online–worth perusing as much for the idiosyncratic house style as for the excellent poetry contained within by such luminaries as Rhina Espaillat, Rose Kelleher, Tim Murphy, and, of course, yours truly."

—Anna Evans, Dreaming in Iambic Pentameter

* "...I’d opened the link to The Flea and been magically transported to a poet’s castle where the emperor’s new clothes were actually made of fabric instead of wishful thinking....

"...I had come to the conclusion that there was nothing really worth reading being published and I was wrong. Go, go to The Flea. Read it and be grateful. I’ll be collecting all the useless print journals I’ve got sitting around and firing up the barbecue. Maybe the light of the flames will inspire me. At least I know that there is still poetry in the world that speaks to the mind and heart without navigating through the navel first and miring us all in the lint so often found therein."

—Christine Kloceck-Lim, November Sky Poetry

* "It's splendid, Paul. I'm proud to be part of it. Poetry and Hudson
pay better, but The Flea is better company."

Timothy Murphy

* "The Flea's elegance is surpassed only by its high quality of verse. Seeing all the Sphereans together makes me realize what a gaggle of fine poets visit these boards. Paul Stevens has done a fine job--as have all the contributors."

—Lance Levens

* "I've just finished another of several readings of this Flea, and it truly is a wondrous assemblage of quality poems. I wish it was a paper thing I could hold within my hands.

Congratulations to all Spherians involved - all powerful poets showing poems that represent the best of their work, I believe.

Thank you so much for the invigorating experience, Paul. Great work."

—Cally Conan-Davies

* "The Flea always leaves me itching for more"

—Patti McCarty

* "I just hope you know you ruined my well-planned day, Paul. Really, I have a long list of important things to do today, including mow the lawn before the neighbors get up a petition and get the books alphabetically back on the shelves so I can find them when I need them, yadda-yadda.

But now I will have to sit down and read this wonderful broadsheet. Really, there is no alternative.

It looks so inviting. Another fine contribution to the world of "literary labors of love"."

—Janice D. Soderling

"Beautiful fanciful concept."

—Janet Kenny

"Paul, you're tireless! This is impressive and (Peter be praised) gorgeous."

—Kate Benedict, Editor, Umbrella

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

At the round earth's imagin'd corners

At the round earth's imagin'd corners, blow
Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise
From death, you numberless infinities
Of souls, and to your scatter'd bodies go!

Yes, me friend, me good friend,
Dem say we free again.
Yes, me friend,
We deh a street again.

The bars could not hold me;
Force could not control me now.
They try to keep me down,
But Jah put I around. Yeah!

Yes, I've been accused many a times
And wrongly abused, now.
Oh, but through the powers of the Most-High,
They've got to turn me loose.
Don't try to hold me up on this
bridge, now.
I've got to reach Mount Zion -
The highest region.
So if you a bull-bucka,
Let me tell you this -
I'm a duppy conqueror - conqueror.

Yes, me friend, me good friend,
Dem say we free again.
Yes, me friend, me good friend,
We deh a street again.

So don't try to cold me up
on this bridge, now.
I've got to reach Mount Zion -
The highest region.
So if you a bull-bucka,
Let me tell you this:
I'm a duppy conqueror - conqueror.

Yes, me friend,
Dem say we free again.
Yes, me friend,
Dem set we free again.
Yes, me friend, me good

Art by Pat Jones

Friday, October 30, 2009

Caratacus Rides Again!

My Domus Carataci personal blog on JournalSpace with years of posts was destroyed when JournalSpace's server crashed in 2007. Since then I haven't run a personal blog, channeling most of my energies into Shit Creek Review, The Chimaera and THE FLEA and their respective blogs. But some material fits better onto a personal blog than onto the more formal context of a literary magazine's blog; with that in mind I have revived Domus Carataci, now on Blogspot, and renamed it I, Caratacus. I will update it from time to time, whenever Bloggina, the Muse of Bloggers, inspires me.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pushcart and Best of Web Nominations 2009

SCR/The Chimaera/The Flea

2009 Nominations for the Pushcart — Best of the Small Presses Anthology and the Dzanc Books Best of the Web Series.



'Prayer for a Horseman' by Timothy Murphy

'After the Funeral' by Janice D. Soderling

'After Van Gogh’s Café Terrace at Night' by Sam Byfield

'Kung Fu Monkeys Hijack Armored Car' by Dennis Loney

'Life' by Bill Greenwell

'Monstrance or Reliquary' by Ann Drysdale

The Chimaera

'The Red Mud of Lydney' by Ann Drysdale

'An Understudy for Desire' by Alan Gould

'Lighthouse, with Poet Brandishing His Hat' by Rhina P. Espaillat

'Talcott Mountain' by Martin Elster

'The Annexe' by Stephen Edgar

'I Am Going Drown' by Charles Musser

The Flea

'Two Theories' by Rhina Espaillat

'Against Beauty' by Alfred Nichol

'High Bank' by Bill Greenwell

'Body of Evidence' by Catherine Chandler

'Iconography' by Maryann Corbett

'Said Yeats’s Bones to Hardy’s Heart' by Ann Drysdale

Dzanc Books Best of Web


'After the Funeral' by Janice D. Soderling

'Prayer for a Horseman' by Timothy Murphy

'Death Watch' by Michael Cantor

The Chimaera

'Sonnet 23 from The Dark Lady' by Jennifer Reeser

'Distraction' by Rick Mullin

'Seeing People' by Geoff Page

The Flea

'Vertigo' by Stephen Edgar

'Clock of the Moon and Stars' by Marly Youmans

'Hydrangeas' by Mark Allinson

Monday, October 12, 2009

Flea Disaster

THE FLEA's computer and much of its back-up went to God on the morning of 4th October due to an unfortunate combination of events involving two poodles, a lunatic cat, a quantity of tequila and a go-go dancer.

I had processed most submissions through to the end of August and sent off accept/decline letters. But if you submitted work before October 4th 2009 and have not heard back from me, you need to send me the work again. 

Also, poets whose work I have accepted for issues 4 and following will need to send me that accepted work again. Amongst many other things I lost my email address book. I have a hard copy of what I had accepted for each particular issue of THE FLEA so I expect to get to each author eventually, but if you are an author whose work I accepted, please contact me so I can access your email address.

Needless to say I am mortified by these events, and apologise to all concerned.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Fleas of the Apocalypse

THE THIRD FLEA of the Apocalypse is loose!

Mark Allinson, Mary Alexandra Agner, Maryann Corbett, Ann Drysdale, Richard Epstein, Midge Goldberg, Bill Greenwell, R. Nemo Hill, Janet Kenny, Janice D. Soderling, J.J. Steinfeld, Leo Yankevich, Marly Youmans, & Thomas Zimmerman

Flea! Flea!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Terry Stanton needs help

My old friend Terry Stanton, who used to drink at The Royal George, is in dire straits. Nine months ago he fell and hit his head, and has been in intensive care ever since, having lost many of his faculties. There will be a benefit for him at Palm Beach R.S.L. on Sunday 30th August, 1-4 pm, with an auction of art by (amongst others) Martin Sharp, Reg Mombassa, Bruce Goold and Mick Glasheen. Phone (02) 9974 5566.

Click on the images below to make them bigger and easier to read.

More on Terry here:

I'll post more info when available.

The Terrence Fund

St. George Bank Avalon NSW

B.S.B. 112.879 Account Number 456.125.143

For further info please contact

Patrick Dougherty

Ph. (02) 9974 4255

Fran Holloway

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Flea Bytes

The Second Flea has hatch'd, and, pamper'd, swells — with verse by Peter Bloxsom, Catherine Chandler, David Davis, Ann Drysdale, Rhina P. Espaillat, Bill Greenwell, Clive James, Jalina Mhyana, Timothy Murphy, Alfred Nicol, Marly Youmans and Thomas Zimmerman. Go, read, be bytten!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Book Launch for Ray Pospisil's The Bell

Ray Pospisil, a Brooklyn based poet and journalist, was born in Bogota, Colombia, and early in his life moved with his parents to Union, New Jersey. He spent most of his life in New York City. Ray was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Rutgers University. He worked as an energy and environment journalist working for Fairchild Publications sand then McGraw-Hill and later became a freelance journalist working mostly for McGraw-Hill publications. Ray had a passion for poetry and often read in the East Village and in Manhattan. His work has been published by Lyric, Iambs & Trochees, The Newport Review, Rogue Scholars and others. In 2006, his chapbook of poems, Some Time Before the Bell, was published by Modern Metrics.

Ray died tragically on January 28, 2008, aged 54. The Bell is a book of remarkable precision, feeling, and sense of beauty among the squalor of urban life in the early twenty-first century. A mixture of anger, humor, compassion, and a deep, hard-earned love for life in spite of its many disappointments make this a painful yet transcendently beautiful collection.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Nightingale Lounge
213 Second Ave (Corner of 13th Street)
Manhattan, New York

Featured readers:

Quincy Lehr
R. Nemo Hill, Jane Ormerod, Oran Ryan,
Thomas Fucaloro, Michelle Slater, Su Polo,
David Elsasser, Terese Coe, and Wendy Sloan.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Angela France's New Book

SCR's Poetry Editor, Angela France, has a book out! It's called  Occupation, and it's a ripper! Occupation is full of the sort of poetry that  The Flea loves: articulate, honest, incisive, imaginative, true.

And English: if you love English poetry—not just poetry in English, but English poetry — you will love this book. And if you're going to buy a book of poems to read and then come back to, this is the one.

Occupation is available for pre-publication order from Ragged Raven Press, and will be launched with a reading at Ledbury Poetry Festival on July 10th.

Ragged Raven Press is here:

Angela France’s robust poems move through a range of themes, but the passage of time and the struggle against it, in physical effort, in mind and in dream, recur. There is also a very welcome intellectual clarity that produces a beauty of its own, in short poems, like Unpoem and Beeing, but also in more gritty works of realism like Urban. The poems are always vigorous and rhythmically controlled. Occupation establishes a clear, firm, valuable voice in contemporary poetry.

—George Szirtes

Here's a poem  from Occupation to whet your appetite:


The scrubbed block had scars and nicks
from the graded blades hanging on the rack;
I could see blood lingering
in deep cuts. His slabbed hands
were always wet and red, fingers
plump as the sausages forced
from the maw of his machine.

He smiled at customers as he slapped steak
on white paper, chatted as his cleaver
slammed through flesh and joint.
He knew all the wives by name,
knew who would want the cheap cuts,
the marrow bones for soup. He’d wink
an extra slice of ham into the wrapper
for Mrs Green and tease newlyweds
about what they’d give their man for supper.

I’d keep my eyes down, only offer
words from the shopping list,
scurry away with ideas about his steel door
and what it hid, sure of his kinship
to the plaster pig in the window
with a striped apron and a perverse smile
as its varnished trotter pointed
to rows of glistening chops.

I coloured him red,
heard draining arteries in his voice,
the thud of cleavers in his laugh.
I watched him checking a delivery, afraid
of what might burst from the straining seams.
He caught me looking
at the pigs hanging in the lorry,
pink feet pointing in a row.
Look like ballet dancers, don’t they?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Flea Reviewed by a Reader in the Virginia Colonies

Mistress Christine Klocek-Lim reviews The Flea here:

" ...At least I know that there is still poetry in the world that speaks to the mind and heart without navigating through the navel first and miring us all in the lint so often found therein."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

THE FLEA approacheth

Mr Paul Stevens, under the apprehension that he hath indeed in Former Times besported and comported himself during a long & disreputable Past Life as a Fellowe and Boone-Companion of John Donne Esq., Ben Jonson, Sir John Suckling, Richard Lovelace and his partickular Frende and Crony Mr Andrew Marvell of Hull & Nun Appleton House, wishes to presage the imminent Publickation of an Exhibition or Congeries of Poemes, Squibs & Epigrammes he hath whimsically deuysed under the Favoure of the Sovereygne Muse in a Broadsheet to be called THE FLEA, after the excellent Conceite of his Frende Mr Donne; and will aduyse furthermore any new Newes as seems apposyte and timely.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Flea

by John Donne

MARKE but this flea, and marke in this,
How little that which thou deny'st me is;
It suck'd me first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea, our two bloods mingled bee;
Thou know'st that this cannot be said
A sinne, nor shame, nor losse of maidenhead;
        Yet this enjoyes before it wooe,
         And pamper'd swells with one blood made of two,
         And this, alas, is more than wee would doe.

Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare,
Where wee almost, yea, more than maryed are,
This flea is you and I, and this
Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is;
Though parents grudge, and you, w'are met,
And cloisterd in these living walls of Jet.
         Though use make you apt to kill mee,
         Let not to that, selfe murder added bee,
         And sacrilege, three sinnes in killing three.

Cruell and sodaine, hast thou since
Purpled thy naile in blood of innocence?
Wherein could this flea guilty bee,
Except in that drop which it suckt from thee?
Yet thou triumph'st, and saist that thou
Find'st not thy selfe nor mee the weaker now.
        'Tis true ; then learn how false, feares bee;
         Just so much honour, when thou yeeld'st to mee,
         Will wast, as this flea's death tooke life from thee.