Publications, with links!

Posted on Jan 1, 2021 by fishclamor

“Soprano” and “Shayna,” Prose-Poems. Listed in Eastern Iowa Review’s “Favorite Prose Poems” section on their Prose Poems page. (Issue 8).

Jokes Review, “The Light in the Refrigerator, or, the Ball in the Crescent Wrench,” Short Fiction. Jokes Review. Summer 2020.

Gone Lawn “Even the Sky.” Prose poem. June 20, 2020. Issue 3.

Jokes Review, [ask me for the pdf] “the Anthropology: What You Always Wanted To Know About Mathematicians But Were Afraid to Ask, &c.” Short Fiction. Summer 2020. [due to problems with mathematical symbols and the platform Jokes Review publishes on, sadly, the footnotes did not turn out right so please don’t read it there!!!! I will be delighted to e-mail you a perfect pdf! I mean the footnotes are the story, so]. [Or, stand by for the link]. [Well, just email me. WordPress can’t publish it, but I can send you a short pdf! 6 pages maybe! Jen /at// fish clamor Dott com. Just ask! Thank you!

The Inflectionist Review “The Late Bed,” prose poem. Jan. 2020 issue 9, p. 41 (at last you will know what the clamoring fish are about!)

Best Microfictions 2020 Nomination from Citron Review for “Fighting with God.

Gone Lawn, “Wake” and “Lot’s Wife,” Prose poems, December 20, 2019

*82 Review“The Flowering Bonsai,” Prose poem, December, 2019

Best Lyric Prose Anthology from Eastern Iowa Review: Ed. By Chila Woychick, my prose poems “Soprano” and “Shayna” are included. Available now at Amazon.

The Citron Review, “Fighting with God,” Prose Poem, Sept 23, 2019

Bending Genres Journal: “Unity,” Fiction. August 2019. Issue 10

The Raw Art Review: “In the Fall, Demeter”; “Weaning”; Summer 2019; and “Fighting with God,” reprinted, thanks to Citron Review. Prose poems. Summer 2019. See pp. 117-120.

Eastern Iowa Review: “Soprano” and “Shayna,” Prose-poems. Spring, Issue 8.

Bop Dead City: “The Orange Tattoo” and “Three Fortunes.” Flash-fiction and Prose-Poem. Fall 2016. (This was available in print only). Look in my book for them, eventually.

Bop Dead City: Interview with Jennifer Woodworth. Fall, 2017.

Ginosko Literary Journal, “Halloween.” (P. 102). Lyric essay/Flash Fiction. October 2016. I love this story. You have to scroll and scroll and scroll to page 102. I think it’s worth it though. Let me know. 

Monkey Puzzle Press: How I Kiss Her Turning HeadProse-Chapbook. May, 2014. The press is sadly closed, though I still have copies for sale, both e-book and hard-copy! You know you want one: drop me an email at Jen )at( fish clamor {dot} com Or send me a tweet @fishclamor

Review of How I Kiss Her Turning Head by A Total Stranger. With Questions for book groups! Never in my wildest dreams….Thank you Beth Castrodale! 

Review of How I Kiss Her Turning Head by an Internet writing friend. The man can write a fine essay! (Play and poem, too). Thank you Carl Nelson! 

Bellow Literary Journal, Volume 2.1, August 2013: “Mother of One” and “Screwing Up, Importantly,” Stories, August 2013. Print-only journal, still available! The story “Screwing Up, Importantly” is also posted on my blog, here. “Mother of One” is available in Bellow at the link above, and also in How I Kiss Her Turning Head. 

The Nassau Review, “Crows Over Wheatfield.” Poem (ekphrasis, poem) December 2011. This was a print-only Journal. 

Opium For the Arts: “The God and the Bug Story.” Flash-Fiction. January 2010. Look for it in my book, one of these days! 

AROHO Orlando Prize: “The Rings.” Sudden Fiction. Fall, 2009

Flashquake: “Asunder.” Poem. Winter, 2009. The site is closed now. Sad. But I posted it on my blog here

Mary, Mary, Mary: Visions of Grace. “we’re all marys” (prose poem). This book is a collection of Art and Writing about The Three Marys. Gallery Print, Virginia Beach, VA. Fall 2009. The beautiful book is now out of print, but “we’re all marys” is included in my chapbook How I Kiss Her Turning Head. 

Thank you so much for stopping by! 

—Jennifer Woodworth

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Poem of the day: Corona by Paul Celan

Autunm eats its leaf out of my hand: we are friends.
From the nuts we shell time and we teach it to walk:
then time returns to the shell.

In the mirror it’s Sunday,
in dream there is room for sleeping,
our mouths speak the truth.

My eye moves down to the sex of my loved one:
we look at each other,
we exchange dark words,
we love each other like poppy and recollection,
we sleep like wine in the conches,
like the sea in the moon’s blood ray.

We stand by the window embracing, and people look up from
the street:
it is time they knew!
It is time the stone made an effort to flower,
time unrest had a beating heart.
It is time it were time.

It is time.

Translated by Michael Hamburger 

Anyone I would love to see the German and any other translation–please send me links here in the comments! I will be delighted!

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News From Gone Lawn!

Many thanks to Gone Lawn, which has accepted my prose poem “Even the Sky” for its Summer issue! It kind of goes with “Wake” which they published in their winter issue so I’m especially delighted. Thanks @GoneLawn !

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Get your copy of How I Kiss Her Turning Head Today!

I won’t have any hard copies again for a while, but e-copies I have! 3 bucks! You know you want it. It’s a 30 page prose chapbook. I think you’ll love it. Write me at Jen at {{{{{{}. I’ll send it right away!

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Protected: we’re all marys

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Anthology news!

Eastern Iowa Review: Best Lyric Prose Plus Anthology

Editor: Chila Woychick

Two of my prose poems are included in this anthology, “Soprano” and “Shayna.” Thank you Chila Woychik and Eastern Iowa review! The anthology is available here at Amazon (please leave reviews!).

Eastern Iowa Review: Best Lyric Prose Plus Anthology.

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Christopher Allen’s Beautiful Story “What If All the Oceans”—a read you won’t forget

From the current Gone Lawn. It took about 3 minutes to read but will never leave me. @GoneLawn. #story of the day

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News in prose-poems!

Many thanks to Gone Lawn, which has accepted two poems I love for their December 20th issue—“Wake” and “Lot’s Wife.”

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Many Thanks to Citron Review for publishing “Fighting with God,” a prose poem.

I love the mag. Check it out here. Thanks for stopping by!

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What a lovely thing to say

“You still write like someone running with a clutch of flowers.” –Carl Nelson

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Funny Places You Show Up When You Go Looking For Your Publications.

This Old Thing? Really?

Out of Print, But It Was Here!

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Many thanks to Bending Genres for publishing my story “Unity”

There are 36 awesome pieces in today’s new Bending Genres! Many thanks to @bendinggenres for publishing my story-gone-awry, “Unity” in today’s issue!

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Many thanks to The Raw Art Review! News in prose-poems!

Thanks Henry Stanton at The Raw Art Review for accepting two of my prose poems for your summer issue coming out this fall! #@rawartreview

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Bibliography: List of my favorite books, stories, stories, poems, authors, one day in fall 2016. It could be different any day, but here ya go!

Of course I have a list of favorite stories, poems, books, writers! If it weren’t for reading

Wanda Coleman’s Heavy Daughter Blues,

I might not have become a writer at all. I can’t say what it was about the book, but it turned something over in me that I thought was already right side up. Some of the many stories, poems, and books I love off the top of my brain are the following:

Charles Simic’s The World Doesn’t End;

Morton Marcus’s Moments Without Names;

the amazing poem on the front page of Booth right this minute called

“The Problem with Burning Down Your Own House” by Amorak Huey; and

“Snow,” by Ann Beattie

is amazing. I have some eternal favorites—this year, as many other years, I’ve been on a big

Moby Dick By Herman Melville

craze, the exception to the rule that I only read short stories. I love the stories in


as works of fiction. And

Amy Hempel’s book, Reasons to Live,

is the best short fiction book I know, and her new one

Sing to It is also magical. I love most anything by

Raymond Carver,

and I love

Donald Barthelme

for the delight he takes in writing the bizarre as if it were not so bizarre. I love

Louise Erdrich’s short stories and

her novel (another exception) Love Medicine.

Roger Ebert

was a brilliant writer, not a movie critic. Any of his

Great Movie essays will bring you the news. I love and hate

Henry James

for his brilliant and complicated sentences.

e.e. Cummings

is very much a favorite, what with all the love poems and those gorgeous sonnets and unforgettable moments like as is the sea marvelous–and another great lover,

Pablo Neruda, whose Twenty Love Songs and a Song of Despair

will never stop feeling fresh to me.

There are not enough women here. I love the book

Smoke by Dorianne Laux, especially her poem, “Prayer.”

My mother, M.K. Woodworth

is a beautiful writer and I hope she’s not done. One day I happened upon a very strange and beautiful book of stories called

Silk by Grace Mazure.

Love in Infant Monkeys by Lydia Millet is to die for.

Kimoko Hahn’s book, The Narrow Road to the Interior

may well be my favorite book of poetry of all time, and

I could go on and on, in fact, I already have. My apologies.

Note: i know very well that there is not enough diversity here either. I have read plenty of work by all colors and genders of people and need to make a second list of what I read during the five year period I only allowed myself to read women.

If you think that’s sexist, well, I went to college before the canon included ANY WOMEN WHATSOEVER, so I hope that makes up for my reverse sexism.

If I hadn’t made that choice that day in an independent bookstore I’d have read another brilliant if sexist book by Milan Kundera instead of Amy Hempel and what a sad day that would have been!

Forgive me, world. It was still the best educational decision I ever made.

Thank you for checking out my list. I have another bibliography for my daughter I’ll post one day. That one has an entirely different goal…

Posted in fiction, good book, lists of great literature, bibliograpies, notes from the studio, poems, poetry, prose, prose poems, Short Fiction, stories, Stories to Die For | Tagged , | Leave a comment

News in Prose Poems!

Many thanks to @thecitronreview for accepting my prose poem “Fighting with God” for their fall issue. See their current issue here, The Citron Review!

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First Grandpoem Submitted! It’s a prose-poem!

My daughter, who is still a child, submitted her first poem today to the Rattle Young Poet’s Anthology. Her first prose poem is cooler than anything I’ll ever make and I couldn’t be more delighted–it’s a grandpoem! Not only that, it’s a prose-poem. More: It’s an “After” poem! That’s my girl. Check this space for news. I wish I could tell you more, but she’s a child:). Safety glasses, kids!

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News in Prose Poems/Stories Gone Awry!

Many thanks to @Bending Genres Journal for accepting my prose-poem/story-gone-wrong “Unity River” for their August issue!

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Eastern Iowa Review Issue 8, Chock Full of Prose Poems, Is Out

With a whole big section of prose poems! Check out Eastern Iowa Review’s latest issue here!

Eastern Iowa Review Issue 8
“Underneath” by Denny E. Marshall

My prose poems, “Soprano” and “Shayna” are here.

To see all the poems, click on the pretty cover of Eastern Iowa Review’s Issue 8 and when you arrive, scroll down to the section you want to read (prose poems, stories, what have you). Then click on what you want to read. Thank you Eastern Iowa Review for publishing a whole section of prose poems!

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Poem of the Day: “Errata” by Charles Simic


Where it says snow 
read teeth-marks of a virgin 
Where it says knife read 
you passed through my bones 
like a police-whistle 
Where it says table read horse 
Where it says horse read my migrant’s bundle 
Apples are to remain apples 
Each time a hat appears 
think of Isaac Newton 
reading the Old Testament 
Remove all periods 
They are scars made by words 
I couldn’t bring myself to say 
Put a finger over each sunrise 
it will blind you otherwise 
That damn ant is still stirring 
Will there be time left to list 
all errors to replace 
all hands guns owls plates 
all cigars ponds woods and reach 
that beer-bottle my greatest mistake 
the word I allowed to be written 
when I should have shouted 
her name

by Charles Simic,

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News in Prose Poems

Eastern Iowa Review has accepted two of my prose poems (“Soprano” and “Shayna”) for their next edition–check this billboard for details later on! In the meantime, check out the journal–for writers, they are interested in lyric essays and prose poems, among other things; and for readers, they clearly have fabulous taste!

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Screwing Up, Importantly

So I was wondering if maybe you’re putting a load of crap into that one idea that’s bothering you so much, wondering if you could Screw Up so very Importantly.

What I mean is this:  suppose it is bothering you that you have to cut the grass, clean out the garage, fix the swing set, and figure out how to pay for the new driveway, and you think jesus god I can’t possibly keep track of all that AND take care of it without a cigarette,so you pick a fight with your wife over whether or not her parents like you—are you with me here, Lester?

Because that thing about her parents is just the one thing—I mean, you can keep track of whether or not her parents like you.  No list required.  And, in fact, you aren’t even talking about anything at all, since it’s one of those ridiculous fights you make up when you need to divert your troubles from one area of your life to another.

And you know this, so you think, this is beautifulI don’t actually have to keep track of anything AND I’ll get a cigarette, if I can figure how to storm out of here in a huff,and it gets to be this Importantly huge fight where vile (same as evil, veil) things are said on all sides that are neither relevant nor true.

It starts, say, with you saying right out of the deep blue sky, even though—especially since–you know you might be about to get some, because she has just asked you to take a shower—it starts right here, Lester, with you saying,

Your parents hate me and never wanted you to marry me!

And she says that’s because you ran over my dad’s golf shoes and you have been thoughtless and inconsiderate to my mother every time you’ve seen her!

That’s because she just never thought I was good enough for you! 

Well, maybe she was right!

Maybe she was!  But she didn’t have to dump gravy on my head last Thanksgiving just because I set the table with the forks on the wrong side! 

Yeah, well, your mom should have taught you how to set a table properly!

Well aren’t you little Miss Debutante. 

Yes, as a matter of fact I was a debutante.

Of course you were.  I had to take you away from BRAD. 

What’s your problem with Brad?

He’s an asshole, that’s what.

Well he’s my mother’s hairdresser now, and how dare you.

How dare I you say—HOW DARE I? 

You with me here, Lester?  And you notice that you still do not have a cigarette, and you still have a load of shit to do at the house, and goddammit you just do not want to deal with it.  So then you have to say it.  You just have to say it.  You say, Importantly,

Look, I think we should watch separate TV’s.

When really that’s the last thing you want, because when it’s all said and done, you want to smoke your goddamn cigarette and come in and watch a sexy movie with your wife, but now there’s this big thing about the whole separate TV’s, and don’t you think I should at least consider a career in fiction?

I need you stay with me here, pal—so you’re irritated about all this little shit and you think it would be easier to make up just the one thing, but by this time you have sort of forgotten what’s going on and here you are having a vile ( evil, veil) fight with your wife about whether her parents like you or not, which is silly to argue about since really it has nothing to do with your marriage, and SHE loves you and YOU love her and really the parents are a just a handy foil. 

Every couple must have their fake issues.  It’s part of the sacred covenant of marriage.  One must never forget the importance of having the fake issues. I mean, come on Lester, you can’t possibly really talk about all the real shit—who has that kind of time?

One must never forget that the fake issues are fake, either, and that in their own Importantly Fucked Up way, they help you stay close to each other.  In this Importantly Fucked Up way, your marriage is better off with the fake issues.

Maybe you might wonder why this thing is bugging you in terms of what’s going on right there in river city where The Stuff That Matters lives and grows and busts open like a pink peony and is huge and gorgeous and smells good, even if it has ants crawling on it.  They fertilize the flowers.  I mean, you know what they say, no buggy, no pretty.

Of course this is patronizing AND condescending, and I do apologize, but I kind of like the story and the whole idea of the fake issue being a part of the sacred covenant between a man and a woman, required so that they don’t BLOW each other UP because you forget to put trash bags in the trash after you take it out, and once you left the seat up when you were drunk, and once you forgot to tell her about a money-machine withdrawal Fastcash-Forty-Bucks,and that last time you wanted to and she didn’t, or was it the other way around, and, and, and, you see, Lester: it is just as important to have the fake issues as it is to have the Hot Married Sex. 

Now that I’ve written this, I see that “fake issue” should have been the Fake Issuethroughout.

Forgive me.

–Jennifer Woodworth, 201

Thanks to Bellow Literary Journal for first publishing “Screwing Up, Importantly” in their August, 2013 issue.

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How I Kiss Her Turning Head, Chapbook or E-book, Available Now!

My prose chapbook, How I Kiss Her Turning Head, published by Monkey Puzzle Press, is a book with several sketches and short works of fiction about the obsessions and dark thoughts of mothers and babies; it is available for three bucks as an ebook. You know you want it.

I still have pretty little hard copies if you’d like to buy one from me–they’re ten bucks, and I know you want one.

Write me at Jen at )Fishclamor( dot com. I’d love to send you either one. Free shipping!

(If this email doesn’t work, please let me know in comments?)

Drop me a line!

Thank you!

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meet me in front of a jazz club

in new orleans; there i’ll kiss you


hard. you have been lover

to me through lives upon deaths, your fingers


spread in my hair, your demolition kiss

a wrecking ball through love affairs


& marriages. but that night, before i knew

your kiss so well, it was & we were two martinis drunk


one after the other; the steering wheel biting

my ribs, my hands clutching at anything


under the headrest behind you.  Surprised at the bar,

still standing when we emerged:


I wondered how, having spent a lifetime of breath

in that one kiss, how the things of this world remain standing.


–Jennifer woodworth

Many thanks to Flashquake, who first published this poemin slightly different form in 2009.

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The Rings

The Rings


My husband was a carpenter with hands so big he could wrap them all the way around me. Since I had put off getting my husband’s wedding ring until the day before the wedding, the artist made it for me in one day. He was not a jeweler. He made art with metal and stone. He made my husband a thick, wide, rounded ring.

This ring will always feel good on his hand, even when he’s working.

I inscribed it in my own hand. I made bronze sculpture, so I understood the crafting of metal. I watched the artist turn the little gold bar into a circle, join it together, and polish it to hide the weld. I wanted to remember the heat that made this ring, so I asked him not to hide the weld on the inside. My inscription began there and ended there.

The weld inside is also the joining of lives.

The ring was heavy and warm like a ripe peach in my hand.

I made the ring with soft gold. When he gets old, it will tell the story of his life.

We were married in my husband’s house in the winter. He was an excellent hunter. He was proud of the huge antlers he hung on his walls. They were scarred and sometimes broken—courtship, clashes, close calls.

The only heat came from the wood-stove my husband had built. It seemed strange to me that he had hidden and polished his welds on his stove—I loved the jagged scars welds made: I sought them out; I created them; I wanted to see the mystery of proud flesh healing in my work.

I uncurled my fingers when my husband said, “With this ring, I thee wed.” I was afraid to look at his face, so I watched the two cats sleeping under the wood-stove instead. It occurred to me suddenly that my husband wouldn’t have hidden the welds underneath the stove. He made his vows while he nudged a lacy antique ring over my knuckle. The ring was elegant and unusual. I thought it was perfect for me.

I stared at my new ring. I was silent. I looked up, searching for my husband’s face, but all I could find were the antlers. They had grown wild and twisted. Turns, forks, splits, scars, broken places. I lost my voice in the thicket.

When I could speak again, I said, “With this ring, I thee wed,” and made my vows. I slipped the heavy ring on my husband’s giant hand.

Whenever I saw that wide band on his hand, I remembered that we were just married, and I took him to bed.

Is that why you married me? just to get me in bed?

Of course.

My own beautiful ring hit a bone in my little finger, hurting me, so I took it off and my hand was bare. My husband still wore his ring.

A few months after the wedding, my best efforts to get him in bed began to fail because things had gone so wrong between us. We got a divorce.

But I couldn’t leave. The day the papers came, we sat silently at the picnic table in the back yard. As soon as it got dark, we began to make love, making love on the table, in the grass, in the kitchen, in our bed. Our marriage was better because we were no longer married. We made love all the time. We stayed together .

He had never taken off his ring and I was glad because I still loved him very much.

One summer day, walking hand-in-hand, we stopped to look in a jeweler’s window at a display of wedding bands. I wanted a plain, gold band. Simple and small and rounded at the edges so that it would always feel good on my hand. Let’s get a wedding ring for me. Then we’ll both have one. I showed my husband exactly which one I wanted, and I asked him for it.

After the waiter brought the dessert to our table, my husband took a ring from his pocket and put it in my hand. I stared at the ring in my palm. It had a strange shape—it

was round and elegant on one edge, sharp and square on the other. The ring was all wrong; the composition was unbalanced. I couldn’t understand why anyone would make a ring that way.

I went to the jeweler where we saw that ring in the window. I asked him to cut my ring half—one for you—

I only knew one way to cut a ring in half like that: the jeweler cuts the ring at the weld and opens it. Without changing the thickness of the ring, he straightens it so that it looks like a little gold bar again. He slits the gold down the thick part in the middle. Then he bends the two new bars into two circles and welds them closed again.

I looked at my husband’s wonderful hand and I saw that what he said about his ring was true. But I let him put the ring on my finger. The sharp edge of the ring and my half of the inscription cut into my skin. We walked around out of balance for a while until I left the misshapen ring on his kitchen table and moved away.

–Jennifer Woodworth

Thanks to  AROHO Foundation

for choosing this piece  for the

2009 AROHO Flash Fiction Award

and publishing it on their website!

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How I Kiss Her Turning Head, Now Available as fabulous and beautiful Ebook!

My prose chapbook, How I Kiss Her Turning Head, published by Monkey Puzzle Press, is a book with several sketches and short works of fiction about the obsessions and dark thoughts of mothers and babies; it is available for three bucks as an ebook. You know you want it.

Write me at Jen at )Fishclamor( dot com. Love to send you one. You’ll like it, I know you will.

(If this email doesn’t work, please let me know in comments?)

Thank you! Drop me a line!

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This is for you, a message thirty years later from “Esmeralda the Gypsy,” who read your palm that Halloween, that brilliant, cold fall night when the whole university was out in costume. The maple candy melted in our mouths, and the deep red in the leaves chased the yellow away—do you remember we’d learned that only during a fall of cold, bright days, will the sugar in the maples freeze into red. Did street lights ever make a place more like a movie set? Or was it the thousands of students outside in costume? That giant carrot—I knew it was you—only you would have dyed a whole sheet electric orange, wrapped it around you tight from knees to head, chosen that wild carrot hair.I grabbed your carrot hands, turned them over, silently studied them before I told you the story of your life—who you loved, whether she loved you too, how many children, your happiness then and now, how much of yourself you give away in love, the steadiness of your heart, the difference between what’s left and what’s kept; what you’d made of what had been given you; what you’ve made by now of what you’ve been given. Turn it over—the back of your hand, this finger, here—you’re good at math? Yes, if you want to—you like to count, you. You don’t read, this is art you’ll never make, though the mind of genius will be in your hands—where do you lose your desire for it—and at that instant, an enormous rabbit sprang out of his hole to chase you, and you became a giant carrot with flying green crepe-paper hair running down the street, turning over cards and tables, changing candy for prayers and for dreams, and you ran off with the true love you’d find in your late twenties, your marriage, your generosity in love, and the children you’d have, all clutched in your hands— did you keep your fist closed long enough to put them, safe, under your pillow? I hear their candy wrappers and their screaming even now—was it delight or terror you felt? Were stage lights in the dark enough to turn you around, to chase the giant white rabbit away? At least you were on the right side of the looking glass—and there in the lights with thousands of students in costumes, we walked or ran or rolled in raked-up piles of leaves in front yards—that dazzling, numinous fall, and this is what I knew of you that would not be true for decades, but would be true nonetheless many times— the candy the lights your true love your long happiness the babies the bunny and I knew you, I knew you then.


–Jennifer Woodworth

Thanks to Ginosko Literary Journal for first publishing this piece, in October 2016  number 18.




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Carl Nelson’s Review of How I Kiss Her Turning Head —thank you Carl!

Maternal Horror


Jennifer Woodworth’s newest book, How I Kiss Her Turning Head, which is just out by Monkey Puzzle Press, is a most gentle jaunt into the genre of Maternal Horror.  ‘Maternal Horror’ is a term I have had to coin myself.  But this is not Rosemary’s Baby.  This is the Brahms Lullaby of Xtreme Mothering.  The baby and child in these stories and sketches comprise a wonderful blessing – so wonderful, that we follow our first person hero as if pushing off down the pipe of some Xtreme Sport …  Right down the rabbit hole of maternal instinct, without time to say, “Hello!  Goodbye!” into a sort of mental ward where the ordinary and quotidian prerogatives of life conflict to our first person narrator’s charming wonderment.  And off we go, as the book paints a gentle rebellion for two.

“I have never wanted anything more than I want babies.”  The narrator tells us at the beginning of the first and best story, “Mother of One”.  And shortly she adds:

“I want another baby,” I say to my husband.”

“I know you do,” he says.  He means he does not want another child, not now, not ever.”

How charged and compact that exchange is!

Our author knows a subtext, and next to that, a rebellious flight of words.  All of this makes for a good read.  Her stories churn in the updraft of a contained conflagration.  Her words and flights of fancy are cloaked like actors to carry more romantic weight.  But all of the ducks here are rubber ducks.  Her first person narrator “contains multitudes” of insight, but all from an idea fixee.  Her first person narrator is entirely rational aside from being mostly fixated.  Imagine an Asperger of mothering, with the soft voice, and gentle nudging of the genuinely aware – and you’ll be getting close to the voice of this narrator.

The interest of the first story, “Mother of One” – which is a lovely jolt of maternal compulsion – is deciding partly where the horror lies.  Is the Surrogate Mother, or is the Outsourcing Birth Mother the monster of this tale.  Is it the narrator’s world which is a bit off kilter – or is it the narrator?  The ending tale finds our heroine legally confined but still rebellious.   Though it wouldn’t surprise me to hear our narrator reply from her ward – in an attractive way and with an appealing tone, (or perhaps she would just ‘suggest’), if asked, ‘how it could be “rebelling” when the world is backaswards?’.


Jennifer Woodworth has a playful dramatic sense, writes a fine narrative, composes a lovely tune with her words, and is smart enough to say things worth reading.  This is a small book to purchase and enjoy, and possibly to start your collection with.

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And now for something completely different, A MixTape!

The really nice online lit mag Little Fiction|Big Truth has a cool feature–their authors make up a mixtape of tunes they listened to while writing the stories in the books they have just writtten.

I liked Andrew F. Sullivan’s MixTape and the way he wrote about the music so much I bought his book All We Want Is Everything.  Also I liked the story I found at Little Fiction.  

Both his book and his mixtape are available  here: Andrew F. Sullivan’s MixTape.  I love the music and the stories.  Enjoy! 

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The New Bop Dead City Is Out!

This lit mag is a nice collection of stories and poems including a powerful three-part poem by Daniel Tobin, the poem “Bar Joke” by Allyson Whipple, and Liz Grear’s story, “The Inside of My Elbows” and several others, not to mention one of my prose poems, “Three Fortunes” and my short-short, “The Orange Tattoo.”

Pick up a copy for three bucks at Bop Dead City, Issue 17!


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Poem of the Day:  The Problem with Burning Down Your Own House by Amorak Huey

I found this poem on the front page of Booth magazine last week.

You’ll want to meet this poem–this poem has it all–it’s smart and funny and great with conversation and is so goddamn beautiful you will want to cry.

The Problem With Burning Down Your Own House by Amorak Huey

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“Avra” by Jennifer Givhan–Poem of the Day

Another poem to feel for days. Jennifer Givhan’s lovely, singing, surprising  Avra. Check it out.

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Ann Beattie’s “Snow”–Story of the Day

I just discovered Ann Beattie’s “Snow,”–available on the net (click the word “snow”)–an amazingly powerful and impossibly tiny, almost a-prose-poem story.

For some reason, I can’t call it flash.  It’s two and a half pages long and extraordinary in every way.  Read it; you will love it.

Also read Louise Erdrich’s “The Shawl.”  A story that is as good as “Snow.”

Wow, what a fabulous day of reading!

Posted in fiction, flash fiction, genre? what's a genre?, prose, prose poems, Stories to Die For, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Poem of the day: “Coyote Girl” by Kristina Lucenko

You’ll still be feeling it (in the best way) days later:

“Coyote Girl” and other poems by Kristina Lucenko

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Stories “Screwing Up, Importantly,” and “Mother of One” Published in Bellow Lit Journal

This journal first published “Mother of One,” together with one of my favorite stories, “Screwing Up, Importantly” in 2013 and get this…

Amazon still has it, for just four (4) bucks, right here! (Click this link)
You’ll like one or the other and possibly both.  One is funny, and the other, the first story in How I Kiss Her Turning Head,  is a “psychological thriller.”  

They couldn’t be more different.  So check them out.  You do have time for “Screwing Up, Importantly,” you do. 


Thank you for supporting your local crises of being and fish, and as always, thank you for supporting the arts!  

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How I Kiss Her Turning Head still available!

Monkey Puzzle Press, publisher of my chapbook, How I Kiss Her Turning Head, is sadly closed, but my little book is still available from me.  Just drop me an email — jen at fish clamor )dot( com.

They’re $10, free shipping.  You know you want it. :)

Posted in fiction, genre? what's a genre?, How I Kiss Her Turning Head, notes from the studio, poems, prose poems | Tagged | 5 Comments

Notes on Movies and Favorite Essays

A good poem is the news of a single soul; a good film is the news of maybe a  thousand souls.  This fact occurred to me a couple years ago and I’ve been trying to catch up on movies ever since.

So….drum beat….Fish Clamor Staff’s Favorite movie may well be Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven.  Watched it for the nth time last night.

As it happens, I came to movies late, and only through writing–Roger Ebert’s writing.  I find his writing so amazing in itself that the film he’s reviewed sometimes seems almost irrelevant. I often read his essays, never seeing the films.

After I saw Days of Heaven, though, I read Ebert’s crushing Great Movies essay about it, and that’s when writing and film came together for me.  Other people’s writing, I mean.  I have no idea how to write a film review, but when I’ve seen a great movie I can direct you to a fine essay about it, probably by Roger Ebert.

Roger Ebert’s Great Movie Essays are all on the web together.  It’s a treat to watch one of his 300 plus Great Movies and then read his essay.  I highly recommend this double experience.

Ebert knew how to write about the news, that’s for sure.

Roger Ebert’s Great Movies

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On trying to submit 3-6 poems located on 3-6 devices or WAIT!!!

Maybe they are in dropboxes?  Each with a different, obviously forgotten password… Aha!  All but the most important, the just-this-minute-finIshed one–that one is actually printed!




Where is it?  Where did it go? Oh, I see it; there it is.

Here’s to the printed poem about the clamoring fish that actually exists in the visible world.

implements of destruction

implements of destruction

And Theodore Roethke, here’s to the inexorable sadness, as you say, of stamps and SASE’s….the accoutrements of poems we can easily see.

So I bring you this one-of-the-best-ever poems from grad school
and before–Roethke’s magnificent “Dolor”:  What would Roethke say about the loneliness of the password no-one can be bothered to remember hiding god knows how many gorgeous love poems while their author is out catting around, writing new poems…



by Theodore Roethke

I have known the inexorable sadness of pencils,
Neat in their boxes, dolor of pad and paper weight,
All the misery of manilla folders and mucilage,
Desolation in immaculate public places,
Lonely reception room, lavatory, switchboard,
The unalterable pathos of basin and pitcher,
Ritual of multigraph, paper-clip, comma,
Endless duplication of lives and objects.
And I have seen dust from the walls of institutions,
Finer than flour, alive, more dangerous than silica,
Sift, almost invisible, through long afternoons of tedium,
Dropping a fine film on nails and delicate eyebrows,
Glazing the pale hair, the duplicate grey standard faces.


Posted in Little Wing Jokes, mental health pamphlet, notes from the studio, poem of the day, poems, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Heikki Huotari’s book Truth Table soon to be released!

imageHeikki Huotari’s New Book! Click here!My excellent friend and long-time writing partner extraordinaire, the wonderful lyric poet, Heikki Huotari, has a new chapbook, Truth Table, which is surely in the mail at this very moment.

I’ve watched several of these poems grow up, from birth through driver’s licenses (where are they now?) and they are often magnificent.  (Details later.)  Order yours today; you know you want it!

I’ve known him as Robert Huotari since we were both mathematicians; he has publications under both names, many of which are online, to be devoured whole, with milk, possibly very slowly with green tea, or just-right with Baby Bear’s cafe au lait.


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and how the words work in poetry–are they strong, reminding you of your senses, like Germanic words are in English?  Or not so much, boring you and making you wish the poem would just be over, like Latinate words can feel in an English poem…and speaking of Latin, I asked my Dutch friend, “Does ‘Who’s on First’ work in Dutch?”

“Not really.” said my friend.  “They never play baseball there.”

(Thanks to Erik Wijtmans for my favorite joke all week).



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Some Music I Love: Alela Diane’s album To Be Still

Sometimes I run across something so wonderful I have to pass it on.  I don’t really write real reviews very often, but love to share stuff that I’d want to know about myself along with some of the stuff i love about it… So i don’t wrote proper essays here or prove my outrageous claims (though i do that in other contexts sometimes!), but here is the loveliest fish i heard swimming by all day:

Alela Diane’s 2009 album To Be Still caught my attention while I had my good earphones on–what luck! I’d bought it years ago after hearing it somewhere, and I recall feeling utterly enchanted by this young woman’s strange, mysterious poetry inside her beautiful songs. There’s a link at the bottom so you can hear it, too.

From wikipedia, probably, I read enough about her to arrange this little story in my generally faulty memory: her dad’s a bluegrass musician, so she grew up doing music at his knee, and now he sings harnony when she records her music.

I see this album as evidence that we generally have a good bit of our mom or dad in us; as well as evidence that there is a god, who allows us to make ourselves completely ourselves; and possibly has a hand in helping us make ourselves different somehow from every single human being who has ever been born, before or after; as well as evidence that maybe, just maybe, this god is good…in spite of all of the scary, scary news…

Listening to To Be Still reminds me of Johnny Cash (possibly in part as her light to his shadow) with her mix of traditional form and sound with the sound of contemporary singer-song-writing, in a folk tradition, though what you walk away singing with is that thing that makes her writing (she is also a fine poet) and her music and album different from anything else you’ve ever heard, in the same way Johnny Cash made thst happen.

So check her out. There’s a youtube video i recall seeing: in it, she’s singing with her dad, recording this album, in an old falling-down church which is somehow flooded with bright sunlight. Of course it’s beautiful to see the two of them doing music together, and he is on her album as well, which is part of what makes To Be Still every bit as much her own thing as everything john cash ever made was his own thing.

I hope you can still find it and that my memory is mostly accurate.  Ok, hey! I found a link after a search for “alela diane dad church dry grass and shadows.” Try Dry grass and shadows by Alela Diane Video in bright old church.

So my daughter is taking chorus & she is so excited! Somehow she arranged to get my guitar in my lap so I could play “age old blue” for her to sing to–by Alela Diane.  And this morning, she made her first complete Manga comic strip with adorable Kawai’i characters and a complete story while we drew together (I made a terrifying and accurate portrait of her feral, fanged cat, now tamed, sleeping upside down, with all of her half-mustache shining in the winter sun).

And this was a dream-come-true day here at the Fish Clamor studio–drawing and doing music with my daughter in the same day? One of those “Best Days” for me, I say, accidentally thinking out loud

Really? she asks, across the room, half-listening, half-playing some music app on my old phone.

Yes, baby. Yes, really.

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A stranger’s wonderful poem-a-day blog

Someone Else’s Wonderful Poem-of-the-Day site!

Look what I found! A wonderful site, starring many prose poems and some others, too.

Beautifully curated; don’t miss it if you need a little snack.


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Look at this yummy treat found by accident today! Desert Love Poem by Dominika Wrozynski

Desert Love Poem by Dominika Wrozynski

This is our second Christmas, the make-it-or-break-it Christmas where we decide. I didn’t know whether I would still love you tomorrow. So today you’ve left on a hunt for a natural tree because we are both tired of talking and my mother is coming to spend her first Christmas in New Mexico, eat green chile rice at your parents’, get to know their Chihuahuas as the dogs hump her leg. I wanted her to have a tree, not from the Walmart parking lot, but a pine from the mesa, cut by you with a blunt axe—the only one we have. You will refuse to wear gloves, knick your thumb, swear into the year’s first snow. But you will bring it back, remember when you hunted trees with your father last year, how his beard caught the sudden storm, and how he dragged the prize through his asthma home to your mother. She cried that night, cursed him for almost killing you both. You will then understand how she leaned into your father after she was tired of talking, after there was nothing more to say.





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Failed Tweets, 1

The Unreliable Narrator is so much fun in 1st person! Not really. OK maybe. 3 liars walk into a bar & the 2nd one is a fish.

#failed_tweet 1, #amwriting

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First Book Review By Total Stranger


Fish Clamor

Small Press Picks reviewed my book, How I Kiss Her Turning Head, and I do not even know the reviewer.  Check out the book discussion questions–what fun!  Never in my wildest dreams….!

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How I Kiss Her Turning Head, published by Monkey Puzzle Press!

Fish Clamor


My first prose chapbook, How I Kiss Her Turning Head, published by Monkey Puzzle Press, was released on May 31, 2014!  Get yours now! Available from Monkey Puzzle Press. They have a free sample, too. Tasty!

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Monkey Puzzle Press Announces Winners of their 2013 prose Chapbook contest!

Monkey Puzzle Press announced the results of their 2013 Prose Chapbook contest in their blog, here.  I was thrilled that my How I Kiss Her Turning Head (which used to have a different title) won an Honorable Mention.  I’ve read dome of the other winners here–they are good.  Happy to be in this company!

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First Book Review By Total Stranger!


Click Here! Or Click the big “Small Press Picks” circle!image

Small Press Picks reviews How I Kiss Her Turning Head, hereand I do not even know the reviewer.  Check out the book discussion questions–what fun!  Never in my wildest dreams.

Thank you Beth Castrodale!   Thanks also to Small Press Picks for the commitment to writing fine proper essays about books printed by small presses.

Posted in fiction, flash fiction, genre? what's a genre?, mother, motherhood, notes from the studio, prose, prose poems, stories | Tagged , | 1 Comment

From the Editor’s Perch…

From the Editor’s Perch….

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How I Kiss Her Turning Head, published by Monkey Puzzle Press!


My first prose chapbook, How I Kiss Her Turning Head, published by Monkey Puzzle Press, was released on May 31, 2014!  Get yours now! Available from Monkey Puzzle Press. They have a free sample, too. Tasty!

Posted in baby, fiction, flash fiction, genre? what's a genre?, memoir, mother, motherhood | 1 Comment

girl reads to cat

girl reads to cat

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