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June 8, 2001
To The Magic Store
By Will Dockery

Ellison in Shadowville:

"I was drafted in March of 1957 and wrote the bulk of the book (Web Of The City) while undergoing the horrors of Ranger basic training at Fort Benning,
Georgia. After a full day, from damn near dawn till well after dusk, marching, drilling, crawling on my belly across infiltration courses, jumping off static-line towers, learning to carve people with bayonets and break their bodies with judo and other unpleasant martial arts, our company would be fed and then hustled to the barracks, where the crazed killers who were my fellow troupers would clean their weapons, spit-shine their boots, and then collapse across their bunks to the sleep of the tormented. I, on the other hand, would take a wooden plank, my Olympia typewriter, and my box of manuscript and blank paper,
and would go into the head (that's the toilet to you civilized folks), place the board across my lap as I sat on one of the potties, and I would write (Web Of
The City)..." -Harlan Ellison, introduction to "Web Of The City"

Mysterious Visions Anthology: an "homage" to Harlan Ellison, round about ways. Well we don't have a poetry reading lined up yet for Columbus, folks, it's still scattershot poets having impromtu readings and sharings of the words for
this month as was last month, things are looking good for a permanent home to poetry readings, but I and the others are taking things kind of cautiously because we want a reading place that'll be conducive to the best interests of both the sponsoring establishment as well as the poets... a mutual symbiosis, or somesuch. I'm in favor, pretty much, of the idea of keeping the foul language out, as was our former hosts, but not nearly so heavy handed (and money driven) as they were. I think any poet worth his or her salt can manage to create poems, express ideas without using the various "F" "S" & "G-D" words and still get the message out, and in fact, I feel that it's the mark of a truly great poet to be able to express and convey ANY thoughts whatsoever, be they sexual, dark, what have you, without these words and actually come out with a better piece of work to show for it anyway. If you get my drift. What is on the table, and the first volume already out probably by the time you read these words, is a monthly poetry collection, known as Mysterious Visions Anthology, published by Ian Shires (6733 Erie Ave./Madison Ohio 44057) and edited by me
(Will/P.O.Box 3663/Phenix City AL 36868).

This is in effect, a PRINTED poetry reading each month, with new and established poets of all stripes, giving a good view of the whole of poetry, both locally here in Shadowville, as well as around the country. I'm holding to the no bad words thing myself here (though there's no hard and fast rules against them, just if you use words like that, make 'em COUNT) and to get to the point, I'm soliciting your submissions.

Make sure your poems are TYPED, "camera ready". There of course will be extra special exceptions to this rule, but, by and large, we're gonna be pretty
strict about that. Subject matter is pretty wide range, but poetry that centers on metaphysical of symbolic, the "mystical", "spiritual", and "visionary" stuff, will of course catch my eye more than sing-song doggerel. Just send some stuff, don't be afeared!

About the "homage," (a French word meaning roughly: tribute) Ellison edited the ground breaking and justly famous short story anthology Dangerous Visions, back well nigh thirty years ago, so Mysterious Visions (not my title, it's the publisher, Ian's, who synchronistically happens to be, like
Harlan, an Ohio boy, Ian from Strongsville, Harlan from Painesville.) It's a natural, co-incidental homage, but straight from the heart. Meanwhile, don't forget that Vickie Carson of Playgrounds is also actively seeking non-depressing poetry. So don't be a stranger! See ya next month, and may the force be with you!

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