Sonambulist Poet… by B.Z. NIDITCH



Into the lamplight
reading Flaubert
embarrassingly so
as the hours dance
along my day bed
with the same chapter
and my weary French
needs a dictionary,
as the cat next door
stares at the water lily
under the still life
of a Cezanne print,
and almonds fall
from the card table
full of solitaire,
it starts to rain
the windows hear
taps on the roof
and breathless showers
from unarmed trees
on an insomniac night.


B.Z. NIDITCH is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and teacher.

His work is widely published in journals and magazines throughout the world, including: Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and Art; The Literary Review; Denver Quarterly; Hawaii Review; Le Guepard (France); Kadmos (France); Prism International; Jejune (Czech Republic); Leopold Bloom (Budapest); Antioch Review; and Prairie Schooner, among others.

He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Copyright © 2012 by B.Z. NIDITCH


2 thoughts on “Sonambulist Poet… by B.Z. NIDITCH

  1. I am writing this for B.Z. Niditch.
    My name is J.T. Whitehead. I am a published poet (you can find me in Gargoyle’s forthcoming, or look up my Pushcart nominee on the home page for Home Planet News (The Year of the Dog), or find some work on the home page for The Homestead Review, among other places), or your own contributor’s copies, which is how I found you. And I am also a published short story author (just a half a dozen in the little presses).

    This is not why I am writing. I am writing in my capacity as husband to Julia Whitehead — the Executive Director of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library — and as an unpaid volunteer helping out with her non-profit. You can google them. She founded the library, was the first President, and is the current Executive Director, and the library is putting out a literary journal.

    The time line is a fast one. It’s not all their fault, either. LIke any non-profit, they don’t get to pick and choose when the grant money rolls in; this grant money at issue rolled in this same calendar year, earmarked for a literary journal whose release is to coincide with the library’s Veterans Day event. The library is putting together a symposium (my wife hates that word, but I use it for lack fo a better) on healing veterans (PTSD, for example) through the arts. KV’s own birthday is also 11/11, oddly (when it was called Armistice Day).

    I’m helping out the efforts of the slap-dash editorial board by actively soliciting work from writers and poets I trust, based on what I have read so far (mostly in the contributor’s copies I received after publishing my own stuff). I’m not asking everyone that’s been in these past journals and anthologies. But am asking you.

    Do you have any work related to the theme of war, peace, (or both, I guess, for the dialectically minded), or veterans issues that you would be willing to submit to “So It Goes: the Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library” — for our review and likely (if not outright guaranteed just yet) use?

    I can’t state with an absolute certainty that work sent will get in. I will have other editors to persuade. But you know that drill.

    But I should add, that the first issue is starting to look like an anthology that will include previously published works by better known names alongside up-and-comers; we have received something from James Norcliffe (an Oxford Anthology of New Zealand poets poet), we are in the process of obtaining work from Tim O’Brien, are seeking work from Andre Dubus (like my wife, Julia, a former Marine), as well as reprint rights for a passage of Blaise Cendrars about WW I that was translated by Nina Rootes, and a former pub’d poem by Hayden Carruth, and alongside those, we feel good about our chances with historical novelist James Alexander Thom (a friend of Vonneguts), pulitzer nominee Norbert Krapf (who has read at the library, and is an Indiana guy), NYT bestseller Dan Wakefield (another friend of Vonnegut’s) and maybe John Irving (another friend of Vonnegut’s). Not all of these are officially in yet, but we are in the process, and crossing fingers if not bridges.

    I say all this to show that if we succesfully solicit good work from someone (like you), we are doing our best to make sure that it won’t be left hanging and out of place like a masterpiece on the wall of an entryway to a stripper bar.

    It appears it will be fairly eclectic in terms of styles; just that all the work will somehow relate to war, peace, and / or veterans issues.

    This is my pitch, and my request that you send us work. There is a 1500 word limit for prose, and no limits on style re. poems. (other than the theme). We would need something (for this issue) in August, this month (for future issues, any time in the next six months, I suppose). You don’t have to compose anything new on such short notice, provided you have already written material that other ignorant editors have neglected so far.

    You can submit to the journal directly (attention: J.T.) at

    Thanks in advance for any time you give — even a moment or two — in considering this request.

    Best wishes.

    J.T. Whitehead

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