Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Sincerely Art – Interview Series 

Sy Albright interviews Linda Imbler--poet/author


SA: First I want to extend my congratulations on the Pushcart Prize Nomination and the Best of the Net Nomination. I read both qualifying poems and easily see the connection. Your work meets what Mr. Rossi calls “the poetic justification” which is an artistic way of saying your work is genuine poetry. What in your life brought you to writing?

LI: Thank you very much.  I appreciate your support.  As a young girl, I used to write poetry about what I observed in nature. Back then, everything had to rhyme. I made my own poetry books from paper, cardboard, and shiny wrapping paper. As I went into my teens, I began to hear poetry through music lyrics. This was the ’60’s and  responding to societal elements was common then. This is when I began to jot images and thoughts in response to what was happening around me. This influence was huge, and this visceral response to life became and continues to be the impetus for most of my poetry. I also made it a hard and fast rule that the style must fit the poem and not the other way around. This has required me to study different styles, and to learn to appreciate the words of many different poets, as well as the ‘shape’ of my own words. Throughout the days and nights, I record thoughts and images on the closest thing to write on. The sorting and then creating with all the paper scraps, napkins, etc. has been a wonderful, gigantic, frightening, and satisfying adventure. One I plan to continue indefinitely.


SA:  “I was there.

I remember quite clearly,

despite all else I have forgotten,

that our lives were not then measured by the ticking of the clock,

but by each spin of 33 1/3 revolutions per minute.”

These lines are from 33 1/3 RPM out of your most recent poetry book “The Sea’s Secret Song.” Can you amplify the message you are sending in this poem?

LI: I believe it was Dick Clark who said music is the soundtrack of our lives.  It is possible to identify the generation to which any person belongs to by knowing the popular music that they identified with as children and teens.  By popular, I mean the music they heard on the streets, in the cars, the record shops, and on the radios. I listened to a lot of my parents’ old records and so I am familiar with lots of songs from their generation, but I remember a lot of the historical events that happened in my own childhood and teens by remembering what popular music was playing at that particular time.  

SA: There are more than a few definitions of Art. How do you define Art?

LI: Art is courageously baring your soul to the entire world through whichever medium suits your strengths.  Baring one’s soul or exposing one’s current state of mind or most vivid memories.

SA: I feel it is fair to say women view the world differently than men. Do you think your feminine instincts shape your work?

LI: Not necessarily.  I strive to be more universal than that.  Several years ago, I wrote a long poem called “Digging The Day” which was a beat poem.  The narrator of the poem was a man.  I just finished reading a book where the main character was a man and did all manner of ‘manly things’, yet the book was written by a woman.  It was brilliant. I believe that poetry can be an excellent vehicle for writing about common concerns, fears, hopes, dreams and constructs that affect all of humanity.  And, yes, it may be somewhat filtered through the sieve of a particular gender or a single person’s personal set of experiences, but it benefits us all to spend time looking for how we are alike more than how we are different  (another belief I still carry with me from the 60’s).
SA: The publishing world appears to be getting more complex by the day. What does the role of an editor, good or bad, play in your artistic leanings?

LI: I was once asked how I react to rejections. My response was that, as a Taurus, stubbornness is my middle name.  For every rejection I receive, I send out two more submissions.  I’m aware poetry is subjective.  I understand this, as it is for me also. That being said, I have noticed that most editors are very professional both with acceptances and rejections.  Beyond professional, a great editor will give writers some feedback.  It doesn’t have to be a lot.  I’ve received rejections with feedback that helped me refine a piece. The key is professional, respectful, and not overly ‘familiar’ at least not until I’ve published with them a bit.

SA: A number of writers whether by design or accident allow writing to become a primitive form of therapy. Is there any substance to these claims?

LI: As I stated earlier, poetry is very often a visceral response to my own experiences.  So, yes, I do at times, by design, “blow off steam” through writing.  I wrote a poem called The Moroccan Marvel about someone who is a real blowhard.  Rather than telling the person to stifle it, I just wrote about my observations of how much this person’s conversation always reflects the narcissistic banner this person continually flies. However, if all I did was write in response to an experience, I would never show any talent for having an imagination.  I have written quite a few poems with mystical connotations since I am interested in many things esoteric and cabalistic.  While never having experienced some of these things, I have written about them as if I have.  A case in point is  “Mysterious Corridor” which describes me in a strange place with creatures who cannot be identified and my feelings about being in their presence.

SA: I noticed a portion of literary publications allow and nearly solicit profanity and graphic sexuality for inclusion. While others feel this crosses a line that dilutes Art. People curse all the time. A number of classic paintings are nude women. Does a line exist between Art and Provocation?

LI: It depends on the audience.  When I wrote “Petals”, I knew some of the sensuality, although not outwardly graphic, might make some of my family uncomfortable.  One of my closest friends even commented to me that she had no idea I could write about such carnality (there were no cuss words in the poem.)  Curse words in writing are only acceptable to me if they are absolutely useful to expressing how that character is feeling or responding and used sparingly to explain a particular circumstance within the writing.  In my opinion, foul language in poetry for its own sake is boring, unmelodious, and, if used in excess, lets me know that the writer is lacking on how to write a coherent thought. 

SA: Are there writers today who inspire you to be the best artist you can possibly be? If so, please name a few.

LI: In general, I have always been inspired by Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Paul Dunbar, John Donne, William Shakespeare, The Rossettis (any of them,)  Emily Dickinson, and Joni Mitchell.  More particularly, there are pieces of writing that have touched my soul beyond anything I can describe.  I stated earlier that song lyrics were a big influence.  Some of the most beautiful poetry I have ever heard is Jerry Jeff Walker’s’ “Mr. Bojangles,” Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne,”  and Paul Simon’s “The Sound of Silence.”  There are tons of individual verses that have been written that have moved me.  Sometimes, just one line is enough to take my breath away.  I am inspired by the above, although my styles are quite different.  I love poetry.

Linda Imbler comes from Wichita, Kansas
How long have you been writing? For myself, since childhood.  For the public, I wrote my first poem in January, 2015.
What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a writer? My work is meant for discussion.  Always.  There are always layers within each piece written using my own, unique voice.
What projects of yours have been recently published? ‘Safe Passage’ in Society of Classical Poetsand ‘Thankfulness’ in Treehouse Arts are the most recent.
What are you currently working on and what inspired this work? ‘My Silence Shouts’ was just completed.  It’s a reply to someone who is asking for advice about how to deal with a bad relationship.
Where can we find your work? My blog is  The book “Big Questions, Little Sleep” is available from in both paperback or Kindle versions.  I also post links to newly published work on my Facebook page.
How do you react to rejections? As a Taurus, stubbornness is my middle name.  For every rejection I receive, I send out two more submissions.  I’m aware poetry is subjective.
I understand this as it is for me also.
How do you react when one of your submissions is accepted for publication? I immediately write a thank you note to the Editor. For me, to display this kind of gratitude is critical and is part of my emotional makeup.
What is your best piece of advice on how to stay sane as a writer? Keep track of what you send, where you send it to, and when you sent it.  I have an accordion folder full of papers (one per submission) that I use to keep track of what they received from me and the date and the editor’s name.
What is your favorite book? I have read The Lord of the Rings Trilogy every 3 years since I was 18.  That must be it!
Who is your favorite author? Stephen King.
If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why? Spock from Star Trek.  I’ve always imagined and hoped there would be alien contact on Earth in my lifetime.
What makes you laugh? My husband, in the best possible way.
What makes you cry? People showing compassion for others.
What is your preferred drink while you write? Water or tea.
What is your favorite food? Pizza.
Shakespeare or Bukowski? Shakespeare most days.  But, like everyone else, I have an edge and occasionally C.B. fills the bill.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Huge thanks to Editor J.K. Shawhan for publishing my four poems in the July issue of The Basil O'Flaherty.

Four Poems by ​Linda Imbler

Night Guard

He walks between,
each grave unseen.
Guards each during,
all the many hours of sunlight.

As daylight fades,
They are afraid.
All those decayed,
Lying deep under deepening night.

He just wants to,
Help them get through,
Nighttime dark hued,
Where there is a lack of candle bright.

To ease their fears,
He spends his years,
Within frontiers,
Of the stony etched headstones bleached white.

Gene Autry’s Posse

A grizzled outlaw in faded jeans.
With a horse, a hat,
a silhouette reminiscent of Wyatt Earp,
the great gunslinger and probable lawman,
following the laws of God.

A grizzled outlaw in faded jeans,
climbs the unconfined hill of bluebonnets,
stands upon it, with his dog, LG.
Lazy Girl, undisturbed,
even when Gene stomps narrow pointed toed boots
upon the heads of poisonous snakes
that slither over this butte.

He loves God’s creatures as a parent.
You can see it in his walk,
hear it in his talk,
but, for that snake to take the life of his horse,
as it stands on the slope, eating its oats,
that will not do.

He checks the tack,
looks out over this land borrowed
to which he will someday return beneath.
This man of the earth, this scout of angels’ work,
using human travail to win the day.
No plough boy he,
earth’s creatures are meant to be cherished,
not to exploit.

Many no longer hear the song,
tap their feet to the unfortunately devalued
magnificence of this lifestyle,
one of a dying, bygone era.
We must always remember the purity of this music.
And when at last we ask where all the cowboys have gone,
we will on that day say,
“Gene Autry and his posse
are still in Terlingua.
You can hear the jingle of his boots
and the soft bark of LG on the unharnessed Texas wind.”

Hanging Out the Wash

She’s hanging out the wash on a mild Sunday afternoon.
The soft breeze should be calming,
but her mind is not matching that mood.

Her thoughts are on the blue shirt in front of her.
The one that screams truth. The one she is pinning up.
He wore it when he left the house last night.
He also wore it when he stumbled in Sunday morning at 5 a.m.
The one that now bears lipstick stains and the scent of whiskey.

Moving on, she notices her daughter’s underwear has no feminine stains on them.
Isn’t that odd?
She thinks back, realizing it’s been awhile since she noticed any.
She has noticed looser blouses and a more unusual profile, though.

Moving on again, she examines her son’s jeans,
the son with the part-time job,
whose pockets are now almost always bulging with money
which she removes and places quietly on his bed without question.

Thinking about her son, she also thinks that the Sheriff 
has been driving by the house more often than he used to do.

Her own dresses, now double the size they were when she met Mr. 5 a.m.
and they dated in High School.

It’s time for another load of wash.  The basket is now feeling so heavy.

Silent Meal

Their relationship did not die
with shouts and tears,
but only from the silence
in response to his talk.

Her new-found love
birthed the deafness
which kept her from hearing
his voice and his still-beating heart.

Perhaps when he's gone,
she can find a heartbeat app
for that phone that so engaged her
while he sat at the table with her, alone.

Thank you very much to Editor Glory Sasikala of GloMag for publishing "Overshadowed" in the July issue.


I didn't think the circuit would break. 
I thought we’d survive the storm. 
The tempest overshadowed our words. 
Our need to communicate roughly transformed. 

Explosive bright flashes of white light, 
Seen through a veil of distrust, 
Only as harmful, we saw ourselves 
Now we have neither love nor hate to bind us. 

Your need to control me was wrong.
It’s time to change the design.
My need to rely on you misguided.

The timing of this outbreak so much more than fine.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018



From blocks and strips of wood you were created.
Now, a perfect instrument,
a testament to expert hands that built you.
Your perfect tone,
a testament to the ability of she who plays you.
You inspire her, the player,
to become worthy of reflecting your potential,
the capability of sweet songs
or rousing choruses.

Nestled in your stand,
you always appear so morose,
as if the neglect
eats at your very essence.

You’re meant to be touched.
Meant to be held,
as a lover, a close friend,
a great companion
with endless musical possibilities,
to be enjoyed by player and listener alike,
a relationship to last a lifetime.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Thank you to Editors Michael Lee Johnson and Ken Allan Dronsfield for publishing two of my poems in the awesome anthology "Warriors With Wings."  Available from Amazon.

Thank you so very much to Editor Glenn Lyvers of Dual Coast Magazine for publishing "Taurus of Man" in Issue #6.

Taurus of Man
(An Ekphrastic Poem)

Neither lit lamp nor prayer replace this dark
exhibition of a graveyard.
Alas, Guernica, tongues as sharp pieces,
sharp shattered shards of broken blades.

An eye-shaped bulb does not the red reflect
two-fisted grips of death-like hands.
Alas, Guernica, hands with monstrous bent,
sharps caused by strafing fusillade.

Winds of war and arrows blown through windows.
Bull’s tail drawn as arm of the dead.
Long necks neighbor faces beyond salvation,
art - black, white, and gray shows what’s been slayed.

The Taurus of Man shown in pen and ink
depicting his need to conquer.
His stubborn belief that he’s meant to fight war.

Eyes askew - agony forever displayed.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Thank you very much to the editors at Remington Review for publishing my poem "Feel His Disease."

Feel His Disease

You have always found a way to haunt me,
although yesterday was years ago.
After each night yawns
and midnight has settled into sleep,
you come with your graveyard eyes,
your persistent motif of possessiveness,
trying to gift me once again
with stuffed animals 
that shed decades of lint and false fur,
or jewelry that lost its sparkle
and now lays in your hand corroded and corrupt.
All the things that never, ever mattered.

Because all I wanted and needed from you,
were not the darkling, nightmare eyes,
but eyes that really saw me

and reflected the sun.


of Spiritual Poetry

Beyond Borders



The Value of Shadows


The remains of the night’s rain lay soggy upon

the waterlogged branches of limp, bowed trees,

appearing as the hunched, angled, stooped

backs of many old men walking here.


I caught a shape in the mist that

reminded me of you, or

perhaps I was just imagining

you and your soldiers returning

to the spot you had fought so hard to hold.


As the sun peeked through,

I remembered these were only trees,

although I gratefully recall it was here,

sixty years ago,

that your battalion won the day.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Thank you very much to Editor Amit Parmessur of The Pangolin Review for publishing "Movie Star" today.

Movie Star

How can I know,
while the sun and moon
shift height and bright,

that you will not alter
and become other than
what you were yesterday?

I will know you are my actor
when the reel I see
plays the same
each time it rolls.

I will know you are my constant
when I can take stock of your lines
and be convinced they are not being spoken
as the voice of a ghost.

Stay with me and speak only truth.
Stay with me and comport yourself
in honest form.

Let the heavenly bodies reverse themselves instead.

Friday, July 6, 2018

A huge thank you to Editor Mark Antony Rossi for publishing two of my poems in the July issue of Ariel Chart.






I watch them hang him,

this disgraced wretch,

now dangling from the gallows.

His death-the consequence

of his violent ways,

his debt to his victim

finally paid in full.

On this day, 

nothing could take away my smile,

as I fade back into the ether.


Love to the Dawners


You only fit in where you belong,

Don't waste energy singing wrong songs.

Against the body, you’re outlier, fringe,

To pull off, cast away, scrap inch by inch.

For at the close, the old adage is true,

Not everyone sees from your point of view.