new publications & other good news

hi

After an email from a reader I realized I hadn’t put much effort into updating this site on a regular basis. For those wondering, I’m definitely still writing new stuff. However, much of my effort has been focused on a novel that I discussed in some early posts on this website.

Today I sent out close to 200 poetry and flash fiction submissions to some magazines I found on Duotrope. I have received replies from a few already, and some new poems and short stories of mine will be out later this summer and into the fall.

A couple of shorter poems that don’t fit in with the large batch I sent out for publication will be made available on this site if they aren’t taken anywhere.

I’d like to use my writing Twitter (@samuelswauger) a lot more frequently, but I’m not sure what to post there. I’m not really into social media.

Some book reviews and essays are in the not-so-distant future for this blog, too. In short, I’m not dead, and a lot is on the way. Stay tuned.

sam

Posted in notice by Samuel Swauger

Natalia

You who hear in disbanded prose 
unbroken by rules of art
a sweet chocolate symphony
walk a wet city street. 
A storefront washed in neon
reflects in leather eyes.
Windows flash shiny trinkets, 
and old folding knives. 
Pale hands, red-tipped, 
dive in plastic bins and
pluck out a rusty watch. 
Now it ticks quietly on your wrist
and the wild torrents of its heart
say “I love you.”

Posted in poetry by Samuel Swauger

Instructions for those who wish to use my work

I want to keep this as simple as possible; if you’d like to use my work, email me first, either via this contact form, or by shooting me an email at samuel.swauger@gmail.com. I will respond to you as soon as I can! But, in case you’re curious, here’s a brief summary of what I find acceptable:

  • You will be asked to include credit to me in readable, visible font either immediately before or after the piece of mine that you wish to use.
  • You will be asked to include a link to my website next to or after my name.
  • If you intend to make any kind of revenue from posting my piece to your website, narrating it in a youtube video, or through any other location in which you use my writing, I will ask for a small payment, usually $5, but I’m pretty lenient about this. Non-monetized uses of my content are completely free.

If you are still interested in using my writing, email me!

Posted in notice by Samuel Swauger

Pebbles

In between each flap
of a butterfly’s wings
the air currents recede.
Tides on an pale beach wash
in a pebble, once a fish.
I am forced to think of
the ages it’s taken in
rings of a tree to build
mountains.

Posted in poetry by Samuel Swauger

Slugs

When you step on a slug its body acts like an overfilled plastic bag. Eyestalks stretch then balloon and pop, spewing out greenish-yellow who-knows-what all over the bottom of your shoe. Slugs use the slime that coats their bodies to move around. The thick film of mucus keeps the body from rupturing all the way as your foot comes down on it. Instead, you get a dead slug that looks kinda like a baked potato; split down the middle with green and red insides gushing out.

She rambled on and on about this shit, yet I’m glad that we spoke. I miss my sister. In that moment, there was something in her voice, as she smacked her lips against a piece of pink bubblegum, that filled my blood with adrenaline.

“You’ve been acting strange today,” she said. She put her dark hair in a ponytail and brushed something gray off her sweater. “You’re not depressed again, are you?”

In truth I was, but I couldn’t bring myself to say it. Those words weighed heavy on my tongue. When I thought about admitting what I’d done earlier, I wanted to cry. I mumbled something about feeling OK and I tapped my fingers on the table. She cocked her head in confusion. I was dumb enough to confess anyway.

“I had this dream last night,” I lied, “I was in an old station wagon with no brakes. They were gone, somebody took ’em out to try and kill me.”

She blew out the candle on the table and said something to the effect of, well, are you ready to go? I said yes, she grabbed the car keys off the table, and we were on our way. I looked her up and down and I’ve only just realized something about her. I think she already knew what I was up to and why I had a toolbag out near the car. She had a scared look in her eyes.

For a while I dreamed. Weeks, in fact. In my head it was my little sister’s fifth birthday. Pink streamers, pigtails, and wrapped-up Barbie dolls. Fistfuls of purple paper flew from her hands as she ripped presents open, one by one. The smell of chlorine wafted over from the pool, into the playroom. Everyone fanned themselves with birthday cards; doused their dry throats with red Hawaiian punch. Summertime. We craned our necks in discomfort, as though something perched there like how Atlas carries the globe. I felt that way; I knew she’d be devastated if I killed myself. I was burdened with the weight of the world on my shoulders. After a while, I noticed something. I heard a faint, repetitive beeping, and then I woke up.

I was in a full-body cast. Doctors were sympathetic. She didn’t survive the crash, they said, you’re the lucky one. She hit the windshield like a slug underneath a shoe. The car crash looked like an accident. I cried and cried all day, unsure of why I did it.