Why C. Liegh McInnis of Black Magnolias was the best poetry editor I ever worked with
My relationship with C. Liegh McInnis did not get off to a good start. I researched his magazine and discovered they were interested in poems and stories about the African Diaspora. That is the movement of African people throughout the world, in particular the United States . I had a poem written about the minister of the church I attended. I attend the Church of Christ at Chancellor Avenue in Newark , New Jersey . The preacher being an African American man in the hood fit the qualifications.
So it was with great excitement that I was accepted for publication. Liegh made some comments on a word file in my email. The only problem was that I couldn't open the attachment because of technical issues. So I went to the library and opened it there. Much to my horror Liegh had made a correction on every single line of my poem. I promptly wrote him an email telling him how insulted I was. I thought I was ending a relationship before it began.
Liegh must have seen something in me. He responded that I did not read what his poetry magazine was about. In addition to the topic of the African Diaspora the magazine focused on imagery. My poem was a rhyming poem with no imagery. I accepted the rebuke and went on my merry way. In a couple of weeks I thought, Why not give the man what he wants? So I wrote a nice poem with imagery. It was accepted and thus began a great relationship.
For those in the world of poetry it must be a shock that an editor actually worked with a writer. Most of the times when I submit poetry and it is accepted without any comments. However Liegh really invested time in my poetry. He would comment on any line he didn't feel had enough imagery. He would make suggestions but they were not binding. Anything that would improve and enhance the poem was acceptable. I found it a challenge to improve my imagery and to maintain my rhyming scheme.
In the end I had around fifteen poems published in Black Magnolias. More importantly I really learned a lot about imagery. Unfortunately Black Magnolias is no longer being published. I asked Liegh if they were going to open up again. He said that they had no plans but if they did I would be one of the first they contacted. He said I was part of the reason for their success. I am very happy to have been part of that fine magazine.
Here is the link to Black Magnolias.
Please allow me to share a short poem that they published. It has been around the block a few times after the initial publication. It also appears in my poetry book, "Poet to the Poor, Poems of Hope for the Bottom One Percent." Which you can purchase here.
The Blues Man
By John Kaniecki
Popcorn snapping fingers
An emancipated heart
Sing for your victuals wage slave
Separate but equal Jim Crow iron walls
See yonder mansion, see yonder manger
As united in birth welded in life
Nailed to a cross
Agony as the soldier penetrates his side
Nobody’s seen the troubles I’ve seen
They call it the blues
In the chord of c
Here is another poem that appeared in Black Magnolias and in Poet to the Poor. This one keeps the rhyme with the imagery.
by John Kaniecki
Checking out the checkout girl
A tender young black pearl
Minimum wage is a maximum insecurity prison
Banker’s blatant double vision
All for me and for the lost
A myriad of competing holocaust
Her make up envies Broadway style
A blossoming face with a sunrise of a smile
My eyes wander dipping into a lake of pleasure
On her designer jeans a Playboy Bunny tempting titillating treasure
I know the ogre of brutality called economics
Crucifying equations like Quantum Physics
Money supply a river behind a dam
Hear Oz, I Am the Banker the great I AM
Inflation, depression a premeditated scam
If need be mercenaries of fortune come to judge with decapitating sentences
So our heroine is tip toeing through rat traps
As roulette, games of chance, odds fixed, call it craps
Perhaps to marry, ah the Cinderella Complex
Or perhaps to be seduced to the Triple X
I know she got the raw materials on her own
And to descend to Deep Throat there’s always silicone
For now I guess she’ll be pleasant where she’s at
But what of tomorrow oh Capitalism’s Cat
I wish you a gated world secure
Where you can play and purr
John Kaniecki is a native of Brooklyn , New York . While he has no memory of New York City but he is proud to call himself a native New Yorker. John spent a few years in Illinois but grew up in Pequannock , New Jersey . After graduating high school John went off to Hoboken to attend Steven's Institute of Technology .
Despite being in engineering school, John was clueless to the direction his life should take. After two years John dropped out of Steven's. He became a Christian and hitchhiked across the United States . Several months later he was hospitalized with bipolar.
At this time John began to write poetry. A self published book called "A Day's Weather" shows his mind at this time. After years of struggle John eventually returned to college and graduated from Montclair State University . John went to work stocking shelves at Sears and then worked with an engineering firm. John married Sylvia Kaniecki in 2004.
About this time John returned to writing. His writing has been published in over seventy outlets. These are "Murmurings of a Mad Man" a book of poetry by eLectio Publishing, "Poet to the Poor, Poems of Hope for the Bottom One Percent" by Dreaming Big Productions and "Words of the Future" a collection of science fiction stories published by Witty Bard.
Presently John is a full time caretaker for his wife. Also he volunteers as a missionary for the Church of Christ at Chancellor Avenue ; which is in the inner city of Newark . He stays up light at night and writing in any free time in hopes of becoming a professional writer.
Goodreads John Kaniecki