Editor's Note - Issue number 3

"Brilliance" from the "Editor" David Holub

Is Phil Collins a Robot? Probably.

It is 2010. We are at the AWP conference in Denver. Firewheel Editions makes space at its table for its latest publication, Kugelmass. At this point, Kugelmass is not fully formed but, like that photo of the fetus sucking its thumb, oddly adorable. My reasons to be in Denver are simple: To begin promoting the journal, to talk up literary humor and to broker an illegal arms deal between my buddy Ross and some Libyan extremists I'd met while jogging.
But the first thing I am asked at the conference-the very first thing-is not "How can I become a charter subscriber?" or "What's a Kugelmass?" The first question I get is, "Do you accept poetry submissions?" It is a question that has come up a thousand times since (well, 987 times) and my answer was always the same "Not at this time. Maybe in the future." Well, we at Kugelmass finally relented.
Once Kugelmass decided to publish poetry, I pondered which stellar poets we could get for our debut poetry issue. I wanted some colossals, some titans of humorous poetry.
"What about Phil Collins?" I posed to my staff of 27 at the Kugelplex.
"Do you mean Billy Collins?" an intern piped up.
After firing him on the spot (I don't remember his name), I said, "No, Phil Collins. Who's a better and funnier poet than Phil Collins?" I recited some of his stuff from memory:

So take a look at me now,
'cause there's just an empty space
And there's nothing left here to remind me,
just the memory of your face
Take a look at me now,
'cause there's just an empty space
And you coming back to me
is against all odds and that's what I've got to face

Another intern, whose chest I could see quaking, said that while, technically, it might be funny, it might not hold up to the quality standards we were seeking at Kugelmass. After the intern provided further evidence from "Easy Lover" I became convinced that Phil Collins wasn't the way to go, since all Kugelmass poetry must be both funny and stellar.
And that is what we present in this debut poetry issue, poetry that is, at the very least, stellar. And while all of them might not make you laugh out loud like a Phil Collins poem or that commercial with the Republicans playing badminton, they will move you humorously in some fashion. And if they don't, there's something wrong with you.
Just so you don't think we've sold our soul to Poetry, we let Robert Atwan have a tiny go at poetry, poets, poetry contests and poetry workshops in his story "The Best Poetry Workshop, Ever." We didn't, however, add poetry and then stop pushing the boundaries of literary humor. Some highlights:

Finally, Issue 3 is home to a sampling of Peter Oravetz's brilliant Robots! illustrations. If there were a loose theme to the issue, it would be Things Writers Do (writing, reading, writing workshops, etc.). Which made me ask: Why do human writers write so much about these activities? Why are so many books about writers and reporters? The answer is simple. You're obsessed with yourselves. And really, all human writing, in some way or another, is tied to human experience, a manifestation of humans being obsessed with their own species. Face it, you humans think you're so intelligent, so important and so unique, never realizing that pretty much everyone else thinks you're a joke. Which is why all of us laugh at Oravetz's Robots!.

As you were,

David Holub, "editor"

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