call for anthology submissions
Conceived by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé and Eric Tinsay Valles, the anima methodi is a 16-lined poem, comprising two stanzas of eight lines each. The structure has been quaintly called the twofold binate octave.
Two words or phrases are repeated anywhere within the first binate octave, and the same mirroring effect (with the same or different pair of texts) is done for the second binate octave. There remains continuity across both stanzas, with the last line of the first stanza moving seamlessly – across the stanza break as dovetail – into the first line of the second stanza. The stanza break may also locate the poem’s volta, as with the sonnet, for which, according to Phillis Levin, “the volta is the seat of its soul”.
The twofold form achieves some manner of dialectical play between both stanzas, along a theme or image or allegory or some other literary trope. The poem must also feature some meta-sensibility, in underscoring this form as contemplating “the spirit of the method”. In Jungian psychology, the anima is understood as an anthropomorphic archetype of the unconscious, the seed from which creativity manifests.
A more distinct discharge of this form is called the methodus animae, translated as “the way of the soul”, for the anima methodi that speaks of the contemplative state of mind.
This anthology is co-edited by Eric Tinsay Valles and Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé. Here are some fine examples of the form:
while studying, you ask
“Is it summer yet?” and I think about how my body is in
the shape of an hourglass, cracked on the way to buy
chicken rice. I guess I should’ve worn a looser jacket
and brought my tumblr because at least I could've gotten detox
right tonight. No tea, yet I still say something contemplative…
and get judged for talking about the differences between an ogre
and a vampire. You’re not a vampire, I swear
(though the new moon is encouraging) it is one day closer to
“Is it summer yet?” and the correct answer: (1) the shape of your body
is perfect (even after claiming starbucks one-for-one everyday
everyday eating and eating the healthy kale croissant buns),
or (2) your trip will be so super fun, especially because you’ll get another
hundred likes while writing something contemplative…
about differences and diversity. And we continue to study at a table
with a maximum occupancy of one. I guess I’ll grab my jacket
and wait for the summer I dream about in the movies.
By Al Lim
The atom, constituent of all matter,
with a heart of mere octillionth kilograms
containing quintillionth coulombs of
positive charge that persist, surrounded
by negativity every millisecond through
millenia, reaches beyond void to form
bonds mere angstroms wide, demanding kilojoules
to break but a single mole of them, yet
broken we are, and what amounts to little
is the bond between us, a splintering
gulf beyond that which time can salve,
losing our inherent flavours, our ups and downs
discretely quantized; some strange charm keeps us
barely on top of things, and at the bottom of it all,
the nucleus of all that matters
is what constitutes us remaining indivisible.
By Low Kian Seh
What are questions I need answering
in rhyme? Who is Pooja Nansi; what
is an anima methodi? Can relativity
be reconciled with indeterminacy? Is
dulce et decorum est pro patria mori?
If you teach someone three times three,
is it three squared, or three plus three
plus three? Who asks what lies
in asking if what’s to the asking lies
just in the asking, and what’s to the answer
lies the closure? Nullae quaestiones,
tantum responsa. Who what why
is mere alliteration. Three times three
is a question of form is nine. The answer
couches not in the asking; only the asking
is right. The rest is asked of rhyme.
By Jerome Lim
True Enough / Fair Enough
“There’s no lack of void.”
~ Samuel Beckett
Today, Meghan is waiting for Before Sunrise to screen.
Jesse has a distinct gait, a swagger despite his beer gut.
The young Ethan Hawke had floppy hair and a goatee.
He couldn’t wait to grow up, like the pay-per-poem poet.
The one by the river, who couldn’t wait for a real epiphany.
Julie Delpy played the young Céline, with so much to say.
About women, and what emancipation could look like.
Meghan watches films about waiting, the trudge, slow burn,
the way time stays itself, enviably, into a lifelong interlude.
This protraction — aporia is aporia — makes the wait pained.
Yet worth the while. Meghan confessed she’d been waiting.
More than half her life, for love’s grand, impossible symmetry.
It was an impasse that rested on the cyclic, then dihedral.
Onscreen, Godot was but the music, Meghan in the wings.
Waiting for each fermata, how the permutations flickered.
Each scene another translation of the same, time and again.
By Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé
We consider poetry that engages with the structural constraints of the anima methodi, however freely they may be interpreted. Please limit poetry submissions to 1-5 poems.
Many of our anthology projects operate on rolling deadlines, unless stipulated otherwise. We usually accept submissions until we’ve received enough good, solid work ready for publication.
We aim to contact contributors with accepted work after we’ve finalized selections. Because of our workload, we are unable to send out rejection correspondence. Please accept our apologies on this.
Contributors will receive a complimentary copy of the anthology.
1. Please include a cover letter in your email, with a contributor biography of 50 words. In the Subject Heading, please type “SUBMISSION TO ANIMA: YOUR NAME”.
2. All manuscripts must be typed, single-spaced. Please title your Word document “ANIMA: YOUR NAME”. Unless typography is crucial to the aesthetic of your poem, please use standard typefaces (font 12) such as Arial, Cambria, Georgia, Helvetica or Times New Roman.
3. Do indicate your full name and email within the header on every page of the manuscript.
5. We accept new or previously published work pertinent to the theme. If the works have been published before, you must still retain rights to these works. Please also indicate where the pieces first appeared for the purpose of acknowledgement. If your work is accepted for publication, we request a non-exclusive license to print your works within the anthology and for publicity purposes.
6. We encourage simultaneous submissions.
7. Our aesthetic taste is diverse. If you’d like to know more about the kinds of work we are charmed by, please take a look at our Reading Room HERE.
We welcome your poems, which we honor. All the very best with the writing, and we look forward to receiving your stellar work!