Sugar House Review was brand new. We existed only as a web page and (I think) a listing on Duotrope.com. In fact, at that point, we weren't "relevant' enough to have our own Wikipedia entry. Believe me. I tried.
So I'm not sure how or where Rane heard of us, but he e-mailed and introduced himself (he had spent a lot of time in Utah) and asked if we would be interested in considering some of his work for our magazine. I admit, at that time I wasn't very familiar with Rane's work. But I knew of him. I knew the University of Arizona had done a couple of his books. And that was enough for our brand new magazine to be excited.
The more familiar I become with Rane and his poetry, the more lucky I feel that he found us and that we had the chance to include his poems in our debut issue. Rane's poetry exhibits a fearless generosity that never becomes tired. It is both musical and accessible, personal and universally relevant.
After Rane received his contributor copies he conveyed a deep satisfaction at being published in a Utah poetry magazine--a sort of peace-making with the Utah of his past. His words ring with me. I find that poetry, or probably any creative endeavor, can serve as a way to link us to our former selves, to look into the eyes of--even if we can't make peace with--our past.
Rane said it best in the conclusion to his poem, "Always" (linked here), What an education: / poetry always demands all my ghosts.
Thank you, Rane. Rest in Peace.
Flowers in Florence
Two of the daffodils are dressed
in glowing faces; three of them
grimace in gold masks: resurrection
poses. What's not to love, this
half-spent day? These blossoms are
alternative suns on a cloudy
noon: five sisters gossiping with
spring's army of gray. The astral
plane must be beautiful in order
to tempt some of us from this ache
we call yellow that is in and of this
world. These flowers possess the plain
grace of specificity: five
gold coins not long for my cold hands.
from The Portable Famine
BkMk Press, 2005