Cannot Exist no.2

The second issue is here, with 50 pages of varied and fascinating writing by:

Gregory Betts
Alan Davies
Kevin Ducey
Mark Enslin
Judith Goldman
Andy Gricevich
Ray Hsu
Cheyenne Nimes
Kristen Orser
Christina Strong
Andrew Zawacki

and a slick outside cover by Rick Burkhardt and Andy Gricevich.

Click here for contributors' notes.


Order it via PayPal, send a check for $5.50 (which covers shipping) to the address
below, or subscribe and get 2008's four issues for a mere $15.

make checks out to:

Andy Gricevich
3417 Stevens St.
Madison, WI 53705

Submissions are now open for issue 3.


Submissions are now closed for issue 6.


Volume! Volume!
Send me a bunch of stuff.
With exceptions, most contributors will get a fair amount of space (between 3 and 8 pages), so I'm happiest when I get a hefty batch of poems to read through.

Send your submission as a Word or OpenOffice document or Rich Text file (we prefer these to "in the body of the email" submissions) to, or send by snail mail, with your contact information, to:

c/o Andy Gricevich
4454-D Hillcrest Dr.
Madison, WI 53705

Include a SASE (if you'd like your submission returned, include one big enough to contain it).

It's likely that I'll take about 6 weeks to reply, which makes me feel bad about keeping people waiting, but gives me time to reread everything and try to put together the best possible issue.

Feel free to introduce yourself. I like that. You shouldn't feel obligated, though, to give me your credentials, publication history, etc. It won't affect whether I publish your work, and if I like it enough to pursue it I can probably figure out where to find it, or ask you.

What I Like:

This is a vague term, not much of a guideline.
I like writing in which it seems like something is at stake. I'm especially interested in poetry that engages with social and political issues, defined as broadly as possible--but "urgency" can also reside in the sonic texture of language, in disruptions of discourse, in the specificity of observation... and can characterize writing without aboutness and writing about nature, love, and so on. Antifascist writing is a particular interest, though.

We also welcome writing
...that makes strange, or ruptures the foundations of one's very existence
...that does philosophical work
...written by people I've never heard of
...that cracks me up (I really hunger for more good funny poetry) translation
...that is really a performance text, but could be snuck into a poetry magazine anyway

...but that list is merely informational. Whether your work can be described in any of those ways or not, it's likely that I'll be delighted to receive and read it.

Though our means are limited (we don't have software that can deal with really complicated formatting, and our page size is relatively small, making it hard for us to publish a lot of visual/concrete poetry), we are most sympathetic to variable margins, and will do our damndest to preserve formatting.

Simultaneous submissions are just fine--but let me know if somebody else is going to publish what you've sent.

CANNOT EXIST prefers not to print previously published work, but we might do so--especially if:
(a) we really like it
(b) its previous publication was on a private blog, or in a print or online magazine now unavailable, or with extremely limited circulation unlikely to overlap with that of this magazine.

In other words, we're not dogmatic about it. Go ahead and ask.

We personally hate writing bios when we submit our work, but you're welcome to send a bit of information about yourself; we are curious about persons. However, your publication history will have no bearing on whether we decide to print your work. Nor will the degree to which you're widely known in the poetry world. Nor will your status as editor of another publication. So don't feel any pressure in that regard. If you like, send work under a pseudonym!

Payment is one copy of the magazine.

All rights revert to the author upon publication.

NOTE: Statistically speaking, we're probably going to end up with significantly more writing from men than from women, or from people who don't identify as men or women. Only you can alter this imbalance!

Contributors' Notes for Issue 2

Gregory Betts is the author of If Language and Haikube. He lives in St. Catharines where he curates the Grey Borders Reading Series and edits PRECIPICe magazine. He teaches Canadian and Avant-Garde literature.

Alan Davies was born in Canada, has lived for over half his life in New York City. Alan is the author of RAVE (Roof), NAME (This), CANDOR (O Books), and SIGNAGE (Roof), an untitled collaboration with photographer M. M. Winterford (Zasterle Press), Sei Shonagon (hole books), among many other books. His BOOK 5, part of a long ongoing work, was recently published by Katalanch√©. He has books two new books – BOOK 6 (House Press), Odes (Faux Press), and two books forthcoming, BOOK 1 (Harry Tankoos Press), and a book from Sonaweb. More information is available at –
He can be contacted at

Mark Enslin:
"Read Dear," "Homelandless," and "Seam" were written in 2005; "Point and Shoot" in 2007. My involvement in this project says a lot about me and poetics.

Andy Gricevich lives in Madison, Wisconsin, from which he departs frequently to work with the Prince Myshkins and the Nonsense Company. Return Policy is a continuing chain of serial poems that may go on forever, or not at all. Recent online poems can be found in Moria, Pinstripe Fedora, and Dromedaries. On rare occasions does he ruminate at Otherwise.

Ray Hsu has published poems in Fence, New American Writing and The Walrus. His book, Anthropy, won the 2005 League of Canadian Poets' Gerald Lampert Award. He teaches creative writing at the University of British Columbia.

Kristen Orser holds an MFA from Columbia College Chicago. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Indefinite Space, Ab Ovo, elimae, Caketrain, Foursquare, If Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. She always wants to know when it's time to eat or if we are there yet. Read more tiny details at

Christina Strong is a poet and designer. Chapbooks and ebooks include Utopian Politics and Anti-Erato. She is the editor of Openmouth Press (recent title: Rebis, by Mitch Highfill).

Andrew Zawacki's latest poetry volume, Petals of Zero Petals of One, is due this fall from Talisman House. He also has a quartet of chapbooks forthcoming: Bartleby's Waste-book (Particle Series), Arrow's shadow (Equipage), Roche limit(Track & Field), and Georgia (Katalanche), co-winner of the 1913 Prize. He is coeditor of Verse magazine, a branch of which can be found at