It’s been almost a year since I last posted, but I have been busy with real life issues and am afraid I have terribly neglected this blog. However, I do have a few announcements:
First, Jason and I are getting married. I proposed two weeks ago, and he said yes. The buzz of joy has not worn off yet, and I am the happiest man on the planet right now.
Second, we have completed our move to San Francisco. I lived there years ago and have always wanted to return. A recent job opportunity came up in my field, and since Jason was not working at the time, we made the decision to pick up and move.
Third, I had to delay work on my second chapbook of poetry because of work and other family things. I hope to be picking that back up soon and working towards completing it. I haven’t decided on a title yet and am tossing around a few ideas. The title needs to accurately reflect the theme of the chapbook, but since the chapbook is not completed yet, I can’t say for certain what it’s final focus will be. I may be posting a few random poems here as time and inspiration permits.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
I am pleasantly surprised by the response to my chapbook, “Modern Love”. I have a number of sales now, as well as quite a few downloads of the free preview. I have also received both complimentary and encouraging emails.
This is the first step to really getting my name out there.
I have also been told by other poets that the Amazon Kindle market is much larger than the Smashwords market. I am considering releasing a Kindle version of “Modern Love”, just to see how it does and further increase my exposure.
As a reminder for the casual reader, “Modern Love” can be found for now at Smashwords. Only $0.99!
With all excitement of my upcoming chapbook, “Modern Love”, I completely forgot to post some other news. Philip Levine is the new U.S. Poet Laureate. I have loved his work for quite some time, and I am happy that he has been awarded this honor. For more information, see:
Just wanted to let my faithful readers know that publication of my first chapbook is imminent. The cover art is done, and I’m having the layout revised slightly to incorporate a couple of new poems. We’ve also changed some fonts/margins/etc to make for a nicer look in ebook format. Publication was primarily delayed, however, while I registered my copyright to all of the poems in this chapbook, which will prevent my personal troll from fraudulently claiming copyright violations in my work.
My biggest decision now is how to price the chapbook. It will be released electronically only at this point because that allows for lower pricing and more sales (hopefully!). The paper cost of a short chapbook – plus shipping for those who bought it – would be to expensive given the short length of the book. So ebook it is!
I’m actually quite excited about this release, and I really look forward to feedback.
I’m going to have a big announcement here in the next couple of weeks. Keep watching this space.
I submitted four more poems this week. Both places that I submitted to take reprints, so I can still include the poems in my upcoming chapbook even if the poems are accepted but not published there until after the chapbook comes out.
The chapbook is coming along nicely. I just need to decide on a final line-up of poems. I’ve gone round and round on this, rearranging the poems and tinkering with them. Paul Valery, a French poet, once said, “a poem is never finished, only abandoned.” I think he’s correct. I can pick up poems I wrote years ago and still see ways to improve them using the skill I’ve gained in the intermediate time. Or even a poem I wrote last week, where I feel the need to change a line break or a word or two.
I did also send one newer poem to Poetry Northwest. They are a tough market to break into, but I have loved their publication and was disappointed when it went on hiatus. It’s nice to see them back.
It’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon here. Last night’s dense fog has coated the grass and bushes with a layer of hoar frost that now glitters in the sunlight like diamonds. The corner market has soy milk again for lattes, and I have nothing specific that absolutely HAS to be done today. Which means that I can spend the day reading and writing.
I’ve been thinking a lot about prejudice lately because of harassment by one particular troll who seems to have issues with me because I’m gay. This is certainly not the first time I have encountered people who dislike homosexuality, and I’ve developed a thick skin so narrow-mindedness doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. Other people’s hatred is their problem, not mine. If they want to rant and rave to others with similar views about what consenting adults do behind closed doors, well then that’s their stroke waiting to happen. It only becomes my problem when then they try to force their idea of acceptable behavior on me.
Anyway, here is a poem that was inspired by recent events. I’ll probably tinker with it a bit more, but it is substantially complete. My only reservation so far is with the title. The title is essentially “name-calling”, which I have used to reinforce the idea that it is not appropriate, but I am not sure if that comes through in the poem or not. Something to think on, I suppose.
The satellite dish repair man quotes
the New Testament to me, waving his
arms amidst a pile of wire, his own
personal semaphore system. If he spent
as much time learning how to fix
electronics, we wouldn’t still be
here three hours after he started.
Others like him lecture me, those
self-important stuffed-shirt pontificators
who spout the Bibles verses out like water
from a fountain. Literal word of God,
they say. And yet they lecture me
in English – maybe the King James
version, maybe the Oxford version –
but nonetheless it’s not Greek, not
Aramaic. I doubt their God spoke English.
At least those who shout “faggot”
wear their hate for all to see, fake
Christians who twist the Bible’s messages
into dirty braids to suit their own fears