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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Globe of Matter places in Decima contest


This ran up in the poetic forms challenge for Decima at good ol' Writer's Digest. I'm glad -  I am pleased with it:


Globe of matter


If ants weren’t so hungry, or if
the queen disbanded the army,
idle ants would do as we do:
play poker, write memoir, sniff wines
and pass their time in earth adrift
in the disinterest of matter.
We sleep through the pitter-patter
of their gustatory footsteps
and get up, upset to accept
they have found a glob of batter.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Norfolk Press Says Yes

LIFE = FULL

In all this, I have been 8 weeks between publishers, falling away from Zoetic and into Norfolk. The deal feels totally right.

More to come, meanwhile, the fullness of life calls: telling for the biggest audience I've faced since my stand-up comedy days — and this one was much kinder, pitching a mini-grant to the Richmond Arts & Culture Council, and very much professional work.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Two months

I was two months without a publisher
while I asked and asked this game universe
to come to this earnest, hopeful boy
with a new smear of butter.

And I said, I see I won't be famous;
still I'd like to have the volume,
somehow to have my book complete,
though the destiny of poems is humble.

And I asked and asked the harvest field
for a maze of sudan grass stalks trodden—
the moment you say, I haven't really been lost,
as you step out of the obstacle, beyond

the game you play with yourself:
and there's the book come down off the shelf. 

***

Mid-August I found out the publisher who was going to release my book didn't want to release it the way I wanted it. I suggested half a dozen ways to make the agreement work, but none suited the publisher; and anyway, their digital infrastructure--the pillar of their fledgling press--was not yet ready.

We parted ways. As disappointed as I might be while still having food on the table, a loving family, a secure home, a steady job, and so on, I was, because September was supposed to be release month, and instead I was back to the beginning.

So I asked, which is what this whole project has been about. And allies told me who they knew. My friend Natasha had published her book with Norfolk Press in San Francisco, a 30-year old press with a stunning catalog of art books and beautiful editions. I pursued them and on October 20, met with publisher Charles Cunningham in person. He wants to do my book and is working up the contract.

As Buddhists say, this may be good, maybe. And if it's not, then something else. I am learning the beauty, not to say the power, of asking. How to ask. How to accept, surrender, hold no expectation; and at the same time do, in Ann Randolph's words, whatever the fuck it takes.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

So much for last night



         —after *J*


Blue light and piano—
a tickling brook of notes—
and the damn mosquito
that browbeat us all night.
Blue light from the window,

notes by David Benoit,
and our blood endowing
us with life—and that nit
now paused on the window
digesting as I go

to get Ceramics Now,
an old, bloodstained issue,
folded. Good morning. Pow.
Here’s a wad of tissue
stained with our blood that’s naught

but toilet food. I kiss you
in the day we’re into.