Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Apparent, Obtainable

What is the revolution, but obtainability? What is the end of oppression, but apparency? What does experiment seek, but openness?

How do we expect to escape with novel words, while our actions are predictable? What is new in talking our way around the reality of our predicaments? The world conspires to give you birth, to sustain you. You are confessed in being. Acknowledging your confession will not surprise or impress anyone. We are all confessed.

I am confessed, and I will not deny your being. You are confessed, but you withhold yourself in what you believe. Your being and what you believe are all a part to be confessed.

This is all a passion. My passion, to place myself in the open, or be confessed in being. I do not see any one idea as being truthful while apparency is a truthfulness I admire.

What is it to be apparent? It is not as easy as it looks, and it does not make things simpler. To be apparent is to be unguarded. To uncover oneself. For all our work in uncovering others, we should uncover ourselves. That would be revolutionary. But as it is, you will not make yourself apparent while you fear others in the room are unconfessed. And yet, as writers, shouldn't we lead the way in apparency?

The politicization of wrting has made for politically minded writers. Even the poets are guarded and do not confess themselves. Who then will do what poets are unwilling to do?

It must be a terrible truth, seeking to say, I am, for poets to guard themselves from it. I must be lucky, having fallen away from the flow of poetic currency. And my wife, Endi, who could teach a world to listen to itself.

And so form, and so pubishing, and so a career, and family, and this and that. We will go camping today. Words for other words for what we might do tomorrow, or struggle to recall from years ago. And how long will I know my own thoughts? This is the time to say, I seek to be apparent and obtainable, and am confessed and explained in my desires.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Published & Happy in Lulu

I have found my ideal means for self-expression: Lulu. I am publishing my manuscripts through Lulu.com, a print-on-demand publishing service.

I have been frustrated for years with the look and feel and effect and overall bloodless task of publishing through magazines. I tolerated one bout of sending a manuscript out to contests. The very process of assembling a traditional book-length manuscript was one of the most exasperating, maddening tasks I ever set myself.

The background here is this: I work in a concrete formalist form; I compose in manuscripts of anywhere between several poems (15 pages or so) up to 40 pages. Composing in manuscript fashion allows me to work through a theme - I guess that's the best single word - then to move on.

I had reached a point in my life where I had 13 manuscripts, largely unpublished, except for a poem here, a poem there. Not that publishing made me feel any better about myself. I had no connection to the magazines or to the people who edited them. Then, last year, I simply stopped writing. I had no outlet for the work. I had betrayed my composing process by assembling an 80-page book-length manuscript for contest purposes. My frustration expressed itself through bouts of anger that threatened my marriage.

And, so, I resorted to the internet. I bought a decent computer and clued into MySpace and FaceBook, and I discovered Lulu.com. Even with my back firmly set against the wall, it took some time to work up the nerve to self-publish. Ultimately, once I was able to envision the look and feel of the books, which would include my drawing on the cover, and once I began to feel something like a trickle of genuine excitement, I let myself go.

I expect to publish 13 to 14 titles over the next few months. Most titles will be perfect bound, available through Amazon.com, etc., I believe, besides through my Lulu Storefront. The bottom line is, my work will be available to whomever wants it. That really is all I have ever wanted out of poetry, to be obtainable. I don't need to teach. I don't need to make a living through this stuff. I just want the poems out there. That's it.

Oh - my current mood? I am more relaxed than I have been perhaps forever. I am writing again, in a manuscript titled Deserts & Streams. There is a lot of work to do, but I can do it, and for me, that is a joy and a freedom.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Take a Day Off!

I wonder about form and the battle for form against formlessness and other forms. I wonder about waking to a form, living with that form, stretching it, testing it, putting it to bed.

I wonder about the people I know and the ones I don’t, and how much I will ever know about them, whether that knowledge will deepen, and what they might know about me, and why it is that we put so much time into form or formlessness. And why that strikes me as sad sometimes, as necessary at others, and why life can be such a struggle and make such terrific sense at one and the same time.

Then I wonder what to do next, or I sleep, and my dreams are often of some use to me in clearing my conscious self so that I can work.

I am sensible
in time again
on time here,
where I sense
this black on
white, and in
places in our
places how we
stand and sit
& bleed white