Saturday, April 11, 2009

Then, Pendleton

I hope to publish another book someday soon, within a few months, let's say. It would be my thirteenth manuscript. I should review my publishing, which is I suppose part and parcel of what I do or who I am.

I pursued for years the standard procedure of sending out poems to magazines. Some got published. That process was never a pleasant one for me. Even publishing felt like an objective, material sort of pleasure. At the same time I became aware that I would not pursue teaching, etc., and that a did not enjoy giving readings, and that most poetry bored me to tears (while all the time I was writing cohesively, producing the manuscripts I have now published) - so, in brief, at a certain point my dissatisfaction began to weigh on me until I could no longer write. After all, why should I when I had upwards of fifteen unpublished manuscripts?

The effect on a writer who feels compelled not to write is not a pleasant one. The solution occurred in order of obtaining a new computer, joining, joining Facebook, setting up this Blog. Lulu allows me to publish the manuscripts I write as I have proofed them and at the length and with the exact content and cover art as I want them to be. Facebook has provided a platform for friendship and for showing my work and learning about and interacting with other and related poetries. My blog is given over to personal essays which are tuned to issues of concrete formalist poetry, more or less: more if you are willing to believe that whatever I commit to words must be in some way related to my central concern in writing poetry; less, if you are looking for content that directly, rather than analogically, corresponds with concrete form-making.

The manuscripts have almost always surprised me. They have their tones, themes, characterizations. The current one I think of as being titled "Rodeo Poems" and so it should come as no surprise that there is so far no mention of rodeos, horses, the American West, etc. But I suppose a rodeo is an entertainment posing as a reenactment of a spirit of a place now lost, and so these poems are the work of a middle-aged poet, and so on and so forth. I hope the manuscript is not lost from surprise. One can always surprise the manuscript, of course, by deeming it complete. This one though, this one will finish in August, I believe. Perhaps in time for the Pendleton Round-Up.

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