I Bought A Big Desk Calendar and Now I Have Big Plans

Posted on:January 19, 2020

Hello. My newest book, IT’S LIKE ASKING WHO THE OCEAN IS, will be available in a couple of weeks. I’m excited, of course, but I want you to be excited. So first, I’m going to give you the back cover copy.  Here goes.

This is a book of questions. Questions as big and sometimes as overwhelming as the ocean. I, and I believe every poet, writes because of the ocean of questions, some risen to consciousness, some not; pushing us, threatening us to express the questions, find answers if we can or will, or overwhelm us and our selves. Although this is not a book about the ocean, blue and green, silver and froth, water images abound. Swollen with life, the ocean’ s water breaks, and as is the case with any artist, I am born. Ultimately, the questions in these pages are beyond any one posing, any one resolution. Rather, we ride the wave’s edge and are reborn not once, but a hundred, nay, thousands of times across land and sea across the ages. In my heart, I pray a simple prayer for all of us balancing on that water’s edge, surviving the voracity of the creative act:

Shalom.

All that is left to be done is the cover art, which is in process, and finishing my Amazon platform. And then? THE PARTY!!

Well, you’d think that would be enough to hold me, but no. I’ve got another book two-thirds or better finished. I hope to have it done–the text–by the end of March, and available by the end of April. It, too, will be a collection of poems, but generally a little more narrative. Actually, for those who have read my books, you know that I tend to tell little stories in my poems; this will be more of that. And my working title for it is, FEED THE STORYTELLER GOOD THINGS. (I get very hungry when I write, and crave a haunch of venison, or banana cream pie. Just kidding.) The stories will be wide-ranging; one of the things I’ve been doing/trying–and it’s working–is to broaden my wings in terms of content and form. (Oh, by the way, the OCEAN book is made up of poems I wrote between July and December 2019; it’s not all of them, but there are plenty of good poems remaining from that time, and the poems I wrote before those (January through June 2019), and the stack of poems I’ve already written this year (around thirty). So I’ve got plenty of material, and I continue to write prolifically.)

But wait, there’s more. I’m thinking about a third book by summer’s end. This one will be–I think–a collection of single paragraphs on anything you can imagine. They won’t be prose poems, although I expect there will be some poetic qualities to the language, but I want to work on prose for awhile. And it’s a nice way to take a breather: almost all I read is poetry,  but I’ve got lots of books other than poetry, that I want to read. And I’ll just keep a pen and notebook handy as ideas and phrases come to mind. Of course, even as I’m focusing on prose, I’ll still be writing poems, too, to send out to journals. I’m curious about the prose book–one paragraph per page–and how, if it works, I might get it published. Right now, Kevin Moriarity is my man. He’s a great designer, makes suggestions and listens to me, and he said that most professional writers are writing a book or two ahead of the one they’ve got being processed. I didn’t know that, although I suspected that: if not doing that, how do they write  20-30 poetry collections, maybe some short stories, some translations, essays, memoirs, etc. in their lifetime? I am by no means placing myself up there with the likes of Stafford and Merwin and Bly and Oliver and a zillion other poets, but I can take some tips. I am through and through a writer. And Kevin says the more books you have out, the better chance you have of selling more books, not just one title. Kevin is very wise, and I like working with him.

Finally, if I can–and I’m not going to push it–I’d like to have a fourth book written to close the year. But at this point, I don’t know what that would be; I’ve got to see where these others (FEED THE STORYTELLER and the paragraph one) go.

I love this. Ain’t life grand? And that’s why I have a big desk calendar: I can plan out, roughly, where I want to be and when.

Shalom.

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