all 3 are some of the longest pieces I’ve ever written. Too long to read at most Open Mics (A Song of Remembrance…clocks in at 4 minutes and 25 seconds).
I’m sending all 3 to a poetry contest held by Phoebe, Journal of Literature and Arts.
The entry fee is $5 and the deadline is tonight 11:59pm Eastern.
Now my chapbook plan is as follows: if Phoebe accepts 1 of the pieces, rights return to me immediately after publication and that 1 poem as well as the other 2 will go in my chapbook, now slated for release later this year! We will see.
On January 7th, I decided to spend 50 days working on my next chapbook. Today is day #42. I have written 5 new poems since I started this journey.
I pause to remember when I picked up the pen. It was the summer of 1992 when I decided to write for public consumption. I’d always written for myself but after a few writing classes I started looking towards submitting my work. My first poem was published in the fall of 1992. Shortly afterwards, I stopped writing. I was promoted at my day job and took on a 100% travel assignment. I lived on the road, traveling from city to city, sleeping in hotel after hotel all across the USA.
It wasn’t long after that when I found myself living and traveling overseas for nearly 6 years. I came back to the USA, focused on family, raising 2 wonderful little girls and concentrating on my day job career.
In the Spring of 2013, I was home alone. My wife was traveling, the children grown and gone. I was watching a television show, “Elementary”, and the subject matter of that night’s episode’s caught my attention, my thoughts churned, I looked at the junk mail envelopes laying on the floor. ( I normally go through junk mail while watching TV)
I found a pen, picked up the junk mail envelopes and started writing on them. I wrote for 2 hours that night and that is when it all started again. I’ve been writing ever since.
On January 7th, I decided to spend 50 days working on my next chapbook. Today is day #47. I have been working diligently on a new piece titled “Pillars Salt, Pillars Stone”. I’m submitting it to Rattle Respond tonight. If accepted, rights will return to me just in time for my book release.
I love this piece and I do believe that it represents some of my best work. I did a lot with punctuation in this piece. I normally don’t use punctuation but lately I have been thinking about using it a lot. What really helped me decide was my taking a look at several poems in said magazine and noticed punctuation in a lot of the poems that the magazine contained. I thought to myself, hmmm, perhaps for this journal and others, my lack of punctuation is holding me back.
I tried adding punctuation to “Pillars Salt, Pillars Stone” and I liked how the poem flowed. It looked good. I felt like I was letting the reader know when to slow down, when to pause, when to stop and when to start up again.
I feel like I will be using more punctuation for certain works in the future. We’ll see. I’m done with “Pillars Salt, Pillars Stone” for now. Time to rest. I will rest for a day or two, read someone else’s work while I’m resting, watch one of my favorite television shows, etc. After rest, I will pick up the proverbial pen again. See you at my next post.
I took writing poetry seriously in the summer of 1992 and by early fall one of my poems, “I Be a Bad Dude” was published by Catalyst Literary magazine.
The writing and the preparation prior to receiving the acceptance letter marked the beginning of my journey as a poet.
During that summer of ’92, I wrote and wrote and wrote poetry. One of those summer nights I walked into my little apartment in the throes of rage. I’d just finished confronting a young man who was disrespecting his parents by cussing in their presence and threatening violence towards them. I intervened and we went to blows. No one lost. No one won but after we both rose up from the floor, he walked away just like a bully does when confronted.
(to be continued next post..,)
“My Journey as a Poet” is the series I plan to blog about during this Summer’s posting season,