Literary Plans

My Next Literary Tasks

Since I’m away from my house and due to a serious looking storm approaching, I’m stuck at a safe place that practices social distancing very, very well — therefore, I may as well share my next literary plans with my friends:

Post Video Compilation of yesterday’s Poets, Writers & Storytellers of Norwalk Art Festival

  • tomorrow morning

Finish my epic poem (9 pages long) – title: My First Day Flying” submit it to Rattle’s annual contest- you never know

– by July 15th

I’ve decided on my next book. After polling my friends for feedback – Thanks for the Yeas and Nays. Based upon the feedback, the title:
“Poets Should Not Write About Politics”
Yes. I’m going there.

– by July 31st

That’s enough for right now!

My Next Chapbook

My Next Poetry Chapbook

I just finished 3 new poems:

A Song of Remembrance for Mama

My Last Smoke

Red Versus Seadog

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.

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Word Flab

Word Flab

I sent a poem to an editor once at 7am before leaving the house for my 7:52am train.

As I boarded the train, my smartphone dinged, it was the editor. He accepted my poem for publication. He loved the piece and he said something to me that I will always remember:

“It’s a good piece, it needs some editing, just a sprinkle of punctuation and cut out some of the word flab and it will be good to go” he said.

I have been cutting word flab out of my poetry ever since.

In a earlier post, I talked about how I write poetry and then I place the work on the shelf for weeks at a time. Well, the first thing I do when I pull my work off the shelf is cut out the word flab.

After weeks of letting the work sit, I spot that word flab right away. It stands out like a wart in a verse, an abnormal growth

in a stanza. So I cut, cut, cut and after I’m done cutting I put it back on the shelf for weeks again.

One published piece of mine went back and forth to the shelf for an entire year. It

went from 3 pages to one page —approximately 34 lines. The word flab was nearly gone. The editors of anthology asked me to cut just 2 more words. I did so —gladly! Out with the

word flab, out with the word flab!

Day #42

Day #42

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.

Day #47

Day #47

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.

My Journey as a Poet



The Beginning of My Journey as a Poet – part 1

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,