Thursday, August 09, 2012

The Poet Left at the Altar - Chapter 2

It seems Gods of Water and Air won't published this November after all. Kitsune Books is closing its doors shortly thereafter and the situation would orphan my book, taking it out of print after only a month and a half. So I have to accept this loss and move on. Here's another poem from the book that almost was -- maybe the once-and-future book? Thanks to Georgetown Review, which first published the poem.


We squabble over a word’s meaning
and history’s precedents while outside,
contained in tidy pots, golden roses
open their blouses. Daisies spin around
bright wheels, each petal unique
as a last exclamation.

Squabble with life
when we could descend like Monet
into its round dot, open a door
and find a tiny gray feather
whose shaft is the perfect arc.

Squabble, when we could arch
like that? Be a tiny, shining spine’s
catenary curve.
I used to gather weeds
from the fields, their disorder
a squabble of vowels, but now see
wisdom in roundness, a floating truth
like a lily on a pond.

The fragility of the small press poetry community is on my mind in a new way after this experience. How many poets are publishing with operations that leave them buying their own books to sell, with chain bookstores emperiling the indepedents, many of whom won't carry poetry anymore because it doesn't sell. We live in a fragile poetry world, sustained, though by the sense of community that increases as the economic uncertainties close presses and booksellers down. What will save poetry? because it has survived throughout history and surely will never die. I think this medium in which you're reading, is poetry's new frontier. I hate to say it, but print is really dying. Perhaps to arise in a new form -- downloadable, printable eBooks of poetry? I have one on my phone already.


  1. So sorry to learn of your book's misadventure. I've had various cases of thwarted publication and reading - I got a reading at Cody's then discovered that the coordinators had completely forgotten they'd scheduled me, the editor of a magazine denied he'd accepted anything by me then when I sent him a copy of his enthusiastic acceptance letter told me he didn't care what he'd said before he wasn't going to publish the poems ... ah well ... I've had a new chapbook in the works for about 2 years and it's starting to look like it's actually going to appear ...

  2. Glenn, Thanks for your sympathy. I can see from what you say that you understand these disappointments. The whole web of the poetry community is so fragile, running on the energy of we few dedicated to this beautiful art, but not wealthy entrepreneurs. I've had experiences like yours as well as this sudden reversal. I'm glad to hear your chapbook is in the works! Look forward to getting a copy very much.