Friday, May 06, 2005

It's coming!!

I just got word that my poetry book, Femme au chapeau, will be here in three weeks. In an instant I went from lizard-like torpor on the subject to pinwheels behind the eyeballs.

You'll see and hear it here first. I'm going to post an image of the cover just as soon as I get it -- maybe a few days. Announcements and mailings will come later, as will actual copies. But I thought Rocket Kids was the best place to preview it.

Kevin and Lori at WordTech have been wonderful to work with. Professional, clear, and pleasant at every stage of the process. I really appreciated having two sets of proofs -- preliminary and final -- and all the care they took to make the cover right. With a Matisse image on the front, it just had to be right.

So now, the actual, and no longer the fictive book. I'm going to have business cards, bookmarks, fridge magnets and various other celebratory bits of inscription made at Vista Print (all nearly free, except for the ticking away of your expensive daily time when you get on their email list).

Actually, I'm going to celebrate this news with a surreal hour, immersed in The Towers of Trebizond, whose first line is justly famous in literature: "'Take my camel, dear," said my aunt Dot."

I feel somewhat like the camel.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Oliver and excursions into lushness

from "May" by Mary Oliver (American Primitive)

May, and among miles of leafing
blossoms storm out of the darkness --
windflowers and moccasin flowers. The bees
dive into them and I too, to gather
their spiritual honey.

I've been reading Mary Oliver again, marveling at the way she navigates the lushness of nature and poetry without tipping over into sentiment. It's interesting to observe that at an early stage in her career, she decided to leave people out of her poems almost entirely. After the above Pulitzer-winning book (her fourth), the human population thins to a single observer. Animals appear, but no more pets. Nothing and no one appears as an object of attachment, perhaps the better to enable the slimmed-down consciousness of the observer to dispassionately record a brutal beauty amid the lush.

Her dispassion reminds me oddly of Wallace Stevens. Though she is against the verbal pyrothechnics he so lavishly devised -- having reportedly once said you should never use a word in a poem you wouldn't hear in a grocery store, or something like that -- she has the same fascination with the facets of existence, turning them this was and that through her writing. Intense scrutiny and intenser analysis.

On another note, what is this annoying thing that's happening in blogger, which doesn't allow me to select words to format or create links? On top of my current computer melt-down, it makes me feel persecuted by the gods of machinery.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Book is coming ... so they say

The publisher now says 3 weeks from when it goes to press, which it looks like is happening this week. A May birth! Wonder if my book will be a Taurus or a Gemini. I'm hoping for a combination chart.

Helping a friend in real estate look into the idea of blogging, so I have come across some real estate blogs. What a cool way to find a house! Or list one, I suppose. Information about current listings, stuff about mortgages, interest rates -- all the gizmos you need a professional to explain to you if you're in the market or considering jumping in. I think it's a great way to househunt online.

Meanwhile, the book countdown begins ... Ten, nine, eight ... or rather, 21 days, 20, 19 ...