American poetry begins with Walt Whitman self-publishing Leaves of Grass and writing his own reviews under pseudonyms... So I'm hoping to follow in those enormous and unfollowable shoes by publishing my own poems- because I think they might be good and because the only reason to make art, outside from an entirely private and personal catharsis, is to share that catharsis, emotional and imaginative, with other people so that hopefully you, the artist are better understood by the world around you, and maybe, if your art is good, the world understands itself better too... So I want to use the money that you are so graciously considering donating to publish a hard-copy, honest-to-goodness book of poetry, called "A Space". At least 75% of the money will go to the printing of the books and the rest towards the auxiliary publishing work- affording good typesetters and proofreaders so that my book doesn't appear, you know, self-published... More broadly, this is the beginnings of an attempt by me to live by my writing, the first babysteps towards the unthinkable proposition of making one's bread with one's poetry. I want, at least, to see if it's possible for poetry, and the poetry I write, to somehow carve a space (sorry) out for itself in an economy and society that is increasingly marginalizing and devaluing the poet and the power of poetry to expand our imaginations and give life meaning where meaning didn't previously exist. If you think, on face, this is a worthy enough project to give to, please stop reading. If you're on the fence, or just curious, please follow this link:
to the title poem of my collection, "A Space", which was recently published with an online culture magazine, Gadfly. I read a poem "Turning 40" in the video, because given the medium, I felt it was the best fit- but now that you're able to read on the page, please read "A Space". I'm choosing to share this poem because it is the best encapsulation of everything that's in the collection- the memories, the feelings, the images, the sounds, the ideas.... If every poem in the collection is not like "A Space" in style, it at least can be understood within the context of the title poem, as one attempt within a series of attempts to create a space within us where we can feel, imagine, and think, instead of what we normally do, which is worry and rationalize without any wholly positive emotions. It is a collection of poetry about, if poetry can be about anything, trying to preserve the love and joy and creativity of childhood as we age, weary, and die. It is about hope, I suppose, for something that we can't quite understand- hope that what is best in life is already within us, however dormant and forgotten. If you follow the link, and read the poem, and think that the poem has done nothing of what I have just said I hoped it would do, then please, don't feel you need to help me publish this book. If on the other hand, there's a cognitive spark of a something in your brain that wasn't there before you read "A Space", then perhaps you ought help me out, because then I can share more poetry with you, and that spark can grow into something a little brighter, a little fuller, and a little more real...
(If you would like to read more from "A Space" I've included samples below: http://1221989.blogspot.com/2011/08/samples-from-space.html and you can follow the links attached to my bio to read older published work that will not be included in the collection)
- (30 days)