…so, if I do a minor edit to one poem, and a major edit to another poem, I’ll have about 13 good poems I can put into a new chapbook. The last chapbook only had 11, so hey why not? Of course, I realize that there’s a poem or two that should just fade into the forgotten memories of the never-visited “Older Posts” link…
Last chapbook, I was over-stuffed with ideas for a title. Now, not so much… I genuinely feel so absorbed in the material that I don’t really have a macro “meta” point of view. There’s a bit of smug hipster-ish “yay me!” in that… but just as it’s possible to get too caught up in the trappings of self-publishing, it’s equally easy to devote too little attention to it all—these days especially, with so much competing for a reader’s interest, it’s important to telegraph a message/brand/identity with a title. Which begs the question: what most defines my work in the past three months?
I am trying to parse out the poems into sections—the poems to my own personal Mr. W.H. (here, here, and here) will be grouped together, for example.
I’m still of two minds over “What I Learned From Rilke And Lao Tzu” . . . But 13 is one of my favorite numbers, and I don’t know if I want to include any of the nascent poems I’ve got stewing in my skull in this chapbook.
I’ll be giving out the physical chapbook free, again. On the one hand, it’s not really a “profitable” publishing model, but then again I’m not really doing the poetry with the expectation of making any kind of a living from it. From what I understand, there are only like two or three traditionally successful (i.e. dead-tree “published”) poets that support themselves without the aid of academia, an editorial job, etc.
I do think these poems are more focused than my previous chapbook. I have noticed that I’ve grown less generally observational, and more heavily symbolic; I used to just describe things, and let the connotations do their work for me… now I force meanings and connections more directly. The poet of my first chapbook would never be so bold as to claim, “and I saw God in a circuit” for example.