In the small-press literary world, the Pushcart Prize is analogous to an Academy Award, so a nomination can prove fruitful along the way in getting recognition from other literary markets. In my case, I was nominated by the editor of Hawk & Whippoorwill for my poem “Lost At Sea.” It’s actually one of my favorite poems, too, given the large amount of research that went into creating it.
In other news, I’ve completed my first short film, Major Nobody. That’s the good news. The bad news is I don’t like it that much. I’m the only actor in it and, basically, there is no story. It’s 14 minutes of a man contemplating whether to remain freely homeless or turn himself in to an institution. What I do like about the short flick is it allowed me to combine a lot of my skills – cinematography, acting, sound design, video editing, poetry, audio dubbing, etc. Maybe I’ll take a look at it later and rewrite some of the dialog to create more conflict.
For the past five years or so, I’ve released at least one book per year. Last year’s release was Obey the Darkness: Horror Stories. This was back in February, if I recall correctly. Anyway, since then, I haven’t put out any new books at all. I’ve been writing poems furiously since February of this year, and getting some published at various magazines, but I had no books planned for this year. A few days ago, I decided to go ahead and create a release for 2019. The book, a relatively short one at 35 pages, is called Welcome to Flowerville: Poetry from San Juan Commons. It contains 19 poems I’d written years ago, heavily edited and modernized, of course, as well as photographs of flowers I’d taken from around this adult residence I live in. Even though the general theme of the poems do have something to do with flowers, the book is not actually about that. The flowers were used to inject color, figuratively and literally, to the poems which, themselves, deal with heavier subject matter like loss, betrayal, death, you know, the fun stuff. Lately, my poetry has the ghost of Anne Sexton watching over them. Despite her personal flaws, I do like her work and they are an inspiration for this collection. I guess I’m glad I still have the strength and wherewithal to write and release books. When it comes out maybe I’ll treat myself to a nice lunch from one of the local eateries.
Hi, all. Just a little update. It’s the end of June and, so far, I’ve written about 310 poems since the middle of February, 46 of which have been accepted for publishing in various magazines. For some reason, I’m having bad luck getting the few haikus I’ve written published. I guess that isn’t my forte. Oh, well. You can’t win ’em all.
In other news, just yesterday, I was interviewed by Chris from the local paper, the Port Townsend Leader. He said his article should appear this coming Wednesday or the Wednesday two weeks from now. Pretty cool.
Well, it’s been three months (Feb to Apr) since I’ve sequestered myself to become a poet. It’s been a three-part expedition – study the rules of poetry, make contact with professional poetic concerns, and pen a couple of poems myself. So far, three magazines have accepted my output – Valparaiso, Picaroon, and Spark. I’ll create links to those soon on this site.
I’d originally intended to scribe just 40 or 50 poems, but as of today, I’ve written 100. I anticipate, in the next few months, I’ll get more acceptances. At that time I’ll start collating the best of my works into a book to present to poetry publishers.
As I’ve explained before, writing poetry keeps me on the straight and narrow. Even on those days when I just want to yell, “Fuck it!” I keep on plodding on, hoping my poems will see the light of day in some prestigious magazine. These days it’s what I live for.
A mixed bipolar episode, for those who don’t know, means the afflicted is suffering from down-in-the-dumps depression along with higher-than-high aspirations at the same time. For the past few months, I’ve wanted nothing more than to jump headfirst into an active volcano and erase all that is Robin from the face of the earth. While thinking that, I also managed to write a book of poems. I still don’t know what I’ll call the collection but I’m hoping it’ll be in print by this summer or fall. I really have in mind one publisher to handle my book, Copper Canyon Press right here in Port Townsend. Their requirement is some of my poems had to have been published by other concerns. I’ve thus taken the liberty of sending out my poems for consideration in the hope that, if I get at least five or ten of them published, Copper Canyon would sign my book. We’ll see.
I had a good laugh when I saw this a few days ago. Thanks, who ever made it. It was just the bit of humor I needed in these low times.
In other news, I’m in the middle of editing the galley of my first book, Wetland and Other Stories. It’s looking good so far. I should be done by tomorrow. I don’t have a timetable for its release yet but I’m guessing it should be out in two or three months. Yay! I’ve released books before but those were on my own college company, Sound Off Press. I wish I could find those juvenile books now. They had not only short stories but also poems and illustrations. Ah. The good ol’ creative days at Iowa State.
2001 Kia Optima LX
First, I rejoined the transportation world today. I bought a maroon 2001 Kia Optima LX. (No doubt I bought this Korean export because I’ve been watching a lot of Korean films lately). It has some minor issues but nothing that a little love can’t fix. I also officially became a “writer” today. There’s a certain criteria poets and writers have to make before their websites can be listed at Poets & Writers. In my case, I would have to be published in at least six journals to qualify. Since I qualified, they listed this site today. Those are the good news. The bad news is I’ll have to find a job quickly because I’m running out of funds. Anyway, I’m not worried. There’s still enough space under the Ballard Bridge to accomodate one more vagrant.