Tuesday, July 25, 2006

If I Had a Hammer………I’d Hammer Out a Chapbook Manuscript

Alright, so after weeding out more than half a dozen poems or so that just didn’t cut it - I’ve got about 25 poems that I’m comfortable sending out into the gauntlet of publishers and publishing houses. But it’s hard sending out these ingénue pomes out onto the literary seas without a rudder (so to speak). They need a captain at the helm that can steer the course to publication. I was imagining myself as Humphrey Bogart from “African Queen”, but am probably closer to being a Captain Merrill Stubing instead!

In an attempt to fulfill my navigational duties I’m trying to discern a common theme that runs throughout. The best I could come up with is that it was all written by the same schmuck. So I really tried to get into my work. Translation: I made hardcopies threw them on the floor and moved them around from one pile to another. This served as both meditation and my daily exercise. And as a bonus the hardwood floor got buffed.

I stared at them so long; I imagined them staring back. Then a thought popped into my head. This condition can be dangerous as thoughts do not generally make their way into my synaptic network due to the misfiring of my dendrites. (I knew I should have changed those spark plugs at 40K.)

After the synapses finally fired, what I came up with is that all poetry usually falls within broader categories. Duh! So why not just lump the poems according to their subject matter? I came up with this schema:

Death & Mysticism
Faith & Religion
The Surrealistic
Significant Others
The Human Condition
Self-Identification

You’ll notice that nature doesn’t play a big part in my poetry writing. It’s not that I’m not a naturalist or don’t appreciate nature; it’s just that the closest I get to nature is my father’s San Marsano tomato plants. Check that...Make that my father's San Marsano tomatoes!

What I’m wondering - just about now - is what other poets in the blogosphere primarily write about. Do we inevitably all end up writing about the same things? Hmm… Maybe Jung was on to something after all!

6 comments:

Collin said...

I think breaking the poems down into catagories is a good way to start, but you still need to work up a title. It can be one of the poems, a phrase from a poem, just make sure it's something catchy.

I write about everything - from politics to sex and all stops in between. I've even written about nature...if you consider hitting two bumblebees in mid-flight coitus and watching them slide across my windshield as nature. :) I've tried my hand at persona poems, as well.

Lately, I've been doing a series of poems about my childhood in the 70s. They are full of pop culture references, burgeoning sexuality and my parents difficult marriage. All of these poems will eventually be the backbone of my next full collection.

Nick said...

Right about now I'd be tempted to entitle it (a la Charles Jensen): "Are You my Manuscript?".

Collin, thanks for stopping by & I look forward to your full-length collection.

Patry Francis said...

It sounds like a fascinating mix--maybe because it encapsulates a lot of my own obsessions. I'm not much of a nature poet either. (Yeah, seems that Jung guy was onto something.)

Nick said...

Patry,

Now the tough part is trying to make this mess a contiguous whole!

Agnes said...

"What I’m wondering - just about now - is what other poets in the blogosphere primarily write about. Do we inevitably all end up writing about the same things? Hmm… Maybe Jung was on to something after all!"


Apparently, I write a lot about whiskey. I don't even like whiskey. Hmmm...

Nick said...

Agnes,

Maybe your muse likes their Jack Daniels! ;-)