Category Archives: Experience

The Chapbook Challenge: a poetry playlist

The Chapbook Challenge: a poetry playlist

I have seventy poems selected for my chapbook, all approved, edited, and ready to be finalized! They date within the last five years. It’s hard to look at my life in terms of title, theme, and symbolism, and not feel a little self-conscious. I have been exclaiming to myself, “Did I really write that?” and “Wow. I must have been going through some serious mood swings.” The dates and oscillations are profound to me. It’s odd, having to be critical of what are for me highly-emotional expressions. My poetry is confessional, and seeing my life stamped out in poem form, cumulatively reviewing with an editorial eye, has a third-person quality which makes my skin crawl.

I have reached the ordering process, the placement of each poem within the book. The best advice I’ve heard pertaining to this involves printing out every single poem, spreading them out on the floor, reviewing and ordering them, something akin to sequencing a mix-tape for a friend. What themes oppose each other? What titles merge well, making additional symbolism? Where is the low point of the collection? Where is the climax? On what emotional note do you start and end the work?

Within seventy poems, and the additions of some drawings, I have to craft an entire experience. I like that this has fallen on me to do this. It gives me a great sense of control, but also connects me to my potential reader. It forces me to re-experience my work (and by extension, myself) in a tactile, loose-but-stitched-together way.

I like this idea a lot — after all, what could be better than a ‘mix-tape’ of poetry?

The Beginning

The Beginning

just-the-beginningA month ago, my editor at LBME Publishing set this blog up for me. He said it would help my readers get to know me. So, here goes. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

Frankly, I spent an entire month being intimidated by the mere existence of this site, contemplating and agonizing over what I was going to say, what I was going to do. Sure, I write poetry and dabble in some other creative forms, but what makes me qualified to talk about it and share my emotions and process with others? Qualified is such a strong, off-putting, knock-the-courage-out-of-you, authoritative word, isn’t it?

Even though my two decades of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse are many years in the past, I still have great difficulty waking up in the morning and regarding myself as human. Sometimes, I think I am incapable of breathing, but then I see the demonstrable evidence; I am irrefutably alive. Yet, in spite of all the insecurity inside of me, I feel an immeasurable joy.

So, what am I going to blog about? Well, during my darkest days, I spent countless hours searching desperately for someone to speak for me, through a poem or a story, someone to give voice to my hopelessness, anguish, loneliness, and despair. I needed the comfort that could only come from a fellow-sufferer. Sadly, apart from a couple of artists whom I now call friends, I came up remarkably short. Worse, many of the resources available focus on descriptions of blood, gore, and atrocities, which are anti-healing.

We all cope with the effects of our own past-life, every day. This site will share how I cope with mine. It is time for me to open up, to share my poems, artwork, and writings, in the hope that others will find in them what I searched for so long: a voice for the heart and a hope for the future.

There are no icons to display.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons