Most days nothing much happens as a poet. You go to work and you desperately try to stay awake in conference rooms as HR departments describe the exciting new shrinking benefits and you thank people for emails where they apologize for answering an email a week late with the note that they have sent it on to someone else who might know something about the topic. You eat hotdogs and then the news tells you that those hotdogs are going to kill you faster than you thought they would. You look out the windows and think, man, I should really be writing. But a boat crosses your window-size cut out of the Hudson River and the thought changes to why bother and maybe you muse about how if someone asked you to define poetry, you would have a confident sentence before it petered out into a kind of glum shrug.
But not yesterday.
Yesterday I got my contributor copies for Jelly Bucket 6. A deliciously large journal with a great illustration of a bird on the cover and an eight page color insert. Paging through it, I especially liked the short story by Lucian Childs titled, Letters from His Wife Regarding the Progress of Her Enlightenment. Oh, and I’ve got a poem in there, too. Did I mention that? The poem is about a woman I saw dancing in Ruby’s Olde Tyme Bar and Grill on the boardwalk at Coney Island after the Mermaid Day Parade, maybe fifteen years ago. . Here’s a link to the Jelly Bucket website with information on where you can purchase a copy.
Also, yesterday, the new issue of the After Happy Hour Review went live. I have two poems in this web journal.
Epistle 1: I decided to write letters to people in my past as poems that I would never send them or tell them about. I had high hopes of writing quite a few these. I wrote two. In poem hunting, if an idea or a way of thinking yields two poems, that’s pretty darn good.
Pastry Tong: This poem was conceived when I was under the temporary sway of a book by Ponge. A friend I don’t talk to anymore recommended him to me. This reminds me that I should write that friend a poem letter and not send it to him.
Here’s the wikipedia on Ponge, so you know everything, too:
He wrote poems about objects and he tried very hard to make the poems only about the objects. This is a doomed kind of writing, a bit of cooked science poetry. The personal, the universal, can’t be kept out. The first drafts just stuck to describing the pastry tongs and the back story of the speaker and the girl in the coffee house was just the faintest of shadows. A hint. Then at some point I just put a full on love poem on top of this abstract discussion of Pastry Tongs. I put it on like one puts a coat of paint over another older coat of paint. The speaker isn’t me, except for the attitude and the fact that I spend a lot of early mornings in coffee shops. The girl is equally as unreal. That’s why the poem works. The pastry tongs are real though. Here’s a link to the journal: