So, as you may know, earlier this year I released a chapbook of poetry regarding chronic and mental illness. I like chapbooks, because usually they revolve around a topic of some sort, and I like poetry that speaks to a certain thing. They’re smaller than your regular collection, but if you’re looking for a certain area to read about, you can find it easier. A friend asked about a month or so ago what was the next for me on the poetry front, and I said I was composing a chap of love poems. Not the usual “shall I compare thee to a summer’s day” sort, mind you. I don’t write like that.
This book will actually be about love that is obsessed over, brutally mismanaged, and often unrequited.
Then the other day, I was sitting on the couch watching the news and Hubs was playing his phone game, and I thought gee…maybe your husband might not like it if you publish a book of poetry about other dudes. Maybe he will feel threatened, or jealous, or betrayed somehow. “Babe, how would you feel if I published a chapbook about other men?”
“I honestly do not care.” He didn’t even look up from his game.
After he won his round, he looked up and went on to say that he felt himself to be the winner in the situation and as such was not worried. He didn’t really need to explain though, because when he said he didn’t care, I knew he was telling the truth.
I have been writing poems since I was fifteen years old. I have been with Mark since I was 27. That is over a decade of angsty poems about various guys I encountered during that time, and my husband is not so simple that he thinks I was just waiting around for him.
Some of the poems are crap, but could be well-fixed with edits. Some are good. A couple even rhyme, something I used to do all the time but rarely do now, as a lot of mags won’t accept rhyming poems. Which I think is crap…it’s harder to write a good rhyming poem than a good free verse. But I digress…
Anyway, I’ve got all these poems about these men. Some are wonderful dudes that I am proud to have known and loved. Others are not. Now, when I edit, I try to read though once from an outsider’s perspective, as best as I can. How would I relate to this poem were I not me? Could I relate to it, even? Sometimes the answer is no, and I cut it from the project. Sometimes it’s a resounding yes. Sometimes it’s a maybe, and I edit it to make it more adaptable. I’ve done this with twenty poems so far. I may be able to scrounge up a couple more, which would be nice, but that’s a decent length for a chapbook.
My first book was about chronic and mental illness. All the poems in it were a reflection of myself at my most vulnerable. Having succeeded in overcoming my fears regarding such things, I am ready to tackle another vulnerable side of myself, the part of me that gives permission to love. And who on earth can’t relate to that, in some form?
Anyway, this is just my brain working. It’s a ways off before I send it out to folks, but I’m thinking of it today. My next chapbook out will actually hopefully be a mini-chap though Pen & Anvil Press, but I am still waiting to hear back from them regarding editing and publication dates. But this guy, this little book of love and hate and loss and lust, that’s what I’m working on next, poetry-wise.
But probably not until December. Because, you know, 10 days until NaNo.