So a few days ago I was talking about how I was finding it difficult to put together a manuscript of poems because of the diverse nature of the poems I have written. Well, as I was starting to put together the next issue of Hobble Creek Review (which will be featuring a tribute to poet William "Bill" Kloefkorn), I decided to go ahead and give it a go. Thus far, I have about 35-37 poems I feel good about, which equals somewhere in the neighborhood of 55 pages, which includes front matter. That leaves about 10 poems or so for me to feel comfortable about calling it a real manuscript of poems. I know I tend to work on the smaller side of manuscript length, but that's just me. Besides, I think with about 65 pages, I will be in the 72 page final count neighborhood, and that's just fine with me. Then comes the work I will find most difficult: Being willing to continue to work on the manuscript, willingly throwing out weaker poems as I write stronger poems more in line with what the book should be.
I need to always keep in mind my loyalty to the poem is paramount. After comes loyalty to making the best manuscript. Finally, I need to do my best to place the manuscript with the best publisher for the work, rather than finding the closest person. At no point in that structure do I have room for loyalty to my ego, nor should there be. If anything my ego needs to be in place to ensure the best book possible comes from all my efforts.
What comes next? Poetry. I need to write a lot of poems. Now this may sound strange but I want to write the kind of poems which are the result of quirky prompts, and this is where you come in, dear readers. I am asking for any of those strange little prompts you have seen or created which make for delightfully weird poems. If you know any, please send them my way. I will be making the same request on FB, so you can send them to me there, too, if that's how you want to do it. Also, I am always up for a manuscript swap when I get to this point because I am curious to see if there is anything I am missing. So, if you are interested in that, please let me know. I will offer a clean, fresh look at your manuscript and notes in whatever form you want.