Monday, March 31, 2014

No offense, but . . .

I will not be taking part in most of the hoopla associated with National Poetry Month.

Don't get me wrong, I like you people.  I really do, but I just can't bring myself to participate in all of the festivities.

NaPoWriMo?  Opting out.

The Big Poetry Giveaway?  I really don't think so.

Poem in My Pocket?  Nope.  I'm probably just happy to see you.

* * *

Now for the hard part---telling all of you why I won't be playing any of the reindeer games with all of you, even though I have for years and have been happy to do so in the past.

I will not be trying to write a poem a day for the month of April because I have a new manuscript to work on.  Oh, I love Robert Brewer and his month long running blog of writing prompts, which has evolved into a chapbook competition, but I just can't do it.  I just can't commit to the rigor of trying to write a new poems every day while I try to edit my manuscript ( a book of landscape meditation) and get it into shape for submitting.  I am submitting it to exactly two presses and two presses only.  If neither of them wants it, I am fully prepared to go through Amazon myself and self publish it.  For me to feel remotely good about that option, I need to know what I have is the absolute best manuscript possible.  That means no cute poetry bullshit, which NaPoWriMo is for me.  It's fun and games, and well, screw that.  I've got to work.

I will not be participating in the Big Poetry Giveaway because I have already been giving a lot of books away.  My books (both ones I have written and just ones I own) have been flying off my shelves for quite a while.  I have given away over 50 copies of my latest book, Sailing This Nameless Ship, and at least a dozen other books written by other people in just the last several months.  If I might be honest for a moment, my postage budget is stretched thin and I feel I have given enough for this year.  Too thin?  Too selfish? Well, that's okay if you think so.

I teach high school, and by this time of the school year, I have crammed so much poetry into my students, me carrying a poem in my pocket, or having my students do so, would just be more hassle than it's worth.  I mean that.  Trying to get my students to carry a pom in their pocket and read it at the drop of a hat is a task not worth wages.  I would much rather let it slide altogether.  My students know I am  poet and some know I have had relative success getting my poems out into the world, and not a fuck has ever been given.  I have been preaching the gospel of poetry for 15 years at my school, through bad times and good, and nobody there really cares.  Every now and then I have a conversation with a faculty member, but really, that's just small talk on the way to other things, and I am not so sure it should ever be anything more.

So, I'm out.  I am supportive of you participating, but it just isn't for me.  I will not miss it, and I don't think I will be missed, either.

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