Saturday, September 13, 2014

Day 118: One Month Left

One month left until I promised myself I'll send a collection out to publications.  But I think not having a title would put a damper on any plans to send out.  Well, not really.

Recently, I had two really great editors look over my work and give me feedback.  Both gave me excellent directions on what to do.

Start from semi-scratch.

Not from complete scratch, just semi-scratch:  rethink the collection in terms of overall and the micro -- you know work on the collection.

In the meantime, there has been one constant question that has been asked -- overtly or subtly -- by my editors.

Can you state your collection in one simple sentence?

My response was:

"A generational exploration of fathers and sons who either overly-commit or are non-committal which leads to the same results: a spiritual, physical, and mental loneliness, yuugen"

Not as simple I suppose, but it's something.  

I decided to put my analysis blog on hiatus so I can work on my collection and get as far as I can.  I need to comb over every poem as though I'm analyzing it and make sure that these are the poems I want to fail with.

No time for success, acclaim is a distraction, learning from failure is coming.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Day 81: The End of Summer

I reached my goal for summer and put together a first draft, and (hopefully) I'll go through more drafts before October 15th for Silverfish Review Press' Gerald Cable Book Award.

 But there's something else on my mind, well a lot of different things.

I go to work with an unstable day schedule but a consistent time schedule: 8:30 - 5:30 -- sometimes with a Saturday off and sometimes with a weekday off.

When I get home, I just want to sleep, and I do.  9:00 p.m.  Wake up at 4:00 and say to myself I'll do some writing, but I play some games to get me up, go on reddit, or do something to distract me before leaving for work at 6:45 a.m. to get to my job at 8:30.

My other blog has been inconsistent since I've been unable to adapt.  

But this isn't important.

I tunnel vision: work, writing, food, repeat.

What about friends -- you know hang out with them?  Did you call that person back.  Are you even trying to connect with anyone?

Any dates lately?  I'm sure you're searching.

How about moving out -- you make money to do that theoretically.

Things like these that I'm missing should make me want them more -- try to salvage them..

But here I am, on my day off, writing this blog after writing another blog analyzing a poem.

I've heard the saying that some writers need to make it work because they have no other options.  I'm the opposite.

I let my outside world decay: some friendships I can't get back or I'm not trying to get back, some instances of relationships are gone now, and, by November, I have my debt to pay that I can't afford to move out and pay my debt at the same time.

I didn't plan on making choices or really sat down an thought what is important to me.  Time has made the choices for me: family, writing, work, sleeping, eating.  I naturally gravitate towards these things currently.  Doesn't mean my priorities won't change with time, but this is where I'm currently at.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Day 63: Narrowing Down

Boiled down 435 poems to 52 today.  And, as of right now, this will be the collection I'm thinking of going down in flames with.  Of course this is subject to change as time passes until the self imposed deadline I game myself of October 1st (a good two months away)

Is it a good collection?  I keep asking myself.  I spend my days off trying to figure out, with such limited amount of time, what is needed to be done to make a good collection.

And I do not know.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Day 52: Thoughts on "It's Simple, Really: Just Sit Down at the Desk . . ." by Jeff Gundy part 2

When steps are questions, then, I believe that there’s more thinking involved rather than action.  Such goes for step number

“6.  Other questions persist.  Are purity and clarity the goals, or delightful complexity?  Consistency or range (of effects, of language, of subjects)?  Shouldn’t I just give the whole thing up and build a new garage instead?”

I’m currently here.  July 6 was the date I wanted to compile things together.  I thought it would be easy, just sort through what I have published or have been recognized (32) and what I painfully decided were good poems (148) and then the collection would come together.  Nope.  This “coming together process” isn’t going as planned.  So much so that I’m going back to the poems that I put in the “maybe next time tier three poems (256)” to reevaluate my decisions. 

So now, my gut instinct is telling me to read all 435 poems, out loud, then sort them by strength, idea, connection.  I can’t build a garage, but I can just not put a collection together and just spend my time doing something more constructive, whatever that means.

“7. I fling myself on the mercy of friends and colleagues, ask for their advice about order, about what to leave in or throw out, etc.  As I keep telling my students, I’ve finally almost come to terms with the reality that I will never see everything there is to see about my own work.”

This is the step I’m probably the most nervous about.  I want to ask for help, but from whom?  I keep thinking about opinions and insight I trust about my own work, but then I realize that not a lot of people read my work currently (well the exception of my poetry analysis blog, even then, spam bots can’t give me great insight [great traffic though]).

The second part about coming to terms with never seeing my work – that’s the reason why I send out my work in the first place.  I try to make my poems interesting, but that doesn’t mean they’re good.  When I get rejected I think the poem is not from them, but when I get rejected 50 times in a row, then I think, perhaps, the poem cannot be salvaged as is and fine tuning isn’t enough.  The unknown drives me.

“8.   Titles are a particular problem.”

I loved the movie Shall We Dance? because of this one scene.  It’s when the main character, I salary man who lives a dull life, decides to enter a tournament.  As he is practicing with a partner, his instructor, a woman he has ambiguous feelings for, tells him the importance of the first step.  The instructor shows him, then he tries, putting his leg, with firmness, forward  pushing his body close to his dance partner.  The dance partner sighs and he lets go a bit flustered.  This was supposed to be a funny part in the movie, but I took away the idea of the first step – not only should impress the judges, but also elicit a reaction from a partner, a reader.

So this causes anxiety (as Harold Bloom would put it) with titles.  I’ve known many that do without and make the first line the title, perhaps for this reason.  If nothing else, I feel I could ask everyone about titles in general.  This may or may not be a problem.

“9.  Beginnings and endings, as we all know are crucial. […] I wonder whether a whole book of poems might not have affinities with a ceremony, a kind of service which would have many of the qualities of a public event to which people come in hopes of some kind of nourishment for their minds and spirits.”

What makes a good end.  Apocalypse anyone?  Salvation maybe?  For me, Gundy, goes these to extremes because readers tend to go to these extremes as well.  How many times do I hear people want a good book to shatter their perceptions or collect enough evidence to reaffirm beliefs.  The poem, “Small Night  Song from Oneonta”  that Jeff Gundy mentions is the last poem in his 2004 collection Deerflies is more of a salvation poem.  Yes, I can do an analysis of the poem, but, no, I won’t do so now. 

This idea of an end scares me.  Not because I’m afraid of endings, rather, I’m more fearful of writing the “right” end.  In my first iteration of my collection, I had my initial character die, there’s nothing more final than that, but looking back, I think the ending is more of a cop out, or worse, cliché.  There’s nothing more to add at that point, nothing really to think about since death (as the same with love, and maybe taxes) are concepts too embroiled with the conceptual to be anything more.  Nothing bad about that, but is there anything more?

“10.  The current batch, I’m convinced right now, is either a) by far the best set of poems I’ve ever written or b) negligible and doomed to eternal obscurity.  Maybe both.”

This is always the danger when hoping.  Time and work wasted.  As mentioned earlier, Jeff Gundy uses humor to vacillate between writing and the hopelessness of writing which follows to the final discussion of his life – the one that works as Chair of a Department, versus the lives of those who have time:

“When I read of those like Jane Kenyon and Donald Hall who gave up steady employment for free-lancing and spent hours of most days for years on end at their desks, I wonder what might have been, but this is the life I have chosen to live.”

Futility is one thing, but regret is another.  I know some who gave up on writing and are living their lives – marriage, kids, vacations, steadier employment (Facebook is a horrible thing that keeps track of everyone’s accomplishments) and I’m a bit jealous. 

Sure it’d be great to be in a relationship with steadier (higher pay) employment.  Spend my night dining out with friends instead of writing or spending time with a progeny for the sake of the parental joy.

But this was my father years ago, who “chose” to limit his time for dreams to raise a family and be there.  Every once in a while he’d say this to his children that he “gave up his dreams to support us”  and this idea, this sort of foreshadowed regret, is something I’d rather not deal with myself when it concerns writing.

I admitted to myself that I’ll eventually regret something, no kids or relationship or book or whatever my mind wants to torture me with.  But I’d rather try my best at one thing and tell myself (if I could believe myself) that I did my best to follow my dreams.  Unfortunately, I’m too fat now to be a world-famous stripper, so wherever writing takes me will have to do.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Day 49: Thoughts on "It's Simple Really: Just Sit Down at the Desk . . . " by Jeff Gundy Part 1

"How do you catch the eye of a bored, underpaid, and probably inexperienced preliminary judge who's slogging through a heavy pile of manuscripts."  Again, not so much answers, but these essays in Ordering the Storm ask good questions that, for me, I'm thinking about while collecting my work together.

Process.  It seems, regardless of process. what it comes down is gate keeping.   Meh, I've known worse gate keeping things.  In any case, Jeff Gundy's essay is about his process from his first book, Inquiries, to his 1995 book, Flatlands:

"1.  Write poems for two or three or five years, sometimes with some sense of a common theme or thread holding them together, sometimes not.  These days I often write when I'm out of town, on my way to or from a reading or at a workshop, sometimes when I try out an assignment along with my students."

The first step seems easy enough, but this breaks and makes some people (a gate).  To be a writer, a writer has to write.

For me, I guess writing consistently is easier when I analyze a poem than me writing a poem.  The main reason why I stopped the whole question a day was because I was so far behind in writing.

But with that being stated, I wrote a lot of poems the last two years.  Good poems?  Good enough to get published? Who knows.

"2.  Put all the poems in a big pile.  OK, a middle-sized pile.  I usually do this too soon, before I have quite enough of the right kind of poems to make a book that's good enough or coherent enough.  But I'm impatient, and it's almost like having a new toy to play with."

Another gate.  Patience.  In every step.  I'm the biggest enemy to my own writing, but I'm the only one I trust.  So what to do then.  Once, I wanted to burn everything I written, now I'm trying to motivate myself to compile a collection.

Note though this isn't the "not writing" type of patience.  This is the "writing / editing" phase patience.  Thinking about writing versus getting it on the page are two different things.

"3.  Spend numerous hours, scattered over weeks or months or years, sifting through the poems, making piles, arranging and rearranging.  Discover that there appears to be both too much and too little order in the poems: some seem mere echoes of each other, other have very little to do with the rest."

Patience is one thing.  Time to discover is another.  All the time in the world doesn't mean I'll discover something.  It's the mindset of the search rather than stating answers.  But the danger in the search is either looking too specific and overlooking something or not hard enough and then losing focus. 

"4. Very gradually being to puzzle out some kind of plausible order [...]"

Here's the thing about order -- narrative?  Strong poem first?  How much needs to be published.  It seems to Jeff Gundy, the most important part is connection:

"And yesterday, rooting around around in old files, I found two nearly forgotten poems that I published in magazines many years ago but never included in a book.  They seemed to have uncanny resonances with some current poems, so I printed them out and am trying to figure out if they really belong."

From this, I'm thinking on how sacred publications are.  Some?  Many?  All published poems in the book.  We'll see.

"5.  My internal ranking of them [poems] fluctuates wildly.  But gradually a handful come to seem like anchors for the rest [...] So I rely on intuition, guesswork, obscure senses of possible sublimity."

I wonder how one creates a sense of ranking.  Or rather, how did I come up with my rankings.  Yes, by reading and comprehending.  I think this number is the most important -- I think at this point, once the fluctuations becomes stable, it's a huge step to sending out.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Day 44: Thoughts on "Best Foot Forward: Arranging a Poetry Manuscript" by Bonnie Jacobson

This essay weaves together different collection structures and interweaves them with Bonnie Jacobson's experience of making the collection, "In Joanna's House."  The essay is separated in V parts.  However, the most relevant part of the essay was Part III.

But to get to part III, first the author goes through the structural techniques of six collections and how they are structured in Part I:

  1. Mary Oliver -- Twelve Moons (The structuring device revolving around "moon poems")
  2. Peter Kappert -- The Idiot Princess of the Last Dynasty (A 205 dramatic monologue)
  3. John Ashbery --  Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (34 poems of build up about "artifice, experience, and time" which leads to the centerpiece poem "Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror" which comments on all of them)
  4. William Stafford -- A Glace Face in the Rain (divided into five sections -- each section named and placed accordingly to order)
  5. John Donoghue -- Precipice (irregular sonnets in five sections)
  6. Sharon Old -- The Father (narrative about the death of the father and the aftermath)
Then in Part II, the speaker talks about finding a voice -- maybe through publication, maybe through lot's of work.  Or "listening ten years to a narrator and characters who won't leave you alone).  There's no firm stance on creating "your own voice" but there's one thing that's for certain, "take it all to a friend whose editorial judgement, like Pound's, is without peer and mercy."

What interests me about Part III is the connection between the speaker and her editor, Robert Wallace.  Part III is a narrative on how Robert Wallace decided to change the original placement of the end poem of "In Joanna's House" about her death to the beginning, the prologue:

Think about it, Bob said, If in the prologue you present the terrible finality of Joanna, then doesn't every one of her poems argue against that finality?  Isn't Joanna's life--and by extension anyone's life--a unique and irreplaceable influence?

then from this:

Bob found the mega-poem for Joanna in less than an hour, if you leave out my fretting.  How did he do it?  How does anyone do it?

Why does this interest me?  Objectivity.  This essay does explain this idea further, but it's the idea that, no matter what, the author is not able to directly find the strongest "mega-poem" is terrifying and a relief.  Terrifying since I would like to believe that I can work out my weaknesses, but, honestly, how would I know my weaknesses if they aren't tested.  A relief since there are plenty of people out there willing to state what I'm weak at -- hopefully.

Part IV talks about the process and how poets never intend to write a book, just poems.  Jacobson quotes and Olds interview, "I don't write books.  I just write poems.  And then I put together books."  Sure, process is more subjective and based on individual style.

Part V is about titles -- write something that entices but doesn't trap.  Here another anecdote between Jacobson and Wallace who recommend the title be The Joanna Poems, "this cannonization fell oddly pretentious, unJoannalike.  In Joanna's House seemed to me a better description of her situation."

Ultimately, the search cannot be directed as implied by the post script.  A poem shouldn't be written with "the planning stages" in mind, rather, just write poems and collect them when things feel right.  Have someone read them after you believe you've done as much as you can.  There could be better insights.  There could be no insights, but more questions.  

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Day 43: Thoughts on the introduction of "Ordering the Storm"

This book was recommended to me when by Alan Soldofsky when I was ordering my collection in grad school.  I didn't get the book back then because I wanted to see for myself how I created a collection and how I felt about the process.

And yes, I did finish the collection for grad school.  But, I didn't trust the praise of my advisers.  Why?

I'm always a person who believes there will always be something to improve on, and all I heard from my advisers were praise about my work.  When I asked on what to improve on there was silence.  I took this as a bad sign.

A year later (after I graduated), my suspicion were affirmed.  One of my advisers never returned my mss or doesn't want to talk to me about it.  Furthermore, another one of my advisers asked me if I sent my collection out, and I said no.  The response was. "Well first collections are not good anyways."  And I took their actions and silence as the real critique and put my collection aside until I either would decided to quit writing or was in a position to come back and question myself as objectively as possible about a collection.

Unfortunately, the quitting option would sound so nice right now, but I see myself growing as a writer, so I feel I have nothing to lose by trying.  So here I am three years later reading this book recommended to me, a collection of essays, to help me out.

The "Introduction" by Susan Grimm tells about how this book came to formation through questioning.  When the local literary center in Cleveland opened up, Ms. Susan Grimm asked for workshop or panel ideas.  The idea of "how to put together a book of poems" came about.  This was the first idea from the author because of her own frustrations creating a collection.

What's important to note here are the list of questions that the author comes up with that the panel would address.  But these question are running through my mind for this second round:

  1. What should the first poem do? Establish voice, authority, a certain level of seriousness? What are the different ways to invite the reader in?
  2. What about the last poems?
  3. How long is too long (how many poems of poetry is too long)?
  4. In what ways can poems interlock?
  5. Are we committed to resolution as fiction is? Does the ordering have to do with a kind of narrative? Or are there other ordering principles--emotional change, change of approach, change of intensity (mounting?), change of style? Should we offer the best first like the Marriage Feast at Cana or save it for last like dessert? Myst there be a direction and change during the course of the book?
  6. If a poem is radically different in style, should it be taken out?
  7. Which is the more useful question--How do the poems fit together? or What is the whole trying to do?
  8. Should the poet think about the reader more when putting together a book than when writing the poem?  The reader's commitment will be longer.  Does he need more direction?  Should we imagine her picking it off the shelf?  Buying after a reading?  Has he seen isolated poems in anthologies or journals?
  9. How do people read? How do we want them to read?
  10. What about the title? If we use the title of a poem, how important should the poem be?

The "Introduction" ends with the author asking other poets what they though, and the book is a collection about their process, highs, pitfalls, and careers.

I'm rereading this book a second time, and I want to put down my thoughts on each essay.  My plan at the end of my thoughts on this book is to then work on my collection and come back, and, hopefully, answer these ten questions based on my collection.  If I cannot, then I won't send my collection out since it would seem that I and my collection are not ready yet.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Day 42: All the Typing is Done

Well.  It's been a while, but I've been focusing on typing up the poems on the legal pads which was a good exercise.  Changed some stuff, looked over other things.  Here are my numbers currently:

Tier 1 -- Should be still the same with 32
Tier 2 -- 106 -> 149  (43 change)
Tier 3 -- 177 -> 257 (80 change)

This would mean I wrote 123 poems throughout the 2012 - 2014 year.  The majority of these poems were responses to the "if" questions that I posted every day on Facebook.

That some interesting data.

At times like these, I wonder what drives me.

Support, well, it's hard to figure out what that means to me.  I haven't had anyone read over my work for a while.  Even though I ask from time to time, either people don't respond or a brief discussion and we go our separate ways.  Life happens.

But I know people are rooting for me as far as congratulating publications and what not.

I think I'm awkward when it comes to poetry.

I mean, I do care a lot about poems and poetry, but if I don't get feedback or have anyone read my work except for publishers, I'm okay with that because I've trained myself to be okay with that.  But I know I will need feedback soon.

But I placed a white-board next to myself to support me.  It's kind of weird to think about, me supporting me basically, but I guess when I think when times a rough, I look at the board and read something from a past version of me who believes there's a goal I can attain.

I find that comforting.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Day 15: Searching for Places; Sitting Still

Every beginning of the month (or now first day off of the month) I got through Duotrope listings of what's open now.  Today was 367 listings with open deadlines or upcoming deadlines.

I started at 7:00 a.m.and ended just about now.  I did eat, and then take a nap, a play a little bit of League of Legends,  I think I could've went through the all 367 listings in eight hours, but it's my day off.

But wait the number says there's 298 listings.  That is correct.  I recently decided to use the "ignore" function on Duotrope.  Since I do this every month, there are places I know I'm not sending too.  Here's the list:

  • Only "X" group of people should send to this magazine where "X" equals one or more of the following: of certain gender, race, location, sexuality, spirituality, environmental awareness, loves dogs, loves cats, loves meter, hates meter, has read our magazine since our inception last year, ten years ago, since 1889.
  • We moved up the deadline is today, you have 6 hours to prepare something.
  • We received a lot of great submissions so we closed the deadline early.
  • Great we're past our first issue and we're looking for new submissions (2010).
  • Great we're on our 16th issue, but now we're moving on to theme issues.  This years theme is "Delectable Monkey Parts."
  • Error, website not found.
  • Our Magazine is located in: Canada, China, Bangladesh, India, U.K., Mexico, Portugal, Spain -- please mail with correct international postage, and for your SASE please put international postage. 
  • This magazine looks nice, but wait, I burned bridges with this magazine because of "X" where "X" equals one or more of the following: addressed the magazine as a different magazine, e-mailed the magazine too many times about when I would hear from them, didn't e-mail the magazine when a piece of mine was already accepted, I met the editor and she personally hates me -- no really she does, I sent in poems and didn't know it was themed, didn't know the deadline, didn't know it didn't accept simultaneous submissions.

The list above isn't a reflection of the quality of work within magazine -- but sometimes we don't fit.  I realize the the list above is probably really facetious, but I've done this too many times to know problems occur when I try to adjust too much for a magazine.  

And I make sure too, reading poems listed on their website, or looking up the published poets in the most recent magazine to see if we have a similar style.  

I don't think this is a shotgun approach, well sort of.  Yes, I send out to many places a month, but I make sure the places I send to would probably accept a poem of mine and I would be proud to be in the magazine.

And I do have standards, the magazine should have one of these two qualities:

  • University backed magazine with at least 2+ issues under their belt.
  • Independent publisher with at least 5+ issues under their belt.
Then I go to Duotrope's listing for more details:

  • Acceptance rate 10% or below.
  • Response rate is reasonable (4-6 months the latest).
  • I'm more inclined for print publication, but there are some really good online lit mags like Tri-Quarterly.

Why these standards?  As stated before, I learned the hard way about not having set standards or a system -- saves me time, embarrassment, and money in the long run.

In the end of it all, overall I ignored 87 listings, found 43 places to send, and left the rest to mull over for next month when some magazines open up to submit so the calculations are never done.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Day 10: Fail Early

I now have a full-time job working as an Admin/Marketing/HR/Web Designer/Teacher.  Small businesses work out that way where someone has to wear multiple hats in order to get work done.  My company sent me to a three hour marketing class.

So I go, I take good business notes, and then the teacher said this:

"Fail Early"

Why?  It's not the end of the world if you fail early since you have time to readjust.  What he didn't state was, "it's harder to fail later, what time do you have?"

I cringe when I hear people tell me that they have a story to tell, but they need this to write the story, or the world is against them so that is why the story is not going to work.

Hey, maybe it'll work out for them later in life, but that doesn't account for failing.  This blog is titled "retailmfailure" because, simply, I intend to fail -- a lot.  Not because I'm not trying to succeed, but I can't control those who says my work is worthwhile or not -- and people have different tastes.

So back on topic with process.  It's 9:00 at night, and I plan to transcribe another poem.  I have transcribed poems which I put into the tier 3 category after trying so hard to make it work.  But it won't work.  It's a failure in that angle for now -- time to try my luck again.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Day 9: When is The Best Time to Relive your Likable Failures?

So this is my actual first post on this blog about my missteps.  I'm writing here because I might as well.  There's more space here than Facebook.  So I won't be those long FB posts.

Well, here goes:

I've never thought of myself as a good writer.  I always have grammar, and spelling errors whenever I write.  I also never have any patience for the creation process.  First draft in 15 minutes or less.  I'm not really ambitious or social -- which are big detriments to a writer.

However, my strength, I feel, has been my work ethic.  I know how to organize, schedule, review, and retool.

On the left is a spreadsheet of all my poems that I made the last two days.  All of them are separated by tier 1, tier 2, and tier 3.  As stated in an earlier post:

  1. Tier 1 - Published or Recognized poems (32 Poems)
  2. Tier 2 - Not Published or recognized poems, but poems that made me feel something (106)
  3. Tier 3 - Not Published or recognized poems, I feel these poems have problems in which would take too much time one way or the other. (177)

I went through all my tier 3 poems yesterday and some of today -- all 177 of them.  Some I knew what the problems were -- others were on the fence, but ultimately I made a choice.  Here are some of the reasons why I rejected these poems.

  • Too sentimental -- The emotion in the poem is not earned.
  • Too cheeky -- too much play in the poem to the point of pointlessness.
  • Too overworked -- the most common one, the lines are overwrought, the images are forced, and the allusions are superficial.
  • Too pretentious -- the poems has a high opinion that it can't back up.
  • Too shallow -- pot shots on certain groups, people, ideas, and things just for the sake of hitting something.
  • Nothing stands out -- just a bunch of words on the page -- no real technique or language there that makes me want to come back.
  • Better off as a short story -- the narrative takes over the poem.  If narrative takes over any poem, why not make it into a short story.
I don't believe every piece I make is my baby.  My work is my work. What I send is what I send.  When I receive a rejection, the poem is rejected.  If I receive an acceptance, the poem is accepted, not me.

The reasons behind these actions are out of my control.  My work ethic is just to work to see what happens with no promise of success, and more importantly, failure.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Day 6: 97 % Failure Rate

This should be the actual Day 5.

I renewed my Duotrope subscription. I've been rejected 562 times in the past 12 months. That is all.

The green tomato says it's work time. Back to work.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Day 5: OCR and other Woes

Welp. This is what OCR thinks of my writing. But at least my Avast is updated.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Day 4: Day Off Work -- Might as well Work

Day off today. Work or not work. Work. Sorted one monstrosity today (8-9 hours)
Tier 1 - Poems that have been published or recognized. Doesn't mean any poem is collection worthy.
Tier 2 - Poems not published but I would like to work on -- poems made me feel something.
Tier 3 - Poems to come back to someday, but not right now, felt nothing or disliked the poems.

I don't know how much is in each folder(s). I keep asking myself why I post this information. This is really egotistical of me, but I hope someone sees this and says "I can do better than him!" and does.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Day 3: Monstrosities

So this is what I posted later:

Sorting through these monstrosities: 311 poems printed out, plus first original mss which is around 50 pages, and unknown amount of filled legal pads I still have to type out. There's overlap with the 39 poems in my mss, so around 400 poems or so to agonize over?

Self-imposed due date to get a collection together: 10-1-2014 (135 days)
Level of self-inflicted harm I want to do to myself for doing this: plucking out all my hair one strand at a time.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Day 2: The Number of Poems Equals out to. . .

So I deleted this post because I thought is was too pissy, well might as well post i here since no one is going to read it:

"Went through all of Duotrope, then New Pages, then Duotrope again. Set a budget and suggested time frame to create and/or retool a poetry mss. The plan is set. 

My head in my hands. 400+ poems to sort through (311 typed, 100 written). 31 published poems to debate internally. Would this poem be inclusive or intrusive? 60 +/- 10 pages for optimal poetry mss. 

To the person who asked about process (you know who you are), the first step is stubbing your toe in the dark while trying to find the bathroom to relieve constipation; meanwhile, the fan whirring above just disperses the lack of smell."

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Day 1: Let's Start an Impossible Mission

So I decided to transfer what I put on Facebook on blogger so I won't inundate my Facebook with annoying messages about myself.  So cut and paste time:

My plan this summer is to compile a collection of poetry and then decide whether to set it on fire or send it to contests for the 2014-2015 year. I'm pretty sure both are the same though.