Getting A Little Dirty In The Muck

If you haven't heard yet, Threads (Finishing Line Press, 2013) was named a Finalist in poetry for the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. I am so excited to have Threads named as a Finalist! It's easy to live with these poems for so long and forget that for others they are new and fresh and can still speak. I look at them everyday and think about the new layers I see or images that are clearer now. And many of these new layers that seem so concrete now is the reason I have moved into a full length manuscript, tentatively titled: The Miracle of Mercury. Some of the poems from Threads have inched their way into the new manuscript because they are the poems that set me on the path of this new collection. Maybe your favorite will be there!

In case you missed it, here is a link to an interview about Threads posted on Author Exposure. I talk a bit about how I approached the poems and my experiences with publishing this debut autobiographical chapbook.

I have been wondering how to try to explain this new collection. It's a bit darker, not so much in a melancholy or gloomy way, but in a grittier more punch-in-the-gut kind of way. I realized that I was trying to give equal weight to the many characters that find their way into my poems but as I was finishing work on the poems that eventually made their way into Threads I began to see a darker layer rise to the surface. I was tired of trying to place each thing on this imaginary scale of fairness and balance. But something clicked and I found I wanted to explore the people in my poems much more deeply; much more honestly. I was tired of doing the fiction thing with them. And by that I mean I was tired of trying to make the protagonist in the poem (if we can see them that way) likable or sympathetic. I wanted to really dive in to the realism and get a little dirty in the muck.

So that's how this collection is shaping together. Stronger characters, deeper into the Frey, staring boldly into the abyss. I guess I realized that this first book was about what happened. The second book is about what happened after that happened. Stay with me: there is the thing and then there is the thing that we become because of the thing. There are the hidden emotions, reactions and psychological responses that now become a part of it all that put you on a new path because of what happened. So, no, I am not done with these topics and themes yet. They simply will not let me be done with them. But the things still hidden in shadow are the scariest and, at times, the most rewarding when we pull them out. So stay tuned:  I am just starting to get a little dirty in the muck of it all.