Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Well at least in my head I’ve been blogging ;)

Today Jean Nordhaus’s new book Innocence came and I’m very excited!!! Last week I found her title poem in the pushcart award anthology while listening to an incredibly annoying woman train people at Starbucks. I was at the mall. I was a chain book store at the mall. I was trapped—the only wonderful thing was the poem.

Side note: don’t take me to the mall.

Another side note: If you do I will hide in the nearest book store.

I am wondering about the order of progression, if it is better to go with a smaller press that treats you well, to build up your audience. Is there ideal growth as a poet? An ideal place?

Or do we spend too much time talking about this crap when we should be writing?

The Innocent

Alone and together, we stand on the platform
a mob of strangers awaiting the train. There may be
among us a wife-beater; surely, a thief. That man
in the blue dolphin tie; that frazzled woman,
gathering in her scattered girls; each of us caught
in the swill of our being; none of us blameless,
not one of us pure. Greedy, covetous,
selfish, vain, we have trafficked in lies; we
have practiced small cruelties. Even the baby
asleep in a sling on his mother’s breast,
has been willful, has shaken with rage.

Yet, if fate arrives, as a wind, in a bullet,
a bomb, at the instant of shock, in the silent
heart of conflagration, we will all
be transformed into innocents, cleansed
in the fires of violence, punished not for any sins
committed—but for standing where we stand,
together in the soft, vulnerable flesh.

Jean Nordhaus


tom said...

good poem by Jean

one to be re-read and thought about some more

as to publishing
building an audience

a press that treats you well is well worth having - you live in a state that still seems to support the arts

small presses that might be worthwhile submitting chapbooks to

main street rag
pudding house

are two that i am familiar with

local or even self-publishing is another option that i am sure you are familiar with --

my friend - who writes under the name t.kilgore splake - has published most of his chapbooks himself

of course he is widely published in small magazines too - and has gotten reviews in the Small Press Review and many other magazines.

he keeps up a wide correspondence and has regulars who buy his work as well as many who get his chapbooks free.

do you read at open mikes or by invitation? are you active with The Loft?

anyway - just my few thoughts which I am sure you already know

tom (drinking darjeeling tea, eating a pizza from Subway, watching the snow fall and reading the Finnish poet, Pentti Saarikoski Translated by Anselm Hollo)

early hours of sky said...

I am doing a reading at the Loft in late February. Milkweed is also a good small press if you are looking for someone.

tom said...

milkweed is an excellent press

let me know when the reading is - my daughters (twins) have their birthday feb 19, so i might take the train over for that - later we have our anniversary - and very end i might be heading down to atlanta for the awp conference -