… and other things.
Last week, or maybe a bit before, I made the final selections for my book of poetry. I printed every page, which is a lot, but not so much as it may sound since they are mostly rather short poems, and printed I held them in my hands. I sorted them. First by very beginnings and very end endings. Then I counted their lines and scored lists at their feet of tokens and themes and what visions they brought me. I removed a few, who had no place among the others, and that gave me a center middle. Which was too much for start or end. From there I managed to give them an order, finding which would lay against and which wanted no page near another. I read them all again, first line and center and last. I wrote their order at the top corner, starting with 0 and moving on from there each one from 1 to 53. And that’s how many there will be. With other things between.
My partner is helping me with finding a way to format the book so that it’ll be relatively pain-free and compatible with a self publishing company or two. Because this book is going to be an actual book… more than just a notepad in my hands.
I’ve had a few people shrug or wonder about that. Telling me how I should handle my things, as if they were not book worthy or book able. I’m not sure what inspires this sort of reaction in others, but I just shake my head and let them know that while I may have downloads, these poems – my poems – will be an actual book, with weight and mass and a surface to touch. I even plan to sell them, though at first I had planned on a book for myself only. This intent tends to draw out the biggest reaction from people.
And sometimes I have a pang in my chest, a worry that I am being foolish, but it doesn’t matter in the end. I will have my book. My first book. To hold and smell and love. My words will be real physical things that take up space – and that’s something I’ve always wanted.
I have no idea how long this will take me, but it’s been a process of many years already.
Once I bought a sturdy little notebook, with a soft hide and an elastic closure, and a little purple ribbon attached to mark place. I chose it for my poetry, and in it I wrote as close to every day as I could manage, which sometimes was not at all like every day. Sometime early last year I realized that it was nearly full, and I decided that when it was full I would make a book, and last summer, with a full notebook, I started transcribing them onto the computer, carefully editing what needed correction, because daily practice is often rough and in the moment, without much use for proper spelling or strict structure. Of course, there were many, many more poems in my notebook than will go into my book, once they were all typed up, I removed all but what would fit according to the lines of daily poetry strictly, sorting them into different folders and keeping aside the chosen few.
This book is the culmination of a hope and a practice to fill that space. It will be the coalescing of a promise of poetry and word and repeated days.
I’m really excited and I hope to share it with you soon.