Ghastly hot today. I really need to move somewhere not guided by such extremes. Maybe Seattle or San Francisco... rain or fog wouldn't phase me, pale skinned and sun-blind as I am. North Carolina was always lovely, but too many rednecks and big bugs. Same with Florida or Georgia.
Yesterday, in the mail, a copy of 32Poems which looks to have some good stuff from a glance, and not the same names and faces ceaselessly appearing everywhere else. (Mind you, I say this not out of jealousy for those lucky enough to be oft-published so much, but sometimes I feel I pick up this journal or that journal and I KNOW who's gonna be in their before I even look due to affiliation, or school, or what have you). Also, an acceptance from Rhino for two poems, one of the Joseph Cornell pieces, and a newer poem.
I've been thinking about chapbooks again. Lately, I find myself drawn to smaller projects, chapbooks built around an idea or with a tight focus. While I've completed a couple of full length manuscripts, they're often a melding together of two or three shorter series. I'm also drawn to chapbooks, the idea of the indie press, small volumes issued and traded and not wholly dependedent on the financial structure of tradional book publishers. There's something infinitely more interesting and intimate about them, a hint of something avante-garde and revolutionary, their line of history from the original chap men thru the Beats. They're like rare imports albums, collectible, tradeable, and just damn cheap, so you can buy lots. There's also something nice about devouring one in one sitting, being able to read it again. I also like the focus a shorter series of poems allows me when I'm writing.
Considering the old chapbooks, The Archaeologist's Daughter was all about interpreting the past through history, art, mythology. Poems about personal narrative, but also about mermaids, geneaology, Helen of Troy, the Salem Witch Trials, Emily Dickinson, Degas, Columbus, gold rush brides, Pompeii. Bloody Mary indulged my passion for the midwestern gothic--floods, murders, drownings, ghostly twins, and cross-country trips. It's probably the darkest book of the three. belladonna is more about langauge. It's got alot of the same thematic stuff, but is a bit more playful, full of wild fires, thriftshop dresses, desire, and hotel rooms. Then there's errata, a whole different creature. Corsets and circus freaks. TB sanitariums and gothic novels.