Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Would You Say I Have a Plethora?

88º ~ in the words of Glenn Frey, "the heat is on," a punishing sun, humidity low now, but on the rise, no breeze to speak of

So, there are two 80s references for you, dear readers.  The first, in the post title, = The Three Amigos; the second = Beverly Hills Cop. If you are unfamiliar with these allusions, get thee to Netflix and get thee quick!  Ahem, it seems I'm unable to write without ripping off others today (sorry to you, too, Shakespeare!).

Ok, I'm in a bit of a dither.  I'm a bit disgusted with myself.  I'm a bit out of control.  Here's the issue; I pride myself on being super organized.  When I've described my way of tracking submissions in the past, many of you have commented on just that organization.  Well, today, I proved myself a bit of an idiot.

One of my summer goals was to rip up and reorganize into two chapbooks what has been circulating as manuscript #2.  Now, that manuscript has been making the rounds FOR YEARS and has existed in so many iterations that I've lost count of the number of different ways it has been organized.  However, somewhere in all of the reorganizations, I forgot to keep track of the poems I pulled from the manuscript and set aside.  So, this morning as I was working on the remainder of the manuscript after taking out all of the fairy tale & saint poems earlier, I realized I had two more stacks: body poems and elegy/prairie poems.  Then, it dawned on me that there was a body poem that wasn't in there, "Vespula Cures," published by the lovely folks at Connotation Press, lo these many years ago!  When I went looking for that poem, holy crap!, I found nearly a dozen poems that were languishing in the purgatory of a "published poems" folder on my desktop but that hadn't made it to a manuscript, or had but had been removed st some point.

I pulled one thread and a whole sweater unraveled at my feet (one of my plethora...hee hee).

So, I've spent the last two hours, printing off copies of poems from 2010-2011 (pre-sickly speaker) that weren't included in any current manuscript.  Then, I shuffled my new chapbook piles, and I do have the makings of three chapbooks: fairy tales/saints, body, and elegy/prairie.

So, this was a good chunk of work, but I'm kicking myself for how long this whole process of book publishing is (be it chapbook or spine-book) and how much I set myself back by losing track of perfectly good poems, poems that coalesce in a new way now that they are grouped in smaller portions.

This, then, is the work of poetry, stumbling blindly through the dark, going by instinct built on years of practice.

Onward!  (Or, in other words, "Write, very old one, write like the wind!")


Kathleen said...

1) I do that, too: lose track of poems and versions of manuscripts. They're all in there somewhere...but where?!

2) The word "plethora" has been stuck in my origami brain like a paper airplane. Thanks for pulling it out.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Kathleen, glad I could help!

Quintilian B. Nasty said...

I hope that collection finds a home.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Q!