my publisher and I at sunnyoutside
are finalizing the layout/design for my first trade paperback of poems called Flowers In The Shadow Of The Storm
, which will be released sometime in early September. this book features all new, unpublished poems, perfect bound with a cover handpainted in acrylics. of course, each cover will be unique and different from its siblings. I did some samples for David the other night and they turned out pretty damn fine. more on this release as it draws nigh.
I've signed copies of the mini-broadside words like terror
from Bottle of Smoke Press
, and they should be available soon. check with Bill and get yourself one, they turned out great.
got my copy of the magazine STUDIO
from Australia. this edition is their 25 year anthology and I've one poem in it. this is a magazine that bills itself as a "journal of Christians writing," and I find that inside are poems that rarely directly address the concept of "Christianity." mostly they dance around the periphery of spirituality, using ordinary life's myriad metaphors. I stumbled on the mag accidentally, seeing a listing in some obscure small press publication. I've had a long discussion via letter with the editor inre: religion vs. art. at first I clearly spelled out my boderline atheism
to him, wanting full disclosure after he accepted a number of my poems. in his reply he evinced a genuine spirituality
that, to me, transcended the concept of "Christian," especially as it is practiced in GW Bush's Official God-Fearing America. like the article on atheism indicates, What's Right (which conceptually I stole straightaway from HST
) merely IS; it is an idea that operates independently of "God's Watchful Eye." it needs no list of rules, it needs no chants, no iconography, no hypocritical selfishness nor exclusivity. it DOES however require sacrifice (often going against CW, ideas of 'normalcy,' etc.), it requires one to rise above oneself at times to discover new realms of truth, to leap from high places unsure of what lies below knowing that the leap
is what matters. it is the face that looks back at us from the foggy bathroom mirror.
it is interesting that someone with such a vaunted anti-organized religion bias as myself can reach a clear understanding about the power of the poem to describe our condition as humans with someone who believes so strongly in the "Church." this guy is a fine example of how I find art to be a transcendant link that crosses such arbitrary boundries as which God you think is the right one, is something of an equalizer between competing ideologies (or at least a middle ground where conversation and communication can occur). the Right Line/Right Word slices effortlessly across such articles of Control, neatly cauterizes the wound caused by superstition and fear of death. always, great art serves the cause of What's Right. it pushes the human being
forward, ignoring all 'isms.'
and as for old man Death, great art helps us step into the boat, knowing that the best part of us, the deepest essences of our selves, have been preserved in poem, in skipping notes from trumpet bells, on thick paint splattered canvases, upon the cave walls. this is important, is more real than a magician in the sky. this is the tangible hand to hold that helps us along, thru the very real mystery of this animal life.