Saturday, April 9, 2011

Saga of the chappers: I select a title or two

I am pulling together poems for a chapbook. Let's past tense that. I assembled a chapbook of poems.  Please reference my previous posting and stay tuned to collect the whole set on me and my chapbook.

Not only did I pull together poems as if they were rambunctious six-graders at recess but I set them in some unconscious order by which I mean I let my instincts order the poems (should "A Scarlet Moss" be the sixth poem? or with its plea for healing would be a provocative final statement?) (should I include a humorous-to-Dada poem {{{"Poetics of the Unemployed" which I mentioned here,}}}, or would that be seen as a bid for irony when in fact I am not even choosing to attend the irony auction). 

I could have selected up to twenty-five or so poems but choose to keep it short, small, something to be read in a sitting. I worry my poems are intense, and if that is the case, then shorter might fit the soul's span of attention.

The title.  Always an issue. At first I was going to name it after one of the poems.  Then thought, nah, how about calling it "Moss," a shortening (duh) of "A Scarlet Moss."  Not for a second am I saying that poem is my favorite (or isn't). It simply became pivotal in the moment.

But that title didn't feel right. While walking about Manhattan, I tried to remember how many poems I'd included and guessed (rightly, wrongly, I'm not sure) that I'd lassoed thirteen. Baker's dozen-type ideas came to me, the final being, We Use Real Butter.

For about fourteen hours, We Use Real Butter was the title of my prospective chapper. A last-minute save (Oh Hail Mary) as I approached the end zone was in a different direction. Still toward completion but not silliness.  And it also came with risks.

Look Up, Up is the current title. The possibility of that title triggering thoughts of the delightful animation Up are okay with me. The risk, however, is those words are a line in one poem, "Our Pointillist Galaxy." That puts much stress or emphasis or burden on a single line.

Around 5 p.m. yesterday I emailed the chappers (Look Up, Up) to its prospective publisher.  As they say in Imagination's coven, more will be revealed.

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