Lost manuscript found

The things you lose.  How does one lose a 60,000 word manuscript so easily? Even worse yet, how does one forget that they were almost done with said manuscript when it was abandoned.   A mythological story abandoned.  I guess I know what fiction work I will be focusing on now.    #Atlossforwords #foundmanuscript

Throwback Thursday

A poem published in Cirque this summer.  Enjoy and check them out!


With my femininity under my arm,

we hustled down the dusty

shell of a broken college town,

past the crooked props

that used to sell feed

and pens to students, where

I offered my femininity to my fiancé.

He refused it.

Passersby frowned and jeered:

The wrinkled grape thought it was

best suited for a child;

Her charge thought that I was just too old.

A fluffy pink, the doll’s dress was

–with pink bows, of course.

Blonde with pigtails, the hair was

–with tight curls, of course.

Shattered sidewalks failed

to absorb the shame,

as my femininity receded

into my ragged college jacket along

with my spent youth

and thrift store receipt,

only to allow patches of its plastic

head and feet to emerge

when I least wanted it.

Ezra Pound

Recently, I had a desire–no, wait, craving–for imagism poetry.  If you are not familiar with this type of poetry, it is often characterized by its sparse language and direct treatment of the subject at hand.  Ezra Pound, Hilda Doolittle (H.D), and William Carlos Williams are best known for this type of work.  Google “The Red Wheelbarrow” for an example.

I have tried and tried to get this one poem published.  It is very much in the imagism vein, as it is very sparse and is centered on one object in detail to tell a story.  I keep plugging away at this poem, but it has yet to find a home, so I bought a book of collected poems of Ezra Pound.  I have just started it, but I can already tell that his early period work (pre-imagism) is not my favorite.  Still, I am enjoying the collection overall.  Hope to share some highlights here as I move along in the collection.

Anyone else ever get stuck on a work and try to remedy it (or gain some understanding about why you are stuck) by reading another writer’s works?  If so, share.

Sentimental Pieces

Have you ever had something that no matter how long you had it, no matter how worn or torn it is, you cannot get rid of it.  We all do.  I have been known to hang on to concert tees that are far beyond their usefulness (yeah, R.E.M’s Automatic For The People with many, many holes).  I think I am even worse with some of my earliest writings.  Take my song poem collection.  I have over 100 song poems that I composed when I was between 13 and 15 years of age (yeah, that long ago).  Just simple song lyric type poems.  Nothing radical here.  Just the deep soul searching musings of your average teenager.  I may post some of these one day just for entertainment’s sake.  See if one can guess which late 80’s influence goes with each poem.

I am about as sentimental with my early poetry and fiction pieces.  Early is defined as the ones composed in my early 20’s, while I was a student in creative writing at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.  I have published several of my poems from this early period of my life, but one fiction piece has not been sent out. Oh, yes, it was composed in 1999 and was sent out at least once in 2001, but that is it.  I have looked at it within the last five months, and to be honest, it was not bad.  It actually was well received in workshop back then, but I have held it back.

Why? I think a part of me refuses to let it go.  Years ago, it was my star piece.  It was going to be the BIG one, but after I stopped submitting for 14 years, it has lost its luster, and other darlings have replaced it.  Now, though, is the time for me AND it to move on.  I will be submitting it soon.  One more proof and I will send it on to its first editor.  Like a child leaving the nest, this achievement will be bittersweet.

Anyone else have such works (or things) they cannot let go of?  If so, ask yourself why.  Move it on its way and move yourself on, too.