If you get the chance, please visit my author page on Amazon and see my new collection of poetry, The Lovely Brush: Poems. I’ve invested a lot of my personal experiences, which include the high and lows from past love relationships, continuing to ponder and struggle with the confusing reality of ever finding love again. I’ve opened up a lot in this collection in terms of my family, depicting some sore spots from along the way, challenges that have only made me a more aware and stronger person. I hope you will choose to move with me through these memories and musings from my life; not always happy but sure to make you think deeply about the circumstances we all face.
I’m walking on a cloud today. Truthfully. The earth beneath my feet feels like cotton candy, and I can eat as much as I want. I’m skipping. Literally skipping across this life of mine, reveling in the divine wonderfulness of seeing my very first poetry collection in print. I hold it in my hands, feel the smooth texture of the matted cover I chose and I’m in love, and this book is my lover, the one love of my life that stares back at me with the same love. There is nothing quite like this. It’s more than I ever imagined it would be. I have something that will transcend me, be around after I’ve gone. It’s the beginning of my legacy, my dream, the vision I’ve always had for myself, finally come into existence. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier. The day I pulled the book from the box when it arrived on my doorstep will always be the day I recall as the best one of my life. Such a simple day, but meant everything to me.
I never knew single would feel this way.
Like when I quit smoking and had to keep
reminding myself that cigarettes are bad for me.
Like I’m exfoliating my life
to reveal a new smooth exterior
free of airborne toxins, or men, if you will
who will only pine for my time
or for me to cook for them
after they “Wow!” every meal
to ensure I’ll keep doing it.
They’ll want me to watch TV shows
or sporting events that bore me silly.
And then there is the dreaded
tired, and hackneyed nightly intercourse
when I must do my best performance
or they get antsy and start watching porn
after I’ve gone to bed.
This really is too much to succumb to.
Retarding my life, wading through fast-drying cement
about to become frozen in this space and time
with no hope the schedule might change
or he’d learn to cook more than eggs and spaghetti,
but not together, of course.
I can’t help but wonder
when there would be time
to write this poem, or any poem.
Do yoga or ride the exercise bike.
Sit quietly, as I often do
or laugh uncontrollably
at the 101 things I might find funny
that most likely he won’t get
as he barely gets me.
Such compromise and sacrifice
will only pull me away again
so far that the next time
I may get lost for good.
I thought I was having a bad day
from the stacks of forms needing
my signature, my wrist cramping,
my fingers barely able to hold the pen.
And then there was the criminal law quiz
I’d nearly forgotten. Online learning
is perfect for those last-minute types.
The car tire is getting sluggish too
passing at least a dozen stations
with a ready working air pump
but I hate doing jobs that I’ve
stubbornly categorized as a “man’s job.”
So all of this is happening, miserably so,
until I hand payment to the drive-thru cashier
at McDonald’s for a much needed coffee.
She smiles at me, says I should have great day.
She smiles wide without hesitation
despite her missing front teeth.
And her hands, rough like a man’s hands,
tough like untreated leather.
At the pick-up window, I took my coffee
and drove off, the bad day I thought I was having
fell away, trailing further and further behind,
disappearing in the rear-view mirror.
Well, it’s looking like it might come together sooner than I thought! Self-publishing my book in print seemed like a very expensive undertaking, so I thought it best to wait for tax refund season, but then a very good friend introduced me to createspace.com, which has print on demand services, and no upfront costs, as they take their cut of the book price, and the rest I receive in royalties. So essentially, except for the minor editing services I need to take my book cover from eBook to printed book, that’s it for print costs. It’s funny now that I think about it, that I completely disregarded (until createspace reminded me) that I might need a spine and back cover for the book. God, I’m such a novice at it all but I’m learning fast!
So basically, what this means is that my book in PRINT should be available in the next couple of weeks. So for all those people that said, “I don’t do eBooks,” or “I’d love it if it were in print,”… that day will be here very soon!
My recent ambitious self has been thinking how much I love the feel of a book in my hands, especially the piles of poetry books I keep on my bed and bookshelves. They’re just thin enough to fit in most size handbags, and when I’m delving heavily into any one poet, I’ll carry it with me all the time; study it like I were I remembering every small line in a lover’s face. I think I would like to be able to feel my book in my hands, and then feel the sheer joy of having others do the same, wondering if they’re carrying my book with them. I think that’s always been the dream. For me to have a published collection of poetry that feels so good in your hand, you never let go of it. I know I’ve felt that way about certain books. It became of an extension of me while I consumed its every last word. Yes, I think I see The Girl With the Blue Umbrella in PRINT this coming Spring 2016. Can you see it too?
The books lay piled on the other side of the bed
amongst the pillows and blankets
near the nightstand
where he kept a carefully stacked pile
of matchstick boxes, the little ones
you get at fancy hotels.
There was one from Rome, Munich, London, Belize
and many others he’d collected from all our worldly travel
and the pact we made to try to circle the globe.
They were oddly stacked like it was a game of Jenga.
There’s only a lamp on the nightstand now
the lamp that sometimes burned into the night
while he clicked away at his keyboard.
I never knew and I never asked.
I don’t think I wanted to know.
The empty side of the bed
was like a hand print on the sidewalk:
you knew someone had been there.
I have my own stacks now, of books
and the empty side of the bed isn’t empty anymore.
The waitress is waiting to take my order
and I’ve already forgotten the specials
so I decide by random selection
as her pleasant posture
turns grumbly and slouched.
The ketchup is surprisingly full
and plenty of assorted jelly packets in the caddy.
Morning retreats into a cloud-covered afternoon
where people walk too hurriedly
wearing jackets with collars turned up
I see him walk across the park.
His gait is not the same
like from a sprained ankle or uneven legs.
He doesn’t notice me watching him.
On a bench he’s staring blankly ahead
I offer him a donut, a glazed one
the kind that was always his favorite.
I wasn’t that concerned about
why you didn’t smile anymore
under the stars that always ever
showed you love.
It was summer and you were free
to be purposefully distant
fleeing in myriad directions
confusing even the satellites.
When the rock hit my window
I knew it was you, in the shadows
of those moon-drenched moments
you remained so very close
like a shawl clinging to bare shoulders.
Thinking how we were different then
remembering when you smiled for me.
It’s only been one day since the book was released and there has been at least 200 downloads. I NEVER expected anything like that! I had estimates in my head somewhere around 50. A lot of the books that were downloaded – that I can track – were free on Noisetrade.com. They have an excellent selection of books and music and I’m so happy to be a part of their virtual library. The promoting I chose as one of Noisetrade’s packages, significantly aided in those numbers, I’m sure. The book is also for sale at a modest cost of $1.99, and it can be found on most online eBook retailers (Amazon, iBookstore, etc). Unfortunately, BookBaby.com, who handles all the collecting and distributing of money, only post sales reports every three months. So I’ll have to wait till almost Christmas to see how the book is doing. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. This book truly was a labor of love, tweaking it over and over again, fine tuning this line and changing that word. I love the fact that the collection is complete, and there will be no more changes! 🙂
In the meantime, I have a ton of thoughts running through my head daily, and I can almost see the ink on the pages of a second poetry collection sometime late next year – and maybe even with real ink!