This week’s Poetry Book Wednesday feature is The Heart of Autumn which was published on September 13, 2011. It is the very first book I published. I don’t really remember the writing process of the book but, as writing came to a close on it, I realized I should finally start publishing my poetry rather than constantly contemplating the idea of publication.
As I complete Glyph & Grey and 2017 comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the past few years.
The first poetry book I ever published was The Heart of Autumn on September 13, 2011. The first poetry book of 100 poems I published was Smoke & Spirit on October 9, 2012. I started writing Smoke & Spirit in August 2011 along with Flare & Fetter. Since their publishing, I have published 13 other 100 poem books of new work, 4 other smaller books of poems I wrote prior to 2011, 5 collected works, and 16 chapbooks.
From August 2011 through today (and the completion of Glyph & Grey), I have written 1515 poems toward stand alone poetry books which roughly averages out to 288 poems a year. I have also written another 300 or so poems in attempts at novels in verse and other poetic styles. One of these days, those poems might come out to play but for now, they sit and wait for me to decide what their fates will be.
While all the poems are personal to me in one way or another, Flare & Fetter remains one of the most personal books as it was written while I was “forced” to confront significant issues with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This condition and other issues do play out in other books and their poems but not in the same way.
The most challenging book to write was Hallow & Hearth. I wanted to give myself a writing challenge, and it delivered fully. I never expected letter H would give me such problems because it only applied to the titles. For a long time though, it and some personal crap stifled my creativity and I did not write. When I did write, H was very easy to deal with in short bursts of awesomeness.
The quickest book to write was Passion & Prudence. I wrote its 100 poems in 30 days as a creative endurance challenge. I continue to be amazed that I did so well. The poems turned out fantastically. My brain did feel like ooze for awhile after I was done but it was worth it.
My absolutely favorite book continues to be Russian Hymns, a collected work of poems from several books. These poems were inked to and/or involve a fictional character I had often dreamed about nicknamed The Undertaker aka Zephyr. I still dream of him from time to time but nowhere to the extent I use to. I have no idea why he is such a vivid creation in my dreams. Supposedly, the faces we see in our dreams are faces we have seen before. The Undertaker’s entire physical form is very precise in my dreams but I have absolutely no recollection of ever seeing such a face or encountering such a person.
This Mayfair mistress held
Hostage by the snow
Driven with meager intentions
Have no reason to cry tears
They’ll be your everything
Stumbling over drifts of
Massacred flesh lost
At sea set afire
For what you’ll never do
Roped up around the neck
Dangling waiting to be
Broken down as you
Stumble and fake it
With false destinies
Set your heart alight
And hold on to the
She brings out the worst in others
Brings those skeletons out
To parade across her face
Strip her down and make the world a mess for her
Leave her black, blue and crimson
Shatter her so she no longer knows
Who she is, torn between the reality
And the visions she clings to
To hide from the monsters lingering under
Illusions of serene flesh
She brings out the worst in others
Brings out the worst in herself
As she cries out on bended splintered knees
In her mind’s eye
A mind fragmented, scrambling to cope
Scrambling to find a mask
That will make everything seem peaceful
The calm ocean surface
Hiding the death awaiting within
Much like those who leave her broken
Taking much more than their lies
From what she is
The tattoos of pain dancing
Across her torn skin
Torn in the agony of piecing her mind
Piecing her mind together again
Preparing it for another attack from enemies
She cannot see and see absolute
Bracing for another arrow of words for her heart
Another fist to find placement on her body
Always finding their targets perfectly
She brings out the hate in others
So she hates herself, punishes herself
For shortcomings she cannot unravel
Making her flesh bleed
Bleed out their words ripping her up
Ripping from the inside out
Seeping the hate out in little rivers
Rivers marking tracts along the scars
Little pain pictures for her to relish
If she could only remember how
How the marks got there
She brings out the violence in others
Only to wear it for herself
A testament to the evil she
Holds within that wants
To feel, feel the pain
Pain she can never tolerate
But cannot get enough of
So they strip her down and make
Her world a mess to sift through
Her fingers as she cries, bleeds
Making the clay to build anew
She brings out herself in others
Thanks to everyone who downloaded books during the Kindle free promotion to honor the 1,000th poem milestone. I really appreciate it. I am very entertained by the fact that The Heart of Autumn and Smoke & Spirit are the most popular downloads. I hope everyone reads, enjoys, and considers leaving a review on Amazon or GoodReads. Again, thank you. If you did not partake in this promotion and were hoping too, worry not. I will be giving away signed paperbacks some time in mid 2013.
As thought, I did not get any writing done for Day 5. In truth, I got very little done. Took care of the usual morning chores and ran errands. Afterward, I decided my afternoon was better spent sleeping. Having been sleep deprived and far more ‘out and about’ lately, I needed some much required downtime. I spend most of my time at home so the fairly constant stream of write-ins during November, while enjoyed, are proving to be very exhausting. Need to find a balance in order to get through this month with enjoyment, health, and productivity on all fronts.
Day 6 has gotten off to a better start. A decent night sleep helped considerably. Wrote down four poems before going to sleep around midnight. While I woke up later than intended, yay for sleep. Household chores and some data entry work are a priority today. Some chores are already underway and I prepped the data entry work last night to help it go quickly today. Striving to find balance in all I need to get done and work out a multi-tasking schedule on the things that can be multi-tasked. Currently, the word count is at 7649 and today’s suggested total is 10,000. While not entirely optimistic for 2351 words with everything going on, I am certainly going to try.
Both Ink & Ice and Unlined & Undertakers are at 43 pieces including the pieces written this morning. The characters of Reaper’s Moon are still giving me the cold shoulder. Not sure why or what I should do to coax them into conversing with me. Perhaps it is because they now know one of them will die soon. I don’t even know who. It depends on how the upcoming battle scene comes about. If I can even get them to that point. There’s a lot of happenings before the battle that I still need to do. Those could change the course of battle too. When it comes down to a battle between sides at war, someone will die. Sadly, it is a fact of life and of fiction. Even the “immortal” can die…