Poet Seeks Publisher

March 25, 2010

Flora and fauna

Filed under: Uncategorized — poetseekspublisher @ 7:35 am
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Again, welcome. Should you want to know what this new blog is about just click at right where it says click here. It’s best to scroll to the start and read up. It’s that kind of blog.

A quick tour of some of the poetry blog sites on WordPress.com shows there is a rich array of poetry on offer. It looks like I’ll have to add some photographs here to make a visit pleasant. Some flora and fauna



Filed under: Uncategorized — poetseekspublisher @ 6:38 am

Welcome. Should you want to know what this new blog is about just click at right where it says click here. It’s best to scroll to the start and read up. It’s that kind of blog.

I’ll pause here. It’s past midnight, I’m just in and it’s a early start tomorrow. A three-day photo project and I’ll be back. I may be tempted to make one more post before I leave, perhaps as I pack the truck. A rush to the office, then pick up posters and business cards, pack the truck, then drive two and a half hours north. It snowed this morning, but it’s gone now and tomorrow will be warm. Once packed, if I’ve left nothing off the check list, everything will be fine. I’ve made the trip a hundred times.

If you’re reading, feel free to leave a comment.

…A new wind chills to the bone…

A new wind chills to the bone. Ever more
will this sea taunt, like this quick slap has done.

There was a time in New Zealand, a group of us decided to hike around Abel Tasman National Park. We had to leave the house, actually. Owned by Dick Roberts, a professional photographer on a farm in Todd’s Valley, on the South Island, he was hosting some weekend encounter session where a group of people were going to bare their souls. We couldn’t be around while that was happening. We had to leave. We decided to hike Abel Tasman for the weekend. A cartoonist from Sydney, Phil Summerville, stayed to cook. About half a dozen of us left, dropped off at the trail head rather late. We proceeded on to the first hut.

The sun went down. We discovered we had no flashlight. One of the girls brought a candle. Here we were, negotiating this bush path by candlelight. I’m glad we walked it at night. A cliff of sorts was to our left. Moss covered, it had all these wonderful glow worms in it. Hundreds of them. A beautiful sight. There was no wind. Trees must have been to our right, that cliff to our left, so close we could touch it.

We reached tidewater over rocks and this blinding light shone right on us. I realized it was a boat. “Hello, boat,” I called out. “Hello, shore,” someone called back. “We’re looking for the cabin,” I called. The powerful beam moved slowly to my left and shone on a cabin. We made our way to it. “Thank you, boat,” I called out. “You’re welcome, shore,” someone called back. I never met who was on that boat. It was gone in the morning.

The news of Don’s death was unwelcome, unwanted. Like a chill, it couldn’t be shaken off. From that point, I knew, nothing would be the same again.

March 24, 2010

The first two lines

Filed under: poetry — poetseekspublisher @ 11:56 pm

Welcome. Should you want to know what this new blog is about just click at right where it says click here. It’s best to scroll to the start and read up. It’s that kind of blog.

I didn’t want to break apart this sonnet to look at it. It just expresses shock. “That unseen surging tide…” The sea, that tide, a metaphor for not just the end that will claim everyone eventually, but also the realization of that cold hard truth, memento mori,”it”. “Ripped cherished life itself from this safe shore…” Contrast.

I remember a fellow from Australia, can’t remember his name anymore, I met him years ago in New Zealand. From the outback, he told me of the first time he saw the ocean, those beautiful waves at the edge of that endless blue ocean surface that went all the way to the horizon and who knows how far beyond that- beyond imagining. It scared the hell out of him. “I thought the land was sinking,” he said.

To me what safer and more beautiful place than an ocean beach of warm sand, wonderful waves rushing, one after another, to surrender to the shore, lay on it briefly, clinging, while ebbing slowly, reluctantly back to the sea.

I slept once beside angry waves that rushed over rocks in Hawaii, in a VW Beetle with the top down. I never thought of being unsafe. I never lived beside the ocean, never learned it can reach out, snatch you, fling you into the abyss. I was a tourist. The ocean was new to me. Angry waves would never move beyond thosc nearby rocks. I felt safe. I slept sound, interrupted once by rain.

A surprise, Don’s death

Filed under: Uncategorized — poetseekspublisher @ 9:22 pm

I hadn’t known Don was sick. It was an awful shock to hear he had died. A terrible shock. The blow came from out of the blue, from nowhere.

We’d lost touch in the last year or two. We lived in the same city, which in itself was a terrible thing, to live in a city, after our rural boyhood. I believe he lived perhaps 15 minutes away. Not much more.

Years ago, listening to my favourite program at the time, Morningside, with Peter Gzowski, I was rapt with attention as he interviewed three women on relationships. What interested me was they talked about relationships as if they were important. Of course they’re important. But important enough to discuss them? To examine them? To say what you like about them and what you don’t? What you wish about them? It was a very odd subject to me. It was damned interesting, but I imagined the three as long-haired brunettes in no make-up, all in wool sweaters, their long-fingered hands hugging hand-made pottery coffee mugs, and some hanging macrame lamp in the corner of the room.

He interviewed two men on the subject in a follow-up interview, some priss from, I believe, Ontario, and another fellow. Less interesting.

Not until Don’s death did I examine friendship. I have never cultivated them. I thought they just happened. Cultivated friendships to me are what corporate salesmen do. “I love ya, buddy, hey, let’s get together, let’s bring the wives, I got a deal you’ll love, I’ll bring the paperwork. Bring a pen, hey, buddy? Come by Saturday, eh? Let’s do lunch.” I can’t stand people like that. I’m not sophisticated enough to be able to hide my disdain for them, either. I let them know. All it takes is a look. An unsophisticated man can chill your marrow with one look. It’s not a skill to be proud of, but I can do it. So could Don.

My closest friendships have been buddies met long ago. Good friendships age well. You don’t have to keep in touch. When you run into each other, you sit down and reminise.

Don and I talked about life. From the time we were boys, we talked about life.

It all began with Don’s death

Filed under: Uncategorized — poetseekspublisher @ 8:59 pm

It all began with Don’s death. In some shock, sometime later, days or weeks, I can’t recall at the moment, I wrote the first sonnet.

The dilemma here is that I can’t post it. How to analyze the sonnets without posting? To post them is to publish them, and to submit them to a publisher they have to be unpublished.

I’ll have to deal with that.

Heavy handed

Filed under: poetry — poetseekspublisher @ 7:00 pm

It would be  interesting to know why the reviewer might have seen the poems as “belaboured “and “heavy handed”.

There may be, actually, good reason for it. It could even have been deliberate. It may be my voice, actually. Don never finished school. He was a drop-out. We all were. I was the only one to go back.

Don worked in small mills starting at 15. Leonard started working at 15 or 16. I left home at 15. I was the only one who went back to school, living in a rooming house, working nights on weekends. Ralph was killed before he saw 15. The sonnet, Graduation, is placed in the middle of the story of us growing up, there only as a contrast, really. But it’s a damn nice sonnet. I’m pleased with it. Nothing at all heavy-handed or belaboured about it.

Anyway, we’ll examine them in order. That one is a little way off.

Getting published, an Atwood insight

Filed under: poetry — poetseekspublisher @ 2:52 am
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Here’s an interesting story.
Canada’s premier lady of letters, Margaret Atwood, may have had her first novel published because Jack McClelland lost the damn thing as a manuscript. For four years.
Here’s the video link to her telling the story to American talk-show host Charlie Rose.


Oh, piss, it’s not working. I guess it has to be a link to You Tube to work. Anyway, she says the publisher, McClelland, lost her manuscript of a novel, The Edible Woman, and found it four years later. She suspects he felt so bad about it, he offered to publish the book without reading it.

“Have you read it?” she asked him.

“No,” said McClelland. “But I will.”

Okay, I am miffed

Filed under: poetry — poetseekspublisher @ 2:48 am
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I’ll get back to that rejection letter in a moment. What miffs, I suppose, is I wrote these poems so long ago. Well, all but one. But long ago. Eight or nine years ago. So they have aged. They have a patina. They were lost and found again.

Poet seeks publisher

Filed under: poetry — poetseekspublisher @ 2:45 am
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I just received my first rejection letter yesterday. I don’t have it in front of me. I might photograph it and post it later. Brick Books of Ontario returned my 55 or so pages back in the envelope I provided about a month or two ago. Remarkably fast, actually. I didn’t expect that.

I also didn’t expect a rejection letter would be so informative. After the we-have-to-make-difficult decisions sentence, the writer said “we” enjoyed reading the submission. I like that. It meant more than one reviewer actually gave some thought about publishing the poems. That’s not bad. It didn’t all go in the trash right away.

He wrote the sonnets “held up” and I had introduced the reader to beauty while exploring the meaning of it all. While the work was never less than intriguing (or so I believe it was worded) on the whole it was belaboured and heavy-handed. Then the conclusion, feel free to submit elsewhere. Keep at it. Actually, not a bad rejection letter. It’s my very first one, so I have no idea how they are usually worded.

I never crumpled the letter in a raised fist and shouted to the heavens: “Good God, can’t you recognize work of original bloody genius?” I didn’t, because quite obviously, they can’t. Or didn’t. Perhaps there is no genius in it.

I’d committed myself to make one attempt to publish the poems. If I didn’t get them published, I didn’t get them published. I didn’t expect to feel somewhat challenged by that rejection letter. I do feel a little resigned. Miffed, too. I suppose that’s not unusual. Some writers wallpaper their rooms with rejection letters. I don’t have that stamina. Quite honestly, I was going to make one try to get these poems published. One only. One. But now it’s a challenge. I am a poet seeking a publisher.

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