Since my long awaited second poetry collection will have to remain long awaited because 1) no publisher seems remotely interested, 2) I am too broke and cheap to finance a nice self-published edition, and 3) I haven’t even begun to assemble and edit my material, I was bereft of anything tangible to the poet’s table at Friday night’s Poets in Resistance reading at the Tree of Life UU Congregation in McHenry. Oh, I still have plenty of copies of my 13 year old Skinner House collection, We Build Temples in the Heart, but I have sold to or foisted on almost all local warm bodies who expressed the mildest interest. And then none of the work in that book, no matter how fond I may be of it, answered the need for the event.
So I decided to hastily assemble a mini-collection of just the topical, political, protest and resistance verse that I have dashed off with white hot passion over the last few months and posted here on Heretic, Rebel, a Thing to Flout. In about four hours of editing, cutting and pasting, designing a basic and cheesy cover, and drafting a bio-blurb after I got home from work on Thursday, I created Resistance Verse, chap book on the fly. I printed up and assembled about 25 copies on Friday, just in time to take to the reading.
|The Old Man reading at a Haystacks Coffee House Open Mic night and the back cover blurb photo of the book.|
The result is an 8½x11 inch self-covered 14 page staple bound book containing 10 pieces. Those include the three poems I read at Friday’s event—Tonto Will Not Ride into Town for You, My Two Cents, and The Festival for the Souls of Dead Wales/International Human Rights Day.
So here’s the deal. I figure the books are worth a good $2 a pop. I can mail one First Class for just under another $2. So let’s call it $4 and I will send you a copy. I will even autograph it unless you don’t want it defaced. If by some miracle I sell out, I can easily print more on demand.
Even simpler, I can e-mail you a pdf version upon request. I’m not even setting a price on those. You can send me what you think it is worth just kiss my ass and sweet talk me and you can get it gratis. Either way, such a deal!
And if you are a publisher or sleep with one and like what you see, give me a buzz. I have more than a decade of new material and some older, unpublished material aching, not all of it this kind of political ranting, to get put between real live covers.
522 W. Terra Cotta Ave.
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
And here is my salesman sample, just one of ten fresh poems.
|A Día de los Muertos ofrenda altar at Tree of Life UU Congregation. One like this inspired a poem.|
Space on the Ofrenda for the Dead Who Didn’t Matter
November 1, 2016
What can we lay upon the ofrenda
for the Day of the Dead
when we do not know a favorite food,
have a fond story to tell,
memory to share,
faded photo in a tarnished frame,
when we have already
forgotten the name?
Not someone we should care about,
no kin or clansman,
no old romance or childhood pal
no skin off our nose
alive or dead,
strangers to the party for the dead
on our altar and shrine.
No one, after all, who really mattered
we are assured
if a stray thought wanders
off the reservation
and feels a moment of
That guy, the fat father, car broken down
on a nice White road,
a real bad dude
to a cop in a helicopter.
Or the other one reading in his own car
in his own parking lot,
some kind of disabled head case,
drilled as his wife screamed
“He doesn’t have a gun.”
Or that Native American girl
in her own apartment with her
four year old child,
sad and suicidal
and obliged in an instant.
None of them mattered,
no concern of mine, yours or anyone,
all deserving to die
at righteous, blameless hands
for being Black or Brown
and a fill-in-the blank threat.
I have already forgotten their names,
if they had one,
next week you will forget
and there will be others
to temporarily take their places.
Why crowd our gay ofrenda
for the likes of them?
Well, if we really must,
just one marigold
over there behind
and grandpa’s airplane bottle
of Jack Daniels.
And keep quiet about it.