SELECTED SQUARES OF CONCRETE. That's the name of my new chapbook that I just finished putting together last night. I'm going to release it at Acentos on Tuesday if I can get it turned around quick enough.
"But, Guy..." you're probably saying, "You've written one new poem in three years! How in the world do you come out with a new chapbook?"
I call it the Dave Matthews approach: a mix of new, revised, never-before-released and old favorites. Some of the oldies have never appeared in one book together or, in the case of Sunday Mornings, never in a chapbook. The revisions, like 33-1/3 and Running Bases, have never appeared anywhere other than on stage. Basically, it's like a Best of...plus!; a Hits & B-Sides; a last hurrah, perhaps?
While figuring out what got in and what didn't, I couldn't help but think this might be my last chapbook. SOMEWHERE LEFT OF THIRTY - which came out THREE years ago! - was my favorite chapbook and included many of my best poems. The problem was it didn't include several of my early favorites, like Prodigal Son and Fulano. SELECTED brings them together and serves as the perfect coda to my poetry experience.
Poetry was never my preferred genre for writing and I got to the point a couple of years ago where I felt like I'd said all I wanted to say with it. My biggest concern was writing for the sake of writing and repeating myself, especially when it comes to topical subjects. There's nothing worse than hearing a poet you like do a piece and you find yourself thinking, "Damn, another poem about _______." Or even worse, "Damn, he's STILL reading THAT poem?!?!" I don't want to be THAT poet.
Of course, this doesn't mean I'll never write again. It's WHO I am. I want to do more feature/journalistic work as well as getting back into fiction. I've got a couple of novels in my head that have been begging for attention and it's time I gave it to them. One of these days, I'll go back to the screenplay that got sideswiped by poetry and revise the hell out of it. While I'm sure a poem or two will slip out here and there, it won't be my focus anymore. With copywriting now a part of my 9-5, keeping the creative juices flowing won't be nearly as difficult as it's been the past few years.
Anyway, here's a sneak peek at the cover of SELECTED.