2020 was an odd and awful year. Sure, my writing life went well, but what is that to every thing else we saw, experienced, learned and reckoned. I love Sagittarius A*, I’m proud of my little poetic meditation on the magnitude of existence and self, and I wish it had had a poem or two that were more…present/prescient. I dunno. I may feel differently in a few weeks.
So yeah. Happy new fucking year.
I’ve been writing fiction again. Very few new poems, even as I’ve begun a new chapbook project while I continue to submit/shop TWANG around to publishers and contests. I began about…5 fiction pieces, have finished one, but haven’t shared it with any beta readers yet. I need to sit on it, feel certain I want it to leave me. It covers familiar thematic ground, but in a way I don’t normally attempt. Who knows. Another piece has a strange, comic book inspired form and is fun to work on, but I’ve not been in the mood for a couple of weeks. T666p needs to go. I think after that we can all exhale, inhale, bust COVID, share some hugs and resume the work of fairness and social justice.
As you may have noticed in my work and maybe some past posts, HIV played a big part in my upbringing, creative output and queer development in the 1980s and 90s, as my uncle contracted HIV and passed away in 1992. Those years and the social/medical/cultural advances since have influenced my work in ways I don’t always understand or know how to channel. Especially the contradictory aspects of fear and recklessness that flavored my late teens and 20s.
That said, some recent work was featured and/or published connected to World AIDS Day 2020 and HIV Awareness Month.
First, I recorded a video of my poem “It Was Never Supposed to Be Ours” for the Mount Sinai Institute for Advanced Medicine for their virtual World AIDS Day reading. You can find that video here or below.
In other news, I have a lot of submissions out…just waiting. I’ve been writing a lot of new, unconnected stuff, especially poems inspired by lines in songs. Seems to crawling out of my nostalgia pit into which COVID pushed me.
A “final” draft of DEAD UNCLES is off to the editors at Driftwood Press. So excited to begin the book building process again. I’ll be part of Driftwood’s virtual reading on Dec. 18th. Details coming soon.
Mark Friday, December 11 at 730PM EST in your calendar for the official virtual release party for SAGITTARIUS A*! More details as our roster of guest poets, artists and friends comes together.
I forgot to post about “Wake Black” appearing in the latest issue of The Night Heron Barks! I love this poem, written during and somewhat about the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’m contributing some videos of poems to a couple of great projects. I have way too many submissions out to journals, sharing new work I’ve been cranking out the past month and half. Writing that Madonna cento made me start writing lots of poems inspired by song lyrics. I’ve been writing new fiction too, but the arc of fiction is much longer than poetry, even as the work feels easier and more fun.