Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It's a gorgeous day outside and I'm in here slogging through the poetry manuscript of See How We Almost Fly, re-copying individual poems by hand into the files of my still-new-to-me computer. Yes, I know, I could take the whole thing down to Kinko's and get it put on disk and then insert it. But here's the thing: the manual re-copying makes me pause and edit, pause and edit, and surprise! I find clumsy lines, places where the poems go off-key, fat to be trimmed, etc. So it becomes, not just an exercise in retrieval, but renewal.

I was seriously disappointed when CSU Press rejected the manuscript for See How We Almost Fly for the umpteenth time. I've put heart and soul and more hours than I can count into these poems for seven years now. I feel like Jacob at the fucking well, laboring to win Rachel--was it Rachel he wanted? or Leah? Anyway, I feel like that poor dupe, laboring away and then being told, "Sorry, you have to go back for more."

But the thing is, the poems are getting stronger. And stronger. And since I'm signed up for a lifetime of this, it doesn't really matter when any particular book comes out (although it sure would be nice to have another one...right around NOW.) The poems need work, so I'll work them. As Lucille Clifton says, "Because I am Adam and his mother and these failures are my job."

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