Scrambled eggs and poets

Over two months of writing a poem a day

These are not scrambled eggs.

Have you ever typed a message into your smartphone and the autocorrect delivers an amusing sometimes intriguing option? That’s were the title of this post comes from. I was trying to text: scrambled eggs and toast please. Don’t ask. It’s been a long weekend, but I wanted to provide an update to a February post [1] where I detailed the number of poems submitted to publication and how many have been accepted. And the grand total is: none. I haven’t heard from all the publishers yet, but so far it has been rejection letters and emails. [2]

And now, scrambled eggs and poets.

It is a rare evening these days when I am able to attend a literary reading in my adopted hometown. The Juniper Bends Reading Series for May [3] featured Mandy Gardner, Collin Garrity, Rose McLarney and Jerry Stubblefield. I arrived late, but enjoyed a truly amazing reading. The highlight, for me, was Rose McLarney’s reading. It had been almost seven years since I first heard Rose McLarney read her poems at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center. And since then, her acclaimed collection of poems was published by Four Way Books. [4]

After the reading concluded, and this is where things get a bit scrambled, I waited with others to chat with the poets and writers. The longer I waited the more I wanted to ask her about the publishing process. How did she manage to get her collection published? What tips would she recommend? You know, all those predictable, pithy questions unpublished poets ask published poets.

And then, like Billy Pilgrim, [5] I sort of time travelled. No longer standing inside the crowded Downtown Books & News, [6] it was night and I was walking up Eagle Street toward Pack Square Park with a poet how was asking me, “How do I get my poems published? What tips do recommend?” With my experience in publishing, I began telling her any information that I thought might help. And then, as we were parting ways, I was telling her not to sweat it, “When the poems are ready, the audience will be there.”

And then, I time traveled back to May 2013, it was night again. I walked to my auto as a SUV full of kids drove by with the windows down. Their ruckus noise spilt onto the street. They slowed and someone threw hot pennies at me. They sped away. Why do kids heat pennies with cigarette lighters and throw them at complete strangers? I entered my car and drove home saying, “When the poems are ready, the audience will be there.”

More scrambled eggs and poets.

Scrambled yet? Don’t worry. It’s Monday. You have the whole week ahead of you.

Let’s do some more time traveling. Last year, I provided some teasers for an upcoming book. [7] The manuscript is nearly novel length and I’ve sought out a couple editors to assist me. Truly, this is not a story I wanted to write, but it has found me and apparently an audience.

NOTES:
[1] So far, I’ve submitted almost 70 poems for publication. You can read the details in the post: 50 poems in 30 days
[2] Why do poets write, if not to be published? These thought have occupied my thoughts since last week’s post.
[3] Juniper Bends Reading Series
[4] Four Way Books
[5] Everyone knows who who that is, right? And if you have to google it, just know that it is not the American folk musicians from Atlanta.
[6] Downtown Books and News
[7] You may read the teasers here

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