Monday, October 10, 2016

Welcome to the Mind Dance!

Autumn and poetry.  The two have always been closely related in my mind.  Still, I have passed more than five years — each with its autumn — without writing a poem.  Several years before that I was writing only one or two poems a year.

I’ve spent the three most recent years writing and publishing only prose.  It seemed the rational choice.  I must show discipline.  Poetry must be set aside for as long as necessary.  As it was, the odds for success might be somewhat less than 50-50 even with all but perfect discipline.  Even then the indie publishing platforms available to me on the Internet must not contrive to reduce royalties or page views in any substantial way.  While such reductions were clearly likely to happen — given the accelerating trend toward shaking-down those who are nominally contractors for endless hours of sub-subminimum-wage work — I had to hope that the transition would wait long enough for me to establish a firm foothold.

Well, all the eventualities that had to wait didn’t.  All the transitions that needed to be gentle weren’t.  There being nothing to be done about the matter, and autumn being in the air, I return, after far too long an absence, to poetry, and wide-open windows, and blankets on the bed, and bicycle rides.  Fifty-eight poems that I have already had the pleasure of obsessing over, during autumns past, are now gathered together in my first book of poetry, Mind Dance.

The cover of Mind Dance features Spiral Galaxy M74, and is, I think it fair to say, all to the point.  I’ve chosen to strictly limit the time period covered in the book to between the Big Bang and the early 21st century.  The subjects range from subatomic particles to monks to punk rock singers to pirouetting galaxies speeding away from each other into infinite space.  The dimensions run from the pedestrian 2- and 3-D to who-knows-how-many-D.  In other words, these are poems that deal with more or less normal people leading more or less normal lives.

The personal journey that these poems represent has been fascinating and joyous, dysfunctional and deeply disheartening.  The wonder, the beauty were gifts the universe freely gave.  I could not otherwise have possibly afforded them.  The pain, the ugliness came at a steep price but were otherwise almost impossible to distinguish from them.  The strength the reader will find was hard-earned.  It is my hope that she or he will find some part of all of that in the experience of the reading.

So the reader will find neither Hallmark verse nor chicken scratchings, neither a giant Kumbaya nor an exhausted nihilist rant.  These poems are intended to be both joyous and realistic, as messy and as glorious as the human race.  They have birth in them and death and pretty much everything in between.

I have also published a healthy selection of these poems in Kindle format.  I will be offering that edition for free during the Virtual Publishing Party event.  All of this by way of celebrating the arrival of autumn.  I’ve stinted the season and myself too long.  It is time to put both prose and percentages back into proper perspective.  I need both autumn and poetry back in my life again.

I plan to continue the celebration of the incredible diversity of our universe and my return to poetry on the Mind Dance Facebook page during the days ahead.  It is intended to be something of a bridge between Mind Dance and the next book of poetry.  Everything that fascinates me and that might come together as a new poem is fair game.  The intention is to look on in wonder and to have a lot of fun.   I hope you will click the “Like” button and join that fun.

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