Friday, September 30, 2016

New Poetry Project: "Acid Flashback #2"

I’m transfixed in Tower Records,
all the CD covers dancing
like a thousand little TV screens.
Your whispers a remote control
changing those flickering images.

When security asks us to leave,
you drive my car as I slump
against the window.
I close my eyes and transport us
Star Trek-style to the other side
of the city. Blink once and we’re
back in the mall parking lot.
These are the nights
you love me best.

We watch Jurassic Park
in wide-eyed terror, cower
on the front row, your nails
dig into my palm, hold on
for dear life, as if those giant
Tyrannosaurus jaws might
snatch us through the screen.
We’ve already broken
the rules of time and space.
Anything is possible.

This poem is the second of eight new works that will appear at Modern Confessional and across social media until the end of the year. To read the first poem, "The Masquerade," visit this link. Find out more about the New Poetry Project at this link. ©Collin Kelley, 2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016

New Poetry Project update

As of this morning, the first poem in the New Poetry Project here at Modern Confessional and across my social media has been read an estimated 876 times. This number comes from adding up views of the post here on the blog, plus the number of likes, loves and shares on other social media sites. I think that's a pretty impressive number and encourages me to keep the project going through the end of the year. If you haven't read the first poem – "The Masquerade" – you can do so at this link. The next poem will be published on Sept. 30 and six more will follow until the end of the year. Once again, thanks for reading, commenting and sharing this work!

Friday, September 16, 2016

New Poetry Project: "The Masquerade"

Atlanta, 1990

The night we almost died,
crushed at a one-hit wonder concert,
comes back to me
when the club announces it’s closing.
An ancient excelsior mill
turned industrial dance hall,
I spent three years mapping
every dark corner, finding secret
places for sex and drugs,
dancing and stomping in a sunken
disco for misdirected youth.

I can’t remember who bought
the tickets for Deee-Lite, maybe Heather,
Tina’s momentary femme fatale,
but we marched up the creaking stairs
to Heaven, oversold and invaded
by suburban yuppies and kids.
The old floor cracked and gave
under unfamiliar weight. 

When Groove is in the Heart began,
I felt my feet leave the floor,
pinned between shoulders,
my glasses slapped into a crush
that inhaled and exhaled like an accordion.
I saw Heather go down, sink
into a sea of shirts and skins.
A year before her breast reduction,
Tina would wear scars across her chest
from being pushed over a barricade.

It was drag queen Jeff, who hated me
for sleeping with his ex, that saved us.
Lifting Heather over his head, clearing
a path as Tina and I found use
for elbows and knees.

The Masquerade – this firetrap
where I cried over boys, overdosed
in the overflowing toilets, gave
secret handshake hand jobs –
is becoming luxury apartments.
The hipsters and transplants
erasing history with their IKEA.
The night we almost died
buried under thick-pile, my map
good for nothing but excelsior.

*Excelsior: soft shavings used for packing fragile goods or stuffing furniture

This poem is the first of eight new works that will appear at Modern Confessional and across social media until the end of the year. Find out more about the New Poetry Project at this link. ©Collin Kelley, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Lambda Literary reviews "Leaving Paris"

There's a fantastic review of Leaving Paris today at Lambda Literary. Many thanks to Steven Reigns for his kind words about this book and the entire Venus Trilogy. I especially like this part:
To his novels, he brings the precise, detailed, descriptive command of language that poetry requires. Admirers of his poetry will easily find themselves enthralled in his fiction. 
You can read the entire review at this link and pick up the Trilogy from Sibling Rivalry Press, IndieBound, Amazon, B&N or your local bookseller!

Monday, September 12, 2016

New poems coming to social media

Beginning this Friday, I'm going to begin posting new poems at Modern Confessional, Facebook and my various other social media accounts. The plan is to release two new poems each month for the rest of 2016. I've been mulling this over for awhile, talked it over with a few fellow poets and decided to move forward. The question I kept asking myself is how many publication credits are enough? Over the last 20+ years, I've had poetry published in countless journals, magazines and online. Without a doubt, most people have discovered my work thanks to the Internet. I've grown accustomed to waiting weeks, months and longer for new work to appear in journals, but there is some work I want to put out right now. I don't want to wait. I was also inspired by an article in Publishers Weekly about poet Rupi Kapur, whose collection Milk and Honey has sold 450,000 copies on the strength of her talent and the following she built by posting her work on her social media. We all want more readers, and since I still have a fairly healthy amount of views here at Modern Confessional and through my own social media, I don't see a downside. That's not to say I won't continue to submit poetry to journals (I have three submissions out right now, actually), but I'm in the process of selecting the eight poems that will appear exclusively across my social media. I encourage you to comment on this new work wherever it appears and share it with other poetry lovers. As always, thanks for reading and your support.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

A new novel

Last week, I wrote the first chapter of a new novel about a group of underground counterintelligence agents trying to prevent a terrorist attack on the Louvre. The book's central character is Juliette Lacombe, who plays a pivotal role in Leaving ParisIt could be the beginning of a new trilogy or perhaps a series of standalone mystery/thrillers. We'll see how it goes. I'm also starting to sequence the next poetry collection. I'm not happy unless I'm juggling multiple projects. Ploughshares did a spotlight on Seven Kitchens Press and had lovely things to say about the reprint of my chapbook, Slow To Burn. You can read the entire story at this link.I'm reading new poems today at 3 p.m. on the poetry stage at Java Monkey Coffee House as part of the Decatur Book Festival. Come through! 

Collin Kelley: Modern Confessional

Welcome to Collin Kelley: Modern Confessional, the website for poet, novelist, playwright and journalist Collin Kelley.