HITTING THE WALL: I've been under the weather for the last couple of days now. Stuffed up, phlegmy, scratchy throat. I realized I've been pretty much at a dead run since April 1 and my body is telling me to slow down, get some rest, eat better, read a book, remember to say no every now and then. I'm heeding the call. Save for a dinner out with Mal to celebrate her 38th birthday, this weekend is going to be spent indoors.
While I've been on the couch, some serious work has been put into the new manuscript. Harper sent over her idea for the sequencing along with the suggestion to remove a couple of poems, and seriously think about the style and pacing of others. We've been emailing back and forth, had a couple of lengthy phone conversations, and each contact with her brings the collection closer to perfection (or close as I can get). I even stumbled upon a piece of art that would be perfect for the cover. In the meantime, I'm awaiting critiques from a couple of other trusted poets. By early to mid-summer, I expect to have this baby ready for submission...somewhere. I'm not even ready to think about that yet.
A month or two ago, I mentioned that my spoken word CD HalfLife Crisis is getting a new lease on life. It will be reissued through CD Baby soon and available for download at iTunes, Napster and other MP3 sites. The CD has tracks from both Better To Travel and Slow To Burn, so it makes a nice companion piece. Not to mention there's fab music from producer Denton Perry, guest vocals from Christeen Snell and a killer -- if I do say so mydamnself -- live version of "Why I Want To be Pam Grier" recorded in LA. More details soon.
I just realized I never recapped last weekend, which I think aided and abetted my illness. Poetry at Portfolio Center was good, but after the publicity blitz I was disappointed by the turnout. We had about 20, and Mike Dockins and Stephen Bluestone were fabulous features. On Saturday, I did a workshop for the Georgia Writers Association on blogging, MySpace, websites, etc. I was surprised to have about 20 in the room, especially since I was up against more interesting -- in my opinion -- workshops. I stressed that keeping up a blog is a commitment and it will take time from your day, but it's worth the effort. Post as least four times a week is my motto. Keep 'em coming back.
On Sunday, we had a Poetry Atlanta board meeting and said goodbye to Karen Wurl, who's moving to Michigan to get her MFA (we'll miss you). We're also got updated on the slam team, talked about our DVD project and another Java Monkey Speaks Anthology. Afterwards, I went over to Java to hear Tom Lux and Travis Denton feature. They were excellent, while the rest of the evening rather shitty. There was a homophobe who used the word faggot four times in his "poem," a militant black guy who thinks whitey is trying to put him back in shackles, a bitter poet who resents never getting to feature, and other assorted messes. Thumbs up to Kodac for putting these folks in their places with tact and humor. There was a weird mojo working on the patio and I was ready to go when Tom and Travis finished up. So I did.
If you haven't bought or downloaded Bjork's new CD Volta or Joan Armatrading's Into the Blues get your ass over to iTunes pronto. Brilliant albums. I'm guest blogging about both on a website TBA soon.