The new year is coming up fast and what better resolution than to return to the blog and get back to the dirty grit of poetic work.
2011 was a great year for me in terms of my professional development with a new title and raise at my non-poetry related job and, I’d like to think, improved as an all around normal person. Sadly, I don’t think I improved very much as a poet. I did become a better teacher of poetry and added some nice publication creds but I don’t think I got any better in my craft as evidence by the fact that this is the first time in years that I didn’t put out a chapbook.
The thing that real stings is how little I’ve come to care about the ancillary aspects of poetics—the readings, the hype, the drama, the talk and the angst of it. I find myself retreating when I hear about anything negative in regard to poetry which is so different from my younger poet self who would hear any challenge about my idea of an ideal democratic poetry state and respond with some deeply righteous indignation. Now, not so much. I still believe that poetry can transform and enrich lives but I don’t think that getting all confrontational and snarly about poetry does anything except make me a stereotype. And, more than anything, I hate being a stereotype.
The end result is an absence from this blog, the Command Central for that before mentioned indignation, and I think that absence has been one of my big mistakes of the last year. There has to be a way to keep promoting the positive aspects of poetry, performance and process without resorting to shock jock jabs and and snipes. Of course, the jabs and snipes are an easy form of writing so I guess I have to keep pushing myself to be a better writer.
Second big regret of 2011—a lack of any real reading. Yeah, I know we’re always supposed to be reading and a “true poet” is knee deep in three books and yadda, yadda, yadda but I’ve put so much energy into getting ahead at my paying job and also working hard at some side poetry gigs that I find myself mentally and emotionally exhausted with any remaining energy going towards staying physically fit. Segue: I worked out 102 times this last year and feel as strong as ever. End congratulatory side.
Well, what to do in the New Year? Make some positive changes and let that change start with reading some good books. Not just poetry but also more full novels, graphic novels, real sci-fi and maybe a bio or two. Keeping up with movie obsession is a good compliment so my main resolution is to commit to the Fifty Fifty Challenge of 50 new books and 50 new movies in 2012. Sound interesting? You can sign up over at www.fiftyfifty.me a great website set up by author Jon Yang.
All throughout, I’ll be documenting those new books and movies here on the blog, keep up getting better at my job, try out some new recipes, make sure to get in another 100+ workouts this year and, best believe, continue to revise and improve my manuscript for publication.
Peace out 2011 and big ups to 2012.