Today I received this beautiful broadside from Kelly Writers House, for my program on April 21. The poem, “Self-Portrait with Shop Window” is in A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems. It is one of the poems that was not published, indeed it was rejected several times. But I knew that it was a powerful poem and represented my work at its most complicated and so Dennis Maloney agreed that it should be in the collection And now, it is in Best American Experimental Writing 2o16 from Weslayan U. Press–http://www.wesleyan.edu/wespress/bax/ edited by Charles Bernstein and Tracie Morris.
Sometimes you have a poem, a song, a play, a book that seems to find no love in the current marketplace. It could be that your ideas are just ahead of or seemingly behind everybody elses. Who knows. But if you really think that poem, song, play or book is worth the talent, the time, the effort it took for you to make it–well that’s where perseverance is what you have to have. Poetry, art making may be easy for those who are clever, but for most of us it is challenging, enthralling, mind enhancing or mind blowing depending and you just have to honor that crazy love for your work and keep on pushing.
I enjoyed the way the Kelly House artists selected parts of the poem and highlighted its fragmentations. Now my home has a large and beautiful broadside of this complex poem. I love where it is placed in A Lucent Fire. I love that it will be in Best American Experimental Writing. I loved the poem has legs.