Sunday, August 19, 2012
Welcome to the Skeeniverse
There is no money in poetry, or so it is said. And in my experience, publishers are reluctant to accept anything that challenges traditions or breaks from their narrow perspective of what poetry should be. But I've been writing poetry for more than twenty years. I have performed at open mikes in libraries, book stores, restaurant basements, community centers, bars and cafes, including The Nuyorican Poets Cafe and Bar 13 in New York City. I even did a few slams, though the concept does not particularly appeal to me. But most of what I have written has not been seen by more than a handful of people.
I tried to publish a selection of my poetry in book form in 2005, but the publisher was not forthcoming about their self-imposed limitations, and I was forced by circumstance to walk away. Ever since that incident, I have harbored in the back of my mind an inclination that I might again someday attempt to publish a collection of my work.
I have found a publisher which doesn't seem to be hampered by the same restrictions, but it is expensive to self-publish. Frankly, I don't want to go through the trouble and expense of publishing a brick and mortar book until I can prove to myself that there will be a market for it.
This blog constitutes my attempt to explore and develop a market for my work. My intention is to publish a sampling of new and older work here on blogger, so that I can find out what kind of attention my work draws. I am also considering using blogger to raise funds for publication, either overtly or by leasing out add space. I'm inclined towards the later on a limited basis, so long as the adds do not distract from writing and the blog can be kept accessible to the broadest possible audience without incurring any required cost to the reader. I don't know a lot about how all of that works. I will have to learn as I go. For the time being, I will have to consider the Skeeniverse a work in progress.
When I was a teenager, my buddy and I used to go into bookstores during our lunch period, sit down in the poetry section and just randomly pull books from the shelves. We would read to ourselves, and any time one of us came across something noteworthy we would share it with the other. This same sense of adventure has informed my life and my writing ever since. My hope is that I will be able to capture this sense in the presentation of this blog. Some of the work will be funny. Some will be sad. Some of it will seem simple. Some will be challenging, in any number of ways. And if I have learned anything over twenty plus years of writing, much of it will be inspiring, empowering and hopeful. My words are the vestments which adorn my life, and this is me laying them upon the bareness of the page...