Fear, Trepidation–and Excitement, Too

Hello. I didn’t realize how long it had been since I last blogged. I’ve been writing up a storm, an).d experimenting with a genre that I love to read, but is new to me in writing. And that is short fiction. I’ve published an experimental piece, have a more “normal” short story which is due out this year, entitled WADE, and have another very experimental piece flowing out there in the ether somewhere. I’m still, and think I always will be, a poet first, but I really enjoy writing fiction, whether prose poems, flash fiction, or stories. I recently read a biography of James Agee: he started out as a poet, and everybody thought of him that way, but he found himself drawn to prose, and pretty much gave up poetry (although not completely). But he wrote all kinds of things, some of them not in any recognizable category. And he had a tumultuous, but totally committed life in writing.

But I don’t want to talk about Agee. Instead, I want to say that I have started working on a new book, and from what I’ve done, it’s going to be very experimental, but I think workable. Hence the title of this blog. I’m just writing, writing, reading tons, noticing things and so on. And I’m getting somewhere. Initially I thought it was going to be a book about Knoxville, TN and the surrounding area, but I’ve changed my mind. I spent three weeks this past summer in the Knoxville area, and wrote several poems about my friends’ life in that place. And then I wrote some more when I got home. I decided that maybe I would do a collection of poems on the area and life, but then that felt too confining. So at this point, I’m thinking I’m going to do a very mixed genre piece. I approach this (it’s been a long time since I’ve written a book), therefore, with “fear, trepidation–and excitement, too.” I’m still in the beginning stages (I don’t mean I’m going to write the book in order). So I’m writing pieces–prose and poetry–and making lots of notes and as I said above, reading a lot. One writer I’m reading is Thomas Wolfe (the one who died in 1939, NOT Tom Wolfe of electric Kool-ade fame), and I find him absolutely wonderful. Just this side of baroque and/or purple, but so rich and powerful. A movie couldn’t do him justice. I just read Look Homeward, Angel: oh my God! So next, after I finish the current issue of Glimmer Train Stories, I’m going to read (I’m not sure of the exact title) Time and the River (also Wolfe). And I’ve got tons of stuff more to read, and photographs to go through. I’ve also been reading the local papers that my TN friend brought up to me in January. Wonderful stuff! If you’re interested, I can tell you where to get an upright freezer that “runs good, but don’t freeze”. And it’s free. What a deal. Cain’t beat that with a stick. Only catch is you have to transport it yourself. Well, that’s okay.

That’s all I’ve got to say right now. I know this is short for me, but at least it’s something.




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