Finishing Touches

I spread out my manuscript on the floor this morning and re-ordered the darn thing for what appears to be the tenth time. I pretty much kept the second section the same, but I distributed poems from the third section between the first and third sections. I also yanked four poems from the manuscript because I was repeating myself. Originally, I stuck all my aubades there and several folks suggested moving them. Stubbornly, I had kept them there through this latest round of submissions. However, performing that little visual exercise I realized a difficult thing: even though many of those aubades are my best poems, they're not great for the manuscript. They're just so off, tonally, and to concentrate them at the end like that really weighted the manuscript down.

I figured that structure was a function of my not having a series of "devil" poems that I had recently written. Now that I've written those pieces, there's more of a tonal balance.

Also, words I'm no longer allowed to use: birds, song, moon, stars, heart, ghosts, breath/breathe/breathing. I fall in love with sounds and find myself using them over and over again, even though they're clearly abstract.


There's snow on Slide Mountain. Outside our kitchen window, it looks like a sugar-dusted scone.


I'm trying to talk myself out of wanting a Playstation 3. If I had a console gaming machine, I'd stop writing poetry.

Oliver de la Paz