Since I'm a Man of My Word

I'm posting a tentative Table of Contents for a manuscript I'm currently tweaking. I spent some time this afternoon culling pages. All in all, as I've posted on Twitter, I've culled 30 pages and am left with 55 pages. Here's what I've got:

Tentative Title: Grace Equations

In Defense of Small Towns

Section I

At the Time of My Birth . . .
Ablation as the Creation of Adam
Self-Portrait as a Cowboy in Second Grade
Sticks and Stones
The Poet at Ten
Self-Portrait with Taxidermy
How I Learned Quiet
Insomnia as Transfiguration
Cussing on the Playground
Self-Portrait in My Mother's Shoes
Eschatology Through a Confluence of Trees
No One Sleeps Through the Night

Section II

At the Time of My Young Adulthood
Self-Portrait Beside a Dead Chestnut Horse
Self-Portrait with Schlitz, a Pick-Up, and the Snake River
Last Days
Eschatology on Interstate 84 at 70 mph
Eschatology as Cinema Verite
Self-Portrait on Good Friday as an Altar Boy
Once, Love, I Broke a Window
Self-Portrait Descending Slowly into the Atlantic Ocean
Instead, I'm Here to Tell You Very Softly
How You Came About in the World Bewilders Me as a Cherry Tree Flowering
Autumn Scene as Lullaby
If, Given

Section III

And When I Grew Up
Television as a Tool for Remission
Self-Portrait with a Car Crash
The Obvious
Ghost Hunting as Physiography
Eschatology in Five Acres
Self-Portrait as a Series of Non-Sequential Lessons
Self-Portrait as a Small Town
The Boy With the Fiddle in a Crowded Square
Colony Collapse Disorder in Honey Bees as Eschatology
Prayer for What Won't Happen
The Surgical Theater as Spirit Cabinet
Self-Portrait with What Remains


I'm fully aware of the fact that this version will change. Already I want to move the Self-Portaits away from each other a bit more. I also see that the transition between the syllogism poems and the Self-Portraits might be too dramatic.

I'm also not sure about the number of sections that I want to create. I have in mind a long poem for the collection, somewhere in the middle, so that may "blow-up" the order even further.

As it is, the collection is clearly a Bildungsroman and I'm not sure I like the simplicity of that fact.

Changes to come. You'll hear about them.


The quarter starts next Tuesday and I am NOT prepared. I had a Summer to prep for the Fall. For the Winter, three weeks. At least one of my preps is a repeat from the Fall.


Current spins:

Little Joy.

Oliver de la Paz