Friday, January 02, 2009

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.


Collin Kelley said...

I look forward to reading it.

OBermeo said...

It's been great to see this manuscript develop and seeing the mechanics of it from afar. Kinda like when they pull the curtain back on the Wiz and we find out its really Richard Pryor--more dope than words.

All the best to you and the fam in the New Year.

January said...

Thanks for letting us see your process. Very cool.