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Quick Newses.

8 Dec

The first run of my first book, How to Seduce a White Boy in Ten Easy Steps, has been printed. I’ll have books in hand in a week. You can buy them from me, or from my press, Write Bloody.

I’m competing in the 2010 Individual World Poetry Slam in Charlotte, NC, starting tomorrow evening. Wish me luck!

Love. ❤

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Tremors.

13 Aug

The strangest day came upon me yesterday. An enormous storm rolled into DC, including flash floods, lots of falling trees, and a day-long power outage in our neighborhood (other neighborhoods, mainly in the suburbs, have longer outages in store).

The good news is I had time left on my laptop battery, so I actually worked on my manuscript for four hours or so. It’s due Sunday, so that needed to happen.

The interesting news? I stumbled over an emotional rift I hadn’t expected. A rift, I managed to suss out, totally exposed – and potentially worsened – by the process of compiling and editing my manuscript definitively.

Why, I don’t quite know. Storms do bring out, yeah, elemental emotions in me, so it isn’t really a shock. But I had no idea working on a book would be internally difficult in this way. Let’s talk about some of the reasons this might be that I’ve come up with so far. The list:

1. The intensity of revisiting potent emotional landscapes, be they fiction or fact.

2. The pressure of having, for the first time, truly finished poems.

3. The inability to carry success with grace and forward looking – as opposed to guilt, self-sabotage and an overwhelming feeling of unworthiness.

4. The stress of the most serious deadline of my life to date.

5. My not having an entirely grounded space of my own.

Now let’s talk through each one (excuse me, therapy definitely affected my brainscape).

1. Those moments are potentially static. I can choose to visit someone’s grave, to tell someone I still love him, to perpetuate a difficult mystique of myself I harbor in my own mind, or to put off, or to let go. It doesn’t make my situation simple, but I don’t have to tackle every aspect of my life challenges right now.

2. Most writers hate their first books. This will probably happen to me, in some fashion. Poems rarely feel totally finished, but that doesn’t mean other people can’t gain a lot from reading them, or that I can’t gain a lot from sharing.

3. I know I’ve earned this. The year has been fucking overwhelming; a lot of great things came to me in a very short period of time. But I’ve been writing and performing since I was a child. So what if I see where I could still grow? That’s a good thing. That means I’m not finished. That’s what living people do.

4. I will get it done. It’s done enough right now. But I will get it finished.

5. I’ve decided I want to fight for the Chicago space I see in my head, the one I want. I’m not going to be bitter if it isn’t exactly right, or if it doesn’t happen. If it doesn’t happen, I’d like to try to stay in Chi anyway, and see a full year through. There’s potential in me and my housemates that I don’t think we’ve truly grasped as a whole, and I want to see that through. I chose to live with these poets for good reason. I also haven’t addressed the city itself as fully as I mean to, although knowing the extent of my introversion, I likely won’t ever be satisfied in this regard.

Yesterday was literally a dark day. But you know the adage. I’m glad I came to DC, for my sister’s birthday, yes, to see my family, yes, but also to be somewhere familiar, to take enough space from the questions in my head so I could get a moment to answer them. To give me a buffer between a few of the demons. This must be one of the main reasons I’m compelled to travel so much, and to love so many people.

*shrugs* I’m ready, y’all. My draft is due on Sunday. It’s going to be a book worth reading. And rereading. This much I can promise. ❤

The Good, the Bad, and the Chappie.

15 Jul

Hey Darlings,

Due to an unfortunate scheduling mishap, my Wisconsin shows are canceled for the indefinite future. Happily, this means I can actually spend some quality time at home in Chicago this summer!

In even happier news, my new chapbook is finished. I’m sending copies to the first wave of buyers tomorrow. If you want one, you can send $6 via PayPal (upendedurn@gmail.com) with your address. Or comment here and I’ll give you an address where you can send a money order or something. Get ’em while they’re hot, chickadees!

Chapbook! Whee!