If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you likely know that I've taken a temporary break from those two tyrannical titans of social media. I did this for a number of reasons, but the break has given me the time and energy to bake (or half-bake, in my case) a fresh batch of poetry that is sure to tickle your funny bone, prompt you to do a bit of light soul searching or, perhaps, make you wonder if I should be on some sort of medication. These two new works (available for purchase Tuesday, November 11th) are digital-only chapbooks available to download in the PDF format. Along with the PDF, each purchase will include a link to read the work on Issuu, a unique digital platform that makes the most of the PDF format and is my preferred way for you to view these projects.
Pearl Dandy" is, for the most part, the poetry that I began to write after a lengthy focus on fiction (works yet to be published) and several years being tossed about in the chaos of being a stay-at-home dad. It's hard to tell you what "Pearl Dandy" is about, really. It's a miscellany of odds and ends, yet odds and ends that seem quite at home with each other. If there is a theme in the work, I'm too tired to see it. At best, it represents a moment in time and my state of mind in that moment. It may be the least "professional" thing I've ever put my name on, but that's also part of its charm.
It may be the least "professional" thing I've ever put my name on, but that's also part of it's charm."
"How The Story Ends" is an altogether different sort of animal. It began with me downloading Hanx Writer, a typewriter interface for the iPad. When I was a teen and first attempted a poem, it was on an old typewriter collecting dust in a barely used office in our church. I'm sure it was horrible work, but I liked the "clack-clack zvwip" of creation and continued to experiment on my mother's electric typewriter. Something about the new app (Thank you, Tom Hanks!) reawakened that excitement. One night a week for just an hour, as my daughter went through her usual routines and exercises in gymnastics class, I found space on a table and wrote. Finishing a single poem within that hour felt like a great accomplishment. I would reread it when I got home and make the necessary edits. A few of them will never see print, but the few chosen for this collection all seemed to connect to the idea that love…even the best, most righteous love that we, as mere humans, can muster…often fails to be the bright hope that we, as writers, tend to sell it as being. In the light of knowing someone so completely, shadows can grow. Secrets can corrupt. Sides can be drawn. Seams can fray and burst.
It wasn't a difficult feeling to tap into. We've all felt it. We've all known the cruel wound that can only be caused by those who know us best. It's a universal heartache, really. I'm a worrier, though. When I wrote "Underneath", I feared you would think me a monster for inventing a killer so cruel. When I wrote "I Am A Broken House," I thought you might mistake the fictional bits for truth and the truthful bits for fiction. Could "How The Story Ends" be my story? If you'd like to think so, have at it. The truth, though, is that it is only my story in as much as it is yours. We love. We lose. We triumph. We fail. We try. We give up. We've all been there. "How The Story Ends" is just my way of imagining all the awful possibilities that are never more than a decision away from becoming reality.
Secrets can corrupt. Sides can be drawn. Seams can fray and burst.
I'm doing something a bit different with these works. Each digital-only chapbook will be sold individually for $1.49 or you can purchase both for just $2.00. However, once you've made your purchase, you should feel free to share the files and links with as many people as you like via email or text. I'm even fine with sharing indiviual poems via social media sites like the aforementioned Facebook and Twitter. I only ask that you not distribute links or files of the complete work as that would affect my sales. But I'm interested in seeing it shared, perhaps even discussed. So, order one or both and share them with those you love. Maybe it'll lead to a discussion about poetry or, at least, a discussion about what-the-heck-is-wrong-with-that-Lemarr-guy.
Are we clear on the plan? Buy. Read. Share. Discuss. It's all optional, of course, but I hope a few of you will participate in the madness.
J. Patrick Lemarr