Not Writing a Post

Just wanted to let you know that I’m not writing a blog post this week.

Most of my writing time this week has been spent working on organizing my poems.  I’m horrible at keeping track of what I’ve written and if I’ve posted them on my blog or not.  None of my poems have published anywhere but here.  A few of my poems I’ve read at church or at the local poetry open mic nights.  I have no idea which ones.  That kind of record keeping hasn’t been important to me.

A poem is an ephemeral thing – wind-blown and touching here or there for a short time.

That is until you think it might be a good idea to send purposely out into the world.  Say for an application for a poetry workshop or to a literary magazine (both of which I’m activity working on).  The people who run those things have rules.  Annoying rules like not resubmitting the same poem over and over again or submitting poems that have already been published.  Even more annoying, one set of guidelines I’m looking at wants recent poems.  Recent, as in the last year (good thing computer files have timestamps or I’d not even be close on this).

If someone asked me to describe my poetry or read say more than one of my poems – frankly I’d be lost.  Except for what is posted to my blog and two collection documents on my computer, most poems are just document files with no notes to indicate when I wrote them or if they’ve been used.  Even worse this week was that I found a poem that I’d handwritten on the back of a church bulletin – it had possibilities (I write some good poems when I’m suppose to be listening to the sermon).

Lately I’ve been thinking it might be easier to just write new poems for the poetry workshops rather than do the archeology on my computer to find recent unpublished poems.

And one other annoying thing – these days most literary magazines consider posting a poem on your own blog to be “published” and they don’t want them.  Which is why I have a few uncatalogued poems floating around my hard drive – clearly at the time I wrote some of these I thought of sending them somewhere.

Normally I get so excited about a poem that I just post to this blog and call it done.  Then a few days later I’ll think, “Darn, I should have sent to the New Yorker or somewhere and now I can’t.”

It’s something of a dichotomy in poetry.  One hand a poet is supposed to break the rules of language and poetic form to create new, inspired works, but on the other to get these noticed or published you have to follow a set of rules or you go unheralded and unrecognized. sigh…

Wow – did I just use the word ‘dichotomy’ in a sentence.

So here I sit on a rainy Sunday afternoon chasing around my digital records looking for poems I’ve written instead of writing a new post about something important.

There are so many good things I could write about today.  I could update you on my current poetry collection.  I did write a poem last week.  On Friday, Heather and I went to San Francisco to see the Gauguin exhibit at the De Young.  Yesterday it was warm enough to put a coat of finish on my bookcase and I cleaned the gutters.

I expect there is a lot I could say about cleaning gutters – lots of good life metaphors there.

Instead here I am lamenting my lack of file organization for my poems and you don’t get a post from me.

Sorry about that.  I’ll write something for you next week.



About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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21 Responses to Not Writing a Post

  1. Terry says:

    I’ve had a handful of my poems published, when I put a collection of “lake” poems together in a book length manuscript I purged most of my poetry from my blog for the reasons you state and started a log of those published. Putting 80 some poems into an order that showed artistry took an amazing amount of effort. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. CJ Hartwell says:

    I’m not writing a comment to let you know how much I enjoy reading about your thoughts and writing dilemmas. Instead, I’ll be sending silent affirmations to help you on your way. 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You did pretty well for “no blog post”. 😉 That publication ban is certainly annoying – I’m surprised they are so stringent that they won’t even accept something published on your person blog. Grrr. Good luck with the sifting and sorting!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If only we could post in invisible ink….

    You are in an interesting situation, Andrew. I found myself in a similar bind recently when I was perusing publishers for a short story of mine that was a continuation of a flash fiction piece I posted to my blog. I didn’t come up with an answer, and I’m interested to see how you resolve the issue.

    Good luck,

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I didn’t know published on your blog was ‘published’. I did that briefly for an early version of a few of my books but nothing since, and now I won’t!

    Good luck with chronicling all of your poems.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The guidelines I’ve seen are for full versions – especially poetry and short stories (where I mostly write). The smaller literary (University and other small presses) who print poetry want to be the one to find the next great poet. I kind of get their point, but it forces me to rethink what I post and my purpose for a poem or other thing I write.


  6. jfwknifton says:

    “A poem is an ephemeral thing – wind-blown and touching here or there for a short time”
    Alas, so are we.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Debra says:

    That is quite a conundrum if what you post to your blog is then not eligible for other publications. I absolutely hate searching on my computer for files I haven’t labeled well, and I wish you good hunting! And thank you for such an interesting and informative non-post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s kind of a problem, but then the odds of anyone but me publishing my poems isn’t high so not sure how much a loss it really is. I do need to do a better job of keeping track of what I write. I might not post again next week. 🙂


  8. Relax... says:

    Well, WordPress is not in the poetry-buying/anthology-caching business, so even if *published* here, your poems are still yours, so can you not just go to your Admin panel, select “Posts,” select “Published” and then filter by “Poems” — and then do a bulk edit: Checkmark each and hit the “revert to draft” button? That way, you’ll have “unpublished poems” to offer elsewhere, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I own all my poems. In general most publications only ask for one time publishing rights and the poet regains all rights after publication, but generally the lit mags that publish poems don’t like to post things that have been in the public. Anthologies are different – many accept previously published are a looking for poems that fit the theme of the book.

      I doubt anyone would publish the poems I’ve posted here so I’d rather let my WP friends enjoy them and while I could do as you said – I doubt it would worth the effort. However, some of my more recent poems are better so I might shop those around before putting them up here.

      So my plan is to just write new, better stuff and let you all know if anyone else publishes them.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ray V. says:

    For someone not writing a blog post, this was one of your longest ones that I can recall. Just sayin’

    Liked by 1 person

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