The Weekly Alibi is an alternative newspaper published in Albuquerque, New Mexico. From 1996 to 2000, it published a baker’s dozen of my poems in its annual Valentine’s Day poetry contest. It also published one of my haiku in its 2000 haiku contest. This week I’m posting those poems here on my blog. I’m not all that wild about them–in fact, some of them are at least a little embarrassing–but I’m not going to try to hide them.
Next week I’ll probably post my earliest published poetry, the stuff from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s. There’s not as much of that, and there’s probably not any that may be as embarrassing as “Capitano’s Romance” or “Personals: I Saw U” or “Invitation to the Ball,” the last two of which were winners in the Alibi contests’ “Why I’m a Pathetic, Dateless Loser” category.
“The Usual Story” is another of the stories I initially wrote about a dozen years ago and which was published early this year in Mad Hatters’ Review. It’s the last previously-published story I have in my inventory. Next week I’ll have to post something else. Probably poetry. There was a call some weeks back from one of my three readers for some poetry.
I’ll probably post all my previously-published poetry over a three-week period. Unless I chicken out. Some of it’s pretty embarrassing. No sense hiding, though. I thought it was good enough to submit in the first place, and it got published. Not in American Poetry Review or Poetry or The New Yorker or anything like that. I should be so lucky. It all showed up in little mags, some of which have long since passed away.
Words don’t often fail me. More often, I fail them. This week, I’m posting to this site a work of poetry I wrote six years ago, called The Book of Lamentations. I had previously published it to my Yahoo website in 2006, where I took it down after a week or two, and to my Joomla site last year, where I took it down after one day. It is a work which causes me discomfort. It will not leave me alone.
My background is military. I am an American. It is not my intention to make this website into an overtly political or topical site, but there were aspects of the American government’s invasion and occupation of Iraq which I found appalling. When George W. Bush and Richard Cheney were re-elected in 2004, I was moved to write what I thought would be a three- or four-page poem about the American servicemen and servicewomen, volunteers all, who were giving their lives in the conflict. I thought it would take, at most, a few weeks to write. It ended up taking nine months and going on for scores of pages. I stopped when I didn’t know what else to do.