That's where I've begun funneling my creative energy the last day or two, and I think I've come up with a new project for Thread Lock Press: an illustrated chapbook of nine poems to be called Pastoral. It will be broken into three sections of three poems, each section ending with a triptych. This book will be a hardcover edition with illustrations that are a bit more integrated than our last book. I hope to have Emily incorporate paintings onto the same pages as the text. It will be another letterpress printing endeavor with the paintings printed digitally.
Here is the title poem (and first in the book):
The sky peppered with blackbirds
like stars of antimatter,
nooks where the night got stuck:
they are signs of a storm coming
like the old-wives' cows
sleeping in fields
with the lights still on.
The rural apocalypse
is a quiet one.
I'm happy to have another single word title--that may be a TLP theme emerging--and I've always liked the word "pastoral." It is first of all a general adjective for describing something as indicative of rural, countryside living. But it also has specific connotations as a noun in reference to poetry: "a poem, play, or the like, dealing with the life of shepherds, commonly in a conventional or artificial manner, or with simple rural life generally; a bucolic." Of course, I would never want to write something considered common, conventional, artificial or bucolic. But I think the poems in this chapbook examine strangenesses of pastoral life, sometimes grotesque, sometimes beautiful, but always with specificity.