It’s been another long time away from this blog. I’ve been busy, elsewhere, on Facebook, et al. I’ve been thinking a lot about practicing “community”; there’s that word again. There are the scare quotes, so then, the operative word should really be “practicing.” I am tired of lip-service community, abstract community, community as a threat. I wrote about some issues and complaints I have about community at the Best American Poetry blog for APIA Heritage Month, curated by Kenji Liu. Building upon my last Poetry Foundation blog post, I thought more about my complaints/grievances, what specifically has been eating at me. It’s what I’ve been calling the “narrowing,” and the dividing, both of which occur in place of dialogue. I don’t want to rehash here, as I’ve already written much more than I like to on the subject. So if you want to know what’s eating at me about “community,” please feel free to click on those two links above.
I’ve also been thinking about publishing and productivity. I’ve been kicking myself for my lack of productivity and this unsubstantiated feeling that I am a bit adrift; I’ve been sitting on my book manuscript. I’ve been thinking it’s as done as it’ll get (for now), and so why not send it to my editor, who knows it’s on its way to being done. I’ve also been thinking that I am not in such a rush or race to the next book. Why contribute to glut when space is the more desirable thing. A couple of things: I do want to continue savoring response to Diwata, as response does continue to trickle in, and these are always a nice surprise. Author Noel Alumit will be reading from Diwata for an upcoming Filipinos in Diaspora literary event in Southern CA. As well, I am looking forward to teaching Diwata this coming semester for Filipina Lives and Voices (AKA Pinay Lit class).
In the meantime, I have a chapbook forthcoming and I have been setting up readings. For the City That Nearly Broke Me is due out next month from Aztlan Libre Press. That’s publication worthy of mention, with booming, shiny blurbs from R. Zamora Linmark, M. Evelina Galang, and Allison Adelle Hedge Coke. I am hoping this chapbook, its production and release, will help me build momentum for the next publication, which will be the full length book.
Speaking of that full length book, I do want to look at it again. I recently read Red Missed Aches Read Missed Aches Red Mistakes Read Mistakes by Jennifer Tamayo, and something about this book — its sadness in places, its defiance, the fact that it’s unapologetic and disturbing — made me think my own next book needs another look see. Indeed, I need to nail down a title. I was set on Chorus, until I was informed that Saul Williams’s poetry anthology has that title. I need something more reflective of collective Pinay body and voice. I’ve been putting off thinking about it, this “problem” with title. I will “fix” this “problem” this summer.