pokey gets a yes

shifting sand

I’m treading the edge here, a line that shifts beneath my bare feet, salt and wrack swirling around  my ankles. I’m noticing how it’s not just me that’s shifting, not just one edge but all edge, overlap and flip-flop, blurring and gradation.

I believe this lack of faith in permanence may be what’s called an adult view, but I’m just guessing.

Which is kind of the point, if a point can be made to stand still: nothing’s really solid, everything is subject to change, perspective reigns supreme, there’s no such thing as good, better or best, there is no judge,

instead there are stars, in alignment or not, burning bright or burning out. Instead there’s weather, unequally apportioned and never when you need it or sometimes when you need it most: five days of rain interrupted by three hours of sunshine just in time for six 10 year-old boys to race around the yard pelting each other with Nerf bullets. Mama is so grateful. Thanks are given, alliances shift and it pours rain again.

But thanks for that three hours. And thanks for all the green.

all the green

I know a lot of folks who could use a yes right now; Pokey’s one of them, and gets to share her yes with you, being that my second book of poems is coming out. It’s been taken, meaning, I get to give it away, send it out into the world with a raincoat but no cab fare. Bye, don’t forget to write.

I mean that literally.

Those of you who visit Pokey regularly know she’d hesitate to use the word “journey,” as in, it’s been quite a journey: making this book, revising it, sending it out. She might say what a long, strange trip it’s been, except she’s way more into punk and funk than Dead.

If Pokey did use the word “journey,” however, she would say that this book is extra special to her, because it spans that lengthy patch of bumpy road that Pokey traversed after her children were born, and her parents passed away, and she walked around and around in circles kicking at dirt, trying to figure out what she was supposed to be doing NOW.

spiral jetty

Instead she’ll say Hallelujah and thank the guiddesses for smiling down on her. Because a boatload of talented poets are out there, trying to publish their books, and there’s just no saying what betokens a yea and what a nay. At least no logic Pokey’s been able to crack.

I’ve had my share of no’s on this book, plenty of near-misses and almosts. I’ve decided several times that no one cared or would ever care. I stopped sending it out for long stretches when I just couldn’t bear another rejection. And now that my book has been “accepted” and will move into the next, public phase, Pokey’s having her usual mixed reaction: fear and adrenaline mixing it up.

Ambivalence aside, Pokey is grateful, and excited. The book is called, “Grass Whistle,” and it’s being published in Fall 2012 by an Irish press, Salmon Poetry, headed up by a lovely woman, Jessie Lendennie. Jessie found me (she found me!) when putting together the Dogs Singing anthology Salmon published. And when she discovered I had a second manuscript cooling its heels, she took that, too. The book comes out first in Ireland and the UK and then in the US. I’ll let you know more when we’re closer to the pub date. But if you have any fabulous ideas for readings and festivals and such, send Pokey a message. I want to be creative about this whole reading tour thing. I want to connect!

In the (wonderful, you must see this!) film “Who Does She Think She Is?” one of the women artists tells the interviewer that as mothers AND we must keep going at all costs. I have an artist friend who I saw the movie with and it’s what we say to each other now. We write it on postcards and in emails and we say it to each other like a mantra.  Pokey is telling you, too, reader, because I want you to believe.

Whatever it is you’re dreaming on and however much the ground shifts beneath your feet, don’t stop, keep going, never give up.

14 thoughts on “pokey gets a yes

  1. Meg says:

    So happy for you, my talented friend!

  2. Suzanne says:

    Whoa there, Pokey! That is FANTASTIC! As you can see, I’m a bit behind in my e-mail reading, so I am sorry not to congratulate you sooner! Bravo! I am proud to be your friend! As for creative ideas….hmmm… I like the Irish connection. Maybe a drunken Irish pub type poetry reading with cryers and brawlers and such. Oh, I am so happy for you! Love,
    suzanne

    • pokey mama says:

      Definitely the brawlers! And don’t worry about being “behind;” the frequency (or lack of) Pokey posts is designed for the overly busy–which is just about everyone I know.

  3. Lauren says:

    YAHOO _ YIPEE so glad the universe sees fit to offer you a yes…for a change…it gives hope to all. Can’t wait to read it – see you “speak” it etc etc. thanks for keeping on at all costs you are an inspiration!

  4. Rachael says:

    Congratulations! Hurrah, hurrah!

    I am a new reader to your blog, which Seonaid, AKA “The Practical Dilettante,” recommended to me.

    And what would you guess that I *just* received in the mail from Netflix — about two hours ago, in fact? Why, Who Does She Think She Is. A perfectly timed arrival, actually, due to other goings-on in my life just now.

    Thanks for the words of encouragement.

  5. Maya says:

    Yabba-dabba-doo! I will happily accompany you to Dublin for the book launch.

  6. Pam says:

    Amy! Congratulations on your forthcoming book. That’s just plain great. You rock!

  7. Bettie says:

    Congratulations Amy! Imagine starting your tour in Ireland….
    And thanks for the inspiration to keep going.

  8. katrocada says:

    My goodness – what other comment could I leave before my congratulations? This is simply wonderful. Good for you!! And your writing, I have to say, is good for me, and many others. This post resonates with me. I’m hearing you. And I’ll take your call to believe in the promise of “yes” and share it with someone I know.

  9. Jeneva says:

    Hurray!!! I’m so happy for you! Can’t wait to read it!

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