Throughout this weekend I've been thinking about my current manucript-in-progress, which, depending on the day, is complete or in need of revision. I've come up with a new organizational strategy and two possible solutions:

Solution 1: Cannibalize Therapist with a Dream Inside for relevant poems for dispersement throughout.
Solution 2: Divide section 1 into 2 sections and append a new 4th section of an in-progess long poem I want to complete, but revise as a series of linked poems instead of one discrete poem.

Thoughts, thoughts....

Also, a horrific ear ache.


  1. Stop all that incessant ordering. Put them in chronological order and let them tell you what the proper flow is. It is most likely organic, or should be by this time, since you are at a certain point, maybe, in your writing career (I don't know this, I'm not familiar with your work), and since you write the poems one at a time and each poem informs the next. That's what I think. Yep.

    p.s Manuscripting??? STOP THAT! MANUSCRIPTING IS NOT A WORD.

  2. So sorry about your ear. My son also suffers from frequent earaches. It makes me want to come over there and mother you.

  3. HA! Yet another noun masquerading as a verb!

    Okay. I've eaten up all your comments space.

  4. Sorry about the earache. Have you tried a hot pack to the ear? Or Auralgan Otic (it's an over-the-counter analgesic ear drop).
    I'm with Rebecca: just write good poems, and simply put them in chronological order, or ask a an editor or poetry friend to order them for you.
    It's so funny . . . all this talk about ordering (your blog and others). . . when I read a book of poems, I usually just dive in and skip around. I almost NEVER read a book of poems in order from first to last. So don't fuss so much about poem order (my humble opinion)?

  5. Funny--I too read like Peter, diving in, flipping through. Feel a bit guilty for it--I mean, I went nuts ordering a 20-poem chapbook; I think hard ordering a 3-5 poem submission--and then whaddaIdo?

    Charles: you have introduced me to the work of D.A Powell, who I had somehow missed. Thank you! And it's true, manuscripting is perhaps the most horrible verbing I've seen. Why not manuscape it, a la Kyan Douglas? [wink]


  6. Hi Charles,

    This page might be helpful.


  7. Charles - I sympathize with you on the constant reordering - I think when you send your book on rounds you keep wanting to improve it. But it can drive you crazy if you do it too much. At times I just want my MS published so I can stop worrying over it and move on to better things.
    I have had recurrent ear infections and here is the best cure I have found - a shot glass of warm water, a pinch of cayenne pepper, a little lemon and a lot of honey (to disguise the taste of the cayenne.) Drink this several times a day. Don't know why it works. Also as Peter says, the hot pack helps too.

  8. Thanks to everyone for the advice and referrals!

    Rebecca, I will continue verbing nouns as often as possible. Although I feel like many poems I write are in sequence, I don't necessarily write them in order or in the order that makes them stronger.

    Peter, I *always* read books from front to back. I don't think the smallest unit of poetry book is the poem; I think it's the section. I enjoy books that have more of a conceptual framework surrounding them. I think this is because I confuse poetry and film. I'm interested in sequence and structure.

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