“Fox and Friends,” 2017, oils on 40 x 50 cm stretched canvas (sold).
I’m working on my second poetry book manuscript, Vagabonding. (My first poetry book is illustrated here.) I might restructure it completely in a next editing phase, hopefully before finishing it in August. But so far I have just rejiggered it slightly in two main rounds this year of editing, cutting around 50 pages and rewriting a bunch. So now it looks like this—
New Arriving, Europe (9—done, e.g., here). Was 10, now is 9 poems from London to Lisbon and Amsterdam, where I lived when I first immigrated to Europe in 2015. I’ve edited and blogged all of them, although there are a few that I haven’t re-blogged since substantial editing and a few that I know still need good writing or to be cut.
Finding Berlin, Germany (7—done, e.g., here). Was 12, now is 7 poems, about making my home in Berlin. Again all are edited and blogged; again I still know a few that want more attention or to be cut.
High Art (2 remaining, 6 done, e.g., here). Was 10, now is 8 poems on art. A few remaining to be edited into a form that I want to blog them, or cut if it can’t be done.
Back in the Colonies (7 done, e.g., here). Was 11, now is 7 poems on goings-on back in the colonies, mostly America. All edited and blogged; still a few needing another good edit or to be cut.
Back for Forwards (9 done, e.g., here). Was 19, and then I broke this section into two parts—this section and the next. Now this section is on looking back…
One Step Forward (10 done, e.g., here)… And this section is on going forward… And all are edited and blogged.
Relations (5 done, e.g., here). Was 10, now is 5 poems on family. Kill your darlings…
Nuremberg, 2027 (13 done, e.g., here). Was 10, now is 13 (mostly from re-ordering the manuscript). Envisioning future war crimes trials. All edited and blogged (in fact many more blogged than made the cut; so it goes. Forgive me for being drafty on the Internet…)
Vagabonding Anew (7 done, 2 remaining; e.g., here). Was 10, now is 9 poems on seeing my new Continent, mostly with my love in a camper van. I had blogged none back in January when I posted my draft Table of Contents, and now have edited and blogged seven; there are two remaining.
Newly Arriving Every Time (7; to be done). Was 10, now is 7 poems on happiness and home with my love in Berlin. I’ve still only blogged just this one early version.
Others (4; to be done). Was 15, now is 4 poems on sexuality, still all needing to be edited into a form that I want to blog them, or cut.
Sweet Home (4 remaining, 2 done; e.g., here). Was 12, now is 6 poems on being happy at home with my love again. Might combine well with the section before last. Yes, yes, that happens now. Now we’re back down to 12 sections. Good. And I can combine them so it’s 10 instead of 13, and then that might help me rewrite as well, the regrouping… Thank you, Internet, this helps.
Sweet Roam (2 remaining). Was 5, now is 2 long trip sequence poems. With many parts. That I’m still not sure what to do with, in whole or in part.
I guess I’ll wrap up the obvious—editing and blogging what stays from the last five sections—before re-printing the manuscript physically and/or re-structuring the whole. I’m such a Luddite when it comes to editing, especially larger projects. I really have to hold it and see it, to see it. But it’s good. I’m making good headway, and I like my work.