Breach Birth is my chapbook of twenty-five poems, coming later this year from Propaganda Press. The title is supposed to be a bit of a pun — “breach” and “breech birth.”
This collection marks my return to writing after an eighteen-year hiatus as an ex-short-story writer, getting sucked into my new role as a poet after my previous self-image ruptured (the breach) — after job security faded, after discovering I’m effectively sterile, after being diagnosed with and treated for bipolar disorder — reborn as an verbal artist in the same awkward fashion that marked my initial entry into this world. (I really was a breech birth.) These poems chart my early growth as I rediscover my artistic voice, giving birth to creative works even as I confront my biological infertility, and obliquely reflect upon the choices I have made during decades of hypomania and depression. Moving forward though sometimes facing backwards, I’ve invested this collection with the energy of dreams refracted, redirected but no longer deferred.
All that being said, I do try to keep my themes below the surface. I don’t mistake my poems for confessions. No piece has been titled anything like “The Babyless Part-Time Worker” or “Ode to Abilify.” True, the last and longest poem, “Fatherhood,” concerns childlessness, but it’s much more directly an offbeat narrative about a slightly sociopathic alchemist’s experiments. “Flicker, Thud” conveys a little weariness and pessimism, but it’s really my attempt to channel T.S. Eliot. And while “Apotheosis” does delve into the creative process, what’s being created there is a giant ball of poo. (Poo, I say!) I write about hellish lunches with those time-share-selling touts who lurk in Las Vegas casinos. I write about time travel and Richard Brautigan in an alternate universe. I write about Facebook chatting and drinking 7&7s and floating tortoise piñatas. I write about all sorts of stuff in all sorts of ways.
The book itself? I just looked over the proof this weekend. (My editor/publisher leah angstman, by the way, did a great job of reviewing my language, providing suggestions, and formatting the whole she-bang. Thanks, leah!) As a chapbook, Breach Birth is adorably, affordably pocket-sized, saddle-stitched (AKA stapled), with a nice cardstock cover, and with a cool full-color illustration on the front cover and a few bonus photographs of odd things scattered here and there. I’m very pleased to join the long line of excellent creative works offered by Propaganda Press.
I think that wraps up my spiel for now. I’ll certainly let you know when Breach Birth finally hits the shelves and the online catalogs. Stay posted!