I was walking around the bookstore, heading for the poetry section, when I saw a book display. I recognized the book instantly, because I had seen a stack of them months ago at The Writing Center (in Bethesda). It was the latest book, of an instructor I had several months ago. Two Rivers by Tammy Greenwood. I felt proud of her and even happier that I had taken a workshop with her. It being placed right next to a East of Eden (John Steinbeck) made me puff my chest out even further.
Of course, I had to take a quick search on The Writing Center site to see if she's teaching another course...and she is... *joy*
After my groupie moment passed, I searched through the small section of poetry. Now, for someone who has written a considerable amount of poetry, most of the books I read are novels. Sure, I have several anthologies, and quite a few Nikki Giovanni titles, but my poetry collection is far from impressive. That got me to thinking "If I published a book of poems, would everybody pass it up to get to the fiction section?" They probably would, because I do the exact same thing...and I'm not the average reader. I don't know any statistics on it, but lets just say the average person buys 6-12 books a year. I buy at least 3 times that amount, yet maybe 2 of those books would be poetry. I'm assuming the average person either gets fiction or non-fiction.
I have to make a conscious effort about supporting poets. Makes sense, doesn't it?
I bought s√he by Saul Williams. I read the whole thing while waiting for my mother to sauna and shower at the gym. I enjoyed how all the poems seemed to be connected to each other. It makes it easier to swallow. You want to know what's going to happen so you keep going, just like good prose. Reminds me of a CD you can listen to from the beginning to the end without having to skip through the wack songs. I haven't picked a favorite yet, but I'll leave you with one that I'm feeling:
even my pen man ship
throws thoughts overboard
into a black ink sea
and how many thoughts perish
before they reach the page?