Posts Tagged ‘Poetry Books’

“All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.”
Oscar Wilde

I consider myself a poet and I can tell you every one of my poems stem honestly from my very being. These poems are not written just for the sake of writing poetry they are written because my soul needs to bleed, and the way I am able to express myself is through the art of poetry. I have never sat down with the intent to write poetry, it just comes to me without notice. I just need to be in a position to write it down because ten minutes later it will be gone. The way it works for me is I get to the point where my mind begins to swell with so many emotions the levees of my psyche just break down and everything just rushes out. This will last for three or four months and two hundred poems later my mind is put back together and everything is back to normal. During this “normal” period I couldn’t write a poem even if I tried.

If Oscar Wilde is correct in his statement then my poems are not poems at all they are just verbal vomit. I think perhaps if I sat down and focused hard enough I could write something based off my creativity instead of my emotions. My “Dylan Thomas” books are written in poetry form, yet stem from my imagination, but I am never very serious about it. I get a story idea in my mind and anywhere from thirty minutes to eight hours; I have written another edition to this series. I can do this, but I am unable to write poetry just for the sake of writing it.

I have gone back to read my most recent two hundred poems, and I have found some real stinkers (which were pulled from the final manuscript), but for the most part I feel I have created a beautifully emotional piece which is near and dear to me because it is in essence my turmoil which is put into words. I read some of them and I get shivers because I remember how close I was to the edge and in some cases ready to jump off the cliff. My family is unable to read my first book “My Descent into Madness,” because it stirs up to many emotions, which is why I feel they haven’t picked up any of my new books. I have had reviewers tell me they actually cried to some of my poems. In my opinion if my words are able to stir that much emotion then there has to be something good about it.

I have noticed and received similar feedback that my poems are rather raw and simplistic. Perhaps because of this simplicity I am not able to create masterpieces like my idols. I would really love to take some writing classes to hone my skills. I have no idea what poetry really is, the only style I know about is haiku. I think if I learn more about poetry and its styles I may grow to write better stuff.   

I have not been able to write any “emotion” poetry since I finished my book “Trapped Within My Illness.” My brain has just completely shut down to not only writing poetry but it has also crossed into my blog, which I have always been able to write regardless of where I am in my cycle. I am going to make it a personal goal of mine to try and write a poem just to write one and see what kind of poetry I create. I think the first thing I need to do is find a subject and just go with it. I am currently in my poetry hibernation stage so maybe this is the best time to do it. I think I have a about a month or two before my brain swells to the point of busting open again, so I need to be quick on this.

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Consistently Again

Your distorted astral plane of disgust

Broken porcelain dolls of death

Tears flow from rotten stench

Feelings of equal withered dreams

The path where you burned forests

Leaves nothing but tainted soil

Wicked words tear down levees

Ushering in floods of aggression

Creating water damaged minds

Too much pain is left

Monday mornings inevitable come

Relive my life all over again

Revised edition from the book ‘My Descent into Madness”

By: Tim Lundmark

Even though I know very little about it; I just can’t help but love poetry. I love the way I am able to express my inner most emotions and capture them on paper. I am not educated on what the various forms of poetry are; I just write. When I was younger I would write a few then toss them aside, but I would share them with very few people. I would get words stuck in my head, these words were so intense and jumbled I would have to grab a piece of paper and just write them down. I never kept anything that I wrote, but I wish I would have. I also used to write short stories, but sadly those were tossed as well. In college I would get stoned out of my mind and write some kick ass papers. I some how managed to get A’s on 95% of them. I really wish I would have kept them, especially my papers which basically got me kicked out of a Crown College (A private Christian school.) I only just started keeping my writings, and thanks to the wonderful internet I am able to share them with whoever stops by.

I was first turned onto poetry when I read the book “Where The Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein.  I loved everything about this book. The way it flowed and captured my imagination was fantastic. I vowed in my young dreamer way that someday I would write poetry that would appear in a book. My other inspiration which enthralled me was the Dr. Seuss books. His books seemed so magical. I wanted to write stories that emulated that certain flow which made his books so great (I sort of modeled my children’s books off his style.) I was later influenced by Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath, Jim Morrison, and Edgar Allan Poe  to only name a few. These inspirations made me want to be a writer. This was always a dream I have had, but never thought anything would ever come of it. It was one of those things you store deep inside. The only time it is mentioned is in a “wouldn’t that be great” conversation.

As I grew up I still held onto this dream of becoming a writer, but focused very little on honing my craft. I cannot remember the last grade I was in where I was really present and trying. I was a space case who cared little about school; because of this I learned very little about grammar and sentence structure which still stunts me to this day. I remember in fifth grade I wrote a short story about something or other. I handed it in and I remember the teacher making a comment about how someday I would become a writer. I do not remember this teacher’s name, but her words have been the words that have always kept the fire burning inside of me. I bet you she probably doesn’t even remember making that comment; yet I carried her words with me for twenty years, and it has given me hope.

So now here I am. My first book was published by a shady publishing house so I consider that work gone, and I do not consider this as an accomplishment because technically my book wasn’t really published. I self published my next two poetry books which is great but it is not the same feeling as having an agent tell you one of the larger publishing houses has agreed to publish your work. Poetry is a dead art form and there is not much demand for it these days. I think most current poets don’t even bother trying to publish their work; they are just content with it being on their blog, or on one of the many poetry websites. Seeing your work on a computer screen is nothing like seeing your book in print.

I haven’t been able to write any kind of poetry since I published those last two books I think that was back in September. I went through a similar drought after my first book got published. I think what happens is it is emotionally draining process. I tap into the sap of my soul and pour out the love and pain in my life. When I start writing I just can’t stop it is like one right after the other it is truly a magical experience. The problem is I just don’t know how good my stuff is. I have received a handful of reviews located on my website http://thephilosophyofme.com/book-reviews.html. One of my favorite reviews which aren’t located on my website is from Simone at http://spontaneousoverflow.com/wordpress/?p=1751, Even though this review does not necessarily paint my writing in the most positive light; I still seem to like it. I would love to take several writing courses at schools to hone my skills. I think my mind is a perfect tool it is just dull at the moment.    

I wish I lived during the time when poetry was considered an art, and heralded by the people. I have been doing research and literary agents will not represent poets, there is just no market for it. This sucks because I am currently working on three other poetry books, but I am getting to the point where I say to myself why even bother putting in the time for something that will never be read? The question I have is should I continue to work on my poetry projects or just focus on something different? I am really excited about my Tao Te Ching poetry book. I think this one will be my best yet, but should I even take the time? I really think the only way I am going to find readers is through doing live readings; which I hope to do my first few in January. I figure this will be the test to really gage if my work is any good. My goal is to get a local following, and one day become the main headliner, if I am able to do this then I can take some satisfaction that my work has not fallen on deaf ears.

Okay so I am working on this poetry book inspired by the Tao Te Ching. I plan on adding my own translation of all 81 verses. I am not going to alter it to the point where the meaning is lost; I am going to just change a few words. I am not sure but I think you need to alter the translation so you do not do any copyright infringement. So I am going to include the verse then after the verse I am going to include 1-4 poems inspired by the corresponding verse. I plan on self publishing this title as I did for the last two since publishing a poetry book with a publishing house is damn near impossible. I am enjoying working on this project because it causes me to look deeper into the Tao Te Ching, and develop a deeper understanding of the great Tao. I would like to include the first verse along with my two rough drafts poems to go along with it. Please any feedback would be helpful.

Verse 1

The Tao that can be spoken, is not the eternal Tao

The Tao that can be named, is not the eternal name

The Tao is both named and nameless

As nameless it is the origin of all things

As named it is the Mother of the universe

Ever desiring one can only see her manisfistations

Ever desireless, one will see her mystery

These two spring from the same source, but differ in name

The mystery is the doorway to all understanding

This doorway is the gateway to heaven

Lao-tzu

I constructed this verse with four separate translations. I added two things first I said “the Mother of the universe.” The original verse uses the “Mother of 10,000 things.” I have never really liked this usage. I believe the Tao is the Mother of everything and I believe she gave birth to the universe when the big bang happened. I was always turned off by the ten thousand things reference. I also added at the end “this doorway is the gateway to heaven.” I hope this will not turn people away from this book, I just think a few things can be added to explain the meaning more. Okay so now I am going to include my two poems.

Verse 1 Poem

I am unknowable

Unseeable

Yet I am in your thoughts

I am right before your eyes

Everything comes from my center

Just as the center of your chi

everything that has or will be is my essence

Let go and allow me in

I will show you understanding

Stop trying to make your life work

Let it be

Allow me to show you the Way

Tim Lundmark

Verse 1 Poem

I cannot be named

Try and I will escape you

Strictly desiring me; all you will see are things

If you choose to desire your possessions

And I will flow through your fingers

Be desireless

And I will flow with you

Stop trying

Simply allow

Then I will show you the mystery of the Way

Tim Lundmark

The tough part I am finding is capturing the main message of the verse in poetry form. I am not too happy with my first drafts and definitely feel like there is room for improvement. For now I am going to continue studying these verse’s and find the true meaning. I do not expect to find understanding within the Tao within a short period of timed. This will probably take me a year or so to finish. I just wonder since I am self-publishing if this is even worth my time.

I was talking with my mom last night asking for her advice, and to hear her comforting voice to talk me down from the mania I was in. I was having issues on how to manage and structure a certain on-going theme for this blog (will touch on this in separate post.) This complete lack in structure and organization was crushing my brain. We started talking about “Dylan Thomas” my children’s book series. She brought up a great point which has always been in the back of my mind, but I always try to bury it away. She said that I may have a hard time finding an agent because of the poetry books I have written, as well as the content on this blog. When she said this it brought my personal fears to the forefront of my consciousness. This buried realization along with my mania transformed into complete panic.

I am well aware the only way I am going to realize my writing dreams is through my “Dylan Thomas” series. Children books are far more popular than poetry books, and I don’t mean to toot my own horn but the two books I have already written in this series are bad ass. We have to read to our youngest for fifteen minutes every night, and I am always amazed on how some of these books were even published. My writing style for this series is poetry mixed with a Dr. Seuss feel. I felt I was 100% certain I will get an agent, but at the same time an agent may be afraid to sign me because of my adult poetry books and the content on this blog. I know when I first started writing this blog; much of the material was centered on my mental illness, but lately I have not focused so much on my personal struggles, unless I absolutely need to get it off my chest.

Like I wrote in “Piss Off Corporate America” I wonder if I have nuked the bridges between me and the possibility of being signed by a literary agent. If I send my query letter to them will they Google my name and judge me based off who I am, or will they judge me by the content of my manuscript? I am just sick with anxiety over this, because I can do nothing about it. I self-published two of my three poetry books so I very well could pull them off the market, but there is nothing I can do about my other one. It is already on Amazon, and has been the vocal point of various different discussion boards. There is also nothing I can do about what I have written on this blog. I can shutdown my account but I think everything I have already written will be here forever. Although this blog has a modest following I cannot imagine not writing in it. Oh shit I just realized I could probably change the author name on here! Do you guys think that is a good idea?

In the end my question is this. Do you think I will be rejected by children’s books agents because of my persona of being as my mom put it “a complete fucking lunatic?” Should I change the author name on this blog? Should I pull my two self-published poetry books for sale off the internet, or should I just use a pen name for those as well? Doing all this will require hours of work, so do you think it is worth it? Please feedback and answers to my questions are greatly needed so I can cure my panic.

Thanks

You can purchase my books at www.thephilosophyofme.com

People standing over me

My words

my words you did not see

Looking back you wish you found

To late

To late I’m in the ground

I could no longer go on living this way

I am sorry

I am sorry I disregarded your words to stay

My Family

My family I hate to see you cry

It should be known that I really did try

Children

Children don’t shed a tear

No more walking on egg shells

No more living in fear

I hope one day you see

This was my last good deed

At last

At last

You are all set free

By: Tim Lundmark

From “My Descent into Madness”

Today is the official release date of my new self-proclaimed masterpieces “Yin” & “Yang.” I was honestly worried these two books would never see the light of day. I wrote the last poem in “My Descent into Madness” in November of 2009. After I wrote “To My Children,” I was all of a sudden hit with severe writer’s block; no matter how hard I tried I could not write a single poetic line. I wondered if this was because I had said everything needing to be said. I was worried my voyage into becoming an established poet was simply not meant to be.

In January; I started this blog just to try and conquer my writers block. I figured if I did some free writing then eventually the creativity which helped me write “My Descent” would come back to me.  I wrote and I wrote about this and that, but still could not write a lick of poetry. It wasn’t until four months later I would finally find my voice again.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was visiting my mom during Easter, when a quick goofy poem hit me like a lightning rod. I didn’t have anything to write with so I just burst out this quick four liner. My family started to laugh at its silliness. I quickly grabbed my poetry journal so I could write it down. As soon as I finished another one shot into my mind, then another one, and another one. Since then the creativity has just ruptured out of me like a broken dam. This has allowed me to finish two children’s books, two poetry books, and make progress on my other projects as well. I am excited about these two books because I have decided to take the indie route. Here are the book descriptions and links to where you can purchase them. You support is much appreciated.

YANG BOOK DESCRIPTION

My life can be depicted by the Taoist symbol of the Yin Yang. The yin yang shows how in life there is a perfect duality; within the bad lays the good. My life is tortured yet blessed, engulfed in chaos yet somehow there is perfect order. For good or bad I would not be the man I am today with out this internal struggle between mania and depression, thus the YIN and YANG.

Yang is the light and love in my life. Without the light within yang my life would be swallowed up in bleak darkness. Yang feels soft and comforting. The expressions will make you long for the one you love. Yang will resonate in your ears as if the words I have written have come from somewhere inside your own heart and made specifically for your personal Yang. The words you will read are tender, erotic, and devoted and they are what represent the Yang in me. For those fans that enjoyed the political poems in “My Descent into Madness” will enjoy the political musings in each edition.

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/yang/13001638

YIN BOOK DESCRIPTION

My life can be depicted by the Taoist symbol of the Yin Yang. The yin yang shows how in life there is a perfect duality; within the bad lays the good. My life is tortured yet blessed, engulfed in chaos yet somehow there is perfect order. For good or bad I would not be the man I am today without this internal struggle between mania and depression, thus the YIN and YANG. For those fans that enjoyed the political poems in “My Descent into Madness” will enjoy the political musings in each edition.

Yin is the darkness and torment of my life. Without the blackness within Yin my life would be consumed by self destructive mania. Yin is cold and aches to your very soul. Emotions feel bleak and horrific; it will take you to a dark place deep inside, and leave you yearning for salvation. The words you read will be twisted, poignant, and cruel but they are what represent the Yin in me. In this poetry chapbook you will encounter my internal struggle to keep my shen from experiencing the reapers cold hands. It is my written feelings which keeps me sane, and keeps me alive.

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/yin/13001645

Now that these are complete I am going to come up with a set list and start touring local coffee houses to help get my name out there. If you are local readers and want to know when and where I will be performing shoot me an e-mail. I will let you know the details. Please use the links on this post to get directed to my Lulu page. I will not have links on my website until tomorrow.

I have completed my next two poem books “Yin” and “Yang.” I am only waiting on the cover design from my illustrator. These two books represent the yin/yang duality going on inside of me. It represents my internal struggle of the dark and the light living inside of me. I am excited about these two poetry installments. “Yin” is filled with darker poems chronicling my darkest feelings. Yin is my essence which is currently destroying my life. “Yang” represents the light in my life. This light is the only string keeping me from spiraling into insanity. I have decided to use my political poems inside of these two books instead of creating a separate book.

I will be self publishing these two books and shop around to agents after my next installment of Dylan Thomas is available. I imagine if I present four separate books to agents I may have a better chance of being signed since I have four completed books. For those of you who enjoyed “My Descent into Madness” I can guarantee you will enjoy these next two installments. Personally I think these poems are much better than the poems in my first book. These poems are still written with intense no holding back emotions.

Once I publish these books, and make up business cards I will be prepared to start doing poetry readings around the city. If any of my Minnesota readers are interested come check me out. I will be posting dates and locations on my Facebook page. I will let everyone know when these two books are available for sale.

“I hate writing”

Al Alvarez

Al Alvarez is a poet, writer of non-fiction books, and critic. He has published or been a contributor to nineteen books. He became a fulltime writer in his late twenties, during this time he was a poetry editor and critic for The Observer where he introduced the world to Sylvia Plath (one of my favorite poets) among others. Prior to becoming a fulltime author Alvarez taught at Oxford and in the United States. Alvarez was also an avid fan of poker writing two books based on the subject. 

This quote bothers me a bit. I cannot imagine someone who has realized their dreams, and achieved what many of us out there only hope to achieve. How can he hate what he does? My ultimate dream in life is to achieve what Alvarez has. I wonder if I ever do; will I feel the same way as he does. If you write for a living, over time does it just become “what you do?” I know there has been about three days where the thought of writing a post seemed like an annoying and daunting task, but as soon as I pull a subject out of my racing mind I enjoy what I am doing. How can Alvarez not be happy with achieving what many do not? Was this quote taken out of context and he was just joking?

I wrote a post a few months back “Can’t Take The Ghetto Out Of The Man.” I asked the question how come professional athletes just can’t stay out of trouble. I do not understand how white and black athletes cannot see what is right in front of them. They are the rare and select few who can say they are living their dream. I wonder if these select few would make the same comment and hate being a professional athlete. Many of these athletes have dedicated their entire lives to reach this pinnacle. How could they possible get bored with it?

Maybe I cannot comprehend this statement because I have yet to achieve my dream. Most nights I dedicate myself fulltime writing and pursuing this goal. I do this at the expense of those around me, yet I feel it is a necessity because something like this takes dedication not just a “oh I will do this once I have time” type of attitude. I want this so bad, and the time I spend on it shows. I would do anything to be able to sit at my computer during the day and write book after book. I do not think I would ever get sick of it because it is my passion. Just the thought of it now sends shivers down my spine. I can honestly say this is a comment I would never utter.

I am fully aware I only have a 1% chance of my dream coming true, but it is this 1% which drives me everyday. I do not think I am a very good blogger, but I do feel like I am a good poet. I also feel like I have a good thing going with the “Dylan Thomas” series. The style of this book is unique to other stuff out there. This could prove to be a good niche in the market; which may help me get noticed. My fear is my stuff really sucks, but no one has the heart to crush my dreams. I am worried I will get out there and do readings only to end up making a fool out of myself like those people on American Idol.

I am giving myself 5-10 years to achieve this. If I have not then I am going to just give up.  I am worried about the crash I will feel once I realize I have wasted so much of my

On Saturday September 18th “Dylan Thomas: Finds His Courage” was published. This is a very exciting time, because I have been working on this project for the past seven months and I am very happy it has been released. This is the first installment in a long series of books based off my son Dylan. My other two children will also be included in every book. This series is geared towards 1-10 year olds; the stories will be varied in topic subjects. One book can be about Dylan being potty trained and one about Dylan’s first day at kindergarten. I have already started working on the next book “Dylan Thomas: Bedtime Songs.” I have a three to four week deadline to have it written and edited. I think I can honestly hit this deadline.

This book has a nice niche in the market, because it is written entirely in rhyming poetry. To my knowledge there are not many out there following this format. The first draft was written in story form but did not make it through the focus grood. Many people thought the story was rather boring. I decided to alter the story to write it in its current form. This edition was met with praise from the focus group.   

The next step is to start marketing it. I was able to put a link on WordPress but it would not allow me to add the picture which means readers will not see it. I viewed my site and all I see is a small box with a red X through it. I doubt this will draw people to the link where people can purchase the book. I posted a link on my Facebook status message, but these status messages get lost in the shuffle of Facebook posts. I can not figure out how to create a permanent link on my account. I do have my website where people can purchase the book, but I have very limited resources to advertise this site, so I receive very little traffic.

I need to get my Philosophy of Me business cards made up so I have the option to strike up conversations’ and hand them out to drive sales. I know these business cards will prove to be valuable when I finally start doing readings. I can also place advertisement on message boards. Nicole has found many sites where I can get professional reviews from which would provide great exposure and give me more things I can send to agents after the next installment comes out. I am a bit overwhelmed with all the reading material to get this started. Below are two links to where you can purchase this book. I received a comment from Johanna asking to see a preview of the book, and that preview is offered on the purchasing site.

I hope to get your support, the more sales the easier it will be to interest literary agents. It would also help if you could post the lulu link and either e-mail to family and friends and or post the link on your Facebook and ask people to repost. This worked great for my previous book.

 http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/dylan-thomas-finds-his-courage/12677841

 www.thephilosophyofme.com