Order Book here: https://www.nomadicpress.org/store/bonemoonpalace
Around seven years ago, over halfway through my poetry career, I had the horrible realization that all my truly original work was, for lack of a better word, a bummer. Not bad, just…REALLY negative. Everything was designed from the outset to be a “takedown” of some kind. I wasn’t looking for common ground or trying to build work that might actually give someone something to …hope for? Not that that’s wrong, but…I’m a dad who loves his kid. It would be hypocritical for me to pull a full on burn out.
This was worse than “writer’s block.” This felt a lot more like “moral bankruptcy.” If that sounds melodramatic it’s probably because it was really the bottoming out of a privileged mid life crisis that I had already been caught up in. Maybe every artist has to go through something like this at some point in their lives. I had to learn how to give back, to help others, after a life time of trying to figure out things only for myself to my very real detriment.
It turned out that having to re-learn poetry from doing the hands on work of giving back to the community was the building block that would hold me up while trying to climb out of a toxic mineshaft I had dug for myself. The book you hold in your hands now is a partial chronicle of the journey out of that psychic crater during the age of Trump and Corona.
I mean, it is still back there echoing old songs of the past. Maybe someday I can look at it a bit longer, from a safer distance, but meantime I’ve lost dear friends & family along the way, and not always for reasons I’m proud of. What I do know is that I would not have made it here to share this with you if not for JK Fowler and Michaela Mullin of Nomadic Press, Alexandra Kostoulas at the SF Creative Writing Institute, Kim Shuck, Lynn Alexander, Youssef Alaoui, Michael Annis, all my Beasties and Besties in Oakland and beyond, my parents and family, Lisa and Hannah.
I hope you dig the rants. Make no mistake: they seek to help you find a safe ledge while scrambling for a little grounding, to pull ourselves up a little more. Hang on…
pcr, late 2020.