Made In The Shade Vol. 1

Made In The Shade
Volume One

Made In The Shade, Volume One, Number 1February 1, 2022 [posted]

Made In The Shade, Volume One, Number 2March1, 2022 [posted]

Made In The Shade, Volume One, Number 3April 1, 2022 [posted]

And on the seventh day, I rested. Fourteen years later [1996] I’m still trying to get it right. As with sex, one is never finished.

This enterprise started out as a foolish exercise. I set the goal, one year to write a new poem every day, no matter what. The inevitable occurred: many of the poems were alike in the way that one day is interchangeable with the next. Unfortunately, I did not have the necessary obsessiveness to follow through and only about a third of the days that year produced poems. Despite my obvious lack of character, the poems I did write were peculiar and unique enough for me to want to do something with them. Alone, they were the endless (and annoying) yammering of the void. The swirl of their intent was unmappable. They needed context. This was provided by the literary detritus (my own and that of others) collected over many years and fashioned into a lump of undistinguished carbon-based conjecture which I could crush like Superman into a multifaceted diamond of wisdom and knowledge. The various scraps consist of random notebook entries, cathartic fragments of rain-obsessed, cabin-fever driven prose, engaging anecdotes of a literary camaraderie long past [the 70s], shameless, self-infatuated dialogs with myself, letters to friends, editors, and the dead, footnotes the exact opposite of their supposed utility, and the subtext, a chthonic Orphic river (like the one that flows past my window) that waters the roots of this unkempt, overgrown parasite (mistletoe) infested poet tree. Thus the title, Made In The Shade.

To unsuspecting Orpheus in the shade of the oak (or laurel), life is a breeze even though the wind could just as soon be a tornado that will rip anything its path to shreds. Those two side of existence breathe in these pages. Just when you thought the worst was over. . .there’s always tomorrow and its horrible or enchanting possibility. The splinters of consciousness underpinning this work are the accumulation of years of stray fragments and half-finished opera, dregs, jottings, and ravings. They surround and buffer the originality of the poems with their potential of further poems. Framed as a calendar year yet spanning more than a decade it flows as an underground river, its thread, a meditation on Orpheus, the original poet, very possibly the guy depicted on the walls of caves.

Thanks to my friends for their encouragement and concern. We’ve all been writing poetry for such a long time and we’ve arrived, many of us, at a place of serenity and fulfillment without the gaudy awful trappings of literary sainthood we all foolishly aspired to in our youth. We’ve learned what being a poet is all about, surviving by the skin of our teeth. This work is for all those survivors.