Friday, November 03, 2006

I received my contributor copies of Yemassee yesterday. Hurray! I like the look of the black and white cover with a ruffled-looking little bird perched on a rail staring straight at you. I feel like my two poems are in select company considering that there are only a total of fourteen writers in the issue. I’m happy with the look of my poems on the pages except that they broke up one of my tercets in “Response to the Examined Life” so that two lines are at the bottom of the page followed by one line at the top of the next page. “Churchyard” looks fine.


Poetry is a human art, and we’re really talking about our lives, and poetry which is most readable is that which is most intimate and touching. At the same time, it requires a tremendous kind of craft to walk that tightrope of talking intimately about feelings or talking feelings and not producing a certain amount of gush.

--Diane Wakoski


I’ve been trying to come up with a better title for the chapbook I’ve been assembling. It was suggested that I look at CD titles I like and determine why I like them as a way to see techniques behind good titles. See the paste below from an email.

Here are some CD titles I like and why:

- Staring at the Sea: Creates an instant image in your mind and evokes associations with contemplation, eternity, danger, origins, and the subconscious.
- You Must Believe in Spring: Like the imperative and makes you question what you must believe in about spring.
- The Better Life: Makes you ask yourself what is a better life or "the" better life.
- No Need to Argue: Associations of peace and rationality.
- Californication: An invented word from California and fornication.
- Automatic for the People: Not sure what I like about this. It's a mysterious title to me but interesting.
- Screaming for Vengeance: Can't you hear the shrillness and anger from these three words?
- The Ultimate Sin: Makes you think about what is the ultimate sin.
- And Justice for All: Taken from the end of The Pledge of Allegiance.
- The Sinister Urge: A malevolent sounding title and makes you wonder what the particular urge is.
- The Headless Children: Works as a horrible image and as a metaphor for unthinking or lost children/people.
- Educated Horses: Interesting because horses don't go to school like humans do if they go to school at all, so you wonder if it is a metaphor for humans (I think it is a sexual reference to women in the context of the song or possibly a fetish reference).
- Ride the Lightning: Creates for me a mythological image of someone like Thor or makes me think of the violence of a thunderstorm.
- Brand New Day: Like the optimism of the title. Fresh starts and beginnings.

Like our talks about effective poem titles before, the above titles are interesting to me overall because they

- Create an image or sound
- Give you a command
- Make you think about what the title could mean at a deeper level
- An invented word that's effective and communicating something
- Are an allusion to something else
- Argue for something or suggest thoughts/feels through association


At 8:47 AM, Blogger Justin Evans said...

Receiving contributor copies is always fun. Congratulations on placing two of your poems in such a limited field. One of 14 really does make people pay attention.

At 10:17 AM, Blogger Gerald Huml said...

Thanks, Justin.

At 6:18 PM, Blogger Stephanie King said...

Thank you for the birthday wishes. :)


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