i sent my manuscript to a few people. i am, like usual, consumed by self-doubt: it took a lot of mental strength to click the "send" button.
some folks are just going to read it; some will offer feedback. i asked those people to read the ms through the lens of these three questions/ concerns:
1. are some of these poems overworked? i think some of them suffer from my always-editing-disease. i'm thinking about the last seven lines of 'to alexei..." and the last couplet of "saint anthony's church" and the third section of "temple in a teapot..."
2. does this ms need a glossary?
3. does this ms feel like a weaving of two different manuscripts? i've tossed out so many older poems, and inserted newer poems. i think i've changed somewhat as a poet in the last five years. the older poems owe a debt to robert hayden, donald justice, gary soto, derek walcott, rita dove, david st. john. the newer poems owe a debt to c.d. wright, henri cole, bei dao, jean valentine, octavio paz. is the voice consistent? do the imagistic and thematic obsessions unit the older and newer poems?
maybe i'm asking the wrong questions.
the madness continues.