Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Zeus and the Word Voltron!

So after a few months delay things are starting to roll again on my latest collection of poetry, Zeus and the Giant Iced Tea. Just a few days ago, in fact, I got an email from the designer who will be working on my book.

She had this crazy idea about putting a Voltron made out of words on the cover ‘with a zeus-like beard and possibly a mexican-like mustache, holding a beverage. Maybe inside a beverage?’ My first thought was ‘that’s pretty damn cool’ followed by ‘but how the hell is all that going to work together?’ So she sent me a sketch and I have to say it looks freakin’ awesome!

I’m really excited about it. Not only because it looks so damn good and hip, but how many other poetry collections have a giant Zeus Robot on the front with a Mexican moustache? Maybe only 2 or 3?

What I’m most excited about is how forthright it is in presenting what I really hope to say about poetry through my work – that it can be fun, hip, modern, interesting, funny, philosophical. Now this should not come as a surprise to anyone who reads, for lack of a better term, ‘underground’ or ‘alternative’ poetry, but to the general reading public poetry is seen generally as old, delicate and inaccessible. Publishers can get stuck too marketing to ‘poetry types’ because they are the ones that buy the books, however if you don’t break beyond that poetry never evolves, and we continue to accept and published the same poetry that still isn’t resonating with the wider world. I think that’s a disservice to the form, because before I started writing it I definitely fell into the category of ‘poetry is not for me, I don’t understand it, and won’t touch it with a ten foot pole except to mock its pretensions and phoniness.’

My point being, people DO judge books by their covers, and this cover promises to be cool and different enough that even non-poetry lovers will pick it up and crack its cover to see what’s inside. And if they read a couple of poems about Mexicans or robots I feel (hope!) they will see that poetry is bad enough to punch them in the teeth and buy them a beer afterwards. And even if they don’t buy the book that’s a success.

Of course, I could just be another deluded poet waiting for the ‘poetry revolution’. But, you know, we all gotta have dreams!

Look for more news about Zeus as it happens...