I just got published! The poem I posted a few months ago, “Lovesick Sonnet,” will be appearing in the “Best Emerging Poets” anthology by Z Publishing. The anthology contains a poem from over 125 poets, and comes out April 8 on Amazon. The publishing company reached out to me after reading a poem I put out way back in my college’s arts magazine. I always thought submitting for that was just good practice, but I guess you never know who’s reading it. I’ll post that poem, if I can find it, after this one.
I made quite a few edits, and I think it’s a better poem for it. I still think it could use a little work, but I’m happy to have it be published by a professional company. The next step? Writing something and actively submitting it professionally. Thank you to Ben Leubner (I wrote the poem that got me noticed in his class), and Zack Bean, who runs Opsis, the arts magazine at Montana State University. And thank you Z Publishing for publishing my poem!
Ten thousand stars. Ten thousand half-lit stars, shifting
In the dark. Ten thousand lighthouses flicker
Off and on in the dead of night, and
Most of them have already burnt out.
Not ours, though. I see two specks almost
touching, and boy do they sparkle.
I bet they first met some million light years ago,
And light bent and waves burst and colors…
Well, I thought I saw them. It’s hard to keep track
Of everything up there. I know I saw
Them once though, buried deep in dark brown. That
Tree trunk, planet core, elemental brown.
If I could bottle that look in your eyes,
I’d never have to look up again.
I just finished an audio project for Montana Wilderness Association called “The Trail of the Week.” MWA put a lot of effort into an online Montana hiking guide, and they wanted to produce a short radio program to draw attention to it. My job was to find 52 trails on the guide and turn them into 52, 1-minute radio episodes to air all over the state.
I researched, wrote, edited, recorded, and produced each episode. I came up with a format, created different seasonal intros and backgrounds, and mixed everything to fit and sound great. It was hard work, but I had the support and help of some great people. The lovely Michelle Nigh of Missoula Community Theatre did the readings of the trails, using her captivating voice to transport listeners outside. We also recorded at the Montana Public Radio studios in Missoula, where Beth Anne Austein operated the controls and helped coach while I directed Michelle. Jeff Rice, a Montana State University professor and program director of Acoustic Atlas, gave me permission to use his incredible species and environmental sound recordings. Finally, Kassia Randzio and the entire MWA staff suggested trails, contacted radio stations, scheduled recording sessions, contributed great ideas and feedback, and so much more. It was up to me to take everything they gave me and turn it into an accurate, polished, and interesting program.
Starting June 1st, different radio stations will air one episode a week for the entire year. When they hit the airwaves, you should also be able to check them out online at MWA’s website. Over time, MWA hopes to grow the program and add more trails, keeping it fresh and relevant; I hope to be involved when the time comes. Thank you to Kassia and everyone at MWA for giving me this opportunity!
We stop washing the company van and take a break as the rain starts to downpour. I’m the oldest shop boy at 23, and while the others start shooting hoops and slamming PBR, I sit and watch. They seem so self-assured. Even when they tell you, “I don’t care,” — which they do all the time — they do it as if they’re planting a flag in an unknown territory. “I don’t care. This is mine. Alley-oop!”
Earlier today I spent over an hour stressing about the 60-year-old mechanic being a better writer than I am. It’s not the first time, and I know it’s not the last. If I could just force myself to sit down and work on my future instead of worrying about it, I’m sure I’d be better off. I could be calm enough to make small talk, drink more than one beer, or actually write something.
I always think about what my life would be like if I had chosen a different path – gone to school out east or stayed broken-up with my high-school girlfriend. How famous would I be? How many women would I have slept with? I’m rich from inheritance, but still. The other guys are now in the zone, calling out coverage, wet t-shirts sticking to their shoulder blades. I better go finish the van — they’ll probably be playing for a while.