My 3rd Chapbook!

Batcat Press officially announced their chapbook selections for the year, among which is my third chapbook, Where Nothing Can Grow, to be released this May.

I hadn’t intended to get another chapbook out so soon–I’d sent them The Whitest Sheets (my second chapbook) manuscript in June, and figured they’d rejected it since I didn’t hear back til December. Of course, it was already accepted by Maverick Duck Press at that point, but they were still interested in publishing me, so they asked to see another manuscript, which I happened to have, and they loved it even more (and I did too).

Would it be bad to say that this is my favorite of all my chapbooks? Not that I’m not happy with my other work–I very much am!–but this chapbook is really what I had wanted to publish in the first place but could never find a home for. A good portion of it is from my M.F.A. thesis, and really my favorite poems I’ve written.

All that said, I am definitely laying off the chapbook manuscripts for a while. There’s still a few presses I would really like to publish one with (Dancing Girl Press and Slash Pine Press) but other than that, I don’t have any plans to send out chapbook manuscripts for a few years at least. Plus, I probably should focus more on getting that full-length manuscript out there this year, before the little one comes and I have other, more pressing, concerns.

***

Here’s a sample poem from the collection {and also where I got the title of my blog!}:

What we have and why we have it
Because the full day is worked.

Because my hands are ink stained
from notes to suits from suits, and my heels
are chaffed by cheap shoes.

Because your stomach is cold
from washing dish after dish, and your hair
smells of food you didn’t eat.

And rent, with its baby
bird O of a mouth opens
each month.

Because we fill it, each mouth, each month:

We have the soundless stars and the moon
sauntering between them. We have this
bed. This darkness we can see in.

The grays of the night, the outlines of your face,
your hands. The sweat drying on our bodies.
The ongoing conversation that segues

And segues into what we cannot know.
This quiet hour between us, dove-colored
and blooming, the last we harvest.

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