Poets Choice Publishes "Mystical Rehab and Other Occasions"
Poet and Poets' Choice Director Richard Harteis is pleased to announce this latest publication, "Mystical Rehab and Other Occasions." This collection represents two decades of previously unpublished works and poems written during a recent hospitalization in Mystic. As Joan Dideon writes, “I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not." Such poems help the poet "remember the man I am," as Stanley Kunitz writes.
"Some years ago, when I published a new and collected group of poems, titled, 'PROVENCE,' with blurbs from many of the archangels of the poetry world – Wilbur, Merrill, Swenson, Jacobsen, and Hirsch, Michael Collier offered an assessment, 'you must be very glad to have all these poems in print.'
"It sounded like damning with faint praise at the time, but the comment makes sense as I put together years and years of unpublished poems just written when the itch arose, before even the sun, and insomnia kept me turning an idea or line over and over in my head precluding sleep. When it was over, like a little orgasm, and the muse and I were free to retire, there seemed to be no need to do much more with it than tip it into an email for friends like Gracie, or Scott, or Nancy. Lately, such encounters with the muse were a kind of therapy, as I lay claustrophobic for a month in the Mystic Health and Rehabilitation Center.
"Collier’s injunction makes sense to me at this point in my life. Too many sleepless nights, too many metaphors and heart breaks and longings might be recorded if only to 'remind me of the man I am,' as dear Stanley Kunitz says in his poem, 'Touch Me.' And in another, 'I am not done with my changes,' he says in an interview with Charlie Rose on how difficult it is to write poems as you get older. The great risk is simply in repeating oneself.
"I’m fortunate to have a little press where I can air out my closet. Most writers have to curtsy and solicit the good graces of this publisher or that. But there is no shame in self publication. Who cares? 'I just keep writin em,' as my friend Gracie Cavalieri says."