Yeah, yeah… I know I said I was retiring — and in many ways I have and remain retired.  Our PoetryElyria series at Jim’s Coffeehouse wrapped up in April, our Avon Lake Public Library reading series wrapped up in May, and the final Lix and Kix Poetry Extravaganza at bela dubby was in June.  The last reading I gave of my own poetry was June 26th in the Toledo area, and besides our upcoming 100 Thousand Poets for Change event (September 24th in Elyria), I’ve been determined not to commit to any more featured readings or to hosting any poetry events for at least several months.  The reasons for this decision are legion.  My wife has had health issues. I wanted time to clear my head, recharge my mental batteries and finally finish writing my memoir.  I wanted to catch up on several years worth of video editing and wanted to get a few manuscripts of my own poetry together for submission and eventual publication. As a publisher, I was two years behind on my Crisis Chronicles Press commitments and needed to catch up. Plus getting a “real” job has become a more urgent pursuit.  I could go on.  I decided to “retire” because I was totally stressed out, way behind and getting further behind by the day. 

I continue to work on many of these things, but I’ve also gotten a lot done in recent weeks.  With four books out so far this year (the Fuck Poetry anthology, Transient Angels by Heather Schmidt, Fever Dreams by Yahia Lababidi and Blue Graffiti by Dianne Borsenik), the press is largely caught up and almost ready to take on new projects.  Geri’s recovering well from her surgery. And I now have four of my own poetry manuscripts in various stages of completion and feel good about all of them.  The first of these latter, Electric Company, is due to be published by Writing Knights by the end of this month, and I’ve been invited to read at what I guess is a release party of sorts to be held Thursday August 25th 2011 at bela dubby, 13321 Madison Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio.  There will be other featured poets and even music — and it should be a lot of fun, though it’ll be weird doing a bela dubby event that I’m not co-hosting. When I “retired,” I planned not to give any more readings until I had something new to read or a new book out — and well, that’s happened a lot sooner than expected.  Don’t worry, though.  I’m still not ready to schedule a shitload of new readings and resume the hectic poetry event pace I used to maintain. I’ve got a long way to go before I’m ready to even consider that.  But I couldn’t resist doing this one.  I’m delighted with Electric Company, hope you’ll like it, too, and am confident my friends at Writing Knights will do a fine job with it.  When they give me more details about the release event and how to order the chapbook online, I’ll pass them on to you.  Meanwhile — among other things — I’m working on three more manuscripts, tentatively titled Water Works, Chance and Go Directly to Jail.  Stay tuned….