Today, MoonPath Press is announcing the publication of my new book: Why Horses. A few days ago, two boxes, filled to brim with books, were sitting in the shade on the front deck. Woohoo!! This book is exciting for me, not just because it found its way to my porch. But because there are a lot of poems in this book, over 200 pages of them, and many years of work, writing, editing, revising. Also because Lana Ayers of MoonPath Press, publisher of Pacific Northwest poets, has truly honored my work, and I will always feel awed by this gesture. Sorry the photos are a little blurry. I was so excited, I couldn’t focus. Neither could the camera in my phone.
The title, Why Horses, is a good one for this collection. Not because the poems are all about horses, because they aren’t, though a number of them are. The title asks a question as a statement, and there isn’t a single answer for it. Instead there are hundreds of answers. Some of them are direct, and some more abstract, but always the poems are a horse: the real, the surreal, the metaphorical; the unspoken, those in spirit only, those in absentia; the humor, the trickery, and the innocence, and those that may replace a horse, if that’s even possible. That’s why.
This collection of poems is dedicated to the two horses who shared their lives with mine for more than 20 years—Flicka and Moby. It’s kind of funny that they both came here with literary names—Flicka, whose name I always wanted to change, but never did because she was so full of spirit there wasn’t a name in the world that would fit her right; and Moby, named after Moby Dick by a prior owner because she was wildly unbroke when I got her, and was really freaked out by things like a loose cinch as it barely touched her belly, and even by my chickens. You could say she was chickener than chickens, but you’d be wrong. She was wary and smart. I took my time training her, and she turned out to be a very steady horse with a good sense of humor.
For most authors, the arrival of books on the porch is cause for celebration, and I am no exception in this. Fortunately, Jim was willing to celebrate, too, so we had this colorful salad along with a glass of wine.
I won’t be doing a regular book opening reading for awhile, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. But the book is currently available on the MoonPath Press website. In the near future, I will try to record a few poems aloud and post them in video form. I’m also thinking of doing small readings for six or less people here at Egress Studio. I hope to start during late August or September. If you’re interested, let me know, and I’ll see if I can set something up that is both safe and comfortable.
Here is a photo of the cover…. The saddle is one of my old ones. It’s heavy. Like a Cadillac. Usually, I like to use a light one, one that is the next best thing to bareback, because you can ever only go as far as the horse will take you, so it’s good to give them any breaks possible.