ORPHANS & ALGEBRA
Just typed up the eight prose poems that so far make up ORPHANED ALGEBRA, a series-in-progress. I handwrote all the first drafts, and the handwrit drafts had been staring at me by my laptop for about six months. I don't know why I was so reluctant to type them up; I suspect because once typed, it'd be easy for me to send them out to publishers. Until this morning, I'd only typed up two--I sent the first to Fieralingue and the second to Tinfish because both asked for poems and these were the only unpublished ones I had. Then, I just typed up two more to send over to another solicitation from another poet-editor I respect and don't want to reject. With half typed, I just typed them all up.
They're now printed out...and I know that if I take those to Michael's math textbook, About California Math 1 by Ron Larson, Laurie Boswell, Timothy D. Kanold and Lee Stiff, I could easily riff off more to create a new manuscript. But I probably won't, for now...even despite some favorable reactions I've received for these early pieces.
People often ask if having a son influences my writing of new poems. I would have thought it would. But, instead, what haunts my poetry-writing are the orphans I met during the two-year international adoption process: the ones longing for a family. There are nearly 200 million orphans worldwide. They're the ones who pop up in my poems, less so Michael whose obvious relief and happiness don't aggravate the Muse.
But on the other hand, I've not rushed to write these poems in ORPHANED ALGEBRA. Everything is fodder, but everything is not just fodder. When it comes to orphans, I haven't figured out yet the second part of that (poetics) statement. That relationship, its algebra, is still over my head. (When I first wrote about adoption in THE BLIND CHATELAINE'S KEYS, later reprinted in THE THORN ROSARY, it was through the inaugural haybun which included this hay(na)ku:
Ars Poetica at Age 47
cannot become fitted
Even the Poem.
What I can tell you with more fortitude is that there is a clear demographic connection between childless babyboomers and "older" (over 6 years old) orphans, and that there could (should?) be more adoptive connections between the two. Kidsave is an organization unique for focusing on older orphans (a category for which it's harder to find adoptive parents)--check them out HERE if you'd like more information. They share information about kids in foster care, and also are just starting their summer program where they bring older kids from Colombia and another country (not yet known to me) to the U.S. to meet potential parents. Please pass on the word...