“I can’t think of a title for this fucking post,” I said.
“I think you just said it right there,” said Nimby.
I need to write a launch post for Poetry for Your Personal Apocalypse. But the trouble is, I didn’t get into writing because I wanted to “launch” things, so when it comes to this part, I never know what to say. Today, I will try.
The title started as a joke that only I was in on, an idea that came from watching too much Adventure Time and planning to attend a party on the night of the proposed apocalypse — Dec. 21, 2012, one of many misguided predictions. Who’s in charge of making these predictions anyway?
Well, I was dabbling in poems about the end of the world and watching post-apocalyptic movies and futuristic movies and weird anime, and that was faintly interesting but not enticing enough to write a whole poetry collection. Then, on the night of the apocalypse party, my husband and I learned our friend Pam was killed by a drunk driver. The next morning, I wrote “Crying for the Dead.”
After that poem, my focus shifted. I didn’t want to write a satire of the zealots’ destruction fantasy anymore. I wanted to get at what’s underneath, the real fear that has us asking every day, “Is this it? Is this how it ends?”
I wished I could have been warmer, kinder, more supportive, and more connected not just to Pam, but to everyone I’d met and lost along the way. I thought of all the girls I wasn’t friends with in school because distrust of one another had been bred into us. And I thought of all the suffering, fear, and loneliness people bear silently just because no one has ever reached out to help them carry the burden.
I know I can’t be everyone’s best friend, and the more I try to reach out to people, the more I find that I need firm boundaries to protect myself. But what if I made it my goal to connect with people in the most sincere way possible? Could I give them the experience of being heard, seen, respected and accepted? And could I open myself to being seen in return?
So, that’s how this poetry collection went from being a smartass joke about the supposed end of the world to being a love letter to anyone who feels like their world is ending right now.
I suppose it’s fitting that this post is going up on Easter Sunday, a day of resurrection and hope. Because here’s the truth as far as I can tell: Life goes on, and it is beautiful, and the best thing we can do with it is to support each other in whatever ways we can. That’s what this collection is for — to help you get through it.
The eBook is available through Amazon: Poetry for Your Personal Apocalypse
A couple of the poems are available here:
Crying for the Dead
My sincere thanks go to Margie Markevicius for her assistance with formatting the eBook and designing the cover. Her help made it much easier for me to complete the project and get it out the door where I normally would’ve hemmed and hawed about font sizes and line breaks for months.
Finally, a quick housekeeping note: This collection is only available digitally at this time. My hope is to create several related collections and bring them together in a single large volume, but I have no idea how long that will take.