Reflections on a Discussion with Editor

I've been meaning to blog about this for awhile now, but life's gotten so complicated in a completely good way.

A few days ago, I met with Editor. He swang (that's a funny word) by my office earlier this week to talk about my manuscript, and we got to talking quite a bit about my book, plans, edits, and... poetry in general.

Apparently, what Publisher likes about The Garden Uprooted is how I handle the oh so delicate topic of sensuality. Why thank you -- I say graciously, though slightly uneasy with where this is going.

If you've been following this blog, you may know that I like to write, for lack of a better word, sexy poetry. It's fun -- there are tons of metaphors, the language is always intriguing, and when handled well, sex can be a great undertone to a poem. I like playfulness in poetry, that's my style, my voice. I don't write about "sex for sexy sake" though. I usually use sensuality as a tool to open up discussions, mostly about gender roles.

ANYWAYS I didn't think that was very ground breaking. I don't write anything explicit. I like to walk that line, to test it, to see how much I can get away while still being clean and academic :) :) :)

HOWEVER -- If you know Katie the Person (not Katie the Poet) you know I'm very... ah... squemish? I'm not shy... but talking about sex? No thank you! The word "penis" will induce heavy blushing on my part. Those sexy poems in my manuscript? I couldn't read them aloud with a straight face, especially because my PARENTS usually attend my readings. Editor (who knows me personally, a little) said he had no idea I wrote poems like this.

Yes yes... I reply, my eyes staring down at my boots, slightly ashamed of my less than prestine mind.

Well, I got even more uneasy when he told me that the poems were autobiographical, memoir, if you will.

Oh no! Oh no! Oh no! I protest.

I'm not the person in the poems! I'm not the person in the poems! I'm not the person in the poems!

LOL... oh boy, here we go again. I spent the better part of last year having this same discussion with Thesis Advisor.

And and and it even came up a few days ago with my online critters... that I am the speaker in my poems. I called my speaker a wuss, and then all of the sudden critters were jokingly telling me -- don't be so hard on yourself, Katie. All in good fun, of course, but still... that idea lingers!

Gwahhhhh! LOL. Persona? Persona? Persona?


Because I think of the speakers in my poems as PERSONAs, I feel so free to write whatever, to go there, to take risks. I'm not belting out my life story -- it's my speaker's life story. Sure, there are similarities, of course. But have I ever... oh... say.... had a miscarriage like the speaker in my poems? No! Had sex with an old man? No. Picked onions naked in a field? Oh heavens no.

See, those are my personas. I have quite a wild imagination, it's true. But in reality, my life is boring. Oh so boring. Oh oh oh so boring. If I were only to write poems about what actually happened to me, it would put everyone in the world to sleep. ZZZZZZ

But Editor tells me, after my rant, Katie -- that doesn't sell books.