Inauguration Day Poem

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
 — Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias

 

Digging Up the Past Turns 10 Years Old

10 years ago, Digging Up the Past went to press.  A week later (April 15), the first 99 copies were printed.

I have thought about what to do to mark the anniversary of my only published book.  Originally, I thought to sell it at a reduced price from today through April 15, changing it back on April 16.  That seemed like too much work, especially since the last person to buy a copy did so three years ago, and did it in person.  Also, I only have 12 copies left, five of which I have here in Seattle, and since I have thought about donating a few copies to the library (not only here in Seattle, but also my high school library and the library in the town where I grew up), that doesn’t leave me with many books to sell.  Therefore, I have decided on the following: I will stop selling my poetry book online after April 15.

The collection of poems that make up Digging Up the Past: Poetry from High School (1994-97) are some of the earliest poems that I wrote and are rightfully called juvenilia.  While there are some good poems in there (and at least one that may even be great), this is not something I need to push after 10 years — not after I’ve sold or given away most of my copies — not after I’ve already made back the publishing costs.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t buy a copy from me after April 15, of course.  So long as I have copies available, I can sell them.  Just that after April 15, I will no longer sell them through this blog.  You will no longer be able to click on the “Buy Now” button and deposit money in my PayPal account.  On the other hand, if I have promised you a copy, don’t despair: I still intend on giving one to you.

Much has changed in the last 10 years of my life.  I’ve lived in a foreign land, moved from the East to the West Coast, started this blog, found encouragement for my writing online, joined the wonderful world of Twitter, and almost completed my novel.  The only thing I know for sure is that I plan on publishing more work in the next 10 years than I did in the preceding 10, and when I do, I hope that those of you who read my blog are the first readers of my novels and short stories, the first watchers of my plays, the first admirers of my poetry.