August didn’t live up to its name very well. It was a month of big change here in the world of Allen Taylor. To start with, the grandchildren have gone to live with their mother again. My hope is that this will give me more time to do the things that I enjoy doing, like writing this blog, writing and submitting poems, and completing that crazy manuscript that I keep having to push to the back burner.
I will still be involved enough that I will not be completely rid of certain interactions. I’ll still be involved in baseball and Cub Scouts and baby sitting the little red head who thinks I hung the moon. But as for refereeing spats between the two school-age children, I’ll leave that for their mother and her juvenile live in.
My wife and I have looked forward to being grandparents again for about a year now, and when it finally happened I started getting a run of bad news, which only served to steal much of the associated joy. To begin with, this blog started suffering from severe technical issues a couple of weeks before the children left us. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time working on fixing those, to little avail.
Then, on the weekend that we dropped the little ones off to live with their incubator, I learned that my last surviving grandparent – my mother’s aunt and adopted mother – died unexpectedly from an injury she sustained from bumping her head after a fall. She was 92.
Such events cause an overwhelming feeling of mortality – and fragility. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt more human than I did on hearing that the only grandmother, out of three, that I ever really knew is no longer with us. But I’ve always seen the final curtain call as just another event in this stage play we call life.
One day I was sleeping in a tent with my wife enjoying the rain pelting us from above and the next I was a few thousand feet in the air on my way to spend critical moments with family members I hadn’t seen in more than 10 years. In some cases it was more than 20. Thinking on it now reminds me of The Big Chill.
The juxtaposition of these two events in my life – the grandchildren, who have been more like children to us, leaving us and the passing of Aunt Bab, as we all called her – sufficiently distracted me from my day-to-day routine that I’ve found it difficult to focus on the details of my business or spend the time necessary to fix the technical issues related to this blog. Finally, I was able, just last night, to see to it that the blog was restored and made live again. Although I am not completely sure it is 100%.
In restoring the blog I’ve had to take some drastic measures, one of which was deleting all WordPress subscriber accounts. If you registered as a user of World Class Poetry Blog so that you could leave comments then I’m afraid you’ll have to re-register. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it was a necessary action. Furthermore, if you want to comment on the blog in the future you’ll have to login to comment every time. Again, I apologize for the inconvenience this will cause but it is a necessary security measure.
There have been times in the past month when I wanted to write a post to inform you of new web pages or developments at World Class Poetry and have been unable to. I will let you in on some of those in just a few minutes.
For now, I’d like to thank you for your continued interest in this blog and for those of you who continue to come back and read, comment, and needle me when I’m wrong, I am eternally grateful for your presence. This blog, I’d like you to know, is not all about me even if it sometimes appears that I think it is. I would not have a platform were it not for readers and commentators so I appreciate all of you. Please keep coming back and interacting.
As I approach this blog’s second anniversary I can now (hopefully) begin integration of a new growth and development phase that I’ve been contemplating for a few months. You’ll begin to see gradual changes in the blog over time as I make the move to a larger, more diverse publishing enterprise. I’ll be discussing this in more detail in future posts.
Meanwhile, what’s new with World Class Poetry? A lot, actually. For starters, I’ve added a new member of my team, which to date has consisted solely of I (and you thought there was no I in team). Jack Peachum is a poet who has been published widely in print and I’m proud to say that he is now writing content for World Class Poetry. So far he has produced three new pages for me, namely:
I think you’ll find Jack’s prose to be very readable and his knowledge of the subject matter unmatched. The information presented is still elementary. Many high school students use the site for research so we are trying to maintain a certain level of elementary knowledge to encourage more of this. However, plans are under way to include more in-depth material on the subject matter of poetry in all its manifestations.
In addition to Jack’s pages – and there will be many more soon – I’ve added some new book reviews:
And two new issues of Hyperbole have gone out as well:
Plus, there are three new digital chapbooks available for download along with the World Class Poetry Toolbar. Their titles are:
- Irreverent Twits
- The Heart Of A Sailor by M. Kei
- Dinkle Dorkle And Other Nut Cases
Finally, I was hoping to have this out much sooner, but as the story goes, life has its own plans.
I’ve performed my poem “Cigar” in video for you. It’s not much, just a little play with lighting and a scruffly, ugly face. Something I’ve been looking forward to doing for a while, playing around with video. I hope to be able to do more of this in the coming year. Meanwhile, enjoy “Cigar”:
Just one more thing: If the site goes down again, I apologize. I half expect it to and half not. If it does it will mean I have a database dysfunction. I’ve tested everything else. But if it does then I will do what I need to do to re-emerge and continue producing commentary on 21st century poetry. Bear with me and I’ll do my best to fight through the pain. With your help, World Class Poetry Blog will rise again and live forever.