My Chapbook – A Creative Project

My first chapbook. Just in time for Halloween.

My first chapbook. Just in time for Halloween.

I finally got my chapbook printed. I thought it was going to come out looking cheesy, given some DIY chapbooks I’ve seen. But the word processing aspect makes a difference, apparently. The printer said, “Oh, you did a great job.” I said, “Oh, really?” I didn’t realize I did anything special, just typed it up nicely. She says, “Yeah, you should see some of the stuff people bring in. This looks great.”

I told her I didn’t have desktop, and she said I didn’t need it. “You can use Word,” she said. “Just put it all on one document, and use page break to separate the pages. Bring it in and I’ll show you how to format it. You just have get rid of these,” she said, pointing to the paragraph symbol. That was pretty cool. I learned something new. Johanna, the printer, is a really cool chick. We’re about the same age. Don’t often meet women my age who aren’t old, tired hens, squares, or else fucking hippie throwbacks who don’t realize the sixties and early seventies are gone.

I’m listening to Joe Bonamassa on Palladia. I think Palladia is the best thing since the early days of MTV. Better, even. MTV is all crap now, but in the early days, it was the coolest thing since Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert and Midnight Special in the seventies. But they were live performance, not videos.  In those days, I was buried, I mean, married. I was in my twenties. I worked swing shift, and I got home in time to see the last half hour of DK’s Rock Concert. My ex stayed up waiting for me, even though he had to be at work at eight in the morning. Not because he worried about me, or he loved me so much. But because he was my lord and master, and he had to make sure I didn’t come home one second beyond the time it should take me to drive home. I was a keypunch operator then, when data processing used cards to feed into computers. (A job the ex chose for me.) I told him, “They should have rock and roll on tv at an earlier hour. Not everyone can watch at midnight.”And he says, “That ain’t never gonna happen! Stoopid!” We got rock and roll 24/7 on tv now. So much for “Stoopid.” Make that, “Brilliant!”

It’s  no wonder I’m so insecure, and I fret, and I procrastinate, and I think, “I’m not good enough,” “I can’t,” “It’s impossible,” “I’m stoopid.” Poor, pitiful me. Between the ex, my mother, and a couple fools I let into my life post-divorce–Freddie the Freeloader, and the Big Guy, who was a singer/songwriter (a very good one–great voice, great lyrics)–, and my not having enough sense to understand that it wasn’t about me, it was about them, I got it drilled into me that I’m not good enough. Except, hell, I know my poetry rocks.

The only fool in my life now, is my own self. I got this little voice inside me that shouts, “Who do you think you are?” I totally know it’s crap I was fed and I ate it and digested it and it became a part of me. I need to regurgitate this shit; I need a purgative.

I want to hold an event to promote my little booklet of twenty poems. Insecurity tells me not to, fear tells me don’t do it. I feel a panic rise up in me. But fuck it. I will do it anyway. I will do it for the hell of it. I’m very happy with how my chapbook turned out. I’m not a publisher, I’m an artist. This was a creative project.

Given this is October, and Halloween is around the corner, I will share this poem. It’s in my chapbook.


I do not need
your body.
I need your blood.

Nights I awaken,
barren of hope,
restless and thirsty.

When you sank
your teeth into my neck,
I did not think
you would steal my soul.

It’s too late.
It is done.

You fly off
into the night
and leave me here
with this horror.

I lie in this box
and wait for the moon.


About Poet Dressed In Black

Poet. Artist. Grammy of one, a granddaughter. Mom of three, son and two daughters, all grown. Individualist. Care-taker of Isabel, an agoraphobic, fear-aggressive, very nervous, delicate flower, Chihuahua mix.
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