What happens when you have a bunch of poems that you believed in (and believed) at one point, but no longer believe in (or believe)? I'm talking about a change of heart; not just outgrowing the poems, but no longer meaning them. No longer caring about what they have to say.
Is a poet obligated to mean the poems he or she sends out into the world, or reads to the public?
I never faced this dilemma until recently.
Perhaps I didn't have enough meaning to begin with back then.
I've probably mentioned that I trashed an entire book this past year. I made the Saint Monica series into a chapbook, but that left 50-60 pages of poems that I basically abandoned after publishing most of them in journals. People have been shocked that I don't intend to make those poems into a book. I don't want to, and it wouldn't feel right. I couldn't picture myself doing a reading tour with those poems in 2012.
Kelli has some fascinating posts about the evolution of book manuscripts. I know that I need to get motivated to work on assembling/sequencing/submitting my new ms, the one I wrote to replace the one I threw away. I wonder if I'd be more motivated if I didn't work in literary publishing. I wonder if I am totally overthinking this. I wonder if I'd seem so cavalier if I were a fiction writer. Don't they throw things away all of the time?
Not jellyfish, of course.