As I hope you already know, I’m working with South African poet Yoshira Marbel to publish a collection of her work, entitled Unspecified. (I blogged about it here.) We’re getting nearer to being finished with the production of the book itself; I think we’ve got the order of the poems in place, the pages laid out, eBook formatting set up, front and end matter written, and I’m nearly done with the cover design. (I’ll post the cover soon.) It looks like the print edition (if/when we can raise sufficient funds to print it) will come in at 66 or 68 pages. (68 pages if I need to include an extra Special Thanks section with a long list of Kickstarter backers.) As I posted before, If I can find a buyer in the next couple of days for either of the paintings we’re using for fundraising, we won’t have to do a full-on Kickstarter fundraiser, which would be a load off my mind, and we could send the book to the printer next week instead of a month from now.
To give you some idea of what sort of poetry you’ll find in the collection (what you’ll be helping share with the world through your purchase of the art or, later, the book itself), I’m going to share a poem or three from it, along with the (current version of the) description I’ve written for the book.
A fountain of blood
Dancing on the crystal water
Darkness has destroyed the pain
End is near
Blood has released me
I picked that poem to start because it speaks to one of the recurring motifs of the collection, something also addressed by one of the paintings we’re hoping you’ll buy, ‘without you’.
We’re asking just $239 (plus tax & shipping) for this original work of art, and the buyer will also receive a copy of the finished paperback book. It’s mostly acrylic on canvas, though technically, because of the real razor blades which are cutting into (and affixed securely to) the canvas, it’s really “mixed media” artwork. The purchase price of this piece would nearly cover all the costs of publishing a print edition of Unspecified; close enough that I’d be able to send it to my printer immediately.
Here is the current version of the official Description we’ve put together for the book, a version of which will appear in the book’s listing on sites such as Amazon, or in eBook stores:
Young South African poet Yoshira Marbel experiences such a complex and profound state of emotional turmoil in her everyday life that it leaves even the most experienced doctors at a loss for words; their official diagnosis for her was ‘Unspecified’. Yoshira has invested years of her life in the painful struggle to do what her doctors could not; both in finding a path through the troubles of her life and in expressing her depression, heartbreak, emptiness, anger, and suffering through poetry. ‘Unspecified’ is her first published collection, exploring themes which are familiar to most of us, to one degree or another, but amplified through the lens of Yoshira’s honesty, intensity, and natural lyricism.
Here’s another example of Yoshira’s poetry, the first poem from the collection:
At least I have my faithful friend
He never leaves my side
Lays next to me at night
Wraps his arms around me
Holding me tight
Can’t break away
He is here to stay
My dear friend
The other painting we’re offering as part of the fundraising for Unspecified is a smaller piece which, in insufficient lighting, appears solid black. It’s titled ’embers of you in a sea of me’, and it’s also acrylic on canvas. This is the piece I’ve adapted for the cover of Unspecified, which you’ll see soon, and if you can’t make it out in the small image below, it’s a swirling black field full of tiny bursts of color (red, blue, and some green).
The asking price for this piece is an affordable $199 (plus tax & shipping), and the buyer will of course receive a copy of the finished paperback book. Again, while that alone will not fully cover the printing/setup costs, it’s still enough to get things started, and if you buy this piece, I can send Unspecified to my printer immediately. (And avoid having to do a Kickstarter fundraiser!)
Finally, I’d like to share one more poem from the collection with you. I hope you appreciate these poems and will consider contributing to this project.
Emptiness consumes me
An infectious disease
Depression in control
You say you love me
But you’re never really here
My dear depression
Like a rag doll
Thrown in the trash
See through my façade
I may not say this a lot
But I love you