Wednesday, February 14, 2007

#136. Cloak of Shrouded Men, Poetry, Wrestling

Is this really to be the first blog of the new year? Can I really say "new year" any more? Two months in! I'm so ashamed!

The biggest news is that I'm in the midst of editing my first novel, The Cloak of Shrouded Men, which is of course a collection of the three Colinaude tales written during successive Nanos. Funny thing is, late last year, probably last November (before I'd written the phrase in Cotton's War I would subsequently adopt for the whole saga), I asked a Magic 8-ball if the working title I had for the time would be what it was going to be known as, and the ball said no. I guess I soon found out why. Funny thing is, I'm still set on the self-publishing route, even though I now know that Bart Gerardi at Paperback has two of our regular contributors lined up for the site's upcoming publishing line. The reason is quite simple, and it's not to slight Bart. Hardly. He's gotten me writing weekly for a website, for the public. I haven't been able to say that, well, ever. In college, I wrote for the paper, but that took breaks every time the school did, and I invariably wrote about prompted material, not what was important to me. At Paperback, that's what I do every week. Granted, it hasn't gotten me an actual readership, but I have no idea of knowing how big Paperback's readership in general is. I see comparable sites, and see greater complexity, more writers, and a larger potential readership. Maybe Paperback isn't at that point yet, even if it's been around for a number of years (I know because the review archive says so, and I myself have been around for about a year now). Or maybe it is and I just don't know. I do know that of primary sources of communication were cut off because of spammers, and no solution has been made since, and that was months ago. In some ways, it seems the site has actually gone backward since I got there, after an initial, impressive boom.

Which is sad, but my perrenial struggles with whether or not I'll stay have nothing to do with that. Them's personal matters, personal demons.

I've also got an even stronger determination to see The Jingle Jangle (my collected edition of Ex Patriot and Waking the Sandman, two collections of poetry I've written about before) published than ever before. I want to believe that I'm as significant a poet as I've seemed in the past, and as I feel I should be. (Every poet should be significant. If they're not, they're not writing to an audience. That's poetry.)

This is potentially the last month I see the girl I've developed a working relationship with, a struggle that turned on the basis (to some degree) on a TV show. Circumstances have consistently betrayed my intentions to see where else it could go, but I hope we can end things on better terms. By the time she comes back to the States, I'll be moved on as well, and I still have no idea what I'm doing next. That accounts for the two ambitions I speak of above, the desire to make a stand about what I've been doing up to this point in my life. I'm entering a new chapter once again, and I want to say that what I've been doing has everything to do with that chapter. I want it to be about what I've done. Invariably, I've been building with every other chapter. I'm ready for Act II, so to speak.

In wrestling, I'm excited that WWE is getting people interested again, and I'm gratified that it's Smackdown leading the way, since I've been its champion for years, even during the lean time when everyone else was calling it, at best, the B show. Well, guess what, Vince was right. He can support two brands. Three, even. TNA couldn't do this, not when it can hardly support one. It's about creating a show, not just showing someone's personality, or skill sets. WWE has always done those. But they know how to tell a story, and that doesn't mean just the talking. In many ways, Monty Brown/Marcus Cor Von illustrates this best of all (or Kurt Angle, mind you, since he's basically brought WWE to TNA, which is something none of the other transplant, B level stars have been able to, including two time champ Christian Cage). Monty was a poser in TNA. He had his stock phrases (including one for the finisher WWE still refuses to name, even though it lives on at the back of his tights), and stock poses. And he was always supposed to be someone huge, even though he never quite got there. Marcus, in the first match I saw him competing for ECW, looked quite different. He wasn't Monty anymore. He looked completely different, not anything resembling a Goldberg or Lesnar. He looked a bit like an '80s wrestler. How odd! Strip a man of his pretensions, and you discover what you really have. Someone who hasn't quite learned the ring yet (which I say not the denegrate the '80s, but to suggest what I've gleaned from my own experience, that wrestling began to look more real around the time we learned it was fake, which in essense forced wrestlers to become more athletic).

I'll leave the Monk at that. And promise to write back sooner!

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