The "Greatest Hits Series" is part of a national archiving of American poets, a project by Pudding House, its editor, Jennifer Bosveld and staff. One must be nominated by another American poet in order to send in 12 of one's own favorite poems. Pudding House is not obligated to publish the twelve poems at that time, however, unless they meet the press's standards for publication. I chose poems both comedic and serious, and some downright southern romps for this collection. All collections begin with an essay, by the author. Mine is entitled "In Search of the Real Bakery Marzipan." This title was taken from my poem "A Prayer Far Beyond Poetry," in which I deal with the question of life vs art. In the poem, I plead, "Put the real bakery marzipan frosting on my tongue,/And shut up, darling."
Bonnie gives an overview of the book:
Epilogue of "A Prayer Far Beyond Poetry"
"I love" is not love;
"I want" is not desire;
a man in an asylum seeking a private corner
is much more than the word "need."
Love can be one who washes your feet.
A Lionel Caboose a little boy's desire.
Need is the concealed woman at the dry well.
Is there a man in a white robe who dances on the desert?
Yes, but he has only a word, a promise, a name,
which is Lawrence or Moses or Jesus.
Does he have water?
I am extremely proud to be a part of this series. When Judith Robinson and Sankar Roy were looking for poets to contribute to their anthology about the tsunami victims in Indonesia, they read my poems in this little golden book in Poets' House; and, based on my writing content and style, asked me to contribute. The anthology, Only the Sea Keeps, contributed over $6,000 to tsunami and disaster victims all over the world. What Jennifer Bosveld and her staff are doing will have this amazing kind of ripple effect, I believe, until there is no more paper or poetry in the world.
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