Shots

Since America is the center of the solar system, it is impossible to not know that everyone and their mother’s, best friend’s dog’s litter’s owner’s cousin’s uncle’s extended family is caught up in the spectacle of the fact that – you paid for the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge – we’ve had yet another moment of gun violence.

This will, of course, be met with several things:

Some people will say that this could be avoided if there was someone else with a gun to gun down the gunman so that the gun violence could be neutralized like a gun vaccine. I can’t completely ignore the logic that states “If someone has the capacity to neutralize your violence with some of their own – it does – ipso facto – reduce said violence. This, of course, lending strange credence to the notion that fighting fire with fire does not – as one would assume – create a bigger fire.

Or does it?

Don’t worry. This isn’t about to devolve into a philosophical viewpoint of “Well…I mean…maybe that really is the best solution…” Because my viewpoint on this is as abstracted and convoluted as I am, and you all love me for being. And I’ll get to what that viewpoint is…

Later…

Others will, of course, say that the answer to gun violence is more laws to eliminate guns so that fewer people can have guns and fewer people with fewer guns is less gun violence. And, from a very static, mathematical point of view – this holds true. But then…it doesn’t.

Or does it?

Don’t worry. This isn’t about to devolve into a political moment proclaiming that “We need to remove as many guns as we can from as many people as we can so that more people without guns can be safe from the fewer people who have guns.” Because my viewpoint doesn’t support that rationale, because it’s faulty in a way that I find to be eye-rollingly absurd. I’ll expand on that…

Later…

Others will, of course, point out that we have a president that perpetuates violence and racism. And others will bring up evidence that he doesn’t. And some will say that, even if he does, blaming one man for the stupidity of others is, in and of itself, stupid in so many ways that they will not dignify such absurdity with a response.

Some will say that more religion is the answer. That we have strayed too far from the holy teachings of <insert holy teachings here>, because if we all <insert religious thing here> at the altar of <insert religious construct here> we would all be <insert better world metaphor here>.

Others will point out that there are cultures that are far more secular than America and have less violence and that there are cultures that are far more religious than America and that they’re far more violent.

Others will point out that there are cultures that are far more religious than America and have less violence and that there are cultures that are far more secular than America and that they’re far more violent. <- I don’t know that this is actually a thing – if I’m being honest. I haven’t found any stats to support this notion…but I digress…someone will still say it.

So…

We’re here now…

We’re at “later…”

I’m an atheist who does not agree with anything that precedes this sentence.

Religion doesn’t make people good or bad. Good people are good people and they help to inspire other people to be good. Bad people are bad people and they help to inspire other people to be bad. We can get into the whole world of nature/nurture. We can get into the whole, sordid idea of psychology, sociology, religion, philosophy, etc…

But I’m not going to…

And here’s why…

Too many answers hinge on a binary solution to a real number problem.

If you read that and understood what I meant – good for you. Give yourself a gold star, a pat on the back, and understand that I respect you more than you deserve.

If you don’t understand that line, then I’ll explain.

Binary is very basic. It is a system of one and zero. It is true and false. It is off and on. And it doesn’t compute for humanity.

The solution for alcohol in America was to ban alcohol – because saying “Hey, you can’t do that!” makes problems go away.

But it doesn’t.

It. Doesn’t.

Saying alcohol is illegal doesn’t stop people from drinking – it makes drinking a criminal enterprise. It is owned and operated by criminals. Its patrons are criminals. Saying drugs are illegal doesn’t stop people from doing drugs – it makes it a criminal enterprise. It is owned and operated by criminals. Its patrons are criminals.

Saying that guns are now illegal – in any capacity – will make it more of a criminal enterprise than it already is. It will have a greater share of ownership and operational oversight by criminals. More of their patrons will be criminals.

If you think this is somehow flawed – news flash. There are things that are illegal and people still get them. They buy them. They pay cash.

I recently watched a guy buy anabolic steroids.

Online.

With his credit card.

But they’re illegal – except where they’re not. And that place gets to make the rules they want because they don’t have to be concerned with what you want. Or if you got ripped off. Or if it’s safe. Because what are you going to do?

Call the cops?

So, if you believe that the answer to guns is “Well…simple…no guns…” Then you’ve learned far too little about that wonderfully terrible thing called history.

Humans know that things exist. They want those things. Telling them no doesn’t stop them.

Except for when it does, right?

Sure…except for when it does. Because some people won’t cross those lines. Some people are either legal hardliners or else they just fear being caught.

But it says nothing of the ones who cross lines. Who don’t care. Who don’t know anything beyond “I want this. I will find a way to have this. You cannot stop me.”

This extends all the way back to the moment not so long ago when I said that too many answers try to look at a binary solution for a real number problem.

Take every sentence between when I first said that and when I said it again. Apply it to everything that people bicker over from a legal standpoint.

You can’t flip a zero to a one and solve the problem. You can’t turn false to true and make things go away.

It doesn’t work that way, and if you don’t know that by now, then I’m sorry to be the one to break the news to you.

Fact is – you already know this. You support this same logic…when it suits you.

Don’t agree with abortion? Ban it. Problem solved…except that it isn’t. Not really. It just becomes a criminal enterprise. Ran by criminals who cater to criminals. But hey…at least <insert happy ending platitude here>.

And yet, you will see an attack on what you believe in. You will see a problem that others approach with the solution of “Just ban it…” and you will go, “No! It doesn’t work that way! It just becomes a criminal enterprise and anyone who uses their services becomes a criminal as well!”

Correct.

A+

But people love to believe that their position is unique and beautiful. Their fight is the good fight. Their war is the righteous one.

But you are fighting real numbers with binary solutions.

Real-life has complicated numbers. Decimals. Integers. Positives and negatives.

Binary is simple.

Binary is clean.

I love binary. I really do. But if you think you can apply it to humanity as a whole, then you – again – have a weak grasp of the last many years of human history.

You really do.

It’s all there.

We’ve been writing it down.

If you choose to ignore that, it doesn’t make you wise – it makes you ignorant. And if you think that your personal binary solution is the silver bullet for the werewolf of American gun violence, then you’re living in a land of beautiful delusion.

Side note: please share whatever you’re taking. I’d like to try some.

So later after later is here now.

All my rambling condensed to an actual point.

And you might be thinking, “You know, it sounds to me like you’re saying that you don’t have a point.”

Well…yes and no.

My point is that there is no easy solution. But, by that same standard, I’m prepared to tell you a wonderful fact about humanity that holds true on a very firm statistical basis.

1.) The more educated people are, the less prone to senseless acts of violence they generally are.

-> Someone will now point out someone who is wicked smart AND a lunatic/criminal/serial killer/assassin. And I’m sorry, but that’s called implying the exception is the rule. If you think that makes sense, then please brush up on your understanding of statics, bell curves, and outliers. If you think you get to call a mulligan on this because you can think of a handful of cases leveraged against the population of the world then math was clearly not your strong suit.

2.) The more financially stable people are, the less prone to senseless acts of violence they generally are.

-> Same thing as above. Someone is going to find the anti-Bruce Wayne and go “Oh yeah?! What about <insert name here>!” Please spare us your inability to grasp how numbers work.

And that’s it.

Seriously.

If you look at the world and you go, “What makes a place safe?” there are two things.

TWO

CONSISTENT

THINGS

And they keep showing up.

Educated people who are not impoverished tend to do a better job of “playing well with others.”

And why is that?

Well, it’s actually very simple. So simple that it’s almost binary – except for that whole…implementation…thing.

Smarter people tend to think about what they’re doing and what it means and who it affects and why they should and shouldn’t do what they’re doing…more.

And people who have something to lose are less likely to risk losing it.

People who are uneducated are less likely to have – what I call – mechanical empathy.

Empathy – of course – is our ability to put ourselves in the shoes of another. For people who are very emotional, this is just “a thing that happens because it’s who they are”. But for people who are not as emotional, (yup…I’m one of those people…) there is (what I call) mechanical empathy. I don’t feel for you. I don’t care about you. You’re some person who works job A to pay bills B, C, D, E, and F and you live in location G and came from location H and whatever else..

And I don’t care.

But I understand that you suffering isn’t good.

And that more people suffering is bad.

And that I don’t want to be the cause of that.

And that when I fuck up and people suffer, I understand the consequences of that and what they mean, and why. And it’s not emotional. It’s mechanical. Numbers adding up and I can go “This isn’t good…”

And when I fuck up – because I do…because I’m human…I learn from that. And I do better next time. And even better after that.

Additionally, those with nothing to lose…well…they

HAVE

NOTHING

TO

LOSE

When you cross-pollinate those terrible flowers…that’s bad for everyone.

Now…if you’re thinking, “Oh…okay…so…you have some liberal concept of…”

Let me stop you there.

I don’t care about your politics.

I don’t care about your religion.

I have friends that I don’t agree with politically and I have friends who I don’t agree with in regards to religion. And I would never try to “pull them over to my side” because they’re still good people.

And that’s what’s strange to me – the fact that I – even now – can honestly say that, yes, people are…believe it or not…inherently good.

And if you want a binary decision to help guide yourself…or an entire country…on their way to a place where pulling a trigger isn’t a solution to every situation under the sky, how about we start right there:

People are inherently good, and maybe we should treat them accordingly.

People believe different things, but that’s okay because we’re all – inherently – on the same side.

People are different and that’s an absolutely wonderful thing and people don’t get told that often enough.

Because if I had to really sharpen this whole narrative into some kind of an actual point, then it’s this: the world suffers when we stop treating people like people, and when we feel like we have nothing that matters, then we act accordingly.

If that thing is god or your favorite red pen, I don’t care.

If that thing is your best friend or the flying spaghetti monster, I don’t care.

Because shit like this is a real number problem.

It’s complicated.

And it’s weird.

And we can’t just flip a switch and make it go away.

It doesn’t work that way. And if you still don’t get that, then you need to work on your understanding of world history, basic human psychology, mathematics, and statistics.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll become more educated and push us all closer to a world that’s less violent in those educational pursuits.

<insert witty closing line here>

 

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Acclimation

I surrounded myself with the center of the bell curve.

I sometimes think of this line as I look back. Or look around. Or just look.

Center of the center. The end result of when an outlier finds its way into a place where it doesn’t belong.

I suppose that there’s a power to it. A sense of prestige. A world that is all wrapped in the warm comfort of ignorant happiness. A world where mediocrity reigns. A world that is numerically oblivious. A world that can be more easily quantified and, more to point, made more astounding by one who is willing to quantify it.

This is not to say that I feel that I am part of some amazingly rare element of the statistical make-up of the world. I do not place gold stars upon my metaphorical papers. I do not showcase the moments that others might find victorious. I do not laud accomplishments nor offer negativity when others accomplish little and less.

And yet…

I wonder, at times, if I have not found myself so warmly embraced by the realm of simplicity because it is a realm that seems more easily navigated. A realm where some are more easily impressed. Where hundred dollar words are appraised at twice their price and even the slightest modicum of eloquence seems a world away from the doldrums that often supersede all those dawdling moments that span the near and far like oceans lapping at the distant shores of possibility.

Perhaps that’s the allure, though. The feeling of being the equivalent value of a knight in a world of pawns. Not so much better as different. Not moving unhindered, but moving in a way that seems more freeing…if only because the constraints are different.

I wonder what a world where the curve has shifted will be like.

Where my equals might be equals.

Where that which so many find exceptional is a thing that is basic and obvious. Where the variegations shrink. Where many and more have set foot upon distant lands and now look upon the oceans…lamenting…wondering why so many can’t seem to swim, or sail, or fly.

But as much as there is comradery in those thin slivers of disparity – those little islands where those of similar ilk would congregate – there is also that stagnant feeling of similarity.

That place where suddenly the sky is seen the same by all.

Where the moon is not so wondrous a thing.

Where the probabilities all mesh and merge and the separation of distinction shrink to grains in a world where once they seemed boulders.

But here I find myself eschewing the middle warmth and facing the outer rim. That place where unique means something different. Where strange means what so many called normal in a world where once I seemed so strange. Where for the first time in such a long time, I wonder if I will look around – if only for a moment – and realize that my banner is not so bright and not held so high.

Where measurable distances are harder to measure.

Where distances are less distinct.

Where the new middle is not so warm and I find myself wondering…

Was it cowardice that kept me where I was or is it hubris that leads me to where I now go?

Riddle

I’m not the best, and not the worst
My answers calm, and well-rehearsed
I’m not the last, and not the first
I guess that puts me somewhere in the middle

I’m not the most and not the least
My visage calm but slightly creased
I’m not a famine or a feast
I guess I’m not too much or else too little

I’m not the bottom or the top
My path, like rain, was meant to drop
I’m not essential or a prop
I guess, compared to some, I’m second fiddle

I’m not the cause and not the cure
My words a gift from lips impure
I’m not untroubled or unsure
I guess I’m not the answer or the riddle

Feel

So there it is.

Or, rather, I suppose, there it was…?

End of a road, as it were.

I sent out messages. Four total. The people I talk to most. Two of them, I’ve never seen in person. One still hasn’t seen the message. They may never.

It’s complicated.

I knew the replies before I ever got them back.

I try to wrap myself in the happy words. The words of praise. In messages written in caps and decorated with too many exclamations points.

I try to feel what they’re feeling. Part of me wants to. Perhaps if I see the words, I can see the same point of view. Maybe I’ll feel, at least for a moment, like they feel.

“So how do you feel?”

I feel…

It’s a curious question.

I have a complicated relationship with that question.

I often reply to the question of “How’s it going?” and “How’s your day?” and “Hey, how are you?” by stating the day of the week.

“It’s a Wednesday.”

I’ve told someone before that when they ask me how I feel, it feels like my brain is trying to divide by zero. It’s not an exaggeration.

Some might ask, “Are you happy?”, or “Are you relieved?”

I would say no. I would say that I’m glad, to a degree.

And perhaps some might say, “But that’s sort of the same thing, right?”

And to that, I’d say no.

But words are a complicated subject with me. I love words, but not always for the right reasons, even when I use them for the reasons I write.

I have hidden a million yesses behind words that I knew would be interpreted as no. And vice versa.

I have said before that, “Having a response is not the same as giving an answer.”

So it matters, at least to me, that when I reference myself, I apply the same rules that I apply when I speak to others.

So, no. I am not happy. I am not relieved. I’m glad, to a degree.

I am reminded of that concept of a dog chasing a car and people saying, “Why do they do that?” and “What would he do if he actually caught it?”

I believe there was even a Far Side comic where it showed a dog dreaming (or imagining? I can’t remember) that he had successfully caught a car. It was upside down, the dog was on top. A stance of victory.

I imagine that if you asked the dog how he felt in that moment, he might say (if dogs could speak in a way that we understand), that he felt triumphant. Successful. Happy, perhaps.

But I also think about that episode of Family Guy where they did a cutaway where the coyote caught the roadrunner.

“So how do you feel?”

I feel…

A therapist once told me – or maybe she just implied – that I have an unhealthy view of success. I already knew that, but she was having a moment where she felt like she’d figured out something important. I didn’t think it necessary to take that from her.

She wasn’t very good at her job, but I digress.

I enjoy the concept of progress, but progress and success are fleeting. They are these short, ephemeral things.

Inches past the finish line, and it becomes something you’ve done. It is no longer a goal. It is no longer even a success. It was a success. But now that’s your new normal.

I tend to not know how to enjoy my finish lines.

It takes mere moments before they become the equivalent of the preschool drawing that parents hang on a refrigerator. They become the metrics by which I compare what I do next. They become the starting squares for the next finish line.

But I suppose that this is different.

There wasn’t a moment where my arms raised high. I didn’t let out the words “Yesss!” as I saw the end become a thing that was now securely behind my most recent step.

“So how did it feel?”

I felt…

It felt like Wednesday.

Culling

It would be a lie if I tried to say that I write “only for myself”.

In fact, I dare say that most people who write and share their writing on some level do not write exclusively “for themselves”.

Perhaps you, my dear reader, are someone who shall now attest that you do, in fact, write only for yourself and to hell with likes, shares, follows, and views. And if you are truly honest in this proclamation, then congratulations. You are an anomaly. You are unique. You are rare. You are a unicorn.

For most, however, there is some intrinsic desire to see numbers increase, to feel as though more people are reading what we write, and that they do so because they legitimately enjoy what we’re writing about…or at least the way in which we write about those things.

That being said, it is difficult to honestly gauge our reach, our level of connection. It’s difficult to tell who reads what, for what reason they read, and to what degree they like, or even if they actually care. We are given crude numbers that end up being this mercurial element which is tangent to all the numbers we’re given.

The actual connection between these numbers, however, is vague and the truth of those values debateable.

This leads us to the actual point of this post. Culling.

As of today, I’ve done two cullings of my followers.

The way I do this is as follows: I go through the last 10 posts or 10 days (whichever is longer) and I record the name of every like I got. I then go through my list of followers and redact anyone who hasn’t liked anything I wrote over that given span of posts or time.

First time, I went from approximately 430+ followers down to 48.

Think about that.

430 people were supposedly following me, but of them, less than 50 had made even the most tenuous of interactions with my posts. That’s a little over 11%.

Now, some people might say, “But perhaps a lot of them were reading, but they just don’t click like.”

This is true. But the problem with that logic is that, when I removed the better part of 400 followers, my stats didn’t change enough to substantiate the claim that almost any of them were just “passive viewers”.

Today, I completed my second culling. I went from 283 down to 105, and I suspect I will see the same overall effect. I suspect I will get the same sort of views and likes because, generally speaking, the same core group of people like what I post. Other people like and follow, and then disappear. More to point, it gives me a more accurate depiction of how many people might actually be looking at what I post rather than just giving me the total number of people who clicked on the “follow” button.

So, how about the rest of you?

Do you sometimes trim your following?

Do you let the idle followers stay on board for the sake of “well, they’re not hurting anything…”?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always like talking numbers, percentages, and statistics. 🤓

Lost

I’ve lost a lot of people in my life.

Let me restate that…

I’ve rarely had many people in my life, but few of those people have ever really remained. So, I have had few people in my life, but the majority of those people, I’ve lost.

I did not lose them like a person loses another person in a crowd.

I also did not lose them due to a faulty mortal coil or the innate cruelty that is the terminal nature of existence.

In truth, I’ve never lost anyone. At least, not in the way people mean it when they say it.

It is the removal of bridges. Sometimes by fire… sometimes by neglect.

It is the parting of paths. Sometimes by intentional separation… sometimes by the basic nature of life and our own personal desires and trajectories.

I’ve lost pets.

I’ve lost some pets in a very literal way. They left and never came back. I was very young then. Statistically, I know that I lost them in a mortal way as well because on a long enough timeline, that is a simple guarantee. Though perhaps one could say that you cannot lose that which flees. If it left and didn’t return, you never really had it. Or did you?

I suppose that’s a possible topic of debate.

But I’m not here to debate that.

I’ve lost two dogs, but I did not lose them in a simple way. They did not flee. One was hit by a car. He was very old. I was there when he was born. All fat and clumsy…he looked like a chow that was the size of a miniature terrier.

He was my first dog, even though he was not the first dog we’d had as a family. He was my first dog because he was the dog that I took care of. When my parents separated and finally divorced, I took care of him. Amidst the “what’s mine and what’s yours” of a dissolving marriage, no one seemed to be particularly concerned with disputing ownership of an awkward little dog that I’d named Scooter.

He was the only dog that survived birth.

One of thirteen.

The surviving 7.69% of a stillborn litter.

I lost him when he was fourteen years old. I was at work. My roommate at the time called me and let me know that he’d gotten outside, and he found him by the edge of the driveway. He said he didn’t know what had happened. He said he was sure he didn’t hit him when he got in his car to back out.

I understood. It was nobody’s fault.

He was old.

He was at that point that the end was nigh. The end simply hadn’t been given a distinct name. That day, that name had been chosen.

I went back to work.

Life ends.

I understand that.

People die. Animals die.

I understand that.

Realizations like that are so very thin. They’re fragile. They hold a heavy weight upon little stilts of logic. We tell ourselves we understand. We tell ourselves that if we wake up and the house is on fire, that we know the things we’ll grab.

I imagine more than a few people have been roused to a burning house and found themselves in the yard with little and less of the things that they would have put on their proverbial list in that hypothetical world.

I did not handle his loss as well as I thought I would. Knowing that it was coming, and coming soon meant little and less in my hypothetical world.

My next dog was Lux. The remainder of a litter of pit bulls that had yet to be claimed. The owner didn’t want irresponsible people to have dogs that were already labeled as being prone to violence. If I’m being honest, I didn’t want that either. Nor did I want to think of a dog that lived its life at the end of a chain, or that it lived even one of its days proving that it was better at killing than another dog was.

A year later, he had another litter. Same situation. Lux, I decided, could use a brother. His name was Ino.

Seven years later, I’d let my dogs outside and fell asleep. They found a weak spot in a fence. They decided to embrace that freedom.

I lost my dogs that day.

I called the police when I found out they were missing. Told them they weren’t human aggressive. They’d never been.

When I got a call an hour later, I was told that the responding officers took the situation into account, saw the dogs, hadn’t heard of their disposition.

They shot and killed Lux.

It was my fault.

I knew it was the moment it happened.

While others who knew me and who knew Lux were upset by the actions of the responding officers, I was upset with myself. While they lamented the misfortune that befell him, I lamented a dog that I loved who I allowed to come into the same kind of harm that I wanted to protect him from.

I had failed him.

I did not see his death coming. He was not old. The end was not nigh. It was an unexpected fire in the night in my world, and I’d no plan…hypothetical or otherwise.

And now, you, my astute reader, can probably see the trend here.

Ino, as of this moment, is alive. He is old. His mobility is failing.

When I look at him, I still see a puppy. That same fat-bellied dog that ate and drank with reckless abandon the first day I brought him home so that he looked like he’d swallowed a balloon.

But he is not a puppy.

I’ve lost a great deal in life. Most of those losses have taken forms that, at least on some level, had at least one variable that I could not control. I can take responsibility for those variables. I can understand my part in these moments and in these losses. I have pulled a trigger, metaphorically speaking, but I have never felt as though I had to pull it literally.

I will be with Ino when he passes. I would likely be with him whether it was a decision I made or a decision made by life and the passage of time. Either way, I know that the end is nigh. This time, however, I know the name of that ending.

I wonder, in some small way, if that makes it better or worse.

I feel quite sure that it makes it better. And that it makes it worse.

It is a painful thing to know that to save what you love from pain, you must let it go. That the only way you can make it stop hurting is to do something that will hurt.

It is not a decision to make lightly.

This Thursday at 7 pm, I will spend my last day with Ino. He does not know this. There are no words I can tell him to make him understand this.

Part of me wonders if that makes it better or worse.

I suppose it comes down to how it’s worse and how it’s better, and for whom.

When I go home today, I will still see him as I’ve always seen him – as that same little dog that ate and drank so much that he looked like he’d swallowed a balloon. I will see a puppy.

But he is not a puppy. Has not been for a long time.

I will spend the next day and a half trying to tell him that I love him and I’ll miss him using words he’ll never really understand. Words that, at their best, will only suffice in fractions.

And later, I’ll find myself again on the opposite side of that metaphorical fire. But unlike the others, I will have seen this one coming… building over fourteen years. And still, no prepared list or hypothetical plan will have mattered.

I will find myself once again realizing that the one thing I would have wanted to save could not be saved.


As a closing note. It was after Lux died that I decided to go to college. I can’t explain why that spurred me into action, I only know it did.

There is a strange and sad irony that as I find myself now in the final month of my final semester of my final year, that this death serves as that final point of punctuation.

I do not believe in fate. But I am willing to admit when coincidence looks a lot like it.

Mulling

Maybe it’s because I seem to see so many people on route to do some form of published something-or-other, but I find myself thinking about following suit. This is, of course, a complicated concept in my mind.

First, I don’t think poetry is really such a big deal to most people that it’s exactly marketable. So I have to think, “What exactly is the purpose of pursuing such an avenue?” I mean, I write poetry, and even I don’t actually buy books of poetry. It makes it all the harder to reconcile the idea of putting out a book of poetry because I find myself thinking, “If I write poetry but feel largely disinclined to actually purchase the poetry of others, then what are the chances that others would be inclined to purchase what I write?”

Secondly, I tend to have a strange disconnect between my writing and the idea of money. I can circumvent some of that by thinking, “They’re really paying for the process behind the scenes and not actually paying for what I’m writing.” Even then, some part of me looks at the arrangement and knows that I’m charging money for words. I generally give words away for free. I don’t consider my words valuable enough to charge people so that they can see them. I don’t mean that as a statement of self-deprecation, by the by, I just mean that I don’t look at my writing and see something that should be monetized.

Additionally, I have a lot of poetry on here. It ranges in quality, and I’m certainly not objective enough to read my own work and determine what qualifies as being “some of my best work” vs. “things that I’ve also written…” I’m currently at 700+ posts, and most of that is poetry. Part of me is inclined to go, “Hell, just take all of them, alphabetize them, arrange them to maximize words per page and call it good…” But there again…some of those poems could probably be left out.

There are other elements to my thought process, of course, but most of them are elements of tangency. I know what I would title the book…so…I mean…there’s that.

Anywho…I’m just thinking out loud (or quietly on a keyboard, actually).

Anyone have any insights into this? I mean, even as it relates to you? Any of you also thought about publishing, or actively working on something to publish? What’s your two cents? 🤔