So. I am having a book out. I think I can say that? It will be out later this year. I'll let you know the publisher if they say I can! I'm only just putting a draft together now. I was sort of waiting to get a 'first thing' out there because I've been doing this for 6 years now, and knew almost from the beginning that I wasn't the poet I wanted to be yet. I wanted to wait until my poetry voice matched my internal voice a bit more - or, one of them - the one that I feel is more from my heart than any other place. I started out Doing Funny, but nearly everything I wrote back then to amuse, now I am re-reading, is also very Dark and Angry. I do sometimes make a joke onstage about 'poetry as therapy' - for plenty of us, it is! - but this is reeeeally apparent in these pieces. I mean, I *was* having actual therapy and doing a lot of work on myself at the time... The poems also seem a lot darker/angrier because they are on a page, all black and white and stark as anything, rather than me performing them with my soft voice and jokes inbetween. What to do?
I don't think I can wait for my first book to be ready in any other voice/style I use, 'Mab' is too well-known now, she has written hundreds of poems, and performed nearly 700 times, and could have sold hundreds of books too, instead of flimsy self-made chapbooks or anthologies where people often didn't buy because they didn't know the other writers... I need a product. I need somewhere for these poems to 'go'. I think - I also need to make a distinction between what Mab writes and what my other (real?) self writes. I feel like 'Mab Jones' came about at a very particular point in my life, and as a character really helped me overcome lots of personal challenges. I still want to continue with her. I won't kill her off and become all serious! It's too much fun, and Mab just loves making people laugh toooo damn much.....!
However, after a fair bit of mucking about, persona-wise, in the past couple of years, it seems I have found the self I wish to use when it comes to writing these 'other poems'. I will continue to write comic verse through Mab, but I will use my real name, Michelle Anastasia Oliver, for these. What difference does this make in practical terms? Actually, none at all. Not at this point, anyway. It just seems like, some of my newer poems are so different to these older ones, that they need to be marketed under a different name. This will be it. I already have a secret blog which this persona writes in any case... *don't bother looking, you will not find it!!*
That's all for now, anyway. Thanks for reading. And, back to the book!!