The first 9 weeks of quarantine : a video retrospective

1.   COVID VIRUS PLANK

Back in mid March, 2020, I was on fire with vigor and optimism. This shows the transition from the classroom to the backyard spitting of fire by MC FLASHCARD:

2.   STALEY’s EASTER 2020

In early April there was lots of eating and drinking and being miserable, but no weeping. Here’s a trailer from our family Easter festivities:

3.   The Covid-19 Compliment

There came a point in late April 2020 when everybody in my family thought they belonged to the suckiest family in the world. Like we could not even give an honest compliment to each other. See for yourself:

4.   DEAR SENIORS

Then, in late May, my Seniors graduated and I wrote them this poem while suffering mid-grade cabin fever. The weeping had begun–slow at first, then steady:

5.   MAD COWS – MYSTIC PICKLE

My first band was called the Mad Cows. When we started we were in the 10th grade, Montgomery, Alabama. We reunited in the pandemic, and after 9 weeks of work, all we came up with is this.

(WARNING: may contain artistic quality issues):

THANK YOU CACTI FUR

Thanks to Jim Thompson over at Cacti Fur for publishing these 13 new haiku. Cacti Fur is the only poetry journal in America that would accept these. These 13 haiku got rejected 72 times. Here’s a brief retelling of those rejections:

For rejections 0-10 I remained giddy.

For rejections 11-26 I ate corn dogs or thought that maybe I should find some corn dogs to eat.

For rejections 27-32, which came in the winter, I felt cold on the inside and the out.

For rejection 33, this one never came, I’m guessing the editors were so knocked out by my haiku they just tossed in the towel completely and turned to stone like that one soldier in Clash of the Titans.

For rejections 34-58 I thought maybe all the publishers of poetry in America must clearly be idiots who only publish their white friends. This feelings lasted 46 days and 26 minutes.

For rejections 59-62 I thought maybe I would have better luck being published if my name was Suzy Hiro or Hilario Bustamontes or Mads Kellaway.

For rejections 63-70 I thought maybe I’m a terrible poet and then I told myself that writing is like therapy and then I washed my mouth out with Ivory soap.

Rejection 71 came from the New Yorker, oh Kevin Young, what good are you? You’re a better color than the last dude, but c’mon.

Rejection 72 never came. Rejection 72 was an acceptance letter from Jim Thompson of Cacti Fur. I love you for loving me! But I hate myself for being this needy. Jim, if you are reading this, when can I submit more poems to you, and only you, for rest of my life?

Click here for 13 new haiku by Tim Staley

Here is a picture of me pretending to talk about my 13 new haiku to Kevin Young from the New Yorker:

The Most Honest Syllable is Shhh now available on Amazon

Tim Staley’s newest chapbook, The Most Honest Syllable is Shhh, is now available from Amazon.

This 32 page collection was originally released in June, 2017, by NightBallet Press out of Cleveland, Ohio.

Here is a poem from this chapbook:

 

My Life and Your Life

 

My life almost feels

like your life.

Your life might be

someplace nearby.

I turn over your life

like a ceiling fan:

on/off off/on

fast/ medium fast/

really fast.

In winter I turn

the other way.

Or is it your life

turning over mine?