Banal Update from the Back of Beyond

Last night I looked at the weather forecast for the coming week, and there’s a definite possibility of rainbows for the next several days.

I know the weather in the Back of Beyond is probably NOT the most universally interesting topic, but if you — as did I — had driven the 14 miles to Del Norte yesterday and seen how desiccated everything is you’d be doing a happy dance, too. Of course, Yellowstone Park has been contending with floods.

Anyway, the dogs and I will take advantage of it — though last time, on our recent lovely evening walk — I got bitten by the dreaded deer fly. I guess the wind isn’t TOTAL protection. Sheltered from the wind on the back of my leg, one of those little monsters sank his sadistic, scissored jaws into my lower calf. I KNEW I shouldn’t have gone out there in shorts.

There was a minor dust up at the museum because of the title of my poetry book. The director got her hand slapped for something on her personal Facebook page (???) and began to be concerned about the museum selling a book called Shit, Fear, and Beauty. She had to call me to talk it over and clearly felt horrible. I think she was surprised when I just laughed. My plan was to donate the proceeds from five books to the museum. Now the museum will be out a potential $25. OH well.

I told her to call me Henry Miller from then on.

I really thought it was a hoot, and wasn’t in the least angry. I just thought it was hilarious. The very very last thing I want is for the new director to get into any kind of trouble. I like her, she’s doing great, and godnose I love that little museum.

Still, something about it bugged me. I don’t want to be censored, and the title is explained in the book. I woke up yesterday having decided in my sleep that rather than read from a script that had my poems included, I would read from the book. Inspiration just kept building, and I customized the cover of the book I will read from.

I’ve even designed a permanent cover that censors that word. I like it as an artistic statement, particularly as there is nothing in the book that even the most puritanical critic would censor. The irony of THAT is that Amazon’s publishing platform won’t approve it because the title is Shit, Fear, and Beauty and you can’t read the word “shit.” There’s nothing funnier than reality. Art is the unexpected. “Censored” on the cover makes it a better book; now if only Amazon will let me do what I want.

As Emerson said, “Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of everyone of its members… It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.”

Speaking of rainbows… Here’s a cultural phenom…

18 thoughts on “Banal Update from the Back of Beyond

    • Considering that I mean literal “shit” and it’s not cursing, I mean? What am I suppose to write, “Poop, Fear and Beauty” or even “Manure, Fear, and Beauty”? There is no better word. Shit.

  1. I’m glad you found a way to work around the censorship. I recall the dilemma I faced when writing my debut novel with a male protagonist who used profane language. I kept his profanity to a minimum and used the word “skite” instead of “shit” as his go-to expletive.

  2. Yay! for your weather. It has finally cooled off here. As for the “issue” of your book title – your solution is brilliant and clever. I do hope Amazon is amendable to the change and that the museum gets a grip! I feel for the new director…

    • It’s difficult for me to understand anyone objecting to that word, but on a phone call with a friend (a pretty liberal minded friend!) I heard an objection and got a lecture. It’s OK. If we live in a world where 19 little kids can be shot but people are shocked by the word “shit” on the cover of a poetry chapbook few people will ever see, we’re seriously fucked up. I want to see the dog.

  3. I thought about “poop” or “doo-doo”, but the censored sticker is better. Since weather will be a serious interest of mine for the next 9 weeks/4400 miles, you’re welcome to talk about it. 😉

    • Thank you — weather is a big deal to me, maybe everyone here. Right now it’s actually RAINING almost but not quite a gulley washer.

      You know there’s a bike ride here in Colorado that sounds like both a challenge and a good time. You know if you have so much fun with this one that you want to try something different next time.

      And yeah; no word does what the word “shit” does on that book. The censored sticker does it even better.

  4. The things people get hung up on! Are there not bigger things to worry about in this world. I think your idea of covering it up is hilarious.

    Woke to the rain this morning. We badly need it so I am not sorry. I managed to do a lot of weeding yesterday and I keep thinking how my plants will be so happy they can breathe and drink!

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