New Release: RD Armstrong ORPHANED WORDS (Lummox Press, 2018) 226 pages
Some words from RD Armstrong about his new book:
A new collection from poet/publisher RD Armstrong
Back in 2007, blissfully unaware of how much my life was about to change, I decided to publish a book of my selected poems 1993 to 2007. So I read through the 700 or so poems I'd written at that point and selected what I thought were my faves and ended up with about 300 poems! These I published in a two volume set, Fire and Rain, 1 & 2 (I thought a 300 + page book a little presumptuous at the time). Prior to this, the only books I had were all chapbooks, so this was my first full length collections.
Then in 2008, just prior to the dramatic life-change, I published 3 of my "road trip" poems, one of which ran 61 pages! The book was entitled On/Off the Beaten Path. Finally, I published El Pagano & Other Twisted Tales (a collection of seriously bent short stories). There have been a few more titles over the years, all part of the ever-unfolding canon of my writing career... All of these books can be seen HERE.
Now, I have put together most of the "other" poems into this new volume. They represent the 'dirty laundry', the poems that were ignored by all the previous titles, in short, the forgotten poems. I put this volume together because I learned a valuable lesson from one of the other titles that I put out back around 2011...and that was this, you never know what the reader will latch onto, be it your best or your worst! I realized that I had lots of poems that I had denied to the general readership because I thought them sub-par. And really, who am I to judge?
The Haphazard Life mentioned in the title refers to the dramatic turn of events that set me off on this leg of the journey. I was working as a handyman/ laborer/ jack-of-all-trades and had done so for thirty years (my main income stream). I did okay, but it was a smallish life. I had been sober for almost 20 years - that was something I was proud of! Then in 2004, something broke inside me...I began drinking again (like a lush), as if I was trying to make up for my best behavior by releasing my demons. It's not remarkable, many have experienced it; though as relapses go, it was pretty damn harsh! I spun effortlessly out of control for four more years, until late in 2008 when I entered the hospital with a septic ulcer on the heel of my right foot. This was to be the beginning of my immersion in the health care machine. When they told me I was diabetic, I quit drinking (but really, I substituted the drug of alcohol for the many drugs required to maintain a diabetic. I was 57 years old.
Ten years later I no longer work with tools of a manual labor nature. I squeak by selling other people's poetry books and from the modest SSI check I get every month -- it's a spartan lifestyle at best, but it's the life I chose. My life has become bigger because of my sobriety and the medical folks and because of the Lummox Press (my publishing outfit which has intensified production over the past five years because I need the money). If it weren't for Lummox Press, I'd be living out of my car, drunk on my ass and crazy. It's a helluva Vienna!
So, I hope you'll be interested enough to visit the ordering page where you can find out more about this new book of mine, read some samples and maybe even watch some videos. Who knows, you might even want to get to know me better!
RD Armstrong Long Beach, CA
ISBN 9780998458090 246 pgs Trade Paper $20 + Shipping