Chapbook #2—Angels & Adultery—Coming Soon

Title page of rough proof of Angels & Adultery, chapbook by David J. Bauman
Rough Proof Title Page

I’m way overdue announcing another bit of good news. On the heels of my first chapbook, Moons, Roads, and Rivers from Finishing Line Press, comes the release of Angels & Adultery later this year by Seven Kitchens Press. That’s chapbook number two!

I think I’ll talk a bit in an upcoming post about what I’ve learned from compiling poems into these little collections, along with their subsequent acceptances and rejections. I also want to discuss what other projects I’m still and newly working on.

For now, let’s just pause and celebrate, shall we? Poet Nickole Brown selected Angels & Adultery as Number 17 in the Robin Becker Chapbook Series for Seven Kitchens Press. I love Nickole’s work (Check out this recent poem in Thrush!) so you can imagine my weepy face when I read her kind words about my chapbook (My name in brackets because the original manuscripts were blind-judged):

Angels & Adultery opens with a sometimes impossible question, one posed by Robert Lowell in his poem, “Epilogue”: “Yet why not say what happened?” This, exactly is what [David J. Bauman] sets out to do in these aching, raw poems that tell a kind of truth beyond the typical confession to create a narrative that is culpable, terribly difficult, but not without humor and flashes of joy. Here you have the complexities of queer life caged by convention, loving “with a fist,” desire exiled to strip joints on the edge of town. As one poem says, “these are the pieces of my life; this is everything. Help me.” And this, of course, is just what I wanted to do as a reader—reach in towards the speaker of these poems and help—but ultimately, they ended up doing what most good poems do: They helped me instead. As [David] reminds us in “Genesis Retold,” “Don’t listen to the lies they tell you. Paradise was never lost.” This was what I needed to hear most, and this collection made me believe it.

This chapbook is a very different discussion than was Moons, Roads, and Rivers. A&A is arguably more personal, a poetic exploration of my coming out and subsequent divorce, my coming to terms with some larger existential questions, and some reflection on a series of good, bad, and dysfunctional relationships that followed.

One caveat: The speaker in a poem is not always the poet. I don’t mean this as a disclaimer exactly because most of my poems are spoken by me or some form of me. But the facts are not always reliable. Just ask any of my family members who sat through the reading at my old hometown library last Saturday! Still, the feelings and the spirit of the poems are totally real. And because of that some of them were very hard to write. More than just exes arguing over historical details, I’m expecting to take some criticism for the confessional nature of this collection. But I’m glad I wrote it. I think needed to write it.

So that’s the scoop on my second chapbook, Angels & Adultery. Look for it this summer from Seven Kitchens Press!

The Chapbooks Are Here!

Poetry Chapbook Moons, Roads, and Rivers by David J. Bauman. Cover, midnight blue looking up through trees with moonlight. books, desk, mac, laptop, micraphone
Ready to sign and record!

Finally, my author copies of Moons, Roads, and Rivers have arrived! The press was running behind, and the holidays slowed things down even more, but here the little lovelies are and I’m very happy with them.

Since my batch came straight from the printer, the preorder copies will be a few days yet before they arrive at your doors. Thank you! If you haven’t ordered yet, you can by visiting Finishing Line Press’s site, or by contacting your favorite, hopefully, indie bookstore.

I say all of this because several people have contacted me saying that they are worried that their order got lost. Probably not. Just a very overwhelmed press with a release time too close to the holidays. From what they are saying, it might be until the 16th before some of you have your copies. I am so very sorry about that.

If you don’t have yours by the 17th of January, please email them directly at Tell them you ordered Moons, Roads, and Rivers by David J. Bauman, and be sure to mention your correct shipping address. They will have someone look into this email daily in case of missing orders.

Cover image of poetry chapbook Moons, Roads, and Rivers by David J. Bauman. Dark trees, midnight blue and moonlight white lettering serif font
Cover by Michael B. McFarland

If you are new here and haven’t been subject to my incessant self-promotion, Moons, Roads, and Rivers is my first chapbook. It’s a collection of both old and newer poems. Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time on the road and a fair amount of time on, in, or by the river. I grew up along the West Branch of the Susquehanna and now live on the far North Branch. In between, I lived where the two branches meet. But the poems also recall college days in the flatlands of Indiana as well as the wooded hills of central Pennsylvania.

I was divorced from my sons’ mother for most of their lives, so I’ve racked up a lot of driving poems, and since much of that driving was at night, the moon showed up frequently in those pieces. It seemed like a good idea to combine these works and see how they might come together in a small collection, and I think I’m very happy with the result.

Title page of Moons, Roads,, and Rivers by David J. BaumanMostly, I think these are mood and memory pieces. From childhood to fatherhood, it’s the feelings evoked by those travels, those surroundings that permeate these poems, more than any particular “message.”

I hope you enjoy them and order a copy of the chapbook for yourself. I’ll be sharing some information about upcoming readings (You can also check my Events page) and, of course, as is my habit, I’ll be recording a few on SoundCloud and Youtube soon!


Moons, Roads, and Rivers

Cover photo by Michael B. McFarland


Moons, Roads, and Rivers, my first chapbook, is about to be released from Finishing Line Press. Click here to order your copy!

The printer is running a few weeks behind, but it looks like any pre-orders should arrive by Christmas or the New Year at the latest.

Moons, Roads, and Rivers is a small collection of poems set along highways and side roads from Pennsylvania to Indiana, from backyards and bar stools to graveyards and broken-down cars. Continue reading “Moons, Roads, and Rivers”

God, Dad, and Cars

I had an interesting conversation with a coworker this morning. Unfortunately, my boss asked for his promotional postcard for my upcoming chapbook to be sent to the main library. So the impression was that I was being pushy since we received “multiple” postcards (I think really only the two unless she’s referring to the other branches as well).

Ah, sometimes the negativity bugs that crawl around work places–they just show up, no matter how good your intentions. The first question asked was why the library wasn’t getting donated, signed copies. I quipped (half-jokingly) that I didn’t write the book to just give it away. But I eventually assured her that copies were being bought and donated to all the branches and I would happily sign them. I just wanted my coworkers to know about it and share my joy.

Then she said that she didn’t “get today’s poetry.” I confess I was annoyed for a half second, expecting the old “but it doesn’t rhyme!” complaint. But then I thought, well, it’s really a fair, albeit broad statement. I mean, I’m not crazy about some poetry today either.

She and I don’t work together often, only once or twice a week when I am down at the main branch. And it occurred to me, what a great opportunity this was to talk about poetry! So I asked what she liked and she quoted the opening lines from “The Children’s Hour.” In response, I shared a recitation from memory, “Ask Me” by William Stafford, which she was surprised to discover she very much liked. “It’s beautiful, and it flows!”

I told her it was a favorite of mine, that the poet had died a few years back, and that he was one of my heroes. While my writing is not as brilliant as his, he was certainly an influence. I like to play with sound and line endings, to find a rhythm in the language that might not be expected, and often isn’t traditional.  Then I pulled up the following poem, originally published in The Blue Hour Magazine. I told her this is a small sample of what’s in this chapbook, though there are some other more surreal pieces as well.

She looked over my shoulder at the screen as I read it aloud to her. She seemed to brighten even more and said she liked it. I’m hoping this was a step toward making a convert.

God, Dad, and Cars

I’m 8 years old, perched
on a headlight under the raised hood
of our white four-door Chevy,

which has somehow stranded us
at Uncle Bob’s farm.
But this isn’t like the time before,

in Canada, when we broke down
along a country road, far from home.
Across the back seat Crystal and I

had played cards with mom while you
paced, and raged how God must hate
you. I wondered, why you thought

He’d bother a little family like ours,
only on vacation. Wouldn’t He
have more important things to do?

No one home at the farm,
but you know where the tools are—
your hands gloved in grease.

You are in control, under sweat
and sun. I hold something in place
while you work. Afterwards,

when the engine cranks,
you thank me, slap me on the back.
“Thank God you were here,” your smile

wide and rare as the words you say:
“I couldn’t have done it without you.
I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Originally published in The Blue Hour Magazine, August 2013

Please consider pre-ordering the chapbook, Moons, Roads, and Rivers, from Finishing line Press. Just click here. 

New release: Wives’ Tales by Marjorie Maddox

I just ordered my copy of Marjorie Maddox’s new chapbook! I still have yet to publish the review of her full collection, True, False, or None of the Above, which came out this past spring. Look for some fun little clerihews of hers in the new edition of Word Fountain as well!

Today marks the release of the newest title in our Editor’s Series: Wives’ Tales by Marjorie Maddox. Get your copy here!

Source: New release: Wives’ Tales by Marjorie Maddox

Skiing, Surfing, Journal Searching, and Jennifer Bullis

Jennifer-Bullis_sq-672x372So, since our gathering here to sing “Auld Lang Syne,” I’ve been working on one of the chapbook manuscripts. Last night I sent that out, after editing and paring it down from 20 to 16 more solid poems in a better order. That’s two chapbooks out there circling the contest world, and one more in the works. That’s good, Self. Very good. Keep at it.

Also good is the fact that I’ve been working on some new writing. I can’t say I’ve actually finished any new poems, but I have several new lines and stanzas that I am chasing around my notebook pages, hoping to see some things come together.

So I haven’t submitted to any journals in the last couple of months, and I figured I should be doing more research to that end. I’ve liked Cider Press Review when I checked it out in the past, so I returned to it last night and serendipitously found a poem there written by my poet-blogging buddy Jennifer Bullis–How delightful! Good job Cider Press Review. I approve.

Click here to go to Cider Press Review, where you can imagine “Skiing” with Jennifer.