ACTS OF SPEECH Paperback

The paperback of Acts of Speech is available for purchase. It has been listed automatically on Amazon and on the more ethical alternative Bookshop.org. To order from another source (I highly recommend your local independent bookstore), you will have to call the bookstore to express interest — it’s in the main book ordering database that booksellers use, but booksellers need to hear interest in order to stock it.

Acts of Speech explores performative, public, and private religious speech and how they construct identity and difference. It blends praise poetry primarily in honor of various Hellenic Gods, including Apollon, the Mousai, Hermes, and Mnemosyne, with more private poems in a tense dance of parasociality and intimacy. Above all, it is a time capsule of experiences frozen in syllable, verse, and image.

Part I is performative (with a lot of poems that are likely recitation-appropriate for personal prayers), Part II is an agora of ideas for all of us to ponder, and Part III is personal stuff and religious identity sensemaking. Enjoy!

Here are the ebook links again. Remember to use Gumroad if you need an Amazon-compatible book; Acts of Speech cannot be sold in the Amazon store as an ebook because it contains >5% reprinted content from my religious blog, primarily things in Part I, and some items that I have previously had published in online lit mag venues.

GUMROAD (no DRM): https://gumroad.com/kayeboesme#otBJHM

Ebook Stores: https://books2read.com/b/mdlBaE

Here is the Table of Contents:

Part I

A Prayer for Beginnings …… 2
Mississippi Apollo …… 3
To the Mousai at Taughannock Falls …… 5
To Nyx …… 6
Iron-Maker …… 8
Pandora: An Afterthought …… 10
Kore and Plouton …… 12
To Hygeia …… 13
To Asklepios …… 14
To Asklepios II …… 16
The Birth of the Erinyes …… 18
To Ge …… 20
The Suppliant …… 21
For Apollon’s Circle …… 23
A Prayer for Rough Seas and Stalled Projects …… 25
For the Mousai …… 27
– I. Ourania. …… 27
– II. Erato …… 28
– III. Kleio …… 28
– IV. Melpomene …… 29
– V. Terpsikhore …… 30
– VI. Polymnia …… 32
– VII. Euterpe …… 33
– VIII. Thalia …… 33
– IX. Kalliope …… 34
To Apollon Moiragetes …… 36
To the Erinyes, Who Remember All …… 37
To Mnemosyne …… 38
Hera …… 40
Erinyes …… 41
To Eris …… 43
To Horkos …… 45
To Hermes …… 46
CDM …… 47
To Hermes …… 49
A Prayer for Endings …… 51

Part II

A Daily Prayer …… 55
For Dionysos …… 56
For Apollon …… 57
To Zeus Who Releases the Rain …… 58
Exacters of Justice …… 59
Five Poems for Athene …… 60
– I. To Athene …… 60
– II. Thoughts on Deacy’s Athena …… 61
– III. Three …… 62
– IV. To the Foresightful, Inventive One …… 63
– V. To Athene Mekhanitis …… 64
Nineday …… 67
The Names of Gods …… 69
Ge Adorns the Suns with Rings …… 71
For Mnemosyne …… 72
For Cosmic Artemis …… 74
For Apollon Without Measure …… 76
Mirror …… 77
Light-Scattered Fire Upon Us …… 80
To Apollon of the Steep Cliffs …… 82
Plasma Veils …… 84
What Images We Make …… 85
For Mnemosyne The Wayfinder …… 86
To Rule: A Meditation on the Choice of Paris …… 88
Reflections as the World Falls Apart …… 89
△ …… 91
To the Horai …… 93
Ephemerality — Justice — Love …… 95
– I. Ephemerality …… 95
– II. Justice …… 95
– III. Love …… 96
Online Agorae …… 98
Concord, Faith, Harmony …… 100

Part III

Acts of Speech …… 105
Like Cassandra …… 106
The Cosmos — Void — Night — Radiance …… 107
– I. The Cosmos …… 107
– II. Void …… 108
– III. Night …… 109
– IV. Radiance …… 110
Like a Knife’s Edge …… 112
Solstice Dawn …… 114
Hello, Iris …… 115
A Catalog of Doubts …… 117
On a Bench in College …… 119
Hermes, Giver of Joy …… 120
To Keep the Lantern Burning (Reliance) …… 121
A Gift of Ink and Water …… 123
Mousai …… 126
Rediscovery …… 127
Fragments with No Homes …… 128
Julian’s Ghost …… 130
Inspiraling …… 133
Eumenideia …… 134
To Womanly Herakles …… 135
On Mysteries and Bonds …… 138
Enthrallment …… 139
House of Ink …… 141
On Thargelia …… 142
Suspension …… 144

Update: ACTS OF SPEECH

The logistics of Acts of Speech are coming together. When I decided to self-publish a poetry book, it was partially an experiment because I don’t know how self-publishing works, and this is a good first try. By the time each i is dotted and each t is crossed, I will have a firm idea of the logistics before I embark on other projects.

This is great for a book that I didn’t even decide to (vaguely) put together until the first part of 2019 and that I didn’t have a final final no this one this (no, I don’t name my files like that, I swear) copy until September because I decided to fudge around with the table of contents and add a few more poems.

Acts of Speech also has a book cover designed by L. T. Williams, whose art is fabulous.

This book cover is absolutely stunning, and I want to eat all of the greens and blues and oranges, they are so vividly beautiful.

I thought that this part would be a lot of waiting and pacing because I needed certain things to do ISBN forms, and I needed the ISBN forms to do the Library of Congress control number form for self-publishing. The LCCN is supposed to take about two weeks for turnaround, but I got it literally in a single business day — and I’m betting that part of this is due to workload shifts in libraries towards digital projects and workflows because many of the staff members must be remote during the pandemic.

One big decision I made was to label this religious poetry. I grew up Neopagan, and it always bothered me that the religious books I wanted were shelved in the New Age section and often interfiled with conspiracy theory writers warning us of deep Reptilian conspiracies and starseeds. Using the word religion and calling it religious poetry in the way I describe subjects in Bowker and the self-publishing distribution venue I’m using (Draft2Digital) is a way of forcing my work onto the bookshelves where I think work like this belongs. It’s nice to have that level of control.

In a few weeks — after another obsessive skim to make sure I’ve caught typos — I’ll make another post describing where to find it. The publication date is October 29, so it’s coming right up.