I have two big projects beginning this year. These have been brewing for sometime.
I am working on a multimedia memoir of my life—growing up, what I am constantly learning, my huge wonderful family, Spina Bifida's everlasting impact, stories about my ongoing adventures on the road, and being so dastardly and poetically witty. The project will begin with me telling stories on raw video. Like a "Mike's Life Storytime Vlog." Then I will write chapters and folks can read first drafts and tell me what they like and don't like. Patrons will help me whittle them down to a sweet book. Of which Patrons will get a copy either free or at cost, depending on your patronage. Supporters will get first look at everything including every draft of all my poems from here on. In April, I will be doing a poem a day for National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) and those will only be available here on my Patreon.
I am starting a small, San José-based publishing house. The working name so far is Monotwin Press and publications will be available via an online store or by subscription. The first year will focus on two zines and two themed poetry collections in chapbook format. The second year we'll add a twice-monthly poetry broadside to the subscription options. In the third year we'll look at publishing full, perfect bound poetry collections from an up-and-coming poet.
Any and all support goes toward making my life and my work just that much easier to produce.
Life is awesome! I have been in the process of progress over the last few years. Quitting smoking and drinking, and now thriving in San José where I can be near my family. I used to tour a lot, but as I've settled back into life in San José, I see how much it needs poetry, humor and live art. My mission is to be to poetry and comedy in San José and Silicon Valley what cheese is to nachos. What air is to butterflies. What hay is to horses. Hey!
Putting on shows in San José is one of my favorite things to do. I want to show my city how incredibly talented it is. It makes me happy to see people laugh, think and cry, and if I can have a hand in that, sign me up. In Silicon Valley, I now organize:
- Live Lit Every Sunday—a weekly open mic for all literature.
- GO! GO! Gong Show!—a monthly, merciless talent competition for all arts.
- The Burning Tale—a monthly workshop, potluck and salon for poems and stories.
- Kitchen Session San José—a biannual houseshow potluck open mic.
- Sweet Home San José—a local monthly newsletter of events.
I put a lot of work into my performances, my writing and my shows. Some months pay off monetarily, the rest pay off socially. I am hoping to get enough patrons to supplement a poet's wage.
I toured incessantly from 2003 to 2013. I slowed down a lot as I realized it was having a negative effect on my health. My writing slowed down and I lived out of a suitcase and a backpack for most of it. In that time, I lived back and forth between San José and Vancouver, Worcester, Portland or Bellingham—never in any city for longer than eighteen months.
I've now lived in the same house in San Jose for over two years—the longest I've lived in any house since 2003.
What I am offering to those who support me is the earliest possible look at my upcoming memoir/autobiography. I haven't begun the process because I want to start it with you. My goal is to share my childhood, my early poetry years in San José, and my life on the road through stories I work out on private videos, podcasts, and written chapters—me telling you my story through a total multi-media experience. The finished product will likely be a published book and companion audiobook. And you will get to have a say in how comes together.
It may take a while. And I look forward all of it.
Thank you for your time and your patronage.