Tag Archives: new books

A Rough Deliverance Ebook Now Available on Amazon

So I got ambitious and got the manuscript for A Rough Deliverance: Collected Poems 1983-2013 ready for publication much earlier than I thought I would.  The Kindle version is now available on Amazon.com (the print version will be out shortly as well).  This is how I’ve described the book:

A Rough Deliverance begins with poems the author wrote as an ambitious, conflicted, and sometimes naive 22-year-old college student just learning to navigate her life on her own,a young woman who wanted nothing more than to be a “famous poet.” 

It closes with poems written by a woman thirty years older–in some ways very different, in some ways very much the same, perhaps wiser and perhaps not. She is not a famous poet, but she is someone who has loved deeply, witnessed the ravages of an epidemic from the “front lines,” grieved, traveled extensively, made terrible choices and perfect ones, over-indulged and abstained, raised a wonderful son, wrestled with anger and shame about the past and fear of what’s to come, and finally learned to see all of it as absolutely worthwhile. 

This is a collection of poems that documents a ragged, imperfect, and ultimately joyful life lived one deliverance at a time. 

The poems are about love, family, alcoholism, suicide, travel, chance meetings, sex, AIDS, and many other things.  If you read poetry, or if you’ve liked some of the poems I’ve posted here recently, I hope you’ll take a look (as always, reviews on the book’s Amazon.com page, and elsewhere, are greatly appreciated!).

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GREJ626

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Dancing Barefoot

I think I kind of fell in love with Patti Smith during my freshman year at Reed College.  I listened to her album Horses over and over; it was a revelation to me–an 18-year-old poet newly on her own, trying to find the things that felt right to her (that process became considerably easier once I got to Reed).  Patti felt right.  I had an oversized man’s blazer-type jacket (which I often wore over my long hippie dresses, or with a big button-down white shirt) on which I pinned a little horse–just like Patti on Mapplethorpe’s cover for the album.  I was a little obsessed, but hey–I was 18.  I still love Patti.

I included her song “Dancing Barefoot” on my playlist for Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS’ Wildfire Days, because something in the song’s lyrics reminds me of my regrets about my days with David, and of something I learned from those regrets, years later.

In spite of the fact that I risked my job by more-or-less moving into David’s little Lower East Side apartment with him and trying to care for him until his death eight months later, there were things that I held back–things that I wish I’d done, but didn’t (the kiss that he offered, and that I refused early on in our relationship, is like a “ground zero” for the memoir, and for my own memories).  Yes–he had full-blown AIDS, and people will argue that that was reason enough not to kiss him, but I don’t think it was MY reason (I also knew that I wasn’t going to get HIV through a kiss).  I was just confused, and holding back because of that constant, nagging feeling that I was doing something wrong by being there with him at all.  I will always wish that I had, at the very least, accepted his kiss.  That “holding back” continued in many other ways during those eight months.  These days–in large part because of my realization of what was lost as a result of my fear of “doing the ‘wrong’ thing”–I am somewhat braver, and less beholden to some idea of what people might think (although I’m still a work-in-progress in that regard as well).

As far as I can tell, the song “Dancing Barefoot” is about that blessed letting-go, and that willingness to go with what one feels in her heart, rather than slavishly following “conventional wisdom”, dogma, random “rules” set by people who simply have different ideas about things, prejudices (my own subtle and barely acknowledged ideas about “addicts” at the time played into my dealings with David as well–at least at first).

It’s a truly beautiful song.  Here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRWSy3RhW0w

(Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS’ Wildfire Days is available at:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009TV4CE6)

Another Song from the Playlist: “Hurt” (Johnny Cash Version)

I’d never heard this song–either the original version by Nine Inch Nails or this cover by Johnny Cash–until the latter somehow accidentally showed up on my iPod one day while I was going through some of the worst of my delayed grief, seventeen years after David passed away as a result of AIDS.  Like “Streets of Philadelphia,” it knocked the breath out of me the first time I heard it (and often still does).  I don’t know everything that was going through David’s mind during the last eight months of his life, but, like the lyrics of “Streets of Philadelphia,” the lyrics of “Hurt” (and the way Cash sings them, and the video itself) seem very likely to be the kinds of thoughts that a man–an almost lifelong heroin addict–who knows that he is dying might have.

Still, I will never see David’s life as an “empire of dirt”; I will always believe that it was worth much more than he had, I think, come to believe it was.  As I write in Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS’ Wildfire Days, “Like any life, it mattered.”  That’s actually kind of the point of the book.

The song is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmVAWKfJ4Go

(Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS’ Wildfire Days is available at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009TV4CE6.)

Introducing My Labour of Love

Hi Everyone,

I’ve started this blog as a way to introduce and promote (well, YEAH) my new memoir, Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS’ Wildfire Days.  The book is self-published (but please don’t jump to any conclusions based on that just yet) as an ebook; I hope to have a print version out very soon.

The book is now available on Amazon here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009TV4CE6 

This is the description listed on the book’s Amazon page:

When they met, David was a 41-year-old heroin addict, homeless and dying of AIDS. The author was a 27-year-old, self-absorbed, bar-hopping would-be poet–and his caseworker. In 1989, in New York City, there was nothing “manageable” about AIDS, and David would have only eight more months to live. Something about him drew her to him until the boundary between “caseworker” and “client” dissolved, and she fell in love with him. Living together in secrecy in his little Lower East Side studio for those final eight months, they hoped for the impossible until it was impossible to hope any more. In the short time they had together–a time that would change them both–they formed a relationship that would, sixteen years later, unexpectedly and with ferocity come back to haunt the author, send her into the full-fledged grief that she had denied herself when David died, and change her life once again.

The book has been a labour of love; it took me 22 years to finish it.  I hope you’ll take a look. 

Thanks!

Nancy Bevilaqua

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