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“Tomorrow, Yvonne – Poetry & Prose for Suicidal Egotists”
Afterword written by Yvonne de la Vega
.The Afterword page 250 Tomorrow, Yvonne:
“Book design is the art of incorporating the content, style, format, design, and sequence of the various components of a book into a coherent whole. In the words of Jan Tschichold, book design ‘though largely forgotten today, methods and rules upon which it is impossible to improve have been developed over centuries. To produce perfect books these rules have to be brought back to life and applied.’ Richard Hendel describes book design as ‘an arcane subject’ and refers to the need for a context to understand what that means.” —From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : Book Design
For the interior of this book, I chose to stay within the classic book design format, to be respectful of the art and evolution of book design, and with the desire to remain classic in containment while I tore about in mad literature with my rants and rambles that others respectfully call poetry and prose. Cascading the poetry in various trails and figures was the first way I ever saw my poetry published. Sister Elizabeth had done that with my very redundant poem about the river, that made it into the poetry book for open house when I was in the 4th Grade. Of course, later seeing the free form that Langston Hughes and many other great poets used in poetic license upon the page, I was sure to believe this is the only way poetry should be presented even though it is absolutely a thing of choice, nothing more. But only in poetry is this freedom given, and for usage to be utilized for a suggestion of cadence, beat, and moments.
Granted, this is a book of poetry and prose. Still I set out to research the classic book design and its evolution and checked constantly with Chris Yeseta who would help me see the layout through to completion. Can I say Chris’ patience was my virtue? With my constant emails checking with him or the publishers to be sure if it’s “done this way” or “is it normal to…?”, and Chris to the best of his good knowledge and less frantic than I, would answer appropriately and with much more corporeity, being a graphic artist with many books to that credit and I, being a poet with one book, still unpublished, between us.
To be in sync with the classic format, I chose to organize my work in “Parts” with Titled Chapters. I sought to quote the most relevant writer to each Chapter’s Title and thus, Lord Byron for Life, Anne Sexton for the Death chapter, Shakespeare of course for Love, Herodotus’ famous quote of War and Leonard Cohen’s quote for Hope was a hip replacement for what was originally something about the audacity of hope.
The haikus at the end of each Chapter was something I thought would be fun because haikus are fun, but also, they are a depth in the rule of ‘less is more’, like jazz by Miles Davis. And to make it all just about over the top, there are the Kanji symbols that represent each title.
I am grateful to have met Chris Yeseta through RD Armstrong of LUMMOx Press almost 4 years ago. “Tomorrow, Yvonne—Poetry & Prose For Suicidal Egotists” was nearly in the hands of the printer that many years ago. Thankfully, the long wait proved worthwhile in that, I would have included poetry of a quite contrasting political representation that I would today in reality, be ashamed of. Since then, I have Occupied— as in, I took part in protest and civil disobedience. Politics and sentiments aside, the book is more true to a broader scope of prevalence, of which is not limited to Revolution, but broader in terms of Life, Death, Love, War & Hope, written of, in the undercurrents of righteousness, justice and mercy. Hopefully this is translated somehow.
About the cover, being my poetry has until now always been accompanied by jazz, I thought it befitting to fashion the look after a Blue Note album cover. I only hope Blue Note is exalted by it and my attempt not scoffed at… if at all noticed by anyone that could rightly criticize that is, and, I would be humbled, if so.
All in all, looking at the unpublished book even while I write this, it is after all, with my classic this and la la that, in totality, much ado about nothing. It is a poetry book, a book of musings, of prose, of… vanities. But then I ask myself, “What if… this is the only book I’ll ever see published?” After giving it some thought my answer is the same. Much ado about nothing. BUT, should one of my many nieces or nephews come across this book, did I represent the classic to be myself, merely classic? Or, did I set a standard for the child by holding on to a dying art form in my book’s first impression? Also, did I contribute to the overall state of existence of the hard copy, before the e-book, before the chapbook and, in a worthy cliché, before television? Ah, if in these times of self publishing and, inclusively, all of the decentralized industries, if we the people as the protocol setters of today were to follow the protocol our predecessors toiled hard to achieve, some for many decades before nearing a finality, in the case of book design and its standards which harm none, but instead, increase the respect of all and everything books, including their refinements, such as publishing, circulation and recommendations, then perhaps instead of going backwards in time, we would all simply go forward in the perfect states attained by those before us. Regrettably, for many, budget is the cause of an increasing stray from classic form. If we the poets could afford it, we’d add 10 more pages for a glossary of nonsensical nouns with origins all derived from personal poetic licenses, the glossary, being a section at one time, at the back of every good book.
“To produce perfect books these rules have to be brought back to life and applied.”
Books. They should always be perfect. They should be perfect in attraction, because as often as the moralist warning of “never judge a book by its cover” is repeated, it is seldom taken to heart. I say it again. Books should always be perfect. In form, for the education of those who are noticing a book for the first time and, aesthetically, simply because this way, by the laws of attraction, a little more education might continue, regardless of the state of the Union.
Yvonne de la Vega