Over Thanksgiving, Michael Wells, editor of Rogue Poetry Review, announced that he was nominating one of my poems, "Mania", for inclusion in the 2006 Pushcart Prize Anthology. I'm honored for "Mania" to have been chosen, of course, as some of you know, since I emailed you to share the rejoicing.
One of you sent back a response that made me laugh aloud at the keyboard, probably because it so accurately captured how I felt, myself: "WAHOO! PUSHCART NOMINATION! AFFIRMATION, BABY!"
"Now that," said Great Scott, who had come to investigate my outburst, "is a man who understands!" Indeed.
If you follow the link from Rogue Poetry Review to read "Mania", I'd like to explain that it was written about the manic phase of bipolar disorder, a state often characterized by high energy, restlessness, sleeplessness, pressurized thoughts and speech and sometimes by rhyming "clanging" word association, and irritability capable of escalating into violent or other self-destructive behavior before crashing into depression. The mockingbird in the poem is the manic phase itself. Bipolar disorder is also sometimes associated with heightened states of creativity/production, and some people with the disorder are reluctant or refuse to take medication for fear no longer being able to create as fluidly and profusely as before--or even not at all.
A second note: I really, really DO like mockingbirds. A lot.