Copycat Blues! (Or Another Drive Down the Crybaby Highway)
OK, so I know that ideas for things like book covers and such aren’t, well, what’s the word for it? Proprietary? Is that it? Maybe this is no big deal, but I’m seriously hacked off that Tony Hoagland’s new book, due out in February looks the way it does (below). No crime has been committed, I know. There’s no one to complain to, so I’ll just rant a bit about it here, as Amy Freels did a superb job on the cover of Map of the Folded World (above). I hate the fact that it has to share the artwork of Amy Casey with Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty. Was there even a Honda Dynasty? That's a joke, right? Some joke on the fact that Hondas were cheap cars and were once plentiful? And it does kind of sound like one of the dynasties? And having Americana houses strung together does help bridge the Honda Dynasty into the American decline. Yes, but.
It’s like a cosmic joke on me for criticizing his essays and comments about other poets, to have this happen. I can see the humor in that, but currently I am not laughing. Grrr. In fact.
When I was working with Martha Rhodes at Four Way Books on the cover for The Little Book of Guesses, we had an idea for a bit on a wonderful image of one of those photographs of falling houses. I was so hopeful that would be the cover, until Martha told me that she saw a book with another of those photographs on it a couple years earlier. She said it would be in bad taste to go ahead with that idea, and I agreed.
So here I am looking at the cover of Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty (below) feeling disturbed. Am I making too much of this? The fact that he’s relatively well-known and I’m relatively unknown makes me think that in the future people will remember his cover and then if they see mine, they’ll think mine was the copycat. I’m making too much of this I’m sure, but right now I’m just highly irritated and ranting to the dogs who just look up at me mournfully and trusting. Aargh. I think I’ll go out and throw them a ball now.