“These Poems Need Homes – To Make A Long Story Longer” is the second book of poetry self-published by Dominic “Flominic” Farrenkopf.
The poems – previously published in the Ravalli Republic each Saturday, plus six bonus poems, are seasonal and whimsical rhyming poems - written for entertainment.
Farrenkopf said they are self-published because he was tired of waiting.
“People were requesting it and it’s always been a dream of mine to be published,” said Farrenkopf. “I recommend [self-publishing] because as an author you have so much control.”
His wife designed the cover and he created 10 illustrations. The book has a Library of Congress number, an ISBN number and is copyrighted.
“Some of these poems will transport you back to happy childhood memories, while others will make you appreciate adulthood – all while leading you to a surprise ending,” said Farrenkopf.
Occasionally there is a poem that brings a tear – Memorial Day, graduation, weddings, Thanksgiving.
“In this book is the poem ‘Her Apron’ – about a woman making Thanksgiving dinner and she’s wearing her mom’s apron while she’s doing it. Cooks her mom’s recipes and does things her mom’s way and in the end she’s toasting her mother’s memory. I feel that it’s a powerful poem – as a writer you have to feel what it’s like. We lost my grandmother right before Thanksgiving when I was in high school and this time of year is always hard for my mom.
“It makes me feel good to know I’ve made someone cry – evoked an emotion. You know you’ve written something they can relate to.”
Farrenkopf has an unusual process for writing his poetry. His deadline to turn in the poem to Ravalli Republic editor Sherry Devlin is Friday morning. He gets the idea for the poem early in the week, thinks about it all week and starts writing about 10 p.m. Thursday night. It takes about three hours.
“I write my poems backwards,” said Farrenkopf. “I start with the punch line and write under pressure.”
He writes longhand on paper – counting syllables, making corrections and adjustments, then types it into his computer as a Word document and he pastes it into an email that he doesn’t send until Friday morning.
He has written poems while on vacation and on airplanes.
“You can write a poem everywhere and email it in – technology is great.
“People will say ‘my daughter’s getting married can I use your poem?’
“If people give me an idea for a poem, I always write it - I work it in.
“Sometimes I write from the perspective of a girl or a woman, and my poems are not true. They are fiction. I say “I” – it’s not Dominic it is the character in the poem. It is just a story – it’s all made up. Any similarity to any person living or dead is purely coincidental. I’ve learned to be very careful about what I write in my poems because of the number of people reading them. I feel limited sometimes because I want to say something and I don’t.
“Every story has to rhyme, it has to make sense, it has to have the same number of syllables, it has to tell a story and it has to lead to the punch line. It has to have all those things and to top it off you can’t offend anybody.”
He’s sold nearly 300 of his first book of poetry and they are now in England, Indiana, Texas, Washington, California, Missouri and Montana.
“It’s an expensive hobby, but people like it and that’s why I do it. One day if I was making money from my writing that would be a dream come true. In the meantime, it’s about sharing my work and if I can put a book in someone’s hands and they send it to their mother or brother it’s joy – spreading joy.
“I do it because I love poetry and it adds to the paper. People tell me a lot ‘the first thing I do Saturday morning is read your poem’. It’s fun to be ‘the poem guy’.”
The book is six inches by nine inches and is available in a hard cover for $23.99 or a soft cover for $14.95. Pre-order at email@example.com or call Farrenkopf directly at 375-5438.
He will have a book signing party at the Bitterroot Public Library in Hamilton, Dec. 19, 3-6:30 p.m.
“These Poems Need Homes – To Make A Long Story Longer” is also available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, the Ravalli Republic office and directly from the author.