Background: Five years or so passed after the production of "Revelation" (my first best of), so upon leaving my house and concluding my divorce, I felt it was time (and I was able to) step back and put together books of all the poems that really mattered to me. So I printed copies of all of them (over 1000 poems (leaving about another 900 for which I had no digital copies)) and began to edit and organize them so that I could pick out my favorite and/or what I felt were my "best" poems.
Very shortly there after I realized that I could not more "sort", i.e. A, B, C, the poems than I could say one of my children were my favorite over the other. So I searched for better analogies: what I came up with were Trees, to all of which i owe a great allegiance.
Over the ensuing three months, I was able to see sets of reoccurring themes, Love, Nature, God, Death, etc., as well as group them according to body parts. (I know more favored my right arm over my left, vice versa, nor they over my torso or head,. Without any of them i would feel incomplete.
Thus, 6 books were created: PECAN-HEAD, OAK-TORSO, CYPRESS-RIGHT_ARM, ELM-LEFT_ARM, WILLOW-LEFT_LEG, ASH-RIGHT_LEG, all of which I will publish as ebooks.
I am starting by publishing OAK-TORSO, because the poems included are the "nearest and dearest" to my heart. It includes the Long Poems, one almost forty pages long, as well as, all of the dramatic monologues I wrote for presentation at poetry open mics in Austin, TX (my home).
In closing, I say this: a human being is no more a single blade of grass (to borrow from Whitman) than he or she is a single role. We encompass many roles, and thus, are more akin to forests. And I, for one, freely and proudly, admit, "I am a tree-hugger."