All those who resist resignation
are my equal.
Juan Calixto Ayamaya was a Yaqui Indian who lived in the early 1700's in what was then New Spain (present-day Mexico). He was a pirate in the Caribbean Sea for several years and in 1740 he led one of the first Yaqui Indian uprisings. I tell his fictionalized story in this novella.
Working on this project brought so much purpose to my life. When I finished it, and no longer had that purpose, I was lost as lost could be. We need a reason to get our shit together, and at this time in my life I needed this project. While I worked on it, I focused on the life of a man whose purpose consisted of preserving the life of an entire people. He had a reason to fight, to strive, to, as they say, get his shit together.
A Spanish translation of this book was made by Carolina Salazar. Cover design by Malcolm Davis.
Going Around The Sun
Going Around The Sun contains 29 poems divided into four parts. When I originally compiled these poems I think I was still under the illusion that joy was something that would one day come and never leave. I still felt, at least unconsciously, that there existed an endpoint to our struggle. To face the reality that we must, again and again, enter into pain is a hard lesson to learn. But if we learn it maybe we can avoid losing our heads in either extreme.
The paperback printing of this book includes a Spanish translation by the poet Rodolfo de Matteis.
I put together this collection of poems to commemorate times shared with my brother, Matthew Sell, the most precious of which was the time we lived together in Biloxi, Mississippi. My brother took his own life December 18, 2017 after a long struggle with mental illness. He had his first psychotic break while stationed in Italy as a member of the Air Force. The years that followed were a mixture of tragedy and triumph, where he returned to school, found the love of his life, got his bachelor's degree, started a career in ironworking, bought his own home, and then, slowly but surely, had all of that stripped away.
To say that I miss him is an understatement. I took him for granted, and even after he attempted suicide on several occasions I couldn't really fathom that he would ever be gone from my life. On the contrary, those failed attempts made him seem more indestructible and were added proof that he would always be here.
I find myself, even now, with an almost irresistible desire to return to the Gulf Coast. I know what lies at the heart of this desire, however; a wish to recreate something that is forever gone. So I will have to content myself with poetry and memories.
I'm an artist. That's how I'd like to define myself. Whatever things I've had to do to carve out time to create are not the things I'd like to define me. However, that being said, I have spent most of my life painting houses, and I do see some connection between my ability to gussy up a room or a home and my ability—through my art—to gussy up a feeling or experience. But above all, for me, creating is a way of overcoming. If I can gain enough insight into my feelings to express them, then I am not held under their sway. Often we are prey to things we don't understand or things that are too painful or scary to face. Being an artist is my way of facing those things. It's my way of overcoming them.
Vincent Sell’s adventure novella “Calixto” is nothing short of a wonderfully thrilling and fun read.
From perilous adventure on the high-seas, to coming-of-age romance, to full blown revolution, this novella confidently packs a grandiose story into a tightly compact package.
In short: you won’t want to put it down.
~ Peter Rabasco
In order to embark on a new phase in our life we must fully extricate ourselves from the one prior. That transition, however, from one phase to another, is not always a clean break; phases dovetail into one another, making it unclear where one phase ends and another begins. This is the preferred way, for it allows one phase to be up and running before another departs. This is not always possible, though; sometimes everything must come to a cold stop and all the momentum, that is usually carried over from one phase to another, must be generated . . . (more)