“Basically, it’s a collection of my poems from barstools and other musings that I’m going to do in a small run on actual cocktail napkins,” says supper-club crooner David Patrone of his Napkin Diaries project, which includes “Selling self-typed napkins that I have certified as being created personally by me.” Patrone also posts photographs of his paper prose on Instagram, Wordpress, and literary sites where he says, “My poems are starting to blow up online among poets.”
“I’ve been typing them out on a vintage Underwood manual typewriter that I borrowed from a friend of mine. Some of the cocktail napkins are actually from places like the Red Fox Room and the Four Seasons and stuff.”
David Patrone Quartet
...live at the Tin Roof
Plans to distribute include both DIY and traditional methods. “What I’m going to do is start selling a hundred or so copies of each poem, which I personally type and sign and certify. I’ll sell them on Etsy or Deviant Art, and then I’ll have books published with the poems in book form and possibly a photo book that features each original napkin picture that I posted on Instagram and Wordpress with the lighting filters...I’m trying to find a publisher who will actually reproduce copies on actual napkins.”
Samples posted at napkindiaries.wordpress.com have earned enough positive commentary to encourage Patrone’s aspirations as a barroom bard. “The online poetry community is unbelievable. I can’t believe how many great poets there are out there. It’s unreal. I haven’t even scratched the surface. I mean, there are hundreds or more who have tens of thousands of followers. I picked up about five hundred in a couple of weeks, and it’s growing daily.”
Asked to describe the work, Patrone says “They’re on all sorts of topics. I mean, there’s no real category. It’s just all the random stuff I think of in a day and, man, do I think of a lot of random stuff... They’re complicated, despite the brevity. Most of them have at least three different meanings, or ways that you can look at them.
“Once I have about a hundred [napkin poems] posted, I’m going to really push the promo. I have about 60 on Instagram now, but I’m transcribing a couple a day and, since I’ve been typing them, I get new material all the time. It’s like my brain is exploding right now.”