A day of: We-really-loved-these-poems-but-we-are-passing;-please-send-us-more-of-your-work-soon-though, rejections from much admired journals somehow feels like a win?Especially since all writing takes place usually pulled over on the road shoulder and tapping in Google Keep. If my earnest, (if inconsistent) efforts submitting work yield positive feedback instead of the standard: hey NO WAY, I have to find actual discipline around submitting, a process that for whatever reason feels akin to ripping off my skin in long strips.
There’s an old theologian whose name escapes me and he kept journals for decades and every year said the same thing: I’m focused on becoming more disciplined around my work and goals. I think of that a lot. And that guy probably wasn’t primary parent to a young child, a business owner, and managing being a woman in this eye-rollingly frustrating and threatening culture. So if he couldn’t even manage it and all he had to do was spend time contemplating God and faith, I’m going elect being kinder to myself and remain doing it as I’m able, with continuous intent to do more and better.
I feel a small internal thrill that the Richard poems are doing well for themselves and being understood. I was concerned they would be written off as poetic fan fiction (which, technically they are) and thus have sat on them, in some cases, for four years. But there’s a lot of them now and I so much want for them to become their own chapbook.
My goal this year was one complete manuscript (done), and a stretch goal of three manuscripts, the two others being chapbook sized. But the Richard poems need loads more work. About five are in really good shape. Eight are in the middle, and then it gets really rough. And, I don’t know when to stop writing them? The narrative is so loose I can justify a lot falling thematically in line. So I wonder if the device is just turning into a crutch and detracting from otherwise strong poems by utilizing the apostrophe? The one thing those poems do for me is generally force me to write succinct, one or two breath poems (on the side of the road), which is something my dearly loved Stephanie Adams-Santos has been urging me toward for a long while. I feel sorta nude without a lot of movements stringing.
I’ve been trying to write outside of the Richard poems and I have, but if I add: Richard, at the top, they all still work, just differently. Like, this I drafted last weekend (it’s rough, so, so rough)…
It works, in his one time paramour’s speaking voice that I’ve created,
but it also works this way, if very differently and with different implications.
So, idk. It’s very fitting if in Richard, I’ve created a monster that’s out of my control… sort of like the country did in his narrative, by sending him to war. JUST SAYING.