Monday, June 13, 2011

this is.

I was thinking about calling you, but then I decided I should just write. Fewer interruptions, clearer sentences.

Maybe not.

I'm feeling this crazy sense of loss right now. I have 17 days left in Chicago. I graduate on Friday, my parents and sister are visiting this weekend, there's a graduation brunch open house thing being planned. I have things to do, people to see. And I'm trying to pretend that it's not happening.

I got another rejection in the inbox today--this time for a journal that I've sent poetry to at least three times. And every time the editor makes a comment on how close my work is. Close but no cigar. Today's comment was "Interesting work and approach." (This is addition to "very interested, but not interested enough" sugar coated.) Part of me is so used to rejection. And part of me is so frustrated. And part of me is wondering if I just wasted three years of my life studying poetry.

Now you'll comment, say that I'm being ridiculous. But I'm not. I could have been working, could have been creating a future. I feel future-less right now. I want to publish, but I don't know what more I can do. And I want to teach, but it seems like every door and window is shut. And there are freelance and consulting opportunities, and I can get excited about those, but they're not enough for a life.

I've spent three years creating this life, and I'm walking away from it. And I can't explain it. I can't say that I have a plan, and I'm starting to wonder if I even have faith. I have fear. And this nervous sense that I'm not going to be good enough, ever.

It's this awful feeling, and it's not what I was going to write about. I was going to tell you how wonderful Chicago is, how lucky I am. How lucky I was. What do I do now? Where do I go from here?

. . . .

My last assignment to turn in was a cento. A cento is a poem created by using lines from other poems and poets--all the lines of this cento are from Susan Slaviero. It's a little more intense than what I usually write, but it's something--and I need something.


Naked, you are all hello, holograph.
Nothing especially miraculous.

This is something you might see
—these concrete constellations—

to simulate the stain of pomegranate.
to kiss the stump of your pretty neck.

In the right kind of shadow, she could be
starlike dents, a row of rivets.
                                                This Madonna
bribed to cut out her mechanical heart.

This is a beautiful horror
when everything bleeds sepia.           


Anna B said...

that poem is amazing. also, i'm so sorry about the rejection--i hate that journal and all their editors. also, i sympathize with this feeling of loss--it is horrible. i wish i knew how to make it go away (that would be great for me, too!)--but, i will say that i am positive that you are good enough. 100% sure.


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