Over time, I imagine, I strike some kind of strange balance, but it makes it really difficult to know who I am. I have trouble seeing the “both-and.” I have trouble seeing the multitudes contained as part of a cohesive whole.
It’s important to find happiness and satisfaction in poetry activities that do not revolve around notices of acceptance. Here are 7 ways to cope (thrive, even!) when you get stuck thinking in terms of success and failure. As a bonus, they make you both a better poet and a better literary citizen.
I’m after an experience. Not a recounting of an experience, but an exploration that just isn’t possible when I’m my clumsy mortal self stumbling around being an asshole (we’re all assholes), never having the right words.
When I find a phrase, an image or line that shows me something new, I believe in transformation — of the moment, of the object, of the self. And when I put them together into a finished poem, the whole world starts to make sense.
I wake up and make oatmeal. I take my Subaru for its oil change. I go with my boyfriend to Bennington on an unseasonably warm February Saturday. We browse galleries and bookstores. We eat and drink at a local brewery where Marilyn Monroe watches us sideways from her perch atop an old upright piano. Things are perfectly normal.
It’s far harder for me tear myself away from my significant other, from my kids, from family and friends when I’m in love with myself and all of them. But when I’m in a funk, I retreat and write.
Since when is the “promise” to make a living or become a celebrity the only good reason to do anything? We’re obsessed with too much bull shit like that.