21 April, 2009

Ass-shaped Hole

...I don't have to miss no TV shows/ I can start my whole life over/ change the numbers on my telephone/but the nights will sure be colder....

Once again, Real Life interferes with my Virtual Life, and Actual Offspring preclude Productive Writing, which pisses me off, you know it.

And yet.

While at CityLit this weekend (mostly to see Leslie Miller and her book Let Me Eat Cake), I attended what I thought was a poetry workshop (it was billed as a poetry workshop: bring 2 copies of a poem you wrote) and naturally couldn't select just one poem, because the others would feel snubbed- took with me thirteen pages (yes) times two of poems because deciding is just too much work. GWB can go ahead and be the Decider; I can't be bothered. At any rate. Was that a run-on?? Fragment? Did I have a point?

Oh, yes. It wasn't a workshop at all, but a vetting process for an eeeeteetiny literary magazine, more like a literary pamphlet, literary flyer, literary tri-fold, if you will. Cute and adorable and limited for space, so let's us just look at the short ones, then, shall we? And I've been asked to submit five (I think five; at least four) of my poems to the editor. Which is nice, even though of course no one will ever read it. However, to be perceived as having literary chops, one must publish. To publish, one must submit. And submission is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PROCESS from writing. I can write like nobody's business. I can write up one side and down another. I can write your cliche and eat it, too. I can write what you meant better than you meant it. But researching places to send stuff? And actually sending it? And keeping track of who said Yes, who said No, and who never responded one way or another? Haven't been able to manage it.

My darling friend FurPoet (distinguished from my other darling friend BaldPoet) says, "Cybele, nobody is going to come ask for the poems sitting in your drawer." Which is sad and unfortunate and accurate, and sounds suspiciously as though he's quoting me back to me, because if memory serves (poorly, as usual) I have said this very thing at poetry workshops, un-blocking seminars, and I guess anytime anyone asked me. Usually I say this in response to people who are afraid to submit, because they fear rejection. Afraid to submit due to inexperience. Afraid to submit, suffering from intellectual intimidation. My problem is much simpler: I have a dreadful case of Cantgetoffmyassosis. I've said, and it's true, that I am the most inconvenient combination of Lazy and Vain that I've ever met.

So I will send the ones that were vetted, and perhaps get published, perhaps get motivated, perhaps produce a chapbook called The Ones You Never Hear, since Primarily Decorative reads only the ones practically guaranteed a good audience response, rarely the touching, poignant, perhaps edgy ones, at least not more than once, but the fellow who vetted my work liked two or three that no one has seen but me.

Which shouldn't surprise me. Except, I got through February okay, and then March hit. Hard and ugly and full of the fucking rain. March continues into April, and only twice this month have we seen April-ish weather. I'd say I hate to bitch about the weather, and hate to blame my moods and lack of productivity on the weather, but obviously, that isn't even remotely true. What I hate is hearing myself bitch about the weather and the havoc it wreaks on my internal chemistry, that's what I hate.

So it shouldn't surprise me, except I've been exceptionally unlike my normal cynically merry self, and there've been exceptionally few Topless days. I thought I'd escaped my usual pattern of wearing an ass-shaped hole in the sofa, eating cookies and drinking eggnog and getting fat and watching the house turn to a bear-pit around me, because each winter it gets a bit worse, the depression, but what I've done, I think, is postpone it. And I'm blue like royalty, like suede shoes, like Picasso, like I shot a man in Memphis.

More storms a-brewin', and not just on the horizon, I think.

(Bluer Than Blue; Michael Johnson)

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