29 August 2012


Lately there has been a problem with my brains. They are not firing on all cylinders. Or some other metaphor for things working slightly off-kilter.

In general, I'm a lazy person. By that, I mean that I am not likely to shower or dress unless I have to. Unless I am going to work, and even then, I may wear dirty pants. I like my personal space. I sit and listen to music and read or write most days. When I'm not writing or reading I'm watching Jessica Fletcher kick crime's ass.

She'll kick your ass so hard you'll thank her.
Lately though, I've been so unmotivated that I'm starting to call it a block. A strange success block. Like I'm afraid of it.

I mentioned in Friday's post that I was looking for an agent. For the novel I wrote. And I sent to 12 agents in a burst of magnificent energy three weeks ago. It was beautiful, hopeful, I wrote a query letter and sent it. I got 4 rejections and the rest are ? for now.

Then I turned off.

I do this with submitting poetry. When asked about it I say things like 'I hate the game of it' or 'It's just so heartbreaking' and it is true that the game is sort stupid and I do find it soul-crushing/saddening.

But that is no excuse for not allowing myself to become the great American writer I know that I am. But I cannot seem to reignite the fire that I had when I was 22. When I was sending poems out all the time, by mail. Collecting a stack of rejections that I treasured with the utmost sincerity. They were markers on the road to something.

Today I cannot tell you where those letters are. The beautiful one Brenda Shaughnessy wrote me from Tin House. The terrible slip of laminated paper from Poetry. All gone.

What happened? When did I become someone less interested in this supposed writing career that I ran away from home at 18 to go get? Am I in danger of being one of those people who 'used to write'?

I hate rhetorical questions. That creepy hook of a ? hanging there on the car door of a sentence just inches from the young co-ed that is my thought process.

But that process has vanished for me. Right now I have a finished novel and hundreds of poems just taking up hard drive space and instead of sending to magazines or fighting for something more than the 100 or so page views a day I get here. I am thinking about a plan B.

And it isn't even because I don't have faith in the work.

Your poems are ho shit.
I love my poems. When they are good they will kick your poems asses and then tell them that they liked it. They pity da fool that is your iamb or whatever stupid shit you're working on these days because frankly they are just too damn good to care.

I just don't appear to have the ability to kick my own ass. So I need to figure that out. Suggestions?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous29/8/12 11:40

    You're hilarious! With the Mr. T thing, that is.

    Your problem is real. The first thing that comes to mind to suggest is to look out into the submission world again. Try NewPages.com They keep not only an inventory of places to send to as well as reviews on said places but also keep a frequently updated calls for submissions.

    More than anything, keep at it. It occurred to me the other day that a successful life in poetry will mean still sending submissions out thirty years from now. The point being: there's got to be a way to reconcile one's self to the process over time.


    Jose Angel Araguz