bad at the Internet

Friday night I came home from such a wonderful evening which was about a year in the making and checked my email and assumed that since I hadn’t received an email from Write Bloody I hadn’t won the contest. I saw something on-line, but didn’t investigate, because I was pretty disappointed. On Saturday I was early to meet a friend for lunch and while I waited I worked out the melancholy by writing about how I always feel ashamed when I lose. As though the rejection is a confirmation of my own unworthiness–my own unreasonable, inflated sense of self (just who do you think you are, Seema?), which is exhausting since the business of writing is pretty much more rejection than anything else. While the business is that way, writing itself is not. Nothing matches the high of writing A. Good. Thing. that you recognize as such, that you can’t deny. Writing for the contest gave me a few poems like that, and I thought, well, I guess that was the point of the exercise, and that’s totally worth it. I made peace with the thing and put it aside and had a lovely lunch and then checked my phone afterward and saw the “Welcome and Congratulations” email from Write Bloody. What a fucking rollercoaster my own incompetence took me on.

So I’m bad at the Internet but I have a collection of poetry coming out in 2018 (!!!) with a press I really admire and turn to as a reader. I’m so excited to get to work tightening these poems and writing the ones that need to be written. I danced so hard on Saturday night, all alone in the living room (with some Facetime visitors) for more than an hour, sweating my exuberance and drinking a cold can of cheap beer. For that one evening all that mattered was the joy in my bright living room. Just as some evenings nothing but my grief seems to exist. Not very different in some ways. And actually, the answer to either is exactly the same: dance, then get back to writing.

Here’s a poem I’m digging. Write fourteen lines in response, about the most important thing in your day today. Two seven line stanzas. Or, you know, whatever you need to write.

Only This Morning

In a hundred trillion years—
an actual number
though we can’t begin
to grasp it—the last traces
of our universe will be not
even a memory
with no memory to lament it.

The last dust of the last star
will not drift in the great nothing
out of which everything we love
or imagine eventually comes.

Yet every day, every four hours
around the clock, Debbie prepares
her goat’s-milk mix
for the orphaned filly
who sucks down all three liters of it,
gratefully, it seems,
as if it matters more
than anything in the universe—
and it does—at this moment
while the sun is still
four hours from rising
on the only day that matters.

One thought on “bad at the Internet

  1. Margaret Hardy

    I have suggested your blog to some wonderful people. Thanks for being you.

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