You should get over it already.

Who among us, when met by a resting, almost forgotten grief, doesn’t ask the questions: What is wrong with me? Shouldn’t I be over this by now?  Well of course you should be. In fact, bad things shouldn’t happen in the first place. To you or anyone. In fact, it should also never rain during the day. And no one should ever have insomnia. And something as delicate and graceful as a bird should never be flattened by something as stupid and clunky as a car. And pets should never die. And all babies should be born perfectly healthy. All of those things should be the case. None of them are.

It would be great if really serious work on oneself, through therapy or sobriety or whatever the fuck else, worked like time travel–if you could erase the things that shouldn’t have happened, and the accompanying ripple of feeling. But it doesn’t. You sometimes feel a resurgence of feelings related to an experience you thought you had fully and completely Dealt With. This happening doesn’t make you a failure, it doesn’t mean you’re stuck. Old things rise sometimes. It means there’s a new facet of the experience to look at. All the time you spent in treatment or getting sober or whatever gave you skills, but it doesn’t cure you. That’s simply not a thing. Sorry. I wish it were, believe me. But alas.

I read this poem last week, and it gutted me from the first line. It’s so good. It’s also so hard. So hard, that when we wrote to it this week we left the cold conference room we normally write in and went somewhere sunny where coffee flows and good cookies are available and wrote there instead. Sometimes it’s like that.

Every line in this poem could be your prompt, the entry point into your own poem or a set of new ideas. Which line feels the most like a punch in the clavicle? That’s the one to use. Write into the feeling. You can also put the borrowed line somewhere in the middle, or use it as a refrain. Go into the red room if you need to. I’ll be here, waiting for you when you come out.

Red Moon

by Corrinna Rosendahl

Because of what I’ve done
I can’t sleep again.

There is a mass
of sadness
floating into the garden.

Of course
I go after it.

I take my blood with me.
I take my hands
and try to reason with it
to let me use its voice
as a cutting tool
because it sounds like you.

We have to keep
opening ourselves up.

We have to keep
going in

the red room.

I am not reasonable

and touch
every blossom, go around to each
and forgive them
for how they kill the ache

I need to stay
alive like this

Have I mentioned recently how truly grateful I am, that with the whole wide internet to peruse, you choose to come visit me and read and respond to my ideas? I’m grateful, friends. Super grateful. Thank you. My love for you is real. Also, I thought you might dig this clip from the documentary Lessons of Darkness, it’s pretty beautiful. Red room beautiful, certainly, but beautiful all the same.

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