I submitted a poem for publication that was not ready. It was barely a poem, far from what it could be, but my focus was making a deadline, and I did.
I am testing my theory of aiming for even, meeting each day’s energy, high or low, and finding the middle within. Evening it out, no more and no less.
Of course, I’ve given up having a plan for any day, which is not conducive to making deadlines (appointments are a challenge) but it’s the life experience I have so I look through that lens and choose my submission deadlines accordingly.
I submit the best I have, which may not be a match for the publication but it is for the moment.
The hardest part is content, wondering what they want within the context of who I am. Any other writing is crafting for content, which I no longer do so my choices are fewer but realistic rather than magical.
I was not upset when my poem was rejected. Really. It was not what it can be. It’s good but it can be really good. It has to change.
Isn’t this where we are as people? We can be so much more if we reject what no longer fits, leaving behind safety nets of privilege and possession. They are not everything. They are just comfortable.
Editing our lives, line by line, avoids the slippery slope of the moral high ground. Who can live that far above the rest of humanity and why would they? It’s inhuman. It’s impossible.
Life is one experience after another, including rejection. Integrity is creating something new, without piling noun upon noun in explanation. I’m particularly good at this one, be it poetry or politics.
Oh, what 24 hours will reveal in a line of poetry left on its own. Same is true for tweeting or commenting on a Facebook post. Even a few hours absence improves social media presence. The questions change.
And isn’t that what we are trying to do? Change what we ask in our poetry and our politics. Of course, there is great resistance even within the resistance. Changing the questions means none of the answers fit.
We can no longer craft for content. We have to change, and it can be good, really good.