More poem chatter.
If you think that looks a mess, you should see the state of the poems.
This is a grainy, poorly lit shot of the notebook that currently contains my life, opened to the 'submissions' section. Can we talk about submitting for a minute? Too bad, we're gonna.
In the upper left-hand corner you can see the last part of a list of over fifty journals to potentially submit to. I've been through about 40 of them. Submitted to 40 journals? No. Fucking no. Crossed about 35 straight off the list for being defunct, on summer hiatus, or doing theme issues, which I refuse to partake in. Do you know how long it takes to compile a list of 50 journals to submit to? Do you know how long it takes to go through them all, website by website, checking the content to make sure it's your kinda bag, and then getting over to the submissions page, to figure out that for one reason or another, you can't do that thing?
Then there is the choosing of the poems that potentially match the tone of every, individual journal, the cover letters, which should be personalized if you have a shot in hell of getting anywhere, the special fairy dust guidelines they all have for their formatting.
Now let's talk about what happens when you sit down to have one of them long view looks at the poems you've been submitting for the past two months, and you suddenly realize they're all shit, and would be much better if you just... here and there... well, shit.
I don't, for longer than a second or two, ever stop to wonder why I haven't gotten around to this until now.
That having been said, there's nothing that can quite be compared to sitting down to those poems you thought were on point a month ago and realizing they're a mess, and then slicing them all up and putting them back together the way they should've been in the first place. It's like finally getting your point across in a frustrating conversation. In fact, that's exactly what it is.
Kafka had writer's block when he wrote:
"Finally, after five months of my life during which I could write nothing that would have satisfied me, and for which no power will compensate me, though all were under obligation to do so, it occurs to me to talk to myself again. Whenever I really questioned myself, there was always a response forthcoming... Look, the world submits to your blows... But that means nothing. You can achieve nothing if you forsake yourself."
And Ginsberg said:
"To gain your own voice, forget about having it heard. Become a saint of your own province and your own consciousness."
Finally getting your point across in a really frustrating conversation with yourself. Fuck the submissions, and the journals. I sat down with the fan on and a bottle of wine between my knees, and that's what I did tonight.
I guess I'll send the new ones out again tomorrow, and pray the old shit gets rejected.