Tuesday, August 30, 2022

endings and other uncertainties

Yesterday I finished a poem for GRANATA--a poem that felt like it was the final missing piece in the project.  I sighed.  I fretted.  I had of course initially intended to keep going, at least another dozen or so poems to get it to full-length mss length, but then, pondering what more I could possibly add that was not just fluff and filler. I admonished myself for being so intent on the long-haul of a book instead of a perfectly acceptable chap. 

Part of it is, of course, I've abandoned what started out as longer poems before. Usually about halfway in, around 20-25 pages.  This time was a little different...I have about 36 pieces, all pretty good and likely sticking around. In the long run, since I will likely be issuing it myself and appeasing no editor but me, it doesn't matter if it's full-length or chapbook-length.  I can even make the finished project have a spine should I choose to let someone else print it instead of DIY. But it felt like a failure yet again to cross some arbitrary finishing line. Like that I set out to finish a book--a whole book--this summer and I was throwing in the towel before the finish line. 

Of course, I tried to figure out the why? of my temptation to call her done.  I think she is, for all intensive purposes. It is September almost, a time which I imagined I'd be starting new. (and actually I have in bits and pieces I am excited to  move to if this is it.)  But not at the expense of Persephone and the sirens I have spent three months with now, sometimes moving fast, sometimes not moving fast at all. If I call it done, it's still going to require a bit of reordering, line edits, and just proofing my shitty typing to be anything like ready to show anyone.  I have been sending some of the early, already edited pieces out for publication and snagged an acceptance for September, so they will likely start filtering into the world. 

Of course, nothing says I can't set it aside and maybe return, but I never really do.  I have a strange relationship with work in which I will write like mad and then shut it away for months and months to come back to it fresh, so by the time I circle back around, it will feel done whether it was or not.  I will have already moved on to some new nonsense, no doubt....