Monday, August 28, 2023

notes & things | 8/28/2023

While the middle of the week was apocalyptically hot and humid, the last couple days I have been alternately turning down the fans and pulling the quilt up over the bed and hiding underneath. Fall is close enough to taste and by the end of the week, it will be September. I am in no way ready for fall, literally and metaphorically, but I have been longing for the cooler weather and spooky things, including some decor pieces I will likely leave up long past Halloween. 

Earlier in the week, a facebook friend asked everyone if they could think of a time they wanted to stop writing, and what made them carry on regardless.  How did they work through it? I was thinking of responding, but then realized the answer was way too complex and convoluted to deal with in a comments section. There are days when I feel this way about poetry specifically, not really writing in general, of which I have done many different types and genres at various points.  I love that I get to make a living writing other kinds of things now, but poetry sometimes feels like something I could easily drop from my life like a napkin from a table and I'm not sure anyone would notice. It certainly doesn't contribute financially to my life, nor does the pursuit of it necessarily all the time contribute to my mental well-being. It is a lot of time and effort invested with steadily diminishing returns, something that took me a long time to realize.  That working harder or more or better wouldn't necessarily show any kind of difference at all. And by returns, I don't necessarily just mean po-biz things, many of which I have let go of in the past several years.  But more so the sense of purpose that I sometimes lose the thread of at times. Would I not spend my time better by writing things that allow me to make a living rather than dropping poems into what usually feels like a void. Would not these energies be more productive leveled elsewhere?

And yet, I don't know how I would live without it. Or where I would channel those same storytelling energies. Fiction, sure, but I am not really very good at it.  Essays, maybe. Writing poems, good or bad, have been part of my life since I was a stupid teenager who did a little too well on an English assignment and somehow locked in hard on a genre that most people don't seem to care about at all. I used to dismiss that Rilke quote about HAVING to write, of dying if you were forbidden to do it,  as pretension and dramatics, but maybe he was right. Sometimes I am not certain how I could ever consider stopping. Sometimes I am not certain how I can keep going.

But there are still poems to be written. Projects to be executed.  I am digging in on the video poems that I will be releasing in September--the villains series--armed with a fancy new microphone for recording (well as fancy as has good reviews on Amazon for under $100.)  I've been fiddling with the visuals, so all that's needed is audio on the first couple pieces. My plans to have everything done by September was not exactly realistic. Some of it is just late summer stalling, some of it just a busier non-writing life of late. Some of it is taking on more decor and lifestyle assignments on some days of the week that eat up some time I may have been messing with creative things.  These offer solid, tangible fruits of labor in the form of more discretionary income. Meanwhile, the poetry fruits are few and far between-- a couple acceptances from journals, some nice comments on the newest book, an unusual flurry of likes on a IG post. Tiny things that one could starve from waiting for, and perhaps we all do just a little. 

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