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From Kim Goldberg:

July 9, 2017

The author whose thirst cannot be slaked no matter how many times she plunges her seared face into the palm-lined oasis. The author who goes to bed but cannot sleep in the land where the sun never sets. The author whose pineal gland has been flattened and gut-splattered by an 18-wheeler ripping along a Sonoran desert highway. The author who has a waking dream about an author at her computer, an author writing a book, an author writing a book about people sickened by their computers, an author whose tongue is a burning emergency flare that ignites the sky.

– Closed Circuit, from Poetry is Dead Issue 15

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art by heather kai smith for poetry is dead

art by heather kai smith for poetry is dead

From Jane Eaton Hamilton:

July 7, 2017

Even now when we’re broken
I long to gorge on you
boomeranged over your knee
clipped to your bedpost

I still love what I couldn’t live through
You meted out slaps till I was
unoxygenated

But still I belong to you, apple to arsenic
(gasp to lungs)

– Airport, from Poetry is Dead Issue 15

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art by heather kai smith for poetry is dead

art by heather kai smith for poetry is dead

 

From Dorothea Lasky:

June 29, 2017

I don’t pity you
You big hot thing
I don’t feel pity for your arms
Which could hold me for a thousand hours

And you are careless, and ceaseless
Like you always are to everyone
I don’t feel pity
You have this poem, this book
I don’t feel pity
They will talk of you for a thousand years
You gorgeous spirit you
You crazy nothing
Blond hair and sublime torso
Smile more than a million men
A truly million dollar man
In greenish suit
Wild spirit, you
I love you
I love you when you’re rocking
I love you when you’re rocking
Always for me
But never for me
Always always
In the wind

– From I Feel Pity, Tin House

From Meghann Plunkett

June 27, 2017

In Which I Name My Abuser Publicly

and they appear from the under-eaves. A litter of women
herding toward the full-stop of his name. Tall,
pretty, they are stained with his sweat too.
I say his name and pull strands of other women’s hair
from my mouth. All of us dusked and outstretched,
lapping at our wounds. One of them yanking his tooth
from her thigh, another flinching at blue-birds, trying
to remember what isn’t dangerous.

From Rattle

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From Ralph Waldo Emerson:

June 26, 2017

In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life, — no disgrace, no calamity (leaving me my eyes), which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground, — my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space, — all mean egotism vanishes. … I am the lover of uncontained and immortal beauty. In the wilderness, I find something more dear and connate than in streets or villages. In the tranquil landscape, and especially in the distant line of the horizon, man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own nature.

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editing and emotional labour

June 24, 2017

so i’m in the thick of the first round of edits for my book (there are going to be three, in total) and while the editing isn’t as hard as i anticipated, balancing the editing and the rest of my life is. it’s not so much work as it is trying to figure out how to spin the plates of writing, friends and social life, and the essentials that keep my general human life together (cooking, cleaning, gym, laundry, etc.).

i’m making a promise right now to never complain about writing. i really don’t like reading all those twitter posts/blog posts/facebook posts by writers, kvetching about the work they’re doing. how could i ever do that? i’m so incredibly privileged to be doing what i’m doing, and to be getting paid for it. it helps that the ms i’m working on right now is cheery – i remember having a completely different mood while writing/editing my thesis (though there were confounding variables during that time). i’m also making a promise not to boast about writing. i really hate the #amwriting phenomenon (though i have been known to use that hashtag on occasion, usually with urkel gifs. know that it is tongue in cheek) and the need to talk about daily word counts and goals. everyone has a different way of writing, but i’ve found that the rule usually is: the more someone talks about how much they’re writing, the less they’re actually writing. it can get old quick.

but this has been a bit of a struggle. i’ve found that i’m becoming a lot less patient with regards to all the emotional labour i do in my life. emotional labour: the process of providing emotional support to other people. i never realised how much of it i do (i didn’t think i was that nice of a person, so why would people ask me for advice or help? that’s my thought process, since i see myself as a bit of a witch and not very patient) but now that i’m in the eye of the writing storm, it’s really becoming clear. i’m getting terribly impatient with people, like the reserves in my brain that are designated for listening and being empathetic are drained. i am drained. i’m tired. i’m trying to be a good friend and a good coworker and a good family member at the same time that i’m deep diving back into the past and into my psyche to pull out edits for this book, which as of right now is that most important thing i’ve done in my life so far. not that i’m someone for word counts, but in a month and a half i’ve added 12,000+ words to the ms. that’s a lot. i’ve been doing a lot.

i wish there were a way to hang a “be right back!” sign on my emotional door. “anna will return in a month and a half!” – to let people know that i can’t be the sounding board or emotional support i usually am able to be. “will return later!” i don’t want to be a bad friend, a bad colleague, but i have to dedicate the majority – if not all – of my emotional energy to writing right now. come august 4, i’ll be a normal human again – for a few months, until the next round of edits. so let’s see where this goes…

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Publication: Ellipsis

June 19, 2017

and now we’re three for three. in the span of three weeks, i’ve now received three different mags in which three  poems of mine are published. these publications mean a lot to me because the poems in them had, till now, proven to be really difficult to place. canadian magazines didn’t want to touch them. so i went south of the border and bam.

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so a big thank you to ellipsis for daring to take on this poem, turned down by so many others. a big thank you to all magazines and publications that go for the uncanny, the weird, the violent, the boundary-pushing, the rude, the difficult, the unwanted. you help so many of us.

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