Thursday, May 05, 2005

blest poet

I struggle a great deal in my poetry life. I don’t think I really talk about that a lot and I don’t know how much it is my poetry life, as it is my publishing life. I wonder if what I write is ever worth reading. This last month has been a deep struggle. I am submitting to journals I believe I “need” to get into and getting notes back (sometimes) but not getting in. It hard not to let this define me as a writer and lately the question “why am I doing this” has been following me everywhere.

I need a community of writers. I desperately miss Palm Beach, sitting and talking with people who have a passion for poetry. I haven’t felt like I have fed that part of my being since February and she has become a hungry little bugger.

Tonight I made myself go to reading, actually my lover made me go b/c I have been mopping around the house saying, ,“I will never ever have a book” and my children made me go b/c my little weeps have made them crazy. You know it’s bad when your kids want you out of the house.

So tonight I went to the Loft “our literary center” to see Elizabeth Alexander read and the two other people who were awarded a mentorship to read with her. I applied for this. I didn’t get it. Yep, and I was a bit bitter. Side note: I am bitter about most things I don’t win—I don’t think this is a good quality.

I didn’t want to go and hear people tonight be poets when I felt so lost but well, I was kicked out of the damn house. I went to the Loft and there on the billboard was Elizabeth’s name and the message “reading on the 6th” and I thought hmm, I wonder what today is? Another side note: I never know what day it is.

I went upstairs to the office and it was empty, then I saw the director who I met last summer with Dorrianne Laux, he remembered me and of course told me, well the reading is Friday, then he said, well come to this meeting with three other people (who won the mentorship) and Elizabeth. So for the next three hours I sat in a room and we talked about writing. We talked about exactly what I have been struggling with and every single question I put in my journal this week was addressed. It was almost as if she was reading my mind.

I know I am blest poet. Normal people don’t get pulled out of a car to have a drink with Billy Collins and Thomas Lux or go to a poetry reading on the wrong day and have it be better than any reading could possibly be. I struggle inside myself every day to be poet. I struggle with the hunger I have and the ideas of what defines this. But there are days when I am given gifts. When I know I am standing exactly where I am suppose to be and it is good.

True fact: when the Jews were lost in the wilderness they would pile stones on their path so they would always remember where they had been. A reminder of which way to go. I have stones in my poetry life. They are not many but I’ve always known when it happened, that it was a place I needed to mark.

4 comments:

Peter said...

Great story Teresa: serendipity, synchronicity, it was meant to be . . .

jenni said...

damn treeze, now i got that Elton John song stuck in my head--

"You, you are blessed
you are the best..."

hm. that CD is around here someplace...

I miss Palm Beach too. That was fun. I don't miss the plane though, that sucked.

and what Peter said, serendipity.

hope your day is bright.

jenni

reasons to believe said...

How strange to stumble upon your journal, and more specifically, this post. It resounded so strongly. I am barely beginning to branch out and submit some of my poetry to magazines. Haven't gotten any rejection letters yet, but I'm bracing myself. I often wonder why I do it, too. I honestly think it may be a form of masochism, a way to test myself and prove to myself that I can do it and that I am worth reading.

I'm Felicia, by the way. Nice to "meet" you.

Molly said...

Love this. Oh lucky life...