Well, I did it. After months of digging through old drafts, scribbling new ones, rewriting, trashing, editing, arranging, and re-arranging poems ad nauseum, I finally finished my first-attempt entry at a poetry chapbook contest. Hooray!
I’m so grateful to have had my mom to help me through this process, first by offering a lot of creative and “industry” advice, from formatting to choosing my first three poems, and second by not being offended when I totally disregarded a significant portion of her advice and stuck to my own guns… and most especially my thanks to her always for the most precious gift of encouragement. It’s been years since I sent anything out into the world to be scrutinized, and even then, it was a much smaller world.
I won’t know results till February, but I can wait. The point is, I got it all together and I got it out the door.
Even more important, regardless of whether I win or place or bring up the winded stragglers, I now have a solid collection of solid poems, all set to be sent out into the world on new adventures all their own.
Here’s one of the little things now, all dusted off and duded up for flight:
Absence and you can’t go back
Wild thing, he left it all behind
Arms and memories flailed long in his wake
Just turned his back
Raced hard to a bright spot there, in the hills
A lamp, yes, and burning hot
The one true clutch on his lungs
Wrenching hard behind his soul
His favorite adventure
The raucous leaving behind
The ecstatic return
Wild thing, she bumped him on the doorsill
Put him off his path, almost
With the painful force
From the ankles up
Stairs leapt, gates left swinging
Her great gasping inhaled the sea
She swallowed it whole with the night constellations
Rushing, falling forward
To the end of land and broken shells
Stairs and stars
Front porch, deep end
The wilderness is where we call home