A Polite Rejection

I submitted a few poems to Rattle, a online poetry magazine, with great excitement.  Rattle.com is an excellent forum and I really enjoy reading the works they deem worthy. You should definitely check out their magazine and hopefully one day you will see my work up there.

 

Dear RYAN,

Thank you for sending us “I’m not a Racist, One Eyed Wild Winking John, The Girl in the Bar with One Critique,” but unfortunately we’ve decided not to publish anything from this submission. We work hard to consider every poem fairly and carefully—both Megan and I read everything we receive without delegating that task to any interns or other readers, but we’re whittling 120,000 a year down to the 150 that we publish, so the odds are always long. That doesn’t mean we aren’t grateful that you shared your work with us, or that we don’t find value in it.

We’re happy to read submissions any time, year-round—regular submissions are always free, and we pay all contributors. So hopefully we’ll always be at the top of your list for places to send new poems.

Best Wishes,
Tim

Still Balancing

Here it is with a background story and a conclusion. Hope you like it.

 

Chores or Seeking Artistic insight in the midst of domestic bliss

Oh now, yes, ok, alright, the kids have gone to bed tonight.

Lots to do that’s for sure to get everything ready the night before.

Pack the lunches, wash the dishes, wipe the counter, feed the fishes.

Fold the laundry, iron my shirt, pick up the shoes, and sweep up the dirt.

Off to clean the clothes that are dirty, and then you know it’s 12:30.

Whoa now, wow, that went fast, it’s amazing how little time seems to last.

Pushing hard to finish my part for a precious ten minutes to work on my art.

Then I think about others who love to create and wonder how they had time to be so great?

Did Ernest Hemingway wait to write in order to do the dishes at night?

Did Jimmy Page stop his guitar shredding to concern himself with proper bedding?

Did Michael Jordan leave behind the team to empty out the washing machine?

Did Che Guevara blow off an insurgent because he had to run out for laundry detergent?

Did Mike Tyson quit his practice punches to make his kids school lunches?

Can someone tell me if these gentleman so majestic have paused their craft to be so domestic?

“I must pause at my canvas” says Clyford Stils “to pay a bevy of online bills.”

“I must stop the jam,” says Bob Weir, “to clean the toothpaste off the mirror.”

“I must lay down my trusty axe,” says Slash,” in order to take out tomorrow’s trash.”

“I must delay my treatise,” says Aristotle, “to warm up milk for the baby’s bottle.”

“I must pause la vida loca”, says Ricky Martin “to let the dog out cause he keeps fartin.”

You think about what it takes to achieve brilliance in what one creates.

I guess life will always get in the way which is why you must focus on your craft today.

For the single step in the longest journey is the hardest when you are trying to hurry.

Yet as I ponder the achievements of those listed, one can see they are all very gifted

And still it’s hard to understand that they were all just one man

To do chores, and tasks then write books and drink flasks

There had to be someone, a person, another…..You know I bet they all lived with their mother.

A Balance

I’m chipping away at this new poem about balance. It ruminates on the difficulties in getting to that place, either mentally or physically, where one can be creative.  There’s a lot to life that doesn’t always make sitting down to write so easy. Also, I’ve had a few of my friends read these poems and the common critique is that they need an intro, some backstory to set the scene.  That’s what I’m working on now with this one but here’s where I am at with it. I’ll post the finished version when its complete.

Did Ernest Hemingway wait to write in order to do the dishes at night?

Did Jimmy Page stop his shredding to concern himself with proper bedding?

Did Michael Jordan leave behind the team to empty out the washing machine?

Did Che Guevara blow off an insurgent because he had to run out for laundry detergent?

Did Mike Tyson quit his practice punches to make his kid’s hot school lunches?

Can someone tell me if these gentleman so majestic have paused their craft to be so domestic?

“I must pause at my canvas” says Clyford Stils “to pay a bevy of online bills.”

“I must stop the jam,” says Bob Weir, “to clean the toothpaste off the mirror.”

“I must lay down my guitar,” says Slash ,” in order to take out tomorrow’s trash.”

“I must delay my treatise,” says Aristotle, “to warm up milk for the baby’s bottle.”

“I must pause la vida loca”, says Ricky Martin “to let the dog out cause he keeps fartin.”

This is the meat of the poem but it needs a intro and an ending.  Until next week…..

What do writers do?

What do writers do?

Ryan stole my thunder writing about revising and editing already, but maybe if we both write about it it seems like we’re really serious about it. We don’t have a book to edit. Just part of one. Much like eating an elephant, though, we’re doing this one bite at a time. We’ve reached an early goal, so we’re going to start reworking the material we have before we carry on. Revising ten thousand words seems significantly less daunting than revising sixty thousand. Little by little we’ll get there. Ten thousand, five thousand words a time. Whatever it takes.

As proof of our seriousness, I’m taking a sabbatical. Actually, I’m taking a vacation where I’m dedicating at least one full day to working on Pour on the Cool. Saying it’s a sabbatical sounds more impressive, though. I want to come back with our first revisions and edits completed, so we can set that to the side to work on as we have time, but be able to mostly focus our attention on moving forward. Also, I’m going to start conversations for our farm. Start exploring and understanding what that actually requires to move forward. I’m thirty one. It’s time to get serious about pursuing meaningful dreams in life.

Revising

The task of the first draft is fun as the new idea comes blasting out of your imagination.  Cruising through a page, maybe two, your resolve starts to waver.  But you keep on as the surge becomes a trickle.  Wow three pages in a night.  A couple more of these nights and you’ll have a book.  What an accomplishment but, not so fast, because it’s time to edit.  I have spent my moments revising instead of writing these past few days and it’s a challenge to fix your own work or even someone else’s work. Providing comments and alternatives is the easy part here.  It’s choosing which path to alter  that allow for a critical yet clear mind.   It takes some time to settle in to revising, more so than writing for me, but once you are in it, it is consuming.  Now back to the manuscript…..