Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thoughts on Getting Published

For VMI and the rest of the writers in my life:

I read the words you wrote and thought, "more people need to read this." It's the highest compliment and the most cliched conundrum. If poetry is written and only two people hear it fall on the page, is it still important?

When I spoke of you tonight, you weren't there so you couldn't hear me. Some of you are miles and miles away, and some of you live around the corner. Some of you are dead. But were my words about you untrue or unreal? Didn't they exist, like fireworks, alive for those few vibrant seconds before they faded into the night sky?

I know that when I decided to be better I didn't even hear myself. Doesn't mean I wasn't exploding in big reds and greens against the big black backdrop. It doesn't mean it wasn't loud or didn't happen.

Maybe Heaven for us will be one big script reading. Perhaps then we'll get the feedback and validation that all these rockets require. Or maybe we'll just be dead and someone will stumble upon our words and nod knowingly. Or at least use them as kindling to light some fuse or maybe just wipe their ass.

Either way, I'm happy we're all matching up these thoughts with words and grateful for the moments we take it a step further and make art. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's what keeps this big hot ball going.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Standing on my friends' deck, late at night and out in the country, I could hear the wind before I felt it whipping around my body. The noise in the distance, not quite distinguishable, but foreboding, on its way. I wrapped my long sweater around my short body and cocked my head to hear what was in store for us all.

When the wind came, it was loud. I heard it come up through the untouched woods, breathing hard. As if wind could be a team and they were rounding the corner of tonight. So strong and low, I braced myself for the inevitable.

And before I knew it, it was gone. It just roared by me, not stopping for answers or peace or even a cup of tea. It took some leaves and scared a few small animals and then it was gone. I guess it was then when I realized that I was not even a rest stop in its quest.

I don't know what scared me more--the ferocity of a force blown by or the indifference it showed when it was blowing through. Ultimately I guess I find comfort in strong winds that blow by without blowing me over.

I guess.

It was a race, I think. It was collective and scary and whole. It sweated and groaned and bent branches. Its exertion and determination were inspiring and I clapped when it blew by.

But I was not the finish line and maybe that's what made it so disconcerting. It was going everywhere and would finish nowhere. But I happily applauded when it crossed my path, matching its intensity with a hearty "Bravo," as I thanked it for kissing my cheek on its way through. Because this is no mad dash.

This is a marathon.