Perilously Close

I've already begun chipping away at my back-to-school submissions frenzy. I don't like to spam submit. I don't like to submit to journals or zines I have not read and I don't do these things as a general rule. I must admit that I once did, but it did not result in my being published by any of those places, so I quit it. Still, in spite of the narrowing effect these standards have on my sub habits, I've been sending to quite a few places and am proud of my progress. I had a poem accepted over at Barrelhouse recently, which I'm pretty much totally geeked about. Should I be shouting louder about that? It's an honor to be published anywhere, though often it feels like a tiny victory compared to the inevitable stack of form rejections and the precious few oh-so-close editor's notes (I typically turnaround another submission to those places at a rather alarming speed, BTW, unless they say explicitly that they don't like that. I do actually eat and sleep in front of my computer as well as stare into it all the livelong day.)

I suppose this is the way I reach out - submitting and blogging about submitting. Is it just a coincidence that we call it submitting? Perhaps I am too too safe and modest. Having finished Poetry as Survival, I am on to Ostriker's Stealing the Language. So, naturally, I am feeling like a bad feminist. It's a cycle, really: feel inadequate, feel inadequately feminist for feeling inadequate, and so forth. I've only read the first chapter and a little of the Ostriker, but the introduction alone was revelatory, at least as regards why it feels so wonderful to be called and to call myself "subversive," to engage in Dickensonian doubleness. Also, why I am reticent to seek the company of other poets or to really claim poetry in a way that means I am an active participant therein. I fear being ignored more than anything, but a close second is being laughed at and discarded as the pretender I will inevitably reveal myself to be. The long and winding road to a nebulous goal. The reaching out is in itself a goal, but once one has extended a little, one realizes that reaching toward is so much more satisfying.

That said, my original intent in posting was to wonder aloud about whether I should embark on another NaNoWriMo novel. What say you, vacant vast surrounding? Filament? Filament? Or f*&k fiction? I feel like I've got the poetry mojo going right now, though you never know what November could bring. Perhaps I should make it National Manuscript Ordering Month. NaManOrdMo? Hrm.


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