The new issue of Redivider is out with two of my poems. You can read one online here.
Yesterday, I came home from work at 1:30. As soon as I had eaten lunch, I went to my desk and removed any papers/files/bills/etc. that didn't have to do with writing new work. With the decks cleared, I sat down ready to work. I managed two and a half hours and a new draft of a poem. Yay!
This reminded me of another time in my life, when I used this "come home and disregard everything else but the task at hand" kind of technique. Being the overachiever that I am, when I went to college, I didn't just gain the freshman 15, I went for the senior 40. So, the year after graduating, every day when I came home from work I would drop my bags, change into workout clothes, and get to work on a step aerobics tape that I liked. After about 6 months of this, I was pretty consistent with coming home and working out 4-5 times a week. However, any time that I got distracted/diverted from working out the moment I walked in the door, I inevitably skipped that day's workout.
So, I'm going to practice this next week. Whenever I get home, I will dump everything else on the floor and just focus on my writing life for however long I can manage.
I have a quote taped by my desk. It is from an article written by a man named William Corbett in April of 2004. It says: "The T'ang Dynasty's Li Po folded his poems into little boats and sent them sailing away on the river near his home." I've come across this detail in several other places; however, I have never corroborated it in an academic source. It probably doesn't matter if it is "true" or not. The emotional truth of it is what I want to remember. In all practicality, Li Po must have kept copies of his poems, because we still read them today. I wonder if he was brave enough to send the one and only draft of a poem down the river...to truly let it go without a known audience.
This reminds me of a former student who wrote poetic letters to strangers and left them in random library books.
We all have a need to connect, to send our work out into the world, and I feel the need to remind myself to focus on the sending out rather than on the desire for feedback, which is what publication is largely about for me. Perhaps the rejections will be easier to take, knowing the poem sailed at least as far as the editor's eyes.