Wednesday, December 8, 2010

manuscript, musings, ego, disappointment

I've tentatively decided to to put together a manuscript for a poetry book and submit it to a first book contest. My old roommate and friend Geoff has been prodding me for years to submit more work and to take my self more seriously as a writer. What does taking myself seriously as a writer even mean? I write, I love writing. I read, I love reading. I contemplate my work and study it. I lose sleep over adverbs and pronouns. Last night as I waited for sleep to come I poured over poems in my head, wondering how they would speak together in a collection; what could be said about the writer. I've never given much consideration to being a writer for a living or making any money off of my art. I keep the money and the art separate because it allows me to keep my writing sacrosanct, holy. Writing is never a job or chore. It belongs to me and only me. Fame and recognition become less important to me the older I get. I am consecrated to my writing as my namesake in the bible was consecrated to her god. I write because I love it, because I have always been and will always be writer and crafter of stories. I'm proud of myself when I look at my folio of work and turn the pages. Even the old writings I would never these days consider sharing with the public make me happy because they were the base for what followed.

And yet. . .

There is a part of me that worries that I'll be an 80 year old woman, stiff of body and dissatisfied with what am about to leave behind. I was lamenting to a good friend last week my torpid ambition and he said to me Don't confuse lack of motivation for laziness. Ashé. I hope that is my ailment, lack of motivation. I read published writings at times and know I can do better. I know what I have to say and how to say it.

I look at what I've written about and it is all over the place. A lot of my earlier writing was about sex and sexuality, I had just come into what I call sexual ego and I was thrilled with it; my writing reflected the headiness that new power inspired, the prowess and inner growl. Then the writing went into the disappointment that followed the discovery of sexual ego, the failed relationships and discord of physical desire versus emotional needs. I dipped latently at times into identity. The writing of the last couple of years has been about narrative and myth since like Eve, I've discovered my own nudity and have known shame. Parable and allegory. Storytelling. Aren't all the great lessons told through story? Maybe this is why I've been more into prose than poetry the last couple of years. But poetry is the meaty heart, my diaphanous language, the love of cerebral music.

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