summer days, where are you now?

I don’t remember the last time I saw fireflies. Have they gone somewhere else, far away, or have I? If I am a traveler, where am I going? The future has such a terrible gravity. And yet, it is empty. How can I be pulled like this, against my will, pulled as if by a planetary force into nothing, nothing, blank breathless air?

I remember summer, the dawn and dusk. I remember waking early, the sheets were white and the light was green, the shadows of trees moved on the walls like slow waves. We left quickly to beat the heat of the day and sat with our coffees, strong and bitter, and did our work idly, talking and laughing as the day rolled on, in alternate movements of light and dark, thunder and sunstruck humid brightness that glossed the leaves and umbrellas like sweat-sheen. My best friend and I. When the light burned low and long we strolled on the boardwalk, over the sea of grass that bent into darkness where the lake used to be.

There were fireflies then. Cities of them. There were galaxies of pollen on the stagnant stream beside our path. We were young, but we felt so old that year. I used to lay my head to my folded arms and cry tearlessly in the library instead of writing my book, mourning who I used to be; who I’d failed to be. All our long talks were peppered with reminiscences. Already the best of life was gone.

Now I cannot reach back far enough to mourn what I mourned then. All I see is the beauty I failed to grasp–days I should have swallowed whole like a potion and died in them rather then live in the world as it is.

Where is that 4th of July, Lana del Rey glittering from my speakers, laying on rocks beneath the pounding falls, waiting for the sky to purple the water, playing guessing games, my head in his lap, the sky as still and heavy as a stone as we waited for fireworks to burst and sizzle and leave us dizzy with the bonfire smell of smoke and summer? Where is the uncritical joy of enjoyment? We ate burgers from the grill, we celebrated with only a slight irony… it all seems like a joke now. We were young and if you asked us we would have gambled that time would bend the world to our ideals, but if you hadn’t asked we would have sipped hard lemonade and gossiped and given only the barest thought to the future.

Today joy feels like a crime. It feels like something I’ve stolen. What poetry is there in anything–it’s not even that I can’t find it anymore, it’s that I disgust myself when I look for it, or even when I stumble across it incidentally. Who am I to stop and savor… a blue evening… when the song on the radio blends with the cool of my drink and the light on the breeze and my soul enters the star-shot daze of blissful harmony… what does it matter, if life is beautiful, for now, for me…?

I am a coward. I am bereft of answers.

turning 33, another attempt at a catharsis-post

This post is basically for myself. Trying again to understand myself out of my latest set of mistakes. Read on if you like that kind of thing. I’m not making too hard an effort to be coherent. I just want to get this out here so I can move forward. A lot of the time I’ve got to clear out the rubble before I can continue down my path. I just haven’t found myself to be the type of person who can walk over or around it.

I’ve got to parse and parse and parse.

Sometimes I feel like my brain has a too-tight skin that goes all electric and I could leap out from it and embrace all the things I should have embraced with my own mind but haven’t. So much to know and see that I could digest and think and write about, but I don’t. There’s a shiver of excitement at all there is in the world to know and experience, but it’s also guilt, guilt, guilt. Why don’t I know these things yet? Why am I always so behind?

How do you catch up when you have the psychological disadvantage that the people who are ahead of you don’t — knowing you’re behind, and knowing it’s your fault, and you’re still the same person who made all the decisions that led you to this place in the first place? What makes you think you can suddenly turn around and be a different type of person who makes better choices?

I turned 33 last week. What have I done with my life? I usually think that’s a shitty question that society pressures us into asking of ourselves, but it doesn’t necessarily think it’s a wrong one in my case. I had opportunities that were handed to me, but I didn’t recognize them because I was too caught up being a high schooler and all of my problems — some real, some it a category less than real, some just petty as fuck. My frame of reference in my myopic little world; the people who I compared myself too, were, in the grand scheme of things, hyper privileged kids, and amongst them, I had it close the worst of any of them. My parents were bad parents. I had little freedom. I wasn’t allowed to participate in activities that would have let me develop normal social relationships to the people who were my peers. I was raised weird and oppressed, I was bullied, the few friendships I ever developed were ones where I was always set far at the periphery — they were all much closer to each other than they were me. I could feel myself growing into something weird and misshapen. I didn’t understand my sexuality or my sense of gender, and there was no help anywhere, and I was always afraid… of my parents, of being humiliated… that whatever it was that was wrong with me was going to be seen and called out, that everyone around me suspected that I was something less than human.

I’m still so emotionally stuck in all those little adolescent embarrassments. I was just so… limited. My parents purposely made my world very small. And when I got to experience pop culture, it was all stuff that was basically made by people of the privileged class, for and about people of the privileged class. Being a middle class American suburban teen — that was normal, that was average. I couldn’t really grok that I was actually lucky to be in the position of being expected to go to college and do well and go out and have a lucrative career. Even if people said it. When all the adults around you treat the reality of chain grocery stores, green lawns with sprinkler systems, movie theatres, midrange cars, Applebee’s, cell phones, good health insurance, two story detached houses, as the baseline for normalcy, and only speak about people who don’t have those things as something to compare yourself to in order to present an example for a guilt trip or a threat (how could you not eat your broccoli when there are starving children in Africa? if you fail this test you’re going going to end up working at a McDonald’s and living in a shitty apartment when you’re 30!) how are you not supposed to grow up with this sense that people like you are the main characters of reality? Parents generally try to raise their kids not to be self-centered, but, like the suburban class as a whole was centered, if not around themselves as individuals, themselves as a group. They/we (I’m not sure where in this category I fall in my current circumstances… privileged but one paycheck or mental breakdown away from having most of that stripped away, I guess. I’m living in the zone where that’s always under threat; slipping away from the reality that has the spotlight shown on it, into the shadowy world of true poverty) act like the world was made for us. In a sense it was… all these resources and this unrewarded labor going into sustaining the life that we acknowledge as real life.

Is it my own fault I’m such a vacuous force of nothingness? I don’t know if I’ll ever shake this soul-deep exhaustion with life. I’m reminded of my sleep paralysis. Wanting to wake, feeling my mind shouting to wake, breathe, move, but feeling the immovable majority of my will being sucked down down in the mud and surrendering to the ease of it. I just can’t. I’m so tired.

And then I have this past I can’t cut off but can’t reckon with. I haven’t learned enough, I think. I don’t have the right perspective yet to understand who I am, what my place is in the world, what guilt I bear and what I can forgive myself for. Do I have the right to this desperate heavy sadness, do I have the right to fight it, to lose, to try to win even after I’ve lost again and again?

How can I reconcile my desire to write and my desire to be erased? I guess I want my writing to transcend myself, but is that just a fantasy…? I guess writing allows me to do a lot of self-editing. Like in the literal sense. That I can take the contents of my head and then sand myself down into something more palatable or worthy or something. Edit my self. Or create a byproduct of my selfhood that’s much, much better than the person who made it.

A lot of good things have actually been happening recently, in terms of my writing. I’ve been getting published in quite a few journals — I don’t really know how proud I ought to be, maybe most everyone who tries enough gets accepted from magazines on a regular basis. It’s certainly better than I thought I’d do. And everyone else who I’ve met in the poetic circles I’m moving in are much smarter and more knowledgeable than me… that must mean I’m doing good for a newb? I’d think? It seems a little rich to say I’ve been successful to any degree. I don’t know. I’m proud of myself and that makes me a little suspicious. To be proud of myself seems so self satisfied. And objectively I’m just as much of a mess as ever. It just feels like I shouldn’t be existing anywhere near, like, art, poetry, literature, like these are all good important beautiful things and I’m me… it makes me feel sick thinking about it. I know I should keep going and this is self-sabotaging behavior at its most rudimentary form, but every time I write a submission to an editor or try to converse other poets I feel like I’m poorly play-acting. And yeah. Imposter syndrome. We been knew.

But honestly, some people are just not good at things or are insincere or putting on some pretentious empty show that sucks people in for a while, aren’t they? Don’t some insecure people turn out to be… correct? Do imposters get imposter syndrome?

By definition most of the world is unexceptional. Why do we all think we’re the exception? Why, when you tell people you suspect that you’re not that great, are they so quick to go, “no no no no, you’re great, don’t say that, you’re so down on yourself!” Isn’t it ok to not be great at something, or anything? You can still be a lovely valuable person and just be mediocre at stuff.

People are quite quick to call people out of their inner circle unremarkable or bad at something or chasing a dream and wasting their time, but somehow it’s never them or the people they love who are the ones deluding themselves. They should chase their dreams! Life’s too short to not go after what you want!

I honestly don’t know how I can live with this swirl of interconnected thoughts and doubts about my perception, our cultural scripts, mediocrity, etc etc, at the back of my mind and not be capable of articulating it more clearly. It’s still all a big mush of frustration and self-dislike.

All I can think is if I purge and purge these mixed up shrill complaints eventually I’ll find more order in it or something, some thread I can grasp or maybe even untangle. One with a beginning and an end instead of this circle that always brings me back where I started, except more frustrated more exhausted.

Why do I feel so guilty when I do well? I just feel like if I tell people my little successes I’ll seem like I have some inflated sense of how much it matters… and just like everyone my age has already spent so much more time than me actually pursuing their interests and becoming accomplished and their fields and gaining knowledge and experience, what right to I have to be proud of my tiny baby steps that I take into being a person. When it’s coming after all these failures, all this emptiness. And then. I think. I can’t keep it going. Everyone will find me out. In today’s climate you can tell people you’re ill and you have mental health issues and they’ll understand… amongst writers these problems seem quite common… but if you show that you’re unpleasantly ill, that you’re overly sensitive and your thoughts are often addled and you can’t hold up a normal conversation and you can’t process all your thoughts on a topic and your emotions and try to work out what social conventions you should be following and how to be politely interested but not too interested but not too self involved but not too self effacing and still respond in a timely fashion, that you don’t consistently make deadlines or you sometimes fall away and can’t talk, if you go through spells where you can’t cobble a sentence together, I can’t imagine people want to deal with that. They want you to manage your illness, and to have insights about it, and maybe some quirks, the positive interesting side of it. At least that’s what the voice in my head tells me.

I don’t know. There’s only so many times people will forgive you for being late responding to an email until you’ve burned that bridge. They expect you to be polite. Sometimes I just don’t know what polite is. I think maybe I come across to stiff. And then overly familiar when I try to compensate. People expect you to have an easy non-belabored way about you. And I just don’t.

Every time I get an acceptance I have a wave of suicidal thoughts. Guilt. I have to thank the editor. I have to make sure my sincerity shows through. But I can’t sound obsequious. But I can’t sound unfriendly. But I can’t sound unprofessional. I can’t sound pretentious. I can’t sound uneducated. I am uneducated. But I can’t sound like I am. But I can’t sound like I’m trying to pretend that I am educated. Just effortlessly gracefully intelligent I guess… so unlike myself, so unlike my painstaking muddled way of thinking.

Who am I supposed to be? Myself, but I don’t know what that is or how to represent it honestly and acceptably, how can I put forth clear true sentences in an email or text when I’m picking them out of hundreds of incoherent paranoid hysterical streams of consciousness. Whenever I try to shape it into something acceptably coherent it sounds so stiff and fake. I just want to plunge my head underwater.

Why do I even have a blog I wonder. I feel like you need to have some willingness that I lack to put your best foot forward and be honest but only within certain polite confines, and to represent the best of yourself and your work. If I come on here to post some poetry or publication notices or something I find myself apologizing, or working my way up to it with some explanation, or to act like I don’t care that much when obviously I do. Dude. You’re writing a blog post about it. Of course you care. Just own it. But then I try to express all the over-caring I feel, the circular paranoid sensitivity, and I come crashing in on myself. Who is my audience here? I want to write for other people but come on, this is basically a private conversation with myself for myself and I’m posting it online in some bizarre exhibitionistic display so I can feel like life’s main character and like my mental illness is deeply interesting and my writing is fantastically vulnerable or self revealing or something.

Why can’t I be more mature? I’m 33. I’m one third of 99. I’ve come of age in hobbit years. Why aren’t I strong enough to not collapse. Why am I so hopelessly self obsessed. Why is this always what I fall back into. What’s the point of these small moments I achieve above the clouds if I’m sucked back down and now all I’ve done in my optimism is create obligations I’m not fit to meet.

Don’t let the negativity fool you. I think I’m doing ok right now. Getting to the point where I could writing it down is probably good. Maybe now that this is out there I can post about my poetry and not feel like I’m putting on some act. This is at least some form of momentum… it may be giving into my self involved nature to post about this, but idc, at least it’s a semi-creative act, catharsis, something.

Ugh. Happy birthday, self. Get it together. Make it a good year. Or at least make it a good attempt at a good year. Don’t give up before you’ve even started. Don’t feel defeated by all the exciting things there are out there that you haven’t read or learned about yet. Enjoy reading and learning. Enjoy where you are. Might as well.

letter in a bottle

In the south spring comes on quickly, and all at once my days of cozy winter solitude are at an end.

I’ve been thinking recently about the differences between my presence on the internet now, and when I had my first of many false starts blogging poetry, back in 2008 or so when I was in college. I don’t know how my experiences compared to others who were dabbling in internet poetry at the time – I was pretty sheltered and I’m sure a lot of what was going on flew right by me – but I remember the blogosphere and the internet at that time simply feeling lower stakes.

Perhaps there was less of an expectation of professionalism. I think more people valued their anonymity online, even in mainstream spaces, maybe still a hangover from those early-early days when everyone was wary of “stranger danger” on the internet. Now it’s seen as much more shady to be an “anime profile;” there seems to be an unspoken perception by the majority that you’re trying to escape accountability for your actions by hiding behind a disguise. There’s not so much a boundary between online life and “real” life. Especially since the lockdowns, the internet is life, even for the hold outs who weren’t until recently terminally online.

In my earliest blogging days, the internet felt magical. I remember thinking about how intoxicating it was for Ginny Weasley when she was writing in her diary that wrote back to her… That’s a little how it felt. Intimate. Inviting.

Without the catch that Lord Voldemort was actually lurking in the enchanted pages hypnotizing you to try to get you to do a murder, of course. (Well. Maybe.)

It’s tied up a lot in my memories of freedom. That brief period of time between being constrained by my parents and being constrained by the need to provide for myself and be responsible and successful, when I was just learning about myself and who I wanted to be as a writer; in a time when I knew it was actually ok to not have it figured out yet. No one expected me to be great yet. It was the last time in my life I didn’t feel I had fallen behind and have the constant horrible internal pressure to catch up with everyone else and make something of my life. I was optimistic. All of my good times were ahead of me.

Back then, my desire to have my writing read had still had the childish charm of a wish, rather than the desperate burn of an ambition. I was excited by the mere idea that I had a laptop, that I had my own money to go to coffee shops; that I got to be that writer going clackity-clack in the Starbucks with my black coffee looking oh-so-interesting. I so wanted someone to think I was interesting! Life felt like the start of a romance then. I was writing my message in a bottle, I was sending it out in the care of the sea, who knew where fate would bring it… would it be lost, would it be found, and by whom? what would they think?

I loved the idea that someone would see my letter in a bottle… and just that they would remember it. I didn’t really want comments or a dialogue, I just wanted my existence to brush up against others’, and to imagine the possibility that someone out there had read my words and it had made them feel something they’d remember; that had made them see their own life in a slightly altered light. I imagined our mysterious connection like invisible radio waves, static laced through music over a wide windy field.

The sweet charm of invisible voices, reaching across space and time. The pleasure of imagining each of us going about our small lives in small rooms; fenced gardens with songs carried on the wind from one flower to another

There was a subtle romance to living back then. Going to Walmart, walking to the cafeteria through the rain, seeing a squirrel dart through the cold mist on the way to my 8 o’clock class under hopeful October skies, waiting on a bench for my friends to meet up with me to grab lunch and study, going to the local coffee shop experimenting with latte flavor combos and then writing on the comfy couch framed in the window. I was free. Everything was a luxury, time was my friend as my sleepy little student life unfolded like a landscape slowly revealed on a stroll through summer morning fog.

For so many reasons it had to happen that people would be held more accountable for what they expressed on the internet, and that their words and intentions be subject to a necessary scrutiny – but I definitely miss the relatively quaint days of livejournal and mylifeisaverage. I dunno, there used to be this kind of naïve excitement and sincerity about our engagement with online spaces. Of course a lot of this perception come from the fact that I was a teenager then, but from what I’ve seen gen z’s digital lives are a lot more constrained and serious than millennials’ were in the aughts and early 2010’s. Now we know the internet has a long memory.

It seems like wherever you go it’s full of experts, some of them friendly and happy to guide newbs in their shared hobby, others not. But even when the people around you are encouraging when you’re a beginner in your hobby’s online spaces, it’s definitely less chill to have lots of very experienced people chime in and share critiques and tips than to be a beginner in a sea of beginners just trading off-the-cuff thoughts about your interest.

This makes it very hard for me to pursue my clay jewelry making. I simply feel hopeless at it, and much of the pleasure of slowly creating and getting better in my own time, and surprising myself with what I make, is absent. Replaced by a desperate smarting desire to just not suck.

Following your natural learning curve can be really enjoyable. Taking life at an easy walk instead of a run. Right now I struggle with the feeling that if I share my experiences from the little steps I’m taking on my leisurely journey to improving my crafts, I’m opening myself up to pressure to move faster; to get better quicker.

I feel the same way about trying to play MMOs. It’s so relaxing when you can take in the childlike enjoyment of exploring new places, experimenting with different move sets, being surprised by the beautiful spells or new skin you unlock. But if you dip your toe into fan forums at all, you’re not going to be able to come out of it with the same perspective – these places are dominated by people who want to optimize gameplay, who want to crowdsource info on the best builds, ways to grind out experience and the highest level gear, etc.

Hardly anyone participating in these places is going to be the sort of casual gamer who likes ambling around the world and seeing what happens. They want to get to the endgame content as quickly as possible. To them the endgame is the actual game. And if you’re not that serious about it they tend to wonder why you’re participating in the forum at all.

I think it’s the tendency towards optimization on the internet that intimidates me. Like there are fewer and fewer places online that are like cute little cottagecore homesteads; it’s industrialized farms as far as the eye can see. Selling on etsy you need to become an expert on photography, on social media, SEO, business strategies, marketing – it’s not so much a low stakes way for indie craftspeople to earn a little money from their hobby; if you’re not taking professional photos, engaging strategically on social media, sending your products in cute/expensive packaging, you’re most likely going to be buried.

Of course there are advantages to having high standards for people; that’s why things evolve in this way. But it also feels so cynical, existing in this very polished Instagram-ready world. People talk a decent amount about the insecurities you can get from comparing your body to the sea of Instagram models, and of the envy created by seeing friends and family always posting about the most photo-ready, upbeat bits of their lives, but I don’t see as many discussions about how engaging with hobbyists online can warp your sense of self worth and talent, and just generally make your hobbies a lot less fun if you’re not careful.

It often seems to me like there’s this unspoken competitiveness in a lot of hobbyist circles. Well, sometimes people are openly competitive, but I think the really insidious stuff is when people who offer help or feedback are doing it (whether consciously or unconsciously) out of a desire to prop up their own egos. And I don’t think it’s anyone’s fault! I catch myself doing it even when I’m making a concerted effort not to. It’s just like everyone out there is trying to assert in their own little way that they matter, that they have talent, that they know what they’re talking about. And then you end up with subreddits full of people looking to one-up each other. And usually unless you head over to the circle jerk subs, it’s mentioned very rarely that this is a facet of the environment over there. It leaves you feeling like so many people are naturally, effortlessly brilliant, because anyone who would try hard to show off on social media is a loser, right? Like who would do that?

But I think… everyone is doing it…?

It’s natural right? You want to put your best foot forward. And the higher the bar seems to be set, the more you want to show that you’re not posting in a “low effort” way.

I guess lately I’ve been feeling down because it feels like a lot of sincerity and vulnerability is getting lost along the way. Sometimes it feels like my choices are either to hang out in the weird, grimy, dregs-of-the-internet places where people see it as a badge of honor to be edgy and insensitive… at best… (which, um, no thanks) or to keep pushing myself to be polished and perfect and professional.

I dunno. I just want to be like. A dude, just chilling out, talking about stuff. I don’t want my daily existence on the internet to feel like a job interview. I want something authentic in myself to be recognized by others and for my presence to flavor their solitude with the inward pleasure of reading words that resonate with them… a form of communication without anxiety or judgement, the kind that takes place in the quiet private moments you keep for yourself.

Those moments still exist, right?

I think it’s me who’s changed.

“bureal” / “Unborne” publication // imposter syndrome

bureal

While this week has felt like a wash, mostly because I’m going out on a low note that’s eclipsed in my memory however the week started, something very good did happen recently! (though it feels like a month ago somehow) I got published in an online journal I really love, Neologism. Not only that, one of my pieces – the above bureal – was chosen as the feature for the January Issue. Another of mine, Unborne, is also included in the issue.

Interestingly, of all the pieces I’ve been submitting, bureal is my newest and Unborne is oldest. I think I wrote the first draft in 2010? Which is a dozen years ago now, inexplicably.

Unborne

The rest of the issue is fantastic! And it’s a totally digestible and well curated selection of poems, so I highly recommend going and give it a cover-to-cover read!

I still haven’t shaken the surprise. I’ve been surprised to the point that it’s not actually a purely happy feeling. When I got the email from the editor with the news – even though, on an intellectual level, I was proud of myself – that initial jolt of shock, instead of giving way to happiness, sunk into my gut and stayed there as a kind of low grade panic that hasn’t lifted.

What is it? Imposter syndrome, definitely, that’s a big part of it. The extent to which it is, though? I’m not sure. Not having a degree is the source of a lot of inferior feelings, but it’s also just another result of those feelings that have been slowly creeping higher and higher over my neck and mouth and nose and choking my creativity since I was, like, seven. I don’t know how to function when I have this part of me that’s so crassly and nakedly striving. How do I keep going with trying to publish – which, surely, has to be a generally healthy impulse… like… seeing myself as worthy of making the attempt… not trying to erase all traces of my existence from the face of the earth because I’m so imperfect and embarrassing – while not feeding my aching need for external validation?

What’s the healthy range of ego for an artist to have? Is it different now, in the time of social media and a changing publishing landscape, where self-promotion is a bigger part of the job with each passing year? Or do you need less – to write in a way that consciously sets aside your personal dark obsessions in order to further social good and find your place in a larger community? Can you do both of these things at the same time? I feel like people manage it gracefully, and I’m in awe of their ability to navigate the world like it’s a path they’ve traveled and loved their whole lives.

How can you be polite and gracious but not obsequious? Professional but genuine? How do you wear these different hats and put different facets of yourself at the fore in the appropriate situations and still be, like, a person? Without a stick up your ass? Like I feel like having a persona that’s your “professional self” that you can comfortably slip into and isn’t like, uncomfortably fake for you or the people you’re interacting with, is one of the basic skills of adulthood that eludes me.

I just don’t know how to present myself, or manage how I’m coming across to other people. Just living in my body feels like I’m piloting a ship I never learned to sail. Much of the time I marvel that I even manage to string sentences together that add up to something vaguely sensible by the time I unwind them. Is it normal to feel like you’re drunkenly careening through every conversation you have? Have other people just learned to cope with this feeling a long time ago, and I never adjusted because I’ve avoided these difficult situations too often?

I feel like this year, in regards to my writing and “career,” I’ve put myself on a healthy diet and exercise regime… but every meal comes laced with a micro dose of toxins. And it’s just building up. Social media. Sharing on this blog – trying to hit a mark in the sweet spot between honesty and oversharing. Rejection. Acceptance. The shame that fills me when I’m too aware, too happy, of signs of approval from an audience or fellow writers. The sinking dread if a twitter poem or blog doesn’t get likes. The fact that it’s a shallow, vapid thing, and still, it’s the only way I have to gauge if I’m good.

Are you supposed to want so bad to be good? How to other people improve without the moral corruption, the corrosion of the soul, from wanting wanting wanting, for looking everywhere for signs – am I doing a good job? am I making something worthwhile? do I have talent? do I have justification to keep doing this; to exist? Is my existence doing anyone any good?

You’re not supposed to wonder if your existence is doing anyone any good. At the same time, you are expected to do good with your existence. I don’t know how to do both of these things at once.

For real, reader bros, if any of you or writers or artists or in any profession where you deal with similar difficulties; if you have mental illness or you’re neurodivergent or have massive insecurities / imposter syndrome – how do you deal with submission or application processes, or being evaluated, without falling into a toxic mindset?

The mindset it takes for me to create and the mindset it takes for me to publish and participate in the writing community feel fundamentally opposed. I guess that’s the problem. Especially haiku. Switching from the very cleansing un-self-centering I slip into when creating a haiku, to sharing it, trying to publish it…. it feels, like, almost a betrayal of what the practice means (at least to me). I just… want to be able to calmly partake in all the good things that can come from being in a friendly artistic community, without ruining it for myself by constantly trying to measure whether I’m coming across well; proving myself.

I’m so far from being the type of person I want to be. The only way to get closer to embodying what I value is by trying to live that way; to act the way I think is best. But it feels so fake. I’m afraid everyone can tell I’m wearing a mask. It’s so hard not to want to explain myself “sorry I’m nervous, sorry if I come across stiff and fake, I swear I’m trying to do a good, I’m sorry for trying so hard and so obviously.”

UGH. Ugh. Big ole ugh.

Sorry for not being a very chill or organized blog proprietor, guys, lol. I really want to create a space that’s nice and ~aesthetic for people to enjoy pretty words and pictures; like a cozy lil cottage where I can serve my guests tea and apricot scones and we can all chill with my 15 cats. But sometimes you gotta invite your friends to your cottage and have a cathartic exchange of rants:) I guess

Please share about your emotional journeys with submitting work! I think it’s good to have a space where people can be honest about being unsure or having messy feelings with no concern for professionalism!

Gonna try and get my chill back and post some haiku soon:)

have a blissed day<3

“Sunkissed, Listless” Publication // haiku journal

I’m proud to announce a poem of mine has recently been published in Red Elf Review. In my humble quest to, you know, fix my whole entire life asap, I’ve been submitting my favorite pieces to some online magazines. I’ve gotten a few acceptances, one piece where I’m working on some requested edits, and a tidy, growing heap of rejections. But I’m doing it! And this is the first poem of mine to actually get published since I started trying again to have a real go at being a writer. Suffice to say, I’m chuffed. It means a lot that editor Corey Cook liked it enough to want to share it in his publication.

Pretend I’m here, in the grove, lilac clouds
like sleeping lion’s heads nodding

against blameless green,
breathing. Say: I am here. I am still

nothing.
& now I will embrace the ebb

to thoughtlessness.

Check out the rest here, and give the rest of the poems a read! A lot of beautiful work there.

It’s been a full but tiring day. I got a haircut! Normally, not a whole day affair lol – but I had gotten a Groupon for Christmas for this salon in Georgia, a two hour drive from my apartment. And I had a major renovation to do on my head, cutting off most of it, bleaching and dying over my own sadboy at-home-pandemic-era-one-point-oh botched color. Then it was basically off to a nearby city to grab a late lunch and a beer, and then back home, and now the day’s already begun winding to a close.

The haircut was amazing though. Worth the four hour round trip definitely I’ve never had a good experience at a salon before this. It’s so hard to find someone who will listen to you and then have a conversation about what’s possible, what will look good, etc. But my hair came out exactly how I wanted – except better — somehow. And everyone there was so nice. It always felt to me that there was going to be a trade off, like, if you went to a nicer place where you were more likely to get a good haircut, they’d be much more elitist there or something. But totally not the case at all.

I’m really happy, can you tell?

short hair, goodbye despair

By the time we were driving home, though, my energy was flagging. Crazy how a day of sitting there doing nothing can drain you. On the ride home I stared out the window at the gray sunset sink over the highway as B- drove and I tried to find the motivation to write. I’ve promised myself to write at least one haiku every day. Finally as we left the cold lights of a gas station behind and the trees passed me by in somber shadow, I had a brief haiku moment.

And thus was my day.

Dear reader, I hope you are having a lovely weekend. Take in your fill of January while it lasts!

PS, if you’re in the Athens, Georgia area (or if like me you’re willing to drive a few hours for the sake of beauty) I can’t recommend La Boheme enough. I feel like Yennefer after she got her princess diaries makeover from hell, minus the blood and angst and obligatory infertility~ they also have a ghost named Paul

PPS I don’t know how to be An Internet Person, but I feel like part of being a good internet citizen is linking to good businesses, etc? lol. If this is obnoxious I apologize, I’ll be done having my MomentTM and be back to poetry and aesthetic world weariness soon~

have a blissed day<3