I just got an e-mail a few days ago that a piece I had written and submitted for an open call for submissions for an international literary journal was picked up for publication. My poem The Lamentation Suite is getting published in an anthology.
I had totally forgotten that I had submitted for this journal, and I had even forgotten that I had written this piece at all. I saw the kind of work they were looking for and it was close to the deadline and I didn’t have any existing pieces that matched their requirements. So what I did was I scanned through my Twitter feed and Instagram poems and started taking those that seem to fit together and broached the topic that was being asked.
I took these verses and began reforming them, revising them to somehow form a whole new poem in the process. I remember it now that I’ve read it again and I recall that it took me a whole day just putting the whole thing together.
The most difficult part was to write new stanzas to help bridge the ideas and images together and make it a whole cohesive piece. I went through my sent folder in my e-mail, found the e-mail with the submission and read the piece again and it shocked me. I really liked what I did with it.
I always thought of myself as an “okay poet.” I do good work sometimes but most of the time, I’m still quite run-of-the-mill. My poems are easy and they aren’t yet in the level of the poets that I admire and aspire towards. I recognize that. It’s why I’m going back to basics and starting from scratch.
But then, sometimes, I see a work of mine that I’ve done that I can be really be proud of and I know I have it in me. I just have to keep working at it. It doesn’t come as easy for me as it does for others. And I don’t mind that at all. I don’t mind the hard work.
I just keep at it. I’m still at it. I won’t stop trying until I’m good and dead.