Friday, December 29, 2006


perhaps there is some myth i got that image from, and it will come to me. i will know it as i know myself. yes. there you are. welcome.

that is how it is, i have an idea, a phrase, a poem and the world evokes a sigh of certainty. knowing. some call this de ja vu. a glitch in the matrix. it is a frequent part of my existence. i walk in my dreams sometimes. they come into being around me. i hardly notice it anymore, just a nod. it's a comfort, really.

so my hair is now passing my waistline. and i've noticed some folk when they invade my space, they get snagged by it. hence the spiderwoman tag, like i'm carrying some great web and catching flys in it. they apologize and disentangle themselves. i should probably be the one apologizing, but who knows? maybe someone can ask ms. manners for me, not that i'd listen.

my poetry shindig got changed from the 29 to the 30 kids, so if you'll be in nyc, come hear me. it will be wild. i've nearly got my set locked in.

my resolution for the coming year, i publish.

the time has come. i will pursue it. i will do the work necessary. it is not that i haven't wanted to do this work in the past, i just never felt the time ripe. the fruit sweet. the season full. as i do now.

my best christmas gift this year is an acceptance letter from paterson literary review for two poems. more have since come that show some promise of making it into secular journals. i shall throw my hat in the ring and see what happens.

i sat with a literature student at a christmas day dinner i attended, the only real conversation i had. and she read two of my poems, ultimately, and said,
they're strong.
she interned in the nyc publishing industry this past summer so i think she is a pretty good judge of nyc strong. my gut tells me it is time. to listen.

there is something about pressure that i've been wanting to get to. for an artist, pressure is as necessary as for diamonds. we produce more when the pressure is on. but i also do not think those who produce under certain types of pressure (for particular markets, etc) may be producing their best.

my main exhortation to artists is, hone your voice. KNOW your voice. let no one dissuade you from it. when you know it, you can do no wrong by it. or allow any violence to come to it. it becomes a part of you.

my take on editing is this. if you are working with an editor who does not understand your voice, for whatever reason, run away!

editing, is to hone a writer's voice. to help them communicate clearly. not to create some freakish brainchild of a writer who can't or won't publish their own works. i'm not down on editors who don't write, i'm down on editors who make you sound like them. like the perfectly crafted sentence is the be-all of good writing. when it is not. you know it isn't. i know it isn't. why listen if what you know in your gut is your true voice.

this is problematic for those who know their voice but have not matured. we were all there once. we were unformed, gelatinous writers who needed prodding and critique. yeah, yeah. it's all good. but the process of writing is an education in itself. the process of creating is an education in itself. when you stand before a crowd and read your works (for poets this is arguably much easier) and they move with you. laugh at the right times. engage. then you've hit upon something. even if no one else gets it.

if you are reading and a deadpan audience will not come alive, there are two possiblities. you need some help. you're in the wrong crowd. reading to the wrong folk. though, i think a good writer can manage a tough crowd, a great writer can manage any crowd. it's a question of delivery at that point. certainty, again, knowing your voice.

one thing about being here in ny that has made me understand the benefit of being physically present is, my two poems would not be being published now, my voice would not have changed as it has, if it had not been for me moving to ny. i had peaked in texas. the poetry scene there is not the type i could be challenged by or grow from.

here, you'd have to be dead not to grow. and if you have a thick skin and certainty of voice, the sky is the limit.

so this year, spiderwoman publishes. that is my resolution. if you meet me, and i tangle you up in my hair, well, don't say i didn't warn you.

1 comment:

Miss Audrey said...

Wonderful post Suz. Wonderful.