Anger, Art, & Atalanta

February 2016 was productive for me poetry-wise. Two of the poems I wrote that month have already been published, but the other one I’d also started then languished for an entire year before I managed to finish it.

February 2017 felt very different from February the year before. The world had, if not changed, become unmasked at its ugliest places. I was tired and impotent and just low-key angry all the time. I told my friends I’d never been so full of rage, and all the words now were brittle and dry, fire and ruin.

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Over a few days, I’d finished (a rough draft) of that unruly poem, surprising myself with how quickly it came together when I’d written and deleted so many stanzas before. It dawned on me I hadn’t been able to do it before because I hadn’t been angry enough. People think writing is about bleeding on the page, and it kind of is – but not all emotions translate the way you expect. Anger has always been draining to me; it’s not something that inspires my creativity. Or maybe I just never knew how to channel it until now.

Today, I’m so happy and proud to share THE FOOTRACE with you in its completed form.

It is one of the most difficult poems I’ve written, the one I’ve done the most revisions on, and it’s maybe my best so far. You can also hear me read the poem on the Strange Horizon’s poetry podcast.

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The Reclamation

I know I haven’t been here in a while, but it has been hectic in April. Is it really the cruelest month? I don’t know, but it was busy and it was a little cruel with the punch in the feels Avengers: Infinity War gave me this past weekend. You’ll find no spoilers here.

But today, on the last day of National Poetry Month, I’m so happy I can share a new poem with you. I wrote it literally within the last week or so after a trying personal experience. It’s probably one of the most unedited things I’ve written, and it certainly is in terms of poems that have been picked for publication.

MY TEARS ARE NOT FOR YOU is a part of L’ÉPHÉMÈRE Review’s special anthology in celebration of National Poetry Month.

The anthology came out in 4 parts over the course of April and had the broad but evocative overall theme of BEYOND THE SHALLOWS. My poem appears in Part Four- The Reclamation.

This publication was a surprise because I had only happened upon this anthology a few days before the close of the submission window. I read through the other parts and loved the themes for each section, and luckily, I’d been writing a lot this month because of Camp NaNoWriMo. Even so, “My tears…” was a very new poem, and I submitted it without any expectation it would be accepted. Well, it was and I’m giddy that you get to read it immediately.

With a lot of my poems recently, I’ve been grappling with my messier emotions, as well as my thoughts about identity, heritage, and myth. I’m honored to be part of the Reclamation section of the anthology as I’ve been making it a priority to reclaim my time and my self. Writing this poem gave me some catharsis. I hope reading it gives you some, too.

Supplement:
(Music) First Burn | April Hamildrop
(Music) Burn | Hamilton OBC Album

 


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2018: One Word Resolution

I know this is late, but January got off to a running start for me, and it took me a bit to figure out what One Word I wanted for 2018. It also took me longer to post my year-in-review 2017 over at A Nudge in the Right Direction. Go check that out if you want to see how last year turned out.

My Insta Best 9 for 2017.

Background: for the last few years, I’ve picked one word to be my touchstone for the year to come. The word is less specific than individual New Year’s resolutions, but I like having something broad to guide and center me as I work through 2018.

My word for 2018 is:

GO

My word last year was Rest because of how thin I’d felt going into 2017. Getting rest and self-care is still a priority for me this year (I think ‘tired’ is my new normal), but I also want to pursue things with more passion. Besides, in the past 2 years when I’ve tried to be more focused on resting, I’ve actually found myself feeling both restless and doing more. Playing opposites seems like a common trend in my life.

So I’m resolving to go with the flow. I’ll still practice self-care, but I want to put time and attention to the things I really care about and to going after the things I want. When it comes to the Hamilton-Burr dichotomy as portrayed in the musical, I’ve always been more like Burr – cautious, tight-lipped, and willing to wait for it – but sometimes, you really just have to be Hamilton & take the shot.

This year, I want to be healthier, kinder, stronger, more daring, and more creative.

Like last year, I’ve created a Pinterest board for my word. Hope it inspires you as much as it does me!

What’s your Word for the Year? What goals have you set?

Supplement:
(Music) How Far I'll Go | Moana OST

Awards Eligibility 2017

Hello 2018! It’s the start of a new year, which means it’s also time for awards nominations for some areas of short fiction. For me, that usually means the SFPA’s Rhysling Award. I had 2 poems published in 2017 that are eligible – so here they are again for your consideration.

1) NIGHT SWIM in Liminality, Issue #12 – Summer 2017

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The poem is linked above, but I wrote a little bit about the inspiration for it here: By the Water

2) ESTATE SALE in Polu Texni, November 2017

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The poem is linked above, but I wrote a little bit about the inspiration for it here: The Memory of Objects

As always, thanks for reading and thanks for sticking around!

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