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Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

NTKOG #64: The kind of girl who gets all sweaty and obsessive over the pale undead and wakes up ungodly early to swoon over Edward with the rest of the acne-ridden masses.

I am: into books. Real books. With tiny little elements like plots and pacing and character development. Maybe the occasional bout of internal story logic too, while we’re at it?

I am not: a Twilight fan, in short. Sorry, dudes.

The Scene: A cinema in Fenway, ungodly early, with the rest of the Twitards Twihards and their sleepy, grimacing boyfriends. Sister, for all her other graces, is among the afflicted, and has promised me a movie-size box of Sugar Babies if I’ll sit through the movie with her without scoffing too loudly. Sugarlust and sisterly obligation prevail.

For context, I read the first book with an open mind (then became — in words that Twihards will understand — quite mellifluous with my chagrin after about fifty pages); the first movie I watched with only mocking in mind. To express my response to “New Moon,” I present you with a poem inspired by another, better teen trash flick:

Ten Things I Hate About New Moon

I hate its hackneyed premise
and its screaming preteen fans,
I hate the cinematography,
those dizzying circular pans.

I hate the cliched dialogue,
I hate Lautner’s hyped-up brawn,
I hate the logical contradictions
and I fucking hate Bella Swan.

I hate how Meyer just can’t write
and how slow the story’s paced,
the lazy trope of perfect love —
I hate that they’re so damn chaste.

I hate how Kristen Stewart mumbles
and how she gasps at Edward’s touch.
But mostly I hate how I didn’t hate it,
Not even close, not even a little — well, okay, not much.

The Verdict: Yeah, you guys heard me. I actually didn’t hate this. Okay, it was sappy and overly long, and I wasn’t totally comfortable with all the soccer mommies sitting behind us cackling with lascivious glee at 17-year-old Taylor Lautner, but the movie itself? Not terrible. Unlike the first one, there was actually some nice character development with Jacob Black, the occasional snappy line, and some pretty okay art direction (when the camera guy wasn’t trying to get too cute.) Unlike the first movie — of which 98% was comprised of Bella and Edward congratulating one another for being so hot — this one sort of had a plot. A pretty watchable one.

Don’t get me wrong, I gave myself an eye-rolling cramp from scorning the pox upon humanity that is Kristen Stewart and her mumbly scream-sobbing. And there were big plot holes. But it was better than 2012, and in this day and age, isn’t that really about the best we could hope for? So yeah. Doing stuff I think I’ll hate: sometimes a pretty okay idea. Thumbs up from this un-undead dude.

[Also, as I’ve once again wowed you with my pentameter, this might be an appropriate time to beamingly update you that I’ve now heard back from all of the poetry journals that I submitted to a few weeks ago, and announce that I was blessed with two rejections, and three acceptances! Yes! I just found out tonight that I have a sonnet forthcoming in Word Riot‘s May issue, and two more in the next issue of some journal nobody has ever heard of, but which I applied to because it had an awesome name. Eeeeeeee! TKOG: published poet.]

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OMFG! GUYS! One of the poems I sent out last night is going to be published! PUBLISHED! In a real honest to god paper and ink LITERARY JOURNAL! OMFG!

The poem is called “On a Body Which is Aesthetically Displeasing and Yet I Right Now Wish Were Closer To My Own” and is coming out in the next issue of nibble.

It’s a short little nothing sonnet that I scribbed out last week but I thought it was kind of pretty good and I guess somebody out there agreed with me! Somebody who PUBLISHES A LITERARY JOURNAL! I am having thirty heart attacks a second over here.

Hey, you know that thing you are scared as balls to do? Have always wanted to try but are terrified to death of? Fuck your fear and fuck thinking you’re not good enough. Go out and do it. Right now. Right now.

The world is good to us in our moments of bravery.

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NTKOG #58: The kind of girl who gets her non-ironic Plath on and — gulp! — submits some of her poetry to an actual friggin’ literary journal!

I am: afraid enough of failure that sometimes I forget to admit to myself that I want to be a Real Published Author. Hence the drawer full of pretty okay work that I’ve just never submitted anywhere, because I am so seduced by the infinite potential of what might have been.

I am not,: that said, actually a poet. My writing talents fall strictly in the realm of short stories and the occasional retweetable aphorism.

The Scene: My apartment. My goddamned apartment, where I have been holed away for three days like a Proustian aunt awaiting death, drowning (absolutely drowning) in used Kleenex and self-pity for my raging cold. Hence the self-helpier-than-usual post, and my unusual silence the past several days.

Although I’m kind of embarrassed to admit it now, I went through a bit of a poetry tear during my senior year at university. I became obsessed with syllabatonic poetry (Russians are the masters), and decided that writing a series of sonnets would help train me to inflict maximum violence upon language, making my proser denser and more packed with sharp edges.

Oh, well, and I guess it didn’t hurt that I was in the throes of a mad crush for a grad student in my department. He had a corrected harelip and for some reason I found it unbearably sexy. Clearly fertile emotional grounds for the budding young sonnetist.

Anyway, a couple of the poems (despite their embarrassing and old-fashioned insistence on being sonnets) turned out like pretty okay, and so last night I rounded up a few, chose a few journals with decently low acceptance rates on Duotrope, and — gasp! — actually sent them out. No editing. No angsting. Just a short, funny cover letter and, bam, some of my actual, real-life writing spirited away for real literary dudes to read.

I felt relieved. I felt empowered. I felt fucking terrified.

Obviously no word back yet, so the verdict is apt to change. Also, because there is so little meat to this story so far — you guys, it’s a bad idea. It’s a really really bad idea. And it makes me positively vom to even think about doing this. Which I guess means it’s a good ntkog. But I’m going to go ahead and post a poem here. An honest-to-god “wrote it ’cause i meant it” poem about truth and feelings and all that horrible stuff the thought of which makes me anxious and violent-sarcastic.

Oh god please don’t judge me. This intense cold has made me emotionally vulnerable. (And obviously I don’t think the poem is good or else I’d be trying to get it published instead of wordpressing it. And — and caveat caveat caveat until we all die, but seriously, I’m a prose writer, not a poet by any means.)

The Poem (oh guys please don’t hate me):

Prosaic

I hack out slickly viscous thoughts,
distortive phrases where your body
can firm its curves, reslope its drops.
With words I sculpt you as you’re not – we
could never intersect in life:
I’d dog you like a faithful wife,
I’d buff your jags, soon sanitize
your lurk, your dank seraphic guise.
I fear that soon I’d start to see
your blunt-nosed apprehensions seething,
the burden of your constant breathing;
No charm in your asymmetry.
And yet I cherish thoughts that we
might have been gratefully unhappy.

The Verdict: So obviously no word back on the publication status, although you’ll know when I know. Personally, I’m hoping to acquire enough rejection letters this year to wallpaper my apartment. But it did feel amazing to actually send something out. It’s so easy, I think, to get entranced with work you’ve already completed and let it acquire a totemic stature in your drawer. You convince yourself it’s beautiful and perfect and you’ll never write anything half so good again, so why squander your store of genius by sharing it with the world just yet?

Which is why I chose to start out by sending my poems out there. Because I already know they’re terrible at best, and the rejection isn’t going to kill me. Still. I felt good enough about sending work out that I’m going to drag a few stories out of the drawer and submit them to read, actual, prestigious journals. By six months from now, I have decided, I’m going to be published. There is no other option.

Also, sharing an actual poem with you guys is by far the NTKOG-iest thing I’ve done so far for this blog and my stomach is already tied up in knots and I’m probably going to go drink some wine just to calm my DELICATE WRITERLY NERVES so please do not compare me unfavorably to Shel Silverstein or anything in the comments section. (God, I’m usually so oppressively confident. Turns out I found the nerve center for my otherwise hidden insecurities.)

[Edit: haHA! First rejection already! Not even a very nice or grammatical one! Excellent. Must stop by Kinko’s to print it out for the WALL OF REJECTION.]

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