When You Get the Rejection Letter

Rejections, after Lauren Elma Frament

 

In a year of taking a break from submitting, I almost forgot how tedious sending your work to publications can be. You put blood, sweat and tears in revising your work to death before sending it out, and boom! You get the big “no”.

Sending my pieces to lit. journals had come in small blessings, usually unexpected. There were times my pieces fitted the theme of the journal and I got the boot. There were times I would cry and question if I should write at all, some I didn’t care.

Which is to say, you shouldn’t question whether you’re a good writer or not, there’s plenty of journals worldwide. It’s one of the scenarios where you have to push yourself. It’s not going to be easy–it’s really frustrating to be honest, but it’s part of the journey being a writer.

 

20170521_211059

 

 

Untitled Sixty-six

 

Today it rained in Vegas
aside from the floods
the city looks beautiful like this.
I don’t know why
but my mind keeps racing back to my childhood.
I remember
not eating in front of homeless people
unless I could share my food with them.
I used to love pigeons
now they make me sick.
I wanted to save the world to
but then I grew up.
How awful.

Bless the Mic

It takes a bold character
to bare its soul on the mic

I only have these words
when you get the chance,

say something with love
—mean it!

Do not do it for the applause
you have an important cause

do it—you have something to say
when the world tried to hush you.

Most importantly,
say it with love.

Always with love.

Breathe

Friends and Poets and Performers

I just want to be clear on something, when we walk up to the mic and take that breath, we are not being dramatic or cliché.

We are saying we care.

We are attempting to live in that moment and re-engage with the piece, convince ourselves we made the right choice, that this is the one they have to hear from me, this is what I must share.

We take that breath because we don’t want to fuck up our good, good work and embarrass ourselves/poetry parents/ that good art we been craftin’. We are saying our work deserves a breath.

When I breathe before I begin my poem, I am really saying “don’t fuck it up” and “you bet not fart during this poem.”

― AKeemjamal Rollins, author of Suicide Note

Me Performing

 

This was my first feature, and I was so nervous my mouth went dry but I kept going. Seeing how tough the judges were made me even more nervous– don’t know why since I wasn’t competing but still…it was a rush.  I think with more practice I’ll be even great. This was filmed by Erik Hoeppler.

Dear Teachers

Dear Teachers

stop telling young aspiring writers

to write what they know. 

 

Can you recall a time

were your favorite author played it safe?

I highly doubt it.

 

Did Robert Frost

not say to take the road less traveled?

Are we not writers?

 

— To’Wednesday Sibley, Dear Teachers