Loose Ends and Literary Stools
Time is a human construct.
I have to tell this to myself over and over at this time of the year. I have to stay away from social media for a couple of months, and take a triple dosage of medication on New Years so I can sleep through the shame of having nowhere to go and no one to go with. I am overwhelmed by the pressure to appear joyous and outgoing. So instead, I have been writing myself to contentedness about all the ways in which I am not. I have been doing kickflips in my own imagination and skinning my knees on the aspects of myself that are jagged and unkempt. I am pulling at unruly hangnails so that blood settles on the shore of a torn cuticle, a splash of sanguine varnish as I crash through life in a tsunami of middle fingers and social asphyxia.
This Kid Ain’t Write (Am I Right?)
I’ve had a break from work for the past week. It’s been pretty rad. But in another way, it’s also been a depressing, bed-ridden mess oozing directly from Satan’s own anal gland (his seventh circle of hell, if you will) into the slow-healing scab that is my life. Just another foul bodily fluid to try my best to masquerade with sugar and spice and stories involving the humble cell splice.
Oh well. Writing is happening, so that’s pretty good. I’ve written about three new poems, started on some drabbles, and written a short story about naked mole rats that I should’ve thrown immediately into the trash but decided to keep (and submit!) anyway. I quite enjoy many of my stories that publishers decidedly and persistently hate, especially the ones with a spookyspec and/or gross element to them. Also, sometimes if I’m experiencing writer’s block I often just need to harness a little discipline and write through the clumsiness of my own words. I can always go back later and make things more eloquent when my mind is behaving better, but getting the ideas on paper in the first place is the most difficult step in producing anything at all, let alone something marketable/”good”/ugh/ew. In a sense, I am proud of what I create when my mind is blocked and every word accrues a fifteen minute nap debt. These pieces have their own strengths, because often I have to pay special attention to the cohesiveness and coherence of the language.
I’ve also been submitting like crazy. It makes me feel productive, but I also know it makes me super impatient. I send a piece to three million different places as if they all are in dire need of having it in their respective publication, and as if submitting to more places will somehow collectively make them respond quicker (well, it does increase the odds of someone out there responding quicker, but calming the fuck down and making some friends would probably have a similar-seeming effect too). Eventually, someone accepts it, and then I claw my skin off realising that I’ve bestowed upon myself the task of contacting everyone ever, telling them the piece is no longer available, and then sending something new to kickstart the entire ordeal over again. Who am I kidding? (I almost wrote “kissing”, and the answer to both questions is a resounding: no one!) I love it. Especially when I get little morsels of feedback. Sweet literary rejections!
It is time to feed Zig, light a candle that makes me feel like I live in an artsy little loft, eat cheese and pasta and try not to think about Satan’s anal glands anymore. Also, if I’m honest, I’m going to watch some super trashy television later where everyone is mean and awful but they create some awesome tattoos and I’m both fascinated and infuriated by one of the judges who always has a stupid toothpick hanging out of his mouth.
Keep your grunge soft and your rock punk, pups.