Poems to NYC
One of the earliest memories I can recall is a dream, maybe a day dream, of me sitting at a small desk, writing. I’m in a corner room of a house, with a beautiful garden outside. The is nothing else in the room, nothing on the walls. This little vision stuck with me and keeps nagging me to do more with writing.
As it is, I write every day. Journals, reviews, essays (for fun), books, plays and, of course, terrible poems. I write poems because I want to know more about how they work. If I had even the tiniest scrap of artistic talent I’d do the same with painting. Writing poems for others to see is not what I’m interested in.
But then, in the space of a few weeks, two people got to see a poem I’d written about my dad, when he was in his last few weeks. I’d written it in the moment and filed it away. Both readers, with vastly different backgrounds and opinions on poetry, liked it and suggested it might do some good and, indeed, might even be good.
In the past this would have been my cue to hide it away again, go into denial and suggest far better poems or prose for the grieving. However, this time I took a left turn and sent it to the New Yorker.
One of the benefits of getting older is you get less bothered by rejection. I’ve never been a huge risk taker (with a few entertaining exceptions) so why not up my ambitions a little now?
Submissions can take six months to get a reply and I would be stunned if they accept it. The important work for me was sending it and the repercussions of that are starting to take effect already.