How many of you suffer from ACA?
Unless you’ve been abandoned in the middle of a swamp and surrounded by gators, you’ve probably figured out that it’s National Poetry Month in the States. Hence the reason I’ve come out of hiding. It seems I do this just about every year. April comes around and I get all worked into a tizzy. Publication dreams start surfacing and suddenly I start suffering from delusions of grandeur. I pull out the massive file of inky pages and start thinking these really crazy thoughts, like:
- “There has to be enough poems in here to make a few great chapbooks!”
- “Maybe I’ll even publish a whole book of poems”
Then I start the long (eventually depressing ) task of filtering through the file and reality sets in. Most of what I’ve written doesn’t pass the first pass. A writer is always their own worst critic. But I find a few really good nuggets. So I lower my expectations down from “books” and instead start thinking about submitting just a few poems.
So the search begins. There must be a few publications still accepting submissions this time of year. After all, IT’S NATIONAL POETRY MONTH! Yeah, okay. Bubble bursts. There aren’t as many as you would think.
Then I narrow out the ones that have requirements I can’t meet without undergoing a complete DNA resequence. Then I narrow out the ones that have thematic requirements. The ones that would require me to live on another coast. Then the ones that want pub credits, resumes, a promise to sacrifice your soul for $20 and I don’t mean they would be paying me either. Seems the money exchange flows the wrong way.
That’s when I find myself wanting to crawl right back down into my hole. I remember why my need to isolate to be productive has less do with my unwillingness to commune with poetry as it does my unbreakable status.
Yes, I kick and scream for a few minutes. I lose a few precious hairs. Then I realize (as I do every year) that I can finally enjoy the rest of the month. I can go on writing and keep adding to that growing file until next year when I repeat the same codependent pattern. I’m actually okay with that. Seems that although I suffer from ACA (Another Codependent April) I’ve somehow learned to cope.
Happy National Poetry Month, Everybody!