On Edge

Content or complacent

The words that whole nations sent

Teetering on edge

Debate of all the hem and hedge

Plunging down cliffside oceans

For fear of others’ heaving shuns.

 

I would not call you pent

But I think that we could name you spent

Rent or wrote on broken arms

Contentment is triumphant harm

Rendered at the end of wrestling gods—

Beyond the scope of mortal nods.

The Great Matter: Rejection

“There is no failure except in no longer trying.” 
~Elbert Hubbard

Elbert Hubbard

Elbert Hubbard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rejection, they say, is the path to any success. Somewhere in the trial, a trail is dug so deep, honed to such a true and sharpened progression, that no great winter or man could tear it back again.

Yet there is an issue with the process.

Writing, it is known, is the field built upon this trail–that is to say, that rejection is a natural piece of its process. All will face rejection in one form or another before they find their “in-road,” be it to great or little success. in its way, it makes sense. Rejection teaches us endurance. It teaches us to weather the bad weather until truth will find us out.

The problem: how do we know?

Much as children are told: oh, you can be anything you want to be when you grow up, there is a certain lie hidden in the equation. As most can attest, not everyone can write–just as not everyone can do quantum physics or fly a plane. You wouldn’t want them to. God help you if you do. If our entire industry is based on rejection and the light at the end of the tunnel, however, then what if that light never seems to come? When do we know it is just another rejection on that trail to something more, or simply rejection of inferior work?

In our system, rejection is supposed to strengthen us. Harden our determination. But what if it shouldn’t be hardened? Are we bad writers or merely struggling writers–the question we all must ask.

A pickle, if ever there was one. Try, try again whisper the mouths of the successful. Edit and review, your English teacher lectures. Do as we do, boast the self-help brigades. Do anything else, announced the rest of the world with a shrug.

But passion won’t allow such desertion, and frustration is the end result. All men, after all, have their breaking point.

The simplest answer, I know, remains: never give up. But I know as well there is more to the wisdom, a greater and more profound explanation this young mind–known often to failure but little, as yet, to success–has not the words to lend it. So, blogosphere, if you’re out there and you’re reading, I turn this post to you in the form of a question: what is your advice to the writers of the world? Because I’m not so silly as to think I have the answers.

“In a world flagrant with the failures of civilization, what is there particularly immortal about our own?” 
~G.K. Chesterton

Related articles

Bloom and Wilt

Enfold in me

your light, your life–

sweet summer child

turn not your color from my heart,

the scent of pine trees,

sculpted in the dawning,

where all of nature is the swell at your sweet breast,

the gathered breaths cultivating

convalesced coercion of my soul.

Breath to breath, I seek your notes,

the tantalized texture of your smile

writhes still in me, in places

only faith should know.

You drink me, though you do not know

the taste of my desire–

the character in the caricature–

myself, I, wilting in that shade,

in those dark places where your lips and light

shall never know, nor ever sing.

Death of a Muse

Tender touches

twilight now

when you would walk through moon beams

silver youth, in my mind,

your long-tossed hair that fleeting glimpse

unworthy hands would never know.

A dream-wrought kiss

for all sensation’s cheer—

a note to set the pen to dance

beneath your light.

What is your name?

Reality, but a longing and a life

no bearing on the yearning—

the dreamer’s supple realm.

A thousand ships would sail for you,

in mind, while your eyes turned—

it wasn’t till the flesh took my hand,

crowned in cruel identity

cast me out to sea

that all those ships were set to burning.

* My latest contribution to One Shot Poetry Wednesday. This piece was essentially the second part to the post I made yesterday, on muses and their very real, physical departure, in the form of people. Yesterday I gave other people’s thoughts on muses, but today I put forth my own thoughts on the muse’s withdrawal. For those with a physical embodiment to their own creative drive…

C’est la vie

They say success

never tastes so sweet

without the sour hors d’oeuvre

of failure’s bounty;

were I but once

to taste the former

I might have some basis

to compare.

* My latest contribution to the wonderful One Shot Poetry Wednesdays! If you get the chance, be sure to check out all the other talented One Stop poets posting there – and what about yourself? If you haven’t signed up yet, and you’re among the creative…what are you waiting for?

The Season of Letters

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day; spring is near at hand, and the mail is beginning to stir…

Image care of Photobucket.

Spring flowers in bloom

Hope rides letters on the wind—

Rejection season.

That’s right ladies and gents, the season of rejection letters is beginning. Just got another gem of one today. Personally, I like to store them up, in that oh-so-classy of ways, so I can look back on them with a smile if and when I actually do get published. Meanwhile: c’est la vie. What do you do with your rejection letters?

Like a Brother

It’s a little melancholy and certainly, I think, not my best work, but the following, “Like a Brother,” is my piece for today. Any suggestions? Post away.

Classic Friendship.

I am your prisoner,

the aluminum cage is as grating as your flesh–

torture, I see, in each crossing of your legs,

deliberate porcelain tactics, smoothing out the cause

as your apartment beckons.

The car, idling in reverse, waits

as I smile into my sentence, hands shaking

as I execute the timeless dance.

No other can compare, my lips sing praise unto thy beauty,

but if your ears hear it, your lips pretend,

deliberately pursing, calculated condescension

as you remind of the value of a friend–

turn head and flee into your night.

I sit, stupidly watching, that valued friendship fly

into another’s arms, waiting for the look –

and no look –

No, stupid, no – she doesn’t care –

love, that brother’s love spells

an end to love, no lust tonight–

soul shrinks at heart’s bite.

* My latest contribution to the wonderful One Shot Poetry Wednesdays! Once you’ve had a look, check out some of the other One Shot Poets as well–they’re a skilled bunch of poets, with a strong and supportive community.  Enjoy! And while you’re at it – vote for us in the Shorty Awards…we have a chance to take Number 1 in Art!

Time Covers All

By Iquanyin Moon, for One Shoot Sunday.

I cannot see you anymore.

 

It ends in solitude,

The salient serration of your survival

Severed all trace of tactile touch—

I reached for you and you recoiled till

Whispers on the lovers’ trail

Turned it all to desert and to dust—

You went alone into the waste.

 

You are naked to me,

Wind-blown wraith wreathed in

Dust—blow, ye wind blow, for you

Are nothing, breaths and breathing

Touch upon the earth and fade away—

Just footsteps sifting in the sand

And Time.

 

Time covers all.

*This poem is a response to the latest of One Stop Poetry’s Sunday Picture Prompt challenges. This week’s featured picture was provided by i-Phoneographer Iquanyin Moon, who I interviewed for this week’s One Shoot Sunday. Check out her wonderful work, her insights, and some great poetry…

Asphyxiation

Asphyxiated blue—

Skin kisses the sun;

Waves smash and batter—

Ivory bursts

Enshroud and consume,

Tossing and toiling

Beneath the bubbling illuminations.

Helpless twisting

Gives to selfless thrashing;

Scorched sand rakes

Flesh ensnared, catches,

Body splayed in the midday sun,

Frigid, sopping—midst fire, twinkling.

Salty stagnance withdraws,

Raging, it heaved rejection,

And the torrent onward roared.