Monday, June 4, 2012

Serendipity in the Making


Last week I finally started doing something about getting my poetry out into the world. I bought the Poet's Market and began reading. I printed all my poems out and started going through them to see what's what. And I posted here about my plans. Within hours, a friend had written to say that I should look for a local reading place. I found a place and sent them an email. I read more in the Poet's Market and found a press whose guest reader is a guy from Syracuse, so I ordered a book of his poetry. And then, today, reading an essay from the Poet's Market, I found a prose poet whose work I love. He name is Nin Andrews and you should go read her stuff and then buy some of her books. I wrote her a note and she just wrote back.

Oh, and I've been writing more poetry in the last week than I had in the past two months.

Serendipity, it turns out, is something that can be manufactured. Which is just a different way of saying that we make our own good fortune, a saying I have long believed but not trusted enough to put in practice. That is changing, at least for the time being, and I'll take my good changes however I can get them.

I'm not imagining that everything (or anything) will be easy about this process, but ease seems to be presenting itself when I do even just a little work. All the things that seemed impossible become almost inevitable when I start applying real pressure to them.

It's like losing weight. I'm an overweight guy. I carry an extra twenty pounds around my midsection and a bit lower. Just a few months back the extra weight was more than thirty pounds. In my life I have always wanted to be fitter, thinner, healthier, but I haven't been able to make it happen overnight and so the whole process felt impossible. Today, I'm losing weight on a steady pace. It's slow and it's not easy, but it's not impossible either. In fact, even the cravings for sweet and fatty foods have abated because I'm not thinking about denying myself everything.

Instead, I'm trying to feel food, to be aware of it. That and I'm running more just because it feels good to run. This evening, though I was tired and didn't want to run but I have gotten a habit going that carried me out the door. I kept it short but felt better through the run and still feel better now. I'm not sure I would have done that two months ago and I'm not sure I'll still do it two months from now, but today it all felt good.

I need to get back to the Poet's Market for a little bit and find a few more magazines that look like they might fit my poetry. Soon I'll need to pick a few poems for a reading and begin selecting pieces to send to this or that magazine. Premature or not, I'm going to keep looking to assemble a chapbook collection of my poetry and shop that around. There are things to do and they feel good as I'm doing them. More things will present themselves as I go through this process, as will more people who might be able to help, more poets that I should read, and more idea to write about.

Then, there's only one thing left to do: write on.