this stinks
how do I move forward?
even the “x” and the “o” keys are sticking
which means there’s no
love and kisses for me
and the left bracket is gone
and spent the grant money
and I have accomplished nothing
no one shows interest in my writing
i wonder how to stay motivated
how do I keep moving forward?

this highway of words
this I-90 of thoughts and feelings
in the high speed lane, them
the spoken word artists
with gestures, facial expressions,
rhyming versus, political opinions
and cd’s for sale
in the back of the room
in the slow lane, us
the literary artists
with spiral bound notebooks, reading glasses,
quiet observations about the world
and chapbooks for sale in the lobby
everybody’s for sale
everything’s for sale

i am in a wilderness. i am doing my 40 years
on the backside of a country
that has no known name
in a high country where only
four-footed beasts, wild animals and birds of prey
call home
no river runs through it
and night is so black you cannot
see your hand held out in front of your face
a primitive pathway littered with
verbs and nouns and prepositional phrases
fellow travelers wandering
in circles bearing adverbs and
predicates, independent clauses and
other parts of speech like baggage
packed for a long trip

ms. Linder was right after all
the English language is not for sissies
there’s iambic pentameter and
onomatopoeia to be considered
rhythm and beats and cadence and counts

 It’s crazy, but I’m beating myself up at times lately because I’m watching all my contemporaries get ahead and projecting it onto my self that somehow I am a failure. I am not but my mind has been playing tricks on me. Like the other day when the preacher said that we had to have peace with God and then we would have peace with ourselves.

I believe that it is more important to have peace with ourselves and to love ourselves, but I also think that it’s a cop out at time if you are like me and for certain you don’t love your self. I don’t even want to look in the mirror most of the time.

For example, just this morning as I prepared to go to church, the little compact mirror I carry in my purse slipped out onto the couch while I was putting my things in order. I laughed at myself because I realized why I carry the mirror in my purse. I remember when Michelle gave it to me. It was Christmas of 2008 and I was in the Women Writing For A Change workshop. I held the mirror in my hand then as I did now and resolved that I would carry it symbolically for turning over a new leaf of loving myself. I’ve probably used it twice since then. And here it comes, slipping out of its sheath while I’m in the midst of trying to quiet the naysayer voices around me—inside me.

the experiment was a complete failure. I got no closer to loving myself then than I was this morning. Yet the latest superficial attempt began earlier this month: spent what little money I had on cosmetics. Said I was going to start wearing a little eye shadow and a little blush. Said I believed God was making me over. Ha ha ha. I used the stuff one time, wore it to church and 30 minutes after I arrived, I had wiped it all off because I got so caught up in the spirit and the praise that I sprung a leak, and the mascara had not yet dried when the rain began to pour from my eye. So now the make up is resting quietly in a zip lock baggie in my bathroom cabinet, along with the Noxema and toothpaste and floss. Dental floss? What you need that stuff for?

So I come to the conclusion that this loving myself thing is not going to happen or at least it is not going to happen without incident.  That I will continue as I am: a reckless old tooth who has no one and no one has her.

I have lived 50 years only to discover that I am a carbon copy of a mother who did not love herself and thus did not love or care to understand me. I suspect there are several generations of this narcissist self-loathing dating back to when we first came ashore and were herded off slave ships to start our careers working in the tobacco and rice fields in Georgia. Macon County, Banks Georgia to be exact. But I can’t prove it definitively. It’s just a hunch.

i end my tirade by saying i need authenticity in my writing. until i am able to truly bear my soul in my writing, the X’s and O’s will continue to stick and i will never achieve the recognition i so desperately crave.

Here’s my haiku for today, Sunday, July 27, 2010:

Only symbolically
loved much to be desired
with mirror in hand 

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