It’s hard to say it matters so I keep typing and breathing anyway but isn’t that tragic and sad and literary, a blood-tipped quill stuck to a dangling hand that would be better off waving goodbye to hopes of doing anything other than deleting (keeping) vague rejection notices including those two recent gems from journals I can’t remember and isn’t that shitty of me since they actually took the time to offer some particulars—nicely done, so close, but we ultimately decided you’re just too good. Maybe I misread that.
How does one get on “The Inside,” I’ve long wondered, in relation to most everything. Boo hoo hoo, wah wah wah. I’ll pay the $25 annual fee to be a member of the Local Writers’ Guild Chapter 124 and walk in on a chilly Tuesday night to the weekly meeting of the lost souls, ready to argue for better wages and less work and maybe make a few heartfelt points about the Oxford comma, disrupting the group’s chatter about plans to host/attend various galas and events and whose latest “book” will headline—maybe just events because $25 a year isn’t going to fund much of a gala; those are for businesspeople nowadays anyway not artists.
Hello, I’m M. Nice to meet you, M. No amount of my position in life has been handed to me, I’d say, and they’d watch my performance with courteous, merit-judging eyes. Everything has come down to choices and I should really stop the self-delusion because publishers can read right through all that meta-angst with what I imagine are profoundly final index fingers hovering over the “NO” button all publishers have affixed to their computers—no, this does not fit our needs and we wish you the best of luck elsewhere it was such a pleasure to read regards best wishes goodbye. Oh yes, we understand, they say. We’ve all “been there;” now you’re “one of us” and we’ll “support” one another as we all go after the same audience’s attentions.
It’s a funny game we play, trying to get noticed, clamoring and clambering and demonstrating our abilities to use thesauri and proper conjugation and demonstrate minorly avant-garde narrative structure like one in a thousand of us might have a little something different to say, differently. None of this feels as agitated as it sounds, I promise. It just feels silly. Not Monty Python silly, just regular silly, ordinarily, like gesturing wildly at the driver who merges in front of you in traffic. Or like child-rearing. Silly. But we do it anyway, moaning from time to time, always coming back for more, universalizing “we’s” from “I’s” because it feels better sometimes to share. Sometimes.
—one has these thoughts, sobering almost, that aspirations of art and freedom are mere fancy, near-fatal notions which one then neatly sets aside as though to say not now, delicate ones, not just yet, but sometime. Maybe Tomorrow. Before Tomorrow comes and whispers, presently, not today, it’s still wrong today till it’s right today so fuck it let’s just write today.