I have two pieces out in the April issue of Bonnie’s crew! The first (page 30) is a creative non-fiction piece called The News, which I have been trying to place for possibly a couple of years now. It’s about trying to fit the anxiety of going for scans in with everyday life, and how easily that anxiety can be triggered.
The poem is called Grammar Error (page 37) and it’s a real short one, written after my hsyterectomy.
I have a new poem out in the latest issue of The Pangolin Review, “Bleachers At Clearwater”. It’s something of a departure from my usual subject matter, and it was written on the coach on the way back from Clearwater, Florida, to Lake Buena Vista. It’s definitely more light-hearted than my usual writing, but I think we all need that every now and then. Enjoy!
I just found two poems I wrote, two and a half years apart, about two different people, and they fit together perfectly, and have almost the same title with only one word different. How very odd. It’s like one poem answers another; one person answers a call that they didn’t hear at the time and that wasn’t intended for them, yet still they appeared.
I have written a guest blog post for Lucy Turns Pages! It’s all about how writing has helped with my mental health in relation to cancer survivorship. Please take a look and let me know if it strikes a chord! You can find it here: “Writing About Mental Health and Cancer Survivorship”.
I scrape a poem from the edges of my brain
carve the crusty consonants from the
crevices of my lobes, slide the spatula
beneath the remaining residue from whatever
once resided. I peel the skin from the corners,
pick the flaky film from these four grey walls,
soap up the sides to get the stubborn sticky
bits to budge, make room for more material –
delivery date unknown, cautious of the contents
should they be something better left uninvestigated.
I clear the crumbs with my dustpan and brush,
settle for structured silliness amid silence, make
a mess like a child, call it art, with enough
confidence to not be wrong.
I’m in a really good place right now in terms of not withdrawing to some dark recess of my brain to think about bad memories, or worry about what future health problems might occur. That is really weird for me at this time of year. Normally September/October would be the time when my blog would have an influx of dark poetry, and I haven’t written any poems in a few weeks. So, not great in that respect. I do think my lack of poetry is partly because cancer survivorship is where most of my inspiration has come from for the past couple of years now, and partly because I’ve just been busy with other things such as my degree and my literary magazines, so I haven’t dedicated time to writing poetry. It’s almost as if I have to be unhappy in order to be creative. But as much as I love writing, that would be too big of a sacrifice to make. I know there’s a saying about suffering for your art or whatever, but there has to be a balance.
I visit the local library for the first time in at least ten years. It is no longer my local library, but still my parents’, and still local enough. I go because first I took myself to brunch at a café down the road and
had substandard poached eggs that offered me thin white egg juices on the first incision, and dark orange yolk on the second, amalgamating into mush on the plate. I had wanted to write in the café, but brunch then felt like less of a treat and more of a mission.
Today I submitted my dissertation, which means my MA Creative Writing is now over! Well, apart from the tense wait for my results. But I finished the thing, submitted it a week before the due date, and refrained from typing AAAAAARRRRRGGGHHHHH into the comments box, so win? I really hope my dissertation is okay and that I get a good grade for it. If I pass the whole course with distinction I will be over the moon, but even just to have completed it and passed will be an awesome achievement. It’s been a lot of fun doing the course, having a purpose and challenging myself, but at the same time I’m way more keen on the creative writing side than the pedagogy, research, referencing, and so on. So I’m glad I did it, but also happy to have some more time to do other things.