“We’re doing it the Jack Butler way!”

It’s happening again.  I decide to get a little more serious about my writing, start looking around at literary magazines currently accepting submissions, and I start writing poems in my head that I think would meet the standard they are looking for.  FAIL.  See, every literary magazine has a certain voice they are trying to put out there.  Some like edgy and experimental, some like natural stream-of-consciousness, some just want to SHOCK! and AWE!  It does a writer no good to send out their work to a magazine that clearly has no interest in publishing that writer’s style.  Better to spend your energy and postage on a letter to your mom.  Maybe she’ll use the SASE to send you an encouraging note and some money.

Anyway, I’ve been flipping through some of my work and it seems to me that it isn’t total crap.  I mean, it needs some work, for sure, but I can hear a voice starting to emerge.  I’m not sure if I should go back and rewrite the ones that are a little off, the ones that have a good message but no indication of my voice, or if I should leave them alone and use them as tools to remember how much I’ve grown.  I suppose I could make the edits and still keep copies of the originals, but it doesn’t seem right to change their essential being.  It almost seems like I am trying to make them something they’re not.  They are meager little poems, not very well-written, but they are an indication of what I can be.

I’ve been thinking about Cocoa a lot.  I still feel so much grief over his death, and a good amount of guilt.  I am so mad at myself for not recognizing how bad off he was, then not being able to afford the vet treatment that he would have needed to save his life.  I knew all along that something just wasn’t right, and I knew that Himalayans are infamous for never complaining and never letting their owners know they are sick.  I knew when I got him that I would have to keep a quick eye on him to be sure he wasn’t ill and just not letting anyone know.  I feel like I let other issues cloud my judgement and they cost my cat his life.  I don’t think I will ever be able to have another pet.  If hubby and son want to have a dog, or whatever, that is all them.  I just don’t think I can open my heart to that kind of responsibility.

What does any of this have to do with change, the NaBloPoMo theme?  What part of this post isn’t about change?  Something’s moving; something’s stirring in me like the first green petals peeking out of dried up winter leaf piles.


2 comments on ““We’re doing it the Jack Butler way!”

  1. gimpykatk says:

    I’m so sorry about your Cocoa… but you know she wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

    As for your poems… I have been writing poetry since I was a child, and yeah they are not what they would be now, or will be years from now, but I wouldn;t change a thing because they reflect who you were then. Just keep writing as the person you are now. I’d love to see some sometime.

  2. Barb Plummer says:

    Ahhhh, I just wrote this beautifully eloquent response and got an error! I will try again, but I am sure it will not be the same. You should not change any of your previous poems. Changing them now would be like going back to an old journal and editing an entry. Its just wrong! They were written from your maturity and feelings at the time. Besides you might make them worse! But I doubt that!

    Now about Cocoa, I too miss him. He was a great cat. I loved it when he would interupt one of our conversations with that little “pathetic” meow of his. You know the one. I think he should not be forgotten but serve as a reminder to you. SLOW down, be quiet and observe the things/people going on around you, then do what you know is right. You will figure out away to get what you need to make it work, you always do! :O)

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