The Editor


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She said she doesn’t understand me.

Not my words, not my plans, not me.

She doesn’t understand me.

She said that, “I don’t understand you.”

She also said:

“You don’t use enough poetic words.”

“You’re unclear.”

“No one understands what you mean.”

“You say too much.”

“You leave nothing for the imagination.”

“There’re prettier ways to write that.”

“Your sentences are too long, too short,

Too convoluted, too simple, too complex,

Too awkward, too abstract, too concrete…”

And so much more she said. 

She gassed on about my description, my

Commas, periods, semi colons, dashes,

Especially the Oxford commas and italics.

She hates enjambment. 

She said it, “I hate enjambment. 

I prefer clean breaks.

People need to write plainly.

Go direct, 

Say what they mean.”

She likes rhymes or landscapes,

Not a lot of nihilism and death.

She prefers old verse to new,

Stanzas to trees, 

And blank verse to free.

Words flow too freely too often.

She repeats that.

Each time I see her, she repeats,

“Loose lips, and sticks and stones,

And penny for your thoughts.”

She likes the old ways, the olden days.

She doesn’t like my way.

My way is too dull, too lurid, too boring.

She said she honestly doesn’t know

Why I bother.

She doesn’t get it. 

Not me, not anything about me.

She doesn’t understand anything.

She doesn’t understand me.

I said that: “You don’t even know.” (Me)

I got the last order of halibut tacos: ten for today

July 19, 2016
 
I’m having trouble. I stayed up too late and ruined my sleep. Those sleep-deprived days hit hardest, most difficult to bear. The world seems scary, like one giant acid trip gone wrong that I cannot come down from, no matter how much I talk myself through it. My feet feel as if I am walking in the bounce house.
 
Morning came too quickly, the doors opening and closing to my bedroom. Communal showers suck. I worked late into the night fixing my article for the new French client, only to awaken to stern reprimand from someone half my age, probably. I did not follow directions, too worried about meeting deadline and not the specifics. Certainly my fault but can we just treat each other kindly? Even editors?
 
Hard pressed to inhabit the Zen of it all, I fought all morning with myself. “This is the life of a writer. This is life. Don’t be afraid of rejection, judgment and criticism.” I had to keep myself from diving over the cliff of “I fucked up.” Forgiveness.
 
My nerves still sore, I taught class, guilty that I wasn’t fresh, alert and sharp, but that turned out to be a lie I told myself. The class discussion meandered through colonialism, prejudice, Black Lives Matter, censorship, profanity, the sub-prime mortgage debacle, the abc’s of finance, medicine, medico-legal ethics, euthanasia, and stories, lots of anecdotes, for a breezy four and a half hours. At least it seemed that way. Summer school. Beautiful students.
 
Rounding out nicely with a particularly grapefruit citrus-tinged IPA and halibut tacos ordered at my local hangout–family members all working (except for dad glued to the t.v.)–this day wanes okay, citing my own research on French proverbs (my maybe rejected assignment)–apres la pluie, le beau temps (Every cloud has a silver lining). I’m about to chomp down on my halibut tacos silver lining. Cheers and Bon appetit!