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Special Day

Thursday 1/30/20

Heading out to walk and climb. This morning I saw a post on Facebook--and these people are always the same--from a writer bragging--her word; she said she deserved to--because she had written ten pages' worth of poetry so far this year. Ten pages. Of poetry. You know all of the white space on the page with a poem.

To these people, that really is something to brag about. Now, I'm sure the writing was absolutely dreadful, because it almost always is, but this is part of the problem. That's an hour for me. It's less than an hour. But they honestly view writing ten pages--of poetry--in thirty days, as yeoman's work. It's like they climbed Everest ten times in a month the way they talk about it.

What that means is they hate someone who can produce, produce huge amounts more, seemingly with no effort, and have it all be awesome. Someone who doesn't just know things about things--and these people don't know anything about anything--but is an expert on many, many things.

They project what they can do--and everything they cannot do--on to you, and they'll resent you for it; the bigger the gap between what you do and can do and how much you do, and what they can't do, don't do, and how little they do, the more they will hate you.

Especially if you are a male. Especially if you are white. Especially if you say the truth. Especially if you publish a lot. Especially if you always something new and amazing.

Ten pages. One month. Ten pages of poetry in one month. And, of course, you read the comments, and it's "OMG you go girl, I wish I could be a fraction as productive."

What the fucking fuck.

So. I just finished proofing, editing, the meatheads book, which I keep referring to as such, because the title, as I mentioned, may be changing. My cheeks are still stained with tears from laughing because it's just that fucking funny, and also from crying because it's that fucking moving at other times. I wrote an 1800 word story this AM--in other words, a hell of a lot more words than ten pages' worth of poems--called "State Birds." Ten fucking pages in thirty days. And you're a hero with these people, so long as you are one of them. Ten fucking pages. That's a third of a page--of poetry; shitty poetry--a day. What a hero. Shero? What a fucking shero.

I don't know if these people are more talentless or delusional. Close race. But I know they own my fucking life right now. And along I come to someone like that--because they'll be an editor, too--and they see me, who I am, what I do, the level I do it at, the rate at which I do it at, that I am white, that I am a male, that I look like a jock, as some of them say, and it's done, right fro the cover letter, right from the visit to the website, right from the recognition of the name, pieces by me they have seen and read, I have no fucking chance, and most of the people in publishing are a version of this person. And you're fucking cooked going in. It's not about because you didn't have better work than any of it they put out. It's never about that. It's about the fact that you are fucking cooked the moment you even tried to show up.

American Dirt and so-called cultural appropriation--and please, you sexists and racists, stop making everything about gender and race, just because you don't have an ounce of imagination between the lot of you, and this what you need to fall back on, ad nauseum, because you have nothing else--isn't the problem, this is the fucking problem, a system that operates this way, unchecked, unseen, behind a curtain to do whatever the fuck it wishes, that is programmed to hate and suppress greatness.

Anyway. I may have to help Emma out later. She texted me this morning. She realized she lost her book bag somewhere in Boston, it had her calligraphy in it--they do a lot of calligraphy at this school for some reason--and I told her to chill, we could go around to where she was yesterday and see if someone had turned in her bag.

Today is also what my parents used to call my Special Day. My mom still does. It's the name they gave to the day when they took me home from the foster home. I am glad that I ended up with my mother and my father, for whom I have much love, and with my sisters Kerrin and Kara, for whom I also have much love. I think about my late father and my later sister Kerrin often, and I think about how my parents encouraged my abilities and helped me and that other parents probably would not have in the same ways, and how from the earliest age they taught me about courage, character, doing the right thing, and if I had not had the parents I had, I wouldn't be able to fight right now like I must, and I wouldn't be the artist that I am. I don't know how far off from it I would be, but it would be different, and I also would have probably killed myself by now, which I say knowing that I may at some point, but I am here right now, and I am still trying. I know we're all in different places in life, and in different worlds, and in different world within the same world, in some ways, but I love you, family, and I am glad you took me home and I got to be with you. Thank you.


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