It's an Onion
April 30, 2002

For once, I find myself really disappointed. The school puts out a yearly publication of poetry, prose, and art, and the whole thing happens to be called The Vandalia. For those who happen to be like this poor damn Yankee who didn't have the vaguest idea, that's a type of onion local and apparently pretty big in this part of West by god Virginia. Hence the title to this.

I entered a single poem last minute to last year's publication. I didn't really expect much to come of it. I did get a lovely little rejection letter, which spent the last quarter of the year on my wall, and I still have it (my first rejection letter! EEEE! I was actually tickled to get it).

The thing that's dragging me down right now is that this year, I didn't even get my rejection letter. Nothing whatsoever. I chose 3 entirely different works of poetry and sent them in practically the week they started accepting submissions. I figured at least one of them would be trippy enough to get in (and I had many plans to gloat excessively should that be the only one picked). But I never got anything. There was the "Ok we got it" e-mail day after I sent them in, and that was it. I didn't even know what the status of my poetry was until I went to the reading tonight and found out it wasn't in the book. And disturbingly enough, I'd like to make it clear that the elegant sitting room setting felt very much as odds with the incomprehensible poetry. I kept expecting the lights to dim, everyone's clothes to turn black, and instead of applause for people to snap their fingers and/or wave lighters around. It's almost disappointing that they didn't.

These people don't seem to understand how badly I was looking forward to my rejection letter. Aside from my long-held theory that they would only take submissions that are so frelling Out There that not only does the author not know what it means, but readers will need 3 supplementary sources the size of yer average dictionary to understand (*coughcouhgEEK Cummingscough*); I'd hoped that, well, I guess it comes down to wanting my work validated in another arena. But no. I will try again next year (at this point, I'm fairly damned determined to send in the same trio near the last minute just to see what happens), it's just that right now.... Well, it's rather bloody depressing.

Anyway. Since I didn't get to share my stuff at school, after much whining, here's what I did send in.

~ ~ ~

A version of this is actually present several rants back. I don't think I changed any of it, but it's here again just to keep things whole.

Ghost of the Samurai

I remember a song,
Asking where the cowboys disappeared to.
A good question, I must concede,
But what I'd like to know
Is where have honor and pride gone?

A battered girl
Submits once more to a 'lover' and his friends,
Calling herself weak for giving in,
Blaming herself for surviving.
Is it wrong for me to dream
Of the heroes that should not let this be?

A heartbroken boy
Watches behind tear-shaded eyes
As a lover turns casually away, true love
Burning away to reveal only heartbreak and blood.
Is it wrong for me to dream
That love is not lust, and can last more than a month?

A cynical dreamer
Hides behind a glowing screen,
Too close to tears over the "silly things"
That others mock as impossibilities,
Thus breaking that spirit which soared among such fantasies.
Is it right for us to see
The horrors of life, and deny the dreams?

Most of us are faithless wanderers,
Serving no lord but momentary, evil whims.
No heroes, no true loves, no dreams.
No honor, no respect for self.
All dead and gone underneath the mundane sword of reality.

~ ~ ~

I'm rather ridicilously fond of this one. I had it up on the floor's bulletin board for about half of last year. As you might guess, written one very long day when I couldn't stand people and just wanted to get SLEEP. But of course, had prior obligations that I had to keep. The concert that one of the roomies dragged me to was actually quite good- Fade2Shade!!!- and I'm more than glad that I went. Anyway. I can see this one turning into a song one day. Somehow. Perhaps as the college student's anthem? :)

Long Day, Long Week

I ain't grumpy,
I'm just tired.
Adrenaline's worn off,
So I'm no longer wired.
Too much stress,
Too little sleep,
It's been a long day
In a long week.
Ain't near my bedtime,
But I'm snappin' at everyone
I'm so ready to crash,
When they wanna have fun.
Don't wanna talk
Sorry-can't even speak right,
I just wanna collapse
And sleep through the whole night.
Too much stress,
Too little sleep,
It's been a long day
In a long week.
Do you get the message yet?
I want to go to bed,
To quiet my aching body
And my pounding head.
I admit it;
I feel like crap,
Don't wanna socialize,
Just want an extended nap.
My friends are planning to head out,
But I gotta recover from too many tests,
Been running all week;
Think I deserve a rest.
Too much stress,
Too little sleep,
It's been a long day
In a long week.
Thank god for the weekend,
No more schoolwork to worry about,
So give me a little bit
And I'll be down for the count.
Enough of this responsibility crap.
Time for some R&R.
Board up the windows,
Send the roomies off to the bar.
Put on a quiet CD,
Turn off the phone,
Finally! A quiet weekend
And just me at home.
Two days without stress.
Two days for sleep.
End of the day.
End of the week.

~ ~ ~

This one was done after one night in the cafeteria, I caught a person's reflection in the window. But when I turned around, no one was there. It was a fascinating moment. My first amused thought was "ghosts!" But that quickly turned to the concept of seeing the future, since soon after someone DID walk by me. And somehow, the randomness started to describe just what the window reflections are... or could be... or were. This is probably the most out there poem I've written (I prefer to leave things clear so the reader can actually understand things). I could've sworn this would be choosen, just for sheer randomness to it. I guess (that is, if they didn't simply just lose my poetry) it just wasn't trippy enough.

Reflection in the Window

Ghost of a ghost
Shade of a memory
Fleeting emotions
Imprinted on glass.
The dead don't walk;
They glide through grains of sand
Captured in metal, plastic, wood,
All for mortal amusement.
Flashes of life
Hiding behind metal bars
Or lurking before them
Mesh entwined with ectoplasm.

Shadow of a prophecy
Visions whispering across
Metal and meat of reality
In the ignored communal dream.
Possibilities playing out
Lives unborn
Dying before our eyes
Aging in the faux ice
Endless opportunities
In a play we ignore
Giving stage and players
Just the barest, quickest glance

Frozen hourglass
Showing us glimpses of
What might be
What was
What is


~ ~ ~

So what do you think? Not enough "layers"? Or what?

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