Seeing as how I just received notice that my chapbook did not make the cut in a competition I had entered a few months back, it’s as good a time as any to confess my poetic failures. But in reflection, every day is a good day to be honest about the real. There’s no shame in failures or rejections. The only shame is in not learning from them and planning accordingly.
Next time, I plan to fail better.
Confessions of a Failed Poet
Starting with all the whispers
from the muses that I hushed
followed closely by mornings
my alarm refused to rouse me –
That’s as good a place as any to begin.
How I shut the light out at night
knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt
that the poem I did not write down
would still be there in the morning…
You know the rest of that story.
Comparison. Me compared to
every other poet I’ve ever loved.
And close behind: Me compared to
the poet I thought I’d be by now.
Talk about jamming up the works.
Then there are all my past poems
I go back and read today
And think, “What were you thinking?”
Slow burn of shame.
Here we go again.
And yet, and yet, if that’s how it’s
going to be, this failure becomes
me, becomes tomorrow’s poem,
becomes my teacher.