Most of the time its hard to really pinpoint when my disability is an obstacle.

It’s only when I catch an obvious mistake in a resume I’m about to send out and then I second guess every other word after that. Is this really how you spell this word? Which then sends me into a puffed up and frustrated person with each misspelled word I type for that day.

That’s when my disability is exhausting.

There is a lack of confidence my disability has cultivated and I haven’t been able to shake it off yet. It’s hard to shake it when you spend most of your energy hiding the fact there is something different about you. How could anyone go into work confident.

How could anyone go into work confident when you’re freaked out someone is going to notice you’re a bit off.

 

Music for the Month of March

Top 10 For the Month of March

  1. Bottom Of The River by Delta Rae
  2. FourFiveSeconds by Rihanna, Kanye and Paul McCartney
  3. Alone by Trampled by Turtles
  4. Opening by Phillip Glass
  5. Only Love Can Hurt Like This by Paloma Faith
  6. Le Onde by Ludovico Einaudi
  7. Forces of Attraction by Johann Johannsson
  8. O Magnum Mysterium by Morten Lauridsen
  9. We Will All Be Changed by Seryn
  10. Gold Dust by Galentis

I probably get at least four hours of sleep a night now. I can say that I’m out of my writing funk and I think it has to do with my lack of sleep, slowly leaving my job (the one where with my shitty boss) and spending more time with friends. And ok, I’ve been myself off much more this month too…

It’s not like January and February were a complete shit show. I did work my ass off editing a few poems and two of those poems just got accepted. It was another reminder to myself that working through the shitty months pay off. No matter my mood, my attitude I always find the time to write and edit. It’s important to me and I love working on my craft. Actually, I’m a none stop thinker about my writing and I tend to be that kind of personality: A none stop worker when I find something I really love. I was like that in speech and debate and now that’s crossed over into my poetry. Constantly thinking, talking and working.

My best friend is on the night shift, which means I now have a new late night hanging out buddy! Late night movie theater shows, the local coffee house that’s open until 3AM and lots of Netflix. We are also compiling a list of things to do late at night. Which involve, night swimming, open mics, crazy bars, improve shows, etc.

Plus I’m working on my Personal Statement and my friend has taken up cross-stitching, as we talk about are ever impending doom: her likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s and the fact I’m losing my eyesight. We spend numerous nights plotting out a mutual friendship were I’m the memory and she’ll be the eyes someday. Kind of like in the wild with that fish and crab.

I will say I’m my best self on only a few hours of sleep. I do take a few naps from time to time to add a few hours here and there. But one day I only had three hours of sleep and I wrote out a full draft of my personal statement. FINALLY! It only took the lack of sleep to finally pump that draft out. Still needs tweaks before I ask for help because I would like to keep the embarrassment level to a minimum.

But now, it’s time to go sleep for a little bit.

tumblr_m6yvo0lYGT1qi1r4o_largeNight

Disabled Writers

I’ve read over this article on the Poetry Foundation website numerous times, mostly trying to give myself a jolt in my personal statement and also it’s rare to find an article on disabled writers (which is ironic because that’s half their arugment…the lack thereof).

Recently, I was setting up a few submissions and it crossed my mind, what if I submitted a non-disabled poem to a journal that’s focus was the disability community? Would they want it? If I wrote a poem about falling in love, wouldn’t it still be on a technical level about a woman with a disability, falling in love? Wouldn’t every aspect of one’s words have an underlining acknowledgment of the disability? If a poet of color wrote a poem about love, you wouldn’t strip away their race because the poem is about love and not skin color. I think it’s interesting that disabled poetry becomes a one-sided publishing endeavor but with gender, race, or class journals are merely there to support the authors.
I enjoyed what each writer pointed out, but I only wished they had more regarding other disabilities, besides the physical and deafness. (Funny the disability community ignoring its own community and leaving a chunk of us out.) Because I have my own set of problems and issues I deal with daily, along with the notion of hiding in plain sight. I don’t have a wheelchair or a missing leg to account for my daily struggle. People don’t see me as disabled right off the bat, but I go into panic mode when trying to count coins or trying to spell the word, “especially.” I fear cashier jobs and publishing jobs worried they will find out and think less of me. Teaching a tiring job of showing up an hour early to fix my spelling errors on the board, practice saying each word in the lesson plan, to hide my disability.
That’s where I disagree with some of the writers in the article. I do wish to protest, to talk about the pity moments because sitting down to write is a battle itself for me sometimes, because I will spend 20 minutes trying to remember how to spell a word, or going back and changing every “now” to a “know.” Same with “see” and “she.” So I’m sure the poet in a wheelchair, the deaf fiction writer and I all have a different set of struggles.
I guess I’m simply trying to say is, though the disability community has become a larger part of the writing community, I still believe most readers imagine only wheelchairs, sign language, and failing bodies when they see “disabled” across the page. When voices of the community also are writing about torn identities, hidden self and trying to make do with missing tools.
Plus how can I really make someone understand what it’s like not understanding language? It would be like trying to write a poem about taking one’s breath away, which is more an expression of feeling than a literal idea.

Google Map It

At least once a week I go Google maps and double check how long it would take to drive back to the Midwest. Then I remember I’m only human and I can’t just drive for a day and more with no sleep. Plus I drink a lot of water and I always need to pee. Bathroom breaks alone could add two hours. Even though, I take pride in my efficient pee time. (Another story for another time).

Also, it’s fucking cold in the Midwest. Like rock solid nipple cold. That’s no fun to drive in and my sunshine skin is weak after more than half a year back at home. Plus that’s a lot of gas money and I’m cheap.

So at this point I daydream about visiting, turn off google maps and watch something on Netflix.

I have been in a terrible funk. Really emotional, lonely and I feel like I try to send out my flare gun, little messages to people, I need to talk. Feeling alone and in limbo is taking a toll on me. Plus I’m my own worst enemy. I’m too hard on myself and I have been negative about a lot of things: from my poems to the odds of getting into an MFA program.

In the face of it all I try really hard to keep writing. It’s important to continue writing, even during the worst writers block. Poetry is like a relationship. If I was going through a bad time I wouldn’t just ditch who I was with. I would lean on them for support.

Many great poets have emphasized to me the importance of pushing through the writers block. So I write poems, send out submissions, edit what I can. I work on my personal statement and study for the GRE. Is it enough? No, not enough (well not enough for me). I think I should be putting more time in.

And my stomach turns every time I try to write about this subject matter. I feel like I’m whiny, over dramatic or just being lazy and not a hard worker. I feel like I’m just being self-deprecating.

This is when I double check the weather in the Midwest or other parts of the world. This is when I double check how long it would take to drive back.

Confession #33 

I am so terrified of not getting into an MFA program. Utterly terrified because I couldn’t take sitting around working one more year. I worry that an MFA isn’t for me. Like I don’t fully understand what I’m getting myself into. I’m just a silly kid day-dreaming more than anything.

But I want to be in an MFA program because I want more. To learn, grow, master skills I’m working on. (goodness that sounds cheesy). I am always willing to spend hours at a time on writing, just sitting there knocking out work. I love it. I love feeling like I have a place to talk.

Then I think, “how silly and young do I sound?”

Maybe I need to get some sleep. 

When my mother was in the hospital with the kidney infection, she was propped up in bed reading a movie magazine when, all of a sudden, she felt me turn in her belly and her feet went cold and colder and the cold moved up until it almost reached her heart. She knew then that she was dying. She buzzed the nurse, then she didn’t move. The nurse couldn’t find a pulse, she ran for the doctor. My mother was thinking, “If only they would open those windows.” They were huge, French windows. And the doctor walked in and he looked into my mother’s eyes and he opened those windows and her pulse began again. Hey dog, that’s my favorite story. -Terry Galloway

Valentines Day

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I don’t like Valentines day, not because I’m single. I also don’t like anti-Valentines day. I think if you go out of your way to celebrate anti-Valentines day then the Valentines day wins. You’re doing everything Valentines day-ey: the wine, chocolate and the horrible film choices. Anti-Valentines day is just with your friends and even if you’re not doing these things (chocolate, wine, sex) and you’re doing stuff like, “eating fried chicken.” Which is sexy and counts as Valentine-ey.

Shit, it’s ironic for me to be bitching about Valentines day. Doesn’t it make you think, well if you’re bitching about how it doesn’t matter, it makes it matter and then you try to say no it still doesn’t matter but then you’re brain is like, “umm yeah, you’re sitting here for 30 minutes writing a post about it so it must matter” and then you’re like “shut-up brain” and then you find yourself with a handful of chocolates in your mouth, pouring a glass of wine and pressing play to The Notebook. 

It’s like coming to after being blacked out drunk.

What I’m doing on Valentines Day: working. I work on Saturday, from 8am-4pm. Then I’ll go home, eat, watch Gilmore Girls (because that’s what I’m into watching right now) because I don’t have to pay attention, it’s a nice sound playing in the background as I write. If I’m feeling extra hot and bothered I may study for the GRE and work on my personal statement.

I might masturbate too. I got a good masturbation option going on right now so that probably will happen at some point tomorrow. (You know what I’m talking about).

 

Rough Month (January)

My brother came across me hanging out in the kitchen at 2AM. I made me him jump and yell a little when he saw me standing by the fridge pouring apple juice, eating a bowl of sharp cheddar in my purple underwear.

“Sister! You’re a mess!”

I dislike the month of January, it’s always such a funky month for me. My writing has been crap, I’ve only  submitted to four journals and I can barely hammer out a new poem or clean up an old one. (This happened last January too). Or actually February, but like a period playing a trick on you my bad writing month came earlier.

Sometimes I just feel like such a shitty writer (I can’t even criticize myself in a more structured, fluent sentence) just “shitty” and I just don’t know how on earth I’m going to get into an MFA program. I mean I’m not the kind of person great things happen to. I don’t win all the prizes, awards, I don’t have schools knocking down my door looking for me.

I really hate my job right now. Or I really hate my boss, a wishy-washy, unorganized person who thinks their an educator when really they’re only into it if it’s making the money. My hours have been cut a bit and I feel like my boss is mad at me, for whatever reason I will never know or understand. But I don’t want to teach how they are. All those damn worksheets, that’s not teaching, that’s a cop out. My job has exhausted me to the point I cringe going into work, I’ve given up a bit of work. But I’m putting through, making what I can and then looking around for other jobs. I think I may just stick around here until summer. With my friends wedding and a few speech alumni functions happening I rather work somewhere a bit more flexible work schedule.

I was telling my mom everything that’s been going on at work. She’s been a bit upset to hear how down it’s making me. Especially because she knows I don’t get like this unless I’m really beaten down. How they demand such a high standard of their teachers, yet here I am working at night and I ask where my bosses kid is and they’ve gone on a trip. (Thanks for telling me ahead of time). Also, they’re a bit over religious for my taste. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t mind anyone’s religion but when it starts leak into one’s workplace I’m not such a fan. One time I was sitting in with my boss and another teacher discussing a student and my boss goes goes, “well he’s a freshman dating a senior and I think this senior girl is very promiscuous.”

I’m thinking, “well shit what would you label me if you knew all the weird sex shit I’ve done.” If dating someone, like what senior to a freshman, that’s like maybe three to four years apart? Damn if my boss thinks that’s bad…

So lately I’ve taken to crying in the cry without feeling it coming. Like today, I tried to run a one of my poems as I was driving to work and I just started crying. On the way home three nights ago I just started crying.

It’s a mixer of many things:

  1. Knowing my period is next week
  2. I’ve been fighting this cold (my ears keep popping)
  3. I’m really unhappy with work
  4. Writing has been terrible (the month of rejection)
  5. I’ve been stressing about money.
  6. I haven’t had sex in a year and two months. (this is a thing…getting pounded really calms me down).
  7. The ever looming MFA applications are a little knife in my side
  8. Still adjusting to not having my friends around. I have friends here, but I don’t tell them much about my bad days.
  9. That new super bowl commercial Budweiser has with the puppies is making me cry
  10. After a month of watching my Grandmother very slowly waste away, I think it’s all about over.
  11. My face has been breaking out like I’m sixteen years old again.
  12. And I’ve never felt more terrible about my body than I do this month.

Ok, I got that all out. 

I really hate crying sometimes and I hate when I get like this. I feel like I shouldn’t get like this anymore. I’m an adult and adults hold themselves together. I call these last few years the crying years and I blame speech and debate for that. From the ages of 8-18, I wasn’t a crier. I played sports and I took crying as a weakness, a way for the other team to learn your weakness. Also, I’ve always had a very high pain tolerance.

Expect anal, that’s just the most uncomfortable feeling ever and I’m good. Been there, tried that. not for me.

Now that I have all that negative bullshit out of my way I’m going to list the good things about this month, even though I still feel a bit shitty. But that’s ok to feel shitty, right? I think there’s a book that teaches this very lesson…umm its called, “Everybody poops.

Shit that was good about January:

  1. I wrote this fucking awesome poem about male rape for my friend speech. I guess people are really digging it and I just sent out to a journal. One of the few poems I sent around to my good friends to workshop and they didn’t have any edits. I was like Woah guys, you all always have grammar suggestions.
  2. The sky was beautiful yesterday
  3. My mom took me out to lunch. She knows what makes me feel better (Pizza and clam chowder).
  4. I’ve been a reading machine (more time for reading)
  5. I have icy hot again….mmmm icy hot is so good
  6. My room is almost done (I know took me forever) Just need to hang up a few things.
  7. Spent a lot of time with my best friend Tammy (went hiking).
  8. I’ve been posting a lot to this blog, which is nice. I normally don’t write this much for my blogs.
  9. Two of my students drew pictures for me (nice kids).
  10. I’m getting back into my submission groove, whether I like it or not!
  11. Also, I’m glad its 2015. I don’t think I could have lasted another month in 2014 because I kept saying 2004 so often I felt like I may have been slowly going back in time.
  12. The cheddar cheese this month was awesome

So it’s 3AM

I’m going back to the sharp cheddar

liz_lemon

Perfect on Paper

Chris

He was the in between of Brad and my nonexistent love life. I met Chris when the weather was finally warming up outside and I was almost done with my undergrad. My friend dragged me to this fundraiser, even though I wanted to just sit in my room and write. She said I needed to get out more, so I brought my writing journal with me to the football party (winning). I’m not a huge fan of football, neither is my friend, but it was a fundraiser for an organization she was working with. As I was saying, I have no interest in football, but I was into the hotdogs, soda (I never drink soda, but Coca-cola and Dr. Pepper is cocaine for me) and I got to sit in a chair and write.

My friend was talking to the heads of the organization and one of their friends mentioned Chris was trying to get published and my friend mentioned I wrote and I always send my stuff out. And I love helping people with stuff like this. It’s a high for me when people ask me to make them a list. Lists vary from: where to send your writing, to coffee houses, to foods one should eat before they die, to speech scripts. So if you want help in one of those areas I’m your gal. If you want a list of the periodic table or all the State capitals…don’t bother asking me.

We started talking about publishing and he had no idea about anything. He was another guy who enjoyed writing as a hobby (maybe not even a hobby, something to fiddle with) but wasn’t about to quit his day job. It’s sweet when I meet guys who enjoy writing as a little fun activity, but it’s hard to connect and talk about writing on a higher level. It’s like trying to have a deep conversation with someone who says they read but you find out when they “read” they mean magazines and you’re like, “yeah, ok you read, but we read different things.” Still he was a cute guy.

I didn’t really think that giving him my email meant anything more than just helping him out with journals:

Again I should point out that I can be so oblivious to the dating world. It’s a miracle I’ve ever been in a relationship, had sex or even kissed someone with my lack of observation.

After we met up for coffee the first time I did kind of figured he liked me.. I had been there all morning writing and he stopped by for two hours before he took off for a camping trips with his friends. He had a nice smile and was very dorky. I remember he seemed to have no control over his hands. He would hit the table top loudly (he must have been nervous) and it was very distracting to me. I notice weird shit like that.

But Chris was really everything I was looking for: Sweet, cute, good-looking (not that I look for that) and I suppose when I mean good-looking, I mean I was attracted to him. It’s weird but sometimes I’m sitting down next to someone (I’ve felt this with two people, Chris and my friend I almost dated) It’s not a spark but it’s comfort having their leg so close to mine. Chris also had a great job, he was a few years older than me. He was an engineer and I grew up around a lot of engineers so I was like “ok, I can work with that.” He was a hard worker and goofy at the same time. He was perfect on paper I would tell my friend Tina.

On our third date, we went out dinner and it was lovely. He came over to my place and he hung out and met Tina, Valerie, and my brother who was living there at the time. But as he was leaving we didn’t kiss and we just sided hug. A bit of both our doing. He seemed like a very respectable man, which is great and everything, I need more nice gentlemen in my life. But sometimes a lady likes a man to take charge. Ok, I always like to be dominated. I liked to flung around. I don’t get flung anymore.

Chris and I never kissed and I’m sure it would have been a disaster because just hugging him fell so flat.

Also, I’m guilty of disliking the fact that he didn’t have nice hair or let me rephrase that. He didn’t know how to take care of his hair. That poor hair. And he didn’t know how to wear suits. (When you do speech and debate this is important and something you notice). Those poor suits.

It’s important to note that when he would text me, call or ask to hang out that night I got kind of annoyed and I realized this would never work out because I would rather be writing poetry and hanging out with my roommates than go out to dinner with him. Someone should make you want to put down your work for a few hours to be naked with.

One night I went out to drinks to celebrate my first chapbook draft getting done and he tagged along and I forgot why but he said “ghetto.” Look, I really don’t care. I mean do I like the phrase ghetto? No, I think it’s not only just shitty classist thing to say but it shows a lack of vocabulary. But really I don’t care, I don’t love it but I’m not going to stop dating someone because they make a few mistakes.

Did my friend/roommate Valerie like it? Oh hell no, she hated it. Valerie has a self-righteous quality about herself. She likes to “set everyone” straight, yet never sees her own flaws, acts like she does but she really doesn’t. She’s a racial and she forgets just because you’re liberal doesn’t mean you can’t be a racial who judges others too much. There have been plenty times she said negative things about guys I liked and it’s funny because they guys she didn’t think were worth my time were the nicest guys I have ever met. And the ones she liked, the ones she said “were hot” ended up being the biggest assholes. **One of the many reasons I don’t speak to her anymore. Because she was controlling not only with me but her other friends and who they liked. Tina put it best, “she doesn’t want you dating anybody because then you guys wouldn’t hang out as much.”

A mixture of bad chemistry, Valerie and hair really made this “perfect on paper” guy end. But he put the final nail in the coffin. After he texted me, “what he could do different or for in the future what he could work on.” I said, “your text is a perfect example. Don’t ask what you could work on for a future relationship.”