Oh my gosh.
Not only yesterday, for a brief flashing moment, was my little pink book in the 30,000 in sales rankings (!!) on amazon.com—huge for a poetry chapbook from 2001 I wrote mostly in my dorm room—but today, they sold out. That’s right. You sold amazon.com out of my little pink book. You pirates.
They can still get it. More are on the way, they said. They cost $6.
You can also get them from the publisher, Kent State University Press, the Wick Poetry Series, run by the best people in the world, people who take a chance, who gave me a potted plant that died, but that is not the point.
The point is: they’re doing it. The point is: I’m doing it, though it doesn’t feel like it day to day. Day to day, I feel like a girl in an oversized dress.
What? I say. You like my shoes?
This I understand. I work very hard at my shoes. I work very hard at my work, too, but people are more likely to look down.
My new plan is: work harder. Work outside of the world because the world makes me nervous. The world hurts my stomach. Poets and Writers hurts my stomach. Theory hurts my stomach. Politics hurt my stomach. And searching for names on the internet stabs some rib I didn’t know loose. I can’t breathe when I see those names. That is what bleeding feels like. That is what drowning feels like.
But. Bring it down, bring it down.
Be an outsider artist, he says to me.
Calm, complete. Right.
Don’t get wrapped up in the arguments. Don’t get wrapped up in the race.
Think of Kate Bush in the barn, finding the old organ as a child and playing. Kate Bush in the attic, Emily in the attic, Tori in the basement, Virginia in the small house, Willa in the shed.
All the women I loved wrote alone. You can do this. You are not alone, but you alone can do this.
Today is a big day. Today begins my favorite weekend, my favorite holiday, my anniversary, though I spend it alone. Today I am Mrs. Dalloway. I buy the pumpkins myself, and the carving tools, and lay down the newspaper, and fetch scary videos, and warm up the oven, grease the cookie sheet for seeds, lace up the boots, zip up the dress, tie on the mask, open the red wine, welcome my friends, wait for my love.