My name in lights, it’s a frightwig, a scaredy-cat. Getting published means yes once and for all it’s true and real and tangible that I am a writer. Snakes curl around my wrists, my desk juts out from a cliff and I am the Hermit, left alone to write and toss rocks down into the crashing waves and the sky’s a funny lavender, a cat purrs at my ankle, wraps its raccoon tail around my calf, I wear one of those navy-and-white striped crew-neck T-shirts, like all the French artists and this is all legitimate, not a hoax.
Getting published means pouring buckets of wet cement–its heavy its matriculated gunk its depth n weight–the HULK of it plopping and slumping around the feet of my writing, rooting it: this poet’s not moving. Just TRY to blow me off the page.
Getting published means I’m head and shoulders above the rest (in my sharkier moments), means there’s plenty of space to rest once I’m done being a busy ant about proving myself. It means an in, a welcome, that my feet will wipe the same mat as Jan Clausen and Patricia Smith and all the rest of the relatively famous poets and I can pick up my glass of lemon water and raise a toast to all of my labors.
Getting published means I can stand here, another rejection letter in my flaccid hand, my head pounding, my gut burning and my eyes iron-curtained and say it matters not because I am a poet.