This is the only poem I’ve written in the last few months that felt like it might have some legs. After several major edits, it’s vastly different from where it started out. Hopefully I didn’t sacrifice too much meaning to rhythm and language. It’s rather acerbic, as so many of the poems I’ve attempted to write for Elemental. I would love some feedback and interpretation to help guide me on my next edits.
I’m really getting to a point where I need to put aside the painful poems and begin to focus on fully fleshing out the arc of the story I’m attempting to tell with this series. I was stuck coming back to the same person again and again for a while. Perhaps because it took me so long to realize he was just another narcissist in sheep’s clothing like the rest. I held him so perfectly in my mind as something else; something I hoped to achieve myself. How wrong I was. I guess I put off fully processing it, but these poems have helped me to put it proper perspective. Like everyone else, he had the power to hurt me because I didn’t see him or all the damage he really did. I saw what I wanted to see and for a long time, I set my eyes on this flawed ideal.
Below the poem, I’m including a brief update on my health and what you might expect from me through at least the remainder of the year.
Fireworks boomed through my tiny apartment perched high in the sky. Arranged around the coffee table were your friends and mine. You spotted my photo albums alone on a ledge. Rifling through each, your excitement went over the edge. “There!” you pointed, pride on your face. “This is what she looked like when I had a taste.” Flaunting a picture of me so young and so pretty. The girl I once was, neither quiet nor witty. “We all wanted her, but no one else had the pluck. While they were busy making dares, I gave her a good fuck.” Shock came on like the ticking of a clock. I’d never been more to him than a place to put his cock. The boy I had loved only moments ago is now the man careless enough to let these things show. That’s okay. I see your flaw. You’re shallow enough to think beauty such a thrall. Blind to the kind of woman you should desire, you chose beauty over the substance so many people now admire. Beauty and youth are qualities so fleeting. You’re a mistake that was never worth repeating.
By Michelle Beltano Curtis
All Rights Reserved. “Independence Day” may not be reprinted without permission of the author.
A Quick Update
As I already have a forum where I talk about my health extensively, I just wanted to take a minute to say that I’ve finally found some things that seem to be helping the terrible flare I fell into after contracting COVID. I still have a ways to go before I’ve regained my strength and combatted all my symptoms. For a while my focus will largely remain on continuing to achieve improvements in my health and well-being.
Hopefully this means I can return to posting more regularly, though at this point, I’m not ready to hold myself to a schedule like I attempted before. For now, I am trying to do my best to get out at least one post a month, slowly working my way back up to two set at regular intervals. Gratefully, I’ve begun writing a few poems a week again. I also seem to be doing fairly well in the editing department, so once they sit and stew for a few weeks, I’ll be able to provide a regular supply once again. I also hope David’s new found love of poetry continues. His poems seem to be a hit, so as long as he keeps churning out the good stuff, I’ll keep posting them.
There are also a number of writerly topics I want to visit. I really want to put out a post about building affiliate relationships and earning commissions, so perhaps that will be my next one. I’ve also been working on an essay trying to come to grips with the mass exodus of writing colleagues I experienced when my health began to seriously affect my cognitive skills that I will likely share here sometime soon.
While I was ill, I had a chance to listen to a dozen or so audiobooks. At many points, listening to a story was all I could manage and I chose quite the variety. They include memoir, historical fiction, fantasy and even some chick lit, which is an occasional guilty pleasure. More on that later.
Finally, I want to apologize to my fellow bloggers who I have let down in my long absence. Truly, if I possessed the wits and energy to keep visiting blogs during my sickness, I would have done just that. I missed our interactions and your influence on my own art very much.
To those who have hung in there with me and kept coming back to read, despite my inability to return the favor, you have my deepest appreciation. I will be making the rounds this week to catch up on your latest posts and offer my support of your work in whatever way I can. Thanks so much for your patience and your continued belief in my work!