I'm having a moment of existential crisis and self doubt.
I'm despairing of ever writing a poem that will get published in a literary magazine.
The poems in literary journals are incredible. When I read the ones that have been accepted I feel so ordinary. It's my secret fear. Being ordinary. And I've no idea how to turn it into a weapon.
I don't know how to write clever poems an editor or selector will love. I just know how to put words together to fumble for a meaning or an emotion. To convey to a reader something of what I sense. Something important or true. Beautiful or kind.
The academic poems I read in journals leave me on the edge of tears. I don't know how to write like that. The words they use. The sentences and phrases they create. Their rhythm and line breaks. Their imaginative scenes. The sense of place and time they evoke. They way they show and don't tell. I only know how to tell my truth. I don't know how to wrap it inside a story. Their style is alien. Another language I'm unable to decode or decipher.
It's like they're all part of some club and I'm not a member because I don't know the password or the secret handshake. I've never studied poetry. I have only the briefest idea about the poetic classics. And its pretty obvious when you read my poetry.
When I read the journals and the poems accepted for publication I feel this great wave of grief rising. Salt threatening my shoddy and shaky foundations. It's overwhelming in its intensity.
And I think - what's the point? What's the bloody point in doing this?