Becoming the Living Poet

Perfection is Laziness

Posted on: October 5, 2009

It’s been over a month since I wrote a new blog post and I’m starting to feel the blog’s absence. I’ve been thinking a great deal about poetry and producing some new and exciting work – that part of the MFA has been wonderful. I can feel myself truly growing and stretching as a poet, even though I’ve only been been an MFA for about a month. It’s been really surprising that studying poetry in the ways I’ve been studying it can have such an intense impact on the way I write in such a short time. but I haven’t had time to do much useful introspection. It’s been hard settling into a new place and I’ve been barreling through it rather than taking the time to tend to my own comfort. To a certain degree it’s been necessary. There’s been a lot to get done and I’ve had to be really focused to adjust to the new workload. Still, at the same time, I don’t want to stop taking time for my own personal growth process. Prioritizing things like stress management and self esteem building is probably, in many ways, more essential now than it was before I got to graduate school.

So I’m going to try to ease into blogging once a week again, but I’m going to be more realistic about it this time. I’m not going to keep up a Bay Area literary events calendar because I don’t have the time, but I will periodically post announcements for literary events that interest me here and on twitter. I’m not going to post about submissions every single week, but I will post periodic submission updates and goals, and encourage readers to share their goals in turn if they feel comfortable. I’m going to remove the “shoulds” from this blog and thereby remove the giant mental block I’ve had about blogging all month. I’m going to give myself permission to not blog perfectly, just as I’ve been struggling to give myself permission to not write perfectly.

Was reading “Notes on Poetry” by Andre Breton and Paul Eluard a few weeks ago. This quote stuck with me:

“We are always, even in prose, led and willing to write what we have not sought and what perhaps does not even seek what we sought.

is laziness.”

It’s a dadaist manifesto, so the words go way beyond stepping away from “shoulds” into stepping away from “why” and “how,” which would be a huge leap from me. But I think there’s something to the idea that “perfection is laziness.” that doing something spontaneous and imperfect is more courageous or more worthwhile in some way.

So submissions update:

I made the Transfer Magazine and Out of Nothing deadlines and turned in my submissions. I also entered the Anne Fields Poetry Contest, a contest for SFSU writing grad students specifically. Unfortunately I missed the 13th Moon deadline. Perhaps better luck next year. I am still committed to submitting work to Bitter Oleander and Room Magazine.

That’s all for now. If you’ll excuse me I have a persona poem to write.


2 Responses to "Perfection is Laziness"

i just submitted some persona poems 🙂

i’m always re-evaluating the balance of my time on the internet!

Once you get ‘out of the loop’ for writing a blog, it’s pretty hard to get back into it, isn’t it?

Determination is often rewarded though, so good luck with getting back into the swing. I’m trying it myself, as well.

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