Jan 01 Written by 

Not Compromising on Candor

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Believing that my candor was compromised in the past few months I felt unable to write here or anywhere. I want to forget that whole period. It had nothing to do with writing except to choke it off. When that happens, creativity backs up and assumes monstrous forms: worry, sickening fear, stress, insomnia, lack of motivation, negativity; that's the result of no freedom of expression. There was a gorilla in the room and I learned that there are some gorillas I just can't ignore, and that if another one comes knocking I should never ever open the door even a crack.

After being freed from that compromise I completed a draft script of the "Giving Voice" poetry project and submitted it to the group which plans to perform it with me February 28 at the Mad Art Gallery in Soulard. I enjoyed giving the 20 poems different "settings" to enhance the message and impact of each. It was like placing gems in the appropriate jewelry settings. These are poems their authors favored that somehow never got published. I am waiting for feedback on the draft. I hope intensely for the group's approval and cooperation but if I can have only one of those it'd be cooperation.

Next, I got my five best poems out in the mail. They went to Prairie Schooner, which had encouraged me to send again. They now have a brand-new editor after the retirement of editor Hilda Raz after 30 or so years. The policy is still "no simultaneous submissions."

After that I wrote a barrage of short articles that I'd put off, and then had some realizations. One, there is always still time to be great. Two, there is no point in compromising any more. I've already exposed in writing everything I am, and it's easy to find and judge. Like Whitman said, "I contain multitudes." Deal with it. Three, there is no point in making gestures just to be able to say, "Well, I made a gesture." I will either have to foresee an outcome in reality, or it is not worth doing, like applying for jobs 1000 other people are applying for.
Catherine Rankovic

Writer, with 30+ years' writing and publishing experience, 20+ years' teaching experience. Last book read: Mrs. Lincoln by Catherine Clinton.