Sunday, November 20, 2016

Writing in Response to the Times Because the Times Are Demanding


It's good that literary outlets are soliciting responses from writers and artists, responses to the strange world we are now in. It is safe to assume that The New Yorker and The Guardian, among others of the more elite venues, are paying their contributors for quickly penning essays and poems about the post-election prospects for a safe world.

Four nonprofit journals have asked for my contribution, and yes, I'm flattered, but also not unaware that my writing will be without financial recompense, I am being asked to add nuance to the nightmare for free.  Of course everything I write I write for free. This model is wrong. But so it a Trump presidency, wrong and a nightmare, Trump in the White House, and even worse, Trump in Trump Tower, making traffic in New York City come to a stop.

Yesterday I wrote my first draft of a prose poem and I will begin work on the other three responses. Partly because being encouraged to think quick and write quick is good practice. Many many artists do so while I mull, believing, me being the believinger, it takes time for the dust to settle and ideas to shape into full-on essays. But it (it?) shouldn't have to and in my case, it won't.

I began writing this blog posting with some resentment, but have written my way out of my resentment, aha!, a model, a lesson, that I can write my way out of resentment and into prose and poetry that will assist myself and others to process what befell and what is to befall us. And not just process, but resist, impact, help rework into policies less ugly than our ugliest nightmares. But if processing the nightmare is all I accomplish, that will be enough. I know I need help making sense of the spectacle of undemocracy.