Confession Tuesday - the Dark Cloud Edition

Dear Reader,

Everything has been hard lately.

From writing a blog post, to fixing a stove, to jump-through-the-hoops paperwork, to being a mom, to rejections.

I confess I have carried around a headache like a good friend.

I confess I have tried to write a blog post called "The Art of Rejection" but haven't finished it.

This is probably good because yet another rejection came in yesterday that was surprising in that it made me laugh, not that I was surprised to be rejected by this journal (it's a fantastic journal), but what the editor said about my poem.  It's painfully, wonderfully enjoyable to read.

It's kind of like coming to a place in your life when everything feels so bad and a tree falls on your car and it's hysterical.  Of course!

I confess I will share it all with you, but in my upcoming rejection post.  And I confess, you will probably feel better about yourself because you can enjoy my life of rejections recently.


I confess this is how I've been feeling lately-- HappysadhappySADHAPPYtearycontentsadupdownhopelessandhavingagreattime.

In the last three weeks, more people have said to me, "You don't seem like yourself."  They are right, but who I am and why I can't I ask her to leave?

One day I had such dark-cloud energy I knew it would bring more dark-energy to me.

And it did-- there are 4 people in my community who I dislike.  Crazyangryresentful people who I keep my distance from.  I knew the day I stepped outside, my negative energy might pull them out of the woodwork.  I expected to see one of them.  But no, I saw 3 of them.  3 out of 4 badenergy people showed up in my life.  Hello cranky sisters, how are you?

My husband said I have drawn that coincidence myself.  But if I was drawing coincidences, I would have had Conan O'Brien showing up with keylime pie or painted a rainbow with Ira Glass walking under it with a cup of coffee.  I try not to paint rainclouds, but then again, if I'm not myself, maybe the stormysky-she is painting with the wrong palette.


I confess last night I just looked around at my healthy family, my warm house, my kitchen filled with food and said, "Poor me and my middle class problems."  This is my way of reminding myself there are no bombs going off in my neighborhood.  I drink organic milk.  I go out to dinner.  There is no reason to feel down in my life.  And yet.

I confess if I could kill a phrase from the English language, that's what it would be "and yet."

When I think about all of it, my head hurts.  Overthinking is my addiction.  While others prefer alcohol, cigarettes, food, working out, name-your-way-to-run-away--I prefer to charge straight into my thoughts and make them worse.  It's a gift.  I love to take a tiny issue and make it moonsize, then look over every crater.  Ah yes, this is a problem, there's a satellite in my living room and it's rolling over the cat.

My best self takes this imaginative energy and runs with it, writes poems and essays and memoirs.  She gets lost in the words and when I'm there, nothing can hurt me or move me into the overthinking place because I am creating.

I confess I hate writing all this blah-blah-dark-sky stuff, but a good friend recently told me "People look at you and see a perfect life."  I had to laugh.  Do we really think other people have perfect lives?

Look closer, I thought.

So I'll end here with dessert and humor and maybe a little gratitude for the things I do have even when I'm not appreciating them.




  1. I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I confess I am looking forward to your rejection blog post. I have been getting slammed by Submishmash lately, and finding no love whatsoever in the acceptance column for several months now.

  2. Justin--

    You will enjoy it! I just started using Submishmash and that's a whole other topic! Sheesh. Let's have our rejections handed to us one by one or see how many times we've been rejected in a row.

    I'm submishmashed out!

    Anyway, rejection post is on its way...

  3. The comments you emailed me about my poems last week really made my day. Which makes me feel sillier for not responding, but letting my inbox pile up in times of stress is *my* addiction....But anyway, even when things are hard, you're good at making people happy. :)

  4. A while ago, I stumbled onto the Google Doc notes for an online journal. It was the way their editors kept track of and discussed incoming submissions (this was pre-mishmash).

    I have lots of fun reading their private slushpile remarks and assessments at some of my readings. One of these days, I should figure out how to make some kind of post out of it.

    Sorry it's your turn to wallow in the dark energy pool for a while. I'm sure everyone who reads your blog spends a good amount of time there. Bright sunlight might be good for plants and flowers, but I doubt that it's ever been responsible for growing many poets.

  5. Thanks for sharing this Kelli. That "dark cloud energy" is so familiar to me, and there are times I'm actually afraid to leave the house because of it. I know what I need to do to get out from under it (no sugar, more yoga), but often there seems to be another self in here who prefers the storm.

  6. This is such a beautiful post. Your cloudy day made a few clouds move off of my sky. I confess I, too, have been feeling very lost. And now I am wondering what words I would kill in the English language. I think I'd get rid of those preambles--I hate to tell you this but . . . I know I shouldn't say this but . . .

    And I, too, have done rejection lectures. I don't know if I have posted on them, but I think it is the most popular lecture I have ever given. One point that makes everyone smile--a poet-friend of mine sends his work out with Elmer's glue in btw the pages. He says a lot of times the work comes back with the glue still in tact, which proves the poems were never read. He claims that happens often.


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