Friday, September 22, 2006

Friday - Part 13- Forever

The Rockrose Moon (A Serial Fiction)

Early on in seeing Peter I got in the habit of bringing a poem I was working on or one of Christian’s. I did this for a very specific reason. I wanted him to know that we were “real” poets. The distinction was critical to our work together I thought. I desperately wanted my work to be taken seriously.

And that was exactly what wasn’t happening in the chapbook workshop. My experience wasn’t valid because I was younger than most of the participants and had no academic underpinning.

Just like a painter who paints from life I write from life and pretty soon into seeing Peter the stuff that came up in our sessions together started making its way into my poems.

It set up this feedback loop that became more and more intense. It was like being engaged in this hothouse environment where I finally had a perfectly wonderful audience once a week for an hour. I could relax, I could stretch out, and I could bloom.

At the end of the workshop we had to go out alone to the teacher’s house for a “private” critique of our manuscript. The thing about the teacher is that while she desperately wanted to be taken seriously as well, (her father was some hotshot academic at a prestigious school back east) she isn’t the brightest bulb on the block.

She was self-important, good natured, well intentioned and energetic from her pit of ambition, but clueless. She massacred my manuscript.

She didn’t understand the poems or the editorial arc of the positioning and I honestly felt like we were not speaking the same language. I just let it wash over me.

And besides… I had Christian to talk to and Peter to look forward to. I think I smoked a whole pack of cigarettes that afternoon, though.

It was only a few weeks later that things started to change with Peter.

At first I kind of sort of ignored it. Actually I kind of sort of ignored it for way too long. He was looking at me differently. His body language towards me changed subtly.

I so wanted him to not be interested in me.
I so wanted him to be interested in my poetry.

The images, the line, the shape and substance. I wanted that so badly that I ignored the sharp little competitive comments about Christian, the laughter and intensity of the whole thing.

Christian started to notice a change. And he too would make sharp little barbed comments about Peter.

This time that was supposed to be about me and my stupid raging hunger and body image problems and my frustrations and difficulties getting recognition for my work was turning into something not about me at all.

So you tell me what I was supposed to think when my therapist, this former monk, Zen Priest, PhD in Psychology told me that he loved me and that he would love me forever?

(And when a Zen Priest tells you something is forever, he isn’t kidding.)


Blogger Dale said...

When a Zen priest tells you something is forever, Rose, he's forgotten everything he ever learned :-) Tribute to your loveliness and poetic magnetism, to be sure, but appalling. Not to mention unkind, unprofessional and unhappy.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous chiefbiscuit said...

and so what happens next? Can't wait to see!

10:46 PM  

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