This is my submission for the October 2018 Carnival of Aces, which had the theme “Poetry”.
I apologize for any autocorrect typos, I wrote this whole thing on my phone. Let me know kindly and I can fix them.
Two years ago, in September 2016, I wrote a prose poem about my asexual experience without really realizing I was writing poetry again. (“Again”, because I hadn’t written any poetry in 4.5 years, since my Creative Writing class my final semester of college ended.) September 2016 was during that blip in time when Imzy existed and I was in the 100 words community, challenged to write exactly 100 words, no more and no less, on a different prompt each week.
The prompt that time was “Clocks” and somehow I ended up writing:
The concept was always framed with a presupposition; there would of course come a point in time when I’d be ready. When that time came, I needed to be armed with knowledge. I must brace for the emotional consequences. Itwas an inevitability.
So I learned. For over a decade of my life, I prepared. I absorbed more information than was really necessary. I planned ahead.
But society was wrong. Maybe all along I’d been a broken clock. I’d felt stuck. I tried to push myself forward.
As it turns out, though, I am the flower doomed to never bloom.
I am still not entirely sure if it counts as a poem. But writing about an asexual experience with metaphors and without ever once using the word asexual seemed poetic somehow to me.
It was a start of something.
A key concept from those hundred words made it into a stanza of my new poem, No “Just” About It that I wrote two years later in September 2018 — just last month (as of the time of me writing this blog post) — and which was published in The Asexual, a literary journal. My second piece of writing to be published in one of the issues of this journal but my first poem.
This poem is kinda… Political. It’s also fun. We’re often our own harshest critics but to me it seems apparent that it’s not very impressive from an artistic standpoint. But I’m glad I decided to write it, and I didn’t let the genre of poetry intimidate me away from something relatively simple like this.
If The Asexual didn’t exist as a platform I never would’ve thought to write poetry with asexual themes so I’m very grateful to Michael Paramo and everyone there who keeps it running.
From 2004 through 2008 when I was ages 14 through 18 and in high school, all four years I participated as part the literary magazine club after school. We accepted fiction but mainly received poetry and a little bit of art. Once a week after school our club would read aloud as a group, discuss the merits of, and also respectfully criticize each submission. They would be typed up to anonymize each submission ahead of the discussion, no author listed and no handwriting to recognize. We were always keeping in mind the possibility that the author could be one of us in the room so we had to be careful not to be unkind in our criticism. (I don’t think the visual art pieces needed to be discussed; I think maybe they automatically got in.)