Hello hello. This is my affair with an odd semi-personal, semi-creative blog entry, possibly to be linked to on Big Tent Poetry, which means that some of my content will need to be poetry-esque, which should not be an enormous problem, since I do indeed adore poetry. First I will admit that often times when I try to think of the name Big Tent Poetry, I accidentally think Pig Tent Poetry. I will also admit that it was actually a few months back that I had intended to write a blog entry that could be linked to by Big Tent/Pig Tent, but alas. I’m certainly not poking fun at Big Tent, by the way. It’s more like these days words and letters sometimes slip out of or into my head in a slightly different way.
Approximately seven months ago, I experienced an unexpected health issue, a Carotid Artery Stroke and something to do with words including Dissection, Aneurysm, and Aphasia. I’m not in the mood to explain all those details right now, but the Stroke affected my brain and other aspects of my life. It is harder and slower than it used to be for me to read, write, remember or memorize, especially certain easy little words that I first learned when I was a child. For months now, I’ve been trying to focus on re-learning and unfortunately, it doesn’t come anywhere near as quickly or easily as it did when I was a kid.
You can find out a few more details about my health issue by reading a short article I wrote a few months ago and posted on my Associated Content site, called Post-Stroke Survival and Sad Little Blues, here -http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2807396/poststroke_survival_and_sad_little.html?cat=70 . Also, I more recently had a new article posted on Associated Content, called Full Length Dissection, which is related to my continuing slow but sure Stroke recovery AND very recently assembling my second full-length poetry manuscript and submitting that to its very first source. I hope to submit it to more sources soon. I hope to do all sorts of fun and exciting creative writing stuff soon. In the meantime, please feel free to partake of my Full Length Dissection, here - http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5602556/full_length_dissection.html?cat=70
I’ve had kind of a rough, tough time lately. At the end of 2008, I lost my long-time full-time job for no good reason, had not gotten a new job for a year (despite applying for well over 100), but was at least receiving unemployment and still able to pay my bills. Then my Stroke happened at the beginning of 2010 and I was no longer eligible for my unemployment since I could no longer apply for jobs. Then, in addition to having lost my long term job and part of my brain power and other skills, I also seemed to be losing the love of my life who seemed to expect me to be fully recovered in just a few short months, even though it is likely to take a year or more to recover as best I can (and some people never fully recover; sigh). He told me he was tired of hearing about my Stroke and my poetry. I am lucky and grateful I survived, but sometimes I feel so sad I can hardly stand it. Aside from my extreme sadness, I am glad that my personality has remained pretty much the same. Along those lines, I am trying to continue focusing on poetry because I have loved and adored poetry for most of my life and still do.
Despite my love and adoration for poetry, I started my Associated Content site near the end of 2008, when I was spending lots of time looking into new jobs. One of my ideas about where to/how to work involved researching writing or editing gigs that might help pay the bills more than poetry. I started my Associated Content site, published more than 120 articles there from November 2008 through December 2009 and made less than 200 dollars from that. Still though, if I don’t have a real job and am making even a teeny tiny tidbit of money, I will try my best to continue to do so. I have only published 8 articles there this year– one in January, which I wrote and submitted one day before my Stroke; two others that were also written before my Stroke and initially published elsewhere and then added to my Associated Content site later; so only five short pieces were actually written post-stroke (including the new Full Length Dissection).
In Progress (Oddball Doll Poeticism):
I’m very pleased and happy that I am still so passionate about and turned on by poetry. I’ve always drawn my poetic words from various sources, including product packaging, TV shows, scholarly articles, pop culture, porn and more. Now, due to my own weirdly, slowly healing brain power, which continues to have a hard time remembering lots of little words without extreme concentration, that extreme concentration seems to be causing big, strange, oddball words and phrases to suddenly blurt out of my head. Is that globular outrage or globular adaptation?
Reading other writers’ poetry also sometimes catalyzes my own. A few telltale signs of another person’s poem working for me is if it suddenly makes me feel like shimmering, shivering, dancing in crazed shapes or masturbating.
My strange take on feminism is also oddly related to my poetry. You can read a lot more about that within a long semi-recent article of mine published as part of Delirious Hem’s ‘This is What a Feminist [Poet] Looks Like’ forum here - http://delirioushem.blogspot.com/search/label/Juliet%20Cook. As just an itty bitty tidbit of sorts, the day after submitting that piece, I started wondering why I had picked such an ugly photo of myself to accompany it. In truth, the photo is not ugly so much as it’s a realistic representation of what I look like most of the time these days. I don’t gallivant around my house wearing makeup and hair shining products, but apparently part of me would feel more comfortable providing an author photo that is more gussied up than the typical me; an author photo that is strangely sexy. Why would I sometimes waste brainpower thinking about my appearance when I should be attuned to my words? After all, if I spend more time applying sexy makeup, then I’d have less time to write sexy words—AND I LIKE WORDS MUCH BETTER!
Even knowing that, I can’t seem to help sometimes thinking that I might have more power if I was more attractive. If people enjoyed looking at me more, then they might also be more inclined to read what I had to say. I often suffer from one of my silly little, ‘I am not attractive enough’ episodes. Even now, following a time in my life when I really need to focus on being attuned to my own health and wellness and well-being (including less sadness and stress, pretty please), I can’t seem to help thinking with some frequency that I am 37 years old and starting to look older too. For crying out loud, I could have lost my ability to walk, my ability to talk, my own personality! Why on earth am I dwelling on wrinkles and white hairs? Screw the damned Media inundation of fictive imagery related to what constitutes a desirable woman. Egads!
I have written some poems since my Stroke and within the poetry section of my computer, those pieces all start with the phrase ‘post-stroke’ before each individual title. I recently experienced a little worry that perhaps ‘post’ was not the right word. I then searched for Post-Stroke on Dictionary.com to make sure ‘Post’ was the right word and ended up reading some sadly scary information about Post-Stroke Depression. Sigh.
My recent poems are considerably shorter than most of my poems used to be and different in other ways as well, but then again, so is my brain – and deliciously enough, I really do not think the new poems are bad at all. They are mine, mine, mine, plus other than the very latest one, all of my other post-stroke poems have been selected for publication by various sources, starting with one in The Nepotist and more coming soon within Arsenic Lobster, Source Material, and Horse Less Review. Hurrah!
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Thank you yummy Big Tent Poetry!