On wanting to be a rich prosimetrist or ‘physics #2’ or ‘a third iteration of a sketch of a philanthropist reflecting on being rich’ (Bernards, NJ; between Monday, September 21st and Friday, October 9th, 2020)

Bernards New Jersey, Between Monday, September 21st and Friday, October 9th, 2020

“On wanting to be a rich prosimetrist or ‘physics #2’ or ‘a third iteration of a first sketch of a philanthropist reflecting on being rich’”

For Ashley

How surprisingly exciting! For the first

time in my 21 years or so[1]

of creative writing

I sent a piece—a poem–

to publishers.

I felt a shiver as I electronically delivered it and finally considered

sharing beyond

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, my blog,

and creative writing workshops. What gave me the nerve

to claim it might deserve,

might be worth preserving

in a literary journal or medium… with operations beyond

my immediate control,

published by some other

soul or souls?

My original/initial

hope was that my writings would go viral, explode on social media

like fireworks, the glows flowing to the eyes of the publishing industry

inspiring their interest in me and offering me…

…a book deal

and advance

(really optimistic I know, but there’s always a chance!) And then, look at it

become… a best seller (!)…

And even some of the literary critics deem it “stellar!” … …And all of a

sudden, I’m rich (!!!!!!),

which, however, I’d only attribute to luck, physics, inevitability, and

fate.

And either way, whether rich or poor, come whatever may in life, this

concept of fate

has weighed heavily

on me, and I hate the limits

on my control

over it,

most specifically its unfair portioning

of fortune and misfortune

in any given context. Some have special abilities, make billions and live

beyond a hundred years, own beach front homes on Caribbean islands,

some only get minutes, suffer from treacherous disabilities, diseases, live in

poor villages or slums on dirt, crumbs, and tiny sums, get raped and shot to

death by heroin and guns…

…so I try check my privilege and keep a modest perspective when I think

about my ambitious wish to get rich…but I also don’t won’t give up… as my

success, should I succeed, sharing the story, spreading its seeds of

inspiration could be at least one new good deed…


END NOTES:

[1] I do not find it exceptional, but it is nonetheless the fact, that like many creative writers, my efforts dawned when I was a kid, roughly nine years, typically in the form of short ghost stories. (My third-grade teacher used to read us ghost stories from a series of books called True Ghost Stories when there was free time. This, mixed with the observation of classmates reading the Goosebumps series books, had sparked my interest in both fiction, horror and parapsychology). When I was roughly eleven years old, I began writing screenplays, mostly so I could start making my own (often monologue) movies. This was because actually my greater interest was acting—I wanted to be a movie star like John Travolta (I had watched Grease in an acting class his charismatic presence impressed me). One of his other popular movies is Saturday Night Fever and although obviously geared towards an adult audience and being very over my head (what was a “cunt?” I often wondered, for example…) I watched it a lot, enjoying most of all, Travolta’s disco dancing. In the midst of that context, Christmas of 1999 I think it was, my brother decided to buy me the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. I fell in love with the Bee Gees’ love songs and wanted to write my own. And so emerged my sprouting love for poetry. I wrote mostly song lyrics, but I also experimented with free verse. Around 15 or 16 I also began writing novellas and prose poems. Every time I produced a book length worth of material, I would staple them together and title them but never shared them with more than a few acquaintances. THAT, in my opinion, is the motif of the story about my creative writing, to put in short.

That is to say, I always resisted sharing my work with any degree of genuine confidence. In 2010 I did self-publish my book Lovers, Other Stories and Words but the self-publishing was my effort to evade giving literary agents and book publishers the opportunity to reject my writings. After a year of trying to sell the self-published book, I quit the effort. Ever since, all of my attempts to gain recognition and readership were confined to my blogging and social media interactions. Why? I took it as a given that I’d be as lucky as a lottery ticket jackpot winner if a literary agent or publisher even read more than a sentence of a query letter, let alone a short piece or manuscript. Why not then take it straight the readers? As soon as people started to like what I shared on Facebook, WordPress, YouTube, et cetera, via word of mouth, I’d go “viral” and capture the attention of publishers and attract a book deal that way. Of course, not only did this cast an unmerited and presumptuously negative light towards the publishing industry, but also, obviously, I still lacked sufficient self-confidence. Until now.   

Author: Poetry by Sean O'Connor

Hi, I'm Sean. I’m a poet. My favorite poets, my literary role models, are Bob Dylan and John Lennon; I also draw heavily from the fiction of Thomas Mann, the non-fiction of Phillip Lopate, and the prose of David Foster Wallace. Other poets and writers I love include Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Claude McKay, and A.E. Stallings, Milan Kundera, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Robert Musil, Susan Sontag, Leslie Jamison, Michel de Montaigne, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, My themes tend towards the philosophical and psychological, exploring the idea of what it might mean and be like to live an ever improving life. I’m currently pursuing my MFA in Creative & Professional Writing at William Paterson University, where I also received my BA in Liberal Studies (with concentrations in Political Science & History). I also work as a writing tutor for Raritan Valley Community College. Aside from my writing, I’m vehemently political, fascinated with human sexuality, open about my polyamory and…I love dogs. My wife and I adopted a Siberian mix from St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in October of 2019.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this:
This site uses the awesome Plugin.