I’m proud to say that I’ve got a poem in the latest issue of one of my favorite journals, Waccamaw. I’m really attached to this poem and excited about its publication for a couple of reasons. The first is the story behind it, which begins (yet again) at the end of a writing-
a-poem-a-day project (this is becoming A Thing, I’m noting to myself, and I should probably get back on the writing-a-poem-a-day horse and see where it takes me) (Internets, keep me to it). I was feeling dragging-the-dregs desperate, and took a break from poeming to talk to a friend of mine. She’d spent the morning at the doctor’s office with her daughter, looking at X-rays to determine if she’d broken her leg. She’d worked at a doctor’s office herself and remembered that the man who discovered the x-ray, Wilhelm Röntgen, experimented on his wife first. I mentioned the trouble I was having, dragging the dregs for a poem. “Write about x-rays,” she said, and I decided to take the assignment. I started by doing the last thing anyone wants someone to do by way of starting an assignment: I looked at Wikipedia. That’s where I found out that Röntgen’s wife said “I have seen my death!” when she saw the x-ray of her hand, which gave me chills — and which, in turn, gave me this poem.
The second reason I’m excited is that, y’all, this poem has made the rounds a lot. Like, a lot. I’ve been sending it out for two and a half years, polishing and re-polishing every time it came boomeranging back to me. It was rejected so many times that I was on the verge of pulling it, but I decided to try one more time. Thankfully, Waccamaw decided that this was the time for this poem to appear onscreen.