Wrangling in My Excavation of National Poetry Month 2015
As of the last day of April 2015, I have succeeded in completing my self-imposed 30/30 poetry dig. This means I have conquered National Poetry Writing Month for the 3rd year running! (Yeeee-hawwww!) [Please ignore the interim of 10 days that has passed since my posting about this; life gets busy out on the range sometimes.]
All cowboy-glee-noises aside, a gargantuan THANK YOU goes out to every one of you who has been reading, sharing, and commenting on my poetry. Your support, encouragement, attentiveness, and critiques are appreciated more than you’ll ever know.
As I’d mentioned in my “preamble” to NaPoWriMo15, this year I challenged myself to poetically go after the parts I’ve been trying the hardest to guard, the parts that should be most ruthlessly and lovingly excavated. And with poems that touched on my more sinister side(s), sex and sexuality, breakups and closure, awkwardness and flirting, death and dying, the saving power of friendships, paternal instinct, racism and baking, the BP Oil Spill, and ranting at things/people in desperate need of being ranted about (all while also sometimes experimenting with new kinds of form), I think I dug well, and dug deeply.
A funny thing happened as a result of this digging. My words garnered 1,263 views during the month of April, 102 views on April 28th alone (when I posted this poem, “How to Bake a Racist Cake”), and they now have an overall record of 11,034 views (and counting) — nearly 3x the exposure my poems had earned since this time last year. Though this 30/30 did not net as many views as least year’s, I think I’m getting better at walking that line between what people want to hear and what I want to say to them. And sometimes the truth is popular, sometimes it’s painful.
Looking back over my past 3 years of NaPoWriMo writing, I’ve definitely noticed both and improvement and added depth to my poetry. And the next big step from here will include submitting more of my words to more poetry journals and magazines so that they may be published, and so more folks will hopefully see them. (As they say in American Hustle, I’m building this writing career “from the feet up,” and that requires exposure.)
So I’ll certainly be writing and posting more poems, just on a more lax schedule, because the 30/30 sprint can be draining, even if exhilarating. Thanks again for all the love, and if you ever think anyone else may be moved by my words, please share with them as well.
Happy digging to you all.
— Justin Barisich
(Little Writing Man)