What it really means to me to see the cover of the first issue of the Rusty Nail, in which I have been published, could take a lifetime to try to explain since it took a lifetime to get here. But since I know you all definitely need to get on with your day, let me condense it down into as little as I can.
It means the stroke didn't win.
It means that blindness, all the surgeries, and then the residual visual impairment didn't win.
It means that the genetic disorder that is dissolving parts of my body including my spine even as I type this, didn't win.
It means disabling physical pain didn't win.
Emotional pain didn't win, either.
It means that loss didn't win, that doubt didn't win, and it means that for that one moment that it took me to take a leap of faith, trust the message that the description of what Craig Hart and the team at the Rusty Nail Literary Magazine are trying to do, that fear did not win.
It means Bipolar 1- the brain disorder (I so do hate the term 'mental illness'. Bipolar is no more deserving of that unfortunate, stigmatized title than epilepsy or stroke is) that I share my life with along with OCD and PTSD, DID NOT WIN.
The messages my parents gave me about how I'd always fail as a hopeless dreamer, did not win.
For all I've lost along the way, in this moment, my words--my heart's work-- won out.
That is what this means: and why as soon as my first copy of the printed issue arrives it will be framed, and hung upon my wall.
Thank you to Editor Craig Hart, and everyone at the Rusty Nail, for believing in an unknown poet you didn't know from Eve, and giving her this chance. Thank you does not begin to cover it.
Five poems. Two prose pieces.
My words, my name. In that magazine.
I must be dreaming.
Thank you to all the friends who have cheered me on along the way (and I'm sorry I can't name you all for fear of missing someone but I have to mention especially Matt Irvine, Stephen Parrish, Dianne Salerni, and all the Poetry Pact folk past and present, without whom I am quite certain this day never would have come. Thank you.)
Even if I go back to my 'Dickinson Method' of writing now (and you all know what that means) this will remain.
An experienced poet who also appears in this issue told me the other day to always remember the way that this moment feels.
I said, 'perhaps like really falling in love for the first time.'
He replied, "Or out of it."
Call me a
Just wait until I get my "I heart the Rusty Nail" t-shirt. Oh yeah. I WILL wear it proudly. And I will require a matching tote bag and of course, the coffee mug.
If you would like to, you can download the digital version of Issue 1 of the Rusty Nail from Lulu for little more than spare change.
You can also order a copy of the print edition from Amazon
And you can visit their website anytime at http://www.rustynailmag.com/
Rusty Nail accepts no advertising, so there is also a button you can press to make a small donation if you choose to.
It is such a beautiful thing to see a magazine and staff that is all about artistic integrity- pro-writer, as it were. It means so much to me to be a tiny part of that. So I hope you'll consider submitting your work, and/or/if not, helping to show your support by picking up a copy or making a small contribution (or at least, spreading the word!) It would be very much appreciated not just by them but I am sure by all the writers who are featured in it.
I can't wait to see who turns up in issue 2!
Thanks for reading, and for celebrating this momentous occasion with me.
Oh, and sorry, Lydia, that I didn't wait until the issue actually arrived to post this and take a picture- but I am sure I will cry, and I do so look like hell when I cry- even happiest of tears.
P.S. Since I know some of my friends would want to know this- for those of you with kids in the house- you should know some of the other pieces in the issue do have instances of coarse language (mine do not).