Some months ago I woke up thinking about an old flame and wrote it up in a poem. I find it strange how feelings occasionally flare up, refusing to acknowledge “reality” or the passage of time. The poem, “Reflux,” meditates on what motivates this and what purpose it might serve. At the end, I described my last glimpse of the former love speeding away on his bike–hence the picture here.
I submitted this poem to the new Into the Void Magazine‘s poetry competition for a nominal sum, and though I failed to place in the top six winners and honorables (always a bridesmaid, sigh), they did put me in the top fifty and decide to include “Reflux” in an anthology, profits to go to Pieta House, a suicide prevention and counseling charity.
On the one hand, I cannot sell the poem to anyone else now, and instead of making any money from my efforts, I will be out the contest fee and, probably, the price of a couple of copies of the anthology, though of course I am not required to buy it. On the other hand, I am sensible of the honor of being chosen even in the top fifty–I’m sure there were many more entries. I also see that Into the Void has received some good write-ups already, and chances of placing “Reflux” in a high-paying journal are slim. Finally, suicide is a terrible thing, and it’s good to be able to help, even in so small a way.
All in all, I am happy to have the poem get some recognition and serve a deserving cause. I look forward to the release of the anthology.
Photo credit: Sascha Kohlmann, “Man on Bike; Night.” CC. https://flic.kr/p/r5gZjG. Only size has been adjusted.