I really should be sleeping right now, but I'm too excited to go to bed without posting the news--one of my poems was published in the Lanthorn! It was released at a coffeehouse tonight, and during set up one of my friends noticed the books, opened one, and saw my name. Ever since I submitted I had been wondering whether anything of mine would be included or not, and finally founding out that something was made me so happy. Then, wanting to read something but not knowing what, another friend asked if she could read my poem. She did, and she did a great job. Here it is for all of you to read:
Lament for an Empty Ames
Oh, Lewisburg Ames, I remember the days
when you were full of merchandise;
when you supplied me with the things I needed.
And I remember how your parking lot was full of cars
and inside the customers shopped
never suspecting that your doors would soon be closed
and that everything you were selling would disappear.
When you announced that you were shutting down
I remember my family coming to you
and searching through the maze of your gutted innards
for roller blades.
I don’t remember if we found them or not
but I do remember the emptiness that filled you.
And at a sister store, in a different town
(she was closing too — you all were)
I remember how we looked for shoes
and all we could find was an ugly pair of leftovers.
Now, Ames, the letters of your name have been removed
leaving only their outlines;
a reminder of what you once were.
Your parking lot stretches large and empty, and you sit
your respect and dignity stripped away, like those letters
while up the road, only a mile or so
resides a Wal-Mart supercenter
well-fed and prosperous.
It's very encouraging having it published, even if it is in a very small publication. And one of the editors-in-chief told me how much she liked it; she even mentioned it in the introduction to the book. So maybe I really can write.
The focus shouldn't be on just me, though--there's lots of other great poetry and artwork included in the Lanthorn. And the coffeehouse was fun too; I enjoyed hearing people read their own work and that of others, and it was nice to just relax and hang out with my friends. :)