Articulate an opinion, commands the essay prompt.
Am I worthy enough to have an opinion?
Don’t we lift those, wholesale, from bloggers, these days?
It’s much easier to poke holes in the arguments of others
than to make them yourself. Safer, too.
Compare quantities A and B.
I’m an engineer, dammit, this should be easy.
I was an engineer
once. For a few wonderful months.
Now I just pretend, clinging to a label and a paycheck that will justify the
self-control it takes to
Sometimes I think it would be easier if we could all just
laugh at it all.
Play coffee drinking games at the number of times we hear ‘implement’ in a meeting
Poke fun at the absurdities of processes and regulations.
But the people who might laugh want to be
the people who implement
and so no one joins in.
The three-letter month is so far away, on the other side of a winter not yet arrived.
I try to think
the appropriate amount
Don’t imagine walking out, the glorious release of it.
Don’t drive yourself mad with countdowns, parsing the days weeks months into
shapes of quiet desperation.
Don’t remind yourself how you’re a statistic,
another woman abandoning tech for
A more suitable sphere.
I read, I watch, I soak up every scrap of that new sphere.
Reminding and discovering
why I’ve loved this strange ephemeral thing so long.
But every new work I see
makes the demon whisper:
what makes you think there is space for you?
why should you be allowed to make?
You’re too short too traditional too unprepared too frantic for a way
And what will you do when your art rejects you again?
Didn’t you know?
You’re supposed to be safe and miserable, with your
Ranch or Cape Cod or A-frame
and your fence and those kids you dread.
Your biggest problem: how many square feet do you need to fill
Will your depression look better in stucco or tile?