Josh Smith

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Day i

“My therapist suggested I keep a journal, you know, to process my emotions and keep myself in check.”

Day 1

“So, I just wrote this thing in my journal yesterday. I think it might be a poem. I don’t know. That’s silly, right? I would never let anybody look at it, of course!”

Day 30

“Hey, d’ya wanna read this poem I wrote- wait, no, it’s stupid. Forget I said anything.”

Day 730

“Hi everyone! This is my first time sharing any of my work with anyone. Please be kind!”

Day 731

“It went so well! Everybody told me how good I did! Pssh, I wouldn’t call myself a ‘poet.’ You’re too funny. I cut my own hair once — that doesn’t make me a hair stylist!”

Day 760

“I feel really drawn to this writing thing! I just have a gift for it. I’m going to write one poem, every day!”

Day 1,125

“Oh yeah, I’ve written hundreds of poems! I don’t edit them. They’re like my children! How could I correct my children? Besides, I don’t want to become one of those people who obsesses over every word. Please, shoot me if I ever get that way.”

Day 1,155

“I got invited to join a writer’s group. They told me to bring copies of my work. I’m so excited!”

Day 1,156

“People are so mean. I don’t need their approval. I can self-publish. I can start a blog. I can even start my own writer’s group!”

Day 2,280

“Ugh. It’s been slow. All the ideas just up and stopped. I’m thinking about doing something with my catalogue, though. I made a lot of contacts through my group and my blog before they closed. I’ll reach out to some of them and see what happens.”

Day 2,460

“No one has gotten back to me yet, I’m sure they will, though. Actually, one person got back to me. He said the rough drafts I sent were a bit wide of the mark, but to keep revising and keep my head up. I don’t know what he was talking about; those weren’t rough drafts… but I’ve got tons more. Maybe those just weren’t the ones for him…”

Day 2,490

“I just saw the Poet Laureate read last night and she was incredible! My passion to write poetry has been reignited!”

Day 2,491

“I don’t know what happened…I started writing, and…it wasn’t good… I mean, it stunk! I started reading through all of my older things, trying to capture some sense of a spark and…it was all terrible! I’m not kidding! I don’t think I’ve ever written a good poem in my life!”

Day 2,920

“Guess what. I’m going back to school. I’m going to be a writer. I want to do this the right way. Don’t say that; you’re not going to lose me! I refuse to become one of those people who can’t pick their nose up out of a book.”

Day 3,100

“Wow, I did not realize it had been this long since we’ve talked. No, I haven’t seen the latest episode. I haven’t got the time for television, these days. No, I’ve been dissecting some early colonial work all semester; it’s like learning another language.”

Day 3,650

“I finished a poem recently. Well, for now. I’ve been working on it six months. It might be the first good thing I’ve written. It’s just missing that teeny something. I’ve put the line breaks in different places, tried swapping out synonyms. I changed the consonance to assonance, the apostrophe to conceit, conceit back to apostrophe, assonance back to consonance — it’s almost there! Wait, what are you reaching for? Ohmigod, put the gun down, it was a figure of spee-”

Josh Smith's work has been published by Rampike, Blazevox, and Ploughshares, among others.
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