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Trauma-dumping in Times Square
In June, I planned to spend the summer finishing the first draft of a full-length poetry collection. An ambitious goal, but I felt determined. I created a spreadsheet to track my progress, reached out to a favorite poet of mine, and asked if they’d edit the manuscript once it was finished. I even contacted a coworking space downtown and requested a writing residency, which they granted—for free. Everything felt inspiring and carved in stone, like the whole world was rooting for me. Then, I got laid off and opened my eyes. The book fever turned to dust as my priorities immediately shifted toward cover letter writing and resumé tweaking and humbly messaging strangers on LinkedIn. Naturally, I haven’t been able to write much poetry since. But a few weeks ago, Em—a performance artist and friend—asked me to contribute a piece of writing for a zine they’re creating. The opportunity felt like it would be a refreshing break from the job-searching hell hole I was in, so I agreed.
The poem is about shame and the fear of facing one’s vulnerabilities—or something like that. I’m still working on it, but want to share the in-progress piece here.