April, the cruelest month

April - as the title suggests - was rough, but rough in the sense that it was a mix of a lot of things. The title of this post is especially appropriate because it's the first line of T.S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land, and April was National Poetry Month.

So yes, this post is about poetry and the writing I did last month (even as May is ending now, how?!), despite how hectic my schedule turned out to be and how tired I was. I wrote a record number of poems. They were not all great or meant for further revision, but they're out there now on the page or in my Twitter timeline. I did not work on novel or short-story writing, though I meant to; I was supposed to do Camp NaNoWriMo for the novel but ended up with a bunch of poems instead?

The novel aesthetics put together for me by Kaye for the thing I didn't work on.
For me, April had a lot of fun social activities, but it was also very busy at the day job. The current state of government continues to be a constant trashfire, but on top of that, I felt particularly abused by the fun pop culture things I love - the things that should generally be there to bring me joy or even escape! In April,  there was still on-going fallout from the March releases of both Iron Fist and Ghost in the Shell - a double-header of Asian American representation issues (IF for its Orientalism, White Savior-flavor, and general crappiness; GitS for its whitewashing & doubling down on it in movie), made only worse by the excuses, deflections, and general cluelessness given by both productions' teams. Not to mention, how these discussions dredged up the age-old arguments of who true fans are and the role of canon (and when it matters).

I've never really been the type of person to write in reaction to something, but thanks to what I just mentioned causing my low-key constant state of rage, I wrote a couple of poems about that. This was also a useful way for me to try a new poetry form: the Sevenling. It's a 7-line poem that is meant to feel a little mysterious and incomplete with the last line acting as something of a kicker. I've had a lot of fun with them, and I encourage you to try it yourself.

The rage also helped me finish a poem I'd been struggling with since last year. So yay, for channeling negative energy into something I hope is worthwhile! I'm pretty happy with it and hope to be able to share it with you in the future.

A post shared by alice (@akangaru) on

But I won't lie to you, anger is exhausting - at least it is for me in the long-run. Usually, it leaves me feeling depleted and helpless, but I guess the constant barrage in March going into April tipped me over to rage, which felt empowering for my writing. That said, it sucked to feel betrayed by the things you usually turn to for fun. Like I can't tell you how good it felt to finally not be mad at Marvel when I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2 this month.

That said, like in my college glory days, when I was the most sleepless and procrastinating, I tended to be at my most creative - like my brain was searching for anything else to do. Strange how sometimes it's when you have no time that you somehow manage to be the most productive! Like I said, I wrote a record number of poems - about 9 - though most of them were Twitter poems. I'll be posting most of them at Girl on the Roam, but here's one for the road.

The path we're on is often unclear, and therefore scary. What can we do but push forward? I wish you peace and compassion, friends, and the patience to keep on keepin' on.

Q4U: How was your April and May? Are you more productive when you're busy?

P.S. The winner of my "Nevertheless, She Persisted" giveaway was Cate at Cateaclysmic! She received her tank earlier in May.

P.P.S. I'm trying to blog more often. In fact, I'll have a new post in a few days. See you then!