My Favorite Failure

The best decision I ever made

was not to follow a piece of good advice,

given to me by someone who

counted dollar bills instead of

words in a line, to say to me,

“Natalie, you can’t feed yourself

on poetry.”

Telling me to grow up, get a job,

pay the bills, but all I heard

was a voice, the voice –

telling me to hang myself.

Hang myself on a coat hanger,

thrown over the edge from

a day of hard work,

shoved in with all the other jackets,

doing what they were told to do –

to cover and warm and never think twice.

Hang myself with the type of

rope that can be spun from

5:00 mornings, and the alarm

singing out time to work,

time to work,

time to give yourself up

to an office, time to let it

swallow you whole.

There is no room for art

in the ‘real world’.

Time to be successful.

Well, I gave up success.

I gave it right up,

so I can share this

secret with you:

I spent an unpaid night on

this poem, and it is my

favorite failure.


26 thoughts on “My Favorite Failure

    1. I am reminded of a relevant quote, “Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” – Francis Chan

      I am convinced this quote is swirling somewhere at the base of my existence 😉 Thanks for all your support, Eric.

  1. I loved this! Making the recent decision to pursue writing instead of trudging through a 9 to 5 job may not have been the most practical but what can I say? It makes my soul happy and that’s all this life should be about.

    1. Thank you Marya – that’s so interesting that you should say this because I ordered The Life of Poetry from Amazon and it was delivered today! 🙂 So excited to get to reading it – thanks for your recommendation!

  2. My husband called me over to read this one to me (Yes. we both “follow” you.) This made me sigh for all the years I chased that same “good” advise.I was taught that “if it doesn’t make money it’s a waste of time”. Forty years later, I’m still untwisting the black wire coat hangers from around my throat.

    Thanks for staying up last night to write this. I’m heartened on my own path when I read your work.

    Please. You MUST keep writing.

    1. This gave me the biggest smile of my day. I would love to add a slight change to the “good” advice given to you – if it makes money but doesn’t warm your soul, it’s a waste of time.

      Alice, I could never stop writing! Never when I have such fantastic readers are you 😉 Thank you for making the journey worth it.

      1. I’m glad to share a smile with you. I understand the need to write. It drives me out of bed each morning before the others are up. say howdy to your muse for me. 😉

  3. Brilliantly said! Keep listening to your heart. I finally found mine, quit my high-tech job and moved to where I can hear my heart sing.

    Keep your nose to the grindstone is good advice? It doesn’t take much imagination to see how that feels and looks!

      1. Thanks! 🙂 Most people would sigh when they hear of someone quitting their job to be an artist – and yet I say, right on.

        I love the new word. Let us never find ourselves there!

  4. Thank you, Natalie, for writing this. It’s important. I’ve recently been feeling as I’m somehow “spoiled” because I can write whenever and wherever I feel like writing and I never see a bill. Not even Visa.

    1. Good writing is never done for the money. Sometimes money isn’t paid for good writing 😉 Yet it is possible to live off poetry. I have done so for over a year now.

      Thank you so much, Joanna. It’s great to hear from you!

  5. omg ! chickie you getn better and better…i have not been around much lately due to the reasons you write about in this poem..this could be for me! may I reblog? I have missed your words. love ceri x

  6. Reblogged this on heysugarsugar and commented:
    This young lady is a future writer that oneday I will be proud to say ”I knew her from the begining”..for one so young she writes with words as beautiful as gossamer wings …read her work. ..this piece she could have written for me as its my world this past few weeks. x

Thoughts? I love those.

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