Unvarnished: A Poem by Amalia Dillin

I’m excited to share with everyone today “Unvarnished” from Amalia Dillin. The poem evokes the anxieties of our media saturated world in the life of a writer. I suspect that most of our readers and contributors will be able to recognize the delicate tension between being of the world and being in the world.  

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Wake up.

Check the news.
(The headlines are all you can stomach.)
[Feel sicker because you have loved ones who feel the same way on the other side.]
{The rift is only growing wider.}

Check e-mail.
Check Facebook.
Check Twitter.
(More news.)
[There is too much bad news.]
{Oh! Puppy!}

Pray for strength.
Pray for courage.
Pray for the stubbornness to endure.
(Be grateful those are your god’s specialties.)
[Resent your god for not being God. For making your life harder.]
{Promise yourself you’ll remember the Gift, and reach back, because at least you have a god, and for so long, you didn’t.}

(Thank the Universe for your spouse, who feeds you.)
[Feel guilt for not being the one feeding your spouse.]
{Wish desperately you could spend the day together, without ever worrying about who is working.}

Fight against the temptation to check reviews.
(Read them anyway.)
[Question your life choices and your entire career.]
{Oh god, your sales rank is in freefall. Maybe you should just give up entirely. Except you can’t give up entirely. You don’t have any idea anymore what else you’re good for.}

Chat with friends.
(Avoid chatting with other friends.)
[Feel that much more isolated with every conversation.]
{How can people stand listening to you go on and on about writing?}

(Repeat until it’s time to eat again.)
[If you remember.]
{Sometimes it takes too much work to bother eating, even when you do.}

Watch a show.
(Wait for your spouse to get home.)
[Oh no, not another mouse.]
{Hope your spouse gets home to help catch it.}

Greet your spouse.
(Catch a mouse.)

Watch more shows, together now.
Talk about the day.
(Share the headlines that made you sickest.)
[Hate how much more it depresses you both.]
{Resolve not to talk about the bad news. Not anymore.}

Go to bed.
(Dream on. Dream on, until tomorrow.)
[While there are still tomorrows left.]
{While you can still sleep at night at all.}


A University of North Dakota Alum, Amalia Dillin is the author of the Fate of the Gods trilogy, the Orc Saga, and the Postcards from Asgard duology. She also writes historical fiction as Amalia Carosella including Helen of Sparta and Daughter of a Thousand Years. You
can find her online at www.amaliadillin.com.

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