4 years, 5 months ago
I won't repeat myself by going into detail about living with chronic pain and it's effects; so let's just move on to what I've decided to post today. I'm not just any writer, I'm a writer of poetry and I've been missing that form of communication lately. If I learned anything from my graduate school experience in a masters of fine arts program aka creative writing MFA, it's that while I may love poetry I don't expect others to appreciate it. My audience, when I'm writing, was never as distinct as to feel helpful. Instead, I left academia in part because I realized poetry had always been its own answer.
When we go to school to study we often find ourselves asking why. Why do things work the way we do? A key part of learning to be a better reader of poetry was learned studying under Mark Jarman in Prague. Every day, we would start with the form of the poem. Why was it written just this way? The way the stanzas fit together, the length of the lines, and the visual appearance of the words on the page. When I teach poetry, I always talk to my students about the sonnet. We might not ever really understand why essays are in the form that they are. However, understanding that the strict confines of those fourteen lines create order in spite of the topic of love and loss, well needless to say that's much more familiar. My undergraduate professor, Richard Jackson
, had built my foundation in appreciating the narrative images can create.
Years later, re-grounding myself with the image of the words on the page, I began to internalize some of this in a new way. Not only did I begin to focus again on the form of my poetry but also the power of poetry to help give myself some feeling of control over that which I can't. So, when I can't get my shit together to write a blog post, I'm going to be posting my poetry.
In the Quiet Dark
At the end of the day, you're left
with your own voice
inside your head. And this
is the one you must teach
to put to bed, to walk
this journey each day
inside of you.
I love you
and I mean that
in no small way, I
love you so--
You're sleeping next to me
I love you so endlessly.
There that is the word.
I have been rebuilding
my body, while watching
black bodies die.
I have felt my body
with pain and cried
at the neverending
at the thought of if--
My friends afraid to go outside
How do I rebuild? How do we
I am rebuilt on a space cleared for me
by the ones who cared enough to know
With extraordinary care
to each, like
the fraying end of threads,
Like every breath we take
Pretending we live in a vacuum.
We can not live in a vacuum.
And every nerve you touch is raw
from having indulged these "good" intentions.
And every nerve is raw until we give shelter--
And every nerve is bare until buried--
And every nerve is burning bushes on a grave
Marked, please not another, please
don't let them be--
But those aren't my words
and they will not mark me
no matter how hard they pierce.
They mark only the graves of the sleeping,
we must believe they are still alive.
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