Creatively speaking, the last week has been a difficult stretch. I refuse to accept the term writer’s block. I believe (or at least, would like to believe) that creativity is about rhythm and, like everything else, that rhythm has ups & downs. With the Fall semester a few days away, my poetic mind seems to have been inundated with anticipated faculty meetings, appointments, classes, papers, papers, papers. So forth & so on.
Of course, you know this reality. Any emerging writer has to deal with the collision of creative & ‘real world’ responsibilities. It’s often frustrating, but unavoidable. So, instead of whining, I want to take this opportunity to remind myself why I am writing these poems.
1. I don’t believe in art for art’s sake. I believe in creativity with a purpose in mind. My purpose is to write poems that act upon the writer (myself) and the reader. Lately, I’ve noticed that I don’t write with an audience in mind so much as a question that I desperately need to answer. While I rarely arrive at a definite answer, the process of writing gets me a little closer. That’s what I get from my poems: the beginning of an answer. Hopefully, readers will use the poems to voice their own questions.
2. I’m writing these poems because I haven’t read them elsewhere. Yes, I am motivated but a lack, an absence of voices that resemble my own. Yes, this has to do with identity & representation. No, I do not shout about identity & representation in the content of my poems.
3. The process of writing this manuscript allows forces me to confront anger, hurt, and joy that I forgot I had. Poetry requires a brutal attention to detail and so, the act of writing a poem about my personal experiences pushes me within inches of a past that (sometimes) I’d rather take a few steps away from. To write these poems is to talk to ghosts and, more importantly, let them talk back.