[Poem a Day] “An Old Magic”

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Some places, in all their personal significance, hold a special kind of power for people. Something that makes it feel different, and not the kind of different that we can just throw around in description – something that marks a place as particularly distinct in your mind. When you’re close to it, you feel something reverberating up through every segment of your spine, your ribcage shuddering like a set of tuning forks all singing. Silence has a very distinct sound there, and you ache to remember what that feels like when you’re away.

[Poem a Day] “Built This Ourselves”

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It’s a story I’ve heard more than a handful of times where I grew up – an old family home built or bought by someone’s great great grandfather, with pieces periodically added over the years. A bedroom, a new kitchen, sometimes through contract work, sometimes by hand. For a few months, it’s a little foreign, but enough knickknacks and little bits of warmth get added to it so that the rest of the house accepts it as a part of its own.

This goes on for years. Decades. A generation or two. Then something happens – a general need to relocate, the banks being banks, the kids moving out – and all of a sudden a for sale sign ends up in front of the building. You can take a lot of the components of that old house with you, but the bones that held them stay.

For how long, no one knows. A home one day, an empty lot the next.

[Poem a Day] “Bin Poetry”

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I used to be obsessed with writing nothing but keepers.

That’s much easier to do when you haven’t been writing poetry each and every day for the past four months. I’d get so hung up over not being able to drum up a line that wasn’t an instant winner that I’d start second guessing my entire Instagram project, my ability as a writer, my own capacity to go the distance – pretty much every doubt you can have as someone who consistently puts their work out there for the world to see.

It’s funny how little it took to shake me.

Nowadays, I do all my writing in a separate document labelled “Freewrites”, and that’s exactly how I go about things. I throw some music on and let whatever it is bouncing around in my head come out, in whatever form that might be in. It’s a kind of writing that doesn’t guarantee by ANY measure consistent poetry that you feel genuinely driven to post, but it allows you to create incomplete forms that you can come back to later – versions of a thought you want to explore that you can’t quite wrap words around right now, but you’re bound to be able to explore more fully later.

It’s a much better method than just “binning” your weaker lines, if you ask me.

[Poem a Day] “Slow Burn”

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Love is a minefield.

In a writing sense, at least. Not so much from a personal standpoint – although I’m more than sure that might be the case for a lot of people writing poetry on Instagram. But it’s difficult to try and write it as I feel it without slipping into some overused sentiment, some tired metaphor – that old and ever present curse of cliche and the thousands on thousands of people writing about something before you have.

It’s something deeply rooted, I think, in how love is something that’s so deeply personal, yet acts as a somewhat universal experience all at the same time. You’ve got your own take on the story, sure, but the same notes ring out in some places more than others.

[Poem a Day] “A Palette In An Empty Room”

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Vague details in poetry shouldn’t automatically be pegged as something to be fixed. A hyper eye focus on anything isn’t a cure-all to a bad poem.

I like to think of it like impressionist paintings. There’s a clear difference between mindless splotches on a canvas and blurred shapes made to create the impression of something, and for the most part, you’ll be able to tell which is which.