This is actually a part of a larger poem I’ve got slotted for the collection. Without giving too much away, it has something to do with a certain fixation on “stakes” when it comes to writing, and how it’s something I’ve always kind of understood, but never really something I’ve subscribed to.
I think a lot of it comes from the fact that poetry is often a vehicle for people with very particular thoughts about certain things, whether that might be ethics, politics, race, religion – it’s really hard to take as many poetry courses as I did back in college and not run into anyone who really strives to inject a point of turmoil into the core of what they produce as a writer. For those people, poetry has a direct purpose. Each piece is directed – almost like all their work is addressed with varying degrees of obvious direction. Whether it’s some piece about gender politics masked under descriptions of rolling waves, or something as explicitly targeted as a piece called “Dear Aerie”, everyone had a target, and if you didn’t, you seemed to get called out for having a piece that just…existed. Floating there, as if that was its fault.
Coming from a photography background, I never really subscribed to that. I never take my work and break it down as I’m creating with the mindset of “this exists because ______”. For me, the beauty of poetry is that sometimes, it just IS.
A scene in some random house, on some random street, at some non-specified time, away from all the shit that’s out there. A piece that doesn’t need to be indignant or defiant or justify the terms of its existence. Work that doesn’t have to subscribe to an ism, or champion a cause.