[Poem a Day] “Poe Kind of Had It”

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“Write until it makes sense” has always been something that’s worked well for me. On one hand, it’s a pretty decent free-writing strategy to get you out of the ever-present and nagging rut of not knowing where to begin. Keep your mind blank and throw down line after line without worrying too much about it until you catch a flicker of something cohesive. Then fixate on it, and follow the trail to what hopefully ends up being a poem.

But this idea also works in a bit of a therapeutic way – fixating on any one strong emotion or point of turmoil tugging at you and putting it down on the page until you’ve been firmly acquainted with it. People don’t speak to themselves often enough – this is one way to do it.  Of course, with this, you also have to accept that there will be instances where things don’t get any clearer when you sit down once and try to have a conversation with your own demons. It’s just a sign that we’re a little more complex than we give ourselves credit for, and we can’t understand everything – especially ourselves – right away.


[Poem a Day] “Four Hours Is Workable”

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I’m not much of a nighttime writer, to be perfectly honest.

I mean yeah, there’s something just so alluring about being the kind of writer who’s burning the midnight oil with a laptop and a glass of whiskey, but that’s just never how I functioned. My head’s usually too burned out by the end of the day for me to form coherent lines, and I end up staring at that all too familiar blinking line against a plain white page.

In the morning, the words just seem to come easier. Things just seem to come together while they coffee’s brewing, and the sun’s still climbing in the sky.

[Poem a Day] “I Learned It From Subway Performers”

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Gonna keep it short today. I’m out and on the road!

That’s always something that I’ve admired, though. You’re minding your own business on some subway train and some musician hops onboard and announces they’ll be playing something for the passengers. But the captive audience is never the endgame. You don’t strive to play for people who have no choice but to listen. You work to be sought out on your own merit – whatever that might be.

[Poem a Day] “A Detached Kind of Longing”

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The urge to write stems from an inherent sense of not being complete. From having something that hasn’t been expressed. So line after line, you strive for that kind of communication with whoever takes the time to read your lines. And every finished piece brings you a little bit closer, but you’re never quite there.

There’s an odd sort of beauty in that kind of incomplete mosaic your body of work produces. And that ends up making it alright in the end.

I’d think.

[Poem a Day] “Mile Marker”

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Truth be told, I went on a bit of a rant in my caption today. I think I might actually just paste it here – it sums up how I’m feeling about these lines pretty well.

“A lot of our work has us making these grand declarative statements about the different facets of life, emotion, and experience we carry as poets. But it would be a huge mistake to assume that we’ve got it figured out because we felt well enough about a line to put it on a page. There’s a lot of insecurity that comes with taking particular notions and molding your work around them because they exist as a sort of artifact of that particular moment of time. That distinct instance of yourself. And poets (the good ones, I like to think, anyway) exist as people as much as they exist as artists. Our perceptions shift and reform and blur and come back into focus millions of times over again. And those of us who know that aren’t urging you to interact with our work with any specific measure of belief – we’d just like you to borrow our eyes for a moment or two, and decide what to feel for yourself once you’ve come away.”

[Poem a Day] “30 Degree Percussion”

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You’ve got to love the silence between a handful of individual, unrelated people all waiting for the same thing. Headphones are an easy fix to the epidemic of awkward eye contact and feeling woefully adrift if your phone isn’t in your hands, but it’s interesting to watch sometimes the lengths people will go to in order to avoid any kind of interaction on their way to point B.

Makes the mornings feel just a little bit colder – at least until you make it on to the bus.