Good writing is the fruit of honesty born by the writer. I’ve long told everyone that my gift is not writing. It’s truth. Anyone can write. Not everyone is able to tell the whole truth and nothing but that, which we love to dress up and send out as pretty little lies. The compulsion to tell this truth on a daily basis is what pushes folk to become writers. Living becomes a chore and even your breathing is distracted by the urge to come forth and bear witness to life.
This is what I feel when I’m not writing. And still, it was a tough decision to make my writing a priority in my life. Deep within, I always knew it would take immense courage to stand up for myself and the truths that I know as my life. Up until now, I had not been prepared to take such risks. After all, sometimes the truth is just plain ugly!
As a poet, my subjects tend to fall into two categories: natural and political. However, I also write about people such as myself, my family, friends, and even random people I see on television. There’s good fodder in folk and a lot to be learned by observing human behavior in this manner. Our resilience is one theme that I often rest upon but there are so many others. Yes, I write about bad things like abuse and suicide and it’s not this conscious decision to be gothic or fit into any writing trend that spurs my brief rampages of thought. Rather, it’s my curiosity and the way I think through the world.
Non-poets might not understand this. I write to understand the world. It is a coping mechanism for me. Without it, I really wouldn’t see the point in living any more, which is not a dark thought, but plain reality. What I want for my work is to bleed out to a larger existence, so that perhaps someone else who isn’t as comfortable telling the truth can take comfort in my words. Other poets do this for me too. It’s why I read poetry.
There are poems I may never be able to write. To write a poem is to look into the mirror and see yourself staring right back naked. It’s a scary thing. Not everyone can do this. Today, I can do this.