THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF KINDLING
I remember how after finishing grad school I watched peers of mine (amazing writers) get sucked up into the belly of the beast that is "life," and stop putting words to page.
I remember promising myself that would not be me; I had too much left to say and too many people I believed left to say it to. I kept hard at work and put out my first collection, then a chapbook, and then...
...the beast finally swallowed me.
Sure, I still had enough fight in me to keep from being completely digested. I still taught workshops, wrote reviews, hosted readings, and even wrote the occasional poem. But the fire...barely a few embers smoldering now. I could give reasons, but I'd just be rationalizing away the frightening truth that somewhere along the way I just forgot myself, misplaced the part of me that took to the flame. I got lazy. I got scared. I got stuck.
I had an idea in mind where I wanted to take my writing next, what my next collection should look like, and what it would explore about myself and my roots. Where I wanted to go was full of risk and would force me to face some dark, yet necessary truths.
I think I allowed the monster in my mind's closet to creep out and take over the whole damn house.
Well, I'm done thinking about it and trying to understand the why or how behind it. Instead, from this point forward, I am just going to do. To write. To risk.
I've been saying for a while now I am working on a new collection of poems. I think, it's more honest I say this:
I am working. I am working on myself. I am working on my writing. I am working on one poem, and then another, and then another.
One day they will find their way into a book.
I still have things to say and people left to say them to.
The poem below is entitled, "Smolder," and it's the latest thing I wrote. I'm proud of it. This video was shot at my recent feature at Two Idots Peddling Poetry on September 25th, 2015. I'm grateful for that night and for the people who were there for it; I felt it was just the right amount of kindling to get things going again.