don’t you know?
bruises are clouds
skin carrying news of
you hold the sky inside of you–
your body, universal
your heart, a solar system–
watch your bruises darken and lighten.
will a planet into
every poem. here.
is an unwrite.
of all that has been written in me without. permission.
I recently stumbled upon the poet nayyirah waheed, whose words are so beautiful they make my soul ache.
Around the same time I discovered her work and site, I started to have this hunger for poetry–I’ve been feeling starved for it. All I’ve wanted to do for the past couple of weeks is read poetry collections and write poems, sate myself with poetry. This has never happened to me before.
I’ve never considered myself a poet, even with all of my notebooks filled with page after page of poems I wrote when I was a teenager–I never thought of myself as a poet. And once I went to grad school, that seemed to solidify in my mind that I was a prose writer, albeit with a leaning towards poetics in my prose, but I felt like I just didn’t have what it took to understand the intricacies of poetry.
But with this new desire for all things poetry, I’ve been wanting to learn about punctuation and language in poetry, I want to understand how it works in hopes that maybe I can implement all the subtle tools that poets use to create work.
At the center of this new poetry obsession, though: line breaks. What?! How can a line break, something as simple as hitting [RETURN] communicate so strongly to readers? But they do! And I feel like in my experimentation with poetry right now, I’ve been playing with line breaks–where to place them, why, where is the break, where is the absence, where is the precipice?
So I purchased a couple books of poetry to aid in my poetry education/feast (and I saw these poetry collections on nayyirah waheed’s site): No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay and Anatomy of Being by Shinji Moon. Next up to purchase/obtain: salt. and nejma by nayyirah waheed.
in water. Blues and purples
faint at first like
waking from a dream.
upon this split
i lay my body draped
i have nothing else to give. my heart
overactive muscle. betrays me
i cannot trust myself. i am a
yellow peach. red, rough pit
i wish to be ripe but fear the bruising.
For quite awhile now I’ve been playing around with the idea of having a website attached to my name and identity as a writer and editor.
I have many reasons:
1. Networking – If I have readings and if someone asks “Where can I find more of your work?” I can direct them to this site.
2. Professional Growth – In the present day, it’s not real if it’s not on the internet. I’ve had blogs in the past–from a blogspot to a blog here on WordPress–but a website is a mixture of personal and professional. I want to share my thoughts on literature, writing, and community, but in a more polished, mindful, and critical way than I’ve done in the past.
3. Community – I want there to be a space for me to share my voice and stories with other writers struggling to find community and a space in what can oftentimes be an unwelcoming/clique-y literary world. I also believe it’s important to share these same stories with readers and fellow humans–not everyone is a writer but everyone understands the struggle to have a voice, the struggle to show emotion, and even just the struggle itself. I understand that sometimes just knowing that someone else has similar experiences, similar obstacles, can help soothe the heart and spirit.
4. Personal Growth – I promised myself at the beginning of this year that I would live by a credo: to practice being my most authentic, genuine, and sincere self. That I owed that to the people I love, to the communities I work in, to my writing, and most importantly to myself. Even if I didn’t always succeed–if every day was a new day to challenge myself to not hide behind what I felt others expected of me, but instead to act and give in ways that I was happy and willing to do, to speak up for myself and to validate my own feelings–then that day was just another part of my journey and my evolution as a woman. I strive to always be open and vulnerable and sincere, because through the course of my life I’ve realized that being honest with your emotions is the greatest act of strength.