amongst books

amongst books

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Concerns about my writing…

at a recent reading I was blown away by a featured reader who shared poems that dealt head on with racism. the writing was strong, the delivery was powerful, and the audience was suitably affected, as was I. these are poems we need to hear right now.

while a lot of my poems in the last few years are in their way dealing with subjects such as ageism and sexism, love and death, etc. they don’t do so in a straight-forward way. the way I’ve needed to write mostly, not always, but mostly, has been to tell the truth but to tell it slant, as Emily Dickinson has written. the word truth gives me pause. by truth I don’t mean facts. fact-based writing isn’t what I do, I don't think I do anyway... but getting to the heart of things and universal truths are of interest to me, writing from the point of view of an explorer rather than a prophet or someone who has answers is the perspective that I feel comfortable with.

I am fascinated with the word, both written and spoken. I am concerned with language’s inability to communicate and to articulate. I am interested in engaging with various techniques to reach the depths of the human psyche, to uncover and share feelings of anxiety, fear, despair and alienation because these feelings are not easily communicated. I often try to move away from surface in order to reach those depths.

For my writing, play is a strategy I use to uncover these feelings, to articulate the human condition. Yet play can seem trivial and even unnecessary, especially in these times.

I write to explore and to connect with fellow misfits, but does my writing really connect? Am I taking up too much space? Is my voice shutting out other, more relevant and effective voices? These are my concerns right now.

I have two more readings scheduled for 2017 and I don’t know whether hearing my poetry will be of use to anyone. So I worry.

I suspect these are concerns that other writers and artists are having right now. I’d like to know how you are addressing these concerns.

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