Tag Archives: writing

Being a Poet

Have you ever read a poem

And felt something claw up from inside 

Your rib bones? 

Pulse quickened, breath shortened?

As if you had pulled the left lung over 

Top of your beating, bloody muscle

Until your worried skin could not 

Hold it in any longer?

Poetry reminds me that I am an animal,

-Flesh and bone and blood-

But also that I am not animalistic.

It is no wonder animals show 

gratitude to people and other animals:

They seek and adore companionship,

Relish play time and a hearty meal-

They live for pleasure without pain or fear of suffering. 

But people are different-

They pull their own hearts out

For no sake but to give to another-

It is not enough to be or show  

what animals are in this world-

Loyal-compassionate-lusting-honest-

No.

People try to one-up the rest of specieskind

By creating poetry- 

By giving our love to one another

Without a hint of self-preservation, 

As any poet knows, writing 

Brings both delight and extreme pain

For the sake of emptying oneself,

and filling up others. 

There is nothing quite like being human-

And absolutely nothing like being a Poet.

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Simultaneously-

 

Being both creative and clinically depressed

is like harboring an inward storm,

Violent, sweeping, clearing the shore of debris

at the same time leaving bodies 

of sea-mammals on the sand 

for the art of it. 

It’s salvation and destruction
holding hands inside your chest,

one hand slowly pulling every shred

of individuality out into the air,

while the other tucks it back into your guts.

Some people know their life’s song
From the moment they are born-

They hold certainty in their bones-

But a clinically creative’s

symphony orchestra has too many

crescendos to keep time, or decide

what song it wants to play, as if a single 

genre could ever hold their world steady.

Thus, you accept this music for what it is- 

winding and erratic,  

you take the waves in stride

as they pitch sharp notes, long rests, 

a flurry of beats and time changes-
Most of all,

the clinically creative endures exhaustion

of mind and soul, the struggle to create-

the true pulling out of that which inextricably binds us to our humanity-

almost always outweighs the urge to spend 

midnight moments in malaise-