poetry

“For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. It is the vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action. Poetry is the way we give name to the nameless so it can be thought.” – Audre Lorde

I absolutely love poetry. I love how flexible it is as a medium, how comfortable it feels for me to express myself in poetic form, and how I feel when I read good poetry. The raw, portable nature of poetry makes it a perfect vehicle for artistic resistance against oppression, and it plays an important role in liberation movements.

Poetry touches your soul with much more ease than prose can. Good prose, I think, mixes in elements of the poetic, and it is my love of poetry that inspires my general writing style. I try to weave in lyricism with pragmatism. Writing prose can definitely be a release for me, but I find writing poetry to be the most freeing and cathartic form of writing–at least when I let go of any expectations of greatness.

I never actually aspired to write essays. As a kid I wanted to be a fiction writer and poet, but I fell into doing nonfiction after I started doing zines and saw how much easier and less exposing it felt to share nonfiction writing. There’s something about allowing the public to read my “creative” writing that is terrifying to me, and thus I’ve never shared any of the poetry I’ve written with basically anyone. At one point a couple years ago I had planned on publishing a zine that was all poetry and creative nonfiction, but I chickened out.

So, in the spirit of embodying my authentic self & also recognizing that creativity requires vulnerability, I’m sharing some of my poetry here. I don’t expect accolades, because I don’t think it’s particularly good. But I’m hoping having it up here will desensitize me to any criticism of it, possibly encourage me to write more because I have somewhere to put it, and maybe inspire someone else who’s scared to share their art.

Just remember that I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my shit.


how long it takes to drown
open & shut
nemesis
a flightless butterfly
lifelines