A “Manifesto”: Writing about Writing

Alone at my desk (often a metaphorical desk), I attempt to release my troubles into hidden imagery and flowery metaphors all slapped onto a lyrical base that allows my ever flowing mind to tether itself into reality. Poetry isn’t meant to follow rules, or be confined by someone else’s idea about what “good” poetry is. Grow but don’t submit. If you love the way it sounds when lines are crafted and calculated to specific words and rhyme scheme, do it. If you love the way a poem comes together when you abandon rhyme and form, do it. Poetry is about self-expression. That means yourself, not the reader, not the critics, YOU.

Not everyone is going to like your poetry and not everyone is going to “get it”. However what does “getting it” even really mean? You adequately stiff armed the reader into understanding your poem as your wrote it? You made the poem so obviously singular that to not “get it” is impossible? I say abandon meaning entirely. I write my poems from my perspective, from a real and personal part of my brain that cannot ever be truly understood by anyone. I choose to hide in my poems, and for those who are brave enough, noble enough, screwed up emotionally enough (just kidding… kind of), I urge you to come find me. For everyone else, take what you need and leave what you don’t. As a reader, I do the same. I look for what I can of the poet, and then I filter through the imagery, rhyme, and sentiment applying it directly to my own life experience. Poetry is a scavenger hunt, choose your own adventure, epic quest for meaning in life. That means your life, not the writers, not the critics, YOURS.

On the Road with Billy Joel

A backpack, filled with a pair of jeans, an old t-shirt,

and a slurry of other random garments all tucked around

my ukulele, an archaic mechanism of sound with a single

disk present inside playing the sweetest soundtrack of an epic

existential crisis of a 20 something who will soon discover just how

little she really knows about anything, a musical journey from Georgia

to Kansas to Vienna to help propel my movement from Vegas to

Anchorage, three books, two poetry, EAP to dwell in my past

and Emerson to help me “be with” my journey and embrace my future,

one solid novel in hand, one to guide me on why I am on this

journey but surely not to guide me on how, my journey will not end with

me eating the wrong berries, in hindsight perhaps an Eddie Vedder CD

would have been great a juxtaposition for this trip,

my phone, notably absent, an unwelcome character in my heroic tale

of concurring my dependence and pulling my sword of self-identity

from the confines of the romanticized ideal of youthful over-exertion,

a notebook, not large or flashy, no cheesy sentiment of day seizing or

self love plastered on the front, I don’t need the reminder, this

is why I’m here, going there, possibly nowhere at all.

This is my journey.

Its only a dream, a plan, an escape from the dull dread of monotony and

stagnation. Someday I will find my Alaska where Vienna will surely be waiting.