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.