Poetry and I do not have a healthy relationship. There is a lot of disrespect and outspoken derision when I talk about her to the fellas, and I’ll pass by each and every book of poems that some poor writer has slaved over, but in the darkest of nights, in seclusion and out of eyeshot, we meet up and intertwine. I tell myself that it’s just song lyrics, I’m not like them, but if there’s no tune to hook the words to, let’s be honest and call it for what it is. The compact format, the rhythm buried in each line, the love of the sound of words and words alone, these things are what bring me to the paper to write, in the rare times where these connections happen.
It would be better to hide the words in plain sight, as knotted and dense layers tied within a bigger narrative, and I hope to christ that I manage that from time to time. But too much worry about the where and when will eat away from the act of just doing it. Even now, I can feel the leaden and dull presence of self-criticism and over thinking edge towards my fingers and my thoughts and slowly ebb away my enthusiasm. It’s almost as if I need to write somewhere where I can’t see what I’m doing.
That must the point of the rituals and superstitions, the habits and proclivities of creativity. If you can craft an environment where you feel absolutely free to write in any style or fashion, a place where you can divorce yourself from the normal human baggage of fear, insecurity, resentment, self-pity, worry, anger, and float above all of that detached and amused, then you can lose yourself within your art. The trappings of your workspace have value and meaning. I used to think it was inconsequential, but each unpleasantness is another potential distraction. Your workspace is a type of temple, dedicated to yourself. I suspect there’s an inherent arrogance needed to continually produce work, because that sense of self-satisfaction fuels you when there’s no external feedback coming in.