My morning begins with a search for words, and, perhaps, the words begin their day with a search for me. Some days we find each other like star crossed lovers brought together by the serendipity of persistence and strong coffee. Some days we are a missed connection. There is only an infinitesimal window within the infinite expanse of time that we can hope to meet. When cast in such a light the task seems almost insurmountable, if not outright impossible…and yet here we are, together again…
In the life of a poet there are frequent and recurring moments in which the inexplicable force of a thought or an idea storms the gates of our minds and takes tyrannical control over the near entirety of our mental faculties. Like some backwater outpost overtaken and under occupation, we are at the mercy of something beyond ourselves, something powerful and all-pervasive.
There are moments when the work ceases to be our own, and instead we become owned by the work.
To be a poet is to be hunted, hounded, and haunted. To be a poet is to know what it means to be possessed. It is to no longer be in possession of one’s own thoughts, but to be possessed by them, to be possessed by something beyond them, and perhaps to be possessed by something beneath them. To be a poet is to yield oneself completely to the unrelenting control of something that is equal parts demonic and divine.
Chuck Palahniuk writes that “something foreign is always living itself through you. Your whole life is the vehicle for something to come to earth.” To be a poet is to be a haunted house; to be filled with otherworldly apparitions of the unknowable.
Every lyric is a conjuring; every line an invocation, every word scribbled across paper is both a summons and an exorcism. Every poem is an apocalypse, an uncovering, an unveiling, a revelation; an in-breaking, an excavation, and an arrival.
Poetry creates a breach, a disruption. Poetry creates space; a space for awareness and observation, a space to see and listen, a space for silence to creep into our speech, a space in which the quiet can, itself, begin to speak.