How to begin explaining my poetry…? Well, I guess it’s a culmination of a lot, just like any other artists’ work in that way. My poetry is a response to each and every conversation that I’ve had with each and every stranger, with a family member, with a lover. It is the last word that I wish I could have had in a fight. It is a plea for forgiveness for the things I either never said or said too loudly. It is a lament for the neon Technicolor moments gone by that were too beautiful for words, too beautiful for thoughts even. It is the shape of a background for a scene in which maybe I played a part and a score to a movie that perhaps you can find me in, sipping a cup of tea hidden by a fuzzy darkened corner.
My poetry, try as I may to do something different, is above love. And that’s basically it; I write about love. I write about the obsession that love is, and I write about the way that love comes to obsess over us. I write about the love that I feel for tiny things like four-leaf clovers and I write about the love that I feel which shatters in avalanches over thirty thousand miles of emotional territory.
Poetry to me is freedom. Within writing poetry I am finally without. I can finally lay a word or seven hundred down on a page with the flick of my fingertips or the click-click of a keyboard (which is always an inferior way to transcribe poetry) and release the rules that burden my creative psyche when reacting, articulating, spellchecking, and the general business of sounding smart in prose.
My work has more limits than it doesn’t, but I seem to find cliffs from which I throw the conventions of others and most importantly, my own, in some guttural, animal desire to continue challenging myself to be better, to grow better ideas, to extend farther into something that I can be proud of, and really, to just confuse the hell out of myself when I look back on those crazed scribblings swirling in the style of my handwriting.
When I sit down to write poetry…, which is actually a lie because I never sit down with the intention of writing poetry. It happens, instead like a monsoon’s insane, electric lightning. It flashes into my brain at moments of its own choosing, usually with no rasp on the door or introduction. And usually in inconvenient times, like when I’m suspended in the hallucinations of near sleep, or while a dear-to-me face wants my attention to recount a story, or while I am washing my hair, or turning my motorcycle onto a freeway ramp. When this happens, I am completely possessed and can think of nothing else. If, for some unfortunate reason, I don’t have pen and paper, I must rehearse the lines over and over and over. And I must wait until the shifting of the universe connects like puzzle pieces and a surface and writing utensil become available for me. Then, I extract the looping string of words dancing pirouettes from inside my dome and lay them out just so for eyes other than mine to see.
I suppose, this is my process. It isn’t a process, per se, but more of a reaction to what is already happening, a support to some organism already churning, or a way to ease the physical itch in my palms if I go too long without writing.