In case you haven't been aware for the last five days, today is the sixth day of national poetry month. I have to say, I like a fair amount of poetry and I hate it when people claim to dislike it categorically . To me, that's like saying you hate all vegetables when you've only ever had peas and carrots. There is Swiss chard, broccoli and many a variety of pepper, ya know? There are ee cummings, Ben Lerner, and Matthea Harvey (in case you hated Shelley, Chaucer, and Shakespeare in high school.) I like poetry because of, well, the poetic license. You don't have to describe something like you would for a detective's report or a scientists observation. A good metaphor is a beautiful lie or even an ugly one that tells more Truth than the truth, and I like that. I'm blunt and I'm a Virgo, but that doesn't mean I'm always such a literal motherfella every moment of the day. Poetry is unshackled and unshackling.
Some of my favorite kind poetry has rhythm and often assonance but not rhyme, which is pretty common in slam poetry, so for today I'm posting one of my all time favorite slams, performed by two women speaking as the internal and outward voices of a trans man, often in perfect unison. Incidentally, if you've ever tried to perfect a vocalization like that, you can appreciate the unbelievable amount of work that went into this perforance, to say nothing of the unbelievable emotional rawness of it.
I used to get great praise from teachers for my poetry; now I'm out of the habit and I feel like I'm writing complete shit. But, I am writing again, precisely because it's National Poetry Month, which lots of Twitterers have turned into national poetry *writing* month. I'm a lot more prepared to commit to a poem a day than I was to commit to writing a 50,000 word novel in November for National Novel Writing Month and I think the practice of writing whether I feel "inspired" or not is an excellent one. Creativity is a discipline which requires regular practice like anything else and I don't really care that I'm writing shit. It feels like turning water on in a summer home; it comes out it nasty rusty spurts until it gets flowing again. There's no other way to get it flowing than to just do it. Perhaps some of you will participate, or interact with others on Twitter tracking their month with the #NaPoWriMo hashtag.
Cheers, and happy reading, writing and watching