Why I Write Today

I come home singing with the last night
and the first morning star
~Natalie Goldberg, from her poem Top of My Lungs

This morning I ask myself why I still write poems and if it's worth the time. But I know that poetry is part of my story. Words inside my lungs, part of the millions of alveoli. I breathe in words, and exhale them in sentences cottoned together as clouds that don't need to be explained. Someone will gaze at the clouds I breathe out and feel enveloped.
Sending out poems to get published is one of the stumbling blocks of my life. Other poets have persistence but I peter out, return to myself and leave the breathing words in my notebook. Finished, unfinished, asleep, poems dreaming of attention.
In 5th grade I wrote a Christmas poem at the behest of our teacher, desperate to make the lines rhyme and be chosen for publication in our 2-page school newspaper. No, I didn't win that one heroic spot of words typed and read aloud in class. It wasn't me. I was left dying for my words to be recognized because my words were me, the only me I had.
The body keeps nudging. Tiny letters tumble through the tributaries that are my network of veins. I feel them in my feet as much as I hear them in my head. I have to keep going.
This vulnerable life of placing words together and offering them. The ache to be loved for words that are scrawled across my arms. I used to keep them covered but no more.
Words are stitched into my eyebrows and flake off into my eyes. I see words.
I live on the edge of fear but still give them to you. Here they are.


Popular posts from this blog

La La La, Doo Doo Doo Doo

The Personal is Still Political