Good evening, readers:
I did not think I would find myself blogging again since becoming semi-Tumblr famous. It was not conducive to my mental health, as I was creating an alter ego for myself: something I had longed to project in the real world, though it never fully manifested tangibly. From 2011 to the very end of 2015, I had a great run on three different blogs, using different URLs and attempting to establish an online community; however, the project began to, as most social media outlets work, become very vain. I dreaded looking at the “magic dash” and finding it drained of all life and mystery, filled with empty people with fragile egos erecting their shells as larger-than-life, and so on.
I began my creative writing journey when I was much younger, probably around the age of five or six, when I was asked to write short stories for assignments in class. Short stories were my favorite growing up. The works of Poe, Bradbury, Chekhov, Hemingway, and de Maupassant were ones that fueled this early creativity, along with other influences like the Final Fantasy franchise, At the Drive-In, and prog rock. I began writing conceptual material that eventually disintegrated into the history of unfinished works. Upon coming into my sophomore year of high school, we had analyzed the lyrics of Tom Petty, Ben Folds, and Neil Young for a poetry assignment, and that’s when I became engaged in poetry, following up with an introduction to classics like the English Romantics, et al. Whitman hit home for me after Joe, an old friend, let me borrow his copy of “Leaves of Grass.” Now looking back, I feel Whitman’s work is a drought of self-absorption, Narcissus falling forever into a pool without water, though originally, the work at the time was breathing life into me.
Through college (I went to Southwest Baptist University), I joined a poetry workshop called “Author Unknown,” a chapter of the Missouri State Poetry Society. My freshman year was filled with angst about coming out of the Friday meetings feeling as if I didn’t know what a poem was supposed to look like, then again, who knows an angst teenager who writes… well? I gave it time, given that I worked on a degree in English, studying the language and the literature. By the time it was my senior year of college, I was known for hosting the Friday meetings when both Mr. Sukany and Dr. Tappmeyer were absent, leading discussion and revision critiques. I had read an unpublished dialogue poem by Thom Satterlee with Thom Satterlee, stood right by Ted Kooser in a photo after he was done lecturing at one of the Barnett-Padgett Literary Events, and finally found some older poems that found homes in magazines and journals online. I had an amazing group of friends who helped propel my need to fulfill this “holy vocation” of being a poet. Now don’t get me wrong, I am first and foremost a human being, but to say that I have lived the childhood that I had and experienced the things I have in my still-young life, poetry gave me purpose: it taught me how to rearrange the feng-shui in my soul.
Between college in the first serious relationship I had, I found Tumblr, and used it frequently to put my name out there. When I had established the third blog, I had a following of 2000 readers and was a featured blue tag writer for prose, poetry, and literature. At the time, I found it exciting when The Paris Review’s blog followed mine. Between 2011 and the end of 2016, I have gotten over 30 poems published in magazines and journals online and in print throughout the US and the UK. And I am still trying to work out a manuscript for my first book of poems, titled Imaginarium.
Before I get completely long-winded into my digression, I will say that I hope for a revolution within myself to spark the life I had for poetry. I have gone too long without a group of friends or at least one person to be the iron that tests mine. So in my fashion, I will attempt to transmute the bones of my shadow aspect and spiritual nature for a kind of poetry I wish to inflict unto another. It was the German existentialist Martin Heidegger that expressed poets were the only ones who could enter the abyss and bring back a wholeness in the “Open” for others to apprehend it. What I offer is mental stenography, a perspective of what history is, magical realism, and the problems of attempting to remain sound in a world of dissociation.
I am opening this door again. “The outward man is the swinging door; the inner man is the still hinge,” as Meister Eckhart had said. Without further adieu, welcome to the art of misdirection: watch your step…