"This is a hard world. Indeed, it is. We have to hold our people accountable when they are wrong. We have to know how to act when we are right, and be strategic."
-My philosopher daddy, sitting on the back porch of the house I grew up in. He sits in the dark to get closer to God.
"Yes, I agree...somewhat. I agree that if this is a hard world, and indeed it is, we must remember how to be soft. How to hold the hardness of this world accountable. Isn't this how we build a new thing? In us? In the world?"
My dad says, "You have always thought way too deeply into things." We eat pizza. We laugh with my girlfriend about spices, his new toy car, and then go to our respective homes. The dialogue continues to do its work...on each of us, and I give thanks.
I became a writer because of my emotion. The ocean and thunder and the sky, swirling around inside of me until I would turn my depth into some strange gathering of letters and syllables. I remember crying when writing at a very young age. While writing can be cathartic, or it simply is, there came a time when I began to see outside of myself. I think this is when I became a writer.
This was different.
I was not simply shedding pain or making meaning of my own confusion. Instead, I was interpreting, rearranging, rethinking, and turning and turning and turning—my paper is clay.
When my writing began to alternate its aims and entered into a space of mutuality, I believe that is when I became a writer. It was when I began to desire that those who read or hear my poems were able to somehow see and hold themselves.
I am grateful for this writing prompt from Gabriela Pereira as I utilize her diyMFA Book Club to exercise my muscles. I am also grateful for The Watering Hole, an organization building poets of color from the ground up. It is where I wrote my first draft of an origin poem just a couple of weeks ago.
Where is the poem?
Somewhere telling me it is a draft and teaching me patience. ;)