After getting off work, grocery shopping and prepping food for the oven I went to the library. My plan was to group poems I’d already edited and decide on section titles. I also wanted to consider, review and edit some relative poems I found last night in a random folder. As soon as I took over a large table, and started to spread the pages of the book out in piles I knew I wasn’t comfortable with the body of poems I’d chosen.
I have been meditating on whether there is room for fiction in my poetry. I am also not sure of how to group the poems… Should I group it by eras in my life? Should I group them by years? Should I group them by thoughts? Should I group them by women or subjects? I immediately don’t like the subject idea because then the poems become repetitive. Should I group them by experience? Or, group them in a fictional way… I mean, like… putting them in order to make an experience. Like, one dating poem, then a poem about whether it goes somewhere or not, another poem about why it doesn’t go somewhere or a relationship poem and then a break up poem.
These poems are about seeking romantic love, dating, sex and knowing myself. Some of it is finding myself too… So it would be fictional to put the poems in order to give total experiences if the poems (or people rather) and experiences are unrelated. I didn’t write about every interaction I had with people I dated… some people never made it to the page, some amazing experiences never made it to the page even though I might have written about the person. So to group them as sequential experiences feels dishonest, because many of them are unrelated?
As a poet who reads other poets I considered the best poetry collections I’ve read to determine a format… I love different poetry books for different reasons… And each poet is an individual. It isn’t fair to compare poets. I also don’t think it’s a good idea to mimic another poets style or presentation. So I ended up sorting through the poems I discovered last night, trying to make sense of them when I couldn’t order the poems I’d already chosen.
While reading the poems I just discovered, I found a poem about praying and acknowledging how God always answers my prayers… So, I started to pray. I wrote the prayer down. A creative stream opened. I felt connected, open, purposeful and creative. Then I wrote the introduction to Seeking Sex Without Armor. I also wrote a few poems. God gave me a moment of clarity.
During the writing I was so open, I was again there in different situations: on dates… in love… breaking up… frustrated with myself… loving myself and finding God. Or acknowledging God rather, God is never lost or absent.
I was so overwhelmed, I started to cry as I was writing. I was crying so much I had to go get something to wipe my face and eyes. When I entered the bathroom a teenager was charging her phone. After I got some tissue from the stall, she ran and opened the door for me… Are you ok? I promised her I was. She couldn’t have been more than 12 years old… She was thoroughly concerned. And I wished I’d thanked better and encouraged her caring and caring enough to ask… I was even amused that she didn’t completely trust that I was fine… At the time though, I was so consumed with writing and trying to get back to my stuff I’d left all over the table and stay in the head space I didn’t take that opportunity…
Now I am here, sharing this journey… I am here, blogging and thanking God for reminding me people care. Especially after I’d immersed myself in some painful experiences to write. Now I know, there isn’t any room in poetry for fiction or fear.