Thursday, December 30, 2010

faux haiku on being a poetry judge for a student literary magazine:

I wrote this very quickly the other day after reading a few very good poems and many poems that flustered me (maybe I just didn't get them?) in a packet of poems sent to me by the editor of a student literary magazine. I am honored they thought of me to be a poetry judge. It means that I have perhaps done enough in my community to merit this (what seems to me) recognition.

I realized quite a few things while I was reading, most of which could be summarized in this faux haiku:

let me get out the gavel....
i've learned the reason
editors delegate.

I hope that the faux haiku at least evokes a few giggles. I also hope to remember to utilize what I've learned here, not to judge others' work, but to consider graceful ways in which to frame how a writer may create more effective poetry and why some of the commonalities in each of those poems should be avoided.

I consider the term "poetry judge," strange and unsettling, quite possibly because I consider poetry an art I am still and will always be learning. I am a student and I hardly consider myself an expert. I also think that poetry is for everyone.

I found myself wanting to write all over the poetry pages with yearnings, suggestions and questions for the writers. While I read, I had a general feeling of reaching out so that each writer could eek out of the abstractions, used as crutches, what they really meant. I yearned so much for the stories that were hiding behind those tall, tall abstractions....

I suppose that means that I should definitely pursue, amongst other things, my MFA. My heart seems to be in it, even if it takes ten years before I am able to formally coach this craft.

Friday, December 24, 2010

I want to share something with you:

A lot of people know about the poetry therapy and other therapies workshops that Art from Ashes (AfA) uses to empower youth. Many do not know that AfA also hosts poetry therapy workshops for adults. I have attended two of their workshops now, have seen many youth workshops, and have adored the work that the folks at this organization do. I have adored the organization for many years now. What they do is powerful, beautiful, effective, and very close to my heart.

I want to share the following because I deemed the exercise as helpful and I really love what came out it. Reading it almost every day has been empowering, and I plan on continuing in this vein. I want to live a happy and empowered life, to make decisions from my heart, not from my hurt, and to transform my view of everything about me that seems to me as broken into blessings, or gifts for myself and those around me. I hope that doesn't sound silly, grandiose, or egoic. I hope it sounds true, because this is what I mean it to be; true and healing. The experience, both times with the workshops, have been healing ones for me. I am grateful for the work that the organization does and I am grateful for the ways in which the workshops have begun transforming my mindset.

I choose to let others be where they are without expecting them to live up to their promises or my hopes, wants, or expectations.
I choose to enjoy my own company.
I choose to make myself the beautiful meals I would make for a lover.
I choose to love what I have considered my deepest faults.
I choose to believe that the colors green, orange, and red seeping in through the window blinds as the sun rises as healing colors. I see them, and they are healing my deepest wounds.
I choose to believe that I am as wise and strong and powerful and beautiful as the sign on my door says I am -- the one I read just before leaving my house.

I hope you are all well, whoever is reading this.