Poetry. Step one again.

Though I had much to learn about being a poet, I self-published my debut poetry collection, Flame to the Watering Hole, in the middle of the pandemic. As a lifelong dabbler in poetry, it was a bucket list item for me to get a collection out into the world. Looking back, it was an act of desperation rather than a cohesive work, and that troubled me almost immediately after completing it. I just had to do it, however. It didn’t have to be perfect. It just had to exist.

I don’t regret it. But I didn’t know the full range of my poet voice back when I ran on intuition alone. So I had to examine my completed collection, and sat in the public aftermath of it. I had to claw my way through the experience and learn from it. That’s how I learn. I needed to learn how to shift my brain into poet mode.

Poets are in their own frequency. They see harmonies everywhere. They generate a cosmic emotional gravity in tiny, momentous bursts. Supernovae of the heart. They are fueled by the tension between the micro and macro of our lives. They let their dreams fill the intermolecular emptiness in us all.

Luckily, I have also had the pleasure of meeting remarkable poets this year on the Arts Calling Podcast. In meeting poetry powerhouses and engaging in honest inquiry and hearing their trains of thought, the chasm between my ambitions and my skillset became clear. The tremendous opportunity to have conversations with working poets who live and breathe their craft has been invaluable to better understand the poetry wavelength, and other blind spots missing in my perspective. I do believe poetry has made me a better playwright/creative, but I’ll write about that at a later date.

For now, let it be known I have started my second poetry collection. Two months ago, I picked up a little Muji notebook and went to work. My scattered mind brewing a stream of memories and impressions about my homes, generations, and the worldview of an ESL/ELL Mexican kid growing up in Wyoming in the 90s.

I look back often. But perhaps I can work all the way around and circle back to the future again. Lots to do, lots to learn. More to come. Much love.

j

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