Thursday, September 21, 2006

state of the pen address

last night i noticed that i have about five unfinished ideas for new pieces of poetry. some of them i'm procrastinating on, but others have simply fallen into the cobwebs of my mind, and the only reason i remember them now is because i came across some scribbles in my second marble composition notebook... guess i better get on it.

i was telling a colleague yesterday that i am a writer - that i write poetry and short stories, and that i read my stuff in public. he wanted to know more about the content of the poetry, and i told him, social... political... cultural... (i left out erotic and spiritual and introspective and that i can't even label some of it) and then i simply told him that those are among other things. i didn't feel comfortable telling him all my business - he don't know me like that. then he wanted to know which predominated between them, and i couldn't answer that straight. i didn't even want to answer that. i told him that none of them can, because my poems express many facets of myself, that we are all multifaceted people, and that part of the beauty of an individual is their variety, and in that way, part of the goodness in my body of poetry is its variety.

he probed further. he wanted to know about the type of short stories i wrote. i thought of the stories about little nyla and her mother arlene. i suppose he thought i'd answer with something easily categorized - mystery, science fiction, or something like that. i felt penned in a corner. these were too many questions! my kneejerk internal reaction was that this somewhat older man, this white man would never understand me. and frankly, i didn't want him to understand that much about me. perhaps that wasn't fair to him - i think he just wanted to relate to me, and show some interest in me as a person, but i felt probed. i shirked that question by saying that i don't write many stories but that the ones i do are fiction, "and that's as far as i'd go with that," leaving him to wonder about my work, and showing him that there was a line of privacy his questions were breaching.

i still don't know what to make of that exchange.

also, i allowed myself to be talked into something new yesterday. i read a poem and allowed music to be created that was inspired by its content - i was so very scared to do that! i liked my words the way they are! i didn't want them changed by music. i didn't want to take the chance that the union between the words and the music would take away the meaning and the feeling of the words, which weren't ever meant to be lyrics, and which, in fact, are better suited for the paper they were written on than the mic. but because i was scared, and because i trusted the producer to truly try to respect my jealousy over my creation (i'm an artist, and i'm sensitive about my isht), i faced the fear. i don't like being punked by my fear of things, and i often try new stuff for that very reason. the music is a work in progress, but i'll say this. i don't think my words are offended or compromised. and that truly inspires me!