I’ve had little life experience in comparison to some other poets but in the culmination of 19 years, I’ve been able to produce over 80 poems which as I write that right now strikes me as WILD. That’s a lot of poetry. And that doesn’t mean it is all good or publishable poetry but it means that I’ve found a way to write when I need to, not just when I want to.
I wrote a pretty lengthy blog post after the publication of my first collection, Essence of An Age, which you can read here. But basically, in that post, I summed up my history of writing, talked about writer’s depression, my doubts and fears and how taking one poetry class in high school convinced me that writing and feeling don’t have to be done in specific, accessible ways. In a matter of months, I had written an entire collection from my heart without intending to publish or show it to anyone else. To this day, it has been my most well-received work. Some things are just as beautiful (if not more so) when they are unplanned as when they are.
I continued to write poetry after that because I found that there were many things I had experienced in the 19 years of my life that I needed to consider, remember, and for some, let go of. I finished out my collection Essence of An Age with this verse:
This epilogue: it feels like I’m holding a gun to my head.
But the gun is made of glass
and the bullets of paper.
And all that is dead,
are only the things I’ve held onto for far too long.
The year after I wrote this would be the year I would truly do this. A two-week trip to the Dominican Republic in January 2019 allowed me to let go of grudges I had held onto for far too long. Discontentment and stress in my three-year job over the summer allowed me to let go of comfort (not all the time and not forever because comfort is not inherently a bad thing) and to learn that self-love is about responsibility, not just giving yourself whatever you want when you want it. I found myself caught up in a whirlwind romance (okay not quite like that but I felt the need to be spontaneously dramatic) by July. And I say dramatic because no one expected me of all people to date a boy I met on Tinder. (“A dating app of all things!”) I found, then, that writing about a real relationship was a lot harder but a lot more rewarding than writing about relationships I was never going to have. I learned how to face the way I felt about my friendships and to truly say what I wanted to say about people I love – even when I do not always feel loved by them.
But mostly I wanted to write about Jesus. Needed to write about Jesus. Most of my followers and people reading this post do not consider themselves religious much less Christians so I’ll keep this as little as-shove-down-your-throat as possible. I believe in a God who designed the universe and each individual human being. I believe this God desires a personal relationship with each human being. I believe that humans in their sinful nature have placed space between themselves and God that only the innocent, sacrificial blood of Jesus can close. I believe in Jesus who also loves and desires a personal relationship with every human being. I believe in the Holy Spirit which is given by God through our acceptance and faith to help and guide us. I believe this because I see the world as too complex to exist the way that it is by chance. And I also believe this because everything good that has happened to me and everything that has made sense to me came as a direct result of believing and fearing in God. That was a bit longer than I intended but I say all that to say that many of the poems I wrote with a need to be bold and vocal about what I believe in and love. I hope that the poems I wrote and being saved and loved and healed and help people love and heal as well.
So, now, in January of 2020, I have quite the conglomeration of poems. I have poems about boys and poems about my friends. I have poems about Jesus and I have a bunch of little poems about characters and stories that are not derived from my own experience but rather of universal experiences and feelings. I have poems inspired by angsty-suburban America. I have poems about Romeo and Juliet in New Mexico. I have poems about this little blue-gabled house which, of course, is not a real house but a metaphor. I have spoken-word, society-ripping worthy poems and little pieces I wrote after crying at Twenty One Pilots concerts.
My poetry book titles, as well as many of the poem titles, are created before the actual content is. With my novels, titles are rather difficult to come up with, but somehow, with my poetry, the title always comes first. The words and feelings come later. Three or so years before this collection was even being put together, I made a Pinterest board for a novel concept called The Blue Gabled House. (You can look at it here if you’d like.) One day, I resolved, it would be a novel or a short story. I began scribbling down ideas and wrote this short scene about a young male-ballerina coming into this house on a June evening. It is told from the perspective of the house and simply remarks in great detail the remorse, sorrow, pain, and loneliness that this young man has felt. At the time, it felt like the beginning of a story. But that story was never written. Perhaps one day it will be, but for now, it is one of my favorite poems in the collection. It seems out of place in comparison because it has nothing to do with me character-wise. I am not narrating the poem, nor am I the subject of the poem. But it is metaphorical which is all poets are really good for haha.
This concept of “the blue-gabled house” kept sticking around until finally, I decided it would be the name of a new collection, and I would just publish a bunch of poems that didn’t really fit together under that title. This is to say that this collection may not make sense in its entirety or seem to really “fit together.” And it is not supposed to. This collection is, in simplest terms, my most prominent thoughts and feelings over the past year. It is the perspective of a 19-year-old girl on friendships, relationships, society, religion, loss, hope, pain, gain, discovery and so much more. So it may not seem universal or relatable to some readers but I find that the more specific authors are, the more endearing and relatable their work is to me. If nothing else, I hope reading this collection will help inspire you to write your own poetry.
The collection is finished and I am releasing it very soon into the world. (March 1st!!!) I release it with a very full and grateful heart. I am grateful to the early readers and the ones yet to come. Thank you to all of you. Every single one of you.
This is a piece of me.
I hope you find pieces of you in it.