22 July 2012

Where does a poem come from?: writing

I have received a number of comments after reading my poetry in public, that have left me momentarily unable to respond. Comments such as: "Wow - that was honest" or "You must get out of that relationship!". These comments, while often appreciative, appear to assume a literal truth.

So where does a poem come from?

For me, truth is only the kernal, the grain within the pearl. Poems come from the freedom to explore imagination, fantasy and desire, to empathise outside my own skin, to plunder dreams and to delight in word-play.

So when my poetry is assumed to be a literal representation of my experience, I wonder what people think when I write or utter:

Dig a shallow grave
for this hollow shell,
the life sucked from me
long before I fell.

I suspend the pillow
in a lucid pause
as your rasping breath
scrapes its claws
at my tomorrow.

Yes it's my voice, my view out the window. It is also my window. Glazed with my colours, shot with my imperfections and framing my possibilities.

Of course, I could just be in denial.