After my poems that I have written for whirlwind/workshop, I feel as though there has been speculation in relation to what parts are raw from the author as the speaker and which parts are fabricated to create poetry. This information is not something that a poet usually divulges, but I feel it necessary to get closer with you all, and have you understand my writing, and myself as a person.
I do not smoke cigarettes–nor have I ever. I do not plan on having toxic chemicals in my lungs, but I find them mesmerizing to write about. The concept that arises from them, and the sensation (I can only imagine) is so vivid that I crave to write about things in that realm of topics. There’s so many angles to take with an idea like cigarettes–something that is mental, and physical, and emotional–yet literally killing you. It is baffling for me to understand WHY people actually smoke, but it is also baffling how much fantastic language can come from such a cruel idea. I understand that this topic can be ‘overwritten’ about, but I don’t believe in that. I think that anything written is original, and that I can take a spin on something that is mainstream–making it completely my own. I tend to, personally, focus on manipulation of language, and the sonic qualities of words. That is where I took my Marlboro Orange piece. To create an unexpected, sensual experience. That is typically my goal after I ‘finish’ a poem.
Yet, I do have an alcoholic dad–and I always will. I have never truly known my father sober, except for the fourteen months that he dedicated to ‘bettering himself’ AKA rehab. However, that ended this past month–AKA relapse. But, that’s a different story for a different day. What I am here to tell you, is that my “cigarette” poem was a ‘lie’. And my “recovering alcoholic as a dad/not really recovering, not really a dad” poem is as true as it gets. That was down to my core, raw.
Not that any of this should change your interpretation of my piece, or allow you to view me differently as a peer, but it is an FYI to then look at the difference in my pieces. Personally, I think my cigarette piece was easier to write. That might be why the language is prettier, and more fluid and sensual. I enjoyed writing it. As for the alcoholic piece, that seems less ‘Julia’ to me. And that’s due to the fact that I was literally uncomfortable crafting it. But maybe that ‘uncomfortability’ is good. Maybe it will help me–in poetry, and in my family…
I am not sure what causes my inclination to write about addictive things. I honestly did not even notice that was a ‘theme’ of mine until Grace brought it up during workshop. I tend to write about the darker areas of human thought and interaction. I suppose I find it fascinating to experience on paper, in hopes that I will never have to live it in the flesh.