Lately I’ve been trying to control my anxiety with podcasts and it’s been very helpful. It’s like this friend buzzing in your ear but you control the buzz, whenever you need it, you can turn it back on. Apart from them helping me feel less lonely at times, I started thinking about how podcasts are also really helpful poetic sources. The podcast I’ve been addicted to has been Missing Richard Simmons because it is this careful excavation of a character and who he has been to his close friends and people who don’t even know him. To give you context without spoilers, I will say the podcast is about Richard Simmon’s decision to withdraw from society as a weight loss icon. It’s interesting because the podcast has really moved me to check in on my own emotional health and put myself first in a complicated time in my life.
Looking at the above pictures, I don’t know how anyone couldn’t automatically love Richard (or at least intrigued at his life story), a boisterous and colorful personality which has been known for being an extremely complicated and empathetic person. I love it. I can’t express to you guys how much I love him. But this is why he’s a good source for me. I’ve been listening to interview clips with him and people he knows, intently learning about a character sketch that has been put together through multimedia, letters, videos, personal accounts, hearsay, his own words and many more. This is wonderful because there are all these different kinds of rhetoric and opinions and it’s almost overwhelming what kinds of poems I could write about Richard. I could write a found poem from all the interviews with people he’s helped aiming it to help a reader understand how he most likely over exerted himself, or I could write a personal poem about the impact his story has had on me or many other kinds of poems. It’s endless. So here I am recommending that you go and find a podcast you love or share your favorites with us! It’s “share a podcast month” anyway. Podcasts are wonderful because they usually have an aesthetic which can be parallel to yours or something new, they have a defined voice with very open opinions and intent, they have a focused subject matter oftentimes opening you up to things you thought you would have never cared about (I never thought I would be thinking endlessly about Richard Simmons, but here I am writing a letter to him and writing this blog post), and podcasts aren’t hard to access, you don’t even have to read them. I think they are also incredible for stimulating an obsession when we feel like we have over exerted our ability to obsess over something enough to write about it. Feel free to talk about your fave podcasts in the comments and how they help you write! <3
At the very least, know that wherever Richard is, he most likely believes in you and your ability to succeed. <3