The Shame Behind the Creative Process

In college, I remember telling my poetry professor that I didn’t like editing my poems.  That it felt like I was taking some of its magic and significance away.  That I preferred it raw and “real”.  It felt watered down, too technical and unemotional, and not as impactful when I would go in to tear it apart to “fix” it.

I guess the mistake on my part was thinking that this process of editing is anything like “fixing”.  I also think that it correlates to my childhood wounds where I felt my mom was always trying to make me into someone I wasn’t by telling me to change this thing and that thing, all these parts of me.  And so to take something, like a poem, that was seemingly poured from my heart, and trying to make sense of the process of editing to make the piece “better”, just made it feel like it was not good enough to start with.

And this was the problem too, I think, because when we are always sensitive to not being accepted or seen, we perhaps, some of us, cling even more to certain parts of our identities.  Rebelling and exaggerating and defending what feels “real”.  I felt those first drafts of my poems were real.  So I didn’t want to do anything that would signify erasing it, since I have felt erased all my life.

Continue reading The Shame Behind the Creative Process

freedom ii

to find yourself in an unreality
that keeps being woven by all
those surrounding you.

this is a declaration
of no longer having the quilt
be repeatedly pulled over your head.

since – it might be a shock to hear –
you are not delirious with the fever
they maintain,

but only
have an infinite fervor
for the richness of life.

freedom

born with a dancer’s delicateness,
you thin ankles and birdlike feet
were always too ready
to just fly away.

as if you could not let the divinity
in you permeate your whole body,
to reach down to the soles
of your feet, to be stood in.

there will always be those who
are too afraid of the ones who
generate too much electricity.
but this is not something to keep
to yourself, and it is not something
that can be easily stolen out
from underneath you.

the safe haven you preciously maintain
to travel back and forth to and from
needs to be the wings, excavated,
that flees you not from yourself
or your experience,
but from this nest you’ve found yourself in.
after all, your true fear
is that you really just might be able to.