At this moment I’m typing in my apartment. A dog barks from a neighbor’s yard. A petal drops from the vase of wildflowers on my desk. And still I am in my parents basement playing with an eight-track recorder.
Poetry has spread itself thick throughout my life much like this mint. I’ll write a line, put it in my pocket, roll it around a bit, and then hours or days or months later, it’ll have rooted itself and grown into something.
The whole time, I thought I was alone. But there were people just as pained and confused as I was. I found my community. I found my church. I kept returning every Sunday, sharing work I had written during the week.
Directness is difficult. It’s not easy to be bluntly-gentle. But that is exactly what Whiteside has done in his newest collection of poems from Bull City Press.
POWER OF POETRY #35: “Facts/Dreams” – Matthew Mayfield: “….I strive to be that ONE person who keeps you closer to Life and one step away from the trigger.”
I am trying to write poems that stand inside of uncertainty and still find things to praise. And I don’t think it matters if I praise my sore legs that keep walking me home from work each night, or if I praise the relief of night rain in my first Carolinian July, or if I praise an idea of a home I miss, or if I praise the mild infection in my right nipple for not being cancer, or if I praise my friend who has stomach cancer but keeps living beyond the rational limits doctors have suggested—it is all praising living. It is all beholding the terrible beautiful uncertainty of being human and saying thank you. I don’t think there’s anything more beautiful than gratitude, and poetry helps me to access it.
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