Today, writing this in a parking lot while my son gets ready for a hockey game, I have the word “miracle” stuck in my throat. But, poetry is not the miracle. Life is. And poetry has allowed me to embrace that.
I believe the intensity of a poem, the dense nature of a line, the possibilities of syntax, and all aspects that make up a poem work together to become a fitting medium for tragedy.
It’s the push-and-pull of one language and culture erasing the other; it’s the beauty and decay of both. It’s the changes that feel like too much change. The Sea that Beckoned is the tightrope walk between being ourselves and the self we may yet become.
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.
Taylor Mali is one of the best known poets of the last decade. He’s been a part of seven national slam poet teams, four of which have won the competition. He spent nine years as a middle school teacher, and worked to create 1000 teachers through poetry, finally hitting the mark in April of 2012….