That directive is attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, and lately, I’ve been trying to do it.
I’m not talking about things that make me fear for my personal safety (I will not, for example, be trying any of the activities currently being aired on the Winter Olympics any time soon) but rather things that make my stomach flutter when I think about them, things that feel just a little bit risky.
I have a feeling that just outside the border of my comfort zone is a whole lot of opportunity for growth. If I can edge past my safe bubbles even a little bit, I think I might discover some things about myself.
One of the first “scary things” I’m going to do is publicly post some of my poetry.
I’ve put poems up for others to see in the past (in workshops, classes, and on Livejournal when I used it) but those were always closely filtered environments where I still felt pretty safe. By posting some of it here, I’ll definitely be stretching out of my bubble.
So, without further ado…(but possibly with some nailbiting and nervous twitching)…
I May Not Be A Real Poet
It has been brought to my attention
that I may not be a real poet.
Most of the poets I know would
describe themselves as night-owls, working
full menial days and then
burning the proverbial oil
well past dark.
Why then, my morning ritual of
coffee and a banana
and most importantly, a pen?
Certainly I am no ‘morning person’.
I would never be allowed back into smoky
poetry readings if I said out loud that
I felt my art was fueled by weeding the garden
and sunlight coming through the damp leaves
instead of vicious midnight heartbreak,
and swilling bourbon, and the stubble
on frustrated male chins.
Surely I am not so simple
as to write from my own desire
to smell the pages of a journal
at the start of each day.
Let me rail against injustices,
rage with the worst of nighttime rhapsodists.
Let me drink only espresso, black
and ingest only the smoke from my own
cigarettes and crawl to bed on the low mattress
in the disastrous studio
of the truly inspired.
On the other hand,
the sun has yet to stop rising
each day, the cardinals have yet
to stop hopping along the bird feeders.
Looking through the kitchen window,
I with my single morning cup
still find it worth noting.
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