My Process to Bring You a Poem

collage - tea kettle over fire, leaves on wet ground, dancer made of water


I go through a different process to get a poem completed than I do to write a novel. I tried to explain it to someone once, but I decided a picture would make the best explanation. At least, this is what I notice for some of my more intense poems.

First – I have a topic that builds inside me, and I do find myself sitting on a couch and experiencing moments similar to water boiling. I feel like I need to let the message out and can’t rest well until I get it written.

Next – Relief and relax. It has the feeling of holding your breath for a long time and then being able to breathe freely. It’s like the valve has been opened to release the pressure that had built inside.

Lastly – When I’m most comfortable, I get to bring it all back to help the listener live in the moment of my poem. We go up, down, around, and experience the twists and turns of the story. If everyone vibes together, my performance is entertaining, emotional, and informative. I get to fully express how I heard it in my mind, and the audience is right there with me. It’s a complicated dance, but it’s worth the effort.

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