Why do you write poems?

Poetry is, for me, a vestige of the spiritual. I was raised Catholic and have long since discarded all religion, but poetry is a way to let the subconscious speak, and there is–and always will be, in the psychoanalytic sense–a trace of the unknowable, and thus the sacred and profane, in writing poetry.

In much the same way that Freud saw the construction of the self as a kind of iceberg (there is so much more below that goes unseen and unseeable, there is so much more than the conceivable self we present to the world), so too is the poem that kind of present-absence: there is so much behind, beneath, below the poem, and the “present poem” (the one you read on the page) is a kind of summoning for that which lurks below. This is why when you read one poem you read an infinity of poems. The whole poetic field opens itself to you. 

My brother in law told me a story about a woman who could lucid dream and, in her dreaming, she would talk to the dream itself to ask it what it meant. So she could ask a crow what the crow signified, ask a masked man why his face was hidden, ask the dream why it would not let her run away, etc. etc… I think poetry is kind of like that. You get to speak–on a very literal level–to the language inside you, and let it, in turn, speak back.

Leave a Reply

AWSOM Powered