A great deal of bravery is nested within the poet's faculties. The poet is a scavenger who throws themselves into the midst of danger and the unknown. They allow themselves to be suspended above the stratosphere and plunge into the dark abyss. The poet, like an anthropologist, extracts diamonds and skeletons — they get bitten by rabid feral cats and bang their heads against the wall pondering life’s existentialist nature. But they also jump at the sight of monarchs fluttering beside the golden dawn and grin like children when the woodpecker drills into a giant tree.
The poet, torn, bruised, and battered, dig themselves out of caves and, in whichever composition feels appropriate, curates words, letters, lines, phrases, sounds, images, landscapes, photographs, feelings, thoughts, worlds, etcetera. And they also adorn themselves with delicate patterns and float amongst the clouds like undefeatable balloons.
And the receiver, from the comfort of an ivory tower or the pits of hell, quenches their thirst upon the poet’s sacrifices.
The moon, the snow, the light of winter afternoons,
as if one were seeing life go by
from under the sea…
August Strindberg | 1849–1912
The poem exits the hand of the poet and takes on a life of its own. With its own beating heart, the poem sets sail and finds home with someone somewhere. The poem is patient and observes the reader — always making itself available. It doesn’t mind collecting dust in one home. In another, it springs with jubilation because it was understood.
Our lives are poems in the making. The most mundane detail becomes a ballad that pays tribute to the joy of drinking tea, or the company of a loved one becomes a haiku. Our heartache transformed into antidotes that soothe other broken hearts. Like an elixir of words, the poet is the medicine person that heals, but it doesn’t require any special outfits — the poet can remain invisible.
Life in all its messiness, busyness, and chaos — each breath becomes a word, a phrase, a stanza, scribbles. The mundane, ordinary, fantastical, extraordinary, boring, ecstatic, hellish — all ingredients offering themselves to you, the literate.
The capable literate.
Prose awaits curled up inside your skull like a fetus waiting to be born. Don’t abort the narrative — give it birth and use your mighty sword or pen — it doesn’t matter. Let it flow through you like a river of blood and paint the pages with your truth.
Honor your fragility and amplify your insecurities. Press the pen against the paper, and allow the ink to seep into every page that comes after. Befriend your guilt and ask it what it needs, hold its hand, and transcribe what it has to say. Indeed, it has something to say. You know it does.
Let life’s poems flow right through. Make peace with your grief, the silent rides home, the shadows on the ceiling, and the stringency that comes right after you find yourself exhausted in imaginary situations.
The cold breeze that sends chills down your throat is not a cold breeze. The red curtain is not a red curtain. That sensation in your belly is not a sensation in your belly. The cold breeze is a cold breeze. The red curtain is a red curtain. The sensation in your belly is a sensation in your belly.
Summon your imagination and sprinkle it with creative dust. Like a phoenix, large wings will sing a new song you’ll be familiar with. Get out of the way, spit out your marrow, and flop the entirety of your entrails right before your readers.
Avoid the flourish. Do not be afraid to be weak. Do not be ashamed to be tired. You look good when you're tired. You look like you could go on forever. Now come into my arms. You are the image of my beauty.
My online store sells prints of photos I’ve taken throughout the years. All photos ship worldwide and come printed on Canon Luster 8.5x11 paper.
Beginner’s Mind | A Playlist
Following the Beginner’s Mind playlist below on Spotify, every issue will be updated with new music. I’ve also added the titles of the songs below. This issue’s playlist is best when played from beginning to end.
We Are The People Iggy Pop
Maybe The Chantels
Love Theme From ‘Spartacus’ Bill Evans
Arabesque 3 Harold Budd
I love the flourish of this whole post!