How I want to write poetry. And how I don’t.

I can’t always do it. I would never be openly showy or make any form of art before an audience. I don’t think I could. Challenges or prompts during writing group meetings and a few online are the most I can do in social settings where people know me. Other than that, my writing is a solitary effort, although I’m not exactly the poster boy of the garret-imprisoned scribe. I do write in coffee shops, libraries, parks, waiting or dining rooms, and even during my morning walks. But usually I write at this desk on this laptop.

Yet, I have times of emotional outburst writing. At least one reader seems to know or recognize exactly when that happens. I love the experience, and I find satisfaction when I read my scribble after the excitement has passed. If I can let go of something within me, an inner editor, judge, or critic, I like what happens. I feel so free. It’s about emotionally letting go of something.

I don’t listen to music when I read or write. I can only tolerate classical type without being distracted. I am not sure how it would work. I may try it sometime.

In order to give you an example for what I have in mind, I did some research on a well-known artist who I am familiar with. Well, I thought I was. Nothing about the art is independent of the artist—not the form, method, appeal, depth, or reputation.

Jonas Gerard of Ashville, TN, puts on an impressive show. The personal emotion he displays in making his art is the poster for explaining how I sometimes want to write, especially poetry. I have been to his studio, I have talked to him and several of his assistants, and I bought some of his work.

The youtube video below is an example of what I mean (he did a number of these). The vision of personal emotion (fake or real) is inspiring. But, artist or not, apparently old Jonas (he’s 78 or so) has had issues with untoward behavior (sexual harassment, maybe assault) in his past. I never put this guy on a pedestal or thought of him as anything more than a cool modern artist. Yet, I’m disappointed, angry, and confused. Because of what I learned, I considered not writing this piece or posting it.

But this is about me and I agree with what he says in the video about fear.

I want to write with emotional vigor displayed by Jonas Gerard when he paints. I want to let go, as he mentions. I love it when I can let go. It’s the temporary feeling and process I enjoy. The product, like all writing, will outlive the writer.

Look both ways. Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.
Mind the gaps but dismiss excuses.

13 thoughts on “How I want to write poetry. And how I don’t.

    1. I’ve been told that I wouldn’t have this problem if I’d just be more open (like them) and do it the way they told me to do it. (eye roll, low groan, internal chuckles)

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  1. This is one of your best posts ever, Bill. The emotional component of artistic creation is something I’ve been exploring as well. I have to say, though, that I disagree with the idea that a work of art can’t be separated from the artist who created it. In my opinion, each creation should be viewed and appreciated entirely on its artistic merits, without being clouded by information about the artist’s personal life.

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    1. I’m glad you liked it, Marilyn. While I agree with your ‘should be,’ and had the same thought, my comment was based on my reaction and feelings. My ideals fail my humanity. But that is also why I went ahead with the post. His words resonated and his art is wonderful. My point stems from the city petition to have all his art removed from city property.

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  2. I think all artists, poets and creative types struggle with being open, letting go…or as Jonas said, being vulnerable. It’s not a comfortable place to be. It feels a bit like going mad 🙂 We lose our minds for a moment and crack open…and out pours our creative energy. We also fear the judgment of others. IMO, there is no one way to be creative. If being “open” doesn’t work for you…then drink more wine LOL. Whatever it takes to let go, shed the ego and let all hell break loose. I personally enjoy your raw moments where you expose yourself and become vulnerable. It’s authentic and true. Thanks for sharing the video. The artist is inspiring even if he’s no saint. I enjoyed this post.

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    1. Thanks, Sue. This was personal for me since I met him and spent so much time in his studio (open to public) and gallery. I liked and admired him and his work. His dark side should not have set me back. But it did. Glad you liked it.

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  3. Interesting that you like him considering what he says. Sounds like the old “be a man” slogan we used to hear so much. Then again, I’m biased after just reading the news of the judges in NJ. That being said, I like you what you wrote. We all need reminding to let go and write what we feel.

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  4. Juxtapositions of incongruities, like the two threads here…moral fiber vs that personal canvas. Individual war paint battles the trompe l’oeil of public perception-too real to be true has always been a sin-a high crime against our collective yet contingent nature. To “man-up,” courage, is just too abstract a still life…

    Nice post, interesting video, thoughtful comment thread.

    Regards

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