1. When and why did you start writing poetry?
I wrote poetry in my early teenage years, more puzzles really. I can remember sharing some with my dad at the dining table one afternoon. He was a college professor, so used to being the advisor. I can remember him asking me questions about what I meant by certain things so he could understand the poem. Looking back it was pretty wonderful for him to take an interest, but I felt (can still feel as I write this) a bit in my stomach. Like he was asking me to reveal some secret that I wasn’t sure I even wanted to know just yet.
Fast forward about 45 years (2017), and my father passes away. We were very close as I grew up, and even moreso his last few years of life. I walked him right up to the veil, went numb for a year, and then fell a part.
Right after he died, I had a series of dreams. I would wake up panicked he wasn’t dead and we had some poor souls ashes or dream he was ten feet tall and standing next to my bed. These sorts of ridicioulsness.
Just after the first anniversary of his death I had a dream where I was chasing time through the coridores and stairwells of a building that melded architectural designs of a university and a hospital. I was rushing, to save my dad from something – an experiment, maybe? It is unclear to me now. When I arrived, he was laying on a white sheeted bed with his eyes closed. I touched his hand and noticed a bruise near the knuckle on his index finger, where his pencil would rest. The second that bruise raised my curiosity he shot up and forced these words out, “You must write!” He laid back down and I woke up in a cold sweat.
I went for my morning dog walk – the standard two hours get lost in the woods grief walk. I came home and wrote my first poem. Those first 10-12 months were intense – I excavated that secret that my teenage self wasn’t sure I was ready for, and then some. These are the poems in On\Un\Becoming. “
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