under stand

i wasn't really there.
uh, well..
ya.
i wasn't really there.
when you say it
it sounds so different
than when i say it.
i
i wasn't really there.
i was always moving away.
i was always moving upwards,
moving outwards.
i was on skates.
i was riding a bike.
i was on an escalator.
leaving.
always in the process
of leaving.
you
were never really
ready to leave.

barista

writing poetry is like craving coffee. one bad cup, one bad line and the day is ruined. and i hate knowing that in order to love that first sip i gotta drink like 15 cups to find it. and the problem in processing caffeine is that everything starts happening at the speed of sound. shit gets missed. light becomes leaden. time blinks in and out while my senses try and make sense. noticing focuses then snaps like an oversharpened pencil. yet i keep writing with that hobbled tool making word shapes and letter sounds and sentence pictures. i once cut the line of a funeral procession because of over caffeination. i felt so bad that i wrote a poem about it. but i never apologized to the family in the lead car.  i keep looking for the line that was waiting in line. scanning for a raised hand at the back of the stanza. for the voice simmering just under the noise and the scribbles. coffee in coffee shops is easy, asking someone else to grind it out and brew it means that you are in their hands for the gift of the sip. hell you can even hand it back and ask them to make it again. and again. yet when these ridiculous dancing ideas meet dark roast and accepting paper, i light up. and if it rhymes easily, everything stops. and i stop. my heart stops. my coffee cools and i wonder if i should rewrite the whole piece around it.

Revisit ~ VOL2 ISSUE7 PROMPT40 #WKWAB

Greetings Creatives,

Why do we revisit?

fear + Reflection + presence

riverbank near my home

Jen Apgar asked if I ever listened to past episodes of Chasing Squirrels Podcast.

I was caught off balance by the question mostly because I had not really considered going back to revisit any of the conversations. It was enough for me to know that they happened and that I was there for them.

Whenever I scanned through the podcast guest list I could recall the broad scope of each conversation, but few specific details. That felt okay though, somehow knowing that I had been in the room was enough.

This got me thinking about how I learn. It also raised some fear about the act of remembering.

Nostalgia has always seemed dangerous to me. The ingredients are fickle; a loose composite of memory, fantasy, emotion, interpretation, stabilized by inertia, subject to change, and labelled with a ‘do not shake’ label.

My default comfort zone is a constant state of motion. Looking backward while moving forward poses some risk.

This constant stirring has side effects. I detach easily. I wander endlessly. I lose time regularly. And I travel lightly.

On one hand I am polymathic and on the other I have some pretty deep commitment issues.

When we talk about reflective practice, why is it that we approach it in chronological terms?

Is it for safety? Is it for efficiency? Is it honest?

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while…” STeve Jobs

https://www.wired.com/1996/02/jobs-2/

growth + conscience + criticism

I do not take criticism well.

This has been noticed by several key people in both my professional and personal life.

Having trust in the individual helps the medicine go down, but does not always assure that I make space to grow from it.

Growing up I was hyperaware and sensitive to people giving me feedback on my creative work.

People that I trusted with my creative side were cruel and offered critical observations, not functional advice.

I have come to realize that my relationship to my work is fragile.

trust + mistrust + dissonance

every year
i believe.
every year
i forget.
every year
i expect that
flowers will grow.

Garden work is a perfect metaphor.

shame + joy + forgiveness

This poem scares me.

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools: …

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46473/if—

‘Ifs’ play a large role in how I navigate the world.

As a kid, considering the ‘if’ of a moment or a decision meant that I was prepared to suffer a loss.

I have lived a very confident zero-sum existence.

This past year has been hyper-focused on zero-sum, thinking, just less confident.

What scares me in this poem is the reminder that both logic and intuition are at play in my life.

Also, in this poem is the jaw dropper that agency is neutral and in itself is not an assurance of success.

It is more of a fork in the road kind of moment. The kind of moment that pops up in Frost’s poem too.

And I have come to appreciate the difference between ‘if’ there is a fork in the road and ‘if’ I go into the forest, knowing that I will be presented with forks in the road.

All I can claim is a mastery in the act of choosing, not actually choosing the best option.

My choices during this last year need to be questionable.

But walking back into that forest in order to recheck my path?

We’ll see.

If you are interested in attending a monthly Words Keep Wolves At Bay meet-up let me know.

Please drop a comment below and we can make arrangements for you to share your email with me. 

The link for monthly digital meetups will be shared on the day of meeting.  Meetups are on the 3rd Friday of each month at 8:00 PM. 

UPCOMING MEETING DATES AND SUGGESTED TOPICS 
July 16 -  Loved and Lost. Pieces that broke, burned, or bothered you. 
August 20 - Supporting people who don't support your Creative. 
September 17 - Can I have more ham? Eff you it's called Prosciutto. And other misunderstandings. 
October 15 - Ozymandias 
November 19 - Baring bones. The structure of a Creative. 
December 17 - Polymath 

Post your work wherever you feel most safe and tag it with #wkwab. 

Feel free to let other peeps know about our circle. This circle is not just for words, please explore any element of your creativity. 

Consider the 'Words' in #wkwab to be our ongoing conversation and fellowship in this space. 

Be well,
Cluff