The Making of a Poem: Behind the Scenes of the Intricate Stories Within...

After I posted that previous poem on the blog, someone told me that they understood the end of it, but that they didn't understand the rest. This was one of the rare times that I shared exactly what the poem was about, no matter how cryptic I may have tried to be about it. I think that might be where some of the confusion comes from--because once I tell you what it's about, you know what you're looking for, and all the "extra" content becomes a big question mark.

The truth is, nearly all of my poems are about more than one subject. It's rare that I write one centered on just one particular incident. The things that I have experienced in my life tend to fall into certain categories in my mind... There are good memories, intimate conversations, difficult betrayals, hellos and goodbyes... I mean after 26 years of living and breathing, you just start to see patterns to it all. This person says goodbye and it reminds you of when that person left a few years ago. Someone else opens up to you and it feels reciprocal after you had opened up to them... Am I making sense here? I hope so.

Looking at my life when I sit down to write a poem, I go through all those mental connections and I just let it flow. That's why sometimes something might seem like a love poem, but it branches out into other things that have nothing to do with my significant other--and in many cases maybe I'm the only one who will notice those shifts in the poem. Each one of my poems tends to tell two or three different stories.

I think that's where the confusion may come in with that last poem, and that's also one of the reasons that I usually don't tell anyone what my poems are about. Another reason is that if the reader is thinking about my life as they read it, it takes away the opportunity for them to read it objectively and apply it to their own experiences.

Palm Trees in the Wind is one of the most complex poems I've ever written, because I really dove into a lot of different lives and concepts there. The life of a troubled pop star who we are all fixated on right now (hopefully with prayers and hope rather than gossip and jokes)... Memories of who I was ten years ago mixed with memories of who she was ten years ago... The concept that satisfaction equals stagnation and that completion doesn't really exist... The idea that even chaos is for a purpose, and that God meant for all of us to be exactly where we are right now... The fact that you usually can't change your intrinsic drive or what makes you tick, whatever it may be for you personally... A confession of cockiness, jealousy, and immaturity... A small tribute to another goddess of music who I sometimes forget about but still love and admire... A message of "I miss you" and "I care about you" for someone that few of us really know, which may be even more surreal due to this crazy culture of fame... Another comment on that strange culture of paparazzi and sensationalism... A reminder that there is another world of divine help surrounding us and guiding us that we cannot see... and finally wrapping up with the realization that we are all better off for experiencing everything that we have, even when it seems negative and damaging.

Whew! If you made it through that paragraph, I seriously salute you. And if you didn't--I don't blame you! But that's basically a walkthrough of the path that many of my poems take. Most don't become that complex, but I'm hoping to continue growing in that direction if you can follow me and if you enjoy it. Connecting all those threads of my life is really the reason that I write poetry, and hopefully by reading it, you connect some of yours as well.

That's all I have to say tonight... I just wanted to connect again and give you a little behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of a poem and what is within it. I hope you guys had an awesome weekend... I've got tons of work to do this week but I'm taking Wednesday off to go out of town with my girlfriend for some serious heavy-duty shopping! Should be fun. Make sure you have some too this week--don't work too hard! Love you guys so much, always! xo

A little stream-of-consciousness poetry (dreamstrong), inspired by the wonderful Sara Bareilles...

Palm Trees in the Wind — a poem for Britney Spears

Palm Trees in the Wind — a poem for Britney Spears