Butler University, a private college in Indianapolis hosts visiting writers and Thursday evening it was poet Gabrielle Calvocoressi. It was my first poetry reading and i thoroughly enjoyed the time spent.
I found she and i share a commonality. Her mother committed suicide March 1, a date I am all too familiar. A lot of my poems stem from that same, unhealthy tree. A tree that occasionally appears healthy, on sunny days.
The healthy tree fights and sprouts leaves, as I write poetry, a covering for my soul. My words emerge from the same green, sips from the sun, breathing in the cold to freeze thoughts, ambitions, courage to be.
At awkward moments I am moved to trim the healthy limbs, help the tree I imagine a he, meet its demise, wallowing in the tears that drip from his wounds. Then, just when I think I have said everything there is to say, the cycle starts, a river breaks through the damned.
She took questions afterward and shared her wisdom she tells her students at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
- If you want to publish your work on social media or write a blog and no one responds to your work, which subsequently makes you give up the pen, stop posting.
- If putting your work out there frees your mind to write another poem and another and another, do it. (She describes me to a T.)
- Be brave! Burn your poems! (Is she reading my mind.)
- Why not burn them? They exist somewhere, forever, in the cyber world. Or in someone’s heart.
- And lastly, my question had to do with knowing when a poem is done, feeling the poem is worthy to bare your name, knowing you are a poet. It took her ten years. I guess I have three years to go. Maybe more. Until eternity.
How about you? Are you serious about your work? Is it a hobby? A therapeutic expression for yourself and hopefully someone else? What resonates with you and others and if nobody exists, that is okay too. The world is enormous. Surely there is someone who appreciates you.