Thursday, July 23, 2015


How unreal to say, but true: I haven't read my poetry in public for over a year now. So strange, but easy to believe considering all of the events in life lately--major transition stacked on major transition. Yet still. There was a time when a week didn't pass without a stage. When an unfinished poem was reason enough to get on one. When I'd still be scribbling when they called me up next. Nowadays I work and rework drafts quietly in a hotel bar in Cairo on Wednesday afternoons, or I tremble out brand new lines on the balcony via my phone's notes app while call to prayer blares loud above/around me. Sometimes I read bits of work out loud to the empty flat while J is at work. I submit pieces to publications. Despite missing my old writing community something fierce, I've carved out a little spark for myself.

I return to Egypt in just under two weeks, and tomorrow I'll get behind a microphone here in Ohio for the first time in over a year. It's beyond time. And I know that sharing is a part of the work, the process, the figuring-it-out. I've been missing it--the question mark of an audience, the added dimension of a poem fully released out loud to the wild. How do I feel about reading tomorrow? Excited. Over the moon, ready, a bit brand new again. Nervous. A type of nervous I forgot about. There's also the question of what arrow to pull from the quiver--my arsenal has grown during this period of silence/transition/everything. Right now I can use the outlet. I'm wading my way out of this depression relapse, and with that comes less darkness/more light. On one hand depression makes you feel overly everything, every nerve exposed twitched and raw. On the other you are numb to it all, so deep in the trench that feeling feels...pointless. For a while I was extremely uninterested in feeling anything but nothing.

Now coming out of it the want to feel returns. I want to feel challenged. I want to feel everything from nervous to satisfied. This desire is pushing me to try and do again, and of course writing is included in that. To experience, succeed, to fail, to go at it again. Movement forward. If I am alive then I want to live.

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