Back when I was a wee high schooler, and when Soft Skull Press has a brick and mortar, I picked up a small poetry chapbook at random and immediately became enamored. I always loved reading, but poetry, I thought, this would be my thing.
I launched into an extremely productive phase of writing. I was a teenager with not much else going on, so I wrote, wrote, wrote, and wrote. Still, looking back, it was a very special, freeing time when I was learning to find my voice and how to channel it into a creative expression that was meaningful for me.
I continued to write as often as possible all throughout college, work, various moves and travel. Yet I was always extremely shy about sharing my writing. It’s a vulnerable thing, to create, and thick skin has never been my forte.
At some point about one or two years ago, I finally decided it made no sense to write so much, do so many “one-a-day” challenges, and never share with anyone. I made a blog (Eternal Graffiti) and realized that sharing my writing wasn’t actually that horrifying. In fact, each time I got a like or, better yet, a comment (!), it was pretty darn nice.
After setting “publish a book of poems” as a New Year’s Resolution or “goal before I turn X age” numerous times, I spontaneously decided to do it this year. When I started my sabbatical, I increased my training for crossfit and weightlifting, which meant I was focusing a lot on building strength, recovering from my workouts, and, as a result, trying to better understand my own muscular anatomy. I set myself a challenge.
To learn more about the human body, pick one muscle per day from innerbody, read about it, and write a poem inspired by that muscle. Ultimately, I wrote about 50 poems which ended up in my new book, “musculus: poems of the body.”
I decided to self-publish and it’s now available on Amazon as an ebook. Here’s a taste!
Not even the Vatican is silent. Coffee
grumbles from an open window as the sun
rises on a shrinking city. A child pleads
with his mother in a high-pitched voice.
A dog barks. Men and women read newspapers
without the whole story. An elderly couple
holds hands and faces the emptiness of the
day together, knowing they’ve earned it.
The sun turns to the sea to ask what
year it is. They shrug into the clouds —
it doesn’t matter. It’s always been the same.