I Spent the morning sending emails and reading before a hearty gym-session. h met me at the gym after his art internship and from there, we walked to NE, where the poetry slam was going to be held. The poetry slam began at 6:30 and was held at a bed & futon store, which is unusual but expectedly comfortable: the futons and mattresses arranged around a makeshift stage.
I met clementine at the pizza place across the street an hour before the slam began and we spent the next hour talking poetry: going over the comments I had made on the manuscript I had read the past week, talking about my experiences with poetry, and finally, Clementine looked at my work. We talked about what I’m looking for out of the internship, what kind of comments on want on my work, and what role I want poetry to have in my life in the future. I had a hard time answering her questions: what role do I want poetry to play in my life in the future?
I love to write poetry, and I love to be informed about contemporary (slam) poets. I love to watch poetry, and I love the amount of space I (get to) take up when I perform poetry. I love the bluntness of my subjects and the subtlety of my craft: of line breaks & syntax.
After reading my recent work Clementine told me my poetry is “everything [she] love[s] about academic poetry”. I found this comment to be both a huge compliment and a huge surprise, in the poetry workshops I’ve been a part of in my college career, my poetry has always stood out: too blunt, too many swear words, “are you sure you want to write about that“. Too much. But my poetry isn’t the accessible poetry that Where Are You Press publishes: WAYP is interested in targeting readers who wouldn’t typically read or have access to poetry. So my work dances this fine line: not easily fit into any box or brand of poetry. I will be curious to see how much work transforms one way or the other over the course of the summer as my reading is located in the academic field but my mentor and slams I attend are located in the slam-poetry fields.
After the slam, h and I took a bus back home: j and s were still awake and we ended up having a long conversation about gender and about what it means for masculine presenting women to be increasingly transitioning to men (ftm). I have been thinking a lot about the space these types of transitions leave for sporty-women/athletic/women, and it was really nice to talk to somebody older, somebody not in my generation, about this topics. j said something I wanted to note: “it seems that increasingly your generation mistakes gender dysphoria for internalized misogyny”. (needless to say, j and s are very smart). I am looking forward to future conversations.