I. How do you know when a poem is finished, or when you should move on from a piece?
When you look back into the definition of “finished”, it in short, means to be complete but it also means to be safe and be at peace. I know when a poem is finished, when there is peace in my spirit between me and the poem. Peace lets me know it is safe to let go, even if I don’t want to. I know it’s safe because there is peace; in any safe space there is peace and it’s a complete peace not a half peace. I can only move on when it is finished. The completetion of a poem can come quickly but also not, it may take days, months and sometimes years.
II. If you had to describe your poetry in a single sentence what would it be?
It would be: The cursive of light.
III. Who has influenced your writing?
Trauma, dysfunction, mindsets, sorrow, freedom, desire, hunger and thirst, victory, hope, deliverance, healing, heaven, word of God, people and their stories, myself and the future. I know, you probably meant writers of influence but in honesty, my writing has and is more influenced by these things than actual writers and their work.
I do love Lucile Clifton, Audre Lorde, Fernando Pessoa, Ntozake Shange & Pablo Neruda, and they have inspired me and my writing some what, but when we are talking about influence, it’s the forementioned things.
IV. What has writing taught you? and what do you hope your writing teaches others?
Writing has taught me much but for short, it has taught me the uses and effects of power and processes. It has taught me patience and it has taught me to believe when I have or feel shaken. It has taught me how to create and move into the future.
I hope my writing teaches others the same thing, but I hope my writing teaches others to seek and to find. I hope it teaches others to believe, even when physical sight is contrary and I hope it teaches others who they are and lastly, I hope it teaches others to ask, recieve, stay open, love and be loved and that every heaven made truth revealed on the earth is real.
V. How do you keep your passion for poetry going? How do you fan the flame when passion is or may be dwindling?
I keep my passion for poetry going by keeping myself in it. I stay immersed in it—even when I’m not writing, I’m reading poetry, thinking about poetry, meditating on poetry, asking, praying about poetry and looking for it— and I have a God-fearing reverance for it; I honor it and its an honor that I get to write it and speak it.
The latter of this question is interesting because its sort of a contradiction in a sense. In that, if I stay immersed in it then it’s kind of impossible for the flames to dwindle. But the thing is, I find that when you become engrossed in other people’s opinions about poetry or your poetry in particular then you will easily see the flame begin to dwindle. Or when you become preocuppied with your poetic flaws—by which I mean… the things as a poet or writer that you have yet to master, writerly habits and cycles that you go back to, etc.— secondly comparing yourself to other writers and their work & the inevitable constant incoming rejections; you forget that, it isn’t about that, so you can find the flame begin to dwindle because you become self centered on yourself and don’t have your eyes on the poem and its purpose. In these two aforementioned examples are the only times I have found my passion of poetry dwindling, but I have since gotten passed that, not by osmosis or trying but by getting my eyes off others and myself and onto the joy set before me, which is poetry itself.
If you honor it and have a Godly fearing reverence for poetry, you rarely will find passion dwindle and if you continue to immerse yourself in it, as well. This dwindling passion issue, is not that I don’t wake up sometimes grumpy and don’t want to write or read, it is simply those are just jitters and momments; moments pass. It’s a problem when you give a bad moment, momentum and make it a way of being..that there, all you get is mess. I mean, ask couples who have been married for years, 10 plus, and are still happy and madly in love with eachother.. ask them how is that so and that asnwer is the same for passion and poetry.