Saturday, February 12, 2005

Bless me Father for I have Blogged (my confession)

One year ago tonight I began blogging. There were various reasons why I began, although looking back the obvious one was my recent discovery of political blogs. The 2004 election had begun in earnest and I had come upon Talking Points Memo, Daily Kos, Eschaton, etc. From there I discovered others, including most importantly, poetry blogs. So why not me?

But now that a year has passed, I suppose I could ask, why continue. Well, first of all, it’s fun. Secondly, I enjoy reading all the other blogs out there, and would probably stop reading them if I stopped blogging, only if for the obvious addictive nature of the entire business. But third, and maybe the best reason, I have just begun to find my voice in more ways than one.

I started writing poetry back in high school, got semi-serious in college with my roommate Paul Kelly (where oh where), my mentor. I continued writing after dropping out of BC, but by the birth of my daughter in 1980, I had ceased and desisted. Until 1994 that is, and my finding Rhina Espaillat and the Powow Poets.

For six years I was a steady member, and slowly learned the meter game. I lived for every second Saturday. Literally. But in late 2000, I experienced one of those workshop moments when a member savages you and leaves your carcass on the table, words bleeding all over the place. I realized then that I had to step back and get serious on my own.

I attended workshops off and on after that, mostly off. I started using the online workshop Eratosphere where I was savaged by Alan Sullivan weekly (not weakly). But such beatings are easier to take virtually I guess, and I think I learned an important lesson or two from the Editor from Hell. I was published in several journals, and took heart that it’s better late than never.

Last January I had a reading at the Powow monthly reading, and attended some workshops. But something had changed. The warm atmosphere that had existed in the late nineties had disappeared in a haze of professional careerism. I thought I had entered a boardroom where marketing was king. I felt an outsider, even though especially Rhina and Len and Deborah and Alfred were, as usual, wonderful. And although the reading went very well, confirming my decision to grow alone, I realized that you can’t go home again. They had moved on.

I would have to too, but I see now that the direction I need to take goes elsewhere than back there. It’s taken me a year of blogging to actually face that decision down, and realize I will never again be a real Powow. Just typing that sentence is heartbreaking. So I’ll have to stop these personal confessions here. Except to say thank you to all of you out there that read me, and all of you out there that I read. I’m signing on for another year. Keep on blogging on.


Tom said...

Happy blog-birthday! Here's to another good year for you. Cheers!

BeckoningChasm said...

Well, I enjoy reading your thoughts, so here's hoping you keep it up!

Dave said...

Happy Blogday! You're O.K. for a neo-formalist. Keep it up!

Greg said...

Thanks all!