The Miracle of Mercury (Finishing Line Press) has finally landed in mailboxes and homes and I have to say it's a bit of a stressful feeling. It's like watching your second grader through the back window of a school bus and understanding that, from this moment forward, the path leads away.
Poetry is such a cerebral exercise in writing where you are stuck inside a lot of emotion during the process; it's as if the outside world doesn't exist. Then there is this little collection of things that all seemed like a good idea to explore in the quiet space of your writing room but now that it is part of the outside world of real people it takes on a life of its own.
So off my little emotional child goes into the world and I try to objectively read the poems to see how someone will interpret them or, more precisely, interpret me. What will they think of the things I have explored? Too raw? Not raw enough? Too many secrets held up to the light? Or, will it be that rare instance of connectivity when a poem gives someone new words for something very old.
Understand that I am referring to this as a birth and my emotional child because for the first time I have really explored my childhood with as brash an eye on myself as the other characters penned here. I look at my participation, both consensual or otherwise, in these things. I see clearly choices that could have gone another way or things said aloud that should have never been spoken. But I do speak about them here, with very little reserve, and damn, if that is not a frightening thought I don't know what is. Who will you think I am now, once you read my story?
Everyone wants to buy the tee, wear the bracelet, retweet the slogans of the cause, but to actually sit down and read a collection of poems focused on domestic abuse is quite another thing. I have said this before, I wish I had a different story. I wish I had a sunshiny cheery place to bring you to; but I don't. I only have this life I've traveled through: sometimes willing, sometimes not. And I think at some point we have to think about the life we have been handed and do something with it other than just hang on and survive.
So I have done this with it. I have scraped the inside of myself to find the spark of fear, the spearhead of anger and the smoldering aftermath of it to see what has come of it all. I want to say I hope you enjoy it, but what I really want to say is that I hope it rips you apart. I hope it tears down your layers and pulls at your hidden fears and angers you enough to look into those locked away places and pour brilliant light on them. I hope it makes you angry enough to look around you to see that this is not just my story. This is all of our stories.
So there it is, the plain truth: I want you all in there with me in that damn pit. I want you to know that this is where I began. This is where I learned to fight. This is the beginning of the woman I am today. All of these little clustered pieces gathered here now to testify that they never go away but only crystalize into something else; something more. So welcome the The Miracle of Mercury and "my sheltered layers of truth in all of its imperfection."
- ► 2011 (11)