Sunday, January 30, 2011

What's Scarier, The Truth, or Poems About The Truth?

There's a difference between studying art and studying social work, but I haven't figured out what it is. When I was getting my MFA I was pretty definitely pushing on boundaries, like I am now, and as a matter of fact dealing with the same issues, pretty much, just in poems instead of The Real World. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if my poems hadn't freaked some people out so much, or if I'd have been strong enough to let them be freaked out and just keep on going. But I couldn't, really, then. The poems were unbeknownst to me addressing the experience that has led me now to study trauma and human trafficking. So of course it freaked people out. And their freaked outness was a rejection that the trauma triggering it caused -- unbeknownst to the freaked out people of course who were blameless in their tastes and limitations -- wouldn't let me tolerate. I lost my voice because the voice was too tender, then.

The poems were sometimes very beautiful, though. That line from Patti Smith's new memoir Just Kids for some reason pulls the heart part of me right into the essence of what those poems were doing and what they looked like to me:‎ "The room reflected the bright mess of my interior world, part boxcar and part fairyland." "Looked" being a pretty multi-level term here, where you know that the boxcar and the fairyland love one another and can't be separated, ever. Reading the Patti Smith has made me miss writing, and that of course is good.

Except that it brings up other issues, like what it's like to make art when you have a trauma disorder, and questions about how art affects people differently than "objective" work, like, say, public speaking about what it's like to have survived being kidnapped at 13 and sold for sex and then later decide to open a house for girls who've had something similar happen to them, because back then it didn't have a name so I gave it all these lights and lints and words piled on one another and pretty. 

I don't know. All I know I guess is that I want to write this story, and I'm scared to write this story. Which I think means I have to write it this story.