“The thing is, I don’t trust a lot of people, but I trust me. I trust that if I feel done with poetry, no amount of forcing it is ever going to help. I trust that I’ll never let myself become so wrapped up in the parade of “being a writer” that I no longer write things I love. I trust that I’ll come back around to poetry sooner or later, when it feels right.”
– April 25, 2015
If you are truthful with yourself,
the truth will never change.
How nice it will be to look back
and see that you were right,
that you did know what you meant
after all, and regardless of the road,
your choices were yours;
how soothing to roll back the past
and hear your own voice,
still sounding like you.
Don’t ask me if they’re any good,
the words you pressed into my hand-
I can’t give you permission.
I can tell you if your package is presentable,
and in what manner it was received-
but will you still give lopsided gifts
with crooked bows
if I tell you they are?
A magazine can tell you if you’re lucrative,
and it might sing like heaven to hear it
or sting like hell-
but will you still work for free if they tell you
you’re not worth a cent?
Have you not earned the right to speak
by being alive and having something to say?
And if I tell you to write because I think you should
would you write what I wanted to hear?
You must give yourself permission
because the rest of the universe already has-
What flower hasn’t died for you to stand there wavering,
waiting for permission to timidly assert
that in some worlds it was red
and some worlds grey?
What English teacher has not at his core
some desire to give more than paper permission,
to raise up more than nervous doormats
vying for praise?
What injustice hasn’t gone on long enough
before you finally stand up
and call it what it is?
No one gives us permission for that-
you must permit yourself to be.
Only then will you have the courage
to keep on speaking
when the world won’t hear.