the function of poetry
and the enormity of my desire
C.D. Wright wrote, “It is a function of poetry to locate those zones inside of us that would be free and declare them so.”
What I especially love about this quote is that Wright didn’t say “it is the writer’s or poet’s responsibility, but the [ongoing] task of poetry itself. Every time I pick up a book or put on a record, I am activating that GPS signal inside me. When a line, song, or poem pinpoints something in me that is bound, it becomes my job (through art, writing, or therapy) to free whatever that trapped part of me is.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has and continues to transform my life; I owe my life to a myriad of recovery processes (addiction, abuse, depression, C-PTSD). Each method has endowed me with the tremendous excitement of living because they also equipped me with the skills and strength to bear it. They’ve also taught me that we can never see/move past what we can’t accept and that real acceptance isn’t a direct result of effort and willingness; it’s inherently tied to grace.
We can’t accept something until we’ve grieved it. One of the layers of complex-grief is entirely made of unwanting: unwanting the experience, the unreality, even unwanting your own body.
When I think about the hot gore of my desire - and how much of it is asking not to be seen or touched, I realize I do not want -
and what, dear god,
is on the other side of that? I want that too.
My want is so wide I cannot cross it [….]