January 23rd, 2021
I get disheartened when an artist tells
me they’re bored. It’s especially brutal
if I’ve adored you and the art propels
my own rhetoric, research,
collections of folders some might besmirch. I think
Stanley Kubrick would have approved though I’ve
no warehouse of boxes when I’m extinct
to prove my passion for working still thrives
between poems and books. We live
amidst fascinations. If we stay spry,
wide eyed enough, work is transformative.
Suture eyes shut someday after I die
with the stories I’ve written, some I hoard.
I’ll die exhausted. I never lived bored.
This sonnet is a Capricorn’s confession. I’m obsessed with work. It’s a privilege I know because it means I do something I love, and not everyone has that privilege. Although I do think if you are alive, you should carve out time to do the true work of your life even if it’s only a small part of your day.
But when I meet an artist — especially someone whose work I have admired and they say to me, “I’m bored,” I will confess it hurts my heart. How can you be bored when you are a creator?
I live in a house in the woods. Even before the pandemic when we all became recluses, I was a recluse. I went to coffee shops to write and such and I had friends online, but I lived a very closed-off life in reality. Pandemic really hasn’t changed life all that much for me — except for the coffeeshop writing.
I’m still not bored. In fact, I feel like the more I exercise my creative muscle and become more confident in my writing and path as an artist, I feel like I have less and less time for actual “leisure.” Often, I’m lucky to get an hour a day that is truly just that. I’m thrilled about that hour. I’m exhausted from the writing and the “real life” stuff I have had to do and also the researching.
My research includes reading and googling and watching documentaries about objects I’m collecting information about that will become projects — or may be abandoned as project ideas. I also study artists and watch documentaries, read books to learn about their processes and lives. One of these I watched once was called Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes.
I admire Stanley Kubrick for his work ethic, his detail obsessed mind, his wide-eyed look at the world, a posture as an artist I always strive to maintain. I think it’s a part of my womanchildishness and how embracing the childish side of me is a strength in my writing.
People who have read my books know that I’m a childhood sexual abuse survivor. When I say that I’m a womanchild, it’s kind of me owning something about myself that I have spoken to some other survivors about and they relate to as well — living through that, a part of you always stays a little younger at heart. I think that is something that humans from other backgrounds do as well– and certainly not all survivors of CSA feel this way. I do however, and I think that finding ways that your background, even a dark background gives you a superpower in a way.
I think womanchildishness and looking at the world with wonder helps my writing. I am a perpetual student of life, and I am always learning. I am never bored. There are so many things to learn and things to accomplish with words. I wish that for everyone.
I mention Stanley Kubrick in this poem because he’s on my brain a lot as an artist but also right now I’m curating an anthology on the movie Eyes Wide Shut. It’s called Denmark, which is the password to the party in Traumnovelle, as opposed the film (where its’ Fidelio). I’m encourage people to engage deeply with the book and the film and create poetry, essay, fiction and art inspired by both the book and the film and the working processes of the creators. I love making opportunities for writers to be wide-eyed about a subject and produce work probably as much as I love finding those opportunities. This anthology is going to be published at The Daily Drunk this spring. You can read about this opportunity and find out details about submitting your work here.
If you need any writing prompts and want to read lots of my writing, I just started a Patreon where I post both of those things every day. You can check that out here.
Stay wide-eyed with the world.
The rest of the time if I’m not writing I’m watching or reading things on subjects I’m kind of collecting information on for different projects. When I watched the documentary