Friday, April 2, 2010

National Poetry Month: Why I Write

This post is inspired by Terry Tempest Williams' piece called "Why I Write."

I write because I don't know how else to survive.
I write to record and explore history that's been forgotten or ignored.
I write to have a voice because my pen never shakes and my page never quivers.
I write for that gay boy in Indiana who doesn't know what to do with himself, but knows he's different.
I write for the students in my class who never raise their hands, never ask for help, but need it.
I write to feel loved and to question love.
I write to remember what it's like to be myself.
I write for the man who smiles a knowing smile at me in a parking lot on his way home to his wife and kids.
I write to relive the moments I've forgotten and the moments I can't escape.
I write for the men and women who have died because someone didn't like their voice or the way they walked.
I write to understand myself, my world, and my fellow human beings.
I write to become a better person and to never give up on the possibility of change.
I write because it pisses people off.
I write to understand the power of language (spoken or read quietly).
I write to connect with people I'll never meet. People I imagine holding my words in their hands, rolling them with their tongues, and letting them bounce off their skin.
I write to get closer to my heroes: Oscar Wilde, Walt Whitman, and Frank O'Hara.
I write so I won't lose myself.
I write to be naked.
I write to become everything I want to be and imagine I am.
I write because I don't believe in guns.
I write to unite people and to make enemies.
I write for the Iran boys who have been hanged for sodomy.
I write for those in America who are denied basic rights every single day, but still get up and live their lives.
I write for the whales who beach themselves for no apparent reason.
I write to one day get on NPR, even though I hate my voice.
I write because I don't believe in God.
I write so I can stand in a gay bar and tell some drunk man that I'm a poet, and he can tell me that poetry is just a hobby and I can scream fuck you and walk away.
I write to capture a generation.
I write because no one ever told me I couldn't.
I write for the money that will never come and for the fan letter lost in the mail.
I write to give you a tingle between your legs that you didn't know was there.
I write because I hate nearly all other kinds of work.
I write for the cute boys who stare at me in clubs, who dance with me, and who sometimes come back to my bed.
I write to prove my generation has something to say.
I write because I don't believe in war.
I write because I know too much.
I write for the little boy still inside me, who once wondered if he could ever be happy, ever be accepted, or ever be a poet.

-Stephen (I write)

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